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Thread: The Dualist Lie

  1. #1
    creator kari's Avatar
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    The Dualist Lie

    The more I read about anything psychology or philosophy-related, the more I think that dualism is an illusion. Think of the following moieties:

    • Mind - Body
    • Mental - Physical
    • Energy - Matter
    • Function - Form
    • Nuomena - Phenomena



    The only think that distinguishes them from each other is human conceptualisation. For example, we tend to conceptualise emotions as purely mental phenomena, and in doing so ignore the necessary physical, physiological, and neurological substrate in which it epiphenomenally and fundamentally arises from. It's almost like emotions are abstract labels we use to generalise correlating physical phenomena. (Kind of like how personality is the abstracted generalisation of repeated behaviours).

    Take nuomena and phenomena too. "The world of appearances" to me, ignores the fact that we are a part of the flux of reality rather than separate from it. Perception is an active process rather than a passive one. I think the idea that nuomena as inaccessible to us is a lie - it is us.

    This is also the reason why philosophy and psychology is so similar to me. Everytime I post a thread about ideas, I feel like it could fit in either subforum. Everything I've been thinking of fits in together - like a giant puzzle where the pieces have yet to be assembled - the ideas of free will, willpower, mind, consciousness, the explanatory gap, intelligence, neurological hierarchies, addiction, pathologies, OCD, BPD, the limbic system, myelination, muscle memory, growth mindsets, fixed mindsets/learned helplessness, religious salvation, god as absolution, morality, creationism, transcendental idealism, solipsism, matrix, kantian philosophy... ALL OF THIS IS CONNECTED... all of this can be explained in a unified theory of everything.

    Try and convince me otherwise please.
    I fucking hate the cold! - Wim Hof

    Check out my art. https://www.instagram.com/karililt/

  2. #2
    Pull the strings! Architect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kali View Post
    The more I read about anything psychology or philosophy-related, the more I think that dualism is an illusion ... The only think that distinguishes them from each other is human conceptualisation.
    Yes, and the problem is? Kant (one of us) investigated this, I'll take it from a standpoint of scientific theory. Consider gravity. Real, right? Sure, we learn that the first time we fall on our ass. The scientific theory of it is purely a human conceptualization. Newton saw it as a force. OK, what is a force? Answer: a thing that causes gravity ... OK then what about general relativity, what does it say causes gravity? A curvature in space-time. What is space-time? A thing that causes gravity ... See the problem? We experience things (gravity, personality, behavior) which is the qualia, and necessarily conceptualize them in some human framework.

    This idea is as old as the hills. Kant wrote about it, the Matrix brothers did three movies about it, the idea goes back to Plato at least. Feynman had some good things to say about this in the physics context, in math you can see what Gödel had to say. All the same idea. As long as you don't wish to fall into Solipsism, there is a thing out there we call reality, and we all necessarily build models on it. Models are better or worse, we can have a discussion as to what makes them one or the other, but you need at least one. Pick your poison.

    So try as we might, there really isn't a 'first principle' other than the fact that we do experience Qualia (reality). We can measure it too. But we have to build some framework from there, as even conceptualizing it requires a framework, never mind communicating it.

    So saying "dualism is an illusion" - sure, ok? Got something better? You say tomaato, I say toMAto.

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    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    Everything is physical, mental and spiritual...it's all sort of like one of those celtic knots...appearing as separate sections at first...and for practical purposes, you could talk of larger sections of the knot as isolated bits...but the closer that you look, of course you find that there is complete and total continuity between every element.

    I definitely experience physical illness spiritually and mentally; Mental distress in a physical and spiritual way; spiritual/existential distress in a physical and mental way.
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

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    Senior Member Lurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Architect View Post
    So saying "dualism is an illusion" - sure, ok? Got something better? You say tomaato, I say toMAto.
    Why so dismissive?

    Language molds us and defines our reality. Try to think or write without that template sorting absolutely everything for you; of course, you need that framework to even function at a job that requires juggling massive amounts of information.

    People just accept binary opposites as true. That's dangerous.


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    Senior Member Lurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robcore View Post
    Everything is physical, mental and spiritual...it's all sort of like one of those celtic knots...appearing as separate sections at first...and for practical purposes, you could talk of larger sections of the knot as isolated bits...but the closer that you look, of course you find that there is complete and total continuity between every element..
    Well put. I was actually thinking of a straw broom. heh


  6. #6
    Homo siderius Sistamatic's Avatar
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    Perhaps dualism is an artifact of the use of language to express ideas.
    I have this abstraction I want to describe...this concept about how language can streamline our ability to convey ideas and can give us the ability to convey ideas that would be damned near impossible without language, but it also puts a wall around some of our concepts.
    I've not fully formed the thoughts I'm attempting to express. Maybe this thread will help fix that. So...without further adieu, my attempt to explain what words can't explain using words:

    experience 1 -- in college I took several classes in which I learned to identify vast quantities of plants and animals by their scientific names. Herpetology, ornithology, entomology, botany, ichthyology ... to name a few. But throughout I always felt as if memorizing the name of something and being able to dichotomously key it, or key in on that one thing that made it different from the similar thing, etc., and "knowing" what that thing was to be artificially conflated things. I know how to identify Asclepius tuberosa and I know a bunch of little memorized facts about it, but do I really know what it is? I had a mimosa tree in my yard as a kid and I climbed it, watched the birds and insects utilize it, made bouquets of it's flowers, and knew every nuance of it's scent. I watched it's seeds sprout and grow, but in botany class, all I had to do was call it "Albizia julibrizzen" to make it into a plant I know.

    experience 2 -- I participated in figure drawing classes when I was much much younger. In one class the students had put up their self portraits on the wall. One of the students was this cocky dude who had an inborn ability to draw and paint photorealistically. His self portrait was his reproduction of a photo of himself, but with a pan/goat bottom half. The class had cast anonymous votes for best self portrait. There was one painting ... it was of a girl sitting on the floor reading, but it was abstract and made of a few simple shapes. It had a quality to it that conveyed an intimacy ... sort of brought tears to the eyes. You couldn't tell which student it was from the painting, but you could tell more about that student from that painting than you could from anyone else's. I still remember it, still remember the emotion it communicated...a withdrawn aloneness that was not lonely. Neither painting won the vote. I don't think any one painting got more the 3 or 4. The cocky guy had a tantrum in front of the class because his painting was clearly the best one on the wall and he was the only one who voted for it ... and if you are talking about technical ability to reproduce images, the guy was a human camera, but his paintings narrowed how you saw a thing, while that other one opened the mind up.

    experience 3 -- this podcast http://www.radiolab.org/story/91725-words/ makes a case for the fact that words are needed in order to even be able to conceptualize certain things. But beyond that, once we have wordified something, do we not by that act constrain it? If we had not defined introversion and extroversion how aware would we be of the dueling duality of them. In one of @epistemophiliac's threads it was determined that many languages don't have a word for the funny bone, and those whose languages don't have a word for it don't have any memory of having hit their funny bone. Knowing a word for it makes the experience of striking that spot stand out. Makes me wonder how much of the emotional pain we experience is there only because we are told to expect it.

    Anyway, one other set of opposites bracketing a continuum. Poetry vs. tech writing. One is an abstract word painting and the other a photorealistic representation of an idea designed to leave nothing open to interpretation. I have a tendency to strive for the latter in my communication, but also a tendency toward awe when seeing a great example of the former. This post is a disorganized mess. Not poetic. Not concise. Oh well. I'll blame my P, ha.
    Insults are effective only where emotion is present. -- Spock, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" Stardate 3468.1.

    I'm not avoiding socializing I'm helping socializing avoid me! --MoneyJungle

  7. #7
    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    Dualities are useful but not true, they're the easiest way to bootstrap some objectivity out of the slurry which surrounds us.

    Unities are useful only in a dualistic relationship with duality, for the same reason.

  8. #8
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    I think dualities are a natural byproduct of the way people think: by comparison of two things for contrast.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  9. #9
    Pull the strings! Architect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurker View Post
    Why so dismissive?
    Didn't intend to come off as dismissive.

    People just accept binary opposites as true.
    What's 'true' mean? Binary opposites exists. Light, Dark, Good, Evil, and everything in between. We invented these concepts because they're useful and describe reality, why is that a problem?

    That's dangerous.
    Because ... ?

    If you take a pie and slice it in half, what do you have? Better, cut it in the shape of a Yin-Yang. Do you have a pie? Yes. Do you have a half Yin pie? Yes again. Do you have a half Yang pie? Yes, yes yes! Remember the parable of the blind men and the elephant? Again the same old concept is playing out.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Architect View Post
    Didn't intend to come off as dismissive.



    What's 'true' mean? Binary opposites exists. Light, Dark, Good, Evil, and everything in between. We invented these concepts because they're useful and describe reality, why is that a problem?



    Because ... ?

    If you take a pie and slice it in half, what do you have? Better, cut it in the shape of a Yin-Yang. Do you have a pie? Yes. Do you have a half Yin pie? Yes again. Do you have a half Yang pie? Yes, yes yes! Remember the parable of the blind men and the elephant? Again the same old concept is playing out.
    Touchy subject?


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