I liked the Richard’s, Clark’s and Jeff’s webs, so here is my continuation of the meme.
I might went to far with the linking to previous posts, but anyway it appears it is good way to give a better overview of my ideas to the reader, and can act as an index to what I have wrote about. So here we go…
Philosophy Grounded In Being-In-The-World and Abstractions
To my thinking, the philosophy has to take as starting point the being-in-the-world. We start philosophical thinking as a being-in-the-world – a whole which contains both the subject and the world, but not as some components from which being-in-the-world is constituted, but from which both subject and the world can be abstracted.
And, in general, any notion we have is an abstraction from this being-in-the-world. That our thinking is within this being-in-the-world, I argued in the post Closure of Phenomenal World.
On the very start of this blog, I wrote a series of posts, in which I tried to explain what I mean by Abstraction, and how it relates to Attention, Determining and the relations between Given and Attention, Given and Determining and Determining and Nothing, etc…
I take that what is called “universals” are abstractions which appear as intentional content of our intentional acts, and that particulars fall under abstractions when we are able to abstract the universal from the particular. I talked about the relation between the universals and particulars, and how the universals can’t be seen neither as some “construction” based on multiplicity of particulars, nor as something grounded in our minds, and not in the world (Kantian approach) in other series of posts… Defending Metaphysics 1, 2 and 3.
In connection to previous, I wrote about my belief that philosophy is about the comprehension of the relations between those abstractions, and that can’t be anything else in the post What I take to be the grounds of Philosophy.
I further argued that there is no need for justification of such comprehensions in the post Metaphysics Manifesto.
Words And Their Meanings
I spent a lot of posts on issues connected to words and their meanings. Basically, my belief is that the the original baptizer give can give name only to something that appears as content of his/her intentional acts, and the transcendence of the meanings of the words (there, I accept anti-psychologism of Frege and Husserl) is grounded in the transcendence of the intentional content.
I talked about the need for accepting the transcendence of intentional content in lot of posts, but I think the first one was Intra-Subjective vs. Inter-Subjective Transcendence, and I wrote about my beliefs that properly this transcendence can be grounded in being-in-the-world, in the posts Noticing The People Notice Things We Notice, Transcendence, Strawberries and Mindless Robots, Grounding the Inter-Subjective Transcendence, and Few Explanatory Notes on the previous post.
I believe that one of the most usual way of learning the words is the ostensive teaching, in which the learner of the words learns no just the word, but in which the crucial moment is the requirement from the learner to notice the thing (or universal) to which the teacher is pointing. I discussed those issues in more detail in Can Reports Of How Things Seem To Us Be False? and Look, and Ostensive Teaching
In connection to the problem of non-existents, in few posts I argued that it can be given proper account if we base the meaning of the words to the intentional content as it appears in different types of psychological acts. I gave sketch of such account of names in the post Intentional Account of Names. As how this account connects to the issue of existence, I wrote the posts Existence and Transcendence, Three Ways in Which a Name Can Refer To A Non-Existent, Does God Exists?, and in two posts I connected the issue of existence to more general Hegelian take on existence in The Balls That Didn’t Exist and Further Thoughts on Non-Existence, etc…
My stance toward the issues from philosophy of Mind is tightly connected to my general stance towards philosophy as given in the previous sections. Taking physical world as abstraction from being-in-the-world, where the physical world is abstracted in the terms of the notions of physics, I believe that physical picture is leaving behind (or abstract from) lot of things from this being-in-the-world, including but not limited to the being itself, the wholeness of our being in the world, intentionality, and in general all those qualities which don’t present themselves as easily quantifiable, and which are usually put under the term of ‘qualia’. In such way, my believes are incompatible with physicalism. I wrote about this in the posts Qualia as Metaphysical Issue, Holism, Reductionism and Consciousness, and also presented argument against a possibility for artificial neural networks to be conscious through Record/Replay thought experiment.
My believes are incompatible with dualism either, and to my thinking it is a failed response to physicalism. As one I believe that it wrongly reifies lot of categories, like that of consciousness, qualia, mind. I talked about that in some of the mentioned posts, but also in Is “Mind” Phenomenal or Theoretical Concept, and Phenomenal Fishiness.
Math is one of the places where I believe we can get a hold on our abstractions in very clear way, and that we can easily comprehend those relations. In connection to this, I tried to explain my grasp on the simple mathematical relation 1+1=2, in the post Familiar Faces, Gestalts and A Priori Truths. In connection to this, I also had another post Is 1+1=2 Intuited?, though I must say, I don’t really believe that the argument holds any strength, and even I do believe that 1+1=2 is intuited, the approach in the previously mentioned post is more to my liking, in inline with rest of my web of beliefs. Also I believe (in line with Hegel’s argument) that the number should be properly taken as a ratio (instead of aggregate), and that if we take it in such sense, we can easily comprehend the equations between two sides in which on the one of the sides some kind of “infinity” appears. I wrote about this in the posts – Comprehending 1=0.999… and Hegel and Infinite Series.
As I said, I believe that being-in-the-world as a starting whole in which any notion will appear as abstraction. In such way the being-in-the-world is not something that somehow exists in time, but as any other abstraction, time will be abstraction within that whole. I discussed this issue in the posts: Mental States vs. Stream of Consciousness, Time As Abstraction, Hegel, Change and Contradiction
Part Of My Web Of Beliefs That I Didn’t Blog About
I consider that it is just once that the most abstract is understood, that it is smart to move to less abstract things. And that’s why I have ignored lot of my beliefs that have to do with less-abstract things.
In such way, I did lot of posts connected to the most simple relations of words and their meanings, even though I don’t think that the language itself can be reduced to this relation. In my opinion the language as it is in our being-in-the-world, can’t be comprehended as notion properly without connecting it to its practice in the spirit of Wittgenstein and Austin, from which those clear-cut abstract relation between words and meanings must be seen just as a specific abstraction. I touched on this issue, that there is more to meaning of sentences then combination of meaning of words, in the post Wink, Wink – Do You Understand What I Mean?
In same way, when it comes to notions (or concepts), I ignored the less abstract notions and issues which appear with those less abstract (and which some might call “vague”) concepts, which to my current thinking are best addressed by theory theory of concepts to some extent, while full account it would seem might be impossible without comprehending concepts as part of the language as practice. Instead, I kept my attention just on very abstract notions (with a short excursion into those less abstract issues maybe in the post Are Hedgehogs small spiny animals?) , which present themselves as clearest to the mind, and whose relations among themselves (among those abstract concepts) are easiest to understand.
While talking a lot about holistic account of things, and arguing that physical notions are abstraction, I also didn’t get into more precise defining of the nature of those abstractions (physical), except few side-notes in the philosophy of math posts, and very short recent post Lifeless Laws.