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Easy Truth

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Everything posted by Easy Truth

  1. I don't think I understand this. I translate this to mean that Epistemology is to show how one "should" know, not how one "does" know. But I don't think you mean that so an elaboration would be great. That was a description so it is where the confusion starts.
  2. I see the complexity. Regarding "the symbol referring to plural, namely -s", one one hand I can see that it is referring to a group, each horse is a part of the group, like the leg of a table is part of the table. The group of horses forms one entity as a whole, so my question still is: Is that a "particular" vs. a concept? A plural could be seen as a mental integration as there is a one to many relationships between "horses" and all those horses it refers to. Yet it could be seen as one thing as in one "single" group. It also is not the same integration that is "horse" as in "horse-ness" which is a mental integration of each individual horse, all horses, past present (maybe future) ... anywhere.
  3. Ok then based on this the OP's I was thinking: Should say: such that C is a concept with zero or at least 2 referents, and r is a referent of C or just at least two referents. Zero referents means invalid the way you say, but it is a concept as you say. One referent (has to be omitted) would mean "not a concept", it would be treating "Joe the horse" as a concept. A concept requires two or more units (referents) to be a concept is what I am pushing for. But I see the constituent elements of a concept require 2 but when referring, as in conversation, a concept can refer to as many as you want unless you are referent to ALL of the references. (still, need to think about this and feedback would be appreciated) One of the questions I have is: Is a "plural" automatically a concept? "Horses" is a concept? or is Horse-ness the concept? Or are both concepts?
  4. I see, so you emphasize the meaning of referent as what a word refers to, not the instances in reality that a concept refers to. I see her using it as "instances" here ("stands for" is also used): "A “number” is a mental symbol that integrates units into a single larger unit (or subdivides a unit into fractions) with reference to the basic number of “one,” which is the basic mental symbol of “unit.” Thus “5” stands for |||||. (Metaphysically, the referents of “5” are any five existents of a specified kind; epistemologically, they are represented by a single symbol.)". Perhaps to be clear I have to say "metaphysical referents". Bottom line, a unit is an existent, and in our context is metaphysical. A unit is an existent regarded as a separate member of a group of two or more similar members.
  5. My bad, I misread it. Are two or more units implying two or more referents?
  6. Then you consider "Darth Vader" a concept even though there is only one Darth Vader. I think you are considering "mental entity" to be a concept/universal. I divide them into two types, concepts, and particulars based on if they refer to one thing or a (unified) many. You can have a mental entity that has a one to one relationship with what is real (an association). The referent is a concrete. There is only one "Ayn Rand", the idea "Ayn Rand" refers to one entity. There are no instances that are a type of "Ayn Rand" (the person). Or are you saying she is, in fact, a concept? California is not a concept, it is one entity. A US state is a concept. If you are mean "Darth Vader the archetype" you would have a point. One could say he is a Darth Vader type of person, one who is powerful and seduced by the dark side.
  7. Agreed. What I meant was "Joe the horse" resolves to one particular. As in "The current president of the US", resolves to a particular, one single thing. "Presidency in the US" is a concept, it refers to many things so by definition it is a valid concept and in addition it has instances. "Presidency in Saudi Arabia" is a concept with a null set of instances, so it is "referentially" invalid, but it is a valid concept by definition. There is no president of Saudi Arabia as it has a king. Perhaps, I have the definition of concept wrong, is that what you are saying?
  8. Isn't that an example of a concept that has zero referents? There are no unicorns in reality outside of consciousness. It is still a concept, it is invalid in a sense that it has zero referents. But I was thinking, another invalid concept would be "Joe the Horse". That is a particular, a concrete as opposed to a concept. I would like to be able to distinguish between the two types of invalidity.
  9. I was wondering if a concept (not just a valid concept) can only have zero or more than 1 referent. So referents have to be 2 or more to not contradict the definition of a concept. I believe a concept that has one referent ends up being a particular. I suppose it is a mistake rather than a concept. So that would mean there is no such thing as a concept with one referent. Since the nature of a concept is based on commonality, commonality requires at least two particulars that have the commonality. It is also possible that zero referents would indicate that it is not a valid concept although it is a concept. Imaginary, fictitious and contradictory commonalities can fit that.
  10. Universals

    I have looked into predication and for now, I think it implies a need for nature (distinguishing characteristics). Indescribable would mean having no distinguishing characteristics, no sameness, AND no differences. To not have any sameness or difference means to not exist and it is not describable, undetectable and unnoticeable. To have an unknown nature, does not mean non-existence. To NOT have a nature means nonexistence. To say a fact about something is to put it in particular class/category. The apple is red, is to put apple in the class of apples that are red, the universal "red apple" which is an instance of "red" and "apple", "red" also being an instance of "color" and "apple" being an instance of "fruit" on and on. The relationships of predicates and universals is, to predicate is to make the subject "a something", a member of a class/universal/category. "An apple is a fruit." apple is member of class fruit, "A lion is an animal." lion is part of class animal If there is no class to be a member of, then there are no characteristics, no nature. When something ends up being nothing, in particular, it can't be existent. Nothing would exist without these classes. They hold the world together in this structure. Without the existence of "fruit", there can be no apple. The existence of the apple in front of you could not have been, if the (concept) number/amount "one" did not exist. We can't describe a single entity without putting an implicit "one" in front of it. To exist, something has to be part of the class existent. Without the universal existent, nothing would exist. So, everything has to have a class that it belongs to. There is an infinite regress, anything has to be another thing. In that world "the apple is." describes nothing, the apple is a nothing in particular. Isn't the structure, the pattern in the universe something simply observed? Without causal powers, it is not like an active scaffolding exerting forces to create an equilibrium. Universals don't hold things physically, it is as if they do, this (holding) vision of it is only in the mind. Universals don't have any causal powers and they don't change, they are like an unseen observer. So why couldn't they reside in the mind since they are created whenever needed? Because I say they get created and they say they are eternal? For those who think of universals are non-epistemic, the necessity for having nature still is true if universals were epistemic. Within existence but outside the mind, things just are without predication, consciousness predicates to recognize, it is the necessity of the mind and consciousness initiates the process.
  11. Universals

    I notice an area that I have contradicted myself. I have said that concepts do have causal powers and I have said that they don't. I think I have to revise my statements to say that concepts have an influence on choices but not causal power. They do NOT have causal powers in the sense that they don't have initiation capability. But in a volitional mind, they have an influence on the direction that one will take. I agree that instantiation has no effect on the universal itself and in my mind instantiation is in my mind. I could see this as true epistemologically. Without two things in the field of awareness, sameness cannot exist. The mind cannot create the concept without the particulars, they are the building blocks. In your model, I believe instantiation happens outside of the mind in existence. Instantiation implies that the particulars in question, the instances don't exist. But somehow other particulars cause instantiation. At this stage, this is an arbitrary statement. I can't make it work in my mind yet, you will have to elaborate. I assume you don't mean that particulars cause "sameness". That would imply that sameness does not exist until particulars exist and implies that you agree that connection can only exist when things exist, not the other way around similar to the argument that numbers can't exist without things to be counted.
  12. Universals

    Can you go into more depth about this? Ideally 2 examples with 2 epistemic universals. (I assume your use of the word epistemic is redundant). I especially would like to see the different times and different context demonstrated. How did Aristotle imagine essence being in things? Like if you stabbed a table, "tableness" should ooze out?
  13. Universals

    Agreed, I am not questioning that. You agree that a contradiction is inconceivable but to be clear, what you mean is "the instance of contradiction" is inconceivable, a "something that is not itself" is inconceivable. But notice you use the word "contradiction" (the concept/universal), just as I do, so we have conceived it already. So we have to be specific, I assume you mean conceivable in a metaphysical way, which means, contradictions don't exist. You say these are special universals. Granted, they are uninstantiable. Does that mean when we say "universal" we should not include them? It's very important to know the difference or we have been talking about different things. What is the difference? It seems that to you that the set that comprises universals does not include contradictions, or fictitious universals, or imaginary universals. Although I agree with your statement above, I wonder about your use of the word facts. Is a fact something that is out there? Or is it something in the mind? I say that because I notice that you don't say "contradictions don't exist", rather you seem to imply an epistemological rule "facts can't contradict each other" which could leave open the idea that particular contradictions could in fact exist. So facts to me are epistemological, but I wonder if facts to you are metaphysical.
  14. Universals

    It's just that you seem to give validity to your arguments based on linguistic characteristics. There may be some merit to that, I'm just noticing a pattern, a style that I don't emphasize and am not well versed in. The idea of predicates seems to be linguistic. The original proof you had of metaphysical universals made uses of grammatical principles a lot with "subject" and "predicate" etc. I am not judging it, just noticing it. Are you saying that universals are not concepts because one is a mental entity and one is a physical one or are you asking that we redefine universal because it does not mean concept? In my paradigm, the physical referent of a concept does not exist at all. Yes, I would say that particulars are redundant in the sense that consciousness has them like a mirror. What is out there that can impact senses gets registered automatically and a duplicate image is a mental entity. There is a one to one correspondence between mental entity and referent. (an association) Of course, a particular in the mind and a particular out there is different, one is a mental entity which refers to one single entity outside of the mind (not instantiating it, not inferring it). So, a particular mental entity is not the same as the particular's physical referent. If contradictions are special cases of universals ultimately you have to define universals with exceptions like commonalities that don't include "nothing", "zero" or contradictions. But epistemologically and linguistically speaking you still have the same calamity of indescribability. A language and epistemological collection that does not include the concept "contradiction" or "nothing" is not going to describe reality.
  15. Universals

    Why is it false? You may say that it is indescribable, and I would say that in a universe where a contradiction can exist, anything can be anything and it would be meaningless, it falls apart. So I see some merit in the indescribability argument now, in a universe where anything can be anything, nothing can be described either. So it is not totally different as you say. I am making a metaphysical argument (contradictory chaos), you seem to be making an epistemological argument (indescribability). Nevertheless, if a metaphysical universal can't be instantiated, it is (by definition) not a universal. How can a "universal for contradictory properties exist" and yet not be a universal?
  16. Universals

    In your paradigm, indescribability seems to mean non-existence (of the universe). With the primacy of existence, I would say it is immaterial. That the existence exists regardless of consciousness. But then thinking aloud, if something is not anything in particular, then it does not exist. I don't think that holds for existence as a whole. I would go back to existence exists (as an axiom) regardless. So describability is the greatest logical necessity there is? As an aside, the way I see an overall difference between our paradigms is I am pushing for one entity per universal, you are pushing for two. I am saying there is only one in my mind. You are saying there is one in my mind and one out there and they are not the same thing of course! I have always wondered why you need this redundancy. If you acted like a normal intrinsicist you would have said, you don't have to do all that work, it's all there, ready to be absorbed, no mental process necessary. But in your case, not only is the universal/concept out there, I have to do all this induction etc to create one in my mind. I like my universe better, seems fairer (even if it was indescribable). I admit I will have to study predicates more, I don't understand them enough to argue on that level.
  17. Universals

    Sometimes I wonder if you see the necessity that universals have to exist metaphysically, independent of consciousness, otherwise, when everyone is asleep, the universe might not go by rules and would fall apart. These laws have to be real for the universe to work. But these universals you talk about have to have "connective power", they have to have some causal powers. If universals don't, in fact, have causal powers (we agreed they don't) then they can't keep the structure together. If that is what you are concerned about then Objectivism fills that void with the law of causality also called uniformity of nature. (not universals/concepts). That may fit what you are talking about more than "universal" or concepts because universal is primarily about categories and categorization. The structure that keeps the universe intact, that in a sense prevents an apple from barking, a table from dancing, a tree from rolling is the fact that an entity acts based on its nature. It is limited by that law so not just anything can happen. So those set of rules, that structure, does exist and is metaphysical/"out there" independent of consciousness.
  18. Universals

    Agreed, there are fictitious concepts, imaginary concepts, ones that don't correspond to reality. Your statement could also be interpreted another way, as a universal that could be instantiated but has not been until now which is different than what I am talking about. I am bringing up an eternally uninstantiable universal/concept, basically, one that cannot be instantiated. (I am talking about something that I think does not exist i.e. there is no such thing). A contradiction can't be instantiated. Yet the concept exists. You will say that contradiction (similar to "nothing") is not a universal and yet I would argue that we identify contradictions all the time. A contradiction exists only in fact as a concept/universal, there is no metaphysical version of it. But if contradictions are metaphysical, then they have to exist. I am going along because you argue universals/concepts do exist metaphysically, independent of consciousness. In that paradigm, since uninstantiated universals exist independently of consciousness, they exist even if consciousness has never observed their instance. So numbers could have existed without "things" to be counted. Such a universe does not exist and for me is unimaginable. I am also arguing that the abstraction (number) would not exist if the act of counting has never been done (ever). (I will respond to the rest of the post)
  19. Universals

    Then all (uninstantiated) universals/connections are here with us, have been with us, all the time, eternally. Going deeper, we have identified "instantiated universal" vs. "uninstantiated universals". Look at the idea of an "eternally uninstantiated universal". There is no way for consciousness to know that it exists, yet if they are metaphysically real, they do exist independent of consciousness. One question is how can one know that they exist yet not ever be conscious of them? Maybe it is by using reason. But to create awareness via reason, would you not have to instantiate the abstraction, or observe the instance to know/derive it? Can a mind know of a relationship where it sees no "things" that are related? Afterall, there is no way to "know" a connection where no two things are connected. If concepts/universals exist eternally/metaphysically, to know, consciousness has to use reason to "rebuild"/re-engineer from instances and then insert the "idea" into the mind. Therefore, a consciousness can't ever know about an "uninstantiated universal" when there are never any instances of it. We already agree that a consciousness is not capable of absorbing a universal ready made without the use of reason (as theorized in Intricism). If we have all these (uninstantiated) universals/connections lying around, what wakes them up, what instantiates them? What instantiates "Adam" from "Manness"? What is the cause of the instantiation of a commonality? a property, a universal? We agreed that a universal has no causal power, so it will not instantiate itself. It is is not itself, and there is NO God and NO supernatural force that will instantiate a universal, what is left is that consciousness instantiates them. And if only consciousness can instantiate them, then they have to be mental entities, because consciousness only instantiates mental entities. In that way, "Manness" is derived from "Adam, Jim, Joe, etc" instead of "Adam, Jim, Joe, etc" being instantiated from "Manness".
  20. Universals

    Consciousness, discoveres commonalities in entities. And the interaction between consciousness and entities is a necessary process for a commonality to be discovered. Looking outward at the universe, these commonalities don't advertise themselves without the entities being present, (in that sense not being causal). The entities are somehow compared, and commonalities are found. In other words, one can't see a relationship unless one sees what the relationship is "with". A connection is a relationship between two things. If the two things don't exist, then the relationship does not exist. When the two things exist (and are observed), then the relationship (connection) is concluded/perceived as a mental entity. Are you arguing for a universe that can have connections without entities? (independent connection) Or that all connections are in fact physical/material? Or that a connection/relationship is something in particular without the entities involved? Wouldn't a "metaphysical universal" (or to make it easier a physical commonality) be a relationship/commonality without the entities (that have that commonality)?
  21. Universals

    If abstracta lack causal powers or spatial location, how do we know about them? By reason. (I think we agreed on that) And as a product of reason, they end up as mental entities that refer to something in the physical world. (I think we agreed on that too) Would you agree that universals/concepts are the set of existents that don't have causal powers or spatial location? Doesn't that mean that the rest of existents DO have causal powers and/or spatial location?
  22. Universals

    (I will go back to my original train of thought but the following is another angle) A universal, an abstraction, (or a predicate) acts like an open question: "One of this finite set" (based on a context). "The apple is a fruit" means "out of this set of things that it could be, it is a fruit". "The car is a Toyota" means "out of all brands, it is the Toyota brand". So it is like picking out of a list of things, what something corresponds to (specifically). So one question is: Can an open question be real? (Granted, when it is answered, the answer could be real). A question has a potential to be answered, to become real, but does that make it metaphysically real? The universal, the question, (the algebraic variable) is a potential particular, but it is no particular. The question becomes: Is a potential particular, as real as a particular? Does a potential particular have the same characteristics as a particular? I suspect you will say NO. Perhaps you are arguing that for something to exist, the potential has to exist (then a universal is a potentiality). If so, I am arguing that a universal as a potential is not "metaphysically real" but epistemologically corresponds to something "metaphysically real" (when solved). It is of a different category of realness. (otherwise, it would be real AND not real, a contradiction) This (different) category of realness is "epistemologically real". It is a subspecies of real, a type of real. Anything that is "epistemologically real" is also real.
  23. Universals

    Okay, so a mental entity is not identical to what it refers to, agreed. I think we are getting somewhere. I will say more tomorrow.
  24. Universals

    The following is what confuses me When you say that we use reason to come up with them, once you are successful, once you find the universal using reason, doesn't it go in your mind, as a mental entity? Doesn't knowing, mean, there is a mental entity that corresponds to what is out there?
  25. Universals

    This is another thing that you think there is disagreement but there is none. In fact, I think what you said here is very important, a key issue, unless I understood it wrong, you are saying that the only way to "know" a universal is by the use of reason. We agree that a universal is not "sensible" as you say.