Heidegger

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lem
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Jan 18 2007 21:42

confused e.g. you say that we are "directly" (I assume, as you reject that we only experience how things seem) aware of what objects really are, but that all awareness is mediated by interpretation.

lem
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Jan 18 2007 22:16
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I'm not sure what Merleau-Ponty means by "passive".

Going through my notes he means that all perecption is interpreted - so new realism is false.

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Jan 18 2007 22:22

Perception is direct in the sense that there is no inference, and it is not in virtue of being aware of something else that I see this tree. Interpretation doesn't imply indirectness. Interpretation also doesn't imply anti-realism. If I see the cat's white fur, this is an awareness of the cat's fur being white that isn't based on or derived from an awareness of something else, such as "appearances" or sense data.

t.

lem
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Jan 18 2007 23:42
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the "objects" of sensory experience, what we experience visually etc., are external physical states.

I don't quite see this. You think that blueness is an objective property, that an object in-itself can be (in part) blueness (not just "blue")?

If what we experience is identical to what the thing is in-itself (I am less sure that you are saying THIS), then what does interpretation do?

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Jan 18 2007 23:52

Colors, in my view, are surface light reflectances. This is a surface (or volume) property that derives from the molecular structure. I think we need to assume this in order to explain why we have color vision. What is the evolutionary point? Suppose you're a chimp in the rain forest. It's very useful to you if the yellow of a ripe banana stands out from the green background foliage. When a banana ripens, its surface chemical composition changes, and you get a different light reflectance.

It's thought that the colors of fruits and flowers co-evolved with animals. That's because bees have color vision, and the color of the flowers is an indication to them of the availability of nectar. The plants need the bees, or other insects, in order to be pollinated, so it is to the survival advantage of the plants to generate colorful flowers, to attract the insects, and it is a survival advantage to bees, which in fact have color vision, to be able to see these colors.

We sometimes only see a property in virtue of having certain cognitive dispositions. Our brains can be "calibrated" (via learning) to pick up, or locate, features we might otherwise miss.

t.

lem
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Jan 19 2007 00:03

Ahh - so interpretation in terms of orientation (but other than that part of blueness is a part of an object)?

If I do not ask, I will not learn grin

lem
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Jan 19 2007 00:11

But for something to be interpreted it must be meaningful, and things are not meaningful in themselves.

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Jan 19 2007 00:13

Let's say you see the thing there as a leaf. That is interpretation. You may just see it as a leaf without any conscious inference or apparent mediation. You're picking up directly its being a leaf, because you, through your life learning, have become calibrated to see these objects. It's psychologically direct, but you couldn't see it as a leaf without certain cognitive dispositions or capacities you have. Just as you immediately understand what someone says to you when they speak to you in English. You interpret the sounds as conveying a meaning. But you don't have to think about it. You see immediately what they are saying.

t.

lem
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Jan 19 2007 03:10

So you mean by 'direct' that perception seems to be unmediated by concepts?

I'm still unsure if you think that an object in-itself can be in part, blueness (this would be new realism?)?

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Jan 19 2007 03:42

I don't know what you mean by "mediated by concepts." Perception is a cognitive process, it involves the use of concepts. The word "leaf", when you hear it, evoks a concept. You exercise this concept when you look at trees.
Again, I don't know what you mean by "an object in itself".

t.

lem
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Jan 19 2007 11:50

The object as it would be if it were unperceived (well, more or less).

I wil repeat my earlier questions: you mean by 'direct' that it is unmediated by any conscious processes - that it seems to the perceiver to be unmediated?

Can the object in-itself be in part blueness (is this new realism?)?

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Jan 19 2007 18:06

Why would the object be different if unperceived? Visually perceiving the object doesn't change the object itself. The surfaces reflect light. If I happen to be around the "collect" light refracted from its surfaces, I may see it, and thus "capture" information about it, such as its distance from me, its color, its shape.

I don't know what you mean by "mediated by conscious processes." If I see something that I am familiar with, like leaves, the concept leaf is activated and my awareness of it as a leaf is part of that percept. But it's not the case that i am aware of the leaf only in virtue of being aware of something else; i make no conscious inference about it being a leaf, its being a leaf is psychologically direct to me. This is part of the phenomenology of perceiving the leaf. That it *is* a percept of a leaf depends on the leaf actually being there. If it's a hallucination then it only seemed to me to be a percept of a leaf.

I don't know what "new realism" is.

t.

lem
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Jan 19 2007 18:59

I don't see how the object-as-preceived and perceived-object can be the same thing if the object is interpreted? Is this evcn what you are saying? I also don't see how an perceived object (object-in-itself) can be in part greenness.

I don't have problems understanding your posts, but it seems very unclear what you are getting at or how you are answering my questions!

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Jan 19 2007 19:28

lem: "I don't see how the object-as-preceived and perceived-object can be the same thing if the object is interpreted? Is this evcn what you are saying? I also don't see how an perceived object (object-in-itself) can be in part greenness."

When we talk about things around us in the world, we don't use language like "object-as-perceived." This is philosophical invention. Inventions like this have to be cashed out in ordinary language, and they are warranted as technical lingo only if they are useful. I frankly do not find that way of talking useful.

Look at this way: Any given physical object has a myriad of features. We have sensory capacities which evolution has fitted us with. There are some properties which evolution itself designed this sensory equipment to pick up or capture. Our visual system is a color vision system. This means it is desiged by evolution to pick up the surface (or volume) light reflectances, that is, colors.

But physical objects have many other properties. The capacities or powers of objects we understand by way of hypothesis and test. A set of hypotheses about something make up a "theory" about that thing. We gain some of these theories when we learn language as kids, because we learn the theory of natural kinds, which is embodied in our language. This is the idea that things have powers or capacities that are more or less enduring and which account for their perceived behaviors. When I see something as a cat, I'm already attributing to it a set of powers or dispositions, a certain nature, a nature it shares with other things that I call "cats".

Now, let's take this cat here, Lucy. Lucy has black fur.
This fur remains black when Lucy isn't being perceived by me. Lucy also remains a cat whether I see her or not. Her nature doesn't change. This is so despite the fact that when I see her, to see her as a cat my incoming visual inputs are interpreted by my brain as a cat, using my cognitive dispositiions, my mental calibration as an organic tracker of features in the world. This just means that my sensory apparatus isn't designed by itself to track this property, but my brain has been calibrated to do so. Either way, I'm capturing properties the perceived object actually has. And it has thesse properties irrespective of whether I'm perceiving her or not. My brain's use of its cat concept in the perception of the cat doesn't alter the object being perceived. Rather, that concept makes me able to perceive a feature of the cat i otherwise might miss. A baby who hasn't yet developed this concept can still see and track the movements of Lucy. She just doesn't yet have the ability to perceive a certain property, this thing's having a certain nature that goes beyond, and underlies, the behaviors.

t.

lem
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Jan 20 2007 01:48
Quote:
When we talk about things around us in the world, we don't use language like "object-as-perceived." This is philosophical invention. Inventions like this have to be cashed out in ordinary language, and they are warranted as technical lingo only if they are useful. I frankly do not find that way of talking useful.

Tbh I just think your being "cute". It obviously has a value in ordinary language -as I am having a real diffilculty communicating myself to you becauise of refusal of these concepts - I am only a second year joint honours student!

I mean, this patch of blueness I see infront of me, is it that I am seeing a property of the carpet as it really is?

You, again, seem to be sayting that interpretation just orients us, which you have already disagreed with.

If interpretation is more that just orientaton, then what I am seeing is different to the blue of the carpet. And yet you say that there are is subjective data! So what is this different thing that I am seeing., where is it?

angry

wink

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Jan 20 2007 02:10

Here is the situation. I'm looking at a leaf. It is a particular shade of green, I also see it as a leaf. What capacities am I using when I have this perception? If I didn't have the concept of a leaf, I wouldn't see it as a leaf. A baby wouldn't see it as a leaf. As we learn concepts about things in our world, we also gain the ability to recognize properties, to see properties, that we could not do before we had the concept. Adding the concept thus adds to what we can see.

There is a certain shape of glass and metal, and i immediately perceive it as a phone booth. I perceive the shiny stuff I can see through as glass, as a translucent solid. My perception has been affected by the concepts that i have learned. When light hits the retina there are only certain properties that your sensory equipment is designed by evolution to pick up, such as color and distance. But through learning, through acquiring concepts, you extend what you can see. You can see features of things you couldn't have when you were a baby straight of your mother's womb. Picking up properties of the things we see in virtue of having concepts is what it is for the brain to "interpret" the incoming sensory inputs from the retina. This doesn't mean you are not seeing what is there.

You can think of this as applying the method of hypothesis to expand our understanding of the properties of things, by making hypotheses about what properties things have. So if I see the shiny stuff as glass, I will take it to be hard, not something i can just stick my hand thru, like water. To say that a certain mix of stimuli at the retina leads to me perceiving this thing as leaf, is to say my brain has added to its abilities the ability to apply a certain theory about objects in the world, which i have learned...a great deal of this we learn when we are very little. Again, this doesn't mean the properties aren't really there. I'm talking about how we acquire the ability to perceive them.

The language of appearing makes sense if we are talking about illusions. A thing can appear to be taller than it really is due to some optical illusion or appear to be a color other than it really is. Our sensory equipment was designed in a natural environment tens of thousands of years ago, when so many industrially made products didn't exist. We can create colors, via paints, that we were not designed to differentiate from others. This can lead to problems identifying your car in a parking lot at dusk.

So, if you ask, "Am i seeing the thing the way it is?", this
makes sense if you fear that you are subject to an optical illusion. But somehow I don't think you were talking about optical illusions.

Maybe you are asking: How do i know that there is a world of things independent of my concsciousness, which I seem to be perceiving, and how do i know it has these properties that it seems to me to have? Is that the question you are asking?

t.

lem
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Jan 20 2007 02:45

Ok, I'm nopt saying that I need to hang onto the distinction, but

Quote:
So, if you ask, "Am i seeing the thing the way it is?", this
makes sense if you fear that you are subject to an optical illusion. But somehow I don't think you were talking about optical illusions.

Maybe you are asking: How do i know that there is a world of things independent of my concsciousness, which I seem to be perceiving, and how do i know it has these properties that it seems to me to have? Is that the question you are asking?

NO - I'm not taling about illusions. "Am I seeing it the way it is" means does the thing if it were not seen by anyone, have the part property (?) of blueness. This patch of blue that I see, this blueness, is it mind-independent?

It is a real question if I can make it, if I can draw these distinctions then at the least you have to show...

Quote:
different to the blue of the carpet

if 'different' or whatever is senseless then at leasst say that what I am conceiving of is inconceivable!

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My perception has been affected by the concepts that i have learned.

But my perception of the particular shade of green, is identical to the shade of green of the leaf if it is interpreted?

Does a tree falling in the words make a sound, and all that..

(I had a better reply, but I forgot it, so maybe this will go a few more rounds of posts yet...)

lem
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Jan 20 2007 04:49

Maybe I won't understand till I've read the text you recommend on intention... ths compact disc infront of me - I experience it directly (that patch of blueness I see is part of the cd... but yet that cd I see is interpreted, and the cd when not seen is not..

So either the cd changes when I perceive it, or what I preceive is not a pact disc but sensations or somesuch. I also guess that i have to read some critical rtelaism before I really understand.

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Jan 20 2007 05:08

lem:

Quote:
But my perception of the particular shade of green, is identical to the shade of green of the leaf if it is interpreted?

Does a tree falling in the words make a sound, and all that..

The green shade of the leaf is no different situation here than any other property that you perceive as a feature of something, or that you believe it to have, for that matter. You're asking about the mind-independent reality of things we perceive, of the world of physical things that appears to us in our perceptual experience?

It's part of our theory of this world that things in it do exist independently of your consciousness and that of other humans. We posit a physical cosmos in which we humans are animal organisms on this planet, and this cosmos has physical forces which we think account for how the world has developed physically and so on. This theory of the world we have is the simplest and most comprehensive explanation for our experience.

What we know is that we are animal organisms that have evolved in a particular environment, and this explains why we have the particular sensory capacities we do have. Humans have the same visual system as almost all other primates. This means we are able to pick out a broader range of colors than other mammals. In virtue of our acquiring beliefs about the world around us, such as beliefs about natural kinds which I mentioned, we see how this would be adaptive, in the sense of furthering the prospects of our species, and we can see how developing the ability to produce sentences to convey factual information to each other would be extremely helpful to coordinate behavior, and in fact the entire history of growth of human productive power would have been impossible without it. if we constantly got things wrong about the way the world was, that would not have been very good for our prospects of survival.

I'm mentioning here things that explain what i mean when i say the hypothesis of the physical world as we believe it to be is a hypothesis that offers the best explanation of our experience.

t.

lem
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Jan 20 2007 05:29
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I'm mentioning here things that explain what i mean when i say the hypothesis of the physical world as we believe it to be is a hypothesis that offers the best explanation of our experience.

Ok, I think you arer misunderstanding me. I have offered a problem... ahhh you reject the problem because of your epistemological beliefs about rationality??
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I can't restate the problem without restating that I am unclear of your beliefs/hypothesis: "the properties of the book/the book as I perceive it/the patch of blueness I perceive infront of me is identical to how the book actually is when no-one perceives it". I can only assume that you believe this.

But the properties of the book/the book as I perceive it/the patch of blueness I perceive infront of me (I'll call this A) has been interpreted. So if the object unperceived is identical to A, then it has been interpreted. But that is impossible.
------------------------------

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Jan 20 2007 05:35

lem: "But the properties of the book/the book as I perceive it/the patch of blueness I perceive infront of me (I'll call this A) has been interpreted. So if the object unperceived is identical to A, then it has been interpreted. But that is impossible."

You've committed a logical fallacy. The greenness of the leaf is perceptually interpreted by you only when you perceive it. It can't therefore follow that it is being perceptually interpreted by someone's brain when it isn't being perceived by anyone. Being perceptually interpreted by you is a relational property of the greenness of the leaf. The greenness of the leaf has this relational property only when it stands in the appropriate relation to you.

t.

lem
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Jan 20 2007 05:40

I haven't committed a logical fallacy as I said it was impossible.

Will think about your post, it may answer the question I have been getting at.

lem
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Jan 20 2007 05:47

Yes, that answers my question grin

Quote:
Does a tree falling in the words make a sound, and all that..

Yes, but it does not have a relational property.
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Now, is it possible to perceive without interpretation? I assume not.

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Jan 20 2007 06:21

When you are a newborn baby, you may perceive without interpretation. But it may be impossible for humans once we've developed a cognitive repertoire of concepts.

t.

lem
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Jan 20 2007 06:27

So does a leaf perceived by a baby have a relational property?

lem
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Jan 21 2007 20:49

Why is it that I can only remember things from socializing... Joseph K wrt Mearleau Ponty and humanism and terror I guess that the argument is how can we justify having faith in Marxism despite violence - and, apparently we can - I think this is true IMe

lem
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Jan 21 2007 20:51

...

lem
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Jan 26 2007 01:06

Has anyone read Heidegger and "the jews"?

I'm trying to now, and its almost as if he is saying that Heidegger had to forget the jews to represent the forgetting of being... this is the only comprehensible assertion I have gotten out if it so far (the rest is mostly about psychoanalysis) yet he does not seem to want to affirm that he thinks this.

What is the relation mentioned in section1 between Heidegger's thought and "sensation" in Kant/Adorno?

Thanks

lem
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Jan 26 2007 07:43

Unless anyone turns up that can tell me otherwise I don't think he does.

One aim of the book seems to be to put foward Lyotard's own formula for what makes a communinty. As what I think is an extension of Nancy's idea that a community can only be based on a being-with in which we can only share the fact that we cannot share anything, Lyotard suggests that the only "people" is a people that try to remember/represent what can only be forgotton (these are "the jews").

It seems that this something that we are obliged by Law to try and remember could even be Being, which can't be right as he is supposed to be criticising Heidegger's politics/philosophy etc.

Oh well, interesting none-the-less.

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Oct 17 2016 13:00

some recently published letters from 1931/32 show him in deep admiration for Hitler and as a believer of anti-semitic conspiracy theories: http://www.zeit.de/kultur/literatur/2016-10/martin-heidegger-briefe-anti...