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15 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

The question is regarding your belief that "any new particulars added to the set will behave as the rest of the set".

I don't know how else to answer this, I tried as best I could. I don't see why, based on my explanation, that the best I can do is describe the set. Why can't I infer what newly-added set members will do? After all, if I use invariant facts, this is a connection to how reality is. As long as we reason out from essentials, we are already implying the members will behave a certain way and anything with the same essential. Give me am example of how what I'm saying would make it impossible to infer new information correctly.

" Do you understand this distinction here at least? I've been trying to describe these two fundamentally different ideas of concepts/universals, and how very different they are philosophically. "

I don't know. Would you explain here what you mean by natural class? Or, a link to an article that explains what you mean? I know what it means, but your specific theory might be more nuanced.

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@Eiuol

I think Intrinsicist is saying that while you can make inferences about new winged things, you are not justified in doing so, because there is no universal "out there" which could serve as the subject of your universal judgments about winged things.

That is, according to Intrinsicist, since you don't believe in real universals, you would have to concede that there is no fact of the matter in a statement such as "all winged things fly", even though there is a fact of the matter in ALL statements such as "this winged thing flies", "that winged thing flies" (where 'this' and 'that' refer to specific given winged things).

Edited by SpookyKitty

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2 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

I think Intrinsicist is saying that while you can make inferences about new winged things, you are not justified in doing so

Yeah, but I don't see why I'm not justified. I did provide an account of how my notion of invariant facts for ALL existing members in the set fails to refer to a fact of the matter. I didn't like calling it a metaphysical universal.

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2 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Yeah, but I don't see why I'm not justified. I did provide an account of how my notion of invariant facts for ALL existing members in the set fails to refer to a fact of the matter. I didn't like calling it a metaphysical universal.

If there is no fact of the matter, then you cannot POSSIBLY have a justification.

For example, consider the statement "The current King of France is bald." You cannot be justified in believing this statement nor its negation because there simply is no current King of France.

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On 12/23/2017 at 11:10 PM, intrinsicist said:

But the "recognition of invariant facts about sets of particulars" is not a universal unless the "set of particulars" you're referring to, is the universal set of all particulars, as in, "for all X, such and such holds". Saying merely "for this specific set of particulars, such and such holds", is not a universal claim, it's just a claim about some particular group of things.

How does one determine that justification exists? That one "KNOWS" a universal?
The lack of justification invalidates the existence of universals (period!) and in effect, of them being real. It also ends up invalidating the intrinsic view.
In other words, if a "universal claim" is not justified (based on inference), then it means universals don't exist, (both epistemologically and metaphysically).
The absence of the justification does not mean that they exist intrinsically. 

In an intrinsic model, how are universals/(natural categories) claimed/discovered/identified if they were metaphysical (not epistemological)?
Let us say that natural classes exist. 
How are they noticed? What directs attention/focus to them?
 

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1 hour ago, SpookyKitty said:

If there is no fact of the matter, then you cannot POSSIBLY have a justification.

I said there is a fact of the matter and said how...

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5 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

I said there is a fact of the matter and said how...

Can you point to where, exactly? Because I think that you have solved the wrong problem. To me at least, it seems extremely obvious that if universals are not real, then there can be no facts about them. So when you claim that there are no real universals and also that there are facts about them, etc. to me it sounds like you're claiming that you've done something that is impossible.

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On 12/30/2017 at 12:56 AM, Eiuol said:

This is what I mean. I am referring to sets of particulars, and that there are invariant facts about these sets as long as we form the sets properly. I claim that the sets are manmade, but if the standard of membership is an invariant fact and based on reality, this is fine. Because the standard refers to all known particulars in that set - we cannot refer to things we don't know of - it is fine to call this universal in an epistemic sense.

This post, SK. But posts after it clarify it. I was only arguing about if "universal" makes sense metaphysically speaking (exist without the presence of a mind), not if universals represent facts of the matter (these universals exist).

EDIT: isn't a universal something that binds particulars together?

Edited by Eiuol

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

This post, SK. But posts after it clarify it. I was only arguing about if "universal" makes sense metaphysically speaking (exist without the presence of a mind), not if universals represent facts of the matter (these universals exist).

The issue is with the usage of the word "fact". Facts aren't ordinary things like birds. Facts are always about something. There are facts about birds, but birds aren't about anything. So if we ask, what are the facts you refer to about? Since you don't believe that universals exist, they can't be about anything. Therefore, they are not facts. What you have are mere beliefs about sets (the sets being mental constructs) of particulars.

-------

A universal is something that can be predicated of other things and can exist identically in multiple contexts (e.g. "green").

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I agree with Eiuol (if the following is his claim:) that universals as such don't exist but represent invariant facts about reality (and in this sense, they exist) and exist as the specific entity or aspect you're referring to.

This is the sense with which AR used the term universals:

Quote

Let those who attempt to invalidate concepts by declaring that they cannot find "manness" in men, try to invalidate algebra by declaring that they cannot find "a-ness" in 5 or in 5,000,000.

So, for example, length of an object exists. But length, as a universal, does not exist out there in reality. It is absurd to think that universals (obtained by a method of measurement omission), as such, exist out there in reality. That would mean, for example, that there exists an object without any specific lengths (which is absurd). Every object which exists has a specific, concrete length. No object exists with a "universal length" (a length without any specific measurements: that is an epistemological device).

Similarly, as in the above AR quote, a variable (a universal) can stand for 5 or 5,000,000. But the variableness does not exist in 5 (since 5 is a particular measurement, it is not a quantity without any specific measurements: a universal).

This is not to say that universals don't exist: length of an object exists. However, as universals (as an entity with no specific measurements), they don't exist. Universals exist: as instances (specific entities, their aspects, etc). In English, articles are used to instantiate universals ('an apple', 'the length'). Universals are used to refer to concrete things in reality. Universals do not refer to universals that exist in reality. They exist: as the thing or aspect you are referring to. They do not exist: as a universal (as an object with no specific measurement).

Universals refer to things, not to universals (they are epistemological: they are something in your mind which refers to something in reality. One part exists in your head. The other part exists in reality. The part that exists in your head [universal qua universal] doesn't exist "out there". Saying that something is epistemological doesn't exclude the existence of something in reality [the existence of something in reality is necessary]. However, universals do not refer to universals. They refer to things). They also capture certain invariant facts about what you're referring to.

@intrinsicist: you are equating universal with identity. The fact that universals do not exist (qua universals) in reality does not mean things don't have identity.

Edited by human_murda

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1 hour ago, SpookyKitty said:

There are facts about birds, but birds aren't about anything.

Isn't birds (plural) about (referencing)"many" birds.

A single bird is the concrete,  not an abstraction about "many"

1 hour ago, SpookyKitty said:

A universal is something that can be predicated of other things and can exist identically in multiple contexts (e.g. "green").

1

What about the concept "nothing"? In what context does that exist in? (Doesn't it have to be epistemological since metaphysically "nothing" does not exist).

At one point you had said "The reason you are making this error is because you are failing to differentiate between a relation of identity and a relation of definition". Does that have any relevance here?

 

 

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Evidence for the correct meaning of 'universal' already exists in the English language (or any spoken language).

The universal length refers to the length of a specific object. The universal 'man' refers to a specific man. Consider the differences in meaning of the sentences 'man died' and 'the man died'. The former comes across as an invariant fact applicable to all men (and may be true for particular men). In the latter, the universal has been instantiated (which is necessary because individual men have specific measurements. When you're referring to specific men, you cannot continue talking as though any measurement is possible [or as though the individual has no specific measurements]. You have to instantiate the universal: the universal does not refer to an abstract universal that exists in specific objects). Similarly, when talking about specific entities, you speak about 'the length' instead of just 'length' (similar is the case for any concept or attribute).

Just as AR said, the universal (such as "manness") does not exist "inside" an object/aspect. That's not the way universals are used in language. Universals do not refer to universals that exist "inside" an object. Universals refer to specific instances. If it's a concept, it refers to the whole of an object, not some part that resides within it. If the universal is an attribute, it refers to all aspects of the attribute as it exists.

You talk in terms of universals ("man is evil") is you want to omit particular measurements (and are talking about invariant facts). You instantiate the universal ("the man died"), if you want to talk about someone in particular.

 

10 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

If there is no fact of the matter, then you cannot POSSIBLY have a justification.

For example, consider the statement "The current King of France is bald." You cannot be justified in believing this statement nor its negation because there simply is no current King of France.

The comparison isn't equivalent: because the universal exists as a specific instance (just, not as a universal).

Edited by human_murda

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3 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Isn't birds (plural) about (referencing)"many" birds.

A single bird is the concrete,  not an abstraction about "many"

I was referring to actual birds, not the word "birds".

Quote

What about the concept "nothing"? In what context does that exist in? (Doesn't it have to be epistemological since metaphysically "nothing" does not exist).

The concept of "nothing" is not a universal since it can't be predicated of anything.

Quote

At one point you had said "The reason you are making this error is because you are failing to differentiate between a relation of identity and a relation of definition". Does that have any relevance here?

Probably not.

 

@human_murda

You are confused about what a universal is:

Quote

The universal length refers to the length of a specific object. The universal 'man' refers to a specific man. Consider the differences in meaning of the sentences 'man died' and 'the man died'. The former comes across as an invariant fact applicable to all men (and may be true for particular men). In the latter, the universal has been instantiated (which is necessary because individual men have specific measurements.

You are confusing universals with pluralities. When talking about the universal which is found in all humans, it is better to use the word "manness" rather than "man". "Manness" more closely captures the idea behind a universal. Note that it makes no sense whatsoever to say that "'manness' itself died" but that it does make sense to say that "All of humanity died".

tl;dr: You have to be careful to always distinguish between a plural subject and a predicate.

Quote

The comparison isn't equivalent: because the universal exists as a specific instance (just, not as a universal).

The comparison is about the relation of facts to kinds of statements and has nothing to do with universals.

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6 hours ago, human_murda said:

It is absurd to think that universals... as such, exist out there in reality. That would mean, for example, that there exists an object without any specific lengths (which is absurd).

Of course I agree that would would be a contradictory position to hold, if you are also assuming that the only thing that exists are concrete, physical objects extended in space.

My claim here goes against that assumption. I am arguing for the metaphysical existence of universals, i.e. existents which are not concrete, physical objects extended in space.

6 hours ago, human_murda said:

Universals do not refer to universals that exist in reality.

You are asserting the opposite position that I am taking. I've made a number of arguments for my position throughout this thread, so please take a look and let me know what you think of them.

SpookyKitty seems to be the only one who has clearly understood what I'm saying so far.

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39 minutes ago, intrinsicist said:

I am arguing for the metaphysical existence of universals, i.e. existents which are not concrete, physical objects extended in space.

Doesn't a problem start emerging when one includes value judgements like "beatiful", "important", "terrible", "admirable".

If these were intrinsic, and consciousness was not active with individual filters stc., then all should see the same thing. All should be attracted to the same thing. After all the beauty is not in the eyes of the beholder in an intrinsic world, the same beauty is out there for all to see.

Then when two people disagree with the beauty of something, how can it be intrinsic?
 

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10 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

So if we ask, what are the facts you refer to about?

I didn't say universals don't exist. I said universals represent facts, implying also that facts are about the world. As representations, they are at most epistemic - representations are of the mind. It's a misunderstanding of my words to say I think universals don't exist.

I'm fine saying that there are facts about things, and that things can exist identically in terms of value ranges. I don't want to call this a universal, because I'd say universals imply a binding that makes particulars cohere together. If this idea is wrong, I'd like to see how.

2 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

My claim here goes against that assumption. I am arguing for the metaphysical existence of universals, i.e. existents which are not concrete, physical objects extended in space.

If that's all you mean, this would be epistemic, no? That's all I'm really saying, and that metaphysical is not clear to convey what you mean.

2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Then when two people disagree with the beauty of something, how can it be intrinsic?

This is not a good argument. Human error does not tell us that intrinsic things don't exist.

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4 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

This is not a good argument. Human error does not tell us that intrinsic things don't exist.

Are you saying that when people disagree about the beauty of something, it necessarily indicates an error? What happened to the "for whom" and "for what purpose" argument of values?

Other than that, what do you consider as being the fundamental argument against intrinsic universals?

 

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3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Well, I just mean it's a bad argument, it doesn't show anything about the nature of the disagreement.

For now, I am willing to assume that you are correct. Then can you back it up by mentioning what in fact is the fundamental argument against intrinsicism.

My understanding is that Rand did not choose it as her model as it did not correspond to reality because it especially falls apart when trying to integrate "intrinsic value".

 

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Why people disagree varies a lot, and for many possible reasons. One reason might be lying, another might be lack of knowledge, another might be that people can't find out the truth.

Intrinsicism might refer to an ethical theory, in which case that would mean something like there is intrinsic goodness in some things without reference to an individual. Rand didn't support this at all.

But it also might refer to theories where intrinsic properties exist. Rand didn't show that she rejected this idea, I don't see a reason to say she rejected all intrinsic theories.

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15 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I didn't say universals don't exist. I said universals represent facts, implying also that facts are about the world. As representations, they are at most epistemic - representations are of the mind. It's a misunderstanding of my words to say I think universals don't exist.

I think you are seriously confused. Universals can't "represent" anything. They aren't symbols.

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6 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

I think you are seriously confused. Universals can't "represent" anything. They aren't symbols.

Why can't they be? I mean, the word seems fine, if it really is fine to say universals bind particulars.

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6 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

I think you are seriously confused. Universals can't "represent" anything. They aren't symbols

You'll have to go deeper than that because "anything" can represent anything. In other words, anything can serve as a symbol.

What do you see the role of consciousness as? Objectivism provides a description of consciousness as active and processing that determines universals. Intrinsicisim does not and there is no clarity on how consciousness behaves in an intrinsic model. Is it only like a mirror? As in what "is", gets into consciousness. (things just are) That philosophy/abstractions/universals are in effect "perceptual"?

If so how do you explain different perspectives on the same thing? Are different ways of looking at the same thing "out there"? In other words are ways of looking at things "out there"?

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7 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Why can't they be? I mean, the word seems fine, if it really is fine to say universals bind particulars.

 

That's the wrong question to ask. If you want me to understand your arguments against the existence of universals, you're going to have to use the word "universals" in its standard sense.

 

7 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

What do you see the role of consciousness as? Objectivism provides a description of consciousness as active and processing that determines universals. Intrinsicisim does not and there is no clarity on how consciousness behaves in an intrinsic model. Is it only like a mirror? As in what "is", gets into consciousness. (things just are) That philosophy/abstractions/universals are in effect "perceptual"?

If so how do you explain different perspectives on the same thing? Are different ways of looking at the same thing "out there"? In other words are ways of looking at things "out there"?

Why not read Aristotle, if you really want to know?

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I already said I'm not saying universals don't exist. I know the usage here is non-standard (i.e. Rand's meaning), but you certainly can see what I mean. I keep going to the binding part, because it's the only way I can explain why I don't reject universals. If 1) I point to the world, 2) bind particulars, and 3) the particulars ALL share some feature, this is a universal. The only non-standard part seems to  be that I think 2 is epistemic, but that doesn't hurt it. If you don't get what I mean, just ask. Or just expand on how universals work (it might end up that there's a terminological difference but not one of meaning). Make a positive case so I can analyze an alternative.

Edited by Eiuol

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