View Poll Results: Objectivism vs Perspectivism

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  • Objectivism: reality exists independently from consciousness

    2 25.00%
  • Perspectivism: all ideations take place from particular perspectives

    3 37.50%
  • unfair or useless comparison / protest!

    3 37.50%
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Thread: Objectivism vs Perspectivism

  1. #1
    objective-means-purpose wise fool's Avatar
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    Objectivism vs Perspectivism

    Which statement / philosophical basis do you prefer?


    1) "reality exists independently of consciousness."

    2) "all ideations take place from particular perspectives."





    Tangential (and leading) question: what is the idea that reality exists independently of consciousness necessarily based on?
    Last edited by wise fool; 03-11-2015 at 05:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Both are 1 and 2 are true. But it starts with 1.

    Tangential/Leading question: A is A.

  3. #3
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    Objective reality exists, but I'm not sure how we good at knowing any of it. Gotta try anyway.


    I do think there are things that 95% of people would agree are morally wrong, if asked in a poll. Most, if not all societies, have rules of some kind against killing people, for instance. There's disagreements about the particulars, but people usually agree that it's something that should be restricted, rather than encourage.

    There are also probably fuzzier areas.

    Regarding perspectives... I don't want to silence other perspectives. I just want to keep the ability to voice my own. Someone having an individual perspective isn't a problem... what's a problem is someone refusing to take in new information when it's presented.
    Last edited by msg_v2; 03-10-2015 at 05:56 PM.

  4. #4
    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    This is a false choice
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

  5. #5
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    Yeah, I don't see how one contradicts the other.


    Number 2 seems like a nigh-indisputable statement. (Is an ideation without a perspective even possible?)


    Number 1 is famously debatable, but not because it conflicts with Number 2.


    By "prefer", do you perhaps mean something other than "agree with"? Are you asking which is more important in its implications as a philosophical maxim, or something along those lines?


    On Tangential Question:

    The concept of being "conscious" could be taken to intrinsically imply qualities/behaviors like perception and reaction. How can you be conscious if there's nothing to be conscious of?

    (This is just me pulling a haphazard inversion of cogito ergo sum out of my ass, though.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

  6. #6
    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    I've never really understood the value of this line of inquiry. If I close my eyes, a la Berkeley, do I care whether the world disappears or not?

    For all purposes, the physical world appears to follow a set of rules which persist whether or not I pay attention to them constantly. I can look away for a while, or go to sleep, and when I pay attention again, things have proceeded according to the same set of rules. So this isn't really about whether my consciousness is a required component for that physical world to exist. In the absence of a good reason to disbelieve in objective reality, it's a pretty solid theory.

    But MY perceptions are dependent on my consciousness to exist. Other people who (presumably) also inhabit the same physical world each have their own consciousness, which shapes their perceptions. We each construct reality in our own way based on those differing perceptions. Those realities don't intersect, even though they occupy a common physical environment.

    Anyway, like I said, this is a false dichotomy.
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

  7. #7
    Member Zephyrus's Avatar
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    Perhaps it would be better to ask: Do you believe that reality is mind-independent or mind-dependent?

    I believe that reality is mind-independent for two reasons:
    1. Idealism requires more faith than realism, because for it to be true you must be committed to a theory that is even more difficult to prove, like "we are brains in a vat."
    2. Alternatively, a skeptic may use idealist arguments to shake our commitment to realism, and I admit that skepticism is irrefutable and realism requires faith. However, at least a subconscious commitment to realism is essential to living our lives. So it's also a practical matter.
    Last edited by Zephyrus; 03-11-2015 at 03:25 AM.

  8. #8
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    1) Reality does not exist independently of consciousness. Consciousness exists, and if we are to assume that reality is the sum of things that exist, then reality is not independent from consciousness. However, as it has been explained above, reality is not seemingly dependent upon particular individual consciousnesses or upon individual perspectives, though individual consciousnesses may commit agency upon reality so as to direct the course of things.

    2) All ideations do take place from particular perspectives...if we accept that the map is not the territory, and that ideations are akin to maps. Further, nothing can be completely understood independent of the context in which it exists...and that context may frequently include a number of perspectives or circumstances (eg. time, location, climate, prevailing consciousness[es] having influence on the situation, etc.). As such, reality cannot be completely understood while excluding consciousness from the prevailing context of its occurrence, even if reality could theoretically persist if consciousness were to disappear...because its disappearance would occur relative to some reality.

  9. #9
    objective-means-purpose wise fool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    Both are 1 and 2 are true. But it starts with 1.

    Tangential/Leading question: A is A.
    The truth of 1 is fundamentally unsubstantiable and yet is nevertheless based on the substantiated truth of 2 - from my perspective.

    Regarding your answer to you the tangential/leading question: could you explain a bit more on what you mean here?

    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    Objective reality exists, but I'm not sure how we good at knowing any of it. Gotta try anyway.


    I do think there are things that 95% of people would agree are morally wrong, if asked in a poll. Most, if not all societies, have rules of some kind against killing people, for instance. There's disagreements about the particulars, but people usually agree that it's something that should be restricted, rather than encourage.

    There are also probably fuzzier areas.

    Regarding perspectives... I don't want to silence other perspectives. I just want to keep the ability to voice my own. Someone having an individual perspective isn't a problem... what's a problem is someone refusing to take in new information when it's presented.
    There is no meaningful way of knowing that reality exists independently of consciousness. But I'll try to remember to do some experiments once I'm dead!

    Many societies also have rules for killing people. So long as moral rules include their perspectival foundations, are open to be challenged, and do not present themselves as disembodied truths which are to be unquestionably followed, I'm generally okay with them.

    I don't want to silence other perspectives either, and I agree that the problem is refusing to take in new information - I just think perspectivists would tend to be better at this than objectivists.




    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mexico View Post
    Yeah, I don't see how one contradicts the other.


    Number 2 seems like a nigh-indisputable statement. (Is an ideation without a perspective even possible?)


    Number 1 is famously debatable, but not because it conflicts with Number 2.


    By "prefer", do you perhaps mean something other than "agree with"? Are you asking which is more important in its implications as a philosophical maxim, or something along those lines?


    On Tangential Question:

    The concept of being "conscious" could be taken to intrinsically imply qualities/behaviors like perception and reaction. How can you be conscious if there's nothing to be conscious of?

    (This is just me pulling a haphazard inversion of cogito ergo sum out of my ass, though.)
    I do mean something more than "agree with". I do mean to ask which is more important or sensible in its implications as a philosophical maxim.

    And I left things as basic as possible, limiting my focus to the core basis of each philosophy. But if I filled out the greater implications of each philosophical basis - what would or has naturally grown out of such a philosophical basis - then perspectivism basically flat out disputes objectivism and the idea that reality and truth exists independently of consciousness.

    I'd go farther than saying number 2 seems like a nigh-indisputable statement, by saying it is an indisputable statement.
    And I'd agree with you on number 1 too, and add that it's fundamentally debatable.
    So which philosophical maxim would you want your philosophy based on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Polemarch View Post
    This is a false choice
    How so?

    Quote Originally Posted by Polemarch View Post
    I've never really understood the value of this line of inquiry. If I close my eyes, a la Berkeley, do I care whether the world disappears or not?

    For all purposes, the physical world appears to follow a set of rules which persist whether or not I pay attention to them constantly. I can look away for a while, or go to sleep, and when I pay attention again, things have proceeded according to the same set of rules. So this isn't really about whether my consciousness is a required component for that physical world to exist. In the absence of a good reason to disbelieve in objective reality, it's a pretty solid theory.

    But MY perceptions are dependent on my consciousness to exist. Other people who (presumably) also inhabit the same physical world each have their own consciousness, which shapes their perceptions. We each construct reality in our own way based on those differing perceptions. Those realities don't intersect, even though they occupy a common physical environment.

    Anyway, like I said, this is a false dichotomy.
    It seems to me you are looking at this too simplistically, as if consciousness doesn't exist beyond your own, and had no part to play in the way you understand the world to work - especially while you aren't looking at it!

    I agree one's perceptions are dependent on the existence of one's consciousness though. I'd hope our perspectival realities are intersecting right meow, however, at least to some degree, on some meaningful level - otherwise, what's the friggin' use of this forum, amirite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyrus View Post
    Perhaps it would be better to ask: Do you believe that reality is mind-independent or mind-dependent?

    I believe that reality is mind-independent for two reasons:
    1. Idealism requires more faith than realism, because for it to be true you must be committed to a theory that is even more difficult to prove, like "we are brains in a vat."
    2. Alternatively, a skeptic may use idealist arguments to shake our commitment to realism, and I admit that skepticism is irrefutable and realism requires faith. However, at least a subconscious commitment to realism is essential to living our lives. So it's also a practical matter.
    1. what it means for something to be true under perspectivism is something very different than what it means for something to be true under objectivism, and what it seems to me like you're doing here is implying that perspectivism fails because its truth fails to live up to the standards of objectivism, but that's not necessarily how it works. I see it differently than you: objectivism requires more faith than perspectivism because for objectivism to be true you must be committed to a theory that is theoretically impossible to prove.
    2. Would you say skepticism is irrefutable because it has no positive/substantial content, perhaps because it itself is a refutation? Carry this through to its logical end, and what are you left with (that's what a true objectivist would do!)? Saying a subconscious commitment to realism is essential to living our lives seems to me like saying a subconscious commitment to attachment and suffering is essential to living in samsara! I seem to want to resist this being made into realist vs idealist debate, just cause I don't think that's a very helpful distinction to bring into the discussion because it would seem to imply that objectivist=realist and idealist=perspectivist and I don't think that's necessarily the case, I actually see it closer to perspectivist=realist and objectivist=realist (I don't mean to admonish you, just share my perspective)

    Quote Originally Posted by Robcore View Post
    1) Reality does not exist independently of consciousness. Consciousness exists, and if we are to assume that reality is the sum of things that exist, then reality is not independent from consciousness. However, as it has been explained above, reality is not seemingly dependent upon particular individual consciousnesses or upon individual perspectives, though individual consciousnesses may commit agency upon reality so as to direct the course of things.

    2) All ideations do take place from particular perspectives...if we accept that the map is not the territory, and that ideations are akin to maps. Further, nothing can be completely understood independent of the context in which it exists...and that context may frequently include a number of perspectives or circumstances (eg. time, location, climate, prevailing consciousness[es] having influence on the situation, etc.). As such, reality cannot be completely understood while excluding consciousness from the prevailing context of its occurrence, even if reality could theoretically persist if consciousness were to disappear...because its disappearance would occur relative to some reality.
    I agree with most of this, I would like to add this though:
    I'd contend that the reason why reality is not seemingly dependent upon particular individual consciousnesses is because the objectivist belief pervades throughout society and has sort of a castrating effect on creativity of individual consciousnesses.
    Last edited by wise fool; 03-11-2015 at 08:33 AM.

  10. #10
    Amen P-O's Avatar
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    I don't like the way you word the perspectivist option, but of the two, it fits better.

    To me, reality is defined apriori in terms of my experiences.
    The most logically conservative starting place is to say that "reality" is a category that should model the world I experience. If it doesn't do that, I don't want to call it reality.

    After constructing this definition, I can choose to say that I want to describe reality using a solipsistic theory (reality is subjective) or a realistic theory (reality is objective). Both of these agree that reality is constructed in the mind. A realistic theory goes a step further and says that the reality in my mind is merely an imperfect image of the true objective reality. In other words, an objective theory is adding an assumption, so we might expect it to be less preferable, all things being equal.

    I think one of the benefits of using the objective model come about in communicating with other people. It streamlines information that we wish to confer to our fellow humans. Instead of saying "bob thinks the treasure is over there", you can say " the treasure is there". For most common conversations, it's not useful to have the extra confounding factor of interpreting the facts through somebody's perspective. It's extra work that we don't usually want to deal with.


    Addendum: I neglected to note that I choose to model reality using the objective theory. This illustrates at least one way in which it's a false choice between objectivist and perspectivist concept of reality. The apriori definition of reality is in terms of my perspective, however the model used to fulfill the criteria laid out by that definition is objective.
    Last edited by P-O; 03-11-2015 at 04:11 PM.
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