is it all relative?

There was a choice involved in this thread, a choice seldom discussed. On the one hand, we have some arguments from reason and some evidence from scientists that make the universe look cold, relativistic, with nothing of anything of actual value in it.
On the other hand, we have whatever impulses, evidences, and intuitions lead us to make statements like “somehow it doesn’t feel right to…” or similar things.
The choice made was one to favor one avenue of knowing to the other.

Ucc,

“There was a choice involved in this thread, a choice seldom discussed. On the one hand, we have some arguments from reason and some evidence from scientists that make the universe look cold, relativistic, with nothing of anything of actual value in it.
On the other hand, we have whatever impulses, evidences, and intuitions lead us to make statements like “somehow it doesn’t feel right to…” or similar things.”

Consider the following and the possibility that it is not a choice that should be -philosophically- be made

“If it is the task of the philosopher to practice the kind of description of the world of ideas which automatically includes and absorbs the empirical world, then he occupies an elevated position between that of the scientist and the artist. The latter sketches a restricted image of the world of ideas, which, because it is conceived as a metaphor, is at all times definitive. The scientist arranges the world with a view to its dispersal in the realm of ideas, by dividing it from within into concepts. He shares the philosopher’s interest in the elimination of the merely empirical; while the artist shares with the philosopher the task of representation. There has been a tendency to place the philosopher too close to the scientist, and frequently the lesser kind of scientist; as if representation had nothing to do with the task of the philosopher.” - Walter Benjamin

It is the representational function of philosophy that requires an aesthetic approach, the union of the subject and the object in a single picture of “what is real”; it is that function which your dichotomy may not be taking into consideration. I do understand your point but am wary of its implications.

Dunamis

Thank you for completing my thought xander, mine was too crude.

As usual, I only have a moderate grasp of what you aresaying to me, Dunamis. :slight_smile:  Are you saying that the best 'choice' for the philosopher is to put themselves in a position where they aren't really choosing between these two extremes at all, but synthesizing them somehow?
If that's about what you (and Mr Benjamin) mean, then that raises a question that's been on my mind lately. Does the sensation that allows us to see that an argument is sound or that a body of evidence 'points' to a certain conclusion resemble the sensation that tells us that a child is more valuable than the gravel she stands on? Are these all examples of the same thing, or should they be thought of as different 'faculties', which are subject to irreconcilable differences sometimes?

Ucc,

“Are you saying that the best ‘choice’ for the philosopher is to put themselves in a position where they aren’t really choosing between these two extremes at all, but synthesizing them somehow?”

Yes, very much so.

If that’s about what you (and Mr Benjamin) mean, then that raises a question that’s been on my mind lately. Does the sensation that allows us to see that an argument is sound or that a body of evidence ‘points’ to a certain conclusion resemble the sensation that tells us that a child is more valuable than the gravel she stands on?

I think that you are saying something very resonant here. Perhaps we can call it diasomatic, (rather than dialectical), thinking. The various discourses that allow us to map the world are in some ways various somas through which we “feel” the world. The experience of surety is central to the philosophical enterprise.

Are these all examples of the same thing, or should they be thought of as different ‘faculties’, which are subject to irreconcilable differences sometimes?

I think that they are fundamentally the same faculty, the faculty of the body. And I think that aesthetic production is a major part of it.

Dunamis

I think you're right. It seems to me that the problem becomes distinguishing 'the experience of surety' that comes from a sound argument or ethic, from the experience of surety that comes from an unexamined life. Are some of these somatic beliefs justified and others not, and is it within a person's capability to distinguish? The way I'm thinking about it now, diasomatic beliefs are about the same as the a priori beliefs that a foundationalist relies on, though perhaps we have a different understanding of them here. 
If they are the same faculty, this faculty is certainly applied in very different ways.  There are some enterprises like music appreciation and memory where we feel validated in drawing conclusions directly from these sensations, and others (the kinds of things that are often addressed with formal logic) for which we feel the need to go through an analysis before coming to a conclusion.

You mean that a good steak is not better than a McDonald’s hamburger? You really do need help!

Ucc,

“Are some of these somatic beliefs justified and others not, and is it within a person’s capability to distinguish? The way I’m thinking about it now, diasomatic beliefs are about the same as the a priori beliefs that a foundationalist relies on, though perhaps we have a different understanding of them here.”

There are many kinds of “somas”. The recursivity in Time and Space produces loci of perception. Primary I believe is the metaphor of mapping. The body of flesh produces a mapping of exterior “reality” and the correspondences between which produce the experience of surety. The mapping of language upon the “world” also produces the experience of surety which also is somatic. The mapping of formal logic upon the body of language also produces the experience of surety, and this too is somatic. There are bodies within bodies. Sometimes a body works as a locus of perception, sometimes as a field to be investigated, sometimes oscillating between each.

Dunamis

Dunamis,

I am trying to understand these two terms of yours and their implications: body and surety.

I suspect that you are using the term body in a somewhat unconventional sense. I am very facinated by these terms even if I fail to fully comprehend them.

What interests me is the relationships and interplay of different bodies. Like here in the exchange between you and I. My experience must be transformed into something else to pass out of my body and into yours. It can move out of my body, thru language and into your body.Does it pass? How can I experience surety that what I have tried to pass to you has passed?

This points my attention to the ideas that doubt and surety are a primary experience. Like the primary colors which mix to become the endless variety of possible colors.

Can they exist without each other, or are the as inserperable as tall/short, big/little, old/young? I imagine surety separated and estranged from doubt passing beyond this duality, beyond this struggle, out of this relationship.

Like this little experiment: As I press my fingers together before my eyes I cannot doubt this experience of pressure in my fingertips. I try to doubt it and it is beyond my power. It is removed from the realm of doubt and surety. I have pushed my attention outside of the game.

It is certain, certain beyond all doubt and in reaching this pinnacle it is boring. It is inconsequential. It does not matter anymore. There is no complexity, no depth. The surface is identical to the substance.

Then I wonder: is this really where I want to put everything?

Xander,

My experience must be transformed into something else to pass out of my body and into yours. It can move out of my body, thru language and into your body.Does it pass?

The way that I see it, you fashion language, assemble the materiality of words such that as a perceiving subject they are experienced by you in a particular way. (In this way, the collapsing of the subject and the object into a single thing, that is an aesthetic object, is central to communication).

How can I experience surety that what I have tried to pass to you has passed?

The experience of surety you have is your orientation within the architecture of your own expression. You have organized a material body of words which upon your view of them engender specific effects. You simply assume, just as one assumes that the one’s body reflects the states of the world, that upon my view of them, I too will experience the same thing as you have. It is principally the same assumption you would engage in if you were viewing a sunset through window and you called me to stand in your place. Nothing “comes out of your body”. It is a simple act of translation, in the geometric sense. In a certain regard you fashion a body, stand in it. Pass it over to me, I stand in it. The moment that I indicate to you, either in words or actions that I have not experienced your words as you have, the immediacy of the “as if” of language is broken. You can fashion another set of words, or move onto other means of communication, but the aesthetic project is always object fashioning. The shared “experience of surety” that is the apex of communication is simply the “as if” fulfilled without disturbance. I suspect that it is much more complex than this in that all social communications reproduce quite a number of identities and their corresponding bodies within the overarching ideology, so the connance of one experienced surety may produce dissonance in regards to another and correspondences are never one to one, but this is the general mode.

This points my attention to the ideas that doubt and surety are a primary experience. Like the primary colors which mix to become the endless variety of possible colors.

Can they exist without each other, or are the as inserperable as tall/short, big/little, old/young? I imagine surety separated and estranged from doubt passing beyond this duality, beyond this struggle, out of this relationship.

I don’t see it as a duality, but as degrees of existence. Just as dark and light can be seen as a binary, it is perhaps better to understand darkness as the relative absence of light. Knowledge is just the relative presence of the experience of surety.

Like this little experiment: As I press my fingers together before my eyes I cannot doubt this experience of pressure in my fingertips. I try to doubt it and it is beyond my power. It is removed from the realm of doubt and surety. I have pushed my attention outside of the game.

This is simply a strong experience of surety. If your fingers had fallen asleep because you sat on them for a half an hour and you pressed them together before your eyes you would experience the strangest combination of surety and doubt. Some coordinate systems would be telling you one thing, and some another. For me this is similar when in communication you can tell that the person you are talking to is in many ways understanding what you are saying, but somehow not getting it.

It is certain, certain beyond all doubt and in reaching this pinnacle it is boring. It is inconsequential. It does not matter anymore. There is no complexity, no depth. The surface is identical to the substance.

This is another question which falls to the issue of Becoming. When various mapping systems become relatively assured then they can be used as bodies through which to explore and know greater diversities, find larger orders of experienced surety.

Dunamis

there’s some quite interesting stuff in this thread…

of relevance here might be the idea that facts need only to draw more extra-somatic if they intend to displace another actor from their original trajectory…

soft or “subjective” or “intersubjective” facts are what we need when there is little at stake and we are basically not trying to redirect someone from an alternate belief or practice…

facts begin to require analysis and to draw on more and more other actors (thus becoming “objective”… as they enrol more of the world into their network… logical operators, texts, authorities, experiments, pieces of wood, whatever…) when the fact is intended to displace someone or something… when we intend to alter anothers belief or practice…

this may be the key distinction between musical appreciation and say, science or legal argumentation or something requiring detail rigirous analyses…

I tend to agree with some of this… certainly not with the whole atomic justification… what makes the fact of atoms better than any other explanation for everything… self reference and relativism blah blah im sure this has come up…

however if we took a more monadic justificaiton then we can say something close to this… that nothing is either superior or inferior, larger or smaller, longer or shorter, better or worse, reducible or irreducible to anything else…

which of course is not true… rather it is possibly true but we have to actually examine whatever we are refusing to reduce to another thing and examine HOW OTHERS have allready fasioned differences or equivalences or whatever through much toil and work… how have they connected many elements together into a network which suddenly makes two completely incommensurable entities with neither scale nor equivalence (or its opposite) appear different… perhaps even normatively better or worse…

that WORK which achieves such results is very interesting… a great avenue of study… and accepting that such valuations… even time space and cause and effect all require expensive construction DOES NOT mean that those outcomes are any less real than anything else… cause and effect, scale, time, space, size, difference, similarity, are all very much HARD OBJECTIVE FACTS but they require construction…

they arnt free.