Tag Archives: Rudolf

Reductionism of Logical Positivism and Quine’s Rejection

16 Nov

The two dogmas of empiricism are rooted in the verification theory of meaning and meaning itself. Analyticity I have previously discussed, but here I want to discuss the other dogma of reductionism. Quine ultimately rejects meaning and rejects both dogmas. Reductionism, specifically radical reductionism, is the belief that “every meaningful statement is held to be translatable into a statement (true or false) about immediate experience” (Quine). Reductionism is generally the belief that statements of one kind are translatable into statements of other kinds. It is often thought in reductionism that one translation is confirmed or accepted as true (or later as the best). Quine rejects this dogma again by rejecting meaning. The verification theory of meaning of logical positivism is rejected because of the rejection of meaning. If the verification theory of meaning is rejected reductionism is rejected because one translation cannot be reduced down. Meaningful statements being able to be reduced down into statements about immediate experience cannot really be true because of the lack of ability to understand meaning.  Reductionism is simply is the translation between linguistic frameworks possibly from meaningful statement to statements about immediate experience. Reductionism carries the need to confirm a translation by verification of meaning. Quine rejects this: “My present suggestion is that it is nonsense, and the root of much nonsense, to speak of a linguistic component and a factual component  in the truth of any individual statement” (Quine). To ultimately simplify, reductionism is rejected by Quine because of his rejection of meaning (just like analyticity is rejected).

The main thing I want to do here is keep talking about Quine’s discussion of meaning and reductionism, and talk about philosophers partaking in reductionism in the early to mid 20th century. I think I am understanding reductionism and Quine’s rejection, but if I miss something please let me know.

Above is Bertrand Russell. In 1914 he published Our Knowledge of the External World which had Hard and Soft Data in it. Hard and Soft Data presented logic and sense data as the two hardest hard data as he presented soft and hard data based on logically and psychologically derivative and primitive. In this essay he presented sense data (as Moore and Royce did before him). While having his logic and sense data, he claimed that a process of reconstruction would be taking place from here on out. This reconstruction was the reconstruction of the language of physical objects into language of sense data. Physical objects are complicated when seen and to philosophically and epistemologically understand physical objects better, this reconstruction was presented by Russell. This is a form of reductionism because physical objects language has meaning, while sense datum language is based on immediate experience. I have exemplified these languages before, but physical object language would be exemplified by saying “I am seeing a red marker before me” and sense datum language would be exemplified by saying ” I see an elongated cylindrical red patch, with some black patches inside.”  This is a very early form of this reductionism Quine rejects.

Another philosopher and scientist taking up a reductionism is, above, Rudolf Carnap. In Der Logische Aufbau der Welt , Elimination of Metaphysics through Logical Analysis, and Empiricism Semantics and Ontology, Carnap’s quest for reductionism while granting the analytic is shown.  In the Aufbau and even the Elimination of Metaphysics Carnap has a desire to uphold a stricter set of linguistic frameworks where the correct framework is searched for. Looking for a correct framework is not upheld in his 1950 Empiricism Semantics and Ontology. The previous linguistic frameworks of the 1928 Aufbau are presented in the verification conditions including meaning. This is the build up from observation statements and protocol statements to thing language and physics language while accepting a geometry and a physics. Carnap’s reductionism is accepted in mainstream logical positivism at the time.  From that point Otto Neurath comes along and revises the protocol statements of Carnap’s verification conditions and the buildup of confirmation. Moritz Schlick later accepts his own reductionism.

In Empiricism Semantics and Ontology, logical positivism has sort of gone down from its peak, while Carnap and A.J. Ayer are both still trying to keep old positivist techniques. In this essay Carnap really softens his die hard reductionism, yet he still maintains a reductionism.  He states that a plethora of linguistic frameworks are to be accepted while not accepting a metaphysical doctrine at the same time. He maintains that a tolerance of linguistic frameworks is to be had while being cautious and evaluative of the frameworks presented. Unlike in the Elimination of Metaphysics and the Aufbau, in Empiricism Semantics and Ontology Carnap states that the framework that works best is the one to be accepted instead of the framework that is correct. This is still a ‘subtle’ reductionism.

Above is Moritz Schlick. He was the leader of the Vienna Circle and an influence in logical positivism. Taking into understanding Carnap (Empiricism Semantics and Ontology had not happened yet note) and Neurath and their influences on the verification theory of meaning, he had his own idea of it in his Foundation of Knowledge. He advocated a similar reductionism to Carnap and Neurath by keeping observation statements at the bottom of the whole thing, which become protocol statements (partly statements about sense data), which can be translated into thing language statements, physics language statements, and theoretical language statements. That statement can have a prediction made from it, and may or may not be confirmed. All of this grounded to the side in experience. This shows the reductionism because of how all of it is able to be reduced to statements about immediate experience.

 

A.J. Ayer is another philosopher advocating reductionism specifically because he advocates ‘cash value’ translations between sense datum language and physical object language. He does so in Phenomenalism and his expanded theory of perception.

I did not mention Neurath because all he spoke to was Carnap’s supposedly wrong understanding of the protocol statements.

Statements being able to be reduced down, or translated between each other is implying that most statements have meaning. This is what Quine uses to reject reductionism. The verification of meaning is involved here because it is implied that most statements have meaning and can be verified that way. After contemplating meaning more, I am thinking that we all grant meaning quickly, but I really do not think there is meaning. These languages each have their own set of rules of logic because rules of logic can be proven wrong and verified from one statement to the next. Because of this variation of logical rules I think that meaning is granted, yet no real justification for it is presented.

I think I have come to a general opinion about Quine’s rejection of the two dogmas.

I think I understood everything, and talked about everything correctly, but if I did not please tell me so I do not look foolish. Thanks again for the support.

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Analyticity and Quine’s Rejection of the Dogma

16 Nov

I have succumbed somewhat to the understanding that there really is no meaning in anything. I used to think everything had meaning, but after studying W.V. Quine, I understand better why meaning cannot really exist.  If one reads and understands Quine’s On What There Is and Two Dogmas of Empiricism that one person must come up with some big evidence to actually prove that one truth statement can mean another or do any other function that meaning has said to have. This comes from Quine because of the two dogmas: 1) analyticity, and 2) reductionism. My concern here is analyticity and to help myself and the reader of this writing to understand why analyticity can be shown false and can also show ‘meaning’ to be a false hope.

If you have read Kant or other philosophers analytic statements are easy to understand. I understand them as things I can come to understand without having to go through a logical process of factual evaluation. If I hold a red pen up, I can see it and know “this is a red pen” without any logical process of fact evaluation. I know it like the snap of two fingers. Synthetic is just the opposite where factual and logical processes of evaluation must be executed to understand it. Quine defines the analytic in a somewhat different fashion which I can fathom clearly:

“Kant conceived of an analytic statement as one that attributes to its subject no more than is already conceptually contained in the subject. This formulation has two shortcomings: it limits itself to statements to subject-predicate form, and it appeals to a notion of containment which is left at a metaphorical level. But Kant’s intent, evident more from the use he makes of the notion of analyticity than from his definition of it, can be restated thus: a statement is analytic when it is true by virtue of meanings and independently of fact” (Quine).

So ultimately what I want you to get from that quote is that the analytic is statements that are true ‘by virtue of meaning’ and ‘independently of fact.’ Most important is that analytic statements are said to be true by virtue of their meanings. This has so much importance because Quine attacks the use of the word meaning because it is loosely and not well understood or defined.  In Two Dogmas of Empiricism he ultimately concludes that there is no meaning at all. He rejects not only reductionism but also analyticity. He rejects analyticity by rejecting meaning. He rejects meaning by talking about why certain logical truths and synonymies are not meaning and can not be meaning.

Beginning with logical truths he discusses reference and extension to not be meaning. Logical truths are exemplified by Quine with Morning Star and Evening Star. They both are sightings of the planet Venus, and they both are names for Venus, and both refer to Venus. Morning Star does not mean Evening Star or Venus.  This is just naming or reference. These things like certain logical truths and synonymy have been posed as clarification and understanding for what meaning is, and Quine simply paints these as failures to define and understand meaning. Reference and naming are both of singular terms. Extension is a logical truth that is of predicates. Extension is often thought to be meaning. An example of extension would be creating 2 truths about a certain entity as Quine puts it, but he paints this as another failure to understand meaning. If I am talking about a man, 2 logical truths about it would be ‘a creature with a brain’ and ‘a creature with a stomach’. Both statements extend to the same ‘entity’ but just because this is so does not mean that they mean man. These are obvious logical truths that Quine says is not meaning.

Besides logical truths, Quine says that synonymy and definition are also not meaning. He talks about definition and then interchangeability with synonymy. Synonymy is obviously understood because things like bachelor and unmarried man are synonymous, but the question is does synonymy entail meaning. Quine states definition to not be meaning because of what the lexicographer (dictionary writer) does. A definition for a word is just a section of a long chain of synonymies:

” In formal and informal work alike, thus, we find that definition – except in the extreme case of the explicitly conventional introduction of new notations – hinges on prior relationships of synonymy. Recognizing then that the notion of definition does not hold the key to synonymy and analyticity” (Quine).

S0 definition is not at all meaning because of how definition continues from word to word and phrase to phrase and being referred to those because of the synonymies that create the huge chain. Definition is just related to more synonymies and does not have meaning and cannot hold analyticity in any defined word or phrase. Definition and its relation to prior relationships of synonymy are more easily understood when it is understood why most synonymies are not meaning.

Definition not being meaning, Quine goes on to specific synonymies. Interchangeability is a certain kind of synonymy that Quine proves to not be meaning. He goes as specific to talk about interchangeability salva veritatae or interchangeability preserving truth. He declares the synonymy in interchangeability salva veritatae, but no meaning at all. For example, ‘bachelor’ and ‘unmarried man’ are interchangeable salva veritate and synonymous of course, but they are not meaning because what if bachelor is referring to ‘bachelor of arts’, ‘bachelor of science’, or ‘bachelors buttons’ as Quine puts it. In those cases bachelor would not mean unmarried man, so synonymy in the case of interchangeability salva veritatae is not meaning. He also includes that interchangeability salva necesitatae or interchangeability preserving necessity is synonymy yet not meaning because necessity is confusing as to its meaning and causes problems. The issue here is that interchangeability is synonymy yet its not meaning because some words can be synonymous and interchangeable yet not really mean the same thing. He declares this to make difficult the understanding of what meaning is.

Quine continues with his discussion about meaning and synonymy and his rejection of analyticity. I could talk for a long time about it, but I simply want to discuss the basics to understand why he rejects analyticity. In the end of the essay he uses his premises to say that the boundary between analytic and synthetic has never really been drawn. There have been attempts at defining the two in making the boundary, but clarifications have not been given to really make that dreaded distinction. If you read Two Dogmas of Empiricism by Quine and get nothing else out of it, if you get out of it that there is no meaning, then that is good enough.

I think that there is analyticity. If a person understands philosophy that person has their own understanding of the analytic/synthetic distinction that is difficult to put into words good enough to convey understanding of it from one person to another. I really think that there is analytic while at the same time it can be proven that there is not. I have my understanding of analytic and can understand why there is no analytic. Analyticity is a complicated subject because understandings of it are not the same between people.

Coming to an opinion about whether one thinks analytic exists is a difficult one especially because deciding whether one thinks there is meaning is an equally hard thing. Meaning is a hard thing to define or understand because of issues of logical truths and synonymies exemplified by Quine. My opinion is that there is no meaning and that it is all synonymy or logical truths of one form or another. Meaning is like analytic in that it can be understood by a person but not well put into words. I feel like I can understand meaning, but then I can logically reject it at the same time.

What do you think? Do you think there is analytically true statements? or meaning in general?  I am stuck and do not know what my stance on the issue is because I read Quine’s great rationalization on why analyticity, meaning and reductionism are not in existence and then at the same time I can think as if they do.  I am just not sure and need further contemplation.

Please say what you think on Twitter or in comment section. Thanks 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.

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.

Immanuel Kant Critique of Pure Reason: Noumena?

2 Sep

Again I write something about Kant’s awesome Critique of Pure Reason, because it is simply awesome, and I should stop saying/writing the word awesome. Awesome. This part of the book is the Transcendental Doctrine of Faculty and Judgement aka Analytic of Principles in the third chapter. This chapter makes the distinction between phenomena and noumena. Phenomena is a wide known thing that is justified to exist, but noumena however can be claimed by epistemologists and other philosophers as to be nonexistent.  It is noumena that I wish to take up for discussion, and claim that it does in fact exist regardless of a philosophical principle’s qualification to have logic within it. I do, however, have some logic to put within it however.

First, I want to describe and discuss phenomena so that I can contrast it with the main topic of discussion in noumena.  Phenomena defined by Kant is this: “…objects of a possible experience…” (Kant).  Phenomena has sense data and has all properties of something that we see. Phenomena is justified by epistemologists and philosophers to exist because of its sense data and of its analytic nature. We can perceive it and not have to go through any thought process to know that it exists and to understand its nature. Noumena is just the opposite.

Noumena is defined by Kant as the following: “….of a thing which must be cogitated not as an object of sense, but as a thing in itself (solely through the pure understanding), is not self-contradictory, for we are not entitled to maintain that sensibility is the only possible mode of intuition” and “by the term noumenon, we understand a thing so far as it is not an object of our sensuous intuition, thus making abstraction of our mode of intuiting it..” (Kant).  So in essence noumena (noumenon in the singular sense) is the exact opposite of phenomena in that phenomena is intuited by sense, while noumena is not. Epistemologists discredit noumena right there because it cannot be perceived of the senses. One thing I also find amazing is that Kant is so bold as to state that we arent entitled to state that senses are our only way of intuiting things. Things that count as noumena are intuited based on pure understanding.

When I think of noumena as having faith that a certain thing that we cannot sense exists. Now, I do  not want to make this writing into a transition into telling everyone that you have to believe in God, even though that you do. I do not want this writing to go that way because about 50% of my other writings do just that. First, I want to talk about noumena in the sense Kant talked about  it in that sense does not have to be the only means that we intuit something. I also want to map out a few things that reside within noumena. Also, I want to discuss why philosophers of the epistemological variety state noumena to be a jibberish philosophical term.

What resides as a part of the noumena  are things that are vague and ambiguous but there are things that we can know by analytic deduction to exist just by pure understanding as Kant said it. I want to discuss God in this nature, however I want to loosely discuss Him as a higher power even if I think He is more than just a higher power. We can for sure know that  a higher power exists within this world even if one is not perceived. We do perceive with sense data the world and processes around us, and with all the great things this is, our pure understanding leads us to a source for all this, and that source is a higher power. A higher power is within the noumena because we cannot perceive with sense data this power, but we have enough pure understanding even with observation to have an intuition for His existence. Even if some people deny this purely understood intuition, we all have it, and that puts the higher power in the noumena. I will go into further the means that we have this pure understanding and why we put so much into it. The higher power is the most thing disputed to exist, and to be a part of the noumena, but a plethora of other things exist that are within the noumena. One smaller example would be that there is a molten core in the center of the earth. Has anyone gone inside the earth to see this core? No. That makes this core noumena because we have not perceived it with sense data. However with pure understanding and with other phenomena, we have justified for sure that this core exists. Basically anything that we have not perceived as phenomena, yet claim to existence is noumena and other examples could be elaborated upon, but  I believe I have exemplified this mystical noumena.

Epistemology claims that one has great evidence for the existence of a thing based on what sense data is perceived. If there is no sense data or sensory impressions, there is little evidence for its existence. These kind of philosophers put great faith in the phenomena because of the sense data these things set forth. The noumena however as stated by Kant is greatly discredited by these  (especially positivist) philosophers because it has no evidence for existence, and the justification for its existence is pure jibberish.  The positivists created a system of  justifying the truth  of certain things, Rudolf Carnap being one of them. Noumena does not pass the qualifications for the following test system but I am coming to a circumvention of this test system:

Positivist Verification Conditions

Justification conditions  =  Meaning conditions = Truth conditions

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Verification conditions

If you can justify the truth of something (in its existence or of another truth) you are able to have evidence for it. Carnap and the positivists held great bearing in evidence for the truth of things, and evidence ultimately leading to justification. The equal signs mean that if you have this, then you have this , then you have this.  Meaning conditions include if what you say mean something within what the rest of the world, or things immediately around it are. If it means something, it can be branched out the the other condition categories. Normally this test goes left to right, because if you have either justification with evidence, or meaning in what you discuss, you have truth but only if they all cohesively work together. If you just have meaning or justification and you cannot branch to the other 2 condition categories, something is wrong and you have to go see if what you have is really truth or if you have to revise something. If you can cohesively get one then 2 and 3 of these things, you have verification of truth of what you discuss.  I present Carnap and the positivists ( mostly Carnap)  verification conditions because this is a counterargument against metaphysical noumena, and why it cannot be surely stated to exist. The epistemologists have had a long train of thinkers against jibberish metaphysics (I however do not think that metahpysics is jibberish) has gone for a long run including Wittgenstein (not to mention him again) and the Vienna Circle where Moritz Schlick and other scientists got together to talk philosophy against the metaphyisicians.  I am strongly against this antimetaphysical train of thought.

My counterargument against these anti metaphysical is that there are 2 ways that we can justify the existence of the noumena. First, phenomena that occur intermittently around us point towards certain things that we cannot see with sense data within our perceptions. For one example, like my example before, we know that there is a core in the earth because of massive magnetic polar charges on the poles of the earth, volcanoes and earthquakes, seismic waves, and because of certain minerals that are not normal on the crust. All of these things point to a different material on the inside of the earth that is in fact molten, and must lie inside the earth. All of these phenomena were not us perceiving the sense data of the core, but they were phenomena that were random and intermittent that all when tested together point toward this molten core. Going back to the higher power, we see the sun, a baby born, the earth processes, eclipses, the other planets, a cell enduring mitosis, and many other things that can not have been caused by chance. All of these phenomena point toward noumena. The simultaneous phenomena around us when collectively observed are often studied together to point towards another hypothesis and even a theory about the collective cause for these things, even when the cause of all these things are not perceived with sense data. Basically phenomena can often point toward undiscovered noumena.

Second often because phenomena point toward noumena, we have faith. Kant stated that noumena is understood with pure understanding, and that we must have another method for intuition than sensory impressions. Seeing does not always have to be believing.  With all of the phenomena that point toward noumena, we have faith in the noumena being there because we have assurance in it. God does not appear before us to help us in life, but intermittent things happen that help us out, and that can be related toward God’s presence. Faith is a self described term, and noumena are the things we must have faith in after observing surrounding noumena and making a purely understanding decision about it.

The above 2 things sort of go into each other. They both fit into Kant’s statement that we must have a different way to intuit things than sense. I totally agree with his recognizing noumena, and we must rely on senses less and pure understanding more.

Thanks for the support, and I hope I was understanding enough for you to rethink a few things.