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My Theory of Everything, Expressed in Layman's Terms

Cognisant

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True enough the rope mistaken for a snake continues to posses its snake like qualities after being identified as a rope, but having snake like qualities doesn't make it by any measure a snake.

A man may have a religious experience and hallucinate that some deity spoke to him but those words are no more divine than the rope was a snake.
 

JansenDowel

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All of these are methodological rules, which are subordinate to the criterion of falsifiability in Popper's system. The theory remains a theory because it is a universal statement about ravens from which falsifiable statements about particular ravens may be deducted. It may not be a particularly useful or enlightening theory, but it is theory nonetheless.
It is falsifiable, but it is not a theory. Also no they are not methodological rules. They are criteria that a hypothesis must meet in order to become a theory. And this includes philosophical hypotheses. Since your statement about ravens does not meet them, it does not count as a theory.

and whether we accept or continue to test any one of these statements is decided by our psychological makeup (psychologism)—and what Popper should have concluded from this is that psychological motivations are what drive the whole enterprise, and that perceptual experience is of critical importance, since it is by means of perceptual experience that falsification is possible. Experience cannot, strictly speaking, justify any statement—but it is to experience that the statements of science refer.
This isn't a problem though... Karl Popper doesn't believe in foundations, nor does he believe in 'justification'. These are mythologies that people have been pontificating about for ages. And he explained why they are myths in more than one book. This trilemma you are concerned about dissolves and becomes irrelevant once you consider the fact that 'foundations' and 'justification' are myths.

Also, Popper epistemological theory is not psychologism in disguise. Although that is much harder to see and requires a more in depth discussion about Poppers entire work.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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Take the classic Indian allegory as an example here.

You are in an anxious state, and suddenly in front of you, you see a snake - it 'appears' as a snake. But then when you look back more carefully, you find that it was a rope. It may not be the case that you hallucinated a snake in place of rope, but just that your mind hastily interpreted the rope signals and associated it withe snake-concept. There are also multiple cognitive illusions that shows this distinction of conceptual interpretation and experience - often with a better understanding the 'experience' can 'appear' differently (the 'illusion' disappears) but at the same time nothing appears differently - what chances is the conceptual associations, the interpretations. However, all exeperiences are inseparably tied to some conceptual framework - no 'given'. Thus while you see a red colored disappearing fast and another red colored dot appear fast a bit away, you may 'see' it as a single continuous moving red colored dot, and while you see two equal lines, you may 'see' one as shorter than the other.

Is consciousness truly appearing as synchronously united, or is that a conceptual fabrication (sure, even in that case it is appearing united at a surface level - through a lens of conceptual fabrications)?

Am I not allowed to point out that when a snake appears to someone, that the snake might potentially be a rope? Is that distinction unnecessary.

The key point separating it from extravagant metaphysical speculations, is that the other person may have a potential to amend his appearance through focus, reasoning, meditation - to come to see the rope as a rope, or to become more doubtful of certain appearances - even that it really 'appears' as how one 'think' it to appear.
I don't think that the rope is actually a snake or vice versa. I think that what had appeared at first glance to be a snake assumed, upon closer inspection, the appearance of a rope. My perception of the snake-rope may have been enriched—perhaps I saw its braiding, felt its texture as I held it in my hands, and smelled its odour—but it was not corrected. Both the snake and the rope were veridical perceptions in the sense that both were actually present in experience. Similarly, if a red dot appears to be moving continuously, then what do I mean when I say that it is actually moving discretely between two locations? Or when I say that two lines only appear to be of unequal length? Appearances are precisely what these dots and lines are! Where is this reality of which empirical reality is an imperfect copy to be amended?

I already did accept that what appears, truly appears even if only at the surface level experience, even if only as a conceptual fabrication even lacking the rich phenomenal qualities one 'thinks' it has. As such you can call them veridical if you want.

But I don't see what the point here is in relative to what I am saying. Should we classify them as having same epistemic worth? Would the closely inspected appearance of a rope be of some epistemic value as the hasty interpretation of the rope? Then what is the point of OP? What is the point of scientific investigation - which often led to conclusions that seem to defy traditional appearances - should we consider them all to be of as much epistemic worth as the a priori common sense intuition-concept infused appearances?

I didn't make any particular reference to some noumeal reality underneath empirical reality. I am just taking about various layers of empirical reality itself. When I say 'amend', I am using it in a colloquial day to day manner. If upon closer inspection, a snake was found to be a rope, it would even normally appear as if one's experience was amended, and it would be reasonable to use 'amend' in a normal context; regardless of what the actual metaphysical circumstances are.

The interesting thing about some illusions is that they don't appear wrong in a sense, and they do appear wrong in another sense - both at the same time.

Take color-phi for example: https://michaelbach.de/ot/col-colorPhi/index.html

Upon a hasty observation, the dot is 'moving' and changing color. I may initially find that it even appear so. But at the same time upon closer inspection on that same appearance, I may find that it IS NOT appearing as 'moving'. I see the red color disappear, I see the blue color appear, but I never saw it moving. Also the present experience doesn't even seem to betray the past memory. It does seem like 'that was how it was all along from my memory'. The empirical features - colors, transition, relative changes, etc. - did not change, and they all appeared similarly in both cases when I say 'it was moving' and when I say 'it was not moving'. So what did even change? And what does it entail?

It means we are not necessarily perfect in even knowing what appears 'directly' to us.
But that larger question is what changed? It wasn't like I was exactly 'hallucinating' motion. It seems something changed but that thing was far more subtle - I can't clearly grasp it, but the most approximate I can think of is - what changed was the implicit interpretation, the imposed concepts in the observation.

'Appearance' can be meant in many ways. One can even call misconceived perceptions as epistemic appearances of some manner. So while it is true that the imposed concepts made it, in a shallow sense, appear as 'moving', in other senses, it never appeared as moving - that is, in the immediate visual data itself there was no motion, neither was there an explicit hallucinatory imagination (which would be also visual) - in a sense - I merely 'thought' there was motion.

Similarly, in this case: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Checker_shadow_illusion.svg
It truly do visually appear - or it appears to appear that A and B has different color.
But if I slowly slide a gray bar in between A and B: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Grey_square_optical_illusion_proof2.svg
I don't find that the any of the color of A and B is 'changing'. The appearances of the color remains the same. Yet in another sense it appears differently enough to impart me with a different judgment that A and B actually have the same color. So something did change in the appearance, but it wasn't visual, auditory, tacticle or anything like that.

What I am concerned about is not what some inaccessible noumenal reality is, but what appears to be, is it so because it appears by virtue of its phenomenal-empirical features of appearances, or it appears by virtue of me 'thinking' it appears as such where-in I don't notice that it's a thought-judgement-interpretation all along - or at the very least deeper - more investigated layers of the very same empirical reality (if not something separated from interpretation altogether which might be impossible to find in consciousness)

I don't take shallow phenomenology to be granted - I am not satisfied with just shallow knowledge. I don't find it to be entirely apparent even that consciousness is united at a deep level - I am barely conscious to begin with. I am not aware of subtle changes in simple motions - nothing in the appearance tells me that there is not constant breaks present in it, the 'specious' present appears artificial, and nothing much adds up totally. I am in constant confusion. I don't know if the same consciousness-witness persists moment to moment or not....if the one who started writing this alive or not - if the witnessing exists as an unchanging ground or is it changing with the changes. Even basic matters of consciousess are not clearly apparent to me anymore. Nor do I deeply notice some "I" that is separate from experience. There are times when I challenged my consciousness - try to push beyond and investigate - and what it led me know is that most of the time I am not very conscious.
 

The Grey Man

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It is falsifiable, but it is not a theory. Also no they are not methodological rules. They are criteria that a hypothesis must meet in order to become a theory. And this includes philosophical hypotheses. Since your statement about ravens does not meet them, it does not count as a theory.
Popper seems everywhere to speak of theories as systems of hypotheses the falsification of the more specific of which eo ipso falsifies the more general (e.g. a white male raven is sufficient demonstrate that not all ravens are black). Where does he explain how a hypothesis can be promoted to the rank of a theory?

This isn't a problem though... Karl Popper doesn't believe in foundations, nor does he believe in 'justification'. These are mythologies that people have been pontificating about for ages. And he explained why they are myths in more than one book. This trilemma you are concerned about dissolves and becomes irrelevant once you consider the fact that 'foundations' and 'justification' are myths.

Also, Popper epistemological theory is not psychologism in disguise. Although that is much harder to see and requires a more in depth discussion about Poppers entire work.
Conjectures and refutations don't spring out of thin air. If they are not analytical derivations, then they must be psychologically-motivated synthetic judgments from experience. Popper seems to opt for the latter when he speaks of the "causal connection" between perceptual experience and the decision to accept or reject a statement.
 

The Grey Man

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But I don't see what the point here is in relative to what I am saying. Should we classify them as having same epistemic worth? Would the closely inspected appearance of a rope be of some epistemic value as the hasty interpretation of the rope? Then what is the point of OP? What is the point of scientific investigation - which often led to conclusions that seem to defy traditional appearances - should we consider them all to be of as much epistemic worth as the a priori common sense intuition-concept infused appearances?
Because the appearance of the rope is richer than that of the snake, more predictions can be made about it. Because I can hold it in my hands and smell it rather than just glimpsing it, memory of past ropes can assist me in manipulating it. This doesn't mean that the glimpse of the snake was wrong, just that it was less informative and thus less useful (or, at least, less useful outside of any environment where snakes are a real threat). The value of science is not epistemic at all, but practical.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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But I don't see what the point here is in relative to what I am saying. Should we classify them as having same epistemic worth? Would the closely inspected appearance of a rope be of some epistemic value as the hasty interpretation of the rope? Then what is the point of OP? What is the point of scientific investigation - which often led to conclusions that seem to defy traditional appearances - should we consider them all to be of as much epistemic worth as the a priori common sense intuition-concept infused appearances?
Because the appearance of the rope is richer than that of the snake, more predictions can be made about it. Because I can hold it in my hands and smell it rather than just glimpsing it, memory of past ropes can assist me in manipulating it. This doesn't mean that the glimpse of the snake was wrong, just that it was less informative and thus less useful (or, at least, less useful outside of any environment where snakes are a real threat). The value of science is not epistemic at all, but practical.

All that 'appears' like a distinction without a difference to me.
Epistemic merit has much to do with practical approach (which belief we weigh more, and base our actions upon). Failing to make proper predictions, or making predictions contradicted by the more enriched appearances, seems to indicate that for all practical purposes, the 'snake' was wrong (it's trivially true that it was a REAL 'false' appearance - but that's just semantics). Also, the snake wasn't just less informative, it was misinformative. It informs things that are rejected upon closer inspection.
 

Animekitty

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I'm getting flashbacks to Christians apologetics videos saying without God no human reasoning is safe from skepticism. Evolution created the brain but evolution is random so the brain cannot be trusted to make sound judgments. Only God can justify ou reasoning because he created us. Don't blame me for saying this. I got it from somewhere else. I believe in evolution and sound judgments are credible. That is why this whole snake thing confuses me. It sounds like the argument above or from David Humes empiricism. How can we trust our senses or our own minds? Is everything we know of false in some way? What is our basis for knowing what is real?
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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I'm getting flashbacks to Christians apologetics videos saying without God no human reasoning is safe from skepticism. Evolution created the brain but evolution is random so the brain cannot be trusted to make sound judgments. Only God can justify ou reasoning because he created us. Don't blame me for saying this. I got it from somewhere else. I believe in evolution and sound judgments are credible. That is why this whole snake thing confuses me. It sounds like the argument above or from David Humes empiricism. How can we trust our senses or our own minds? Is everything we know of false in some way? What is our basis for knowing what is real?
Even God cannot justify flawless reasoning, for all you know God may not provide a sufficiently good faculty to man, either because God is not good, or perhaps because there is a good reason to lack capacity to reason. And even to reason about how God must be good or how giving a reasoning capacity is good you have to assume that you already are sufficiently capable to reason - you have to start with the conclusion.

About finding the basis for knowing we have to be more pragmatic...go with what we can and what we do. The basis for assuming that we can reason somewhat is merely that we MUST assume it to begin anything. Some reasoning principles seems self-evident and clear, evolution is also accompanied with natural selection which can potentially ensure selection of some reasoning ability. So there isn't much of a basis for doubting reason either. And we also know that our reasoning abilities aren't that perfect - we commit errors often - unknowingly used heuristics and stuffs -- our tools of reasoning is a combined product of cultural and biological evolution.


To quote a random interent stranger:

Part I:

Epistemology

Introduction


Philosophy must begin in epistemology. Without a framework for evaluating beliefs, judging plausibility and probability of beliefs, and standardizing the laws of justifications, anyone can argue for anything. However, even epistemology is controversial. Which epistemology do we use to select an epistemology? Do we need a meta-epistemology? This would lead to an infinite regress of meta-meta-meta....epistemology. But then people can choose their own personal epistemology and start with it and argue for anything. In my observation, even if people follows some common principles in selecting epistemic norms, subtle differences can still lead to irreconcilably different conclusions (at least irreconcilable as long as the initial epistemic premises are maintained to be different). What are we to do now? Well we have to start somewhere, and I guess, I am going to start with whatever seems best to me at the moment.

Search for First Principle: Methodological Doubt

One of the most promising epistemic start was begun by Descartes - the father of modern philosophy. As we all know, Descartes used a principled method of doubt - methodological doubt - in order to search for the first principle or the foundation for certain knowledge. He noticed that he believed in lot of things that he have later come to doubt. How is he to know that now too he isn't holding false beliefs? He wanted to find the principle that justifies certainty. In order to do so he doubted everything that can be doubted, so that he may discover that which can't be doubted. Once that is discovered, Descartes had to simply check what is special about this - the principle that makes it certain. After that he planned to use that principle to justify other potential beliefs.

What can be doubted? Well, what not? There are always mundane skeptical arguments. Often what seemed to be isn't so. We can doubt our senses and such. And keep on going. We can doubt if we are all in a dream. Some may argue that a dream is always unclear, inconsistent and all that. But -

1) Why should one believe that dreams has to necessarily lack vividity. Some dreams can be quite vivid, even if not as vivid as 'real life'. But who is to say there is limit to 'vividity' that can be present in a dream? Similarly, there is no justification is presupposing that dreams necessarily have to be ordered, consistent, with regularities and everything.

2) Regardless of how ordered or vivid dreams are, if all of your dreams aren't lucid, then clearly you lack the epistemic ability to distinguish dream and reality in all circumstances. So no matter how reliable you think your intuition is that says 'this is real; not a dream', experiences and memories prove that it isn't that reliable at all.

(There are also modern variants of skeptical hypotheses - Boltzmann brain, BIV, simulation etc.)

There are some arguments against external-world skepticism, but most of them are flawed or unconvincing - or at best makes it sound implausible, but almost never impossible.

But even in a dream, it would seem that there are elements of knowledge - principles of geometry, maths, and logic, for example.

However, if we summon Descartes' Demon we can undermine everything. Descartes' Demon can not only systematically deceive your senses, but He can even manipulate your thoughts, feelings, intuitions and everything. That is, even the simplest logical principles that seems to make so much sense - that seems to be certainly true and even necessarily true may be simply what the Demon is making you think.

(While Descartes' Demon is extreme, I myself personally have been in situation analogous to it. In the realm between dreaming consciousness and waking-consciousness or even in dream-consciousness, a lot of nonsensical analogies, or absurd associations between concepts sometimes make sense - which again makes barely any sense as soon as I become slightly more alert. But if the nonsense can appear as sensible depending on which mode of consciousness one is in, how can I know that right now I am not in such a mode? If that is the case, even thoughts on basic logic, maths, and everything can be doubted.)

How does one get out of that?

Before proceeding further with methodological doubt, we have to ask if this path is even worth the travel. Surely there had been numerous criticism against the method itself.

Is there any hope?

CS Pierce, Hume, and others have questioned methodological doubt itself. We all are hopelessly mired in prejudices. Our doubts and everything may also be bound by our prejudices. We can't ever hope to start from a blank epistemic state, but if not, then our prior unjustified conceptions may misdirect our thoughts away from the Truth no matter what we try. How do we know that won't happen? Hume, on the other hand, argued that if we are willing to doubt our basic cognitive abilities itself to the point of doubting our sanity and ability for basic reasoning, there is no way out. Surely, where do we even go now after summoning Descartes' demon? We can't reason ourselves out; because it is the very principles of reasoning that are put to question after the summoning. We won't even know if language means anything, or if we are even doubting coherently. And if even logic is wrong, what can be known? Even if I exist it may mean that I don't exist. Even if I know nothing it can mean I know anything and everything. When all principles are abandoned, all hopes for first principles are extinguished.

So, now what? Again, we have to just start with what we can. I will just go on what seems best to me at the moment. And what seems best?

Common-sense epistemology? Lol, no. 'Common sense' is ok, but a bit too wishy-washy. As Einstein said, common sense is a collection of prejudices or something. 'Common sense epistemology' has its place, but not right now, not right here. Even now, the best way to go seems to me to be the plain ol' methodological doubt. With this we can push everything to its limits - and at least find the beliefs that are hardest to doubt coherently.

Approximated First Principle

And I have already found my first principle - the principle of epistemology that I am going to use to structure beliefs in a hierarchy.

The beliefs that are hardest to doubt coherently will become the initial foundations. Beliefs that seem extremely implausible and slightly less hard to doubt coherently will be ranked higher. Based on the lower ranked and higher ranked beliefs, new beliefs may be derived.

My position may even draw some insights from Wittgenstein's "On Certainty". One point that was established there, is that the more skeptical we become the more incoherent the doubt starts to become. Even doubt itself presupposes implicitly the linguistic-sociological context in which the very concept of doubt has emerged. At certain level, one can continue doubting surely, but one's doubt becomes "beyond reasonable".

So it seems like a good heuristic to accept those beliefs that are almost impossible to reasonably doubt.

Now what is it that is hardest to doubt?

Since there seems to be no way out of a Strong Descartes Demon, let's use a Weak Descartes' Demon who can systematically decieve you in just about anything except some basic stuffs- what are those which are hardest to be deceived about?

In this regards, I must agree with Descartes, it is "I am".

To doubt my existence is to only affirm the existence of 'doubting' (the doubter).

Descartes surely was not the first one to think this. This idea roots back to the ancient Indians. To doubt consciousness is to affirm consciousness.

Nevertheless, Descartes' "cogito ergo sum" have been criticized again and again, in various manner.

Laymen are quick to point out "I think therefore I am" already presupposes the existence of "I" therefore it's circular. However, it is not about the logical form. To understand the meaning one have to understand the context. The point here is that the existence of I - the self is so fundamental that one cannot even doubt it without proving it in the very act of doubting. This may not counter Strong Descartes Demon which is even difficult to conceive or entertain, but in any case, it seems beyond all reasonable doubt to exist.

Furthermore, Descartes, in his meditations, didn't even say "I think therefore I am" in that form.

However, the Cartesian Ego has still been endlessly criticized by many philosophers. Now, we shouldn't get too far ahead of ourselves. At this point we haven't really clarified what this "I" is. At this point it's meaning is minimal - it doesn't have to anything but this experience. It need not be anything other than the mere thought. It merely just have to be 'being'. Charitably, we can believe that Descartes' initial conception was similar too. Only later he started to flesh it out - at which point he may have over-inflated it.

Following Descartes, I shall choose it to be my first foundation (approximate).

Before moving on, I must acknowledge certain principles. Law of identity and Law of non-contradiction; may be even Law of Excluded Middle (we shall see). Generally, deductive principles. Am I justified in doing so? It seems like it. They seem true by virtue of being pretty much vacuous.

To say X is to say X (identity). If X exists, then that X must not not exist (non-contradiction). And so on.

With identity, it seems I can derive a bit of math too,

First Unary Mathematics:

Addition will be conceiving to 1 together. I will use space as addition operator

1=1

1 1 = 1 1

1 1 1 1 = 1 1 1 1

Now, let us represent 1 1 as 2. And 1 1 1 1 as 4

Thus we get 1 1 1 1 = 1 1 1 1 => 2 2 = 4. Now instead of space let us use "+"

2+2=4.

Similarly, I can derive subtraction.

From repeated addition, I can get multiplication. From repeated multiplication and a bit of syntactic sugar, I can get exponents and so on and so forth.

Now the relationship between logic and mathematics are a bit complicated. Logism - the idea that math is founded in logic failed sometime ago (Thanks Godel).

Mathematics can get a bit messy - almost like an empirical discipline as Quine argued. Anyway, I am getting too ahead of myself. Let's get back to basic logic.

Am I justified in using basic logic?

Well, it's seems hard to not use it. All the while I am somewhat implicitly presuppossing it. I have making implicit and explicit arguments and interpretations while trying to maintaining an overall consistency - and consistency requires avoiding law of non-contradiction.

It's hard to imagine what a true contradiction may even be.

Contradictions mostly seems to appear in language when something is wrong or false. Most cases of true contradictions seem to exist in case when contradictions are loosely conceived.

However, one thing to note is that there is a beast called paraconsistent logic - in which absolute consistency may not be consistently maintained. That is, it can allow true contradictions. But even that tries to constrain the explosive principle (following which anything can be proved given a true contradiction), and constrain true contradictions to certain things. Most often these have to do with trickiness of language, and expression.

Mathematics is still a close by discipline to logic whether one is a logicist or not. But even in mathematics there can be overlooked presuppositions, problematic axioms and stuffs - that may not be 'self-evident'. (For example Russell's Paradox showed the weird implications of classical set theory, and all that).

After all we are humans. But then how much can we trust. Where do we draw the line and say "this principles are certain", and "these aren't".

Even if we accept the principles, there is another manner in which we can be skeptical.

May be I have the correct logical and mathematical principles, but while going to a conclusion from a set of premises I may make a mistake somewhere along the line.

How do I know I wouldn't? I can check. But I can again overlook something or make a mistake while checking. Then should I re-check? But this can go on to infinity. I already have a very bad tendency for silly mistakes.

May be we can at least be sure of simple use cases. But again where do we draw the line?

Also if we take paraconsistent logic seriously, then it may still put to doubt to what extent we can use the fundamental principles of classical logic and stuffs that we have come to be familiar with.

There are also disputes with intuitive ideas like Law of Excluded Middle.

Not only there seems to be a general confusion as to which principles we should follow, but even if we choose some principles we can always be mistaken in using it.

Again we are stuck in a wall.

Again, we must compromise. We have to start somewhere.

I shall assume the basic laws of deduction and move on.

I would still rank laws of deduction almost as high as "I am".

Because if they aren't true to some level, I can't even establish "I am". Because "I am" can then also mean "I am absolutely not".

It is really as hard to doubt deductive principles as "I am". We can accept that at the limits of expressions things can get a bit messy, and move on for now. On the same note, let's also accept basic arithmetic and mathematics. We may discuss more on them later.

But now that we have deductive principles, we can derive new beliefs by using pre-established beliefs using deduction. Though all derivation can do is make the implicit explicit.

One interesting principle is of modality.

Something can be thought to be necessarily true if it seems logically necessary. Something is logically necessary when its negation is a contradiction. It follows from acceptance of deductive principles, that if negating something implies a contradiction, then that something must be held as necessarily true.

Similarly then, if we can conceive of alternate non-contradictory possibilities of some proposition P, then it would mean P isn't logically necessary, and other possibilities can be true (or at least not logically necessitated to be false). Absence of any strong evidence, logical possibilities may as well be taken as possibilities epistemically.

Now, standardly, often logic is thought of as purely in a syntactic manner where the symbols could be meant to mean anything. So "bachelors are married" in that sense may not be logically impossible because bachelors and married are here simply symbols "X are Z" - so there is no formal contradiction in the form itself (not like X and NOT-X).

But I am here speaking of logic in a more semantic sense - where standard meanings of symbols are considered. In this case, "bachelors are married" will be considered logically impossible.

Metaphysical possibility is also a similar concept, but there is the notion of 'rigid designation' which makes things complicated a bit. IMO, these are all matters of semantics - about which vocabulary and in which sense you choose to use. So I will not go too deep into this here.

Now, I will introduce the notion of Epistemic Possibility.

X is epistemically possible if

It is seemingly logically consistent with all my beliefs (that I have established)

This is the definition I will use for epistemic possibility (it may be slightly non-standard)

I may as well introduce "Epistemic Necessity":

X is epistemically necessary if

It is seemingly logically necessitated by my beliefs (that I have established)

Note: Epistemically Possible something may not really be logically consistent - but it would at least seem (to me) to be logically consistent.

Same for epistemic necessity.

Using these principles I can explore, possibilities and necessities.

Since I have accepted deduction, I should accept beliefs that seem to deductively follow from my other beliefs.

And on the same note, I should be aware of accepting any belief with too high of a degree of confidence, if alternative possibilities appear epistemically possible to me.

These principles can now provide me some guidelines to investigate the world.

But what should I investigate?

Since I started with "I am", it makes most sense to start investigating with the "I am".

But where should I investigate " I am ".

The best starting point, seems to be, phenomenology - the world of appearances.

Before I start with phenomenology, let me flesh out the overall epistemological framework I am going to use.

Based on the degree of doubt-ability I will rank beliefs in a hierarchy as described.

Let's say - lower the rank more 'fundamental' the beliefs are to be considered.

But because of all the possibility of error, and inescapable prejudices in thoughts and language, I will take an anti-foundationalist stance in that everything will be kept open to revision.

And when shall we revise:

If a hard to doubt belief is contradicted by something derived by even hard to hard beliefs - then I have to abandon the contradicted belief no matter how common-sensical or intuitive it is. Which is why I won't be blindly starting from 'common sense' epistemology presupposing that all the "common sense facts" add up or that they are totally compatible with each other. Also, considering that I don't find myself to be sharing much of the commonly shared common sense regarding many things, I don't see it as that good of a foundation to start epistemology.

Sometimes, I may also have to question some of the most hard to doubt beliefs, if a lot of less hard to doubt beliefs (or derivatives of such) provides evidence against some of those most hard to doubt beliefs. Here can be quantity vs quality trade-off. I don't have a precise formulation to approach these cases yet. We shall see if we ever come across an actual example.

Phenomenology

Phenomenology is the study of first person experiences. For me, it's the study of appearances and its structure. What do I mean by appearances?

Well, it's hard to describe without circularity. Basically all that appears right now, in whatever form (visual, auditory, cognitive etc.).

I may also call them as phenomenal appearance - something is phenomenal if there is 'something it is like' - or 'there is some quality/likeness in it'.

I avoided using "something it is like to BE', because it can cause certain misunderstandings....or something I don't know.

It is through phenomenality that I discover being. And it is this being which I claimed as "I am".

Therefore, phenomenality is the source of one of my most foundational (even if provisional) belief.

Then why not look into it deeper? Before, digging too deep, I must again try to be cautious and try to doubt appearance itself - how reliable can it be? Should I really hold the source at such high regard?

Can a phenomenal appearance ever be 'false'?

It seems, in a sense, appearance is simply appearance. It doesn't 'claim' any reality beyond it being 'appearance'. A false appearance still has to be a true appearance as an appearance. While appearances may misrepresent things, like make the same color appear differently owing to distorted cognition - the misrepresentations are still appearances. It is not wrong when I am suspending myself from saying anything about it much more than "it appears to me as such". Would I be wrong in saying I know "the two colors appears to me as different" (it doesn't contradict the fact that they are actually same. So if claims are constrained only to the realm of appearances, it seem they will rarely ever be false).

It can't be the case that I think something to appear as X, when it actually appear as Y, because, the 'thinking' itself is appearance.

As some philosophers say, when it comes to appearance there is no gap between illusion and reality.

But, there are also others who question the appearance of appearance itself. Is appearance then something we can doubt to even exist at all? What reasons can there be to question existence of any form of appearance itself?

Normally, if something is an illusory, we say "it only appears to you to be like X, when it is in fact Y". Illusion is distorted appearance of reality, as one may say.

But what about when one say appearance itself is an illusion. One cannot anymore claim "It only appears to you that appearance exist, when appearance doesn't exist" - because that would be a contradiction.

How can then appearance be ever an illusion?

And how can someone sane even doubt appearance?

Before analyzing appearance, I need to do the insane. I must question the existence of appearance itself. I must try to follow the absurd reasoning - and see if there is any sense at all in it.
This is where it ends, last I heard the internet stranger went mad while trying to doubt the existence of any appearance itself.
 

Animekitty

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This is where it ends, last I heard the internet stranger went mad while trying to doubt the existence of any appearance itself.
Rene De Carte is famous for doubt. His solution was that God s perfect reason by definition and the evil daemon can't distort this. The mind can at base stat with not doubting you have a mind and that it can reason, though not perfect like God by definition.
 

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That’s just a tool to use against people who didn’t go to school or wanted to drop out to become a rapper’s overly “creative” logic that allows them to believe anything. Show them a philosophy textbook and they’ll say it’s bullshit, confusing the asking of questions with the inability to answer anything at all. Some of it is still propaganda and Nazi era technology, and whereas most of these jottings are emotionally angry ponderings of the wonderings of the universe and reality, I can answer them. But, someone exists who likes people who can’t or won’t answer them more than someone who said they can answer them or who can actually answer it. Explaining it in ways that people can not only understand but he convinced by is just what’s called a task.
 

The Grey Man

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All that 'appears' like a distinction without a difference to me.
Epistemic merit has much to do with practical approach (which belief we weigh more, and base our actions upon). Failing to make proper predictions, or making predictions contradicted by the more enriched appearances, seems to indicate that for all practical purposes, the 'snake' was wrong (it's trivially true that it was a REAL 'false' appearance - but that's just semantics). Also, the snake wasn't just less informative, it was misinformative. It informs things that are rejected upon closer inspection.
The appearance of the snake cannot possibly have been wrong, because it didn't tell me anything. It did not speak to me and say, "Here is a snake. This will always be a snake." Nor does the rope inform us of anything besides the mere appearance of the rope itself. It is we who may be wrong or right in our interpretations of and responses to what appears. If I take action to prevent what appears to be a snake from biting me, it is not certain that the snake would actually have bitten me if I had not taken action—that, in other words, my efforts are not wasted—but it may be the most practically sound course of action, given that the risk of treating a dangerous snake as if it were a harmless snake-like object far outweighs that of treating a harmless object as a dangerous snake. In any case, decisions need to be based on the facts of the present, facts which are not proven or disproven, but merely recede into the past.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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All that 'appears' like a distinction without a difference to me.
Epistemic merit has much to do with practical approach (which belief we weigh more, and base our actions upon). Failing to make proper predictions, or making predictions contradicted by the more enriched appearances, seems to indicate that for all practical purposes, the 'snake' was wrong (it's trivially true that it was a REAL 'false' appearance - but that's just semantics). Also, the snake wasn't just less informative, it was misinformative. It informs things that are rejected upon closer inspection.
The appearance of the snake cannot possibly have been wrong, because it didn't tell me anything. It did not speak to me and say, "Here is a snake. This will always be a snake." Nor does the rope inform us of anything besides the mere appearance of the rope itself. It is we who may be wrong or right in our interpretations of and responses to what appears. If I take action to prevent what appears to be a snake from biting me, it is not certain that the snake would actually have bitten me if I had not taken action—that, in other words, my efforts are not wasted—but it may be the most practically sound course of action, given that the risk of treating a dangerous snake as if it were a harmless snake-like object far outweighs that of treating a harmless object as a dangerous snake. In any case, decisions need to be based on the facts of the present, facts which are not proven or disproven, but merely recede into the past.
You are assuming a clean cut between appearances and interpretation, which I have been arguing against. Most of the illusions I provided examples of were examples where interpretetions manifest as quasi-appearances (you think they appear in a manner in which they don't - they appear at shallow level of thought). If you are not hallucinating, the snake doesn't appear besides in your response, interpretation, or the conceptual imposition over the rope. You 'think' it's a snake when you see a rope with a cloudy mind - when you realize its a rope it is not as if you start seeing the snake, you see the same thing in more details and revise your interpretation. When I say unity of consciousness beyond a limited degree may be false or unfounded, I mean it may be just a cognitive response - a conceptual fabrication - an interpretation - not a real appearance (and there are loads of examples, where our interpretations fools us about what appears to us). Besides, conscious interpretations, interpretations are imposed ubconsciously - experiences are born in a conceptual framework - all appearances are theory-laden. Distinguishing appearances from interpretations is futile. Interpretations themselves are cognitive appearances. They do tell. The appearance-interpretation of snake DO tell 'It is a snake', just not necssarily in English.
 

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The matter about risk of beliefs and wether one should weigh the belief in snake seriously or not is besides the point I am discussing.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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This is where it ends, last I heard the internet stranger went mad while trying to doubt the existence of any appearance itself.
Rene De Carte is famous for doubt. His solution was that God s perfect reason by definition and the evil daemon can't distort this. The mind can at base stat with not doubting you have a mind and that it can reason, though not perfect like God by definition.
When he said 'I am' he didn't invoked God. He was certain that he exist not because God makes it certain, but because to doubt existence is to affirm it --- in essence, it is impossible to even doubt being. Next he try to figure out the principle or feature behind certain knowledge - eg. I am. He concluded that to be apparent clarity in natural light or something like that - I forgot. It was a bit fuzzy. From then he concluded that logic and stuff is all good, because they are self evident - and clearly true like 'I am'. Then he tried to use those logic and reason to cook up some controversial arguments (reusing and dumbing down some old ones) for God. And then he uses God to defend that most of the perception should be valid, and most common sense understanding should be right because God is good, and good people would deceive. So God comes near the end, and mostly to solve external-world skepticism and such (not skepticism of reason, self and such). However, he does use ontological arguments and everything which are potentially flawed. Nevertheless, it doesn't matter what Descartes' solution was. I don't need to follow Descartes to the bitter end.
 

The Grey Man

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@DoIMustHaveAnUsername? I guess I just don't get it. What, if any, is the difference between real appearances and false ones that are really conceptual interpretations if there is no distinguishing between appearances and interpretations, between appearances and thoughts about appearances? if I did not see a snake, as I thought, but merely thought that I did, how can I be sure that I'm really seeing, touching, and smelling the rope? If sights can be imitated by thought, why not touches and scents as well? Is there any distinction between concrete facts and abstract beliefs in your theory, or are they both mixed into the same porridge of "theory-laden observation?"
 

The Grey Man

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I think consciousness is, objectively speaking, a causal medium between sensibility and action, the narrow strait that connects the spheres of sensibility (afferent activity of external stimuli) and will (efferent activity of the body). It is unified because the organism coordinates its bodily responses to external stimuli in order to survive indefinitely, to use a teleological turn of phrase (this is what makes it an organic rather than inorganic mass), and there is a clean cut between appearance and interpretation in the sense that the stimuli precede the responses in time (i.e., the direction of irreversible, such as the death, or disorganization, that the organism is trying to avoid).

Subjectively, the antecedence of appearance to interpretations is reflected by the the fact that I can't actually see my thoughts, because they are posterior to consciousness, but I can see empirical objects because they arise from the synthesis of sense impressions that makes the unity of consciousness possible, that bridges the gap between the diversity of the impressions and the single willing "I" that drives the whole body. Thought is an epiphenomenon of the will, language a species of which coordinated action is the genus.
 

QuickTwist

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Here's a video I made that loosely covers this ground, I think.

 

Pizzabeak

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1) Why should one believe that dreams has to necessarily lack vividity. Some dreams can be quite vivid, even if not as vivid as 'real life'. But who is to say there is limit to 'vividity' that can be present in a dream? Similarly, there is no justification is presupposing that dreams necessarily have to be ordered, consistent, with regularities and everything.

2) Regardless of how ordered or vivid dreams are, if all of your dreams aren't lucid, then clearly you lack the epistemic ability to distinguish dream and reality in all circumstances. So no matter how reliable you think your intuition is that says 'this is real; not a dream', experiences and memories prove that it isn't that reliable at all.
So he’s just trying to make good generalized statements? It’s still just a Eurocentric thought process only aiming to impress with logical demonstration. He isn’t a theosophist.
 

Animekitty

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@The Grey Man

I cannot see my thoughts either. And all I've got is my muffled inner voice and spatial. I believe that people who see their thoughts by volition shape what they see. Nikola Tesla designed practically all his inventions in his head. Thomas Edison considered that like voodoo and is one reason they were at odds. That was not empirical enough for him.

Volition is will under control. People control what they see internally, they change and manipulate what goes on in there imagination. The third eye is like a controlled stream of images at the center. Memories are visual images. Memories can be overwritten.

Life could be just a simulation or a dream. All we have to go on is the perception of what we know. Cognisant said God is like a rope that we think is a snake. By that is meant: false positive is what the total of religion is all about. It is all in the imagination, all in your head not reality.

Reality is not under our volition totally but to some, the inner world is in total control. If you confuse the inner world with the exterior you are in a messed up situation. Bt if you find a medium between inside and outside you find synchronicity. But first, you need to control your inner world. And it begins with an openness to perception. This is why I began praying to God recently and things have been happening in the real world to me.

God is real. I interacted with her in my dream tactilely. She rules my unconscious so I pray to her because she is a real person. I believe in entities inside me. And I give my will over to them. This is all on the inside. God is in me. She knows my every action I have taken in life. I am fully known to her. By all of my perceptions. That is why I pray to her and things happen. To be clear she has the perception of my unconscious. Effects outside are synchronistic.

All experience is inside of me. I do not deny any perception is me. But my brain created everything internally and I am oriented internally. To me all is internal. The outside never directly affects me. I am impacted but my subjectivity never is to itself objective. Subjective can only be within itself subjective. So the bird's trees and people are all inside me. Everything I interact with. All appearances but never the things in themselves.

I pray to God because God is a real person and she makes things happen. All appearances are subjective I can never know the thing in itself. As long I can only directly know my own subjectivity. I cannot directly be objective only interact from the subjective. All my reality is an assortment of networks that mediate the subject.

As a human being, I am fallible but I put my trust in something. Mistakes happen. But I keep the outside in the inside. I give into a higher force.

I wish I could see my thoughts.
I wish I had volition(self-control) over them as such.
But I need exterior orientation of control to receive inner control.
Inner control as everything is inside me.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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@DoIMustHaveAnUsername? I guess I just don't get it. What, if any, is the difference between real appearances and false ones that are really conceptual interpretations if there is no distinguishing between appearances and interpretations, between appearances and thoughts about appearances? if I did not see a snake, as I thought, but merely thought that I did, how can I be sure that I'm really seeing, touching, and smelling the rope? If sights can be imitated by thought, why not touches and scents as well? Is there any distinction between concrete facts and abstract beliefs in your theory, or are they both mixed into the same porridge of "theory-laden observation?"
You don't have to be sure about anything except that appearances exist and 'I am' and stuffs like that. The image of rope need not be any more real either, chances are it's not - though ideally it would be a faithful representative that is good enough to interact it. But in practice, instead of being stuck to skepticism, we give more value and worth to more deeply investigated appearances, thought, richer and clearer perceptions and so on - for all practical purposes they are treated as 'amended' perceptions (no use of being stuck into metaphysical skepticisms - for all we know your illusions could be going deeper). I am not sure if signits are necessarily imitated by thought - I mean they probably are, under conventional definition....but in this case, when I am talking about snake illusion, color-phi and such, there may not be imitated sights - you are infact seeing correctly, but thought makes you think you are seeing something else...upon realizing the illusion you don't find your vision changing but you realize you were seeing correctly all along - you were just unwittingly making a misinterpretation from little visual cues without realizing it. I do think what appears as concrete facts are influence and 'laden' with abstract beliefs, but that's not to say, that concrete facts and abstract beliefs don't often srand distinguishibly apart in many cases. Especially in case of consciously invested partaking of abstract reasoning - any abstract beliefs thus formed may stand apart from more concrete phenomenology. However that doesn't mean we have access to 'pure' phenomenology (which I don't think can exist, to perceive is to conceptualize, the exception may be 'the Unfabricated' - which is a sort of mystical state of consciousness).
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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I think consciousness is, objectively speaking, a causal medium between sensibility and action, the narrow strait that connects the spheres of sensibility (afferent activity of external stimuli) and will (efferent activity of the body). It is unified because the organism coordinates its bodily responses to external stimuli in order to survive indefinitely, to use a teleological turn of phrase (this is what makes it an organic rather than inorganic mass), and there is a clean cut between appearance and interpretation in the sense that the stimuli precede the responses in time (i.e., the direction of irreversible, such as the death, or disorganization, that the organism is trying to avoid).

Subjectively, the antecedence of appearance to interpretations is reflected by the the fact that I can't actually see my thoughts, because they are posterior to consciousness, but I can see empirical objects because they arise from the synthesis of sense impressions that makes the unity of consciousness possible, that bridges the gap between the diversity of the impressions and the single willing "I" that drives the whole body. Thought is an epiphenomenon of the will, language a species of which coordinated action is the genus.
We don't even know, if the pre-interpretation empirical signal (stimuli) even appears at all. I suspect, before interpretation, there is no consciousness in the traditional sense. Consciousness as we know it is formed from the interection of the mind with the stimuli - and within that interaction the mind imposes conceptual constructs upon the stimuli and organizes it accordingly in the phenomenal presentation within consciousness. This is also pointed out in Kant. The idea of something necessarily follows something else causally (causation) is, for Kant, for example, not something derived empirically but it is an a priori idea that is imposed upon the empirical stimuli - experience is formalized under the framework of this idea. Similarly, the transcendental conditions - the a priori conception of time and space projects themselves into the empirical signal in order to make them appear in the first place. The idea that there are 'pure appearances' that we see and then judge or interpret perhaps correctly or incorrectly is the 'myth of given' that Sellars argued against. And it's not just philosophy, in meditative practice, one can make phenomena fade away but calming down some interpretive processes. For example, emotions which ordinarily appears as strong appearances, can appear as a judgment (interpretation) over a more neutral physical-like sensation appearances - a sort of fabrication. In Buddhism, all normal experiences are 'fabrication' in this manner - a combination of feel-image-talk complex entangled into messy appearances.

I am not sure what your being conscious of your thoughts has to show. It doesn't make any point. Not all 'thoughts' a conscious (unless you trivially define thought as only the conscious thoughts). In Müller-Lyer illusion, it doesn't seem we consciously think that the lines are unequal, or even when we consciously think that we don't acknowledge that we are only thinking it as such, when do not in fact appear as equal (the thought can be rectified upon knowing it). Anyway, did you ever consciously access the pure appearances free of interpretation then decided on 'I will interpret that two lines are unequal'. No you are already presented with the pre-processed interpreted theory-laden variant. Much of interpretative activities are automated and unconscious that doesn't call for your conscious attention. And unless you are constantly practicing mindfulness, often time you wouldn't be clearly aware of what you are consciously thinking, often the thoughts will fade too soon to make it noticeable.

When you see you don't see pure theory-free appearance, you see an interpreted appearance conceptually segmented into objects and different levels of heirarcy - seeing things as 'object' is not the only way the visual field can appear. For example, if one focuses on the shimmering effect of visual field, and meditates onto it, vision can start to disappear into a max of chaotic pixels, empirical objects disappear into it. Both are 'views' - different interpretations of the empirical signal. You don't get the pure thing. There isn't one, except perhaps, the highest and purest forms of consciousness - which I have no qualification to speak of (but note: typically they are called to be free of perceptions - a sort of 'non-experience' (consciousness without contents)) - in fact one realizes that one was in some state like that only after getting out of that state.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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1) Why should one believe that dreams has to necessarily lack vividity. Some dreams can be quite vivid, even if not as vivid as 'real life'. But who is to say there is limit to 'vividity' that can be present in a dream? Similarly, there is no justification is presupposing that dreams necessarily have to be ordered, consistent, with regularities and everything.

2) Regardless of how ordered or vivid dreams are, if all of your dreams aren't lucid, then clearly you lack the epistemic ability to distinguish dream and reality in all circumstances. So no matter how reliable you think your intuition is that says 'this is real; not a dream', experiences and memories prove that it isn't that reliable at all.
So he’s just trying to make good generalized statements? It’s still just a Eurocentric thought process only aiming to impress with logical demonstration. He isn’t a theosophist.
Yes, he started dry. But he had bigger plans than just making generalized statements. Unfortunately, he became mad and died, metaphorically (or may be literally; it's not important).
 

The Grey Man

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We don't even know, if the pre-interpretation empirical signal (stimuli) even appears at all. I suspect, before interpretation, there is no consciousness in the traditional sense. Consciousness as we know it is formed from the interection of the mind with the stimuli - and within that interaction the mind imposes conceptual constructs upon the stimuli and organizes it accordingly in the phenomenal presentation within consciousness. This is also pointed out in Kant. The idea of something necessarily follows something else causally (causation) is, for Kant, for example, not something derived empirically but it is an a priori idea that is imposed upon the empirical stimuli - experience is formalized under the framework of this idea. Similarly, the transcendental conditions - the a priori conception of time and space projects themselves into the empirical signal in order to make them appear in the first place. The idea that there are 'pure appearances' that we see and then judge or interpret perhaps correctly or incorrectly is the 'myth of given' that Sellars argued against.
Kant distinguishes between intuition and judgment, between what actually appears and our interpretations of what appears. Space and time are the formal conditions of our intuitions, which are sensations that may be simultaneous or successive in relation to each other; the categories or pure concepts of the understanding (including causality) are possible judgments of these intuitions that may be derived, or abstracted, from their transcendental schemata, time and space (e.g. the constant antecedence of causes to their effects is abstracted from the constant succession of sensations by other sensations in general). Both the forms of intuition and the categories are a priori faculties of synthesis, but whereas former synthesize concrete perceptions, the latter synthesize abstract concepts. Thus, even according to Kant, it is perception that gives birth to concepts and not the other way around.

I agree with Sellars that thoughts are not given (which is why I mentioned the fact that I can’t see them), but his rejection of the given sensation, or intuition, seems to disavow the possibility of any empirical knowledge whatever. If science is to be distinguished from mere “theory” (perhaps the “theory” of dogmatic neo-Marxist “humanities” professors), then it needs to incorporate some method of testing the truth of its statements or, better yet, their practical value. Empirical experimentation—naïve observation by researchers who do not necessarily know or care what are the formal conditions of their experience—seems to be our best, and only, option.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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We don't even know, if the pre-interpretation empirical signal (stimuli) even appears at all. I suspect, before interpretation, there is no consciousness in the traditional sense. Consciousness as we know it is formed from the interection of the mind with the stimuli - and within that interaction the mind imposes conceptual constructs upon the stimuli and organizes it accordingly in the phenomenal presentation within consciousness. This is also pointed out in Kant. The idea of something necessarily follows something else causally (causation) is, for Kant, for example, not something derived empirically but it is an a priori idea that is imposed upon the empirical stimuli - experience is formalized under the framework of this idea. Similarly, the transcendental conditions - the a priori conception of time and space projects themselves into the empirical signal in order to make them appear in the first place. The idea that there are 'pure appearances' that we see and then judge or interpret perhaps correctly or incorrectly is the 'myth of given' that Sellars argued against.
Kant distinguishes between intuition and judgment, between what actually appears and our interpretations of what appears. Space and time are the formal conditions of our intuitions, which are sensations that may be simultaneous or successive in relation to each other; the categories or pure concepts of the understanding (including causality) are possible judgments of these intuitions that may be derived, or abstracted, from their transcendental schemata, time and space (e.g. the constant antecedence of causes to their effects is abstracted from the constant succession of sensations by other sensations in general). Both the forms of intuition and the categories are a priori faculties of synthesis, but whereas former synthesize concrete perceptions, the latter synthesize abstract concepts. Thus, even according to Kant, it is perception that gives birth to concepts and not the other way around.

I agree with Sellars that thoughts are not given (which is why I mentioned the fact that I can’t see them), but his rejection of the given sensation, or intuition, seems to disavow the possibility of any empirical knowledge whatever. If science is to be distinguished from mere “theory” (perhaps the “theory” of dogmatic neo-Marxist “humanities” professors), then it needs to incorporate some method of testing the truth of its statements or, better yet, their practical value. Empirical experimentation—naïve observation by researchers who do not necessarily know or care what are the formal conditions of their experience—seems to be our best, and only, option.
Space and time are not formal conditions of our intuitions, they ARE (pure) intuitions if we follow Kant.

"
In this investigation it will be found that there are two pure forms
of sensible intuition
as principlesa of a priori cognition, namely space
and time, with the assessment of which we will now be concerned
."

While space is considered to groun 'outer intuitions', they are still conditions for possibility of all appearances, particularly normal human appearances:

"Space is a necessary representation, a priori, which is the ground of
all outer intuitions. 8 One can never represent that there is no space, al
though one can very well think that there are no objects to be encoun
tered i n it.9 I t i s therefore t o b e regarded a s the condition o f the possi
bility of appearances
, not as a determination dependent on them, and is
an a priori representation that necessarily grounds outer appearances.c"


the constant antecedence of causes to their effects is abstracted from the constant succession of sensations by other sensations in general
That's the Humean notion. That's not true if we follow Kant - Causation, particularly the general notion of causation CANNOT be abstract from empirical experience of constant successions.

"All attempts to derive these pure concepts of the understanding from
experience and to ascribe to them a merely empirical origin are there-
fore entirely vain and futile.
I will not mention that, e.g., the concept of
a cause brings the trait of necessity with it, which no experience at all
can yield, for experience teaches us that one appearance customarily fol-
lows another, but not that it must necessarily follow that, nor that an in-
ference from a condition to its consequence can be made a priori and
entirely universally
."


As you yourself said that appearances are synthesized under a priori intuitions ...in other words what is presented in ordinary consciousness is something post-processed by the mind - perceptions are presented through the 'form of appearance'. And we can't say what comes to play in determining that form - concepts grounded partly in categories may as well also influence the form of appearance. Even initially a posteriori derived concepts may make a deep root in the mind and influence and formalize future experiences. Even if pure appearance-perception comes first, and synthesis comes second, conscious interpretation third - the point remains you as a cognitive agent only access the post-processed version - appearances as synthesized into a unity under a form capturing its manifold relations, categories and concepts.

I am not sure what do you mean by 'thought is not given', or that you cannot 'see' thought, or how it relates to Myth of the given. I don't know what you mean by he rejects 'given sensations'.
 

The Grey Man

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That's the Humean notion. That's not true if we follow Kant - Causation, particularly the general notion of causation CANNOT be abstract from empirical experience of constant successions.

"All attempts to derive these pure concepts of the understanding from
experience and to ascribe to them a merely empirical origin are there-
fore entirely vain and futile.
I will not mention that, e.g., the concept of
a cause brings the trait of necessity with it, which no experience at all
can yield, for experience teaches us that one appearance customarily fol-
lows another, but not that it must necessarily follow that, nor that an in-
ference from a condition to its consequence can be made a priori and
entirely universally
."
The pure concepts are abstracted from their transcendental schemata, time and space. For Kant, the cause of an appearance is, by definition, that appearance which constantly precedes it in time—no time, no causality. The Humean notion of causality is empirical in origin; the Kantian one is "pure", or aprioric, though it has no meaning if it is not concretized by an actual object, just as time and space are "empty" without sensations (which is why I called them "formal conditions" of intuition).

As you yourself said that appearances are synthesized under a priori intuitions ...in other words what is presented in ordinary consciousness is something post-processed by the mind - perceptions are presented through the 'form of appearance'. And we can't say what comes to play in determining that form - concepts grounded partly in categories may as well also influence the form of appearance. Even initially a posteriori derived concepts may make a deep root in the mind and influence and formalize future experiences. Even if pure appearance-perception comes first, and synthesis comes second, conscious interpretation third - the point remains you as a cognitive agent only access the post-processed version - appearances as synthesized into a unity under a form capturing its manifold relations, categories and concepts.
Where the aprioric forms that structure my experience come from, mechanistically speaking, only changes why things appear, not that they appear. Whether my perception of a rock is influenced by previous perceptions or not, it remains a rock from my perspective.

I am not sure what do you mean by 'thought is not given', or that you cannot 'see' thought, or how it relates to Myth of the given. I don't know what you mean by he rejects 'given sensations'.
Descartes thought that we have immediate knowledge of our thoughts and that thoughts included sensations. Sellars thought that thoughts and sensations were heterogeneous and that we did not have immediate knowledge of them. I agree that thoughts and sensations are heterogeneous, but think that we do have immediate knowledge of sensations.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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Where the aprioric forms that structure my experience come from, mechanistically speaking, only changes why things appear, not that they appear. Whether my perception of a rock is influenced by previous perceptions or not, it remains a rock from my perspective.
I never denied that whatever appears do appear at some level. But, whether it's aprioric forms, or forms influenced by empirical signals, the point is that they make things appear in a certain way - potentially biased by the forms. The forms can change how the appearances are comprehended by consciousness. The appearance of a rope, therefore, may be cognized as a snake. Sometimes the failure is not at the level of sensations, but at the level of cognition of the sensations. However pure sensations has no direct epistemic efficacy by itself unless they are cognized in some manner. But in an act of cognizing ('registering the information - the relations, structures, concepts, associations in appearance') there is a risk of miscomprehension. Furthermore, not all acts of cognizance has to be conscious - some of it can be default-automated and implicit. The 'immediate' (to consciousness) appearance is not the raw pre-interpretation appearance. The process of formalizing sensations under a structure is in itself a form of interpretation (not necessarily deliberate or conscious), in my language.

Descartes thought that we have immediate knowledge of our thoughts and that thoughts included sensations. Sellars thought that thoughts and sensations were heterogeneous and that we did not have immediate knowledge of them. I agree that thoughts and sensations are heterogeneous, but think that we do have immediate knowledge of sensations.
Why do you have immediate knowledge of sensations but not of thoughts?
 

JansenDowel

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Popper seems everywhere to speak of theories as systems of hypotheses the falsification of the more specific of which by that very quality falsifies the more general (e.g. a white male raven is sufficient demonstrate that not all ravens are black). Where does he explain how a hypothesis can be promoted to the rank of a theory?
Yes that is correct. But 'all ravens are black' is not an explanation in its own right. Also, hypotheses are not 'upgraded'. Its literally just that they are explanations when they meet Poppers criteria. He laid them out in almost every book hes written. The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Conjectures and Refutations, The Poverty of Historicism, Epistemology: An Evolutionary Approach. His epistemology is drawn out in multiple books, not just once.

Conjectures and refutations don't spring out of thin air. If they are not analytical derivations, then they must be psychologically-motivated synthetic judgments from experience. Popper seems to opt for the latter when he speaks of the "causal connection" between perceptual experience and the decision to accept or reject a statement.
I don't mean to be a dick, but it isn't enough to read one book and think you undersand his work. I've read almost all of them, and its very clear that he does not opt for either.

To summarize Poppers work. Conjectures don't just spring out of thin air, but they are not analytic or derived from observation either. They are creative leaps of imagination. Observation is used to refute those 'creative leaps' that don't actually make sense. Popper admits that he does not know how it is possible to make these 'jumps'.
 

Animekitty

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Why do you have immediate knowledge of sensations but not of thoughts?
I can conceptualize a red balloon hovering, running into a cactus and poping. I don't see this happening, I do not hear the pop. There is exactly zero qualia involved. Which means zero internal sensation. I tally this up to the introverted perception of intuition. Thinking in the ordinary sense is synthesis, imagination. In the analytical sense, it is conditional (if a and b then c). The latter has a working ontology and doesn't need internal sensation just factors. I can just know what causality happens with no sensation, without imagination/internal sensation. Seeing the red balloon in my mind is unnecessary, I can know the causality without the sensation. There is no sensation when I think of the red balloon popping on the cactus. Just pure causal Intuition.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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Why do you have immediate knowledge of sensations but not of thoughts?
I can conceptualize a red balloon hovering, running into a cactus and poping. I don't see this happening, I do not hear the pop. There is exactly zero qualia involved. Which means zero internal sensation. I tally this up to the introverted perception of intuition. Thinking in the ordinary sense is synthesis, imagination. In the analytical sense, it is conditional (if a and b then c). The latter has a working ontology and doesn't need internal sensation just factors. I can just know what causality happens with no sensation, without imagination/internal sensation. Seeing the red balloon in my mind is unnecessary, I can know the causality without the sensation. There is no sensation when I think of the red balloon popping on the cactus. Just pure causal Intuition.
Not 'seeing' thoughts, doesn't mean not 'knowing' them. When you deliberately conceptualize a red balloon you should also 'know' that you are thinking of a red balloon whether you 'see' or 'not'.

There is still something it is like to have a thought - even when it is not visual, auditory, tactile or any of that - otherwise you wouldn't recognize any thought in consciousness.

I can 'see' a red balloon thought if I want to, but I don't need to, I can also think it in a pure non-sensory form. Most thoughts are often expanson of a sort of proto-thought which is much subtle lying on the edge of consciousness - not visual, auditory or tied to any of those kind of sensations.
 

QuickTwist

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Here's my theory anyways,

 
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