LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby LeopardLetang on Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:01 am

so in concentrating on studying the true identity of a boat it's come to studying one's self. without youuu would anything be? to me nothing would be, i can confidently answer. does your perception change if you have kids?

but anyway, yeah. it's all a ball of particles, but if survival of some of those particles depends on consuming other particular particles, and the particles doing the consuming have an awareness of their need for particular particles, then they define certain particle combinations. so labels. without the labels, certain combinations of particles would still exist.

but the replacing the boat bit by bit idea is interesting. it's like a trick in human attachment. if someone steals my poptart and replaces it with the same flavor without my knowing, i still think it's my poptart. ownership is an idea here.

replacing the boat slowly allows people to allow the new parts to merge with the identity of the original item. i add a new seat to my chair, it's still my chair with a new seat. after a while, the whole thing is still my chair and i can replace the arms. i can tell the arms are new, but they're part of my chair, and soon i gain a relationship with the new arms and can add new legs. eventually, if it's all replaced in the end, one might realize in a smiling "aha" way that "hey" my chair doesn't have any of its original parts. a human, uh, some kind of -ism.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby LeopardLetang on Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:06 am

or -cy
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:18 am

Kraftster wrote: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.


I can understand that - as I mentioned intially, there is your perception of the boat... but there is also the boat. I don't think the characteristics of a thing depend upon our perception of them. An oak leaf has different characteristics from a rose petal, whether anyone ever perceives those differences or not.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Tico Rick on Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:50 am

Guinness wrote:
Kraftster wrote: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.


I can understand that - as I mentioned intially, there is your perception of the boat... but there is also the boat. I don't think the characteristics of a thing depend upon our perception of them. An oak leaf has different characteristics from a rose petal, whether anyone ever perceives those differences or not.


Yeah, just because no human is around to perceive the distinct characteristics of something doesn't mean the characteristics don't exist. And I'm sure a bee would tell the difference between an oak leaf and a rose petal. And I doubt the hawk who is about to swoop down on a rabbit gives a crap about the oneness of nature.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:10 am

Tico Rick wrote:
Guinness wrote:
Kraftster wrote: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.


I can understand that - as I mentioned intially, there is your perception of the boat... but there is also the boat. I don't think the characteristics of a thing depend upon our perception of them. An oak leaf has different characteristics from a rose petal, whether anyone ever perceives those differences or not.


Yeah, just because no human is around to perceive the distinct characteristics of something doesn't mean the characteristics don't exist. And I'm sure a bee would tell the difference between an oak leaf and a rose petal. And I doubt the hawk who is about to swoop down on a rabbit gives a crap about the oneness of nature.


Its about the "of something" part, though. We're designating that there is some thing, i.e. deciding that a leaf is a "something" -- an individual thing separate from the rest of the "ball of particles" (as LL aptly put it). Sure, I agree that if no human (or any other creature) was here to classify a leaf as a something if you looked at what it is that we refer to as the leaf, the particles/characteristics would be unchanged. The issue, I think, is that there is an infinitesimal number of ways to pick arbitrary groups of particles in the world.

Again, whether we're here or not, those arbitrary groups of particles will have the same characteristics, no doubt. The issue is whether there is something objectively true about the groups of particles we designate. Is a leaf a thing without us here to make the decision that it is worthy of being called a thing -- having its (in my mind arbitrary) group of particles carved out from the rest of the particles around it.

I realize all the 'thinging' going on in this post might make it difficult to read, but I think its important.

The question I am trying to ask is not whether a leaf is a leaf without us here -- that refers to a label. I think we all agree labels are arbitrary.

The question is, without us here, is it a thing at all? You guys seem to be suggesting that yes, it is. I am wondering, if it is in fact a thing without us here to carve it out of all the particles around it and say that it is something, what about it makes it so? What is it inside the leaf or about the leaf that makes it so? (Such that our assignment of labels to objects in the world is observing something objective about nature).
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:22 am

If the tree could think, it would recognize that the leaf, while a part of the whole tree and by extension a part of the entire ecosystem, is still a distinct "thing", because it performs a function, has a distinct shape, color, etc. Just as I recognize that my eye, while a part of me, is still a distinct "thing".

I get the arbitrary delineation angle, and it is true that, at the end of the day everything is all a part of a whole, but I think separate distinctions exist whether they are observed or not.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:17 am

Guinness wrote:If the tree could think, it would recognize that the leaf, while a part of the whole tree and by extension a part of the entire ecosystem, is still a distinct "thing", because it performs a function, has a distinct shape, color, etc. Just as I recognize that my eye, while a part of me, is still a distinct "thing".

I get the arbitrary delineation angle, and it is true that, at the end of the day everything is all a part of a whole, but I think separate distinctions exist whether they are observed or not.


Great. If I could push a little further, please indulge.

Oak tree leaf, Aspen tree leaf, Maple tree leaf. I would imagine that you would say that those are all "leaves" whether we're here to delineate or not. But what is it in those things that make them all things, all part of the same group of things. An Oak leaf is longer and more narrow than a maple leaf, different countours. An aspen leaf is an entirely different shape, different size. They are all slightly different colors. They all have slightly different makeup.

If, when we say "that is a leaf," we are observing something objective, something that is true of nature, i.e. "those are all leaves," what is it that makes them all leaves? They are all different by my eye, so, there must be some "leafness" that is in them whether we are here or not then, right? What is this leafness? Where is leafness? Is it in the leaves such that we can pull the leafness out and look at it on the table? If its not in there somewhere, does it exist at all? It must if all leaves are objectively part of the same group if "things."
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby columbia on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:30 am

Kraftster wrote:What is this leafness? Where is leafness? Is it in the leaves such that we can pull the leafness out and look at it on the table? If its not in there somewhere, does it exist at all? It must if all leaves are objectively part of the same group if "things."


The leafness is in its ability to carry our photosynthesis.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:32 am

columbia wrote:
Kraftster wrote:What is this leafness? Where is leafness? Is it in the leaves such that we can pull the leafness out and look at it on the table? If its not in there somewhere, does it exist at all? It must if all leaves are objectively part of the same group if "things."


The leafness is in its ability to carry our photosynthesis.


Grass does that. We don't call grass leaves.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby columbia on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:35 am

Kraftster wrote:
columbia wrote:
Kraftster wrote:What is this leafness? Where is leafness? Is it in the leaves such that we can pull the leafness out and look at it on the table? If its not in there somewhere, does it exist at all? It must if all leaves are objectively part of the same group if "things."


The leafness is in its ability to carry our photosynthesis.


Grass does that. We don't call grass leaves.


Have you ever mistaken a leaf for grass?
Or vice versa?
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:38 am

columbia wrote:
Kraftster wrote:
columbia wrote:
The leafness is in its ability to carry our photosynthesis.


Grass does that. We don't call grass leaves.


Have you ever mistaken a leaf for grass?
Or vice versa?


I believe the fact that I have not is only a result of what I've been taught.

Leafness must be something that is the same in all leaves, yet unique and distinguishable enough that it does not include other things, else we have not found leafness. At best we have found "plantness", and, trust me, we haven't found that either.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:39 am

Kraftster wrote:
columbia wrote:
Kraftster wrote:What is this leafness? Where is leafness? Is it in the leaves such that we can pull the leafness out and look at it on the table? If its not in there somewhere, does it exist at all? It must if all leaves are objectively part of the same group if "things."


The leafness is in its ability to carry our photosynthesis.


Grass does that. We don't call grass leaves.


An oak tree's leaf has leafness because it photosynthesizes sunlight for that particular tree, no? To that tree, each leaf - parts of it's whole - perform specific and essential functions.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:41 am

Kraftster wrote:I believe the fact that I have not is only a result of what I've been taught.


But at some point, no one knew what a leaf was, until that moment when someone came a long and recognized it's distinctive characteristics, which clearly existed before they were observed.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:42 am

I'm to blame for the boat becoming a leaf. What powers I have.

:)
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Gaucho on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:42 am

Function is the key - Ian MacKaye
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby columbia on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:43 am

Gaucho wrote:Function is the key - Ian MacKaye


Yeah...but does Spanish moss have Latin Roots?
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Gaucho on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:45 am

Spanish moss doesn't have any roots, of course. Tsk.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:48 am

Guinness wrote:
Kraftster wrote:
columbia wrote:The leafness is in its ability to carry our photosynthesis.


Grass does that. We don't call grass leaves.


An oak tree's leaf has leafness because it photosynthesizes sunlight for that particular tree, no? To that tree, each leaf - parts of it's whole - perform specific and essential functions.


Guinness wrote:I'm to blame for the boat becoming a leaf. What powers I have.

:)



Haha, I think it would actually be easier to go back to the boat. We can come back to leaves if need be.

Plug boats in where we have been talking about leaves. I want to look for boatness that is all in all boats such that they are the same type of "thing".

Where can I find boatness?
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:51 am

I switched to the tree because my mind kept saying, "a boat wouldn't exist without man!" ;)

Plato would say that you find boatness, the essence of "boat", outside of the cave, right? ;)
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:51 am

Guinness wrote:
Kraftster wrote:I believe the fact that I have not is only a result of what I've been taught.


But at some point, no one knew what a leaf was, until that moment when someone came a long and recognized it's distinctive characteristics, which clearly existed before they were observed.


For me, the "its" is the most important part of what you are saying. I'm saying in a vacuum there might not be an it that exists separate and apart to be able to talk about its characteristics. If there is an it, it is the one instantiation of that it in the world and there are no other things that can be the same as the it. There are things that might be similar, and it is certainly useful for us to group similar things, else we'd walk around talking about thing 1 through thing 999999999999. That doesn't mean they actually share any sort of objective sameness.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:52 am

Guinness wrote:I switched to the tree because my mind kept saying, "a boat wouldn't exist without man!" ;)

Plato would say that you find boatness, the essence of "boat", outside of the cave, right? ;)


Hah, more or less he would, yes. He is one of those wackos that think that universals ('-ness'es) exist.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Guinness on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:54 am

Kraftster wrote:For me, the "its" is the most important part of what you are saying. I'm saying in a vacuum there might not be an it that exists separate and apart to be able to talk about its characteristics. If there is an it, it is the one instantiation of that it in the world and there are no other things that can be the same as the it. There are things that might be similar, and it is certainly useful for us to group similar things, else we'd walk around talking about thing 1 through thing 999999999999. That doesn't mean they actually share any sort of objective sameness.


I think I get what you're saying - "no two snowflakes are the same", so what is a "snowflake", then?
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:55 am

Guinness wrote:
Kraftster wrote:For me, the "its" is the most important part of what you are saying. I'm saying in a vacuum there might not be an it that exists separate and apart to be able to talk about its characteristics. If there is an it, it is the one instantiation of that it in the world and there are no other things that can be the same as the it. There are things that might be similar, and it is certainly useful for us to group similar things, else we'd walk around talking about thing 1 through thing 999999999999. That doesn't mean they actually share any sort of objective sameness.


I think I get what you're saying - "no two snowflakes are the same", so what is a "snowflake", then?


Well, you certainly made the point a lot more simply than I did. That is precisely it.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby columbia on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:56 am

Guinness wrote:
Kraftster wrote:For me, the "its" is the most important part of what you are saying. I'm saying in a vacuum there might not be an it that exists separate and apart to be able to talk about its characteristics. If there is an it, it is the one instantiation of that it in the world and there are no other things that can be the same as the it. There are things that might be similar, and it is certainly useful for us to group similar things, else we'd walk around talking about thing 1 through thing 999999999999. That doesn't mean they actually share any sort of objective sameness.


I think I get what you're saying - "no two snowflakes are the same", so what is a "snowflake", then?


Expand that.
No two humans are the same, but through genetic analysis one can determine that we are not, in fact, guerrillas.
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Re: LGP Philosophy Discussion Thread

Postby Kraftster on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:58 am

columbia wrote:
Guinness wrote:
Kraftster wrote:For me, the "its" is the most important part of what you are saying. I'm saying in a vacuum there might not be an it that exists separate and apart to be able to talk about its characteristics. If there is an it, it is the one instantiation of that it in the world and there are no other things that can be the same as the it. There are things that might be similar, and it is certainly useful for us to group similar things, else we'd walk around talking about thing 1 through thing 999999999999. That doesn't mean they actually share any sort of objective sameness.


I think I get what you're saying - "no two snowflakes are the same", so what is a "snowflake", then?


Expand that.
No two humans are the same, but through genetic analysis one can determine that we are not, in fact, guerrillas.


It gets hard to deal with complex stuff like bodies and leaves because I don't have the technical knowledge to explain it, though I'm confident one who does could explain our classification away or so that it is lacking -ness just like anything else (boats, leaves).

But to your point. What is human? 23 pairs of chromosomes? What about a person with cri-du-chat?
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