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On 1/8/2019 at 3:12 PM, Eiuol said:

It's clearly an essential element of the concept God, and is a sufficient condition for something to qualify as God, but that's leaving aside the fact that I think he is in denial about believing in God. Anyway, of course his claims are very controversial, you agree with the claims, so what are you trying to offer to the conversation? I'm not trying to argue here, I'm trying to pull out something to talk about.

I was addressing Intrinsicist because I don't agree with him and wanted to see if he would address my prior criticism of the Logos idea. If you have any new thoughts on universals, that might be something for us to discuss here. Though I think we exhausted that topic last year. It probably wouldn't be productive for us to talk about the Logos, since neither one of us believes in it. However, I am generally curious about this effort by people like Intrinsicist to convince us that the Logos is an irrefutable fact. I'm noticing this sort of idealism being applied in other threads about morality and politics too. I'd like to understand it better, and see if it goes any deeper than the Logos.

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On 2/3/2018 at 3:28 PM, Grames said:

"Preconceptual awareness of qualitative recurrence", use that phrase a few times when speaking or writing and people will think you must be pretty smart.

Pretty late here but this made me lol

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On 1/8/2019 at 12:05 PM, MisterSwig said:

Have you made any progress convincing Objectivists of the reality of the Logos?

If Logos was interpreted as the laws of physics I would maybe possibly be on board, but definitely have to reject it as any concept of a metaphysical "God".

Edited by EC

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3 hours ago, EC said:

If Logos was interpreted as the laws of physics I would maybe possibly be on board, but definitely have to reject it as any concept of a metaphysical "God".

Okay, let's imagine that Logos is the laws of physics, and it's not a metaphysical god. Would it actually be "laws" (plural) or a single law (Grand Unified Theory?) of which we now only understand parts? If the Logos is multiple laws, are they all equally important, or of varying importance? Is there an order to them? Supposing there is only one law, has it remained unchanged through all time, or is it capable of changing? If it changes, what might be the cause of this change?

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On 1/8/2019 at 12:05 PM, MisterSwig said:

Have you made any progress convincing Objectivists of the reality of the Logos?

Not much, no. Honestly I haven't put in much effort in a while. I'm starting to think about pushing this again. I do think the Logos is rationally irrefutable.

On 1/8/2019 at 1:43 PM, Eiuol said:

"Logos" is God

How so? Actually I'm having trouble reconciling multiple aspects of theism with the mere assertion of the Logos. I can't seem to find them to be equal.

On 1/8/2019 at 6:12 PM, Eiuol said:

you agree with the claims

@MisterSwig, is that true?

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On 7/24/2018 at 10:59 PM, Eiuol said:

Just so I know where you're coming from, are you getting the terminology 'logos' from Jordan Peterson? It would affect my response. I've heard it in other contexts such as stoicism and Christian theology in case you meant those, but the only contemporary use I've seen is from him. 

I think everyone has the same idea of Logos, as far as I know the concept has roots in ancient Greece prior to the stoics, especially in Plato and Aristotle. The Logos is all the Forms, like the entire concept map. It is all of these abstract objects, coherently ordered and connected.

The Christian conception, as best I understand it - and I'm still trying to - is that God is like Logos+, a part of the idea of God but not the whole of it. The Logos is the Word (i.e. the concepts/Forms/essences), it is the wisdom of God (sort of the concept map in the mind of God, since the Forms/essences are mental).

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." - John 1:1

Jordan Peterson calls it "the thing that brings order out of chaos at the beginning of time".

Above I am describing it like this:

On 7/24/2018 at 7:41 PM, intrinsicist said:

...a higher-level metaphysical spec which defines what the objects of this world are, and what they ought to be. There is a well-defined, intelligible order to the universe; reality has a flawless ideal which everything can be measured against...

You can't say that is implies ought, if you don't have an abstract spec of what is, such that you can infer what ought to be *from the spec*...

everything has some well-defined abstract nature. Every concrete is an instance of some defined abstraction, a kind. And there are many kinds in the world. This system of kinds you can call the logos - it is the metaphysical nature of reality.

Aristotle defined the nature of the thing as not being in the material of which it's composed, but in its form, in its design, like the abstract blueprint of the thing.

So when we are talking about the "metaphysical nature" of the thing, this is what we are talking about, not the material it's made out of, not the particular, concrete instance of it, but the pattern of it, the design of it. 

And when Ayn Rand talks about "metaphysical self-preservation", she is not referring to your merely material or bodily self-preservation, she is talking about the preservation of your identity as a human being, i.e. maintaining your hold on your distinctly human faculty of reason:

"the noblest form of metaphysical self-preservation: the refusal to commit spiritual suicide by abnegating one’s own mind and to survive as a lobotomized automaton" - Ayn Rand, Inexplicable Personal Alchemy

Edited by intrinsicist

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On 1/11/2019 at 6:37 PM, MisterSwig said:

my prior criticism of the Logos idea

Unfortunately, I don't understand your criticism.

I do see your post where you mentioned "logos" and criticized Metaphysical Idealism. Let's maybe start from the top, what does this mean?

On 12/20/2017 at 4:30 PM, MisterSwig said:

I believe "imply" means something different to Objectivists and Metaphysical Idealists. To an Objectivist, it means "to suggest a logical necessity." Whereas to a Metaphysical Idealists, it means "to suggest a systematic necessity." 

The word "imply" in my mind refers to logical implication, so I suppose that means I fall in with the Objectivists here. But I don't know what a "systematic necessity" is in the sense of it being opposed to a logical necessity. You seem to be drawing on the distinction between a correspondence theory of truth and a coherence theory of truth, but for me, they are both valid approaches, as what is true is real and exists, and all of what is real and true is logically coherent. Also in my mind logical necessity is entirely on the "coherence" side of things, so I'm confused as to how you're opposing the two.

 

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1 hour ago, intrinsicist said:

The Christian conception, as best I understand it - and I'm still trying to - is that God is like Logos+, a part of the idea of God but not the whole of it.

I mean, sure, it isn't identical, but I don't think there is any usage of the term that has any practical meaning outside of discussing God. When you talk about Logos, you're talking about God. It's a characteristic that only God has. Plus, it isn't simply a concept about the order of the universe. At best, it's a term for somebody to use when for whatever reason, they don't want to admit their faith in God. Well, it could have its uses for a Christian, but past that, it's meaningless for anyone else. It implies theism.

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1 hour ago, intrinsicist said:

I think everyone has the same idea of Logos, as far as I know the concept has roots in ancient Greece prior to the stoics, especially in Plato and Aristotle. The Logos is all the Forms, like the entire concept map. It is all of these abstract objects, coherently ordered and connected.

Yeah, but where does it exist, in your opinion, if it does? I think this could be created right now, in reality, in a Python program, that self-creates proper Objectivist concept definitions for all proper concepts that man has created. That's the only way this could exist. It would also produce an extremely powerful AI if you provided the right twists in how the program goes about this.

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2 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

It implies theism.

Can you explain how? I don't see it.

My question to theists has been this:

Objectivism, as normally understood, has a minimal set of metaphysical presuppositions: existence exists, the things which exist are what they are (have identity), and that one is conscious of that which exists. Logic, the method of non-contradictory identification, is also held in this axiomatic way, on the impossibility/absurdity of the contrary.

I can see an argument that there's a further metaphysical premise that's necessary beyond this: namely, the metaphysical basis of universals. Since logic deals with propositions, or the relationships between concepts, logic alone is not enough to justify true beliefs, you need to justify having universal concepts, which can only be done with a further metaphysical premise in the belief of universals, metaphysical essences, natural kinds, or whatever you want to call it.

Is this further metaphysical belief in universals somehow identical to theism? I'd argue that it can be held non-theistically. Or are there further metaphysical premises needed beyond this? If so, what are those premises, and what absurdities follow from their denial?

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5 minutes ago, intrinsicist said:

I can see an argument that there's a further metaphysical premise that's necessary beyond this: namely, the metaphysical basis of universals.

Existing where? A mind noting essential aspects of concrete objects, and the same process copied to cyberspace are the only places available, unless you can point out to us where reality hides it's perfect circles from us. Please don't say in other dimensions, while they must exist, they aren't places to hide perfect circles. 

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@Eiuol

The Forms/essences are mental in nature, they are essentially concepts. So the Logos is essentially like a system of concepts, or a body of knowledge. But God is a mind, and a mind is more than just a body of knowledge.

So for any kind of belief in God, whether it's deism or theism, I expect to find all the normal characteristics of a mind, like thinking, remembering, imagining, planning, and so on. And with such a person, you would expect the capacity to communicate with language. They would have emotions and goals, and if they have any relationship with normal people like me with free will, they would be trying to persuade or perhaps bargain, to get us to do the right thing in order to serve their ends.

But I don't see any explanation for any of these attributes, let alone an explanation that's just implied from the basic idea of the Logos.

Edited by intrinsicist

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1 hour ago, intrinsicist said:

And when Ayn Rand talks about "metaphysical self-preservation", she is not referring to your merely material or bodily self-preservation, she is talking about the preservation of your identity as a human being, i.e. maintaining your hold on your distinctly human faculty of reason:

I'm quoting this as a separate post because I had some ideas about this. This is kind of off-the-cuff, so haven't worked it out in detail about the implications or if I would change my mind anything.

With what you stated here, I agree with this. I'm hesitant to say that this would be necessarily an argument for universals in the sense you mean. I don't think Rand in her writing was universal enough about her conception of human identity. When I say universal here, I'm saying it has not been abstracted enough, that the class "rational being" is insufficiently wide, a frozen abstraction even. Maybe instead of saying universal, I should say simply that Rand's theory about concepts has a difficult time with broadening concepts after they have been formed. For the ancient Greeks, man is the rational animal may have been sufficient. But now I computer technology, it is possible for personality to exist separate from a specific instance of a body.

In another thread, I have discussed a lot about what I think is critical for human identity, of selfhood in particular. I think a lot of problems go down to the level of insufficient specification of the level of abstraction one is dealing with. Rand talks about levels of abstraction in maybe an implied way, in terms of how she splits up philosophy, but not deep enough for making distinctions that push the limits to the max of human understanding. The direction I see you going in is more to emphasize universals. I don't think the problem is universals as much as it is a lack of connecting different levels of abstraction.

*

When I said implies theism, I was specifically referring to usage of the word Logos, to the extent that it suggests an extra layer to reality past simply reality. 

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34 minutes ago, intrinsicist said:

I don't understand the desire to predicate location of abstract objects. Why?

Because everything that exists must exist *somewhere* or they wouldn't exist. You are the one positing the actual metaphysical existence of these "abstract objects". So I'm following up by asking where their physical location is? And how do they communicate their abstract properties to concrete objects from wherever they exist?

Edited by EC

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On 7/25/2018 at 2:41 AM, intrinsicist said:

If everything we see around us is a happenstance configuration of particles that could just as equally be any other way,

It could not, because those particles only act according to what they are, not according to what they aren't. 

Quote

if you can arbitrarily hack on various properties to these objects...

You can't arbitrarily hack anything. You can't do more than its possible to do given the nature of what is, particles and 'meta-energy puffs' included.

Quote

...then there are no "things". The only demarcation involved is your own naming schema, a nominalistic assignment. [...] in a metarialistic metaphysics, you just have a configuration of particles - it could be any other way or do any other thing just as well, it just happens to be the way it is. 

The fact that things are made of more basic ingredients does not invalidate the existence of those things. Explaining something doesn't invalidate its existence.

By the way, Objectivism is not a materialistic philosophy. It holds existence, not matter, as the primary. Matter and conciousness are specific things that exist.

Quote

There is a higher-level metaphysical spec which defines what the objects of this world are, and what they ought to be. 

No, there isn't. When you say that two bottles of water are the same thing, you're saying that both of them are man-made objects with a shape and material suitable for carrying liquid. You retain those characteristics and ignore their measurements (in reality everything might be different about them: their size, their exact shape, whether they're made of plastic or glass). But those bottles are not the same thing at all, i.e. instances of an Archetype. They are two different concretes which man can classify togheter in order to reduce the complexity of the world.

According to your views, if there is a higher-lever 'spec' which defines what things are and ought to be, what is the even higher level spec which defines what the previous spec is and ought to be?

Quote

There is a well-defined, intelligible order to the universe

In other words, causality. But actions don't cause objects, it's objects that act. Causality is an instance of the law of identity: because something is what it is, it acts according to that. 

Quote

if everything, concretely, ought to be what it already is, and nothing beyond that, then you cannot infer any moral conclusion whatsoever.

A thing isn't the way it is because it ought to be what it is. What is, is. 'Ought to be' is a specialized category applying only in a specialized context, that of choice. In no way does it apply outside that context. In morality, when you say that you ought to do something in order to achieve a goal (man's life), you mean that you ought to do it because of certain facts, i.e. because of the identity of man and the world. 

Quote

This is the way the intrinsicist sees the world, everything has some well-defined abstract nature. 

Everything is what it is, i.e. has a nature. Not an abstract nature. Define your terms, otherwise your arguments will go all over the place. The ability to mentally isolate certain characteristics of an object and to contemplate them apart from that object is what abstraction consists of. It allows man to observe similarities and differences between objects and thus to form concepts and the whole body of human knowledge. Abstractions themselves have a nature. For example, they are formed in the brain of a particular living being, they require a certain type of action on the part of that being, they are made possible by a very complex kind of nervous system.

In your view, do the abstract universal archetypes which define the nature of things have a nature themselves? In that case, what do you think defines the nature of these universals? Other universals? If those universals are primaries and their identity is not set by previous universals, do you think that by the same token we can dispose with universals altogether and simply accept existence as a primary? 

Edited by KyaryPamyu

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17 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

I don't understand the desire to predicate location of abstract objects. Why?

Let's try this a different way. There was a sudden phase-transition of a pre-existing universe that is labeled the Big Bang. At what point after the Bang do you believe these "abstract objects" came into being or do you believe they were pre-existing?

I can list both a time and locations for where abstract ideas began to exist. With the time being whenever sufficiently evolved brains produced conceptual minds for the first time, and the current locations of these abstract ideas are in those minds or in media those minds produced, i.e., stone tablets, books, computer hard drives, cyberspace, etc. This is what I mean when I ask for where "abstract objects (ideas)" exist currently and when they came into existence.

Plato postulated a "supernatural realm" for these Forms. I'm assuming all true modern day thinkers reject the supernatural in all respects and therefore if these "abstract objects" aren't floating physically in spacetime that we can observe, aren't located in minds or other media, and the supernatural doesn't exist, then unless an alternative place for them to exist that isn't physically impossible is pointed out for where these Forms/Universals exist then they simply don't exist. The next important question after that is how these Forms/Universals transmit their attributes to the concretes that share these attributes, but this is secondary.

Edited by EC

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23 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

 

On 1/8/2019 at 3:12 PM, Eiuol said:

you agree with the claims

@MisterSwig, is that true?

No.

22 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

I do see your post where you mentioned "logos" and criticized Metaphysical Idealism. Let's maybe start from the top, what does this mean?

It means that reality is fundamentally mental, and if physical reality exists, it reduces to the mental one.

Does that fit with your view of the Logos?

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3 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

It means that reality is fundamentally mental, and if physical reality exists, it reduces to the mental one.

Does that fit with your view of the Logos?

No, I believe in a dual-aspect monism metaphysics. Reality is fundamentally a kind of substance which has both mental and physical modes or aspects.

Sort of like Aristotle's hylomorphic compounds, a substance which is a combination of matter and form.

In DIM terminology, I believe this is the I-type metaphysics, what you are describing is a kind of M-type metaphysics, where the "physical" is an illusion or an epiphenomenon, and real reality is purely mental. The D-type equivalent is that the "mental" is an illusion or epiphenomenon, and the real reality is purely physical. There are also dualist metaphysics a la Descartes in which there are separate mental and physical substances, that somehow interact. Dual-aspect is different from all of these, it posits one, single underlying substance (monism, not dualism) which has both mental and physical aspects to it (i.e. neither the mental nor the physical is illusory or epiphenomenal).

Edited by intrinsicist

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7 hours ago, EC said:

At what point after the Bang do you believe these "abstract objects" came into being or do you believe they were pre-existing?

I believe (like Aristotle) in an eternal universe with an eternal Logos

Edited by intrinsicist

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22 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

No, I believe in a dual-aspect monism metaphysics. Reality is fundamentally a kind of substance which has both mental and physical modes or aspects.

It occurs to me that you're committing the fallacy of the stolen concept. "Mental" means pertaining to the mind, and "mind" is an aspect of a living being with a brain. I therefore don't see how you could apply "mental" to non-living things such as a rock. Wouldn't you first have to prove that non-living things have brains? Or that brainless things have minds too? Your position relies on a concept whose logical roots you are rejecting. Thus, it is invalid.

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On 1/23/2019 at 9:30 PM, MisterSwig said:

It occurs to me that you're committing the fallacy of the stolen concept. "Mental" means pertaining to the mind, and "mind" is an aspect of a living being with a brain. I therefore don't see how you could apply "mental" to non-living things such as a rock. Wouldn't you first have to prove that non-living things have brains? Or that brainless things have minds too? Your position relies on a concept whose logical roots you are rejecting. Thus, it is invalid.

There are several steps to this conclusion.

1. universals must be said to be metaphysically real. otherwise, we are reduced to nominalism. so we conclude there are Forms or essences.

2. in our own mind, there must be something metaphysically real / causally efficacious to our concepts and reason, otherwise we are reduced to material forces and determinism.

3. these two metaphysical necessities - these universals/forms/essences and the logic that they have to them, we can identify as having the same nature and function both in reality and in our mind. therefore we say that reality has a metaphysical aspect that is essentially mental in nature.

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17 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

therefore we say that reality has a metaphysical aspect that is essentially mental in nature.

I don't understand why you don't understand that the idea of Logos doesn't imply theism. You just gave an explanation of how your premises lead to theism. To say reality has a metaphysical aspect that is essentially mental in nature is to claim that God is real. Because that's what people mean by God for the most part. This would be a logical implication. It seems to me you weaken your arguments and positions by not making the theistic part of your beliefs explicit.

 

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15 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

There are several steps to this conclusion.

1. universals must be said to be metaphysically real. otherwise, we are reduced to nominalism. so we conclude there are Forms or essences.

2. in our own mind, there must be something metaphysically real / causally efficacious to our concepts and reason, otherwise we are reduced to material forces and determinism.

3. these two metaphysical necessities - these universals/forms/essences and the logic that they have to them, we can identify as having the same nature and function both in reality and in our mind. therefore we say that reality has a metaphysical aspect that is essentially mental in nature.

The main issue is with #3. If universals and concepts have the same nature, then they both exist in the mind. You have not established any reason to think that universals or concepts exist outside the mind. You have only (in #2) stated that concepts are "in our own mind."

I don't see how you could logically solve this problem of establishing universals outside the mind. If, for example, you equate "metaphysical" with non-mental, then your conclusion in #3 turns into a blatant contradiction: reality has a non-mental aspect that is essentially mental in nature.

And if you equate "metaphysical" with mental, then you cannot place universals outside the mind, unless you then openly assert that the mental is also the non-mental--an obvious absurdity.

And so I conclude that you've severed the concept "mental" from its logical foundations, and are now using it fallaciously to assert a non-material essence to reality. The non-material essence resides with the mind, not the reality outside the mind.

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