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About BioGio

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  1. Canonization debates have been some of the pettiest, most pointlessly divisive, and needlessly aggressive things I've seen on this website and there's no way I'm going to vote to take all that away. ~ BioGio
  2. You are aware that, with translations, English doesn't always have parallels in other languages, right? The original transcript used no pronouns. During translation, they would have used the next closest term or phrase to describe the event, which in this case required them to use a masculine pronoun because that's probably all they had in that department. French and English are pretty transitionable in terms of translating, they are neighbors and French/Latin has had an influence on many English phrasings just sayin. I think it would be cool for plasma to be female, it makes sense in my head, but then again to we really want more retcon? But English also borrowed from other languages, so not everything matches up there. That brings another thought to mind: was the French text talking about the Toa specifically, or about Zaktan (who supposedly killed said Toa), or Avak (the one who observed the resulting scene). Depends on the translation. Without having that provided, I have no way to check that. So the French as provided by maxim21 is clearly talking about the Toa; masculine articles, adjectives, pronouns are used to refer to him. This isn't really sufficient evidence for anything, though, since in French every article and every third-person pronoun (and most adjectives) must encode either masculine or feminine gender. Hence, the very first word of that passage ("A"/Un) had to set the Toa's gender as either masculine or feminine. There is no convenient means of obscuring this masculine/feminine distinction, short of writing something like un(e), il/elle, and entraîné(e), which sounds terribly uncertain and doesn't mesh with the rest of the books omniscient point of view. (By analogy, one wouldn't expect to read "s/he" in this sort of context in English; English would be more likely to use other strategies which do not exist in French, due to English's lack of grammatical gender outside of the third person singular pronouns.) Given that French generally uses the masculine gender for nonspecific or unknown referents (e.g., in phrases such as Il pleure, "It rains," lit. "He rains"), the use of the masculine gender here really tells us nothing, since the grammatical structure of French is such that it uses the masculine as its default. More likely than not, the phrasing of the translation is simply following grammatical convention. (This does, however, suggest that use of the feminine there would have been an unlikely and bold decision, and so could have actually been positive evidence in favor of the retcon.) By way of a quick, monolingual analogy: If the English original had read something like "Zaktan killed the Toa of Plasma, and Avak found their boots," there wouldn't really be any reason to assume that there were multiple Toa of Plasma. ~ BioGio
  3. Congrats on beating the final boss of literature. Now be sure to look up all of the bibliographical work done on Ulysses (e.g., the pages upon pages written about whether the telegram to Stephen Dedalus should read "Mother dying" or "Nother dying") and ask yourself, "Did I really read this book?" In all seriousness, though, in what context/for what purpose exactly are you studying Ulysses?
  4. So, what you've said here is that: 1. The author intended the size to be "mind-bogglingly huge" (a term that shows up in criticisms of the size as being unrealistic). 2. Therefore, it is good that the size is "ridiculous" (another word that shows up in these criticisms). The only way we can really get from 1 to 2 is by also having another premise: If the author intends something, then it is good. I'm asking why we should accept that premise. Now, as for why I'm suggesting that the author's intention might not matter here, it's twofold: 1. the idea of the intentional fallacy in literary criticism (so just saying "usually fans of a work are interested in the author's intention" is not a sufficient reason to decide whether criticisms against the work "don't work" simply because they criticize an aspect of the work that was intended); and 2. you yourself have now said that knowing the author's intention is only good for knowing the author's intention (i.e., unless you have some other application for this knowledge, it has no bearing on the current discussion). Okay, that's a step in the right direction. Lemme pause you right there. This was brought up, at least in the other topic, because people (Sailor, and then Alvis) [Edit: well, "seemed to mistake" or didn't word it clearly enough anyways] a conceptual portrayal for the canon size against Greg's size, forgetting that Greg was put in charge of the canon. Like I said there, that doesn't mean Greg's canon answer is the wisest one. It just means that it's the currently canon one and if people think they have a better idea, they should bring it up with him and not pretend their idea is canon. Or, just have headcanon. First of all, that is not a "step in the right direction." My original comment was intended to show the logical conclusion of your faith in the author's intention; if I had meant to say that the size of the robot was necessarily nonsensical, I'd not have written "something" in the original comment. I wasn't reading the other topic, so my comment was a direct response to the reasoning in your statement "Basic reason most arguments against it don't work -- it's supposed to be "mind-bogglingly huge." So being "ridiculous" is generally a good thing in this case." I'm also critical of this whole concept of "canon" especially as it relates to asking direct questions of Greg Farshtey. If he were to say "Gali is blue" in one book, then "Gali is not blue" in another book, then there is simply a contradiction and one of those things needs to be non-canon. We know that there is a contradiction without even asking Greg. And if we look through every other book, and they all describe Gali as being some shade of blue or another, then we'd probably reasonably assume that the statement "Gali is not blue" was simply wrong--an error. Anyway, it seems to me that people in this topic have been simply looking for contradictions in the canon, and occasionally proposing alternatives to the size of the robot, which alternatives are made in light of the other statements in the text of BIONICLE. Never said everybody does. I was presuming it goes without saying that we all know most fans just see cool toys on the shelf and say "HEY ELEMENTAL BLASTERS!" (and giant robots). I'm talking to the people who chose to try to do some math to make a criticism. If you're gonna do it, do it right, yanno? Besides, isn't this just an admission that the critic's math probably doesn't work out? What is the point in making a criticism if the criticism's logic/math/plausibility doesn't have to be held to the high standards that even making a criticism implies Bionicle should be held to? I don't get this. Yet it happens in almost every topic where somebody complains and others point out flaws in their reasoning. People... think a little. Seriously, it's good for you. I realize that you never said everybody has to do math to understand BIONICLE. I never thought or implied that you had said that. But you did say that "BIONICLE was intended to take some work to understand." This is not an admission that the critic's math doesn't fly. It's an alternative perspective for looking at this problem, one in which the critic didn't ever need to do any math. The standards of logic/math/plausibility can be the same in fiction as in real life, except for the fact that in fiction two propositions can be contradictory. In real life, two sentences can be contradictory, but two propositions cannot. In real-life science, we generally address contradictory sentences by determining whether our observations are flawed or by gathering more data. We take Greg's statements as perfectly and truly representing the facts of the world of BIONICLE, so there is no way that our observations can be flawed (and the story is over, so there is no more data to be gathered), so if two of his statements are contradictory, then the world of BIONICLE must have two contradictory true propositions. Since BIONICLE is fiction, this is possible. But if we don't want to have such a contradiction, then we have two new options: 1. accept that there is a contradiction; or 2. reject one of the hypotheses based on some criterion (here, posters have used relative physical implausibility, which I suppose works as well as anything for this case). ~ BioGio
  5. Please answer why the author's intention matters. I didn't mean to say that the size of the robot is necessarily nonsensical. What I'm saying is that if we treat the author's intention as solely determining whether something is "true" within a work of fiction, then we have to accept even nonsensical statements. So why do we have to bear in mind that the size of the robot was intentionally made ridiculous (and therefore its being ridiculous is a good thing)? I'm not sure why it's useful to treat fictional canon as though it were indisputably true. In real life, if we have two contradictory observations, then something to do with out observations is wrong (bad equipment giving wrong measurements, etc.). But in fiction, we can actually have contradictory facts, since statements about fiction do not describe propositions in the real world and thus are not bound by the law of non-contradiction. Treating issues in fiction as un-retcon-able totally untenable for this reason. I understand that different people may have different standards for what counts as a contradiction (after all, this is an inductive problem, so it's not as simple as finding p and ~p), but we cannot have the same approach to fiction as to real life since otherwise we're treating fiction as though it were governed by the same logical axioms as real life.* Even if it's beneficial to exegete Greg Farshtey's statements because doing so makes people think, I'm still not convinced that: a) it was really intended that people need to do tons of math to understand BIONICLE; b) whether it was even intended matters. (Also, I'd just like to point out that Dina Saruyama's objections to this point are similarly relevant, if from a different approach.) ~ BioGio *Good fiction generally does follow the same axioms, but not all fiction necessarily does.
  6. Why is the intention of the author relevant here? Deliberately writing something nonsensical doesn't really excuse it from being nonsensical, unless you assume that the author's intention is all that matters in evaluating a work of art. Moreover, if the author set out to write something ridiculous, and readers don't like that it's ridiculous, then either the reader or the author is "wrong." Your approach is charitable to the authors, at least. I tried to make sense of the reasoning behind "the size of the robot is supposed to raise issues, so we can look for any solution short of concluding the number is wrong," but I honestly don't understand. It smacks of begging the question, but I'm having difficulty parsing the linear reasoning in that statement. ~ BioGio
  7. Only if they try to cross the fords of the Jordan River and you suspect they may in fact be Ephraimite. ~ BioGio EDIT: Oh wow I'm three weeks late with this joke.
  8. I'm inclined to want to agree with this premise, if only because it's so wonderfully Aristotelian, but I am a bit wary of it. Imposing possession of a theme/message on the category of things we call stories might be a bit. Poorly told stories, for instance, might not have any (intentional) theme. And some ancient literature doesn't mesh well with this idea, depending on how flexible your definition of theme is. Similarly, if I tell a joke that has a form similar to a story (say, a shaggy dog story with a real plot that just terminates in a bad pun), then what might the theme be? Perhaps it could be "I am a funny person, so watch as I completely subvert your expectations," but then we've allowed for the act of telling the story to be the thing with the message, rather than the story itself having a message. I'm not sure what I think about this, so these are just some preliminary sketches at questions I'll want to pose better and hopefully work towards an answer to. ~ BioGio
  9. Lyichir: This discussion has only been partially about semantics, mostly in that I've been clarifying that I'm using terms in such a way that has closely followed Slick's usage. Moreover, examining the underpinnings of claims that have been made in this discussion can't really be considered off-topic. My (and fisher64's) posts get into the question of how we can evaluate the statements that have been made here; that's certainly relevant. Perhaps they could be called, to continue the spatial metaphor, below-topic or even meta-topic--but not off-topic. What I've been asking is whether there's a correct answer to the question this thread poses; that's undeniably releant. That being said, I have been considering making a blog post in which I could address these sorts of issues and related problems with BZP's/S&T's applications of logic. Anonymous User: I don't know if it's necessarily that surprising. Consider, for example, throwing a ball. You can discuss the action in terms of playing catch with your friends, or you can approach it from the perspective of scientific inquiry into mechanics and bring in all manner of equations. The toughest physics that a freshman class often deals with is related to the movement of things like bicycles (a superficially simple topic). Dina Saruyama: Exactly! That's what the whole field of aesthetics is all about--trying determine whether and if so how preferences might be evaluated. I'm more inclined to believe that aesthetic judgments can be examined much like judgments of other properties of things (i.e., "coolness" is as real as "redness')--but then again I spend too much time with Greco-Roman thought and this belief is probably just interference therefrom. I also personally go through a panicked phase of Berkeleyan idealism about yearly, so again I'm not sure I want to put all my eggs in one philosophical basket. ~ BioGio
  10. I've been busy doing some very menial research, so I see that the discussion has basically moved on and I'll keep things brief. (My work has also left my quite mentally drained, so the wording here may be rough; I feel as though I've lost access to a portion of my vocabulary.) Comments below are numbered by blocks in your reply. 1. I know that you weren't trying to make a philosophical point, but either way you were engaging with the same ideas. I only really saw this post--the comment about verifiability started off as an idle thought--and then I started thinking about the implications. (I think I've already told you several times that the word "logic" is terribly misused around here; I really should try to write something more conclusive on the matter, rather than just kind of needle people every blue moon.) Also, morality and logic are not mutually exclusive. 2. The last two sentences have also been removed from their context. I do not know the declarant of T="Tom thinks BIONICLE is cool," just as I do not know the declarant of A="BIONICLE is cool." Why does the necessity of context increase when we're talking about statements B and ~B? If it is because they are "preferences," then what means do we have of sorting out preferences from other statements. I need more convincing that a word like "cool" is unique in that it indicates a person experiences the emotional benefit of coolness; in short, the mechanics-of-language argument doesn't hold water. Syntactically, we can say "BIONICLE is cool" (B) or "BIONICLE is cool to Tom" (T), and we can also say either "this table is red" ® or "this table is red to Dick" (D). After all, a preference such as "BIONICLE is cool" is just a means of indicating the internal experience of pleasure caused by BIONICLE. Could a statement such as "This table is red" be interpreted as communicating the experience of seeing red. As for other interpretations of B, how about this one: BIONICLE possesses an intrinsic state of coolness, just like my table is intrinsically red. People with bad taste don't believe BIONICLE is cool, but then colorblind people don't believe my table is red--they're just wrong. Coolness in this case is an objective property that causes internal experiences (what you've called emotional benefit), just as redness is an objective property that causes the experience of seeing red. So, either coolness and redness are equally objective, or neither are, or we need much better ways of distinguishing sense from nonsense. 3. Your wording there was just very sloppy, so I kind of went overboard in calling that out. Your brief response here is thus sufficient in terms of clarifying what you had intended earlier; thank you. 4. Excellent question! You're now asking the questions I wanted to provoke: How do we verify the fact that a person stating their enjoyment of something is actually correct? How do we verify emotions, or preferences, or anything else? Verification of internal experiences is impossible according to the Vienna Circle, since there is no external sense datum directly associated with an internal experience. If you are sad and I see you crying, I don't actually see your sadness but rather your reaction thereto. A person's experiencing sadness is invisible to the exterior world--as is a person's holding a preference. Now, the issue with Schlick et al. here is that they assume we experience redness more directly. I'm not so sure of this, but perhaps we'll bracket that question for now. As for the matter of lying, people can derive simple enjoyment from misleading people online--trolling--or may just be compulsive liars. I've seen people on this website "play devil's advocate" (i.e., make claims they don't believe in) and only admit to doing so after someone takes them to task. (Incidentally, the matter of a compulsive liar is philosophically interesting, but I'll bracket that as well.) 5. In much (I don't want to say most for the sake of hedging my bets) logical positivist writing, experiences are discrete (in the sense that they are bounded by the brain's ability to "think" them) but the timeframe for them is not further limited (so an internal experience could be felt lifelong). Schlick is quite clear that aesthetic judgments (in our parlance, preferences) are internal experiences. Thus, my first post's use of the term was correct insofar as I was very closely following him. If we want to talk about whether a preference is an internal experience in the sense of a discrete mental state, then we certainly can--or we can just say that maybe the translation from the German doesn't pick quite the right word. (My German isn't nearly good enough to tell you about that, though, so I'll not try to.) 6. To be fair, "you've been doing philosophy" isn't necessarily a compliment per se. (People can do very bad philosophy with or without realizing that it is in fact philosophy.) I just want to encourage you to be aware of where your statements fall in overall intellectual life. 7. Well, does it? There are some tremendously intelligent people who have said no. (For example, Bishop George Berkeley, whose criticism of Newton's calculus actually set out the very problems that later mathematicians had to explore, believed in idealism, which does not suppose the existence of properties. Berkeley's idealism is basically the logical conclusion of empiricism, and his Three Dialogues are moreover very easy to follow.) I'm not entirely willing to utterly assume the existence of properties because of the very objections they raise, but then I'm also not willing to ignore their opponents either. As for whether you're a logician or stupid, it is definitely more useful to just assume that Eurobricks don't like BIONICLE, but what's useful isn't always right. Many informal fallacies are actually heuristics, which have great cognitive function. For example, "appeal to authority" is a quick way of sorting out reasonable commentators that works most of the time (lawyers know laws, farmers know vegetables; so I trust them in their respective fields). In short, it would behoove you (and, for that matter, S&T overall) to reason through this philosophy of aesthetics more closely. (The "taste-preferences" debates that occur here are some of my least favorite BZP logic-applications, mostly for this reason.) ~ BioGio
  11. Before I get into this: Aanchir, would you mind pointing out exactly what you find difficult to follow? I'd be more than happy to clarify and/or suggest further reading if you're interested. I do sometimes forget my audience to a certain extent, hence the brevity of my sketch of (just for example) Schlick's work. It's a pretty bad habit, and my paragraph about Plato/Berkeley/Russell falls into it pretty badly, although that was also directly more specifically at fishers than a more general audience. "At this point, you're taking what I'm saying out of context and twisting what I said to insert an arbitrary distinction into the debate. I do not see the need to draw a distinction between the fact that a person has a preference and the preference itself in this context. In any case, the fact that Mr. Salvus has the preference is enough to draw that it is a valid one - Mr. Salvus has that one, does he not?" No, I am not misrepresenting your words; I'm reading them on their own terms. More importantly, this distinction is not arbitrary when it comes to evaluating the truth values of preferences (or better said, the two distinct things you've conflated into the term "preferences"). This distinction is meaningful for the reasons I laid out in my very first post. To put it as linearly as I can: This is a preference per se: BIONICLE is cool. (B) This is a preference per se: BIONICLE is not cool. (~B) This is a statement of the fact of a person holding a preference: Tom thinks BIONICLE is cool. (T) This is a statement of the fact of a person holding a preference: Dick thinks BIONICLE is not cool. (D) The distinction here is absolutely essential because we're trying to talk about whether any preference is "always objectively true." If any preference is "always objectively true," then both B and ~B are true, and we have a contradiction. If any statement of the fact of a person holding a preference is true, then both T and D can be true without contradiction. These are two wildly different things, and combining them makes any work with aesthetics nearly impossible. It's also worth pointing out that a statement of the form "X thinks BIONICLE is cool" is not always true. Let us assume for the moment that I hate BIONICLE fan, so I think it's not cool. Thus, the statement "BioGio thinks BIONICLE is cool" is false. What if some day I walk into a BIONICLE convention and (maybe for the sake of trolling) claim to be a BIOINICLE fan, so I say "BIOINCLE is cool." To the outside observer, it may appear that "BioGio thinks BIONICLE is cool" is true. But in fact they would be mislead by my vicious lies. Hence, we need some means of evaluating statements of the fact of a person holding a preference; we can't just say that they are "always objectively true." (In brief: What if Salvus was lying for a joke? How does your theory of aesthetics handle this possibility?) "but you cannot divorce preference from the people who have it, since it is a quality of human beings" Yes, this is your definition of preference. I've been trying to show how confounding the preference with the act of having the preference actually makes discussing aesthetics even more difficult. "I expected you to come back with the "preferences of people can change" argument. Yes, I can put a white cover on the red book, changing its color. " I have made no such argument and I'm honestly not sure from where you got the idea that I have. Please point me to it. "Secondly, preferences are NOT internal "experiences". They are causes of internal experiences (i.e. emotions), which ultimately result in external changes to the external environment of the people around them. [...] It's emotions that you're looking for - these, in fact, have no truth value and are outside of the realm of logic - indeed, the concepts are frequently pitted against each other in many psychological readings. But don't confuse the emotions themselves with the logical cause of these emotions, i.e. preference." If preferences are not internal experiences, then what are they? They're apparently qualities of persons. But what sort of qualities are they? Are they physical properties? No. Are they mental properties? Yes. Then they are internal experiences. (I found a webpage with a decent start towards defining internal experiences and verifiability, but it terminates with a brief discussion of religion, and I figured it skirted BZP's rules a bit too closely. Especially since I've already taken a bit of a tangent, I didn't want to start an actual flamewar or anything.) Now, allow me just to say: I know for a fact that I am not looking to say emotions. I know this because my first post very closely followed Schlick and a number of other 20th century positivists, and they dismissed aesthetics as being impossible to evaluate, since internal experiences such as aesthetic experiences (i.e., preferences such as "BIONICLE is cool") are not verifiable. (And bear in mind that my purpose in was only to show one way in which. There are a number of alternatives, such as taking a more Greek approach and arguing that qualities of aesthetic goodness are in fact objective and independent of an individual's personal aesthetic experience.) I know that this sounds a bit blunt and /r/imverysmart material, but I was very particular with my word choice. Preferences must be internal experiences, especially since they are the causes of emotions (i.e., they are mental states that cause other mental states. All of this (i.e., the holding of preferences and their causing of emotions) goes on in the mind, internal to the holder of the preference. Incidentally, that phrase "logical causes of emotions" has a ton of baggage that I don't think I'm fully prepared to comment on. "It's merely a matter of syntax. The statement "this is terrible" you listed are logical fallacy based on preferences, not the preference itself. I already said that. It's an invalid statement, because someone could walk in the door right as they were saying that, saying "this is wonderful!" and render both statements FALSE." No, "this is terrible" cannot possibly be a logical fallacy, since it is a simple statement. Statements cannot be fallacious, because fallacies are invalid argument structures. This gets back to problems with validity as opposed to truth. "This is terrible" is neither a valid nor invalid statement, because statements cannot be valid or invalid. Furthermore (and here let us assume that "this is wonderful" is the logical negation of "this is terrible," i.e., its opposite), "this is terrible" and "this is wonderful" cannot be simultaneously false. If they were to be simultaneously false, then we would have both a statement and its negation having the same truth value, which is logically impossible. ("This is terrible" is false. "This is wonderful" is logically equivalent to "this is not terrible." "This is wonderful" is false. "This is not terrible" is false. Therefore, "this is terrible" and "this is not terrible" are simultaneously false.) "I would encourage you to avoid mixing up logical fallacies with preference, and emotions with preference. You are blurring all three of them together when you talk." No, I am not blurring these things together. What I'm doing is treating the class of internal experiences and asking how you can possibly verify them. "As I have stated previously, it is false. It attempts to assign a preference value to Bionicle. Since Bionicle isn't a person who holds the preference, and the statement says that all people hold a positive preference value of Bionicle (which is wrong) the statement is false." If the statement is false, then shouldn't its negation be true? What ultimately settles this matter most quickly is (probably) to say that the statement "BIONICLE is cool" refers to an internal experience (i.e., a preference per se) and is therefore nonsense. We cannot objectively verify it, it falls outside of the purview of logic and science, and we must pass over it without speaking. "Let's be honest and up front here BioGio. I'm not a philosopher, I'm a web designer (or a writer, or whatever I need to be). I don't claim formal training in logic - as I recall, someone here was foolish enough to do that without in fact having it - and I welcome your perspective at times." See, this is what I find so funny: you're not a philosopher and you don't think of yourself as one. But you've been doing philosophy right along! You're engaging with some really fascinating ideas that have long histories, and I'm just trying to place that within a larger context. One quick side note: I'm not sure whom you're talking about when you say "someone here was foolish enough to do that without in fact having [formal training in logic]." I figure the only people I know who've claimed such a thing are Gatanui, myself, and arguably bonesiii. Gata has a math degree (well, at least one of him does), so he's definitely got formal training in what is at least a very closely cognate field. I'm honestly not sure about bonesiii. And as for myself, I think I've always taken great pains to stress that I do not have a philosophy degree (although I do know many people who do, and I can get you into contact with them, depending upon whether your and their interests align!--and that's an offer open for pretty much anyone). I have taken some logic classes, but it was like two undergrad courses at most, and every other scholastic treatment of logic I've had was just sort of incidental. But back to the main point: When you start engaging with such heavy philosophical ideas, it is at worst irresponsible and at best self-limiting to say that history of formal philosophy isn't situationally appropriate. Imagine if someone were handling explosive materials, but refused to use technical terminology (like, say, "grams" and "C4"--instead favoring idiosyncratic terminology) and didn't consider prior findings about the behavior of these materials--that could be pretty dangerous! I realize that lives aren't on the line here, maybe we could say that minds or worldviews are, but even that might be a stretch. Still, why not have a little fun with these ideas we're handling? Why not think a little deeper about why we think what we think? re: properties: You say that you have never experienced a property directly, only experiences caused by them. So then how have you ever "observed" a property? So why is it so obvious that things have properties? All I'm trying to do here is to eek out a little more thought about the unexamined presumptions you've been operating on (e.g., things have properties, preferences are properties of thinking persons, etc.). You can still conclude what you've always believed, but I'm just trying to show places where those beliefs may be challenged or improved. This particular topic is really just incidental to our present conversation, so I don't hold it particularly dear. I'm just hoping to spark a bit of interest that may lead to further personal inquiries. ~ BioGio
  12. Then you aren't actually talking about the preference per se, but rather the fact that a person has the preference. These are two very different things; namely, the second is a (potentially discrete) internal experience. Consider the similarity in syntax of the statements: "this is terrible" and "this is red." In both cases, the subject is "this," not "I who am making this statement." But you've said that preferences refer instead to the person making the statement. So when you said earlier that "your statement is always objectively true," you actually meant that "the speech act of stating your statement is always objectively true" (i.e., your statement does in fact refer some internal experience--such as a thought or opinion--and you did in fact articulate it). So to use the simple example I gave earlier, we have the preference per se "BIONICLE is cool," as well as the speech acts stating preference* "I think BIONICLE is cool" and "Joe thinks BIONICLE is not cool." Do you think that the statement "BIONICLE is cool" has a truth value? According to Schlick, it doesn't. So far (well, discounting your original statement that failed to distinguish between preference and speech act, and discounting your later example regarding the statement "this is terrible"), you've only claimed that both of the speech acts are true; so I'm curious as to what you think about the truth value of the preference per se. *Perhaps better said as "statements relating speech acts stating preference," but that takes up a lot more space. Now, if we continue to make this distinction between preference and speech act stating preference, ignoring the preference per se, then operating within your theory of aesthetics we will see that every speech act concerning a preference is true. But that's a rather useless approach to anything (including, I hope to show, aesthetics). Consider the following statements: A: This apple is red. (Parallel to "BIONICLE is cool.") B: Tom thinks that this apple is red. (i.e., Tom believes A) C: Dick thinks that this apple is not red. (i.e., Dick believes the negation of A) In this scenario, we may imagine that Dick has a rare form of color-blindness that means he can only distinguish between "red" and "not-red"; lamentably, he also sometimes identifies red objects (say, apples) as being not-red. Thus, both B and C are true, but the beliefs embedded within (respectively, A and ~A) cannot both be true. So we have something very similar to what you were talking about earlier. The proposition itself (A) must be either true or false, and so must be Tom and Dick's respective beliefs as to the proposition's truth values (B and C); however, both B and C can be true even though they contain embedded within them mutually contradictory statements. But this raises an interesting point: How can we distinguish between a preference (e.g., one's enjoyment of a fictional story) and a perception (e.g., the color one sees in an apple)? Are we then to throw our hands up in the air and say, "Both B and C are true, and that's all I can tell"? (I can probably come up with an answer here and even link you to some relevant literature, but I'm curious to see how you engage with this problem.) I'd also ask the following questions: Precisely what evidence is necessary to verify someone's internal experience? If a stroke victim cannot smile, can we be sure that they enjoy something? If a coma patient is in pain, how can we verify this? Even bracketing these larger questions, how can you be sure that someone on the internet is not lying about their opinions? If I post that BIONICLE should have ended in 2003, by what means can you verify that I actually believe this? Similarly, how do we know that Dick is actually color-blind? What if he's just being difficult on purpose? How can I verify the internal experiences that are his perceptions? Why do you believe that objects have properties? Have you ever directly experienced a property? Or have you only experienced a sensation presumably caused by this property? (If you want to explore this question in more depth, I recommend reading first Plato, then Bishop George Berkeley, and then Bertrand Russell, plus probably some other works on the question of qualia/properties/Dingen an sich/etc. Those names a just a few halfway decent signposts in the debate over whether objects themselves have properties and whether objects/properties exist. Some readings in philosophy of language and broader philosophy of science may also help.) Oh, and one last trifling matter: Statements, by the definition of validity, cannot be invalid. Statements have truth values. The phrase "logically invalid statement" runs counter to the actual definitions used in logic, as described by logicians. I understand that you actually mean to say "true," but these sorts of fuzzy semantics can get out of hand, especially since we're talking about truth values here. Throughout all of your posts here, you've been doing philosophy, so demonstrating greater familiarity with the acceptable terminology of the field would be helpful (although not technically necessary). (It also wouldn't hurt to try to gain a greater familiarity with the history of these ideas, and the greater modern dialogue in which you are participating--if only because it can be fun to see that you're not the only one who's thought these things) ~ BioGio EDIT: It appears that I have gone from using the term "preference-statement" to instead selecting the term "preference per se." They mean the same thing, i.e., the statement which communicates the content of a preference.
  13. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that your statement is empirically nonsense, since an internal experience such as enjoyment cannot be independently verified by sense data? In an empirical/positivist approach, I think we would have to say that a preference cannot have a truth value. (Could someone who has read Schlick more recently than I verify--pardon the pun--this?) And then of course I'd ask why you suppose preferences do in fact have truth values and why both a statement and its negation can have the same truth value. (For instance, if the statement, "BIONICLE is cool" is true because it states my preference, then how can the preference-statement* "BIONICLE is not cool" [i.e., the negation of our first statement] also be true?) Exactly whose theory of aesthetics are you following here? And, more importantly, how does this theory of aesthetics square with your stances on the role of logic? *Please excuse my invention of this terminology; I cannot think offhand of a good term for what you mean by statements defending a preference. ~ BioGio
  14. Next thing you know you've gotta raise a kid. Your life falls apart. Forget that last part.
  15. BioGio


    (I tried to think of something witty to say, but I really couldn't think of anything. It's awesome to see you again!)
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