Can anything be known subjectively but not objectively?

Discussions relating to how knowledge is formed, including science, common sense, and phenomenology

Can anything be known subjectively but not objectively?

Postby Brandon Norgaard on Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:53 pm

Based on the definition of subjective and objective provided on this site, can anything be known subjectively but not objectively? Few people will deny that we have subjective knowledge, but there are quite a few people who will say that this subjective knowledge, such as the knowledge of how pain and pleasure feel, can be known objectively with advanced brain scans and advanced knowledge of neurobiology and the chemicals in the body that are responsible for these feelings. What are your thoughts?
User avatar
Brandon Norgaard
Site Admin
 
Posts: 261
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:54 pm
Location: Folsom, CA

Re: Can anything be known subjectively but not objectively?

Postby gnomon on Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:30 am

Hi Brandon

I suppose another way to put the question is this : can all subjective experiences (qualia) be reduced to objective, materialistic (quantitative) phenomena? As you have noted, Daniel Dennett would answer in the affirmative. Based on my emerging post-materialist theory of how the world works though, I would have to answer "No". However I haven't gone through the related reasoning in enough detail to be confident in that answer. Maybe I'll learn something from your blog that will tip the balance one way or the other.

I noticed at an early age that the objective/subjective quandary was at the root of most philosophical and religious disputes. I hope you can shed some light on that long-buried stumbling stone.

In my Enformationism hypothesis, all physical objects ultimately reduce to metaphysical thought-objects in the mind of G*D. But to say that's an unproven speculation would be an understatement.

Looks like we are both working in similar terrain, and headed in the same direction. Good luck with your enlightenment project.

gnomon
gnomon
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:07 am

Re: Can anything be known subjectively but not objectively?

Postby Brandon Norgaard on Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:01 pm

gnomon wrote:I suppose another way to put the question is this : can all subjective experiences (qualia) be reduced to objective, materialistic (quantitative) phenomena? As you have noted, Daniel Dennett would answer in the affirmative. Based on my emerging post-materialist theory of how the world works though, I would have to answer "No". However I haven't gone through the related reasoning in enough detail to be confident in that answer. Maybe I'll learn something from your blog that will tip the balance one way or the other.

Thanks for coming to my site and posting. The reason that I answer "no" to this question is not just because I realize that there is something about my experience that cannot be known objectively, but because the content of some of my subjective experience strongly indicates that it is ontologically distinct from what is known objectively. Otherwise I would be committing a fallacy known as the "epistemic to metaphysical jump". The word "metaphysical" in this context is used not as you (or Aristotle) use it, but as act of figuring out what is ontological, which is how a lot of professors use the term. So perhaps a better term would be "epistemic to ontological jump". Anyways, I'm not doing that. A modern intersubjective science would be helpful in allowing people to be confident in their answer. I recommend reading John Searle's "Mind: and Introduction" or David Chalmers' "The Conscious Mind". I don't agree with everything they say in these books, and part of my book is a rebuttal to some of their arguments. But they are both good at making the case for consciousness and qualia being distinct from anything physical.

I haven't had much time this week because I just moved from Northern California to Phoenix, Arizona. The good thing is I have a job, the bad thing is I don't have much time to write anymore. I've been staying in a hotel this week. This weekend I am flying back to drive the rest of my stuff down. I am hoping to have time to blog more, and I will try to write one tomorrow with the best concise case for phenomenal consciousness that I can think of.
gnomon wrote:In my Enformationism hypothesis, all physical objects ultimately reduce to metaphysical thought-objects in the mind of G*D. But to say that's an unproven speculation would be an understatement.

I agree with this in principle. It may be unproven speculation, but it can, with some effort, be shown to be the best explanation. As others try to advance other purportedly simpler explanation, these can be shown to either not be explanations of the given phenomenon or to actually be more complex.
gnomon wrote:Looks like we are both working in similar terrain, and headed in the same direction. Good luck with your enlightenment project.

Good luck to you as well!
User avatar
Brandon Norgaard
Site Admin
 
Posts: 261
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:54 pm
Location: Folsom, CA


Return to Building a Structure of Knowledge

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Enlightened Worldview Forum

cron