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Close mindedness and willful ignorance.
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Posted 2/19/13

longfenglim wrote:







Facts are not universal truths.


Yes they are.


Complete nonsense.
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Posted 2/19/13

TAO_Arecibo wrote:

longfeng, check out philosophical skepticism. Wihl is right in some ways.


No, denying the existence of facts or truth is not 'Philosophic Skepticism, it is simply untenable nihilism.
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Posted 2/19/13 , edited 2/19/13


Lol, I was talking about your drivel.
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Posted 2/19/13

longfenglim wrote:


TAO_Arecibo wrote:

longfeng, check out philosophical skepticism. Wihl is right in some ways.


No, denying the existence of facts or truth is not 'Philosophic Skepticism, it is simply untenable nihilism.


Tell me then,what's so untenable about epistemological nihilism?
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Posted 2/20/13 , edited 2/20/13

tehstud wrote:


Lol, I was talking about your drivel.



And anyone who uses that abominable acronym 'lol' has forfeited the right to speak about what constitutes as drivel.
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Posted 2/20/13 , edited 2/20/13

longfenglim wrote:


tehstud wrote:


Lol, I was talking about your drivel.



And anyone who uses that abominable acronym 'lol' has forfeited the right to speak about what constitutes as drivel.


Don't get angry when people disagree with your, at best, specious arguments. The FACT is that facts can and do change, so it's absurd to say they are universal truths, albeit some, but not all.
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Posted 2/20/13

tehstud wrote:


Don't get angry when people disagree with your, at best, specious arguments. The FACT is that facts can and do change, so it's absurd to say they are universal truths, albeit some, but not all.


No, they do not change, Facts are Universal Truths, that is the definition of Facts- to quote MW:


the quality of being actual : actuality


So, it is absurd to say that your argument has any real merit, when it is merely grounded in your inability to comprehend or understand the English Language.
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longfenglim wrote:If we were to throw logic out, it remains untenable for the same reason Solipism is considered untenable- there is no way to prove or disprove an assertion when we toss logic out the window, and is simply amusing speculations. Unfalsifiable, but unprovable, because the tools of proofs and proving, Logic, has been robbed from us, it falls from unfeasible because it is illogical, to unfeasible because it is unprovable or unfalsifiable.


Who said unprovable or unfalsifiable was unfeasible though? That is your opinion, not the universal rule.


In regards to Kantian philosophy, Kant never said that mathematics was an A Priori Analytic Judgement, but, rather, an A Priori Synthetic Judgment, that is, in the 'sentence' 7 + 5 = 12, the predicate 12 is not implicit in the subject 7,+, or 5, and so we need to call an outside x to make it so, it is thus Synthetic. But, at the same time, it is not grounded in experience, we do not experience 7 + 5 = 12, nor do we experience all the other possible combinations of numbers and mathematical operations (infinite as they are). Because of the poverty of stimulus (to borrow a phrase from Chomsky), Mathematics must then be independent of experience, and so A Priori.


But nonetheless, it is based on relative definitions, ant thus, cannot be objective truth. A priori needs to be objective, does it not?


This, and the last paragraph, I think, expresses well the malady which has gripped most of Postmodern Philosophy, the confusion between words, symbols, and language, which only represents an idea, and the ideas themselves- to paraphrase Alain Badiou, Postmodern Philosophy is simply anti-Philosophy which challanges Philosophy by denying truth, and the favoured mode of doing so (and indicative of the intellectual poverty of Postmodern Philosophy, in my opinion) is to reduce Philosophy into word-games.


Of course we reduce it to word games. Because that's what communication is. Word games.


Here, you intentionally conflate the signifier with the signified: the idea with the symbol which expresses it. In Kant, you argue that 1 + 1 = 2 only under the condition that those symbols means what we usually accept them to mean or that bachelors are only unmarried under the condition that bachelors means unmarried men, unmarried means not in the state of matrimony, etc., etc. Thus, you are unable to move beyond the signifiers, and are mired in confusion over every word, punctuation, over syntax, etc., but, when we enter the realm of what is being signified, there can be no objections whatsoever.


Is not the interpretation of every word important? Is not the punctuation and syntax important? Is not the possibility of differing understandings important? They are all important in my worldview.

When you talk of 'what is being signified', you assume that both people are thinking the exact same ideas. I'm skeptical of that.


Words are only symbols to represent an idea, please stop confusing and confounding the two.


I'm not confusing them. Words are one of the few ways to convey ideas to other people. And can words perfectly convey ideas? No, they cannot. They can only give a good picture, not a perfect one.
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Posted 2/20/13 , edited 2/20/13

TAO_Arecibo wrote:

Who said unprovable or unfalsifiable was unfeasible though? That is your opinion, not the universal rule.


No, it is simply speculations, and not worthy of consideration, as is solipism, theosophy, and other such nonsense.

But let's take your argument, that is, that it is only my opinion that it is unfeasible, but, feasible depends on a standard of 'feasibility', and since, you hold, that there is no universal standard of feasibility, all ideas must be unfeasible, 'unfeasiblity' being that state of not being feasible, and so, even by your own argument, your position is reduced to unfeasibility.



But nonetheless, it is based on relative definitions, ant thus, cannot be objective truth. A priori needs to be objective, does it not?


Misunderstanding Kant.

In what follows, therefore, we shall understand by a priori knowledge, not knowledge independent of this or that experience, but knowledge absolutely independent of all experience. Opposed to it is empirical knowledge, which is knowledge possible only a posteriori, that is, through experience. A - priori modes of knowledge are entitled pure when there is no admixture of anything empirical. Thus, for instance, the proposition, 'every alteration has its cause', while an a priori proposition, is not a pure proposition, because alteration is a concept which can be derived only from experience.
-Critique of Pure Reason


Of course we reduce it to word games. Because that's what communication is. Word games.


Is not the interpretation of every word important? Is not the punctuation and syntax important? Is not the possibility of differing understandings important? They are all important in my worldview.

When you talk of 'what is being signified', you assume that both people are thinking the exact same ideas. I'm skeptical of that.


You continue to conflate the Signifier, that is, the symbol which represent an idea, with the idea being represented, the Signified. The text is only a vehicle of communicating an idea, poetry being the most complex form of communication, when one is trapped by the text, as with most Postmodernist, one can only peer superficially upon the text without penetrating its meaning. He converts himself to a grammatician, a literary critic, never penetrating the text beyond the mere linguistic and grammatical criticism, study of metaphors and similes, delving into speculations on the author rather than upon his thoughts, in short, reducing all philosophical text into readings of its surfaces, all the while forgetting that the text is subordinate to the idea that it is meant to express. Thus, punctuation, grammar, lexicon are only important...where it conveys the idea the author wishes.

Can we understand the ideas a particular philosopher wants to convey in a text? Of course, for he has written the text for the benefit of other people to understand. We may not capture entirely the profundity of a single mind, such as Kant, but we may capture the profundity of ideas he has written down for the benefit of his collegue and his students.




I'm not confusing them. Words are one of the few ways to convey ideas to other people. And can words perfectly convey ideas? No, they cannot. They can only give a good picture, not a perfect one.


It is an adequet vehicle of communicating ideas- the fact that words change has no bearing on a particular philosophy- all one must do is to adjest himself to the language of a particular author and 'translate' it, as it were. He writ it in Late 18th century German, there is a late 18th century German dictionary, he writ it in 16th century French, you can cross reference a particular it with contemporary authors to see how it is used, in short, simply making words relative is not enough to make ideas relative.
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Posted 2/20/13


Laugh-out-loud... Well okay, I can quote the dictionary at my convenience too. To quote MW :


Fact : a piece of information presented as having objective reality
Actuality : the state of existing or occurring at the time
Universal [truth] : [facts] existent under all conditions


See what I did there? Took, arguably, refuting definitions from MW.

Now, given your supposition that fact is synonymous with 'universal truth', than, for the sake argument, suppose we interpret your ambiguous definition of fact to mean "objective, existent under all conditions in reality". Now, let us look back earlier at previous posts where you speak of 'known facts' in history, consequently being, 'universal truths' in history. Ignoring the irony and absurdity of 'known facts' [in history] from given premises, we shall focus on the sheer, at best, implausibility of such. Let me begin by saying, it's foolish to believe that historical texts are irrefutable scriptures, since, they are simply the biased, adulterated interpretation of events, ultimately at the mercy of the social construct during that period in time. Such credulousness is laughable. Honestly, it should be common knowledge that 'history is written by the winners', or, in the words of Adolf Hitler, "It is not truth that matters, but victory", but I digress. And thus, an apparent contradiction is witnessed and your argument and all merit becomes null. In conclusion, it is absurd to say that your argument has any real merit, when it is merely grounded in your stubbornness of acknowledging contradicting truths and readiness in accepting convenient fallacies.

And for all your garrulousness and verbal diarrhea, I find it amusing that one who, obviously holds himself in such high esteem, is oblivious to the fact that the English Language has a plethora of polysemous words, including fact, causing ambiguity without sufficient clarity.

See what I did there? Clearly I am unable to comprehend or understand the English Language.
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Posted 2/20/13 , edited 2/21/13

tehstud wrote:


tehstud wrote:


Laugh-out-loud... Well okay, I can quote the dictionary at my convenience too. To quote MW :


Fact : a piece of information presented as having objective reality
Actuality : the state of existing or occurring at the time
Universal [truth] : [facts] existent under all conditions


See what I did there? Took, arguably, refuting definitions from MW.

Now, given your supposition that fact is synonymous with 'universal truth', than, for the sake argument, suppose we interpret your ambiguous definition of fact to mean "objective, existent under all conditions in reality". Now, let us look back earlier at previous posts where you speak of 'known facts' in history, consequently being, 'universal truths' in history. Ignoring the irony and absurdity of 'known facts' [in history] from given premises, we shall focus on the sheer, at best, implausibility of such. Let me begin by saying, it's foolish to believe that historical texts are irrefutable scriptures, since, they are simply the biased, adulterated interpretation of events, ultimately at the mercy of the social construct during that period in time. Such credulousness is laughable. Honestly, it should be common knowledge that 'history is written by the winners', or, in the words of Adolf Hitler, "It is not truth that matters, but victory", but I digress. And thus, an apparent contradiction is witnessed and your argument and all merit becomes null. In conclusion, it is absurd to say that your argument has any real merit, when it is merely grounded in your stubbornness of acknowledging contradicting truths and readiness in accepting convenient fallacies.

And for all your garrulousness and verbal diarrhea, I find it amusing that one who, obviously holds himself in such high esteem, is oblivious to the fact that the English Language has a plethora of polysemous words, including fact, causing ambiguity without sufficient clarity.

See what I did there? Clearly I am unable to comprehend or understand the English Language.



Aesop once described an ass who, seeing an ape dance around upon the roof of a man's house to the applause of the master and his friends, decide to do the same, only to the derision of all around. It would see that this fellow has tried to follow the example of that inspired ass, and attempt to ape the ways of a genius wholly without understanding.

Reading through his vitiriol and bile, I have alas discovered two arguments, 1. That words have many meaning and connotation, and 2. History is biased, and, to used an old aphorism, 'History is written by the winner'.

It is amazing that he criticise me on the first count, when it is he who is at fault for not understanding the full definition of the word 'fact'- that is to say, that he was wrong to say that 'facts' are not universal truth, when facts are defined as such. His criticism falls, then, on his own ignorance of a particular usage of the word 'fact', and then tries to retreat in saying that many words are polysemous. Thus, he has unconsciously acknowledged two things- 1. that he is, in fact, wrong to say that 'Facts are not universal truth', when it is clearly defined thus, 2. that he is, in fact, wholly lacking in competency in the English language.


On the second count, he has shown himself a complete fool- he claims that there are no historic facts, because all documents are jaundiced by the biases and the spleen of the author. Let us go back to something that is, apperantly, dear to his heart, the burning of the Riechstag, which propelled his beloved Hitler to power. Can we deny that the Riechstag burnt? All document on all side attest to its burning, though some accused the Nazis, other accused a certain Communist youth, etc., etc. The interpretation of the event differs, what doesn't is the event itself. Or, the Paris Commune, the Conservatives and anti-Communards protrayed it as a work-class bloodfest, the Communards and the Socialists/Anarchists/Communists protrayed it as the light to the future and an example of the government presecution of the Working Class, what does not differ in either side is that it happened. There are historic facts, and these facts do not change- this happened, that happened- the why this or that happened is the area of interpretation, investigation, and archeology.


There is no one, I think, who can match him in lack of general knowledge- no one, that is, but Dan Brown.
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Posted 2/20/13

longfenglim wrote:
No, it is simply speculations, and not worthy of consideration, as is solipism, theosophy, and other such nonsense.


Why do you think it is not worthy of consideration though?


But let's take your argument, that is, that it is only my opinion that it is unfeasible, but, feasible depends on a standard of 'feasibility', and since, you hold, that there is no universal standard of feasibility, all ideas must be unfeasible, 'unfeasiblity' being that state of not being feasible, and so, even by your own argument, your position is reduced to unfeasibility.


I'd disagree. I'd say 'feasibility' as you used it is a relative subject, and thus, depending on who you'd ask, things for one person might not be 'feasible' for another.


In what follows, therefore, we shall understand by a priori knowledge, not knowledge independent of this or that experience, but knowledge absolutely independent of all experience. Opposed to it is empirical knowledge, which is knowledge possible only a posteriori, that is, through experience. A - priori modes of knowledge are entitled pure when there is no admixture of anything empirical. Thus, for instance, the proposition, 'every alteration has its cause', while an a priori proposition, is not a pure proposition, because alteration is a concept which can be derived only from experience.
-Critique of Pure Reason


Please show me that knowledge exists independently of all experience. I don't think you can do it. The only a priori that I can think of that actually fits that is self-existence (I think therefore I am), and that relies on logic (which you may choose to trust or not to trust).


You continue to conflate the Signifier, that is, the symbol which represent an idea, with the idea being represented, the Signified.


No I didn't. You need to reread my posts. They are different, yes, however, there is no practical difference when discussing them because of the communication barrier (it's impossible to perfectly convey your thoughts). In other words, ideas only reachable inside your own head. Everything else is sense dependent (and thus communication dependent).


The text is only a vehicle of communicating an idea, poetry being the most complex form of communication, when one is trapped by the text, as with most Postmodernist, one can only peer superficially upon the text without penetrating its meaning.


I'll respectfully disagree. As a postmodern pragmatist, I tend to be very good at finding meanings.


He converts himself to a grammatician, a literary critic, never penetrating the text beyond the mere linguistic and grammatical criticism, study of metaphors and similes, delving into speculations on the author rather than upon his thoughts, in short, reducing all philosophical text into readings of its surfaces, all the while forgetting that the text is subordinate to the idea that it is meant to express.


I'm thinking you don't know enough postmodernists. In fact, I'm obsessive about reading other people's thoughts, and that includes the authors. So, to be quite honest, your criticism makes no sense to me. As a postmodern pragmatist, it's my job to see all viewpoints, that means both a literary critic's viewpoint as well as the author's viewpoint as well as possible reader viewpoints as well as cultural meaning, etc. To leave anything out is not the way of a pragmatist. And while not all postmodernists are pragmatists, most of them see the prudence of seeing other people's point of view.


Thus, punctuation, grammar, lexicon are only important...where it conveys the idea the author wishes.


I'd digress. Punctuation, grammar, and lexicon are important where anybody, the reader, the author, even those literary critics you don't like... where any of them see it as worthy of note, it's important. What one person sees from a story is not necessarily what another does, and there is no objectively right way to see it. There is the original way, in other words, the author's intent, but it is not the only way, and it's certainly not the exclusively right way.


Can we understand the ideas a particular philosopher wants to convey in a text? Of course, for he has written the text for the benefit of other people to understand. We may not capture entirely the profundity of a single mind, such as Kant, but we may capture the profundity of ideas he has written down for the benefit of his collegue and his students.


Undoubtedly you can. But you can also interpret it in your own way to develop new values and useful techniques. You are not bound to the way others have viewed it before. You can look at it completely differently if you wish to.


It is an adequet vehicle of communicating ideas- the fact that words change has no bearing on a particular philosophy- all one must do is to adjest himself to the language of a particular author and 'translate' it, as it were.


You really don't understand. It's not that words change, thought that happens. It's that words have different meanings to different people. When I say 'orange', the same thoughts are not going to come to you as which come to me. We (most likely) have different experiences, interpretations, conceptions, and paradigms which relate to the word 'orange'. We don't necessarily think about it the same way.


He writ it in Late 18th century German, there is a late 18th century German dictionary, he writ it in 16th century French, you can cross reference a particular it with contemporary authors to see how it is used, in short, simply making words relative is not enough to make ideas relative.


Ah but they are. Again, you can't show that you think the same way as someone else, and thus, it falls under relative, does it not?

And what would a solipsist have to say?
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Posted 2/20/13
I prefer to believe that everything I know can be wrong or right. I want to be flexible and I wish to believe I'm open minded.

But I know I can have my angst pig-headed moments, sometimes out of pure spite rather than the urge of being considered wrong.
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facts are ultimately subjective. when someone denies a "fact", it may not necessarily mean they're ignorant. maybe they just see reality a different way. after all, reality is both a fact and a subjective matter at the same time. so I guess ignorance is contradictory in a sense
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Posted 2/21/13

longfenglim wrote:


There is no one, I think, who can match him in lack of general knowledge- no one, that is, but Dan Brown.


LOL, what makes you think that Dan Brown lacks general knowledge? Surely you are not judging him based on the fictional information in his novels, are you?
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