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Thread: Objective Truth

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    Practice, unfortunately, cannot discriminate between good and bad theories, or between truth and error.
    I see. Then -- without all the verbiage -- what discriminates between good and bad theories/truth or error if not practice? ("Commitment to ideas" perhaps?)
    And I do not think "dogmatic pronouncements are somehow an alternative to knowledge". Where on earth did you get that idea?

    On the contrary, you seem to think they constitute knowledge, which is why you are a dogmatist.
    You keep accusing me of this yet I have no idea why. I suspect it's because you tend to project your curious Wittgensteinian predilections onto others and fear that, in truth, you yourself are the dogmatist. If you really thought I was spouting sacred truth why would you not simply ignore me?
    Last edited by trivas7; 19th August 2008 at 19:28.
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    So you say, but how do you know that you can and do recall from day to day your own 'subjective' ideas about this alleged distinction?
    Memory serves as what proof? Consistency? What, in turn, is that useful for in regards to this discussion?



    But, how do you know that what it allegedly 'aspires to' actually exists for it to aspire to.

    In fact, you can't since you are trapped in a subjective bubble.

    Indeed, all you have is one set of subjective ideas 'aspiring to' another set of subjective ideas.

    'Objective reality' thus evaporates.
    You don't know that objective reality exists. That's why I said "conceivably." I would guess from my sensory perception that there is a fact which is not exclusive to me, but I cannot be sure.



    But you cannot even say this, except subjectively. So, we still do not know what 'objective reality' is.
    No, I think it is clear. I am describing how a term is used, I am not describing any inalienable traits of reality.



    This just means that you have conceded the point. Given your subjectivism, 'objective reality' cannot be distinguished from subjective make-believe.
    No, from the start I said that my idea is based purely on my own - necessarily subjective - understanding. And it would be mystical to believe in an objective reality, but this is precisely why I am not opposed to emotive decision-making and logic.

    But, when you try to fill in the details, this "reality which is not shaped by the mind" turns out to be shaped by the mind, and worse, that you cannot distinguish 'subjective reality' from 'objective reality'.
    Not at all. There is no reason to believe, even if we were to conclude that the reality I talk of is exclusive to me, that it was my mind that shaped it. That is quite a leap.

    So, we still do not know what 'objective reality' is for you.

    And I suspect you do not either.
    You may not know, but I actually have a pretty firm concept of it - and from my past discussions with others on subjectivism and objectivism, I think my understanding is shared by others. This, again, is why I support a more fluid, emotional theory rather than a dead, purely numerical one.

  3. #43
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    Trivas:

    I see. Then -- without all the verbiage -- what discriminates between good and bad theories/truth or error if not practice? ("Commitment to ideas" perhaps?)
    Several things do, but practice isn't one of them (as you would know if you actually read something that challenged your dogmatic beliefs, for a change -- such as my posts).

    You are the sort of person who, in the 1860s would have said something like: "Then -- without all the verbiage -- what condems capitalism to go into continual crises if not inflation, Herr Marx?"

    If you can't be bothered to read challenging material, bog off to another board --, or, of course, stay ignorant.

    You keep accusing me of this yet I have no idea why. I suspect it's because you tend to project your curious Wittgensteinian predilections onto others and fear that, in truth, you yourself are the dogmatist. If you really thought I was spouting sacred truth why would you not simply ignore me?
    Now, I have demonstrated that you are the dogmatist here, by showing that you hold onto beliefs you cannot defend, or justify, with argument or evidence, which you accept just because you read them in the Dialectical Holy Books.

    In what way then am I a 'dogmatist'?

    If you really thought I was spouting sacred truth why would you not simply ignore me?
    1) I came to this board nearly three years ago with the express intention of making life difficult for you mystics -- as I have told you several times.

    So, if you post mystical and/or dogmatic gobbledygook here, I will demolish it, every time, without fail, ruthlessly, endlessly and aggressively.

    Get used to it or don't.

    2) If you want to post quasi-religious dogma, then I suggest you do so here:

    http://worldwidechristiansonline.co.uk/

    Or in OI/Religion.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 19th August 2008 at 21:54.

  4. #44
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    Dean:

    Memory serves as what proof? Consistency? What, in turn, is that useful for in regards to this discussion?
    Well, whatever else memory does, it is all you have to go on. So, how do you know that you mean the same by 'subjective' or even 'objective' from one day to the next?

    You don't know that objective reality exists.
    But, as you will see from this thread, I have been asking comrades what this term means. So, it is not so much that I do or do not know that "objective reality" exists, as the fact I do not know what the term "objective" means. So, my challenge is far more radical than merely questioning its 'existence'.

    That's why I said "conceivably." I would guess from my sensory perception that there is a fact which is not exclusive to me, but I cannot be sure.
    Unless you can say what it is you are trying to 'conceive', then for all you know you might be talking about coffee grinders.

    And you can't know, either, for all you have is one 'subjective' idea to compare with another 'subjective' idea.

    As I noted you are trapped in a 'subjective' bubble.

    No, I think it is clear. I am describing how a term is used, I am not describing any inalienable traits of reality.
    But, and on the contrary, all you are describing is your subjective view of how this word is used, and even worse, as you have subjectively characterised it.

    You are still trapped in that bubble.

    No, from the start I said that my idea is based purely on my own - necessarily subjective - understanding. And it would be mystical to believe in an objective reality, but this is precisely why I am not opposed to emotive decision-making and logic
    As the above confirms.

    Not at all. There is no reason to believe, even if we were to conclude that the reality I talk of is exclusive to me, that it was my mind that shaped it. That is quite a leap.
    But, you have already admitted this: that all you have to offer are subjective opinions, even about 'reality'. So, the 'reality' you conceive of is, on your own admission, the product of your mind.

    You may not know, but I actually have a pretty firm concept of it - and from my past discussions with others on subjectivism and objectivism, I think my understanding is shared by others. This, again, is why I support a more fluid, emotional theory rather than a dead, purely numerical one.
    Or so your subjective 'memory' tells you. But we now know that all this is a product of your own imagination.

    Still in that bubble, then...
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 19th August 2008 at 21:57.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    Several things do, but practice isn't one of them
    Again, please name one of those things which discriminates between good and bad theories/truth or error (if you can).
    So, if you post mystical and/or dogmatic gobbledygook here, I will demolish it, every time, without fail, ruthlessly, endlessly and aggressively.

    Get used to it or don't.
    Okay. Yes (but you still don't tell me why you think I'm a mystic, what constitutes dogmatic gobbledygook, etc., so I take my own counsel re this...).
    Eppur si muove -- Galileo Galilei


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  6. #46
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    Trivas:

    Again, please name one of those things which discriminates between good and bad theories/truth or error (if you can).
    Internal consistency, correspondence with reality, ability to solve more problems, theoretical simplicity...

    You need to read some philosophy of science.

    You should in fact welcome this, for practice has refuted your mystical 'theory'. That suggests you should stop appealing to it.

    Okay. Yes (but you still don't tell me why you think I'm a mystic, what constitutes dogmatic gobbledygook, etc., so I take my own counsel re this...).
    Fine, say ignorant (I have actually told you, but like Gilhyle, you refuse to read stuff you do not like, and then complain that I have not told you).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    Internal consistency, correspondence with reality, ability to solve more problems, theoretical simplicity...
    Yes, these are the methods bourgeois idealists use...
    Eppur si muove -- Galileo Galilei


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    Trivas:

    Yes, these are the methods bourgeois idealists use...
    Not so; Marxists have to use them, too, since their criterion ('tested in practice') does not work --, or if it does work, then practice has refuted Dialectical Marxism.

  9. #49
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    Marxism has its own method of acquiring knowledge. The Marxist method is to go from the concrete to the abstract and back to the concrete. This is the dialectical method used in Capital.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenin
    Thought proceeding from the concrete to the abstract -- provided that it is correct (NB) (and Kant, like all philosophers, speaks of correct thought) -- does not get away from the truth but comes closer to it. The abstraction of matter, of a law of nature, the abstraction of value, etc., in short all scientific (correct, serious, not absurd) abstractions reflect nature more deeply, truly, and completely. From living perception to abstract thought, and from this to practice -- such is the dialectical path of the cognition of truth, of the cognition of objective reality.
    -- Lenin's Philosophical Notebooks, 16
    Eppur si muove -- Galileo Galilei


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    Ah, yet more dogmatics! Passages from the New Testament next, I presume?

    But, unfortunately, this contradicts Lenin's other dogmatic assertion that truth is always concrete:

    "[D]ialectical logic holds that 'truth' is always concrete, never abstract…." [Lenin (1921), p.93.]
    Lenin, V. (1921), 'Once Again On The Trade Unions, The Current Situation And The Mistakes Of Comrades Trotsky And Bukharin', reprinted in Lenin (1980), pp.70-106.

    --------, (1980), On The Question Of Dialectics (Progress Publishers).

    Copy available here:

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/leni...921/jan/25.htm

    And yet, this cannot be correct either for that statement is abstract too.

    In that case, if the statement that 'truth is always concrete, never abstract' is itself true, then it is false, since it is abstract, not concrete.

    Has a single dialectical mystic noticed this glaring error in Lenin's 'theory'?

    Are you joking! They are too bust trying not to "think about things they do not think about", like Trivas here.

  11. #51
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    Lenin held a dialectical materialist, not a dogmatic, view of things. Truth is neither abstract nor concrete. Materialist dialectics tells us that there is a unity in the opposites of philosophical categories like the abstract and the concrete. Read Marx's Capital to see how it works.
    Eppur si muove -- Galileo Galilei


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  12. #52
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    Trivas:

    Lenin held a dialectical materialist, not a dogmatic, view of things. Truth is neither abstract nor concrete. Materialist dialectics tells us that there is a unity in the opposites of philosophical categories like the abstract and the concrete. Read Marx's Capital to see how it works.
    And yet, just like Engels and Hegel, he kept coming out with all these dogmatic statements. Odd that...

    Unfortunately, for you, Lenin said "'truth' is always concrete, never abstract."

    Alas, there is no 'unity of opposites' here.

    So, which is correct? Is truth 'concrete', or abstract? Lenin seemed to believe both and neither.

    Don't tell me you haven't given this any thought either!

    Moreover, it's no use directing me to Das Kapital since we have already established that Marx abandoned this sort of talk in that book.

    Moreover, this looks pretty dogmatic, too:

    Materialist dialectics tells us that there is a unity in the opposites of philosophical categories like the abstract and the concrete.
    And, good little dogmatist that you are, you swallowed this guff without a murmur, didn't you?

  13. #53
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    Quoting one-liners out of context in no way establishes Lenin's philosophic bona fiides. Next you're going to try to convince me that Lenin thought himself the socialist Pope
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  14. #54
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    Trivas:

    Quoting one-liners out of context in no way establishes Lenin's philosophic bona fiides. Next you're going to try to convince me that Lenin thought himself the socialist Pope
    1) Dialecticians are always quoting this passage, and as a single liner 'out of context', too.

    2) This quote appears in a published work, unlike the one you quoted (also 'out of context').

    3) Lenin is quite clear in this passage (and he is in fact quoting Hegel -- but is Lenin's quote 'out of context', too?): "truth is always concrete, never abstract."

    So, what did Lenin mean if his plain words do not actually mean what they say they mean?

    4) Here is the context:

    The reader will see that Bukharin’s example was meant to give me a popular explanation of the harm of one-track thinking. I accept it with gratitude, and in the one-good turn-deserves-another spirit offer a popular explanation of the difference between dialectics and eclecticism.

    A tumbler is assuredly both a glass cylinder and a drinking vessel. But there are more than these two properties, qualities or facets to it; there are an infinite number of them, an infinite number of “mediacies” and inter-relationships with the rest of the world. A tumbler is a heavy object which can be used as a missile; it can serve as a paper weight, a receptacle for a captive butterfly, or a valuable object with an artistic engraving or design, and this has nothing at all to do with whether or not it can be used for drinking, is made of glass, is cylindrical or not quite, and so on and so forth.

    Moreover, if I needed a tumbler just now for drinking, it would not in the least matter how cylindrical it was, and whether it was actually made of glass; what would matter though would be whether it had any holes in the bottom, or anything that would cut my lips when I drank, etc. But if I did not need a tumbler for drinking but for a purpose that could be served by any glass cylinder, a tumbler with a cracked bottom or without one at all would do just as well, etc.

    Formal logic, which is as far as schools go (and should go, with suitable abridgements for the lower forms), deals with formal definitions, draws on what is most common, or glaring, and stops there. When two or more different definitions are taken and combined at random (a glass cylinder and a drinking vessel), the result is an eclectic definition which is indicative of different facets of the object, and nothing more.

    Dialectical logic demands that we should go further. Firstly, if we are to have a true knowledge of an object we must look at and examine all its facets, its connections and “mediacies”. That is something we cannot ever hope to achieve completely, but the rule of comprehensiveness is a safeguard against mistakes and rigidity. Secondly, dialectical logic requires that an object should be taken in development, in change, in “self-movement” (as Hegel sometimes puts it). This is not immediately obvious in respect of such an object as a tumbler, but it, too, is in flux, and this holds especially true for its purpose, use and connection with the surrounding world. Thirdly, a full “definition” of an object must include the whole of human experience, both as a criterion of truth and a practical indicator of its connection with human wants. Fourthly, dialectical logic holds that “truth is always concrete, never abstract”, as the late Plekhanov liked to say after Hegel. (Let me add in parenthesis for the benefit of young Party members that you cannot hope to become a real, intelligent Communist without making a study—and I mean study—of all of Plekhanov’s philosophical writings, because nothing better has been written on Marxism anywhere in the world.)
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/leni...921/jan/25.htm

    Bold added.

    So, did Lenin mean what he said, or not?

    Next you're going to try to convince me that Lenin thought himself the socialist Pope
    Well, he, like you and Engels, seemed to like pontificating about things he knew nothing about, such as logic and philosophy.

    Moreover, he promulgated enough dogmas to convince anyone he was indeed trying to do Papal impersonations.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    Well, he, like you and Engels, seemed to like pontificating about things he knew nothing about, such as logic and philosophy.

    Moreover, he promulgated enough dogmas to convince anyone he was indeed trying to do Papal impersonations.
    You see papal pontification everywhere. My quote from Lenin is from here. He read Hegel, Aristotle, Feuerbach, and others especially during 1914-1916.

    Lenin's method of analysis is entirely consistent with Marx's dialectical method in Capital.
    Last edited by trivas7; 25th August 2008 at 18:06.
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  16. #56
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    Trivas:

    You see papal pontification everywhere.
    As Marx said: the ruling ideas are always those of the ruling class.

    Lenin's method of analysis is entirely consistent with Marx's dialectical method in Capital.
    !) How do you know it is?

    2) Marx adandoned the dialectic, as Lenin understood it, as we have already established.

    3) Any comment on Lenin contradicting you by telling us that truth is always concrete, never abstract -- or is this just another of those things 'you do not think about'?

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