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This issue has been brought up briefly in two other threads, but I think it is better to make a separate thread for it since it deals with issues that may be confusing to new objectivists/ new philosophers-- and I don't want to cause anyone to stumble. :)

I know that Objectivism upholds volition and I know that the reason why Objectivism uphold volition is because it is axiomatic.

This thread is NOT meant as an attack against volition or an argument for fatalism/ determinism.

SO, in order to stay on topic, please do not supply proofs for volition or against determinism. We are agreed on that point.

I also know that Objectivism holds that "Man's nature is such that he has volition". But this begs the question of "Then is Man's nature entirely physical?"

This is the issue: If Man's nature is such that he has volition (all are agreed here), then is it possible that Man's nature (specifically his mind) is ENTIRELY physical?

How can Man have volition if he is ENTIRELY a physical being with no freedom from the total influence of physical cause and effect phenomena?

I hold that this implies that Man's nature must be such that he is not an entirely physical being- that he has a non-physical soul which is free from the deterministic influence of physical cause and effect. This does not mean that the soul and the body are dichotomous or set against each other- in fact they couldn't be. The soul must be "above and beyond the body" (in the sense of being effected by the physical) but must be compatible with the body so that they complement each other.

I would like to hear the thoughts of Objectivists on this issue- How can the doctrine that "man is only physical/ has no soul" be compatible with the doctrine that "man has volition"? Since the latter is axiomatic and since they are incompatible (unless you can demonstrate otherwise), it seems the former doctrine must be discarded.

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Actually, we are not in agreement, and that is why your question arises. Your notion of "volition" or "free will" assumes freedom *from reality*. It is one of the two common false alternatives in phil

Weird. The question is usually asked in the from "Given that man's nature is entirely physical, is it possible that he has volition?". It does not matter, for both questions the answer is the same.

I agree with Eiuol. "Physical" was used correctly, "entity" was not. Instead, to be consistent Tanaka should call them "existents" as he did later in the same post. ("Attributes" is more specific an

I know that Objectivism upholds volition and I know that the reason why Objectivism uphold volition is because it is axiomatic.

This thread is NOT meant as an attack against volition or an argument for fatalism/ determinism.

SO, in order to stay on topic, please do not supply proofs for volition or against determinism. We are agreed on that point.

Actually, we are not in agreement, and that is why your question arises. Your notion of "volition" or "free will" assumes freedom *from reality*. It is one of the two common false alternatives in philosophy - determinism vs. free will. Both notions are incoherent.

Men interact with reality, and gather knowledge about reality. Men also have value hierarchies, against which they evaluate the facts of reality, and perform actions in pursuit of those values. For example, a man is hungry, and knows where to find food, and so can decide how to act in order to obtain that food, prepare it for consumption (if necessary or desired), consume it, and satisfy his hunger.

What about this requires that part of him be nonphysical? - other than the fact that man's mind, and the choices he makes, are conceptual and abstract, in the same way that a clock's function of "telling time" is abstract, and not self-evident from the nature of any specific atom within the clock.

[zomg 2000 posts! - I should have made this an epic treatise]

Edited by brian0918
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This is the issue: If Man's nature is such that he has volition (all are agreed here), then is it possible that Man's nature (specifically his mind) is ENTIRELY physical?

Weird. The question is usually asked in the from "Given that man's nature is entirely physical, is it possible that he has volition?". It does not matter, for both questions the answer is the same.

It is not a matter for debate. It is a fact that man's nature is entirely physical. And it is a fact the man has volition. Volition refers to the power to think and to act in a self-directed manner. Where there is self-direction there is an absence of forms of external causation such as mind altering drugs or physical force. The 'free' in 'free will' is the freedom from external control. Expecting also freedom from 'internal control', freedom from all the actions of every cell and atom, is invalid because a part that has no relation to the whole is not a part. A whole is its parts. Man's volition is not something apart from his cells and atoms, it is a description of those same cells and atoms acting together as a whole.

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This is the issue: If Man's nature is such that he has volition (all are agreed here), then is it possible that Man's nature (specifically his mind) is ENTIRELY physical?

How can Man have volition if he is ENTIRELY a physical being with no freedom from the total influence of physical cause and effect phenomena?

I hold that this implies that Man's nature must be such that he is not an entirely physical being- that he has a non-physical soul which is free from the deterministic influence of physical cause and effect. This does not mean that the soul and the body are dichotomous or set against each other- in fact they couldn't be. The soul must be "above and beyond the body" (in the sense of being effected by the physical) but must be compatible with the body so that they complement each other.

I know you asked us not to give arguments for free will or against determinism, but you didn't ask us not to give refutations of your argument for an immaterial soul. I can think of a couple.

First, if man isn't entirely physical, then there must be some parts of him that aren't physical. But a part is physical by definition. So, man is entirely physical.

Second, a nonphysical soul which is free from deterministic cause and effect is not a natural thing. If man's nature is that of a nonphysical soul which is free from deterministic cause and effect, then man's nature isn't natural, which is a contradiction.

Edited by ctrl y
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[zomg 2000 posts! - I should have made this an epic treatise]

Haha. I'm sorry for causing you to waste your 2000th post! And I'm not being sarcastic- you really should have made it an epic treatise. I suppose you always have 3000 to look forward to....? :)

Actually, we are not in agreement, and that is why your question arises. Your notion of "volition" or "free will" assumes freedom *from reality*. It is one of the two common false alternatives in philosophy - determinism vs. free will. Both notions are incoherent.

Perhaps you have a different idea of the meaning of "free will" than others. When I say it, I do not mean "freedom from reality" or even "freedom from the influence of outside causes/physical phenomena" or even "total freedom from any causation whatsoever". I mean "free from the total and incontrovertible influence of physical phenomena".

So, I am not denying that Man's choices are caused (I hold that they are caused by desires), and I am not saying that Man's choices are not influenced in any way by physical phenomena whether inside or outside of his body (clearly many physical phenomena affect our desires which in turn can affect our choices). However, I am saying that Man must be capable of overcoming the TOTAL influence of physical phenomena in order for his choices and reasoning to be considered significant.

If the thoughts in my head are caused entirely by molecules bumping into molecules, then there is no reason to believe that any thoughts in my head correspond to reality-- including that thought!

I am not saying that molecules bumping into molecules have NO influence upon my thoughts (i.e. I achknowledge that the chemical functioning of the brain is a good and necessary part of my ability to think), I am saying that my thoughts (MIND) must be MORE than that.... not less, but more.

Otherwise I cannot consider the activity in brain to correspond to reality any more than I can consider other bodily functions to correspond to reality.

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There will always be an "influence" of reality. Free-will doesn't mean acting like Gods; God is an contradictory concept in the first place. Free-will is functioning upon a mental outlook that acknowledges ones confidence in making choices within our unique situations in reality. Part of our unique situation is our human nature to pursue happiness. We are given the ability of choice so that we make our own way towards happiness within any situation. However, the choice is there to deny ourselves that pursuit.

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I don't see why I should allow physics to dominate the conceptual field. After all, physics is just one of the special sciences, and like all the rest of them is based on and conceptually subordinate to metaphysics and epistemology.

For my purposes, pp. 5 of OPAR nutshells the my perspective. In the first full paragraph on the page, second sentence, LP notes, in referring to the concept of existence, that: "The concept does not specify that a physical world exists."

And, further on down the same page, third paragraph starts out: "The fact of consciousness is also a fundamental starting point. Even if biologists or physicists were someday to give us a scientific analysis of the conditions of consciousness (in terms of physical structures or energy quanta or something now unknown), this would not alter the fact that consciousness is an axiom. Before one can raise any questions pertaining to knowledge, whether of content or of method (including the question of the conditions of consciousness), one must first BE conscious of something and recognize that one is."

Swap out the word "volition" for "consciousness" and the same paragraph can be used to describe volition just as well (and it is essentially the same style of argument for the self-evidence of axioms that gets applied over and over again in OPAR).

- ico

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Haha. I'm sorry for causing you to waste your 2000th post! And I'm not being sarcastic- you really should have made it an epic treatise. I suppose you always have 3000 to look forward to....? :)

Perhaps you have a different idea of the meaning of "free will" than others. When I say it, I do not mean "freedom from reality" or even "freedom from the influence of outside causes/physical phenomena" or even "total freedom from any causation whatsoever". I mean "free from the total and incontrovertible influence of physical phenomena".

So, I am not denying that Man's choices are caused (I hold that they are caused by desires), and I am not saying that Man's choices are not influenced in any way by physical phenomena whether inside or outside of his body (clearly many physical phenomena affect our desires which in turn can affect our choices). However, I am saying that Man must be capable of overcoming the TOTAL influence of physical phenomena in order for his choices and reasoning to be considered significant.

If the thoughts in my head are caused entirely by molecules bumping into molecules, then there is no reason to believe that any thoughts in my head correspond to reality-- including that thought!

I am not saying that molecules bumping into molecules have NO influence upon my thoughts (i.e. I achknowledge that the chemical functioning of the brain is a good and necessary part of my ability to think), I am saying that my thoughts (MIND) must be MORE than that.... not less, but more.

Otherwise I cannot consider the activity in brain to correspond to reality any more than I can consider other bodily functions to correspond to reality.

I see nothing wrong with your concept of free will. And yet, here you are denying that it can exist in a place where we know it exists: in the physical world.

Conclusion: you are wrong about how the physical world works. My suggestion is to go back to the Objectivist description of causality, and Metaphysics in general. Objectivism does not hold that all causes result in a single, predetermined effect. The Objectivist view of causality states that every existent must act according to its nature, as a consequence of the Law if Identity.

In the case of a non-living or non-volitional being, its actions don't involve choice. In the case of a volitional being, his nature allows him to choose. There is no contradiction between that and the Objectivist view of causality.

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It is not a matter for debate. It is a fact that man's nature is entirely physical.

But this is the "fact" which I am challenging.

And it is a fact the man has volition.

Agreed.

Volition refers to the power to think and to act in a self-directed manner. Where there is self-direction there is an absence of forms of external causation such as mind altering drugs or physical force. The 'free' in 'free will' is the freedom from external control. Expecting also freedom from 'internal control', freedom from all the actions of every cell and atom, is invalid because a part that has no relation to the whole is not a part. A whole is its parts. Man's volition is not something apart from his cells and atoms, it is a description of those same cells and atoms acting together as a whole.

A) Isn't the influence of mind altering drugs an "internal influence"? I know that it originates outside the body, but so does water which makes up a large part of our internal stuff..

B ) Aren't all of our internal physical "parts" entirely influenced by external physical phenomena? If Man is only physical, then all of his physical parts are inevitably and irresistibly determined by the effects of other physical phenomena just as much as the earth was determined to be the way that it is as a result of the previous physical phenomena. If not, how is it that some of our "internal physical parts" are free from the causal influence of other physical phenomena? I don't think that is possible.

C) As clarification, I do not expect or hold that Man be 100% free from "internal" OR "external" influence. I agree that all of Man's consciousness and volition are influenced to some degree or other by internal and external physical phenomena. However, I am arguing that Man's consciousness and volition must be ultimately free from these influences in a deterministic way-- that Man's consciousness and volition must be able to take in the influences, but then must be able to "rise above"/"objectify" in order to make the ultimate choice in any given situation.

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I don't see why I should allow physics to dominate the conceptual field. After all, physics is just one of the special sciences, and like all the rest of them is based on and conceptually subordinate to metaphysics and epistemology.

For my purposes, pp. 5 of OPAR nutshells the my perspective. In the first full paragraph on the page, second sentence, LP notes, in referring to the concept of existence, that: "The concept does not specify that a physical world exists."

And, further on down the same page, third paragraph starts out: "The fact of consciousness is also a fundamental starting point. Even if biologists or physicists were someday to give us a scientific analysis of the conditions of consciousness (in terms of physical structures or energy quanta or something now unknown), this would not alter the fact that consciousness is an axiom.

I do not deny that this "would not alter the fact that consciousness is an axiom. However, because consciousness is an axiom, and because I am convinced that consciousness being an entirely physical phenomena is contradictory, I am arguing that biologists will never give us a full scientific analysis of the conditions of consciousness.

Before one can raise any questions pertaining to knowledge, whether of content or of method (including the question of the conditions of consciousness), one must first BE conscious of something and recognize that one is."

And this is why we are agreed that consciousness is axiomatic.

Swap out the word "volition" for "consciousness" and the same paragraph can be used to describe volition just as well (and it is essentially the same style of argument for the self-evidence of axioms that gets applied over and over again in OPAR).

- ico

Yes- in fact, I am actually more concerned about consciousness (or objective consciousness...right reasoning) than volition, ultimately. However, I realize that they are very closely tied together.

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I see nothing wrong with your concept of free will. And yet, here you are denying that it can exist in a place where we know it exists: in the physical world.

Woa. haha. Wait a minute. This is exactly the premise that I am challenging. You reason that I am wrong because I deny that free will can exist in a purely physical world...but I am challenging the idea that our world is ONLY physical.

You're begging the question.

Conclusion: you are wrong about how the physical world works. My suggestion is to go back to the Objectivist description of causality, and Metaphysics in general. Objectivism does not hold that all causes result in a single, predetermined effect. The Objectivist view of causality states that every existent must act according to its nature, as a consequence of the Law if Identity.

Haha. It gets tiresome hearing this "amazing Objectivist development on the issue of causation!". There have been plenty of good philosophers in the past who realized that things act according to their natures and that this should be factored into causation. Perhaps no one was ever explicit enough about it, so Rand get's props for emphasizing it. I totally agree. But this doesn't magically solve all the issue pertaining to causation.

Yes, a thing only acts in accordance with its nature. However, the nature of physical (non-volitional) things requires causal influence in order for it to act. Yes the ball moves the way it does when I hit it because of its nature- but don't forget that it ALSO moves the way it does because of the nature of the stick which hit it and the nature of the hit (angle, speed, etc..) and the nature of the field on which it moves.

The issue here is this; if Man's nature is entirely made up of physical molecules- all of which act deterministically according to their natures and the natures of all those molecules which influence them- then how can man be said to have the ability to think or act "freely" apart from the irresistible deterministic influence of physical phenomena?

In the case of a non-living or non-volitional being, its actions don't involve choice. In the case of a volitional being, his nature allows him to choose. There is no contradiction between that and the Objectivist view of causality.

Yes, but this just restates the obvious: "A volitional being's nature allows him to choose". Yes, that is what volitional means. The question here is, since Man has a nature which allows him to choose, can Man's nature be entirely physical?

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The issue here is this; if Man's nature is entirely made up of physical molecules- all of which act deterministically according to their natures and the natures of all those molecules which influence them- then how can man be said to have the ability to think or act "freely" apart from the irresistible deterministic influence of physical phenomena?

Try reading Grames' post.

Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "entirely physical." Concepts are not physical and they exist, but their existence depends upon concrete entities. There cannot be action apart from a physical entities. There cannot be attributes apart from physical entities. Volition is the same.

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Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "entirely physical." Concepts are not physical and they exist, but their existence depends upon concrete entities. There cannot be action apart from a physical entities. There cannot be attributes apart from physical entities. Volition is the same.

Exactly. Here's the deal: ideas are eternal, i.e., not temporally bound; as such, they are also weightless and non-physical, even if our concretizations and special-case experiences of ideas is always temporally bound.

Ideas are not physical; they are metaphysical, i.e., they exist but do not obey the Law of Entropy; in fact, they obey the inverse rule, what R. Buckminster Fuller called Syntropy -- the fact that knowledge is always progressively accumulating and becoming more ordered.

It is as if the material world must become more entropic, while the scientific representations of the world becomes more ordered and clear.

- ico

Edited by icosahedron
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Woa. haha. Wait a minute. This is exactly the premise that I am challenging. You reason that I am wrong because I deny that free will can exist in a purely physical world...but I am challenging the idea that our world is ONLY physical.

You're begging the question.

No, I'm directing you to the explanation to your question: Objectivist Metaphysics.

The notion that everything that exists actually exists is a very basic premise of Objectivism, and it doesn't rest on concepts like volition, or anything to do with men at all. You should start a new thread on the subject, and take your best shot at arguing against that axiom. That would narrow down the discussion to that one issue, help everyone stay on the same page.

Yes, but this just restates the obvious: "A volitional being's nature allows him to choose". Yes, that is what volitional means. The question here is, since Man has a nature which allows him to choose, can Man's nature be entirely physical?

Men exist, because everything exists. The more fundamental issue is that everything exists. Settling it has nothing to do with men or volition. Start a new thread, offer an alternative to physical existence, and if it's at all coherent I'll join in that discussion.

Edited by Tanaka
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B ) Aren't all of our internal physical "parts" entirely influenced by external physical phenomena? If Man is only physical, then all of his physical parts are inevitably and irresistibly determined by the effects of other physical phenomena just as much as the earth was determined to be the way that it is as a result of the previous physical phenomena. If not, how is it that some of our "internal physical parts" are free from the causal influence of other physical phenomena? I don't think that is possible.

First of all, to claim that a system as a whole has some property because each of the components which make up the system has that property commits the fallacy of composition. Secondly, a system does not need to be free from causality in order to be self-determining in some respects.

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This is the issue: If Man's nature is such that he has volition (all are agreed here), then is it possible that Man's nature (specifically his mind) is ENTIRELY physical?

How can Man have volition if he is ENTIRELY a physical being with no freedom from the total influence of physical cause and effect phenomena?

I hold that this implies that Man's nature must be such that he is not an entirely physical being- that he has a non-physical soul which is free from the deterministic influence of physical cause and effect.

Cause and effect comes from identity, not physicality, and identity applies to all of existence (the physical and the non-physical), so supposing a non-physical aspect to man does not get us around the question of how cause and effect allows free will.

The way to get around it (if I can put it that way) is to see that the regularity we observe in the universe is not coming from a set of rules being imposed on things (i.e. controlling the way they move), but is just part of their identity, like their color or weight. Therefore, since there are no rules, it is possible for a thing to exist that can go either of two ways at time t.

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No, I'm directing you to the explanation to your question: Objectivist Metaphysics.

The notion that everything that exists actually exists is a very basic premise of Objectivism, and it doesn't rest on concepts like volition, or anything to do with men at all. You should start a new thread on the subject, and take your best shot at arguing against that axiom. That would narrow down the discussion to that one issue, help everyone stay on the same page.

Men exist, because everything exists. The more fundamental issue is that everything exists. Settling it has nothing to do with men or volition. Start a new thread, offer an alternative to physical existence, and if it's at all coherent I'll join in that discussion.

Either you misunderstand my original post and the point of my argument, or you misunderstand the application of the axiom of existence. Either way, you come across as rather arrogant.

"everything that exists actually exists"- agreed. How did I challenge this?

I am challenging the idea that ONLY THE PHYSICAL WORLD EXISTS... i.e. I am proposing that more than the physical world EXISTS. There is a category called "existence" which encompasses all things which exist. You (and atheists in general) hold that this category only contains physical existents. I am contending that this category includes non-physical existents and that Man's nature must have non-physical aspects to it.

This does not violate the axiom of existence in any way, shape, or form.

The fact that so many Objectivists are able to willy nilly accuse others of violating this axiom just because they happen to disagree is a rather annoying and extremely inconsistent misapplication of the axiom.

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Secondly, a system does not need to be free from causality in order to be self-determining in some respects.

Agreed. But it does need to be free from physical causality in the respects in which it is self-determining. Isn't that what "self-determining" means? That the action is determined by the conscious self rather than caused by physical reactions?

We call those actions in our bodies which are entirely caused by physical reactions "involuntary"- but if our thoughts are also entirely caused by physical reactions, then why are they not also considered "involuntary"? *By "thoughts" here, I am specifically referring to conceptual reasoning (not perception).

I am not saying that our conceptual & volitional faculties must be totally free from physical cause and effect (I admit that these are instrumental causes in some respects), but I am saying that these faculties must be free in some respect and to some extent. And, in that respect and to that extent, our nature is non-physical.

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Cause and effect comes from identity, not physicality, and identity applies to all of existence (the physical and the non-physical), so supposing a non-physical aspect to man does not get us around the question of how cause and effect allows free will.

That's right. Choices must also be caused by something (unless you would like to argue that they are eternally existent or something like that). However, they must not be caused entirely by physical phenomena--otherwise they are automatic reactions and not "choices". However, they ARE caused by desires. Every choice is based on your highest desire in respect to that decision at that point in time.

The way to get around it (if I can put it that way) is to see that the regularity we observe in the universe is not coming from a set of rules being imposed on things (i.e. controlling the way they move), but is just part of their identity, like their color or weight. Therefore, since there are no rules, it is possible for a thing to exist that can go either of two ways at time t.

It's true that the way things acts comes from their identity- but it also comes from the influence of other things and the identity of those things which influenced it. If the identity of Man is such that everything in him is made up of physical phenomena, then he can only act as determined by that physical phenomena interacting with other physical phenomena.

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That's right. Choices must also be caused by something (unless you would like to argue that they are eternally existent or something like that). However, they must not be caused entirely by physical phenomena--otherwise they are automatic reactions and not "choices". However, they ARE caused by desires. Every choice is based on your highest desire in respect to that decision at that point in time.

Even though I believe human beings have non-physical aspects (the existents of consciousness), I still don't agree with the claim that a purely physical being couldn't have free will. I believe it is possible for a thing made of 100% deterministic parts but itself be non-deterministic. This is because I think of "made of" as a relationship between the whole and the parts, both of which have separate existence and properties, rather than as meaning that they are a unity.

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Either you misunderstand my original post and the point of my argument, or you misunderstand the application of the axiom of existence. Either way, you come across as rather arrogant.

"everything that exists actually exists"- agreed. How did I challenge this?

I am challenging the idea that ONLY THE PHYSICAL WORLD EXISTS... i.e. I am proposing that more than the physical world EXISTS.

Everything that exists in a perceivable way is part of the "physical world". It doesn't have to be made of atoms to be physical. Gravity is a physical entity. Magnetism is a physical entity. If there was some mysterious force causing human beings to "choose", that would be a physical entity by definition. If you could prove that God created Earth, that would mean God is a physical entity, which only manifests itself by creating planets.

"something more", and "non-physical" are meaningless phrases used by people trying to escape the need for actual evidence when making a claim. They're not concepts referring to actual existents.

If you wish to tell us about something that exists that we don't know about, tell us what it is, don't tell us what it's not. Telling us that it's not physical tells us only one thing: you don't actually know what the subject of your own sentence is.

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Everything that exists in a perceivable way is part of the "physical world". It doesn't have to be made of atoms to be physical. Gravity is a physical entity. Magnetism is a physical entity. If there was some mysterious force causing human beings to "choose", that would be a physical entity by definition. If you could prove that God created Earth, that would mean God is a physical entity, which only manifests itself by creating planets.

I would not say these things are physical entities at all. They're all attributes of physical entities. It's a kind of materialism to say *only* the physical world exists. What you can say is that nothing can exist APART from physical entities.

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I would not say these things are physical entities at all. They're all attributes of physical entities. It's a kind of materialism to say *only* the physical world exists. What you can say is that nothing can exist APART from physical entities.

I agree with Eiuol. "Physical" was used correctly, "entity" was not. Instead, to be consistent Tanaka should call them "existents" as he did later in the same post. ("Attributes" is more specific and also correct.) The ability to affect and be effected by physical entities is what it means "to exist".

But that is nitpicking. Tanaka's point that ' "something more", and "non-physical" are meaningless phrases used by people trying to escape the need for actual evidence when making a claim. They're not concepts referring to actual existents' is valid. Jacob86's s stubborn clinging to such 'anti-concepts', concepts that are invalid due to having no referent, make it frustrating to deal with him. I could respond to his earlier replies to me, but it would be useless.

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I agree with Eiuol. "Physical" was used correctly, "entity" was not. Instead, to be consistent Tanaka should call them "existents" as he did later in the same post. ("Attributes" is more specific and also correct.) The ability to affect and be effected by physical entities is what it means "to exist".

But that is nitpicking. Tanaka's point that ' "something more", and "non-physical" are meaningless phrases used by people trying to escape the need for actual evidence when making a claim. They're not concepts referring to actual existents' is valid. Jacob86's s stubborn clinging to such 'anti-concepts', concepts that are invalid due to having no referent, make it frustrating to deal with him. I could respond to his earlier replies to me, but it would be useless.

This is ridiculously circular reasoning.

The issue is "are there non-physical existents (specifically, is Man's nature partially non-physical)?"

Your response is "NO".

Why?

"Because there are no non-physical existents".

Your argument here is this: "There are no non-physical existents- and I know this because there are no non-physical existents".

I understand that you believe that there are no non-physical existents. I want to know WHY you believe it. Specifically in regard to Man's nature.

Simply saying "there aren't" as your reasoning is not reasoning.

I am challenging your conclusion. Simply restating it is not helpful in a debate.

You say that I am dodging the issue with my "anti-concepts".

I say that you are dodging the issue by circularly assuming that they are "anti-concepts".

PS- It is shameful and disappointing that such reasoning is applauded by otherwise very sharp philosophical thinkers.

Edited by Jacob86
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This is ridiculously circular reasoning.

The issue is "are there non-physical existents (specifically, is Man's nature partially non-physical)?"

Your response is "NO".

Why?

"Because there are no non-physical existents".

Your argument here is this: "There are no non-physical existents- and I know this because there are no non-physical existents".

I understand that you believe that there are no non-physical existents. I want to know WHY you believe it. Specifically in regard to Man's nature.

Simply saying "there aren't" as your reasoning is not reasoning.

I am challenging your conclusion. Simply restating it is not helpful in a debate.

You say that I am dodging the issue with my "anti-concepts".

I say that you are dodging the issue by circularly assuming that they are "anti-concepts".

PS- It is shameful and disappointing that such reasoning is applauded by otherwise very sharp philosophical thinkers.

"There are no non-physical existents" is not a proposition justified by reasoning, but by observation. The justification is an appeal to reality, not merely more words. Wrap your head around that, rationalist.

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