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2016-09-06
Epistemology
Kant believed that noumena was converted into phenomena, where the information from the senses is an object. By noumena he meant the 'communique' between the observer and the physical world which enables the sensing process. 
On the contrary I believe, there is no communique, all there is is sensation. However I believe there is phenomenon first and the product of sensing then becomes stored as memory. Memory of an object gives the object a permanent state. A known object as part of memory is shapeless, colorless, etc having only meaning and is senseless. Knowledge is a collection of 'thing-in-itself'.

2016-09-14
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
Kia ora Pooja
Your position seems based in internal epistemologies, which raises some issues.  The main one: If "all there is is sensation" how do you know there is a material world?
What do you mean by "knowledge is a collection of thing in itself"  How do you arrive at knowledge of thing in itself if there is only sensation?  All we really know is the sensation which may or may not be caused by a material object?  How do you link the two - the "thing in itself" and "knowledge"? 

You seem to make a big jump from memory to "having only meaning and is senseless".  Meaning is a characteristic of human beings, not of the material world.  Humans impart meaning - the material world simply appears to exists. 


2016-09-14
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
Hello, Pooja,

Since Kant cannot be summarized in a few sentences I won't object to your reading of his "noumena" but it is not certain that for Kant, physical world, noumenal world, and things-in-themselves mean the same thing. It is pretty clear that for Kant the thing-in-itself is unknowable, implying that whatever the 'communique' may be between thing-in-itself and phenomena, it is problematic to see it as "noumena" because the noumenal dimension of things is precisely the negative of the phenomenal (and thus knowable) dimension of things.

I can't object to your familiar process of sensing (i.e. perceiving), storing the result of the perception, and having that result available for recall from memory. But I can't see how, if it is the available memory that is knowledge, it can possibly be described as some collected 'thing-in-itself', since, memory being mental, this takes the thing-in-itself out of the world -- whether it be Kant's noumenal world or the philosophical realist's objective world. Perhaps you mean knowledge is a collection of 'knowings' of and about things-in-themselves, a perfectly respectable realist position.

If that's the direction you wish to explore, you may want to leave that old obscurantist, Kant, aside for a while and explore the (non-Humean) Enlightenment tradition (Bacon, Locke, Newton, etc.) before Kant turned it on its head. For a breezy overview of the course of modern philosophy from the Enlightenment through the Kantian Counter-Enlightenment, you may want to read Stephen Hicks' "The Counter-Enlightenment Attack on Reason":

http://www.stephenhicks.org/2009/09/24/counter-enlightenment-attack-on-reason/

That's a chapter from his book Explaining Postmodernism.

--Ralph

2016-09-16
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
So very true. Phenomena is sometimes an abstract idea before the experiance. When we sense the object it becomes the culmination of the two in experiance. It could even be spiritual. But do you think de ja vu and nostalgia are defined or strong expressions of phenomena? Would you say, maybe memory is being recalled and expressed phenomenologically here?

2016-09-16
Epistemology
Reply to Ian Stuart
There is no material world, nor are there sensations, there is only one object and only one subject, the human observer. The observer is also an object and subject because what is observed exists only in the observer, which makes the observer the subject. The subject is the only object because I believe the object is 'it's current state', so there exists only one current state at a given moment of observation, thus only one object. 

The object is a collection of phenomenal qualities. A single phenomenal quality such as color red is a feeling because it isn't comparable with another color, in how both appear in experience. So comparability decides if the experience has a meaning. Two qualities such as shapes have meaning because they are comparable in experience. 

There is no thing independent of observer or observation, so the thing in itself exists only in the mind as knowledge. 

2016-09-16
Epistemology
Reply to Ian Stuart
How do you arrive at knowledge of thing in itself if there is only sensation?//

Sensation is all there is, phenomenal qualities are all that we can know about the world around us. 

All we really know is the sensation which may or may not be caused by a material object?  //
There are no objects, the only object is the observer because any object is it's current state, which is inferred through it's phenomenal qualities. An object is a collection of phenomenal qualities, formed only in memory, only in the observer. 

 How do you link the two - the "thing in itself" and "knowledge"? //
There is no thing outside of the experience. The experience is the experiencer, so a thing is knowledge. 

Meaning is a characteristic of human beings, not of the material world. //
We cannot know anything without meaning. A single color has no meaning, it is a feeling we are not aware of.

2016-09-17
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
How does your point of view differ from solipsism, if it does?

2016-09-18
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
Kia ora Pooja
If there is only one thing - the observer - where to your experiences/sensations come from?  You would have to accept a completely internal source for these.

If this is the case, why do you engage with these sensations as if they are from an external source? 

2016-09-19
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
How can you sense something which is rational and noumena or even speculate? You have to be a great philosopher to expand the idea of ethics knowledgeably and the work has to be nothing less than a masterpiece in it's own right. Like Kant's Crtique of Practical Reason. Noumenal qualities are not open to speculation it is impossible. Phenomena are material, empirical and speculative. Ethics and virtue are noumena and rational not open to speculation thus Kant refers to them as 'a thing in itself'. From what you say, I would also argue:-
Noumena to become phenomena is like looking for a ghost if ghosts exist. Kant refers to a solid faculty of the mind where knowledge is rational. So I am not sure where sensing comes from?

2016-09-19
Epistemology
 But I can't see how, if it is the available memory that is knowledge, it can possibly be described as some collected 'thing-in-itself', since, memory being mental, this takes the thing-in-itself outof the world -- whether it be Kant's noumenal world or the philosophical realist's objective world.//
I believe the thing-in-itself exists only in memory. We do not perceive object, we perceive qualities which form part of more than one object. Blue can be a part of what we know as sky and also a car. 
All there is is phenomenal qualities both in the mind of the observer and the physical world. Only the ones forming part of the observer are meaningful and are the only objects. 

The 'knowing' is 'being' of object. 


2016-09-19
Epistemology
How does your point of view differ from solipsism, if it does?//
Self is the cumulative effect of a majority of objects in memory summoning one or more objects to prove relativity with the greater group of objects, such that the latter can find a place in memory. 
So self is basically an object looking at itself in the physical world. 
The existence of self cannot be proved because proving also involves the self. 


2016-09-19
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
Poonja Soni,

Your position seems to me to be quite inconsistent. First off you start by saying “all there is is sensation”, yet you then go on to directly contradict that in your first response to Mr. Stuart by saying “nor are there sensations”.  Then in the second response to Mr. Stuart you contradict your first by once again stating “sensation is all there is”. In addition you claim “there is no material world”, yet in response to Ralph Blanchette you say that the “Self is basically an object looking at itself in the physical world”. Perhaps that quote about the physical world was not a contradiction, but that would only be the case if you meant “physical” in so far as you can touch something; rather than holding a materialist position.

In addition, you seem to be misunderstanding or disagreeing with Kant’s concept of noumena or the thing-in-itself. This being evident from the fact that 1. you suggest the thing-in-itself is knowable and perceivable (which by Kant's definition it isn’t) and 2. you seem to hold to a form of phenomenalism in terms of perception. You validate the concept of things-in-themselves, yet you at the same time would say that there are no observer-independent objects which could be noumenal. So, in doing so either you have misunderstood Kant or you hold to a grievous contradiction.

Also, in your latest response to Ralph Blanchette, you say that “the self is basically an object looking at itself in the physical world”, yet I don’t see how that is comprehensible. First off, what do you mean by the word “looking”? Do you mean to say the subject is aware of something or visually looking at something? If it is the former, then I would ask the question; how can a focal point of awareness which isn’t sensory (imperceivable) be the same thing as that which is being perceived and is sensory/phenomenal? Such a position would violate the law of identity. If you hold to the latter definition of “looking”, then you mean to say that the eyes are looking at the body which is themselves. However, such a statement would be nonsensical. By this, I mean to say that the eye is a part of the body and it cannot look at itself. So, although the eye may look at the whole which is the body; that specific part called the eye may not look at itself. And, you cannot rightly claim the eye is itself the body unless you wish to say that the entirety of the entity called body is looking at itself.

Finally, it seems to me that you claim that all there is is the mind and that all perceptual objects exist in the mind only. Thus you come about saying that the subject is looking at the object which is actually the subject, or in short that the subject is looking at itself. However, I once again go back to my talk of the eye. For, how might the focal point of awareness (that which is doing the observation) be the exact same as that which is phenomenal and is not observing? In other words, how might the observer which is by definition the operator of awareness; also be the subject which is by definition the focus of awareness? The only way to justify this is to take a stance similar to that of Advaita Vedanta, in so far as you would have to negate the distinction between subject and object. In doing this you would essentially posit that there is only one thing and it is that awareness which is aware of itself. However, if this is the position you hold to then I would ask how you find it to be in any way intelligible? To me the idea of a pure awareness being aware of itself is incomprehensible. I can barely imagine the existence of an aware and rational soul, much less a being which is pure awareness only.

2016-09-19
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
Kai ora Pooja
The issue only arises if you see knowledge as something fixed.  I.e.  I know everything about this cup I am holding.  Kant suggests that we do not know this thing directly - we only know it within the context of what we have already learnt about such objects, and I would add, within our cultures. 

Knowledge is, in fact, ever changing in relationship between the fixed external world and our experiences of it.   Our current experiences are informed by memories of interactions with the actual specifics of the parts of the external world we are engaging with, and in the process we are expanding our knowledge of the object we are engaging with. 

The 'thing in itself' exists externally, but we can't, completely and with certainty,  know this thing - we can only know what we have learnt about that thing so far, coloured by our cultural situations (al la Kant) and our knowledge of that 'thing' is ever changing. . 

2016-09-20
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
Hi, your post is very confused. If 'all there is is sensation', then where do phenomena come from? If there is 'phenomena first' how does it then bring about sensation? Traditionally, sensation - through the senses from the objective world - precedes perception. Information from the senses results in the Representation, and it has content - the visual equivalent of objects in the world. We don't invent things. Bert

2016-09-21
Epistemology
Sensation is part of the phenomenon we can tap into. We experience many kinds of sensations, but we are only aware of a few sensations, which are relative to the context under which we are subjected to these sensations. You walk towards an object to be aware of the qualities of the object alone, all other qualities do not exist to you as per the context of seeing the object, thus you are not aware of the hundreds of sensations irrelevant to the context of observation. It is the context that selects the necessary qualities, such that these qualities have a collective meaning which suffices the purpose of the context. 

How does phenomenon bring about sensation?
There are only phenomenal qualities out there, there are no objects, the objects exist only in the observer. The cup independent of the observer is a collection of shape and color with no collective meaning. It is only when there is observation, the awareness adds a collective meaning to the color and the shape. 
There is no objective world, in the sense the world around us has no objects. 

The fact that the whole body acts as a unity when there is sensation, supports the fact that such unity is an object trying to project itself in the physical world. 

2016-09-23
Epistemology
“the self is basically an object looking at itself in the physical world”//
I believe that our eyes or the senses in general function to experience the world around us, but our awareness of the experience is specific to parts of the experience which satisfy a certain condition, a purpose, part of a context. The context is the personality of the person, fundamentally relative to the 'content' of memory of that person. 
So we see (are aware) based on what we have already seen. 

It is the object in the mind looking at itself in the physical world, where the former is the self for that moment of observation. The object to be seen among all other objects is the context.
The subject is that which is observed, that which is observed is the object, it's current state. 
Experience is a collection of meaningless qualities, awareness gives meaning to some these qualities to form a collective meaning, an object.


2016-09-23
Epistemology
 Ethics and virtue are noumena and rational not open to speculation thus Kant refers to them as 'a thing in itself'//
Ethics are 'meanings'. A known object also has a meaning. Ethics are meanings imposed upon new shapes, colors, sounds, etc so as to have these represent the ethics. Ethics are contexts. Rational is also a meaning. 
The thing-in-itself may be a meaningless shape or color waiting for a context to assign it a role, so as to land a place in memory, become part of a known object. 

2016-09-23
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
Hi, I am under the impression that you are talking about phenomena and the perceiver only. Would it be correct to replace the word 'cup' with the phrase 'image of a cup in the phenomena'. Bert

2016-09-26
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
Just passing through but I thought I'd pause to recommend a relevant and excellent article by Edward Barkin on Relative Phenomenalism. There's a non-paywalled version somewhere. . .

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/imp/jcs/2003/00000010/00000008/art00001


2016-09-27
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
I think the answer lies here .. 

"There is no material world, nor are there sensations, there is only one object and only one subject, the human observer. The observer is also an object and subject because what is observed exists only in the observer, which makes the observer the subject"


Where am "I" as opposed to "you"?  

Did you post here as a way to prompt your own thinking on this issue - as you are the only thing that exists and therefore anything we say MUST have come from your own mind .. 

Or are there really independent people who we can label "I" and "You" and "Him over there", and "Her over yonder"?

If there really is only the human observer, then who are you conversing with?  

And if there are other people, how does your epistemological approach prove that?  (hint: It can't). 

2016-09-27
Epistemology
Of course phenomenon might have more than what we can obtain from it. Color might have more to it than just an experience to us. But a color is a color, we do not perceive a color as a sound or any kind of energy.
It cannot be proved if the phenomenon itself in the physical world has the 'feeling' of color as we perceive it. So a cup is a collection of phenomenal qualities which we obtain through the senses. So a phenomenon is what we can perceive it as in quality. We cannot know if color, taste, etc are just illusions, or property of the observer or observed or an outcome of the communique between the observer and the observed.

2016-09-27
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
Hi Puja,
I was reading an earlier thread of yours and overcome by the idea of a phenomonology of the mind. I always saw the experiance of an object phenomenologically as Heidegger's 'dasein'. It may be seeing things in the spirit of Heidegger but it is very convincing when you undergo the subscribed experiance he prescribes.
 Perhaps to elaborate a philosophy like Kant takes a phenomenology of the mind-just a thought, I could be entirely wrong. I agree with you 'a thing in itself ' could mount to nothing. But as philosophers all the more reason for us to search and we may put it in context to our understanding. But I think ethics are more profound than 'meaning' and visual appearance when it could cover and influence many areas including psychology and religion. The 'thing in itself' could be an expression of the independence of the subject matter not relying or effected by anything else.
 As for senastion, it would be related to emotion and the trend is to revive the importance of emotion and I would think sensation is an inner form of knowledge, if you like to put it that way. For example emotion is very important in religeous experiance but in spiritual healing I thing it is a transferance of sensation from the healer to the subject taking in account the state of feeling in the subject.

2016-09-27
Epistemology
You cannot if your premises are old Kantian false dichotomy. 

2016-09-27
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni

> It cannot be proved if the phenomenon itself in the physical world has the 'feeling' of color as we perceive it.

Descartes in his study of visual system, rightly in my opinion, argues that our experience of color or any other property of the "physical" object in question is not in the object. The example he used was of a feather: when we have a sensation of feather on our skin it feels soft etc, but this is not the property of the feather but how our sensory system senses the data it receives - which is a complex cognitive task.

>We cannot know if color, taste, etc are just illusions, or property of the observer or observed or an outcome of the communique between the observer and the observed.

Here I would partly disagree as we can know, in fact we do know, how much of the perception is from the input our cognitive system and what is not - i.e. is the property of the sensory data. So we are beginning to understand how our perceptions are created and organized, by input of gestalt properties in case of visual system and the like.  

2016-09-27
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
If you deny validity of the senses you deny possibility of any knowledge whatsoever including that of your claim and your argument is self-refuting. Color is simply our way to perceive certain physical characteristics of reality. 

2016-10-03
Epistemology
Reply to Ian Stuart
The I is used to refer to the unique self, which is you in communication. The I or you is only in language. 

Communication is comparison between two selfs, each self with a similar or different perspective about an area of interest. 

2016-10-03
Epistemology
Is there color for a blind person?
What role has color for a blind person, is it reality?
Reality is what we can experience and be aware of.

2016-10-03
Epistemology
What do you mean? His work on Leibniz and the natural sciences? I mean his 3 Critiques mainly.

2016-10-03
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
Color is a result of interaction of consciousness and reality via perceptual mechanism. If one doesn't perceive reality it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Vision is an epistemological phenomenon and one can't treat it as metaphysical one. Nevertheless it faithfully shows what existence is. If you ask how surface molecular structure of tomatoes  looks like to unarmed human eye the answer is-it's looks red. 

2016-10-03
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
So reality is just visual to you?
I would say there can be more than one reality and different realities for different people, a blind person can have a reality. Through his other senses his imagination perhaps ESP visions etc.
But when you take phenomena, it is strictly our mental experiance of the material world. Of how we extent the mind in relation to the object a chair for example.
If you take a pagan religeon which focuses on a diety of an objective material nature say a statue you get a different phenomenal experience, that is a spiritual one. But the idea is the same phenomenal experienceis how the mind experiences the object in the material world.

2016-10-03
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
Kant never believed what you say and his philosophy has nothing to do with phenomena. Kant's philosophy is a priori rational and what he calls synthetic. Phenomenology is entirely empirical philosophy, yes I would agree to what you say about the senses and how they perceive the object but phenomena is more on the experience of the mind by the senses. Noumenal means the world in which we do not fully understand such concepts as God, immortality, freedom maybe love etc.but are drawn nearer to an understanding by morality. Phenomena has nothing to do with noumena which is the 'thing in itself' because it is not fully understood. Why would there need to be a communique, you just look at the object for the sense experience? Then you say something very interesting. But phenomena would for me come after the sensing your mind would experience the object, that experience of the mind would be phenomena, before you identify the object and also on identifying the object.  Memory along with mind is there all along. I like your interpretation of memory. But knowledge is not 'thing in itself'. 'Thing in itself' are noumena.

2016-10-03
Epistemology
No, there is one reality but different people perceive it differently. And the proof is that blind people live and function in the same world as those who can see. They use different mechanisms to perceive the same world. Another proof-we have no problem to communicate with blind people both on concrete bound and conceptual level. Your premises that perception creates reality is a variant of primacy of consciousness premise which involves inherent contradiction. Everyone who observed blind people know that they are living in the same world as the rest of us, eat the same food, breath the same air, wear the same clothes and use the same slightly modified computers. That means they perceive the same reality but by different means. 

2016-10-03
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
How do you know that I exist?  You have no direct sensation of me .. all you see are the words on the screen - which you don't acknowledge even exists. 
How do you know that other "unique selves" exist? 

2016-10-26
Epistemology
Reply to Ian Stuart
To know that you exist, a context must summon my inferring your presence. Similarly an object is viewed or is inferred to be existing 'only' when a context has a role for one or more qualities (Color, shape, sound, etc) of the object. The requisite quality of the object is the unique object. A red box, can be represented by just it's color or shape.

2016-10-28
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
The proposition A = P v Q, and  or P&Q identify subjectively existence of something/someone unseen by you, such as Ian or a red box? Although your claim is strong, if Ian was in front of you it would only be an objective experience of his existence. What you see objectively is contingent, there are factors like change, influx and semipermanence effecting Ian and the red box. It is not a preconception of the red box, but in this case you are inviting the imagination and therefore it is subjective, so I will give it to you.

2016-11-02
Epistemology
Reply to Pooja Soni
Dear Pooja, I think, perhaps erroneously, that our memory stores several classes of things related with perception of the world:( sensaciones, objects, concepts) organized in a hierarchical multilevel inerconnected fashion, working simultaneously in real-time mode, so it is dificult to separate the objects from sensaciones accompaning it's perception, as well as from the concept, which is simultaneously forming. This process involves a combined labor of intuitive and abstract reason (in Schopenhauer's terminology). Precisely, this is why, you are aware of the exisitence of Ian. You percive some letters in the screen (intuitive) They are signed by somone named Ian. The link between letters you are seeing and Ian is abstract, which sumed up to the perception of letters themseves makes you aware of Ian's exisitence. Sorry if i am wrong. I am neither phylosopher, nor neuroscientist, nor english- speaking.