LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:38 pm

Letang Is The Truth wrote:
Kraftster wrote:
Gaucho wrote:
So do "things" have identity outside of the labels we assign to them?


what is an identity? i have a lapel pin sitting in front of me. i know its a lapel pin because thats what ive been told. if someone told me it was a cell phone when i was little and everyone called it that it would be a cell phone but it would still serve the same purpose. like someone mentioned the naming conventions we use are out of convenience to make communication, business, life easier


Well, I don't think there is a universally accepted definition of what identity is in this context. But, why don't we try by sort of asking something to the effect of "If we (humans) weren't here, would, say, the desk in my office have a distinct identity than the same desk (as built by the same furniture company) in a different office down the hall?" What about my chair? If we're not here to assign it one, does it have a distinct identity from other chairs like it?
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:25 pm

And for that matter, does the chair exist at all as an entity in and of itself? If we're not here to categorize a chair as a chair, why should the chair even be seen as a distinct object than the floor that it is sitting on? Or why should an individual tree, which has roots connected to the earth be seen as something distinct from the entire forest as whole? The entire continent that the tree is on? The entire earth?
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:40 pm

There is the boat, and then there is your perception of the boat.

Gaucho observed that all things are in a state of constant change. I agree, but one's perception of a thing may or may not remain static.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby columbia on Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:42 pm

Guinness wrote:There is the boat, and then there is your perception of the boat.


My mind stating going off on the observer effect, but that's an entirely different thread.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:52 pm

Guinness wrote:There is the boat, and then there is your perception of the boat.

Gaucho observed that all things are in a state of constant change. I agree, but one's perception of a thing may or may not remain static.


But is there "the boat" without your perception of the boat?
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kaizer on Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:58 pm

If Mike Richards says "lets go boys" but nobody is around to hear it, is it still great leadership?
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:04 pm

Kraftster wrote:But is there "the boat" without your perception of the boat?


There is. There is an oak tree, even without humans defining it as, "an oak". It has all the characteristics that we identify with that species. And if it falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, it does make a noise. ;)
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:05 pm

Kaizer wrote:If Mike Richards says "lets go boys" but nobody is around to hear it, is it still great leadership?


:lol: :thumb: Pee-air says, 'yes'.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Gabe on Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:00 pm

Letang Is The Truth wrote:my dad once said the two best days of your life are the day you buy your boat and the day you sell your boat


I had a teacher in school once give us the following advice
"Don't buy a boat in the dark from a friend"

Of course he had a story behind that adage based on his own experience.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby PensFanInDC on Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:30 pm

Image
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Tico Rick on Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:50 pm

Guinness wrote:
Kraftster wrote:But is there "the boat" without your perception of the boat?


There is. There is an oak tree, even without humans defining it as, "an oak". It has all the characteristics that we identify with that species. And if it falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, it does make a noise. ;)


Categorizing is always relational to the observer, and involves listing characteristics that are important to the observer. If there were no humans there would not necessarily be any entities that would distinguish an oak tree from any other type of tree. A beaver could distinguish between trees and shrubs, and probably distinguish between hardwood and softwood trees, but would a beaver distinguish between a black oak and a pin oak tree?
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Tico Rick on Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:56 pm

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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:06 pm

Tico Rick wrote:Categorizing is always relational to the observer, and involves listing characteristics that are important to the observer. If there were no humans there would not necessarily be any entities that would distinguish an oak tree from any other type of tree. A beaver could distinguish between trees and shrubs, and probably distinguish between hardwood and softwood trees, but would a beaver distinguish between a black oak and a pin oak tree?


Of course there wouldn't be any distinguishing between an oak and some other species of tree; nonetheless, the oak would be. What exists is what is, regardless of how IT is perceived by other beings; of course, this doesn't negate the perception of the individual.

PS - brilliant YouTube! :)
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:07 pm

Tico Rick wrote:
Guinness wrote:
Kraftster wrote:But is there "the boat" without your perception of the boat?


There is. There is an oak tree, even without humans defining it as, "an oak". It has all the characteristics that we identify with that species. And if it falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, it does make a noise. ;)


Categorizing is always relational to the observer, and involves listing characteristics that are important to the observer. If there were no humans there would not necessarily be any entities that would distinguish an oak tree from any other type of tree. A beaver could distinguish between trees and shrubs, and probably distinguish between hardwood and softwood trees, but would a beaver distinguish between a black oak and a pin oak tree?


Indeed. I do agree that its all quite arbitrary. Language, I think, is totally arbitrary. We recognize similarity and out of convenience we label similar things the same (and its quite amazing, the human capacity for language). What's important is, I do not think that we recognize 'identicalness' because I don't believe that it exists. There is no "oakness" in all oak trees. I love the discussion of the issue of "universals" and whether they exist. I have to figure out a good way to delve into that topic.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:11 pm

Kraftster wrote:Indeed. I do agree that its all quite arbitrary. Language, I think, is totally arbitrary. We recognize similarity and out of convenience we label similar things the same (and its quite amazing, the human capacity for language). What's important is, I do not think that we recognize 'identicalness' because I don't believe that it exists. There is no "oakness" in all oak trees. I love the discussion of the issue of "universals" and whether they exist. I have to figure out a good way to delve into that topic.


Careful now, I've had a few cocktails...

We recognize similarity and disimilarity because of the likeness and uniqueness of any two or more given entities. Those distinctions/similarities do not exist because of our perception; rather, we perceive the distinctions/similarities. Thus, our perception.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Tico Rick on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:18 pm

I wouldn't call language totally arbitrary. I have heard that Eskimos have something like 49 words for snow. Clearly, they see distinctions which we do not. And they have good reason to.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:34 pm

Tico Rick wrote:I wouldn't call language totally arbitrary. I have heard that Eskimos have something like 49 words for snow. Clearly, they see distinctions which we do not. And they have good reason to.


I thought it was quite many more than 49 words, but your comment is appreciated. We recognize distinction; we don't create it.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:35 pm

Tico Rick wrote:I wouldn't call language totally arbitrary. I have heard that Eskimos have something like 49 words for snow. Clearly, they see distinctions which we do not. And they have good reason to.


I think that really drives home how arbitrary it is. How can we have five words for something that the Eskimos have 50 words for? Because it suits us just fine. We probably have other words where we have several words for something they might have one word for (or maybe none at all). Why not group trees by the content of soil that they are growing in rather than what we refer to as "type" of tree? Without our perception, why wouldn't Pennsyvlania, the US, Earth, the universe be one big collection of particles?
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:46 pm

Kraftster wrote:I think that really drives home how arbitrary it is. How can we have five words for something that the Eskimos have 50 words for? Because it suits us just fine. We probably have other words where we have several words for something they might have one word for (or maybe none at all). Why not group trees by the content of soil that they are growing in rather than what we refer to as "type" of tree? Without our perception, why wouldn't Pennsyvlania, the US, Earth, the universe be one big collection of particles?


That's just the point though, isn't it? There's an infinite number of ways to define some thing according to our perception, yet that does not change the reality of that thing. An oak tree has certain characteristics which we perceive, and undoubtedly some which we do not, yet it is distinct based upon it's own existence. There's no question to me that even within that species which we humans identify as "oak trees" a seemingly infinite number of distinct individuals... oaks, to an extent; unique in their own right.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby pittsports87 on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:47 pm

Benny Fitz wrote:
pittsports87 wrote:Sociology > Philosophy


but would you have sociology without philosophy?

I dunno. I never took a philosophy class (heck, I'm only halfway through my first semester of sociology)
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:51 pm

pittsports87 wrote:I dunno. I never took a philosophy class (heck, I'm only halfway through my first semester of sociology)


Do yourself a favor: drop it.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Shyster on Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:05 pm

Guinness wrote:That's just the point though, isn't it? There's an infinite number of ways to define some thing according to our perception, yet that does not change the reality of that thing. An oak tree has certain characteristics which we perceive, and undoubtedly some which we do not, yet it is distinct based upon it's own existence. There's no question to me that even within that species which we humans identify as "oak trees" a seemingly infinite number of distinct individuals... oaks, to an extent; unique in their own right.

I think you can boil that down to "A is A." :wink:
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby pittsports87 on Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:07 pm

Guinness wrote:
pittsports87 wrote:I dunno. I never took a philosophy class (heck, I'm only halfway through my first semester of sociology)


Do yourself a favor: drop it.

No because I am pretty sure my teacher is shaf with all of his Obama hate.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:08 pm

Shyster wrote:I think you can boil that down to "A is A." :wink:


:thumb: Hadn't thought of it that way - philosophy is not a strong area of study - but, spot on.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:28 pm

Guinness wrote:
Kraftster wrote:I think that really drives home how arbitrary it is. How can we have five words for something that the Eskimos have 50 words for? Because it suits us just fine. We probably have other words where we have several words for something they might have one word for (or maybe none at all). Why not group trees by the content of soil that they are growing in rather than what we refer to as "type" of tree? Without our perception, why wouldn't Pennsyvlania, the US, Earth, the universe be one big collection of particles?


That's just the point though, isn't it? There's an infinite number of ways to define some thing according to our perception, yet that does not change the reality of that thing. An oak tree has certain characteristics which we perceive, and undoubtedly some which we do not, yet it is distinct based upon it's own existence. There's no question to me that even within that species which we humans identify as "oak trees" a seemingly infinite number of distinct individuals... oaks, to an extent; unique in their own right.


Well, I think what some argue is that without us, there is no "thing" that exists because the line between one thing and the next is arbitrarily drawn -- no one to draw the line = no thing to continue to have the characteristics you mentioned. There is sort of one "nature" that is all "things" without us to inject the concept of oneness into the world.
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