tjohnson

Existence exists?

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Maybe there is supernatural being who questions whether or not 'existence exists', does he exist?

This is a stolen concept. I did not say "maybe" and I did not say "supernatural being."

Let's take this to the personal level: You (GS) have to exist in order to question whether existence exits.

If you (GS) don't exist, you can't say anything, much less question something specific. That is where existence an axiomatic concept instead of an assumption.

I do agree that your "maybe" and your "supernatural being" are assumptions. I do not agree that your existence is an assumption, at least not so long as you post here. smile.gif

... there is only "to the best of our knowledge right now"

In relation to what? What determines best and worst? What standard do you use to make this measurement?

Thought I'd better start a new thread. After considering this some more it seems to me that the statement "existence exists" means existence is undefinable. So we must accept this term and move on but I cannot do this. Let me ask you this, do atoms exist? Do quarks exist? Do tachyons exist? All of a sudden 'exists' is not so cut and dried is it? No, this term 'exist' or 'existence' is way too vague to be axiomatic. In fact, what does this phrase even mean? It's almost as if you are defining 'existence' with the word 'exists' which amounts to saying nothing.

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Maybe there is supernatural being who questions whether or not 'existence exists', does he exist?

This is a stolen concept. I did not say "maybe" and I did not say "supernatural being."

Let's take this to the personal level: You (GS) have to exist in order to question whether existence exits.

If you (GS) don't exist, you can't say anything, much less question something specific. That is where existence an axiomatic concept instead of an assumption.

I do agree that your "maybe" and your "supernatural being" are assumptions. I do not agree that your existence is an assumption, at least not so long as you post here. smile.gif

... there is only "to the best of our knowledge right now"

In relation to what? What determines best and worst? What standard do you use to make this measurement?

Thought I'd better start a new thread. After considering this some more it seems to me that the statement "existence exists" means existence is undefinable. So we must accept this term and move on but I cannot do this. Let me ask you this, do atoms exist? Do quarks exist? Do tachyons exist? All of a sudden 'exists' is not so cut and dried is it? No, this term 'exist' or 'existence' is way too vague to be axiomatic. In fact, what does this phrase even mean? It's almost as if you are defining 'existence' with the word 'exists' which amounts to saying nothing.

It all comes down to this: Is there anything besides you? If so, something exists independent of your perceptions or even your being. I take "existence exists" to mean there is something besides myself and I am not imagining the entire world.

The interesting thing is that that solopsism cannot be logically disproved. One must assume there is something besides one's self that exists independently of one's self. Any so-called proof that solopsism is falses begs the questions of there being something else in the world besides one's self. Or that there is a world in which you and I are and there is also stuff in the world besides you and me. The truth of there existing other things besides that which one perceives or imagines is so obvious, yet it must be assumed since it cannot be proved with logic.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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It all comes down to this: Is there anything besides you? If so, something exists independent of your perceptions or even your being. I take "existence exists" to mean there is something besides myself and I am not imagining the entire world.

If so, then why not say "something exists"? To me, that makes more sense than "existence exists". Something may exist but there can't be any knowledge (verbal or non-verbal) of it without an observer.

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It all comes down to this: Is there anything besides you? If so, something exists independent of your perceptions or even your being. I take "existence exists" to mean there is something besides myself and I am not imagining the entire world.

If so, then why not say "something exists"? To me, that makes more sense than "existence exists". Something may exist but there can't be any knowledge (verbal or non-verbal) of it without an observer.

Knowing something exists and its independent being are two different matters. Something can exist without being known. When we discovered the planet Neptune it was clear that it exist before anyone had any idea it was there.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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When we discovered the planet Neptune it was clear that it exist before anyone had any idea it was there.

This is where we disagree. It is not clear to me that something exists when nobody has any knowledge of it. We can only assume it existed before. I guess my position is that existence and knowledge are inseparable. You can't have one without the other.

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In Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science by Sokal and Bricmont is the quip about a woman who said that she was a solipsist but was surprised not to have met anyone else who was also.

I just went through this, oddly enough, in a graduate class in criminology theory. These post-modernists showed that there is no objective knowledge of fact and then that there is no consistent logic, thus, knowledge of any kind is impossible. We have two books of such readings, with all of the "fashionable nonsense" revealed by Sokal and Bricmont. There is no knowledge, but only discourse. There is no science, only a scientistic narrative by oppressors who seize science for themselves. To understand crime we must understand edgework which is risk-taking explained by chaos theory as a strange attractor of periodicity two. Positivism is an artifact of capitalism.

Faced with that, it helps to come back to reality.

Do tachyons exist? If they are detectable, then they exist. Neptune was detected first by the perturbations of Uranus. Then, it was seen via telescope. Neptune existed before it was detected, but once detected, its existence was not questionable.

All of that is one discussion. Different than that is the semantic investigation. "Existence exists" can be interpreted to mean "existing exists" as well as "the universe exists." Both are true.

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After considering this some more it seems to me that the statement "existence exists" means existence is undefinable.

GS,

You are getting there. You still have a problem with accuracy. You define concepts. You do not define propositions.

Existence is the concept. Existence exists is a proposition.

To be more exact, existence is an axiomatic concept.; existence exists is a proposition using the axiomatic concept (an "axiomatic proposition" so to speak).

Rand defined existence in what she called an "ostensible" manner, by swinging her arm all around and saying, "I mean this."

Without that "this" she meant, which is the widest referent possible, you can't get to atoms, quarks, tachyons, etc.

But then you would have known that if you had read ITOE.

Michael

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Do tachyons exist? If they are detectable, then they exist.

So now existence means detection? What next, "detection exists"?

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Rand defined existence in what she called an "ostensible" manner, by swinging her arm all around and saying, "I mean this."

If someone swung their arm around and said "I mean this" to me I wouldn't have the faintest idea what they were talking about.

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If someone swung their arm around and said "I mean this" to me I wouldn't have the faintest idea what they were talking about.

GS,

I'm sorry. I made a presumption that you can see.

Are you blind?

People without sight experience reality with other senses, so the pointing has to be done in another manner.

Michael

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Thought I'd better start a new thread. After considering this some more it seems to me that the statement "existence exists" means existence is undefinable. So we must accept this term and move on but I cannot do this. Let me ask you this, do atoms exist? Do quarks exist? Do tachyons exist? All of a sudden 'exists' is not so cut and dried is it? No, this term 'exist' or 'existence' is way too vague to be axiomatic. In fact, what does this phrase even mean? It's almost as if you are defining 'existence' with the word 'exists' which amounts to saying nothing.

"Existence exists" is merely a statement that existence is not reducible to another, broader category the way, for instance, "My cat exists" is. It is axiomatic. "Exists" denotes the broadest category possible, the bathtub of reality. "Existence" is what fills that bathtub up. It is "cat" that is particularly defineable. We don't define "existence" so much as the various constituencies of it. We can certainly say "Existence is everything."

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede
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Rand defined existence in what she called an "ostensible" manner, by swinging her arm all around and saying, "I mean this."

If someone swung their arm around and said "I mean this" to me I wouldn't have the faintest idea what they were talking about.

Me either. There was a lot of pretend understanding in early Objectivism. There is a lot of that still around. Rand liked being dramatic.

--Brant

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Brant,

You seem to have had enough of that understanding on the battlefield to have survived.

Here's the more technical version. All concepts have referents. The most basic ones have referents that can be defined only by pointing and saying "that is what I am referring to."

This is not "pretend understanding."

Bullets exist.

Bullet is bullet.

:)

Michael

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Brant,

You seem to have had enough of that understanding on the battlefield to have survived.

Here's the more technical version. All concepts have referents. The most basic ones have referents that can be defined only by pointing and saying "that is what I am referring to."

This is not "pretend understanding."

Bullets exist.

Bullet is bullet.

:)

Michael

Yes, but merely sweeping your arm around like that does nothing much except short-circuit thinking.

--Brant

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When we discovered the planet Neptune it was clear that it exist before anyone had any idea it was there.

This is where we disagree. It is not clear to me that something exists when nobody has any knowledge of it. We can only assume it existed before. I guess my position is that existence and knowledge are inseparable. You can't have one without the other.

Bullshit! You are saying that the planet Neptune just spring into existence the moment we "discovered" it. That is equivalent to saying someone wished it into existence. And that is utter nonsense.

Long before there were sentient beings on this planet who could know the planet existed, the planet existed. Knowing and being are distinct matters.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Bullshit! You are saying that the planet Neptune just spring into existence the moment we "discovered" it.

No, I never said that, I said we assume it was always there - big difference.

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Bullshit! You are saying that the planet Neptune just spring into existence the moment we "discovered" it.

No, I never said that, I said we assume it was always there - big difference.

It either was there or it wasn't. Which?

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Yes, but merely sweeping your arm around like that does nothing much except short-circuit thinking.

Brant,

I disagree. It shows you where to look. Then you can see the concept's referent for yourself.

Michael

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It either was there or it wasn't. Which?

We have theories of how the solar system was formed and according to the theory planets don't just suddenly appear. But no matter how much you like the theory or how well it holds up to experiment it will always be a theory, just like evolution, for example. Is this so difficult to understand? When people act as if theories are absolute Truths then they confuse orders of abstraction ie. they delude themselves. The planet example is not a very good one to illustrate this, how about electrons? Are electrons real? Do they exist? Have you ever seen one? Of course not, yet they are perfectly good objects in physics and they even have properties ascribed to them and everything. Postulational (conceived) entities have a place in our knowledge but obviously they are different than intuitive (perceived) entities.

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GS

"...they even have properties ascribed to them and everything..."

See this is where I shake hands and call it a day because "they" posits an object that exists. Extant terms like "have properties" merely cements their measureability in "all this".

What is the benefit in the real world that we "exist" in to accept the premise of semanticists that we cannot know that it exists?

How does that help me chop down the tree that we will be removing this spring and keep it from falling the "wrong" way?

Adam

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What is the benefit in the real world that we "exist" in to accept the premise of semanticists that we cannot know that it exists?

That is not a premise of general semantics.The idea is to help people from confusing Truth and Theory. People can become dangerous when they think they know the Truth.

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Agreed.

They are just as dangerous when they become so confused by "semantics" that they give up trying to understand and seek truth because of the uncertainty created by "semantic confusion".

Or am I still not understanding your statement.

Adam

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Agreed.

They are just as dangerous when they become so confused by "semantics" that they give up trying to understand and seek truth because of the uncertainty created by "semantic confusion".

Or am I still not understanding your statement.

Adam

Yeah, that's the idea, immobilize them with confusion so they can't start a Holy War or a "war on drugs" or a "war on terrorism" , etc. :D

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Is Newton's Law of Addition of velocities True? Not according to special relativity. Someday there will be adjustments to SR and it will no longer be True. You see, Truth implies a static, unchanging, complete knowledge and such a thing does not exist.

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GS:

That is why defining terms is critical to highly rewarding debate.

Yes here it comes....

HOW DO YOU DEFINE TRUTH?

Adam

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