Where to draw the line: how Platonism haunts our discourse and the search for exorcism

by slimboyfat 120 Replies latest jw friends

  • cofty
    cofty
    For it to be true we must accept a whole lot of socially constructed ways of dividing and describing reality:

    Again my question is - so what?

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    So what we are describing with these "facts" is not the world in itself but how we've chosen to construct it in communities of meaning. It could be otherwise.

  • galaxie
    galaxie
    Otherwise would never satisfy the convoluted !
  • cofty
    cofty
    It could be otherwise

    The vocabulary could be different. Reality would not.

    The earth would still be round and the worm would still be ignorant.

  • LoveUniHateExams
    LoveUniHateExams

    [Re Murcury being the closest planet to the Sun] The very fact we single out discrete bits of matter and choose to give it names is a social imposition that is not intrinsic to the thing in itself.

    Deary me. Someone wake me up at the end of this thread ...

    If there's one thing I hate, it's philosophy and sociology!

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    Cofty how do you know that the way the human mind makes sense of the world is the correct way compared to the way other creatures make sense of the world?

    What you've said so far to this point sounds like avoidance. Or an "argument from incredulity" as Dawkins might like to say. At least I think it was him. Is he prone to making fun of people who say things like:

    I look at a sunset and I simply can't believe there is no God.

    Takes a similar form to the implied argument:

    I look at scientific explanations and I simply can't believe man is not capable of objectively understanding reality.

    Well okay, you "can't believe it". But so what? Where's the actual argument to show that human rationality uniquely reflects objective reality? Sneering, sighing, and signing off are not actual arguments.

  • nicolaou
    nicolaou
    Sneering, sighing, and signing off are not actual arguments.

    True. I'd suggest they are the reactions of patient folks who eventually had enough . .

  • cofty
    cofty

    Don't put words in my mouth and then attack a strawman.

    Cofty how do you know that the way the human mind makes sense of the world is the correct way compared to the way other creatures make sense of the world?

    We are talking here about a humans who have satellites, rockets and a million different ways to confirm the size and shape of the earth as opposed to a worm that - if it sees anything - can glimpse only a few feet of grass.

    It's as if you have been seduced by an evil hypnotist who is making you say vacuous things while imagining you are being profound.

  • coalize
    coalize
    So what we are describing with these "facts" is not the world in itself but how we've chosen to construct it in communities of meaning. It could be otherwise.

    The description of the world is not the world, like a picture of me is not me.

    This is a funny semiotic game who made at this time the happyness of Magritte.

    But where do we go concretely and pragmatically by saying that, yes, things are how they are, but with another scheme, in another paradigm, they would have been different ? It's stating the obvious!

    But why not ? Anyway changing of paradigm to explain and understand the reality don't have any influence of the reality. The earth will still have the same form, independantly of the naming of this form!

  • TD
    TD

    SBF

    In the discussion about race I adopted a position I am not entirely comfortable with. I think there is a sense in which it is useful to distinguish categories of description that can be fruitfully defended (apples and bananas) and those that cannot (Caucasian or other racial descriptions for example).

    What aren't you comfortable with, SBF? The majority opinion in anthropology (Which few on the other thread seemed to understand) is that the differences, while real enough are neither important enough nor consistent enough to warrant formal biological divisions. That's not quite the same thing as denying that they exist. It's more a question of whether those differences fit into existing systems of classification.

    Attempts to classify living things are flawed and tentative. It's tough to come up with a consistent definition of species. In botany, plants can be classified as different species depending upon what time of year they bloom, irrespective of how closely related they are to other plants. Animals don't have this problem.

    Doesn't the key lie in understanding the limitations of any given system?

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