Saturday, May 9, 2009

05 Parmenides

There are two ways of reasoning...they are so common to obvious.

Method one:

We look around, see things and say...I see that all the swans I have seen are white, so I conclude that all swans are white.

Whether this is valid or not...dont worry about that. What you see here is called INDUCTIVE reasoning......We gather facts by observation and come to a general conclusion. We do it all day.....

Method two:

We also coud reason like this:
1. All humans are mortal
2 you are human
3. So, you are mortal

Independent of reality..if you hold statement 1 for true, statement 3 is necessarily true. We call this DEDUCTIVE reasoning....We dont need external evidence to come to the conclusion that is necessarily true.

With this simple explanation I am way ahead of Parmenides, who lived about 490 B.C. But he was at the root of the development of mind regarding this INDUCTION - DEDUCTION controversy.

From now on we will see this come up time and again. Western philosophy is dominated by this controvery.

What was the case.......

When you think of something, that doesnt exist ---say a Martian --you still have to think of something; there must be some idea present in the mind.Thinking of the Martian means that the Martian (or the idea of the Martian) exists in the mind and therefore we can not honestly say that Martians dont exist.

DIgest this....:-)

There are two main issues here: first ....what is meant by the word "exist" What is the difference between existing in the mind and existing in the world.
And here we have one of the BIG issues of philosphy. Some man about 490 B.C. has formulated the issue.

The second issue is: What is the relation between thoughts, words and objects. 'Martian' is a word and maybe a real object....and it is a thought in my mind..I really can think of a Martian. So it 'exists' Parmenides said, but what about the object it refers to.

Parmenides problem was, that he believed that when you can think of something, that something must have some existence, so it cant be non existent. Thus you only can think of what is.

Here demonstrates the first example of deductive reasoning: Thinking of something that is, implies the existence of something that is NOT. When you think of green, it implies that it is NOT RED or any other color.So whatever we think of must exist (at least in the mind) according to Parmenides. There is only what is, in which opinion he was againt the believe of Heraclitus, which stated what really exists is change.

Another example....when you think of something in the future, it already IS in your mind. When you think of somethig of the past it IS in your mind. So, Parmenides said, is the genesis and disappearance of something an illusion: all is one, never changing and eternal.

For Parmenides the truth was in the mind, while his predecessors refered to water, fire, or even mud as the the answer to the question what really EXISTS.

And here the BIG question was formulated, the epistemological question: what is really true....what I think or what I see with my own eyes.

The Discussion

[13:18] You: For Parmenides the truth was in the mind, while his predecessors refered to water, fire, or even mud as the the answer to the question what really EXISTS.
[13:18] You: And here the BIG question was formulated, the epistemological question: what is really true....what I think or what I see with my own eyes.
[13:19] Pearl Moonlight: (
[13:19] You: Wel....not an easy talk today I think...
[13:19] You: If you have quetions or remarks..
[13:20] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: i have one
[13:20] You: what is troubling you. Pearl?
[13:20] Pearl Moonlight: to me it neither one
[13:20] Pearl Moonlight: it feelings
[13:21] You: I understand....
[13:21] You: an important part of our life...
[13:21] You: but the brain doesnt only generate feelings....
[13:21] You: the sciences are about something else
[13:21] Pearl Moonlight: say who
[13:22] You: mathematics or logic arent about feelings and it even isnt interesting what you feel about it
[13:22] Qwark Allen: neurologie for ex
[13:22] Pearl Moonlight: (
[13:22] hope63 Shepherd: feelings is what you could call the archaic part of the brain..
[13:22] You: I mean...for the development of logic
[13:22] Pearl Moonlight: nope
[13:22] Qwark Allen: limbic system
[13:22] You: yes...
[13:23] You: the animistic understanding of reality is based on feelings in my opinion
[13:23] You: but the greek were past that
[13:23] Qwark Allen: and in socio culturel values
[13:24] Qwark Allen: at the social learning at adolescence
[13:24] You: the pre-socratics questioned the mythological interpretation of reality
[13:24] You: what do you mean Qwark?
[13:24] hope63 Shepherd: where did parmenides come from,herman ?
[13:25] Qwark Allen: that language and culture modulates how we see the reallity
[13:25] Lighthorse Wilkinson: But what of reason in regards to your Martian analogy?
[13:25] You: thing a t a time..:-)
[13:25] Gemma Cleanslate: :-))
[13:26] You: plz...
[13:26] You: Qwark is bringing in heavy artilllery already..:-)
[13:26] Qwark Allen: cool
[13:26] You: I think we should stick to the Greek first
[13:26] Qwark Allen: yes
[13:27] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: can i say something related both with clark and the greeks?
[13:27] You: What I try to show is how man's mind really grew through history
[13:27] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: Qwark*
[13:27] Qwark Allen: yes
[13:27] Anna Parisi: herman could you please explain again? Did he say: what i can think of must exist ...or .....what exists i can think of?
[13:27] You: and that Parmenides was the first one to use real deductive reasoning
[13:28] You: Good question Anna...
[13:28] You: His point was that when I can think of something it MUST least in the mind
[13:29] You: his flaw was that he didnt define the concept of BEING
[13:29] hope63 Shepherd: so to say three are 2 realities.. on in the mind and one that can be observed..
[13:29] hope63 Shepherd: and they don't exclude each other..
[13:29] You: he more or less took what existed in the mind as real exisitence
[13:30] Lighthorse Wilkinson: He belived in the one?
[13:30] You: yes Parmanides made that difference...
[13:30] You: a reality of the mind and a reality of the senses
[13:30] Lighthorse Wilkinson: As a whole?
[13:31] Cailleach Shan: The concept of 'Being'.... is there a clear definition of that Herman.
[13:31] You: and to him what was in the mind was the real reality
[13:31] You: The concept of BEING, Cailleach......
[13:31] Qwark Allen: he can think of it, then must be real
[13:32] You: here in these Greek philosophers you see growthof it... the idea of it...the answer to that ultimate question...the question of what really IS
[13:33] Qwark Allen: yes
[13:33] You: and this really is one of the big epistemological quetions
[13:33] Qwark Allen: since then, till the future
[13:33] Gray Cardiff: herman has this theory .......if i can think it it is real ever been proved wrong
[13:34] You: Parmenides is exciting, for he is the first one to apply logical reasoning to his thoughts
[13:34] You: What do you mean Gray?
[13:35] Gray Cardiff: is his theory correct?
[13:35] Pearl Moonlight: no
[13:35] You: I have no theory, if that is the issue..Parmenides had
[13:36] Pearl Moonlight: (
[13:36] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: imo it was correct and not at the same time it depends on how you cut the reality
[13:36] hope63 Shepherd: i think pamenides thought i can think it ,it is.. but not making any reference to a materialistic reality gray
[13:36] You: He contributed more reality to what was in your mind then what was observed by senses
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: was he accepted by the other philosophers in his time???
[13:36] Pearl Moonlight: (
[13:37] Lighthorse Wilkinson: Isn't reality only our individual percetion of it?
[13:37] Lighthorse Wilkinson: perception
[13:37] Gray Cardiff: thank no direct answer
[13:37] You: He was an important philosopher in his time indeed Gemma....
[13:37] You: and he paved the way for Plato and Aristoteles
[13:37] Gemma Cleanslate: so he reshaped the approach to thinking then
[13:38] Qwark Allen: yes
[13:38] Qwark Allen: pre-socrates
[13:38] You: A hundred years later his ideas were still known...
[13:38] You: oh yes he did Gemma
[13:39] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: if you say that a thing is real
[13:39] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: that sentence is true depending on what is the definition of the thing
[13:39] hope63 Shepherd: whats fascinating.. this guy was busy trying to understand the relationship between thougt and reality.. and the persians where standing at the door
[13:39] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: if you say all the swan are white
[13:39] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: this is a truism if the definition of swan is
[13:39] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: swan is a white bird
[13:40] You: YEs I know, Rocker..:-)
[13:40] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: if you say swan is a bird the sentence is false
[13:40] hope63 Shepherd: no rocker .. not all
[13:40] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: i know that you know
[13:40] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: not at all?
[13:40] hope63 Shepherd: not all swans are
[13:40] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: lol
[13:40] Qwark Allen: i have a pacient that think`s the sun, it`s a computer to watch at us all, like surveillance! i know it`s not real or true, but to him , was is reallity
[13:40] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: you are in error my friend
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: true they are not]
[13:41] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: damn im sayng another thing
[13:41] You: I could digress into analytical philosophy here, but I would love to stick to the historical line of the lectures....
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:41] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: you have to know what possible colors can the swans be
[13:41] You: so..we dont know about Russlell, Ayer , Quine.....etc..for the time being ..never hear
[13:41] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: if swan is a set of white birds -> the swan is always white
[13:41] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: so you cant find a black swan
[13:41] Pearl Moonlight: yeah by useing your mind
[13:41] Qwark Allen: if u r daltonic.....
[13:42] hope63 Shepherd: we get lost .. lets try to understand the greek philosophers in their time..
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:42] You: Popper made it all clear already, but Parmenides didnt know him Rocker
[13:42] Gray Cardiff: stop swanning around please
[13:42] You: right..:-)
[13:42] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: ok im sorry
[13:42] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: have fun
[13:43] Pearl Moonlight: (
[13:43] You: Our approach here is historical....
[13:43] Qwark Allen: :-)
[13:43] Lighthorse Wilkinson: How much did Parmenides influence Plato?
[13:44] Osrum Sands: Dont worry Herman, when one shuts up long enough to actually listen one gets what you are doing.
[13:44] You: a lot...
[13:44] Cailleach Shan: So if Parmenides was looking at my computer screen in this moment he would have concluded that this philosophy class was real!!!
[13:44] Osrum Sands: it is real
[13:44] You: lol..yes,,we are real..
[13:44] Cailleach Shan: Hehehe
[13:44] Osrum Sands: hahah like truth
[13:44] Osrum Sands: a big word
[13:45] Lighthorse Wilkinson: Would Parmenides agree that what can be thought can be done?
[13:46] You: I think he was more ontological in his thinking....
[13:46] Cailleach Shan: I don't know what ontological means Herman.
[13:46] You: what can be done ..can be an ethical question
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: ty Cailleach
[13:47] You: Ontology is concerned with the question about what IS, what really EXISTS, Cailleach
[13:48] Osrum Sands: Think of those optical illusion pics they show a reality which can exist in the mind or on paper but you can not build them
[13:48] You: If you have no further questions, I thank you for your presence and hope to see you next class
[13:48] Osrum Sands: thats re your Q there Light
[13:48] hope63 Shepherd: think of me thinking i'm a philosopher. doesn't make me one osram lol
[13:49] Nur Ophuls: and epistomology is concerned with ??
[13:49] Osrum Sands: why not
[13:49] Cailleach Shan: Thanks Herman...
[13:49] You: episteme is greek for Knowledge
[13:49] Lighthorse Wilkinson: Well I was wondering if you think the philosophers then were comparable to clerics?
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: thank you Herman
[13:50] Qwark Allen: thx herman
[13:50] You: epistemology is about the question: what can I KNOW for SURE
[13:50] Lighthorse Wilkinson: Thank you.
[13:51] Gray Cardiff: thank you herman good session
[13:51] Osrum Sands gave you Parmenides of Elea.
[13:51] Gemma Cleanslate: Yes I look forward to more
[13:51] You: next Lecture will be on Zeno
[13:51] Osrum Sands: I am enjoying the historical background your building
[13:51] Qwark Allen: great
[13:51] Osrum Sands: it gives a base for thinking
[13:51] Osrum Sands: its good
[13:51] You: thank you all..:-)
[13:52] Lighthorse Wilkinson: :)
[13:52] Nur Ophuls: ty Herman
[13:52] hope63 Shepherd: great lecture herman..ty..

Posted by herman_bergson on 2007-10-12 14:08:47

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