Archive | September, 2010

Moritz Schlick’s Turning Point in Philosophy

29 Sep

The Turning Point in Philosophy is a smaller essay of his but it puts some things in perspective while looking at the logical positivist movement as a whole. If you are reading a lot of readings in logical positivism and are confused, this essay by Schlick clears a lot of it up, and makes one understand what the spirit, goal, and motivation of the movement really is. Schlick setting out the goals of the empiricism and positivism, makes me want to set out goals of metaphysics and how those goals should be achieved.

Schlick talks about what the main ‘turning point’ in philosophy is and why it has gone in that direction. The turning point in philosophy is where philosophy stops being cognitions, and becomes ‘acts.’ He talks about philosophy as the set of actions where philosophical propositions are shown as to their meanings, and where the propositions are verified as to their truth by science. He also talks about this turning point of going from cognitions to a system of actions by saying that it intentionally causes the collapse of metaphysics. Schlick is very up front about this statement in that he says that while epistemology and empirical philosophy has a process of actions set out for it to verify its truth, metaphysics has none. Carnap and other positivists created a theory of truth  to verify propositions during the positivist movement as a part of this ‘turning point.’ The verification conditions, including justification, meaning and truth is that truth theory set forth by Carnap. I have talked about these verification conditions many times before, but again, if we have a proposition to be verified, we justify it (I will explain this later in this writing), find its meaning (to be an integral part of philosophy after the collapse of logical positivism), and find its truth, and if we are able to find all 3 we have successfully verified its truth. Propositions come up when we observe things that confuse us and cause us to question things. Carnap says that these conditions are our ‘system of actions’ to verify it. Schlick stated this as the turning point in philosophy because of the change in methodology.

Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that is done a lot because of cognitions and this leads to Schlick thinking that the whole of metaphysics (and even theology) should be thrown out and be destroyed because metaphysics does not very much have any other methodology besides cognition.  Schlick jumps on the enormous bandwagon of hating on metaphysics just like Carnap, Wittgenstein,  Hempel, Neurath, Hahn, and others. I do not think that metaphysics should be destroyed, collapsed, or discarded just on a trivial issue of methodology.

Methodology is a big part of philosophy that governs what the rest of philosophy does, and how it is done. What Schlick said is a turning point in philosophy is a large methodological reevaluation. Even though it is a large part of philosophy it is only the root of it, and its problems are only trivial ones. A problem in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, ontology, or aesthetics has a lot more dire consequences if not solved promptly. Because of how trivial methodological problems are, the turning point in philosophy should only be a need for some grease for the gears so that the bigger philosophy (i.e. metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, ontology, aesthetics) can work more cohesively. Methodology is just the solution for non-cohesive  epistemology or metaphysics, just like WD-40 is the solution to a squeaky door hinge.

My point in the WD-40 methodology analogy is that since epistemology had a turning point in philosophy in a methodological way that helps it work better, metaphysics can do the same thing. Metaphysics has done this to a certain degree, but I think a larger overhaul of methodology in metaphysics is necessary. Specifically, I think a metaphysical theory of truth is called for. Metaphysics should not collapse or be discarded over a trivial methodological problem, when the the hinges only need greasing. Throwing out metaphysics over this problem would be like throwing out the whole door, and its hinges instead of just going to the hardware store for some WD-40. Sounds illogical does it not?

Another thing that Schlick goes over is that the turning point in philosophy is a result of proving scientific claims. When Carnap first stated the system of the justification of science, one of the main driving forces in philosophy was verifying things through science. The Vienna Circle, where the logical positivist movement originated from, and the publishing The Vienna Circle: The Scientific Conception of the World talked about rejecting metaphysics and theology, while proving epistemological things through unification by science. This was the method that the logical positivists verified anything, and within verification, justified scientific things.  The justification system of science was what Carnap started with implicit definitions of geometry and physics, and coordinating definitions of language all within analytic things, and also observation and protocol sentences within synthetic things. The verification conditions by Carnap included this within the justification conditions. Concerning the turning point’s driving force towards scientifically conceiving and proving the world, I do not find it a bad idea. It was a good thing for them to try to scientifically prove things to benefit epistemology, but counting out metaphysics and theology while doing that is not good for anyone.

I claim that it is not good for anyone to count those two fields of philosophy out because epistemology cannot answer all things in the world and our lives. Metaphysics and theology contain things that can only be answered by metaphysical and theological methodology and philosophy. This is why I think  a metaphysical theory of truth should be formulated so that metaphysics can finally have a specific methodology of proving the things it proposes. I would like to give my 2 cents on what that metaphysical theory of truth as methodology should be, but not right now because I feel my thoughts inferior and I must refine my thoughts on the subject  and research more about it.

Before ending this writing,  I’d like to talk about a few things that a metaphysical theory of truth should have. A theory of truth serving a metaphysical truth must entirely have a way to account for things proposed that cannot be empirically confirmed. When I say empirically I mean things that cannot be observed. There are many things like Kant’s noumena that cannot be empirically observed, but I think that there must be a way to redeem them from a pseudo-statement status, and prove their existence. I know not yet exactly how this is to be done, but that is a long goal to strive for for all metaphysicians. A future theory of truth for metaphysics should also have some meaning qualifications for it as well, simply because many ‘teavy’ and ‘toovy’s ‘ are proposed in metaphysics that suppose extension and reference, which neither are actually meaning, when both are thought to be so (teavy and toovy are 2 examples of what Carnap thinks are like the terms metaphysics proposes, see the category of Rudolf Carnap to your right to see to read more about Carnap’s teavy and toovy). I will talk more in the future about this future metaphysical theory of truth. All that needs to happen is a revamping of methodology in metaphysics instead of just throwing it all out.

Thanks for the support. More to come on Schlick and his Foundations of Knowledge paper, along with more writings on maybe Carnap and a first writing on Quine.

Moritz Schlick’s Structure and Content: Inexpressibility of Content

28 Sep

In the eighth section of Structure and Content, another essay by Moritz Schlick, he talks about some of the things that are cannot express between each other. By using a blind man as an example, he states that we cannot express ‘content’ between each other; content being empirical observations that are the way they are, and it cannot be explained otherwise. For example, we cannot express yellow to one another. We see yellow, and know what yellow is, but we cannot describe and express yellow only by words and sentences.

Schlick makes a very good example where he talks about the event that you would be talking to a blind man, and you would be trying to describe the color green. When I read this I was drinking an Amp Lightning, which is an energy drink, and it has yellow all over the can, so I thought to myself how I would explain yellow to a blind man. I got no results. I could say: “Okay, so, yellow…..Its lighter than other colors…Its all yellowy.” Sorry if I find this humorous, but this is content according to Schlick, and it cannot be expressed with language. It can only be experienced and observed.

It should be noted the reason for the fact that we cannot express content with language. The answer to the question is that our language systems are all faulty in some way or another. Considering all of the systems of language we have, it is quite a feat for all of those to still be flawed. I have shed a lot of light on the reason that our language systems are naturally flawed, however the issue is how each language in existence is faulty, flawed, and unable to live up to the expectations that our sense, intuitions, and thoughts would like.

The process that I think goes on in us is that we are shown, told, and sensing certain things in the world, and the fact is that we cannot fully reciprocate these actions (if I use the verb correctly).  We are shown the color yellow and black in certain areas as content, and we are only able to tell it back. It can be compared to that tactic for creative writing taught in English classes in the ‘show don’t tell’ tactic. Instead of listing and simply saying what was seen, and sensed, the English teachers teach high school and college students to show. Showing basically means instead of ‘I saw a queen bee, and she stung me on my nose’ as telling, we would write ‘ the large black and yellow insect swiftly flew across the top of my head and confronted my eyes and face, she then inflicted sharp, intense pain with her small but potent stinger’ as showing.  This helps create a sensory image within the mind about what happened to the narrator, and creates a better image than ‘the queen bee stung my nose.’ This showing does not express content however and is as far as one can go in expressing his or her observation. Because the linguistic systems we have do not have the ability to express raw thought, we are left with altered versions of our thought in speech, and are basically stranded in what we really wanted to express.

So what does it mean to epistemology and other philosophy if we cannot express content? I think it means specifically to epistemology (and even more specifically the positivist theory of truth) that verifying the truth and/or existence of the things around us is made much harder. In any theory of truth in metaphysics and epistemology, meaning will always be involved, and if meaning is involved, this faulty language is going to make meaning harder to officially validate. Because we cannot express content, many things have to have more effort put to them to be verified, and also, some things cannot be verified. Some things we see, have content which of course cannot be expressed, and if content is all there is to work with, little can be verified about the experience. For example if an enormous ‘xoolos’ colored rectangular box stood before you, all you would be able to verify is a large rectangular box figure, because the color characteristics of it would not be able to be expressed, because of its content status. If no one else saw it and had no empirical evidence for it, you would basically be talking about any big rectangular box like figure which there are many of in the universe. Fortunately, not all things are so content involved as this that they would be reduced as so, but because of our inability to express content, our ability to verify the existence of some distinct individual things is also flawed, just like our language systems.  The color ‘xoolos’ is just like yellow to a blind man and is content, and cannot be described. This means that some empirical things have the lack of ability or inability to be expressed just as some metaphysics and ontology do. So if there is some epistemological data that cannot be described or verified, why did the logical positivists and the Vienna Circle bash metaphysics so hard? I do not know, but this inability to express content makes all philosophy equal. What this argument basically reduces down to is  that all things in the world are inconsistent, and some things in the world in every subject area cannot be verified. Further reducing the argument down:  We are not sure of some things we propose as truth, and this calls for other methods to assure ourselves of certain things i.e. faith etc.  (this means that we must turn to God for assistance, but that is another argument).

That is a kind of inconsistent explanation. I seem to have flaws in explaining my opinions in contrast with Schlick’s. If you want to talk more about it I would gladly do so.

Not only are there some things in epistemology we cannot verify (very few things cannot be verified in epistemology which allows for some rejection of metaphysics theories), but a way bigger problem is that most metaphysics involves things we cannot verify (by normal methods of empiricism and positivism). It is my point in this writing that if there are things we cannot verify in epistemology but then a few things we sometimes prove out,  it is in metaphysics the same situation. It just so happens that in epistemology more things are verified and proven out than in metaphysics because of the noumena involved in metaphysics. I say this because I think that content should include spiritual intuitions and thoughts in correspondence with God. Many if not most people in the universe would shoot down any theologian or metaphysician if they tried to describe this spiritual correspondence, thoughts or intuitions because we end up sounding irrational, dumb, illogical, and inconsistent. Theologians and metaphysicians sound this way because language cannot show the thoughts, they can only tell (going back to that tactic taught by English teachers). If we have a problem, for example, and pray to God, and then later our problem is solved and we feel very loved and happy in correspondence with God, there is no able way to describe this interaction and event. I have had these correspondences and spiritual thoughts from God, and I cannot come up with words to describe them. Also, if we tried to describe how we can feel God’s presence we will end up sounding illogical and irrational in most cases (God often helps us if we are trying to influence an atheist or agnostic person).  Not only is trying to describe an empirical observation of a color that of content, but spiritual feelings and intuitions are also this way. Comparing Schlick’s talking about describing green to a blind man to a metaphysical content problem, it would be similar to a man saved by God telling a full blown atheist about feeling the presence of God. I feel I have made my point about what content entails and why it equates epistemology and metaphysics in one certain specific manner. If you need more clarification about Schlick or want to talk about my argument more please inquire.

Thanks again for the support.

Moritz Schlick’s Meaning and Verification

28 Sep

Moritz Schlick was a great philosopher for the time he had, given that he was killed over a girl. The means of Schlick’s death is not the topic for discussion here, but I find it interesting that another guy in the Vienna Circle loved this girl, who blew him off to go sleep with Schlick, and the guy that she blew off, killed Moritz Schlick. Enough history, and on to the philosophy he discusses in his essay Meaning and Verification. This essay being one of many circling the logical positivst movement, discussed the meaning within the verification conditions for propositions. Not only do I want to discuss Schlick’s philosophy here, but I want to make my own modifications to what meaning is as a whole, and what it means to the rest of the verification conditions.

Schlick states to view a ‘proposition’ as a statement of fact after verification. I would first like to redefine a proposition (not really in any analytic fashion). I think that a proposition becomes fact after verification, logical analysis, and application. A proposition to me is statements that have an undefined status as to their truth, and other things unverified. Propositions are essentially questions that are proposed only for further analysis, and all the rest. Proposition and fact are 2 different things. Fact is something that takes a lot of work to achieve, and few propositions are fact. Like in science, I think we should view propositions as going from pseudo-statement status, to hypothetical, theoretical, and finally fact (law in science). Propositions are what make up the process from taking a pseudo- statement to a fact by the three processes of logical analysis, verification, and application.

In Schlick’s essay, he discusses the definition of meaning and verification to pseudo-statement and fact propositions and how we are to use them frequently. He begins with meaning, what it is, and what one has to make a proposition have meaning. Schlick talks about meaning just like any other philosopher or linguist would talk about definition. If we are to define a word, Schlick says, we reduce it down to more words and more words down from that that equally describe the word first examined for meaning. He also says that if something is to have meaning, it is to have consistent use in at least one language (thing language, physics language, theoretical physics language, mind language, brain language etc.), and  it is to create for itself rules of how to use it as you ‘define’ the word for meaning. Meaning like this would work, stated by Schlick, in a set of verification conditions if the meaning sheds any light at all on the truth or falsity of the proposition. Meaning of a word essentially defines a word, and unpacks it of all its contents and examines those bit by bit. In the correct examination of those series of words all defining each other, one should come up with a good understanding of the proposition and the word(s) in it. Schlick directly connects meaning with understanding. For a word within a proposition and therefore the proposition to have meaning, the examiner of it must be able to acquire understanding of it.

I totally agree with Schlick’s statement connecting meaning with understanding, because meaning within a set of verification conditions lets one go from meaning (with understanding only) to truth, and justification, and therefore verification. I think however that meaning is thought of in 2 ways, whether there is understanding or not. Meaning is thought of as meaning whether it is either of 2 forms that are thought of as meaning.  Both forms have been (not exactly by Schlick) given the name ‘meaning’ when really 1 of them is not true meaning, but only something else. One form is meaning thought of as meaning, but really it is only reference. If a word merely refers the examiner of the proposition to another thing, there is no real meaning. The second form of meaning is really meaning simply because going through multiple rounds of definition of it gives you a better understanding of it without referring you to other things. Schlick did not discern what is thought of as meaning between these two, but other philosophers have, and I am only emphasizing that meaning that is really meaning is the only one that works in a verifying conditional system.

Like Schlick said, meaning is reducing a word or phrase into other words that create a better understanding in the word’s entirety. We cannot be sure if something has meaning, or if it is just referring to something else unless we actually go through that process that Schlick described. On a side note, real meaning is achieved when understanding of it is achieved without the extra tasks Schlick talked about. I like to  think of meaning as definition. If we look up a word in the dictionary, a set of words are there to install an understanding in us of the word. If we see one or more words within that definition that prevent our understanding of the word, we look them up too, and so on. This defining process of meaning tells us whether the examined proposition or word has meaning or not. If we keep defining, and end up going in circles reviewing the same definitions, this means that there is no more to define (this is when we have understanding of all words in a definition), and we have established understanding and therefore meaning of the word in question. If, on the other hand, we try to define something, and keep having to define new things, and are referred to other uninvolved definitions, and we cannot see how all of these definitions fit into what the main word means, the word has no meaning, and is only thought to have meaning by reference. A word does not have meaning if its definitions refer to other abstract that require their own large series of definitions, this is only reference, and false meaning. Those definitions together could be used to prove a point within all defined referred things, but no definition there yields meaning, simply because no understanding can be had from it.

I am going to try to exemplify this hopefully without making a fool of myself, and without trying to say anything metaphysically at this point. Try to discern the two:

1

God

Def: the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions.

*To be particular I would have to define all of those larger words: supernatural, being, conceived, perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, originator, ruler, universe, worship, object, monotheistic, religions just assuming I did not know any of those words. I shall pick 1 just for my point assuming that I know all except what monotheistic means.

DefA: Monotheistic: believing that there is only one god

DefB: Believing: the cognitive process that leads to convictions; “seeing is believing”

*Now lets assume I know what convictions are but not cognitive.

DefC: Cognitive: The part of mental functions that deals with logic, as opposed to affective which deals with emotions.

*Assuming I know all except the word logic.

DefD: Logic: the branch of philosophy that analyzes inference

*Assuming I know all except inference

DefE: Inference: A determination arrived at by reasoning

* Assuming I know all except reasoning

DefF: Reasoning: thinking that is coherent and logical

*Assuming I know logical, but not the word coherent

DefG: Coherent: marked by an orderly, logical, and  consistent relation of parts

I could go way further down to 2 letter words, and even lesser, but does the above give a good series of definitions of God? Do you now understand it while before you may have not? Since we went from an overstretching term like God, and came down to understandable and strictly defined terms like logic and coherence, and cognition, we have an understanding of the term God. We went from God, to  a still large stretching term like monotheistic to believing, and it just got stricter and stricter from there as to the defined. If this were mere reference we would not be able to escape going from broad vague word to broad vague word to broad vague word. We have established meaning to a word, without reference. I state this only because within the verification conditions used against metaphysics and theology, is meaning, and to establish meaning to things, we have to know what that is and how to establish it.  I feel like I went all over the place there, simply because I did. If you would like further exemplification and explanation of this, please say so, and I would gladly further discuss my opinion and explanation.

Talking about meaning brings me to total verification. By Carnap and most of the positivists, verification comes from justification, meaning (which is why I went through such a long discussion of it), and truth. Verification by the positivists is finding out the truth or falsity of something, but I think it is worth looking into about what conditions we would have to have to declare the verification of existence in the world. One big thing that Schlick in  Meaning and Verification and other positivists like Carnap say is that a proposition is a pseudo-statement unless it can be tested for. I think that this testing lies in the justification within verification and within the criterion of application which according to the positivists, all propositions must have. After reading Carnap, Neurath, Hempel, Waismann, Schlick, and Ayer, I want to reconstruct the qualifications to verify the truth and/or existence of propositions. I do not have a distinct set of them yet, but I want to talk about  the positivist set of qualifications of verification.

1) Logical Analysis

2) Verification Conditions-  Justification=Meaning=Truth

3) Criterion of Application

Each of these is not discussed together as a set of qualifications for propositional truth, but positivists have intermittently all described these in one way or another (mostly Carnap and Schlick). I have simply put all of these together where it has not been done so before. Logical analysis explained by Carnap a lot, is testing for consistency logically between parts of a proposition. Logical consistency is what is being searched for in anything. This logical analysis is the first thing searched for and found simply because if it does not have logical consistency, it can be shot down where it stands. Since most propositions true or not have logical consistency, this logical analysis does not mean much as to the verification and truth of the proposition but it is the only starting point.

Second being the verification conditions, including the meaning and justification, and therefore truth,  is a harder thing to come by per proposition. This includes the necessity by positivists to test for things to prove them (probably in the justification side). I feel this needs modification, and I have an understanding of what it is I want to do to the positivist verification conditions.

Third, is extremely important to Carnap, and some other positivists in that it cannot be thought true by any means by them, if it cannot be applied to life at all. It is my opinion against the positivists that things can be verified and declared true without having any criterion of application. Some things can be declared true without this simply because some things are not a part of our visible world. Just because some things are not a part of our visible world, does not mean it is false. I state all of this in response to Schlick’s essay because I want to lay the ground work as to how I want to defend metaphysics in the future.

I am still trying to discern all of my version of the qualifications of truth concerning propositions, but I must figure out what justification within verification actually is and what it requires.

Thanks for the support, and sorry if this writing is too long for your taste.

Introduction to Aesthetics and Hegel

23 Sep

Aesthetics is not something I have ever previously discussed or addressed on this site, but here is where I start. Like metaphysics, epistemolog y, and ontology, aesthetics is another field of philosophy I have become interested in, and would like to participate in discussions about art and beauty. Aesthetics specifically is the philosophy of beauty. This breaks down into all forms of art, and anything else that can be classified as beautiful. Therefore, aesthetics is thought of as the philosophy of art. I want to discuss what makes something beautiful, aesthetic value, and what an artistic piece aims to do. I, however, do not aim to do all of this here, I only want to introduce it with a small aesthetic argument, succeeding my discussion on what George Willhelm Friedrich Hegel says on the subject. He published a two volume book about aesthetics, and I am to include him in aesthetic discussion frequently. Not only, do I want to talk about Hegel’s aesthetics I want to bring in the aesthetics of every big philosopher that even remotely discussed aesthetics (including Kant, Nietzsche, Moore, Plato, Aristotle, Vico, and others).  Any piece of aesthetic value that I encounter are ones I plan to immediately post to my aesthetic thought page of this website, as a few pieces of art by great artists and photographers are posted there now. After discussing Hegel’s aesthetic introductions, I will glance upon a smaller aesthetic argument of what a forgery is in an aesthetic piece, and what if anything makes the forgery of less aesthetic value. On another note, I hope to analyze Hegel’s logical philosophy, but I have not the idea of the time I get beyond his aesthetics.

Beginning, with Hegel it is necessary to understand aesthetics by understanding what aesthetics judges of the art in question. One of the general things that aesthetics questions of art is whether or not the art achieves one of the 3 aims that art sets for itself. After endorsing these aims, I will discuss Hegel’s understanding of what the concept of beauty is. The introduction to Hegel’s aesthetics includes a Common Ideas of Art section and the Aims of Art is a sub section of that. The first of 3 aims of art is the principle that all art aims to imitate nature. Like all aims of art, this aim too is wanted to be another possible ‘means to an end’ in art, and a way to achieve the best state of art that it needn’t continue any further. All art according to Hegel  creates an aim just so that it can cut out goals from what drives artists, and so that they can cut out what would be top notch art. Top notch art in this case would be art that most correctly copies and imitates nature. Once artists create art that correctly imitates art, the keepers of that artwork would keep it and do with it what they want without the need for anything else. This aim that art has of the 3. Do not count on this aim ever being completely achieved, because as stated by Hegel still,  every piece of art attempting to imitate art is never close enough, and never even is able to match up. Hegel says that if we make this the ultimate aim of art, the ‘objective beauty’ will be lost for a cause that will never even be fulfilled anyway. I have not said anything about my personal hobbies on this site but not only do I love philosophy, but I love to paint specifically oil and watercolor paint on canvas or paper. What I specifically paint is nature, that being land or seascapes, animals or other phenomena of nature, whenever I even have a single moment of chance to do this kind of work, since school and philosophy occupy the rest (work also).  It is because of this I think that many of the beautiful artwork is made that tries to imitate art, yet does not come close. I would like to add to Hegel’s discussion on this topic that most artwork that tries to copy nature and yet fails, is still incredibly beautiful, and is featured in the most extravagant museums. There are numerous artists I love that aim for this imitation of nature, and make incredibly beautiful art in the process. I discuss Hegel’s aims of art mainly so that whenever I see an artwork, or I post an artwork on this website, that I and you can view it with these aims in mind while evaluating whether or not the artist achieved even a little bit the 3 aims of art, and if not so much (as in most cases), what came out of it anyway? I love these aspects of art and aesthetics, in that whatever artist aims to create, they are the enforcement as to what is right and wrong within an artwork, even while some aims/goals are pursued in the process.

The other two aims of art seem to me to kind of cohesively form one aim, but yet they still have their own individual distinctions from each other.  The  second aim of  art by Hegel is to appeal to parts of peoples’ spirits making their emotions trigger in a positive way. Hegel words it so great so I will just quote him: “….the task and aim of art is to bring home  our sense, our feeling, and our inspiration everything which has a place in the human spirit” and to ” consist in awakening and vivifying our slumbering feelings, inclinations,  and passions of every kind, in filling the heart, in forcing the human being, educated or not, to go through the  whole gamut of feelings which the human heart in its inmost and secret recesses can bear, experience, and produce….” (Hegel).  To sum this up, an aim of art is to make an artwork so appealing to person X that their emotions run wild because of identification with the piece, and happiness from beauty (loosely defining it as we have not clarified it so by Hegel yet). When you look at some art,  what emotions come through you? Not all art gives you the emotions that Hegel exemplified, but all art gives you some emotion and feeling. Go to my Aesthetic Thought page or search in any search engine ‘beautiful artwork’ or some other search term pertaining to art, and analyze your thoughts when you view this work. There is some kind of art out there that will aesthetically please you enough that you will have at least half of what Hegel exemplifies as an aim of art to do.  Again in this case, no artwork activates the  feelings and emotions to the degree that Hegel talks about, making this aim of art another device making  artists produce art that is incredible (however in this aim of art, some of the really most aesthetically pleasing artwork came about from the artist accidentally).

The third and final aim of art as shown by Hegel is what I seem to want to group with the second one in that both 2 and 3 activate the emotions in some way causing in depth activation of the spirit. What makes the third aim of art different from the second is that the third aim activates feelings and emotions in a less pleasant way by putting contradictory elements within the artwork causing ultimate argument of the sense and upheaval of all emotions. This activation of the spirit is not because it identifies with the sense and spirit like the second aim. Here the spirit is activated because an overall contradictory piece of art stands before the person. Again, Hegel explains it best so I quote him directly from his first aesthetics volume: ” …confronted  by such a multiple variety of content, we are at once forced to notice that the different feelings and ideas, which art is supposed to arouse or confirm, counteract one another, contradict and reciprocally cancel one another” and “Indeed, in this respect, the more art conspires to contradictory [emotions] the more it increases the contradictory character of feelings and passions and makes us stagger about like Bacchantes…..” (Hegel). Hegel uses the word Bacchantes correctly in that Bacchantes are figures in Roman mythology as followers of Bacchus who is the goddess of wine and intoxication to the Romans, and the goddess’ followers were women that ran crazily about. So, what Hegel infers here especially be using Bacchantes to exemplify this aim of art is that an aim of art is to create such amazing aesthetic value of something in the respect that the artwork causes conflicting emotions and confusion of thought. Again, like the other 2 aims of art, art that has existed has not lived up to making one run about like Bacchantes because of the conflicting and contradictory emotions and feelings form an artwork, but many pieces of art have lived up to half that or even a little more or less. An example of this would be M.C. Escher (Google him, or find most of his art on my Thought Media page) made a lot of art that was pleasing and beautiful aesthetically in that it causes one to question what the theme and meaning by interpretation Escher aims for. Go, and see his artwork to more fully understand the third aim of art (you will not begin to run around like a Bacchante).

A large thing that I find that each aim creates as a common ground is that no artist has created anything that has served the aim and fulfilled completely these goals. These are things that I think all mortal artists will forever strive to push forward with. I also think that these aims cannot ever be fully fulfilled on this earth, and if it did, art would cease to continue to be created, because all would be accomplished in that field. Even if no artist will ever live fully up to the  aims of each one, beautiful and aesthetically pleasing art that tries to imitate nature, identify with the human spirit, or throw the human spirit into confusion is created and appreciated by the whole of society.

When we see art, we must evaluate its progress as to how much it achieves the aim it seems to strive for. And in this process we can hopefully understand why an artwork is aesthetically pleasing and beautiful. In art and aesthetics, beauty has a stricter definition, yet that definition still is incredibly loose and unbounded. According to Plato, the beautiful is the good, which can be understood, but not comprehended. Hegel states that the entire definition of the beautiful cannot be understood by the understanding because of its infinity, while the understanding that we use to comprehend things is ‘finite, one sided and untrue.’  Hegel also states beauty to be the objectification of nature and spirit (making nature and spirit comprehended into an object).  This I think is the most accurate definition of beauty we can understand. We do not need strict philosophical and logical definition for beauty, not only because we know beauty when we see it, but our senses and things around us confirm it. Hegel’s definition of beauty correlates with the things art aims to fulfill. The beauty of each nature and spirit are things to be discussed in depth individually but as a whole beauty is objectification of nature and spirit, the manifestation of the good, infinite in its nature, and beauty finally is when the aims of art are achieved in even the smallest forms. This definition of overall beauty by Hegel, and collected by myself is the best way that we should conceive of it mostly because we cannot understand beauty in its full form, and that we simply know beauty when we see it. These characteristics of a thing prevent full definition of it, and we are left with our observations and feelings.

Considering the above, let us apply these things (and any other aesthetic values and principles) to the observation of every piece of art (by sight or by sound) and evaluate them as they deserve.

A small example of an aesthetic argument, is what I wanted to include with this introduction and foundation of my (and maybe your) of aesthetics. That small example is the event of a forgery of an artwork without the knowledge of the people apprehending and evaluating the artwork.  I wish to not go into the ultimate depths of this argument, but the argument by Alex Neill and Aaron Ridley is shown in Arguing About Art: Contemporary Philosophical Debates, and it can be read and further analyzed there.  Below is Georgia O’Keefe’s (one of many) painting, duplicated, and remove from your brain the fact that one is a forgery. They are both O’Keefe’s  painting, and you know nothing otherwise:

When viewing this painting(s), you understand that it does some of the things to achieve the second aim of art in that it arouses the soul, and brings home some feelings by the sense. If both are thought to be totally authentic O’Keefe  paintings, what is different from them aesthetically? Nothing at all. The awareness that a painting is authentic to a famous artist does nothing for a painting’s beauty, aesthetic value, or the aims of art being somewhat achieved if there is no difference between the two. Neill and Ridley go more in depth on the issue, but that is the main thesis on the entire argument. This exemplifies the use of the 3 aims of art in that nothing matters to its beauty or aesthetic value other than what is contained within those things. Any piece of art must be analyzed with nothing except the aims of art and beauty in all cases.

If you would like a better and larger discussion on the forgery of aesthetic pieces, please let me know by comments or Twitter, I would gladly talk more on the topic in the event of your desiring it. Hopefully this was a good enough introduction to aesthetics as this is over 2000 words, and thanks again for the support

Rudolf Carnap’s Teavy and Toovy

23 Sep

I had a test today in my epistemology class, and studying for it, I studied deeply in the teavy/toovy part of Carnap’s argument from the elimination of metaphysics. Not appearing on the test, the concept remained in my mind. This use of teavy and toovy by Carnap is a way he exemplifies that metaphysics creates pseudo-statements and calls them truthful and consistent. Carnap only says so because a statement must be truthful only if it means something and has criterion of application.  In my movement to defend metaphysics, I felt this a necessary logical positivist truth to address if I want to further understand what it is I defend.

By using teavy and toovy, Carnap aims to show that we cannot just take a word and define it by whatever we want. He exemplifies this with teavy and toovy. If a word is being defined, it is subject to verification conditions, logical analysis, and criterion of application.

In the case of teavy, Carnap states that if things can be stated to be teavy and not teavy. When inquiring upon the criterion of application of teavy, and the creator of teavy comes up with the fact that no things are empirically teavy. Carnap then states that if the criterion of application cannot be identified of a word, the use of the word is not legitimate. This is empty verbiage because the meaning of things teavy and not teavy is not every revealed and is too secretive. Emotion and feeling cannot be tied to a word with empty verbiage either because the word’s possible definition does not call for these relations. Teavy is something that has no criterion of application, no verification, and no checking logical analysis.

Toovy introduces another way that a word can be defined ambiguously with no criterion of application. If the creators of the word toovy define it as, by Carnap, quadrangular, but say they, by interpretation, intended something else by the definition quadrangular, there is no criterion for application for this, and it cannot be done. If the word has a definition yet, the definers state it is directed by interpretation to another meaning, and no criterion of application, verification, or logical analysis confirm this, it is just as empty in verbiage as teavy is. Even if there is a criterion of application for the interpreted sub-meaning of toovy’s definition of quadrangular, the initial definition of toovy makes a fixed meaning for it, and creates little room for verification of a sub-meaning that is to be interpreted from the fixed meaning.  Therefore the following is denoted from examples of teavy and toovy:

Definition of Words Proven not to be pseudo-statements

1) Criterion of application – the word must have the ability to be exemplified by application to real things in a versatile fashion

2) Verification Conditions – As I stated in my previous writing on Carnap, the logical positivist movement not only came with a justification of the system of science, but it came with a set of verification conditions to verify the truth and meaning of certain conditions:

Justification = Meaning =Truth

all = Verification

3) Logical analysis – does what is in question apply consistently to logic, and if so, how.

If a word or statement qualifies for one or more of the above, it can be questioned further as to its truth and consistency.

So would teavy and toovy qualify pass the non pseudo-statement conditions? No, they would not, but this does not justify Carnap’s rejection of all metaphysics just because his exemplification of teavy and toovy are not consistent with it. It is a philosophy of mine that any philosophy can exemplify and conventionally choose any science, definition, and observation (even protocol sentence) he wants to justly work towards his advantage and what he aims to prove. I think that Carnap exemplified teavy and toovy to show what most of metaphysics did and passed as truth, but this is a slight falsity in his exemplification.  Teavy and toovy do not pass any of the above tests to prove out of pseudo-statements, but it is my opinion that Carnap structuralized his theory against metaphysics with teavy and toovy to prove his point. Teavy and toovy are not what most metaphysics manifest its theories to be. Noumena ( Kant’s term, possibly could be exemplified as one of metaphysics pseudo-statements)  has justification, meaning, and verification, which with further discussion and study of Kant’s philosophy, could be proved true with even more proof of metaphysical theories. Noumena also has logical consistency, and does not fail there. The only thing noumena does not have in any form is the criterion of application. Carnap claims this criterion to be necessary to remove it from metaphysical meaningless pseudo-statements, but I believe this to be not as true as he says it to be.  Noumena almost passes truth by verification conditions, and with further philosophizing it could in the future by metaphysicians, and I think this could be done without prior proof of a criterion of application for it. I think  that a criterion of application is something that is to be stated after its truth has been proven, and its tenets have been established in justified metaphysics.

Not only do I say above that many metaphysical sentences and words can be removed from pseudo-statement status, but I say that Carnap excessively used the technique towards ones arguments that excessively works towards proof of his point. I do not say that the Sophist rhetoric tactics that Protagoras and Gorgias used are bad to use, but I say that Carnap did so too excessively by exemplification of teavy and toovy.  Teavy, explained as acertained with little empirical status, is something that Carnap says that a metaphysician would state to exist even if it does not even manifest itself. Teavy, in Carnap’s explanation, never even manifests itself as a property or being of the world, because in Carnap’s example, it never gets a chance to. Toovy only is another exaggeration of things metaphysics does and is the way that Carnap says that metaphysics exaggerates its fixed definitions. I will not argue that some metaphysics does not address some apparently fixed definitions, but I will say that with teavy and toovy, Carnap paints metaphysics as something it really is not.  Carnap’s teavy and toovy exaggerates metaphysics way way beyond its true status. If Carnap wanted to prove that his examples of teavy and toovy accurately exemplify all metaphysics, he should have used continuously implemented metaphysical statements or sentences and proven his point out from that.

Noumena is not characteristic with teavy. Noumena has justification, meaning, and some truth (some of which is yet to be proven), along with consistency with all logic. Teavy is a mere exaggeration.

By my argument just stated, I reject Carnap’s rejection of all metaphysics. Yes, some metaphysics are pseudo statements that must be shot down, but rejecting all of it by exaggerative examples is a false philosophical achievement. I state this as another step towards my whole defense of metaphysics ( not that others have not done so), and hope that other things can build off of this.

Thanks for the support.

Plato’s Republic Book 2: Where in the good is justice?

22 Sep

This is my analysis of the argument Socrates and Glaucon discuss in lines of the Republic 357a-362c. This is the beginning of Book 2 where they glance upon Thrasymachus’ previous thoughts, and they move forward with what and where in good justice is.

After having discussed justice with Thrasymachus in the first book, Glaucon and Socrates begin to discuss justice and its place within the good. The main argument lies in justice and what its motive are, and this argument comes from Glaucon’s explanation of the three sorts or kinds of good that can exist. (357b)  First, there is, “… a sort of good we welcome, not because we desire its consequences but because we welcome it for its own sake…”  We like this kind of good to exist just because we prefer it. (357c) Second, there is a good that is, “…burdensome but beneficial to us, and we would not choose them for their own sake, but for the sake of their rewards and other consequences.” And, finally, there is a third kind of good that is existent just ‘for its own sake’ and for the benefits. Once Glaucon discussed the three sorts of good that can exist and be exercised, the argument comes up between them as to in which good justice goes into.

When the argument of justice and which kind of good it is a part of comes up, Socrates and Glaucon discuss different opinions. (358a) It is Socrates’ opinion that justice goes in, “…the one that anyone who is going to be blessed with happiness must love both because of itself and because of its consequences.” Socrates expresses that he believes that justice goes in the third kind of good where good exists ‘for its own sake’ and because of the rewards that come from it. Glaucon declines to show his own personal opinion, but he discusses what the majority of the population thinks about justice’s place in the good. He states that the majority thinks that justice is a part of the kind of good that people place in society for its rewards only.

It is pretty clear that Glaucon believes what the majority believes because of how he exemplifies and explains his position. Justice in this kind of good done for its rewards is explained by Glaucon as a ‘burdensome’ yet rewarding thing that people of the majority do against their will. (359b) He also states the lack of power of the people to do anything other than things that are just: “We can see most clearly that those who practice [justice] do so unwillingly, because they lack the power to do injustice….” This gives sufficient proof to Glaucon’s argument that the people do just acts because they have little choice otherwise. Not only do they not have much choice to do unjust acts, but they want to be more just than people around them.

Glaucon’s argument is further proven when he discusses the Gyges of Lydia scenario. This is where a shepherd takes a ring from a dead body inside a hole in the ground that was caused by an earthquake. After having the ring for awhile he realized that when he holds the ring, he becomes invisible, and becomes visible again when not holding it as before. In the story of the Gyges, the shepherd conspires with and seduces the king’s wife, and they both kill the king. This story shows that any man given this opportunity to be invisible has the chance and opportunity to do unjust acts, and Glaucon explains it to show that any man (even the most just man) would do the most unjust acts in that position. Because any man would do any act in the Gyges of Lydia shepherd’s position, this helps prove that justice is an unwilling act that the majority does for the consequences that it yields.

The Gyges of Lydia story and Glaucon’s support for his argument shows that a man would not practice justice for any other reason than the fact that it brings about rewards and consequences along with the fact that a man has little other choice. Glaucon’s argument in response to Socrates states that justice is a burden to man and they only practice it because of its necessities in the world.

It is obvious with this story of the Gyges what any man would do when given the chance. Glaucon’s argument for ‘the masses’ is correctly proven.

Thanks for the support. My Classification of Beings is coming within this week. I have been working on it little by little as I have been busy with a lot of things. I expect that I will have it up by tomorrow night at the earliest.  I discussed my classification in my previous Bertrand Russell discussions, and I want to have it up soon.

Classification of Beings

20 Sep

A long necessary thing to be done is to classify the beings of the world. Some choose to set metaphysics aside, but I choose to classify the beings to make this my guide to today’s metaphysics and my further studies in it.  Benedict de Spinoza did NOT  state this classification of beings, and this work is purely of mine. The reason I categorize this with Spinoza is because of how within this classification I use his word ‘creatum’ a lot. Creatum is the world that was created by God, and I take only the word and its meaning from Spinoza. It is an important term because within the classification, the world only He created is necessary to classify apart from the rest.

Beginning this classification, I break all of it down into 3 categories and ways to classify the beings in the world.  Those 3 would include Sort classification, temporal classification, and spatial classification. I feel no need to classify the beings beyond these three things because it would be arbitrary. It could be argued that the sort classification is not necessary, but I feel it is.

Temporal Classification

The temporal part of all this is what I split into 2 things:  the infinite, and the finite. Temporal means time, in case you were not aware of it. Most things in the world are infinite temporally. Lets first discuss what could be finite, since infinite is basically everything else. When I talk about the creatum I split that up into  spiritual, and material. Everything material is infinite (which I’ll discuss later), while spiritual things are either infinite or finite. I talk about finite right now because in the temporally finite category includes non-nous souls. Nous is an ancient term meaning intelligence and being aware of one’s existence. Humans have most nous, while animals have less than half of what a human has. Nous also includes a being not being aware of what happens to them in the future. The notion that all dogs go to heaven is only a story and a myth because all animals (excluding humans), plants, fungi, protista, and monista are all non-nous souls enough to the point that they are called into question as to the finiteness of their souls.  I categorize non/some-nous souls to be finite. When a plant comes into life, and dies, the soul of it goes nowhere, and it vanishes from existence. When a dog or other animal dies, its soul dies and vanishes from existence with it. Therefore, in the temporal classification I include lesser-nous souls. This is the only temporally finite thing.

Temporally infinite includes everything else. This means God, un-ensouled beings ( soulless matter),  the void, and the rest of the creatum and its beings. Beyond this, infinite is divided by whether a being is infinite towards the past, and infinite towards the future. God is infinite both ways, meaning he never came into being, and has always existed (this is a concept no human can understand and that we must accept and wait until Heaven to conceive). The non-ensouled, the void, and the creatum all came into being at some point and will never cease to exist (it will just be relocated). The void is infinite because God created it when he created the world. The creatum includes all ensouled beings, and non-ensouled beings. By ensouled beings I mean humans, and all other non-nous souls (plantae, fungi, monista, protista).  The creatum also includes the non-ensouled beings like the earth, all other planets, and planetary extra matter (asteroids, comets, meteors scattered among the void).  The soul of the nous en-souled beings is infinite temporally because it comes into being, and once the body dies, the soul is relocated to another level spatially. When the body dies it mixes with the rest of the earth. I gave a scenario in a previous writing where a man comes into being, dies at 99 years old, and his soul goes to a higher spatial level (will talk spatial levels next), but his body gets put in a wooden casket. After many years, the body decomposes along with the casket and becomes humus with the earth. Many years after that, carrots are grown in the same humus, and feeds newer life. In this process nothing leaves existence, it is all relocated and still exists in some way or another.

I say that the only thing finite in the universe is non- nous souls/some nous souls because everything else is relocated and does not perish in any form. The only being in the universe that does perish is the soul that lives in a certain body at a certain time (the body is still again relocated and conserved). I have a few rules for the beings in the world that I shall present after talking about beings spatially and by sort.

Spatial Classification

The spatial classification of beings is where I choose to classify everything as to where they exist into high, middle, and lower space. Here I classify this to link the levels of space to what beings exist there, therefore creating the spatio-temporal metaphysical field, that is discussed yet not formally clarified. In the higher spatial includes heaven, the upper void, and the upper planetaries.  By the heavens I mean where God exists, and that must be far away from the middle space (and from evil), even if the heavens is a spiritual space field. By the void, I mean the space without any beings other than some air particles not forseeable by anyone.  By upper planetary (and by planetary I mean all bodies of the universe), I mean the stars that exist above the middle spatial. All things in the high space are infinite in every way possible. Second, is the middle space, which includes the solar system as a part of the middle planetary. Around the middle planetary is the middle void, also being the space without beings around the middle planetary. All beings in the middle space are not all infinite, because the non-nous beings live in the middle space, and the non-nous souls are finite.  Third, and finally, the lower space is where the lower void, and lower planetary (excess matter, and stars) exist. Not only this, there exists Hell, where Satan and those cast away live.  Here I encounter a problem in that it could be understood that 2 lower spaces exist, or my old definition of space of hell must be redone. It is a biblical statement that hell exists within the depths of the earth where it is extremely hot. This makes ambiguous the lower space definition.  The lower space could include the lower void, and other planetary. So, because of the biblical statement of the spatial location of hell, I find I must include within the lower space the hell, and the lower void and planetary. So, my definition of lower space is the lower void, and planetary, along with the inner cores of bodies of solar systems. This seems to qualify as all low enough to work well with the definition. Dividing space up makes it necessary to further sort the actual beings to understand where each beings exist.

Sorting Classification

By sorting classification, I mean dividing the beings up by nous ensouled, and the non-nous ensouled. As I described before, nous is the intelligence and awareness of the soul of its own state and existence. Man has nous, plant has none, animal has some.  I divide beings by this nous because beings with complete nous, are beings that their spirit is infinite, while some to non-nous beings’ spirits are finite in nature. The nous ensouled beings of course include God and man. The non nous and even ensouled beings include animals besides man, plantae, fungi, protista and monista, along with all unensouled beings like earth, and planet matter.

The sort, spatial, and temporal classifications I have set forth compel me to state some postulates about the beings and spaces in the world, hence the below:

*

__________________

Another way to sort out the beings is by how they came about: God, who did not come about, and will never perish, and the creatum which was created by God, some of which is infinite and some finite.

The creatum can be further divided into spiritual and material. Spiritual includes the man’s soul which is infinite, and the some animal, plant, fungi, monista, protista beings which are finite. Material includes all planetary bodies, planetary stars, planetary excess and material a part of each body. All of the material is infinite, because it is merely relocated when it seems it ceases to exist (water in a cup disappears, it does not cease to exist, it evaporates and relocates itself to the higher atmosphere).

The term infinite can be defined either by spatially or temporally. Temporally, as I said before, all things are infinite except for the spirits of some animals besides man, plants, fungi, monista and protista. Spatially, the void is infinite, God, and His Heaven is infinite, while all other things are spatially finite.

The lower space can be characterized as space below the planetary systems, but when it is said to include hell, the definition is said to include the inner parts of the larger planetary (not stars or excesses) bodies because of the place Satan’s lair is located.

Without Him having created the creatum, there would be nothing, not even the void, except for Him. He created the void, all spaces, and all beings, including therefore the creation of temporal sense.

God Himself is said to be an unmoved mover by Descartes and Aristotle, and I too endorse this statement. He is infinite spatially and temporally (whether or not the notion of time is noted). He exists at all times in all spaces in one way or another, and is in all places at once.

Spiritual matter of the man is generated in the middle space, and is later relocated to the higher or lower space, and with man’s spirit, no spiritual matter is ever discarded. (* note that any other spiritual matter beside God’s and man’s is discarded on a daily basis because of lack of presence of nous).

Material matter is never discarded, again, only relocated to other spaces. Like the chemists say, no matter is created or destroyed, but I revise their standpoint to say that beyond the Genesis when the creatum was first made no matter is created (creation of new beings by sexual or asexual reproduction is not creating new material matter, only spiritual matter. When a sperm fertilizes an egg in sexual reproduction, the fertilized egg in its spot has only to grow into another human being, therefore material matter is conserved). This leads to further laws and theories.

Conservation Law: (An extension of the chemist’s law of conservation of mass)  After the creatum was created by God during the Genesis, no material matter is created or destroyed, only relocated (or changed to different beings, like also the chemists say that during a reaction two elements change totally by composition and physical qualities, and are completely different from what they were after the reaction. This shows that not only can matter be relocated, but it can be changed without the creation or destruction of matter).

Conservation Law: After the creatum where all things besides God were created by God, only non-nous souls are destroyed. All nous souls are never destroyed, only relocated from the middle space to the lower or the higher space based on certain commitments while within the middle space. God’s soul is never destroyed or created. His supreme soul never came into being, but has always existed, and will never cease to exist. The fact that a being within the universe has the ability to always exist for all eternity but never actually come into being is an impossible concept for us to understand, but something we must still accept as truth (This is something we are able to understand if our soul is relocated to the higher space).

The beings of the world are classified by three main categories, and therefore many sub-categories because we must understand where we are, who we are, and what we discuss and look at, before we declare metaphysical and theological statements to be truths. The logical positivists and the empiricists (and the empirical positivists) did not assess the beings of the universe in a correct way, leading to their rash decision to discard metaphysics and theology.  My statement for them is that there are solutions coming to their problems by metaphysicians and theologians. They have not yet become mature theories to be introduced among all branches of philosophy for understanding and application.

The above is a precedent to further defenses of metaphysics and theologies.