Concepts and Percepts


tjohnson

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It is true that a person's own awareness is all he is going to get knowledge-wise. But he has to get knowledge of something. Otherwise it is not knowledge.

If I understand your position correctly, a person only gains knowledge of himself, since nothing exists independently from himself.

You misunderstand me. Our senses abstract from energies - we don't sense objects directly. These energies exist independent of us. You speak as though objects exist independently but I claim only energies exist and we manufacture, abstract, or integrate objects in our nervous systems.

GS:

Just verify this, when I am standing in the batter's box and a 93 mph fast ball is approaching, I am sensing the energies of the ball that my senses organize into the surface image that I am attempting to meet with my energy bat which I can sense through my hands?

Yes?

I am not being facetious here.

Adam

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Just verify this, when I am standing in the batter's box and a 93 mph fast ball is approaching, I am sensing the energies of the ball that my senses organize into the surface image that I am attempting to meet with my energy bat which I can sense through my hands?

Not so much the energies of the ball, but the energies of the photons that are reflected by the ball and cause reactions with molecules in the retina. The information carried by those photons is processed in the brain to obtain information about the changing position of the ball (allowing an indirect estimate of the kinetic energy of the ball). For us this goes so fast that we have the illusion of an immediate perception of the movement and the energy of the ball, but in fact it is a process with many intermediate steps.

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Thank you flying energy thing:

Thank you.

OK I can walk with that, but it sure does seem like a lot of work to rip a liner to right behind the runner on an outside fastball, lol.

Adam

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I also believe matter represents "organized" energy. But we do not detect matter directly, we detect energy. Energy is more fundamental than matter, you could say matter is merely a "solid phase" of energy. This kind of worldview is a paradigm shift from objects to processes.

Even so, many sources or bundles of energy exist outside our skin and independent of whether we detect it or not. Some of the photons we see now originated fourteen billion years ago. We were not around then.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Thank you flying energy thing:

Thank you.

OK I can walk with that, but it sure does seem like a lot of work to rip a liner to right behind the runner on an outside fastball, lol.

Adam

I know it seems trivial when you apply this to common everyday experiences. The same thing happens when you apply relativistic theory to situations where it is not necessary, like massive objects at low speeds. Korzybski's theory of orders of abstraction was intended to eliminate semantic difficulties that have impeded progress (especially in social sciences) which has lead to a wide gap between social science and physical science. When you attribute properties to objects which you have integrated in your brain to something outside your skin Korzybski calls this "confusing orders of abstraction" and it leads semantic maladjusment, arguments, wars, etc. This is why it is a theory of sanity as well.

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Even so, many sources or bundles of energy exist outside our skin and independent of whether we detect it or not. Some of the photons we see now originated fourteen billion years ago. We were not around then.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I agree.

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Folks:

I semi-apologize for my sarcasm, it is for my own selfish self amusement and it does attempt to make a point.

However, I have been an admirer of the Count since I was about 18 and first stumbled across him and I have used his semantic stratagems to resolve disputes for decades.

Adam

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Folks:

I semi-apologize for my sarcasm, it is for my own selfish self amusement and it does attempt to make a point.

However, I have been an admirer of the Count since I was about 18 and first stumbled across him and I have used his semantic stratagems to resolve disputes for decades.

Adam

I read The Count long before I read anything by Ayn Rand. I even made a General Semantics Dingle Dangle.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Yes, but I read Atlas at 13 or 14.

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I also believe matter represents "organized" energy. But we do not detect matter directly, we detect energy. Energy is more fundamental than matter, you could say matter is merely a "solid phase" of energy. This kind of worldview is a paradigm shift from objects to processes.

GS,

That's another improvement. (Now if we can only get to entities...)

But here is where we differ. We detect matter through energy, but that does not make energy more fundamental than matter. In my view of metaphysics, both matter and energy are part of the same entity (and both exist independently of any awareness of them). One does not exist separately from the other. In other words, the whole and the parts exist, not just the parts (the energy parts). Both form and content exist on the same level of cognitive importance.

In your stated view, only the parts (the energy parts) exist independently of perception. The whole only exists through abstraction. The energy content is separate from perception and the form is entirely invented in our brains.

In my view, both the parts (the energy parts) and the whole can be abstracted, but they both exist. (There is even the holon theory of how parts become wholes and I subscribe to that view.)

I object to insinuating that this is insanity. It is not insanity. Frankly, I do not find any path to sanity in the metaphysical claims of Korzybski (as stated by you). I do agree that abstraction has hierarchy, but that is not what I am discussing. That is epistemology and I am discussing metaphysics.

Here is a metaphysical "semantic" problem for you.

What organizes energy?

Michael

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Yes, but I read Atlas at 13 or 14.

I was 26 when I first read Rand.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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That's another improvement. (Now if we can only get to entities...)

But here is where we differ. We detect matter through energy, but that does not make energy more fundamental than matter. In my view of metaphysics, both matter and energy are part of the same entity (and both exist independently of any awareness of them). One does not exist separately from the other. In other words, the whole and the parts exist, not just the parts (the energy parts). Both form and content exist on the same level of cognitive importance.

In your stated view, only the parts (the energy parts) exist independently of perception. The whole only exists through abstraction. The energy content is separate from perception and the form is entirely invented in our brains.

In my view, both the parts (the energy parts) and the whole can be abstracted, but they both exist. (There is even the holon theory of how parts become wholes and I subscribe to that view.)

I object to insinuating that this is insanity. It is not insanity. Frankly, I do not find any path to sanity in the metaphysical claims of Korzybski (as stated by you). I do agree that abstraction has hierarchy, but that is not what I am discussing. That is epistemology and I am discussing metaphysics.

Here is a metaphysical "semantic" problem for you.

What organizes energy?

Michael

I accept Korzybski's view that the only content of knowledge is structural. When we investigate the structure of matter we find that it is ultimately composed of energy. This is not to say that matter, and so objects, have no structure, but it does mean that we we perceive is actually an integration of something deeper and less tangible - an abstraction. As to what organizes energy I guess you would have to look into quantum mechanics for the answer to that.

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GS,

That's from the bottom up. I also look from the top down.

There's the difference. My view of organization has both top and bottom.

Michael

Can you explain a bit what you mean by "top down"?

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GS,

That's about all I have been doing.

:)

Let's put it this way. There are forces that govern the joining of things into wholes, and there are forces that govern what the parts can and cannot do. Thus a whole cannot be constructed of parts that do not permit being joined in the manner the whole dictates, but the parts do not form wholes out of randomness or chaos, merely observing their own limitations.

Both are needed.

I suspect that gravity and similar forces (whatever that ends up meaning) have much to do with this. Also, I believe the human senses are not the pinnacle of all possible human evolution and there are parts of reality we do not sense very well (or maybe not at all). It is true and widely documented that different animals sense some things with much more precision than human beings do. This leads me to conclude that there is room for sensory improvement.

Michael

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