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Switch to Forum Live View The vacuity of materialism
3 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2011 - 3:31PM #201
mindis1
Posts: 7,578

Nov 3, 2011 -- 7:51PM, Blü wrote:


mindis


Other than the fact that the falsifiable thesis of materialism was falsified long ago


Only according to your strawman definition of materialism.



False.




no one is able to conclude Smart’s (or Faustus’) vacuous thesis of materialism in a logical argument.


You haven't laid a glove on it.



Obviously it remains true that no one is able to conclude Smart’s (or Faustus’) vacuous thesis of materialism in a logical argument.  



Be sure to see the thread about the day naive realism died.


You tell us you know what the Smart / Armstrong definition of materialism means.  


I did in the OP.  It means nothing.  It's vacuous anti-scientific nonsense.

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2011 - 8:42PM #202
Blü
Posts: 24,830

mindis


It's vacuous anti-scientific nonsense.


You keep saying that but nothing more.  You haven't been able to put the slightest scratch on it.   And you can scarcely call it anti-scientific when it gives such priority to scientific method.  

If you want vacuity, anti-science and nonsense, try maths Platonism.  I take it you agree, since you dare not offer any public defense of it.  Yet all you need to do is to show us the abstraction 'two' with objective existence - and to discover where you left your concepts.

Meanwhile, Faustus and I have separately told you how to falsify Smart/Armstrong materialism.

The reason you haven't done so is because you can't.

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 06, 2011 - 5:25PM #203
Faustus5
Posts: 2,022

Oct 31, 2011 -- 4:23PM, mindis1 wrote:

I understand that both you and Blu have shown that you are unable to formulate a logical argument that concludes your metaphysical thesis.


What we have shown is that it is not a requirement that we do any such thing, and like a broken toy, you just keep ignoring this and mindlessly repeat requests for what we happily insist was never required in the first place.


An ontology is an assumption. If it is a good assumption, then whatever practices follow from its truth will be effective. If it is a bad assumption, then whatever practices follow from its truth will be ineffective. One need not formulate a logical argument that concludes an ontology.


Oct 31, 2011 -- 4:23PM, mindis1 wrote:

Anyway, I’ll just repeat, and you let us know when or if you ever get it:  Obviously a hypothesis that includes unspecified “entities” cannot be falsified.


You have no idea what you are talking about. The unspecified nature of the entities, forces, and processes postulated by an un-yet conceived of physics is a deliberate and necessary attempt to force materialism to change as science changes.


If you have trouble with this, that is your problem, not ours.


Oct 31, 2011 -- 4:23PM, mindis1 wrote:

The thesis stated by Smart (and you) as “materialism” is as falsifiable as this statement: “There is nothing else in this sealed box other than objects that no one has ever specified.” Tell us how that hypothesis is falsifiable.


Watching your struggle with this stuff is so cute.


Naturally, since you don’t have a clue what the Smart/Armstrong version of materialism is actually saying, you didn’t have a clue how to express it correctly.


If you did understand it, your formulation would have gone something like this:


In principle, there is nothing inside of this box other than what we can find using the tools of science.


The part about the box being sealed: bogus nonsense. The part about “objects no one has specified” was also bogus nonsense.


Materialism becomes falsified when you or someone else can identify a natural phenomenon that:


a] is indisputably real; yet


b] cannot be explained, even in principle, by any of the tools of science.



Oct 31, 2011 -- 4:23PM, mindis1 wrote:

False. Obviously you are not familiar with the concept of falsifiability.


False—obviously, YOU are not familiar with the concept of falsifiability, since I gave you precisely the conditions that would falsify materialism.  Were those conditions too hard for you to understand? Should I break things down in to smaller parts you can wrap your mind around?


Oct 31, 2011 -- 4:23PM, mindis1 wrote:

[1] No thesis of “materialism” has been stated on this thread that includes the terms “natural phenomenon,” “indisputably real,” “explained,” or “the tools of science,” and naturally you haven’t defined any of these terms.


Well, first of all, this definition game you like to play is simply the sort of thing amateurs who can’t or won’t think seriously about issues engage in.  It makes you look hopelessly childish—please grow up. If you don’t know what these terms mean, then you are beyond help.


You see, understanding why I would have introduced the terms I did in my explanation of how materialism could be falsified comes from having a nuanced and experienced view of the debates surrounding this issue. Since obviously such experience and nuance are currently beyond you, once again, I will hold your hand for you.


“Natural phenomena”: this was introduced to forestall cheesy attempts to thwart my falsifiability condition by appealing to arguments of the form “Well, poetry is real and can’t be explained by science, so materialism is therefore falsified”.


Poetry and other phenomena of culture (economics, politics) are so many levels of explanation away from physics and the other sciences that it would be a silly kind of scientism to expect them to be directly reducible to them. If one thought the exercise would be fruitful, I imagine one could map out the scaffolding that gets you from physics to chemistry to biochemistry to biology to neuroscience to various kinds of group behavior.


I don’t think any but a small fraction of those steps would involve reductionistic moves, but anyway, what’s why the falsifiability condition is restricted to natural phenomena far removed from culture.


“Indisputably real” was introduced to disallow controversial claims from being offered. For instance, some philosophers think consciousness involves something they call “qualia” and that qualia cannot be explained by any known science, so therefore materialism is in trouble.


It certainly would be in trouble if the existence of qualia had been clearly established, but alas, philosophers are divided over whether the concept is even coherent, let alone that qualia exist.


But if you wanted to falsify materialism, currently the existence of qualia are your best bet. In fact, I would say that arguments surrounding the existence of qualia and their alleged resistance to scientific explanation are the only game in town that provides any hope for falsifying materialism. It just hasn’t succeeded yet. But in the literature within the field, you have a ready-made attempt to falsify materialism.


“Tools of science” is a term I introduced to open the possibility that the failure of materialism to explain some indisputably real phenomena could happen in a field outside of physics, and also out of the recognition that what “tools” are available to the sciences changes over time.


(I know this open ended stuff just confuses you, but that’s your problem, not mine.)


All of these additions are just sensible consequences of the assumption materialism makes that the only forces, entities, and processes in the universe are those discoverable in principle by physics, or disciplines which rest upon the findings of physics. Again, if this confuses you, it’s your problem, not mine.


Oct 31, 2011 -- 4:23PM, mindis1 wrote:

Your vacuous version of the thesis of materialism was dealt with in post #9.


And your pathetic attempts to attack what you do not understand were dealt with in subsequent posts by Blu, myself, and others.


Oct 31, 2011 -- 4:23PM, mindis1 wrote:

You haven’t identified any methodology by which to test Smart’s (or any other) thesis of materialism. To test a falsifiable hypothesis, one must first be able to state both the null and alternative hypotheses.


Only if the hypothesis is a specific scientific hypothesis. Ontologies are nothing of the sort. Sorry if you don’t understand this. It isn’t my problem, it is yours.


Oct 31, 2011 -- 4:23PM, mindis1 wrote:

Equally ironic and self-contradictory is your claim now that the thesis of materialism is falsifiable, whereas earlier you claimed that the “denial” of materialism cannot be concluded in a logical argument.


I still insist that materialism’s denial cannot come from an argument constructed only from logic alone. There has to be an empirical component.  Sorry if you don’t understand this. It isn’t my problem, it is yours.

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 10, 2011 - 2:23PM #204
mindis1
Posts: 7,578

Nov 4, 2011 -- 8:42PM, Blü wrote:


mindis


It's vacuous anti-scientific nonsense.


You keep saying that but nothing more.  



There’s no need to say more about vacuous anti-scientific nonsense--other than perhaps to explain why it is vacuous anti-scientific nonsense to those who haven’t understood this fact. This explanation is in the OP, etc.

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 10, 2011 - 2:25PM #205
mindis1
Posts: 7,578

Nov 6, 2011 -- 5:25PM, Faustus5 wrote:


Oct 31, 2011 -- 4:23PM, mindis1 wrote:

I understand that both you and Blu have shown that you are unable to formulate a logical argument that concludes your metaphysical thesis.


What we have shown is that it is not a requirement that we do any such thing



So, do all the rinky-dink religions other than “materialism” get to skip over the logic crap when asserting their claims? Or is it only people committed to the rinky-dink religion of materialism who get a pass on logic?


Obviously no one claims that there is “no requirement” to logically argue for the metaphysical thesis s/he espouses when that thesis can be concluded in a logical argument.


So, what you are apparently acknowledging above is that what you call “materialism” is inherently illogical, cannot be argued for. Dat right?


We are in agreement!

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 10, 2011 - 9:08PM #206
Blü
Posts: 24,830


mindis


There’s no need to say more about vacuous anti-scientific nonsense


Explain to us why, if the abstraction 'two' has objective existence as you and ncg say, you can't show it to us.


After all, it's about time you faced up to the problems with your own position, which illuminate your problems with materialism.


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3 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2011 - 10:12AM #207
mindis1
Posts: 7,578

Nov 10, 2011 -- 9:08PM, Blü wrote:



mindis


There’s no need to say more about vacuous anti-scientific nonsense


Explain to us why, if the abstraction 'two' has objective existence as you and ncg say, you can't show it to us.



Why? Will that help you figure out anything about the vacuity or falsity of “materialism”?


You haven’t given us any logical reason to assume the naïve realism implied by your question, by which numbers should have spatiotemporal locations.


I have said, and demonstrated, that I can defend my claims, in contrast to your repeated failures to defend your claims.


You even blatantly contradict your own claims about numbers in the same paragraph:


#184:


"Concepts have objective existence . . . Why should numbers be the exception? And if they're the exception and have objective reality, why don't you show us . . ."


So do numbers “have objective existence” or not, according to your own rinky-dink naïve realist criterion? If so, then use your own naïve realist criterion and “show them to us”. Show us the spatiotemporal locations of each of the uncountably infinite reals. Short of that, you have obviously failed to defend your naïve realist idea that numbers are objects that have spatiotemporal locations.


Blu, you (and Faustus) have the “good old-fashioned religion” down pat. You just don’t have a coherent idea behind it. That’s why both of you are stating one claim then nearly immediately contradicting what you’ve just said.  


Your rinky-dink religion seems to be leading you away from logic. That’s the wrong direction.

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2011 - 5:10PM #208
Blü
Posts: 24,830

mindis


Why? Will that help you figure out anything about the vacuity or falsity of “materialism”?


Very much so - it will refute Smart/Armstrong materialism on the spot, as Faustus and I have each told you many times.

So why don't you?


"Concepts have objective existence . . . Why should numbers be the exception? And if they're the exception and have objective reality, why don't you show us . . ."


Dear oh dear - you're as bad as a creationist when it comes to distorting quotes by omission.  Do you really truly not understand what I said?  The omission is so convenient to you that I suspect you do understand - in which case your omission is dishonest.

I said (with the part you omitted in bold) -


Concepts have objective existence as brain states and processes.


which is true.


The subjective experience of those concepts involves things that don't have objective referents eg 'a chair' as distinct from 'this chair'.


So I distinguish between the concept and the subjective experience of the contents of a concept.  That's why you can think about unicorns, even though they don't exist; about 'a chair' even though in reality there's only 'this chair' and 'that chair' and 'the other chair'.

Now do you get it?

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2011 - 6:25PM #209
Faustus5
Posts: 2,022

Nov 10, 2011 -- 2:25PM, mindis1 wrote:

So, do all the rinky-dink religions other than “materialism” get to skip over the logic crap when asserting their claims? Or is it only people committed to the rinky-dink religion of materialism who get a pass on logic?


Get back to us when you can cite an observation that is inconsistent with the assumption of materialism. That’s where logic enters the picture.


Nov 10, 2011 -- 2:25PM, mindis1 wrote:

Obviously no one claims that there is “no requirement” to logically argue for the metaphysical thesis s/he espouses when that thesis can be concluded in a logical argument.


An ontology like materialism is an assumption. The only logical reason one would have for thinking it is a correct assumption is if the behavior it suggests is profitable in some sense.


The behavior that materialism suggests is to investigate the natural world as if everything real is restricted to what physics describes, or what can be built up from what physics describes. If you encounter something you can’t seem to explain satisfactorily, you don’t give up and attribute it to something “beyond science” like a soul or “god did it”. You just try harder.


Nov 10, 2011 -- 2:25PM, mindis1 wrote:

So, what you are apparently acknowledging above is that what you call “materialism” is inherently illogical, cannot be argued for. Dat right?


I’m afraid that since you haven’t a clue what Blu and I and the other materialists in the world actually believe, this hallucination is all you will ever be able to settle for

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