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The best book on Nietszche i've come across. Nietzsche elevated alongside Plato.

Part two:

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We're dealing with different planes, here, which need not be in conflict, yet the "scientist" (such as he might be called) flat out refuses to lend any credence to anything which he cannot measure with his apparatus.  However, he does not include within his apparatus his own mind, his own consciousness: how does he expect to be able to measure the immaterial with material tools?  The failure of many scientists is to make a single assumption at some point in time ("only the physical exists" - this is an unprovable assumption), thus disabling themselves in all but one world/field.

I may be incorrect, but I suspect you're not giving 'scientists' enough credit. 'They' (or the ones you have in mind - there are plenty of heretical scientists) don't just assume the physical world is all that exists, as if they had evidence that secures this hypothesis 100 per cent. They weigh up the POSITIVE EVIDENCE on either side (not 'god of the gaps' evidence) and then look at which way the scales end up.

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The first thing we shoud know, in any endeavour, is the ground upon which we stand: the first thing we must understand in the pursuit of knowledge (scientific or otherwise) is the self, the experiencer, the medium through which all phenomena are passed.  This knowledge was held by the Vedics, the Egyptians, likely the Babylonians and many others amongst the wondrous civilisations of the past.  What folly it is, to disregard their understanding of the self on the basis of recent technological advance - as if the metaphysical truths they had unearthed were made any less real by the expansion of knowledge of the physical!

Yes, you have to 'know theself' to be better able to sort projections from perceptions of reality.

Any traditional understandings of the self that are disregarded are not disregarded simply because they are traditional and simply because of new technology. They are disregarded if the balance of evidence in their favour is not as strong as other understandings.

Ok: What 'metaphysical' truths did ancients unearth that are 'timeless'?

(Not to bias the issue prematurely, but why would we expect any knowlegde to be 'timeless'?! We are organisms that evolved from single cell organisms, and we only become anatomically 'modern human' (somo sapien) about 150,000 years ago. Why the hell would any knowledge accrued in this early stage of our evolution as self-aware beings be 'timeless')

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through what do we experience this reality, other than consciousness?  Given that there is nothing we encounter which is not consciousness (we never directly experience any physical thing, but only semblances built from the data collected by our senses), how can it be claimed that the physical is somehow more "real" than its experience?  Before there can be an awareness of anything, there must be consciousness: is this consciousness, then, not more fundamental to our experience than the physical objects which make up part of that experience?  As such, should it not be the focus of any enquiry, rather than those lesser constituents of experience?

We experience this reality through consciousness, you're right. But experience can be placed in different classes. There is experience the reference of which would exist independetly of the experiencer and the reference of which would not. Qualitative experince (colour, smell - and also, I would argue, 'form') is an example of the latter and mass is an example of the former.

Use a different word than 'real', if you like. It is claimed that the referents of some experience have a different ontology depending on whether those referents exist independetly of the experience or not. A perfect triangle is a concept that the evolved human mind brings to bear to organise the flux of experience. It is an evolved 'heuristic' that enables the mind to make quick and mostly accurate judgements about sense data coming in. A perception of colours and shades taken from the external world is subsumed under a mental concept in order to produce a meaning that allows us to get on in the world successfully (breading and surviving). There are no perfect triangles in nature (but there are structures of lines and surfaces in nature that come close), but it is quicker for the brain to use a concept of a perfect triangle to make sense of these imperfect 'imitations'.

Notice how in the picture below, the triangle doesn't exist independently of the observer! Your brain analyses the sense data and makes a guess (based on past success and failure - natural selection) about what is in the world and fills in the meaninig - literally makes it appear as though the sides of the shape extend the whole way around (which they don't). It applies sense data to a pre existing cognitive template, or 'form'.





Darwinism, via psychology and cognitive science, can account for forms by analysing how the mind works and how we experience the world. If you admire the Vedics, the Egyptians, and the Babylonians for being concerned with "the medium through which all phenomena are passed", then you should, if you are being consistent, be concerned with modern disciplines doing the same thing even if they happen to suggest that other things you hold dear are improbable as a result of a more powerful penetration into the nature of expierence. This is nihilism. Death to projections.

Cutting the crap, here.

Despite all you say, you present yourself as someone who does not have a full and accurate understanding of Tradition.  This is why I say "go away and read before we have this discussion", so that we might be on the same page, talking about the same things, instead of talking past each other as we are currently doing.  Fear not that I might be similarly ignorant of modern science: I was utterly focused on scientific understanding until only the past few years, and have retained my interest, if not the irrational faith which you and others display.

This is not a capitulation, but a request that you arm yourself with knowledge, that we might be better able to discuss these issues.  I'll gladly recommend authors and lecturers to you, and request that you let me know what you've read so far from the perspective of Tradition.  Many of the people I have in mind will answer such questions as you've posed far better than I could; I'm a student, not a master.

Let's continue this via PM, so that we don't derail this thread any more.

Also, here's an eternal truth for you: "all is one".

Cutting the crap, here.

Despite all you say, you present yourself as someone who does not have a full and accurate understanding of Tradition.  This is why I say "go away and read before we have this discussion", so that we might be on the same page, talking about the same things, instead of talking past each other as we are currently doing.  Fear not that I might be similarly ignorant of modern science: I was utterly focused on scientific understanding until only the past few years, and have retained my interest, if not the irrational faith which you and others display.

This is not a capitulation, but a request that you arm yourself with knowledge, that we might be better able to discuss these issues.  I'll gladly recommend authors and lecturers to you, and request that you let me know what you've read so far from the perspective of Tradition.  Many of the people I have in mind will answer such questions as you've posed far better than I could; I'm a student, not a master.

Let's continue this via PM, so that we don't derail this thread any more.

Also, here's an eternal truth for you: "all is one".

Look, I have never talked past you. I have gone to great lengths to engage with each issue you brought up, and I even summarised the points of disagreement at the end of one post. I am saddened you have spent no time engaging with my thoughts, after about the first post, regarding:

1. The most rational way of deciding between dualism vs physicalism is via a probabilistic route where the overall pool of evidence supporting each prospective hypothesis is weighed up. It is NOT via finding a few isolated holes in side 'x' and holding this up as a victory for side 'y', in the complete absense of any positive evidence for side 'y'.
2. Psychological (reductive) explanations of 'forms', and thus the lack of any need for metaphysical explanations of forms. 3. This leads into your idea that even if you have a physical explanation of something 'it is only a manifestation of metaphysical processes': There are deep problems with this idea, and the problem relates to the mechanisms by which non physical entities might somehow interact with physical entities.

Even if i read some of your authors, I don't think they are going to address these points (I may be wrong, however). I don't want to be assaulted with huge slabs of traditonal writing, if i'm wrong I would like to be shown where. If you don't know where i'm wrong, then how the hell do you know that the authors you have in mind will have adequate responses to the epistemological and metaphysical issues i'm raising against traditional metaphysics? Your approach is just dogmatic then.

Even if i read some of your authors, I don't think they are going to address these points (I may be wrong, however). I don't want to be assaulted with huge slabs of traditonal writing, if i'm wrong I would like to be shown where. If you don't know where i'm wrong, then how the hell do you know that the authors you have in mind will have adequate responses to the epistemological and metaphysical issues i'm raising against traditional metaphysics? Your approach is just dogmatic then.

Not to "pick sides" here (haha, I trust we're not in grade school), but I couldn't resist picking up on this point. This view is problematic. "Unless you tell me exactly which things I need to read, to the frigging page number, I'm not going to read a damn thing". There is no consideration for the fact that reading entire books, series of books, authors, acquainting oneself with the surrounding traditions, etc. will enable a fuller understanding of what is being communicated. This betrays an unwillingness to put ass on seat and just read, read, read. And possibly even get out and speak to people who have knowledge on these matters (very few today, unfortunately).

Cargest is correct - after the initial exchange of ideas, you two began talking past each other, because of the lack of common language (I'm not talking about English), and the differing assumptions of the debate. Etiquette of disagreement is important. I don't mean the superficial "don't swear at those you disagree with"; it's more important to have a basic assumption which you can agree on, than to have long arguments which will never be resolved, and in which both parties learn nothing, because the fundamental assumption(s) of the debate are not laid down and agreed upon.

Ironically, this is something the 'wise' of 'the past' used to insist upon when engaging in debates ("Tradition" Hah! ;)) . This is too often ignored on the internet. I think the lack of face-to-face interaction has a lot to do with this. Not to mention the ease of firing off a quick salvo with the deadly keyboard-broadsword.

Ok, let's persue this.

I think i'm being quite transparent in my own assumptions. But nevertheless:

What fundamental assumptions am I making in thinking the following are issues problematic for Cargest? After they have been identified, are they assumptions that have been assumed unjustly?

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1. The most rational way of deciding between dualism vs physicalism is via a probabilistic route where the overall pool of evidence supporting each prospective hypothesis is weighed up. It is NOT via finding a few isolated holes in side 'x' and holding this up as a victory for side 'y', in the complete absense of any positive evidence for side 'y'.
2. Psychological (reductive) explanations of 'forms', and thus the lack of any need for metaphysical explanations of forms.
3. This leads into your idea that even if you have a physical explanation of something 'it is only a manifestation of metaphysical processes': There are deep problems with this idea, and the problem relates to the mechanisms by which non physical entities might somehow interact with physical entities.

Assumptions (that I, at least, can detect):

1. That sweeping ontological views (either physicalism or non-physicalism) are not going to be 100 per cent 'proven', and thus picking one over the other depends upon the wieghing up of evidence on either side and picking the view that has them most evidence in its favour. I am placing importance upon 'evidence', perhaps this is problematic for traditional metaphysics which is based on a priori reasoning
2. That if you have a credible physicalist explantion of something it is superflous to hold on to a non-physicalist explanation. There is nothing left to explain.
3. That if you post a non-physicalist explanation for something that interacts with the physical world (forms, consciousness) you are going to need to have a story about how the non-physical interacts with the physical.

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1. The most rational way of deciding between dualism vs physicalism is via a probabilistic route where the overall pool of evidence supporting each prospective hypothesis is weighed up. It is NOT via finding a few isolated holes in side 'x' and holding this up as a victory for side 'y', in the complete absense of any positive evidence for side 'y'.
2. Psychological (reductive) explanations of 'forms', and thus the lack of any need for metaphysical explanations of forms.
3. This leads into your idea that even if you have a physical explanation of something 'it is only a manifestation of metaphysical processes': There are deep problems with this idea, and the problem relates to the mechanisms by which non physical entities might somehow interact with physical entities.

I think number 1. here may be problematic. Why do we need to decide between "dualism vs physicalism"? I know it's so overused in this kind of debate, that it's almost a cliche, but I'm going to call "false dichotomy" here. Unless you mean by "dualism" - "the two aspecst of 'physical' and 'metaphysical'. If so, this assumption seems fair. I may have missed the post which defined dualism thus.

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2. That if you have a credible physicalist explantion of something it is superflous to hold on to a non-physicalist explanation. There is nothing left to explain.

This may also be shaky. It's akin to saying "we've found one explanation for this. It seems consistent with other discoveries we've recently made. They haven't stood the test of time, but, for now, they make sense. Let's not bother with any other explanations, as they won't add to our knowledge." This type of thinking is dangerous in that it represents a regression, and too eager a willingness to throw away historical knowledge in the face of a framework of knowledge which not only hasn't survived through millennia, but which has been shown to be mistaken about basic "facts" within its own framework (relativity, flat earth theory, Ptolemaic/geocentricism, etc).  This is not to say that the 'ancients' were not mistaken or inaccurate about a great many things - they were, but to "throw  out the baby with the bathwater" - something you seem too willing to do, is folly. Surely you must see this.

EDIT - Forget what I said above about 'dualism'. It's completely obvious what you mean with it, given the context of the debate.

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2. That if you have a credible physicalist explantion of something it is superflous to hold on to a non-physicalist explanation. There is nothing left to explain.

This may also be shaky. It's akin to saying "we've found one explanation for this. It seems consistent with other discoveries we've recently made. They haven't stood the test of time, but, for now, they make sense. Let's not bother with any other explanations, as they won't add to our knowledge." This type of thinking is dangerous in that it represents a regression, and too eager a willingness to throw away historical knowledge in the face of a framework of knowledge which not only hasn't survived through millennia, but which has been shown to be mistaken about basic "facts" within its own framework (relativity, flat earth theory, Ptolemaic/geocentricism, etc).  This is not to say that the 'ancients' were not mistaken or inaccurate about a great many things - they were, but to "throw  out the baby with the bathwater" - something you seem too willing to do, is folly. Surely you must see this.

This kind of thinking represents a regression, you say.

But would you say that, after water was explained to be a chemical substance comprised of the molecules hydrogen and oxygen, we should have maintained the more traditional hypothesis that Water is a basic 'element' - simply because the latter understanding "survived through millennia"?

If not, then why hold on the to the hypothesis that forms are entities in-themselves, existing in an entire realm of existence seperate from the physical world, if we can explain (using empirical science) forms by appealing to 'psychological archetypes' (evolved cogitive templates, in modern terms)? The latter explanation is consisent with science, and science has clearly provided a more powerful way of penetrating into the structure of the world than a prior philosophy (i've enver seen anyone philosophise anyone to the moon, for instance, or to philosophise germs away). If we are disposing with the older hypothesis in the case of the nature of water, why would we not dispose with the older hypothesis in the case of 'forms'?

Also, "survival through millennia" is not a good determinant of ontological truth. It might be if the relevant ontological beliefs (forms) were visible to natural selection, but they weren't. Whether you were a non-physicalist about forms had no implication to you getting away from a lion.

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But would you say that, after water was explained to be a chemical substance comprised of the molecules hydrogen and oxygen, we should have maintained the more traditional hypothesis that Water is a basic 'element' - simply because the latter understanding "survived through millennia"?

Discovering that water is made up of hyrdogen and oxygen, and "knowing" the exact nature of their interaction to produce the various states/phases of water, does not refute traditional knowledge of what water is. Forget the basic classical elements thing - what people have always known of water is that it is life-sustaining, and an integral part of nature, as well as our experience with it (imagine a natural landscape devoid of water, and think on how this affects living things even if they were carrying liters of bottled water). This knowledge does not change just because we know a bit about the molecular structure of water (to allay any suspicions that we now "know" what water is - this is just a description of how water fits into our atomic theory).

You mention that
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science has clearly provided a more powerful way of penetrating into the structure of the world than a prior philosophy
. This is then backed up by examples of what modern science has achieved. The examples you have chosen are not exactly the zenith of science, but even if we chose others (say, the combustion engine, or generation, transmission and distribution of electiricty), they are not independent of what we may say falls outside the "bounds" of the modern scientific discipline. We can only go to the moon (meh), create a combustion engine, and use electricity if we know why these things are important, and what kind of impact they have on us. Their use is varied, and scientific knowledge has only "penetrated" the physical principles involved, and thus enabled us to achieve them.

What it has not done is give us any clue to why we should care at all, or to what particular uses to put our scientific knowledge. The further we go into the "why", the more we drift away from science, because it is inadequate. In fact, I'm pretty sure you'd agree here. But I think this hasn't been emphasized enough.

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If not, then why hold on the to the hypothesis that forms are entities in-themselves, existing in an entire realm of existence seperate from the physical world

I'm not sure that this is the most accurately-worded description of the debate (or part of the debate). The term 'separate' is what is misleading here. As far as I understand it, the physical can be seen as a 'manifestation' of the metaphysical, and that which is most easily experienced by us due to our basic physical nature. I know that many people have interpreted Plato as asserting the "separateness" or "independence" of the Forms; whether he meant this literally, or was trying to emphasize the higher and "closer to reality" nature of these descriptions, is debatable. Aristotle's criticism sheds some light. Regardless, and since I am not well-schooled enough on Plato or Aristotle, I would still assert this is a minor matter.

For us, the assumption that we are trying to iron out is whether anything non-physical exists which cannot be sufficiently, accurately, and completely explained by reducing to the physical. I do not think this type of reduction can achieve the latter. It comes down to "getting lost in the details" essentially.

Lastly:
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Also, "survival through millennia" is not a good determinant of ontological truth. It might be if the relevant ontological beliefs (forms) were visible to natural selection, but they weren't. Whether you were a non-physicalist about forms had no implication to you getting away from a lion.

We cannot at once say that "given our past scientific knowledge, and how useful a descriptor of reality it has been, x y and z make sense" and "knowledge's surviving through years of added and possibly contrary knowledge, plus years of criticism, has no bearing on its truth". We are using the same idea in the latter (that time is the arbiter) to justify the essence of the former (historical knowledge of what science has achieved).

I do not understand the relation between truths and the darwinistic concept of natural selection. It is possible to survive natural selection as a savage brute without any knowledge of the matters we are talking about here. This does not make those matters any less or more true.

I would like to reiterate - there is applicability for both "scientific" and "traditional" (or "philosophical", to use the terms of the debate) explanations in understanding our universe, and indeed, it is difficult to imagine anything near a 'complete' explanation without both. I have an inkling this is part of the debate, although I don't see why it should be, as it is obvious. This definitely falls under the category of axiom.

So, back to the original topic - erm, what? People should read more Plato and Nietzsche? Does that sum it up? ;)

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Discovering that water is made up of hyrdogen and oxygen, and "knowing" the exact nature of their interaction to produce the various states/phases of water, does not refute traditional knowledge of what water is. Forget the basic classical elements thing - what people have always known of water is that it is life-sustaining, and an integral part of nature, as well as our experience with it (imagine a natural landscape devoid of water, and think on how this affects living things even if they were carrying liters of bottled water). This knowledge does not change just because we know a bit about the molecular structure of water (to allay any suspicions that we now "know" what water is - this is just a description of how water fits into our atomic theory).

Sir, you're talking about symbolic, or cultural views of water, which is a very different matter from views on the ontological nature of water! Of course a modern understanding of the ontology of water doesn't overturn 'traditional knowledge' of water's value

Cargest is talking ontology/metaphysics. The nature of reality (and the human subject) as it is in-itself.

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This is then backed up by examples of what modern science has achieved. The examples you have chosen are not exactly the zenith of science, but even if we chose others (say, the combustion engine, or generation, transmission and distribution of electiricty), they are not independent of what we may say falls outside the "bounds" of the modern scientific discipline. We can only go to the moon (meh), create a combustion engine, and use electricity if we know why these things are important, and what kind of impact they have on us. Their use is varied, and scientific knowledge has only "penetrated" the physical principles involved, and thus enabled us to achieve them.

What it has not done is give us any clue to why we should care at all, or to what particular uses to put our scientific knowledge. The further we go into the "why", the more we drift away from science, because it is inadequate. In fact, I'm pretty sure you'd agree here. But I think this hasn't been emphasized enough.

See above!

This isn't a problem, as science doesn't purport to pass judgement matters of human meaning. It's target is the nature of reality.

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I'm not sure that this is the most accurately-worded description of the debate (or part of the debate). The term 'separate' is what is misleading here. As far as I understand it, the physical can be seen as a 'manifestation' of the metaphysical, and that which is most easily experienced by us due to our basic physical nature.

And Plato's main argument for this position, of an independently-existing status to forms (for an ontology of forms), was that he could think of no other way to explain how the idea of a perfect triangle, square... etc can exist when the triangles and squares we witness in the world of experience are not perfect!

I have offered an alternative explanation that people with an understanding of the brain will give you (although it will be better than mine)!!


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For us, the assumption that we are trying to iron out is whether anything non-physical exists which cannot be sufficiently, accurately, and completely explained by reducing to the physical. I do not think this type of reduction can achieve the latter. It comes down to "getting lost in the details" essentially.

Even if a full physical explanation can't be give of two or three matters, does this providie POSITIVE EVIDENCE for non-physical explanations?!!! Why the (irrational) lack of faith in science, considering it has progressively overturned non-physicalist explanations and continues to penetrate into the scructure of reality due to it's superior methodology for such matters (empiricism).

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It seems that your lack of enthusiasm is in the all-too human implications of science: it's silence about matters of meaning, and, worse, it's debunking potential for matters of meaning that depends on outdated metaphysical assumptions.

This is were Nietzsche come in, damn it! The philosopher who bit the bullet and constructed philosophical insight (matters of meaning) from an ontology resulting from the 'death of God' (and Nietzsche called Christianity 'Platonism for the people').

Mr. Hopkins, you're making the fallacy of assuming that physical evidence is required for metaphysical phenomena; in truth, it is non-physical invidence that is required, and there has been plenty of that.

Mr. Hopkins, you're making the fallacy of assuming that physical evidence is required for metaphysical phenomena; in truth, it is non-physical invidence that is required, and there has been plenty of that.

What I'm assuming is that physical evidence is required for ontological claims about the structure of reality. If that's a fallacy, then clap me in irons! It's only enabled us to grasp the logos exponentially better than before!

I'm also assuming that if we have a good physical explanation for some phenomena (forms - not yet consciousness), then we definetely don't need a metaphysical one. Like i wrote above (2 and 3). You might be able to get around 1, but 2 and 3 are deeply problematic:

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1. That sweeping ontological views (either physicalism or non-physicalism) are not going to be 100 per cent 'proven', and thus picking one over the other depends upon the wieghing up of evidence on either side and picking the view that has them most evidence in its favour. I am placing importance upon 'evidence', perhaps this is problematic for traditional metaphysics which is based on a priori reasoning
2. That if you have a credible physicalist explantion of something it is superflous to hold on to a non-physicalist explanation. There is nothing left to explain.
3. That if you post a non-physicalist explanation for something that interacts with the physical world (forms, consciousness) you are going to need to have a story about how the non-physical interacts with the physical.

A priori argument and logic is great, but it relatively impotent. You can't investigate the structure of reality from sitting in an armchair. Anyway I haven't come across any a priori arguments that require me to believe in a metpahysical world of forms. Chalmers and Nagel's work in philosophy of mind on the 'hard problem on consciousness' is, on the other hand, very interesting for the physicalist and raises deep questions. I just think consciousness willl be explained by neuroscience one day.... despite the fact that unlike other mental functions like emotion, language, spacial awareness etc consciousness seems to involve something fundamentally different from 3rd person, 'objective' raality.

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What I'm assuming is that physical evidence is required for ontological claims about the structure of reality

Here's your problem, then: you are assuming a purely physical reality, with no non-physical aspects, even despite your own accessing that physical reality through non-physical means (the mind).  (You can attempt to map the mind to brain functions, but various philosophical objections to this proposal still obtain [again, see refutations of behaviouralist, functionalist, and computationalist theories of mind, all of which point to the same].)

Perhaps you should start again, from what you can know, instead of what you'd like to know.  We can't know that we are given accurate information about the world around us at all times (see Descartes), therefore we can discount the exterior as something which we can definitely know; what else is there in our experience but the "interior", the self, the experiencer?  This, then, is what we can know, and what we should start from.  Seek to know the knower before you seek to know the known; you will find that there is no difference between the two upon the completion of the former practice.

I drink water because my body requires it for survival.  However, I also drink water because I find it enjoyable.  Here we have a physical and a not-so-physical explanation for why I drink water.  Both are true.  Would you discount the latter for being a human imposition, rather than a physical necessity?  We're dealing with the world of human conception and interaction, here, so surely the affairs and thoughts of humans are worth something beyond the mere physical constituents of the processes and "objects" under question?  Or are you a behaviourist, (wrongly) claiming that the entirety of cognition can be reduced to "behaviours"?

To reiterate, for the nth time: you are not able to discuss these things with us for two reasons, namely that you are locked within a wold in which only the physical exists, and you seem not even aware of the contrary literature of which we have at least some understanding.  Read the Upanishads, Schuon, and Nasr (Guénon if you have the time), take some psychedelics (which inspire objective visions, not idiosyncratic "hallucinations" - see McKenna [or Hancock] on this).  How are you going to discuss something when you're not even acquainted with it?

It always astounds me that the physicalists can be so sure of themselves, locked inside that miniscule world, claiming that, because there is nothing beneath them to show the true structure of reality, there can be nothing to explain that structure but the physicality around them; clearly these people have never ventured outside of the comforting realm in which they find themselves.  It's like the fish trying to find water, and looking all around their environment to no avail.

Your sighing and dismaying about my disagreement with you is getting tiring. Let's stick to the concrete points, please, or there is no use conversing.

You're not meeting any of the specific challenges i'm raising against the rationality of your views. I have been nothing but honest in my assumptions, yet when I call you out on yours you don't reply. You just spout general rhetoric about what I can't possibly understanding because bla bla bla. It's hard to keep communicating in a good spirit If you keep this up.

And the tragedy is you seem to believe you be are being rational and I'm the one who is lacking. The walls people put up around them are astonishing. I will, again, respond to points you are making and quesitons you raise. You are not displaying me the similar courtesy.

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Here's your problem, then: you are assuming a purely physical reality, with no non-physical aspects, even despite your own accessing that physical reality through non-physical means (the mind).  (You can attempt to map the mind to brain functions, but various philosophical objections to this proposal still obtain [again, see refutations of behaviouralist, functionalist, and computationalist theories of mind, all of which point to the same].)

Why the correlations between states of the brain and experience, like I have mentioned in previous posts, if consciousness doesn't have a physical basis? Why does your consciousness retreat if you are:

- hit on the head
- parts of your brain are removed
- you take chemicals that effect neurons in the brain?
-Why does the difference in experiential state between being awake and sleep correlate with entirely different patterns of large-scale neuronal activity in the brain?

If you're going to give me more 'the metaphysical always operates in tandem with the physical', then I would like some shred of argument of evidence for this massive assertion. Please stop, and attend to this first issue before moving on.

Secondly, and this is directly related, I'd like you to answer the following and stop worming around:

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3. That if you post a non-physicalist explanation for something that interacts with the physical world (forms, consciousness) you are going to need to have a story about how the non-physical interacts with the physical.

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Perhaps you should start again, from what you can know, instead of what you'd like to know.  We can't know that we are given accurate information about the world around us at all times (see Descartes), therefore we can discount the exterior as something which we can definitely know; what else is there in our experience but the "interior", the self, the experiencer?  This, then, is what we can know, and what we should start from.  Seek to know the knower before you seek to know the known; you will find that there is no difference between the two upon the completion of the former practice.

Again, i've already responded to this. Science does seek to know the knower (and in one particular instance of knowing the knower cognitive science debunks your theory of forms, which you have said nothing about).

Also, go to your traditional knowledge of the 'knower' when you have a stroke and your experiences are warped. See how much good it does you.

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I drink water because my body requires it for survival.  However, I also drink water because I find it enjoyable.  Here we have a physical and a not-so-physical explanation for why I drink water.  Both are true.  Would you discount the latter for being a human imposition, rather than a physical necessity?  We're dealing with the world of human conception and interaction, here, so surely the affairs and thoughts of humans are worth something beyond the mere physical constituents of the processes and "objects" under question?  Or are you a behaviourist, (wrongly) claiming that the entirety of cognition can be reduced to "behaviours"?

I can't believe my comments in my last post didn't settle this.

Of course human conceptions are important. Write poems that describe your qualitative expierence of water until you're blue in the face, if you like. Write sociological essays on the meanings different cultures have attributed to 'water. However if you're concered with finding out about the ontological nature of parts of the world, seperate from your experience of them, then you're simply not concerned with  "the affairs and thoughts of humans". These are worth something beyond the physical constituents of process and objections under question. But we've been talking about such processes and objects, not about human sentiments towards them!!

Science replaces traditional ontological understandings of water, not traditional human experiences with water.... Doesn't it? If so... why not? Please, address this third issue before moving on. Do you think a molecular understanding of water is not a better ontological picture of water, i.e. as it is in-itself, seperate from our experience of water , than ontological pictures of water that did not involve molecular chemistry?

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To reiterate, for the nth time: you are not able to discuss these things with us for two reasons, namely that you are locked within a wold in which only the physical exists, and you seem not even aware of the contrary literature of which we have at least some understanding.  Read the Upanishads, Schuon, and Nasr (Guénon if you have the time), take some psychedelics (which inspire objective visions, not idiosyncratic "hallucinations" - see McKenna [or Hancock] on this).  How are you going to discuss something when you're not even acquainted with it?

I will not start quoting what drugs i've taken or books i've read as though these give me authority. I will adress the issues we are talking about. Grow some balls and do the same. I'm after good reasons or evidence for hypotheses. If you can't provide me with either for your theory of forms, or for consciousness being non-physical, don't revert back to sweeping statements. It's not like this is a pissing contest.

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Forms have been ignored, i'm guessing because I offered a credible reductive explanation. That is what we started talking about.

Consciousness is problematic, due to the obvious correlations between experience and brain states I keep referring to that you have not really addressed. Your one positive argument for a non-physical basis to consciousness is that it is experiential in nature and it is hard to conceptualise how something experiential can be somthing physical. I agree, and this is mysterious. But it leaves the aforementioned correlations hanging out like a sore dick, and raises deeply problematic quesitons about how something non-physical can interact with the physical (if indeed consciousness IS entirely non-physical). This means, then, the matter is not settled on either side. I then envoked the rationality of putting faith in physicalism as opposed to non-physicalism (if there are problems on either side), as physicalist ontological explanations have time and time again replaced 'traditional' ontological explanations (such as explanations about what water is, in-itself). You have ignored this. This is a fourth issue.

(Anyway, even if consciouens IS entirely non-physical, I still don't see how this vidicates traditional approaches to understanding ontology. It simply means science will have to include new properties (experiential) into its ontology, right?)

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So, there are three or four issues for you to respoind to, highlighted in bold. This is childish, but its become a matter of intellectual honesty. I might be wrong, but unless you show me I'm not satisfied.

»I drink water because my body requires it for survival.  However, I also drink water because I find it enjoyable.  Here we have a physical and a not-so-physical explanation for why I drink water. Both are true.«

You understand something about human nature.

We cannot describe livings things will as rational other than in an indirect way.

In fact it is altogether misguided to base ones understanding of the existence on a patchwork of scientific findings.

If one does not understand the fundamental importance of conciousness and will, then one is not able to discuss religion or philosofy. If we want to discuss existence, then we must first try to understand these things in ourselves.

Lets face the fact, that we must go away from the blind path of rationalism and understand, that the coolness of intellectualism is altogether a misguided notion.

»I drink water because my body requires it for survival.  However, I also drink water because I find it enjoyable.  Here we have a physical and a not-so-physical explanation for why I drink water. Both are true.«

You understand something about human nature.

We cannot describe livings things will as rational other than in an indirect way.

In fact it is altogether misguided to base ones understanding of the existence on a patchwork of scientific findings.

If one does not understand the fundamental importance of conciousness and will, then one is not able to discuss religion or philosofy. If we want to discuss existence, then we must first try to understand these things in ourselves.

Lets face the fact, that we must go away from the blind path of rationalism and understand, that the coolness of intellectualism is altogether a misguided notion.

Would you like to respond to my problems with this issue that I raised in my original response to Emperor of Algol on this issue? Or are you going to repeat empty evangelical sentiments about what happens 'if one doesn't understand' this and that, similar to Cargest's apporach, increasingly. It's hard to know what to make of this strategy.