Charlotte Philosophy Discussion Group Message Board › Welcome, Chuck Pyburn. So let's proceed with discussion!

Welcome, Chuck Pyburn. So let's proceed with discussion!

Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,851
Chuck, so far things have been sort of confusing.

Your "agent," Todd Watlington, joined and posted an advertisement of your four books that are on sale at Amazon.com. I responded that our message board welcomed tips about good stuff, but if everyone who wrote a book advertised on our message board, the message board would lose its value for our members, and recommended that we debate some of the issues raised by your book, so that there would be value for our members.

I also said that what I had seen of your book on Amazon.com led me to believe that my free book (at http://homorationalis.com/homorationalis/hr300.html­) on the Mind-Body Problem would present some questions with regard to what you had written. He sent me an email in which he said that my book was not free, that he had purchased it from Amazon.com for $9.00 and was going to read it, but then he wrote again and said he had made a mistake (enabling me to stop worrying), and he posted that he would like to debate the issues in your book. He posted a synopsis and said we could start debating.

But then not only did the topic disappear (I think only the originator and myself, as organizer, can delete a topic), but he did also, although I have received no notice that he has left the group, and yet I don't see his name among our members anymore. But you have joined.

I don't understand what has been happening, but would you be willing to take up where he left off, posting your synopsis back here, so we can begin to debate the issues? I do have some initial ideas to share, and was going to do so when the topic suddenly disappeared.

Please feel welcome to share and compare your ideas with ours.
A former member
Post #: 1
Greetings and salutations, this is my first go at the meetup thing so bare with me. I'm down here in Augusta and the philosophy pickens are a little slim. I saw your group on the web and suggested it to my agent since he is quite a bit more personable than I am and your group is in proximity. My work takes me through the Charlotte area about six times a year so at some point I'm sure we will meet in person but until then the back-and-forth of the blog will have to do.

I suggested this group because your discussion topics are interesting and your feedback from the gruop is extensive and again, you are in proximity.

As for my agent Todd, for whatever reason he was booted from the meeting universe.

Lastly, I'm not at all concerned about advertisement, book sales, or being 'the philosophy guy'. As my grandmother used to say, "if it doesn't stop the sun from coming up, it ain't that big a deal".

For now I'd just like to read the input from the group on the topics listed and if I ever feel I can contribute in a meaningful way, offer my perspective.

Thanks again for the greeting.........

Chuck Pyburn
A former member
Post #: 2
I'm on vacation this week so having some time I looked over your books. Only a writer knows how much work goes into putting something like that together, cudos old son, well organized, easy to read and your points well defined. I also applaud your observations on symbolism and the use of language. I'm still pondering your third exponential change, I'll have to go back and read the books a second time before I make up my mind.

On a lighter note, if your books point East, my books pooint West. We should have some lively discussion as this rolls along.

A former member
Post #: 3
When it comes to folks please remember that everyone is born free, we have to learn of our captivity.
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,852
Great to have you, Chuck!

That is strange about Todd being "booted"! I know nothing about it. Since he was posting advertising of your books on probably a fair number of sites, perhaps that is what did it. Maybe he can rejoin. I would assume he was the one who deleted the topic he started, but I don't know why. I doubt the "authorities" did it, because it did not just have his posting but mine also, and if a member leaves, his or her posts remain, designated as being by "a former member." So it is very strange.

At any rate, since you have introduced a philosophical statement in your last post, I would like to proceed with some clarification. The words sound familiar, but the meaning is ambiguous. What does it mean to be "born free"? I can't imagine that to be true in much of any sense. What could be more captive than an infant? And then you said we have to learn of our captivity. Do you mean that we are really born captive, but it takes a while to realize it? Or do you mean that we have to develop the belief that we are captive in order to be captive? None of that sounds quite right. So I would like to hear more of what you mean by that sentence.

And BTW, Todd posted a synopsis of your books, or one of them, in which you mentioned a "struggle between order and chaos," if I remember correctly. I was going to ask what that means. It sounds like those two entities have "free will," and have motivation, but they seem in my mind simply to be evaluative nouns having to do with whether we see some sort of predictable pattern in some sequence of situations. Perhaps you could elaborate.

And BTW again, please note the topics available for anyone reading my books. I will look forward to hearing from you with regard to any glitches you might find and any divergences of beliefs between the two of us. We can see who is east or west of whom!

Thanks for your contributions. Hope you can get to one of our meetings one day.
A former member
Post #: 4
Sorry about not getting back to you sooner, we're wrapping up the Summer visit with the granddaughter. I love her to death but she can be a handful.

As for Todd, he's a big boy so I'm sure he can handle things. As for my blurb, it's a minor thought but the struggle between order and chaos, now that iis where the rubber meets the road. I'm going to explain the concept and my thoughts are that I'll either get the boot, be burned at the stake, or some pretty serious questions will be headed my way. To either extent, here goes.

If we take a simple truth such as, only the living can die. This truth does not require awareness, understanding, knowledge of, or definition. It is true for the past, it is true in the present and will be always be true. This truth cannot be altered nor can it be stopped. When it is the case that we become aware of this truth then it will also be the case that we can begin to understand this truth. And as in all cases of existence, where there is one truth then it must also be the case that there are other truths as well. As the individual becomes aware of, and understands, these truths they then begin to establish order where there was only chaos. And lastly, where there are physical truths then there must also be non-physical, or emational, truths as well.

Becoming aware of these truths has been my life-long ambition.

I hope this clears up any ambiguity.
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,853
Chuck, don’t worry about being booted or burned. This is a place to explore all ideas, looking more deeply into them. It is great that you have presented us with some thoughts to consider. I will give you my reactions.

If we take a simple truth such as, only the living can die.
Well, there are already some problems. In order to know whether to agree or not, I need to know what you mean.

It is not clear what you mean by a "truth," much less a "simple" one. You are giving an example, namely, the proposition, "only the living can die." The question is whether this is "true" simply as a matter of definition. Is this simply a statement about how we use our words. When we define "living," are we not simultaneously defining "die"? Can we have a concept of "living" without having the concept of "dying"? Is this simply a way of labeling, or is it a statement that can be subject to verifiability? Is a "simple truth" as you are using the term simply another way of referring to a definition? If it is not just a definition, then is it a verifiable proposition, subject to legitimization by, for instance, the rules of logic and rules of evidence?
This truth does not require awareness, understanding, knowledge of, or definition.
Again, what are you meaning by "truth"? Do you make a distinction between logical truth, namely, a property of a proposition in a system of logic, and a statement regarding an existential proposition (a proposition about the way the world is, was, and/or will be)? Are you using the word "truth" as something that exists independent of any entity (such as we humans) creating a model of something that "exists" in the "universe"?
It is true for the past, it is true in the present and will be always be true. This truth cannot be altered nor can it be stopped.
It appears that you are using the word "truth" as something that is independent of our ability and effort to create models of it. But we usually use the word to refer to a proposition (model) that has been created by us. I have the impression that you are using the word more to refer to something that might be called "reality," that is independent of our beliefs about the nature of it. This immediately gets us into the mind-body problem.
When it is the case that we become aware of this truth then it will also be the case that we can begin to understand this truth.
It is not clear what you mean by becoming "aware" of a truth and how this is different from "understanding" it.
And as in all cases of existence, where there is one truth then it must also be the case that there are other truths as well.
I believe this statement would have to be clarified. Are we referring to something "in the mind," or are we referring to something that is independent of any "mind" to have a model of it?
As the individual becomes aware of, and understands, these truths they then begin to establish order where there was only chaos.
And again, we need a definition of "order" and "chaos" in order to come to a conclusion regarding the acceptability of the statement. The pronoun "they" is unclear. It seems to be referring to "truths." But then you have "truths" engaging in an activity ("establishing"). How can these things called "truths" engage in such an activity?
And lastly, where there are physical truths then there must also be non-physical, or emational, truths as well.
And now there is further confusion, introduced by a classification of "truths" into "physical" and "emotional." Are "physical" and "emotional" a dichotomy? What do these adjectives refer to? I have the feeling that the mind-body problem is deeply embedded in this concept.


Becoming aware of these truths has been my life-long ambition.

I hope this clears up any ambiguity.
As you can see, I believe that your paragraph has a substantial amount of ambiguity in it for the reader, at least for me. The ambiguity comes about in part because of the ambiguity that is inherent in our language. I don't doubt that what you have written has much meaning for you, and apparently a strong feeling of certainty. The feeling of certainty regarding one's own belief is no good evidence that one's own belief is accurate, or even evokes the same feeling of certainty in others. At any rate, the paragraph that you have offered does indeed provide us with a wealth of issues to explore more deeply. I personally believe that the reading of my book on the mind-body problem will aid considerably in that process, but that remains to be seen. I am looking forward to having the book critiqued by others. Because of your strong interest in the pursuit of "truth" and "understanding," I would be especially interested in your critique. (There is a topic on the message board for providing such a critique.)

I may not be able to respond rapidly either, but I certainly do intend to do so. Again, I am grateful to you for your presentation of your ideas. Welcome to our group.
A former member
Post #: 5
Well now, after reading more of the Mind-Body Problem it would appear that you are applying a subjective expierience review to an objective expierience paragraph.

And I now understand why you kept referring to the ambiguous nature of language, to which I shall have to consider agreement on future postings. I would imagine that at some point science will add a USB port to the body as a work-around for language.

An excellent book by the way on the mechanics of thought and perception, not too bad all in all. Oddly enough, we agree on spirituality, religion, God not so much, abortion and punishment.
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,854
Well now, after reading more of the Mind-Body Problem it would appear that you are applying a subjective expierience review to an objective expierience paragraph.
Again, I am not sure I understand you. You appear to be referring to something from my book, but your use of words is specifically different from that in the book. Note the following:

First, we need to be clear about the meaning and domain of the term, "subjective experience," as used in this presentation.

This phrase, "subjective experience" should be regarded as one two-word term, because there is not going to be a corresponding concept of "objective experience" or "non-subjective experience." The two words ("subjective" and "experience") are being used together to designate one thing, only because the two words used together are most helpful in conveying the meaning intended, as will be seen in what follows.

There is a metaphor that I find useful in increasing our understanding of these issues. I ask that you imagine a cartoon that shows two people looking at a house from two different directions. Over the head of each of the people is a "balloon" of the sort used in cartoons to depict either speech or internal thought. In our metaphoric cartoon, there is a house in each of the two balloons, in addition to the house they are both looking at. What is in each balloon represents the subjective experience of the house for each person. Each of those three houses (two in the balloons and one not) looks different to us as we look at the cartoon. (This difference is well reckognized as the difference in perspective). Each person in the cartoon knows only the house that is in his/her own balloon, and it is not the same as the house we see them both looking at. So each of them understands that what is in his/her balloon is different from what is in the other's balloon. Subjective experience of something by two or more people does not have to be the same. And this is true for more than one reason. The reason given in this example is the difference in perspective.

Now, to examine another reason, we first must notice that we can say that what is in the balloon, that is, how the person is experiencing the house, has to be different from the actual house. (After all, the two houses in the balloons are different from each other, so they can't both be the same as something else, the actual house.) In fact, there is nothing about the "actual house" that the person can "directly" experience, in that whatever the house consists of has to be converted, or changed (for example, through light reflected off the house, transformation of that light into electrochemical reactions of the retinal receptor cells, becoming in turn electrochemical processes involved in conduction of nerve impulses along axons, etc.) ultimately into that subjective experience.

To make this fact even clearer, let us do a thought experiment that involves our subject looking at a chair. Let us make the assumption that with some sort of very advanced technology we can exactly reproduce in that subject's brain the exact same state of affairs as is occurring at present. So, at present, our subject is looking at the chair. Now, a few moments later, we do one of two things. Either we take the chair away but reproduce in our subject's brain the exact same state of affairs, or we leave the chair but remove the subject's brain (cause it to suddenly die, for instance). Under which set of circumstances would the subjective experience of the chair be reproduced? So what is necessary to produce that subjective experience, the chair or the brain? Upon what does that subjective experience depend, the structure of the chair or the structure and functioning of the brain? What is there, then, of the actual chair that is part of the subject's subjective experience of the chair? It should be clear that the actual chair, independent of the subjective experiencing of it, is not in any way the same as the subjective experience of the chair, which is all that someone can "know." (We will later, however, consider the "relationship" between the "actual chair" and the subjective experiencing of it.)
So you can see that I don’t know what you mean by “objective experience.”

And I now understand why you kept referring to the ambiguous nature of language, to which I shall have to consider agreement on future postings. I would imagine that at some point science will add a USB port to the body as a work-around for language.
So for me to understand you, I will need to know how you are using your words. For instance, what are you meaning by “subjective experience” and “objective experience”?


An excellent book by the way on the mechanics of thought and perception, not too bad all in all. Oddly enough, we agree on spirituality, religion, God not so much, abortion and punishment.
Where do you see our viewpoints diverging? What is it that you believe that you believe I do not believe? And what do you think is/are the reason(s) for that divergence?
A former member
Post #: 6
Interesting points Bill, what I believe and what do I believe you do not believe and for that matter what you do believe. All good points and the limits of the engagement reduced to words that must be defined to be used. By declaring a definition and then seeking agreement on that definition allows for mutual understanding but only within the context of the definition. We are still limited to our own subjective experience and our concepts of reality to whatever extent those two exists.

I claim there is something greater than the mere mechanics of thought. I claim that the thought processes of the individual and subsequent actions resulting from those thoughts can be quantified and I further claim that there exist definable similarities between persons in the conduct of their own subjective experience. These thoughts, actions and interactions are the crux of The Essays on Order.
What is in the Essays is difficult at best. I know of no other book, or books, on the planet that offers any greater detail of the human condition.

The human condition encompasses the unique features of being human.
It can be described as the irreducible part of humanity that is inherent and not dependent on factors such as gender, race or class. It includes concerns such as the meaning of life, the search for gratification, the sense of curiosity, the inevitability of isolation, or awareness regarding the inescapability of death.
The “human condition” is principally studied through the set of disciplines and sub-fields that make up the humanities. The study of history, philosophy, literature, and the arts all help us to understand the nature of the human condition and the broader cultural and social arrangements that make up human lives.[citation needed]
The human condition is the subject of such fields of study as philosophy, theology, sociology, psychology, anthropology, demographics, evolutionary biology, cultural studies, and sociobiology. The philosophical school of existentialism deals with core issues related to the human condition including the ongoing search for ultimate meaning.

Maslow made a pretty good attempt at understanding the human condition but in my opinion failed.

So it then becomes the case that the least of what I believe is written in the Essays. As for definitions I am content to rely on Webster.

I look forward to your response and enjoy your Sunday.
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