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Aristotelian Objectivity: Necessary Basis Of Truth, Logic, Virtue
(Apollonian, 2 Mar 16)
(Apollonian, 2 Mar 16)
The great virtue of Aristotle, I consider, is his metaphysics is straight-forward and simple to understanding--in great contrast to Plato and others who fail to observe necessity of objectivity (or immanence). And to say, as u do above: "Number one, this means that I do deny that logic (or mathematics) can be reduced to, or derived from, "sense experience,"" is QUESTION-BEGGING, which I've always thought is assertion without substantiation, a conclusion without a premise.
One can assert all one pleases, as about logic (or math), but proving is quite another thing, which then is supplied by reality which is objective, which is necessary assumption. All babbling and asserting about logic, without that necessary objectivity, is itself mere assumption. Objectivity renders integrity.
Further, to say, "He [Plato] believed in a really existing, eternal, unchanging realm (of the "Forms") and he believed that realm made knowledge possible," is mere instance of Plato's question-begging.
U couldn't have logic, and u wouldn't even be able to imagine logic without the objective reality which backs it up, gives grounds for it, and to pretend and insist u do is simply question-begging--empty assertion--and this is Kant's problem too, by the way (as I understand things), same w. all the "rationalists," Spinoza, Descartes, and Leibnitz, et al. (fallacy of primacy of consciousness).
Note the chain of reasoning we use needs a starting pt., upon pain of circular-reasoning and infinite regress, so Aristotle (again, as I understand) begins w. necessary assumption of objective reality--this is the beginning ("first philosophy") for all/any further/other reasoning--that there is an objective reality, and the necessary COROLLARY then is consciousness, the sense-perception by which we know about it, reality, the senses necessary part to the reasoning intellect, giving the bridge/link to this objective reality.
And all logic then arises fm the consciousness, perception, and analysis of this objective reality, giving it (logic and math) verification and integrity, and it's impossible to deny this without suffering fallacy of question-begging (empty assertion).
And it's comically absurd to consider Aristotle to be mere "empiricism" as u describe--as if there's only sense-perception without reason/intellect which integrates the evidence of the senses. Sense-perception would be useless and incomplete without the reason/intellect to integrate the info, and vice-versa; reason without sense-perception to supply the content of any reasoning is absurd.
Regarding Christianity, Christ is truth, PERIOD--we don't need this about "love" or "charity" as truth is the primary necessity, love/charity only secondary, and there's no proper basis for any "love" or ANYTHING without FIRST truth (= Christ) and honesty, honesty being essential part to Holy Spirit which consists of reason by which we apprehend such truth, but also requiring honesty, which honesty excludes then those satanic liars (like Pharisees) who prostitute reason in service of lies.
"Love" is mere emotional attraction and repulsion mechanism, emotion being necessary component of humanity, a political expedient, for one thing at least. And of course we express charity--it's necessary political expedient--but truth requires honesty first and most, never forget.
INTEGRITY then is yet another component of Holy Spirit which makes that reason and honesty pervasive throughout the spirit, both conscious (intellect) and sub-conscious (sentiment or emotion).
And Christ absolutely is Aristotelian, but as u surely know, Christ never pretended to lecture the people he taught, many if not most of whom were probably illiterate, in way of college professor. Most people have greatest difficulty w. straight, strict logic and intellect. For otherwise Christ wouldn't be truth, dependent then only upon the God-given, hence objective reality.
Christ made use of the idiom given by Torah which the people knew, respected, and revered by "heart" (memory). The Aristotelian "un-moved mover" is irrelevant; what's essential is truth the product of reality which must be objective; otherwise truth (= Christ) being meaningless. Thus Easter is greatest Christian Holy Day as truth (= Christ) RESURRECTS, as U CANNOT KILL TRUTH, truth being God, no matter how u try--as did the Pharisees, the joke being upon them.
Thus the philosophic anti-thesis to Aristotelian objectivity could only be subjectivism or mere crass mysticism (Plato and Pyrrho). The pt. to subjectivism is the excuse/pretext/basis for "good-evil" Pelagian heresy which actually is the pretext to subjectivism and Pharisaic lies and lying.
In other words, "good-evil" (Pelagian heresy) is pretext for subjectivism and lies as the children and people are programmed by thought-controllers--they aren't first taught reality is subjective; rather like dogs they're trained to be "good" (OBEDIENT and conforming to commands), subjectivity then being smuggled in and insinuated, "truth" then being understood as merely what some authority prescribes.
And what are lies, but a subjective, non-existent proposition which pretends to being the only reality? Thus Christ repudiated the Pharisees for their subjective "midrash" (interpretation) of Torah by means of their "Oral law tradition" (Gosp. MARK ch. 7).
So u see, non-Aristotelianism IS treason once one understands metaphysics and first philosophy. There's no logic without objective reality as premise for it, serving as criterion--and any denial is useless and idle. Q.E.D.
---------------------------above by ap in response to below-copied--------------
Liberty Bell said...
My kids are both sick and I'm feverish now myself, but let me try briefly to say a few things about some of your worries.
Firstly, insofar as you are concerned that my use of the word "skepticism" implies my eschewal of the five senses, it should hopefully lay your concerns to rest to discover that I am wielding the s-word as a term of art rather than a terminus technicus. I don't see that any of my text commits me to Pyrrhonism, for example. My writing aim was simply to take "Scientism" down a peg.
Secondly, I am not a thoroughgoing empiricist.
Number one, this means that I do deny that logic (or mathematics) can be reduced to, or derived from, "sense experience." It's not at all clear to me, however, that this is a liability. I do not see that the contrary position is plausible. What is supposed to be the sense experiential basis be for modus ponens, for instance? What "sense experience" grounds the inference "therefore q," from the premises "if p then q" and "p"? Keep in mind that a material condition is true if it has a conditional with a false antecedent (p = false) - regardless of the truth value of its consequent (q = false or true). E.g., "If the moon is made of cheese, then pigs fly" is a true conditional even though both the antecedent and the consequent are false. What "sense experience" validates this inference? (I submit that none does.)
Number two, I think that at least some formulations of strong empiricism are self-referentially incoherent. Consider the proposition "all knowledge comes from (or is based upon) sense experience." Can this proposition be known? What "sense experience" establishes that "all knowledge comes from sense experience"? I cannot think of any "sense experience" that could even possibly establish this universal claim to be true.
March 1, 2016 at 8:08 PM
Liberty Bell said...
Thirdly, I am not a thoroughgoing Platonist. But, agree with his analysis of reality or not, Plato was neither a "skeptic" nor a "subjectivist." He believed in a really exisiting, eternal, unchanging realm (of the "Forms") and he believed that realm made knowledge possible.
Now, when I previously registered these points by writing that Plato "simply believed that the transient appearances that we are accustomed to calling 'reality' were only shadows of an underlying (or, if you like, overarching) objective realm populated with entities that he termed the 'Forms'," you (thrice) wrote about "...QUESTION-BEGGING[,] ...MORE QUESTION-BEGGING, [and] CRASS QUESTION-BEGGING," labeled Plato's view "ASSERTION" and asked: "BUT HOW WOULD HE KNOW THIS [<-- admits="" are="" aren="" br="" first="" forms="" he="" if="" in="" is="" place="" presumably="" that="" the="" there="" thing="" this="">
Admittedly, I am not entirely sure that I understand your complaints. But let me try to address what I take your main objection to be. (I am assuming that you are not accusing *me* of "question-begging." As I'm sure you know, "begging the question" [petitio principii] is an informal logical fallacy where an arguer smuggles one or more conclusion into her premises. Descriptions don't "beg the questions," but [bad] arguments can. Since *I* was merely *describing* Plato's views at a very general level, I didn't give any *argument* at all. It follows, then, that I didn't beg any questions, logically. So I am going to assume that your beef is with Plato.)
Principally, it looks to me like you think that Plato simply assumed his doctrine of the Forms, rather than arguing for it. If this is indeed your thought, it is a misapprehension.
But before I give one or two of Plato's arguments, let me say something as a preface. I appreciate your readership! I am happy - time permitting - to address concerns that you direct towards me. But I say not one one about Plato in any of what I wrote. I have written about Plato and Platonic themes elsewhere. But not in this article. Hence, I personally do not view any of your concerns about Plato as germane to the article that I wrote.
To be sure, you seem saddle Plato with what you perceive as the excesses or (dare I say) sins of later Skeptics (you single out Pyrrho for special disapprobation). But I think that you're barking up the wrong tree and nothing that you have typed so far alters that judgment. For one thing, Plato was a stalwart defender of moral objectivism - see, e.g., Socrates's attack on the moral relativism of Thrasymachus (Republic 338c ff). For Christians, that sort of commitment should be appealing. Indeed, St. Augustine put many of Plato's concepts to good use in Christian theology. The later reinterpretation of Plato by those gnostics who have come to be called "neo-Platonists" is, I think, another matter. Plato is not a champion of democracy, that's for sure! But his political beliefs are an outgrowth of his view that statecraft is an area of knowledge - and only those who possess that knowledge ought to govern. Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke were more agreeable to democracy in part because they emphasized that politics was largely a matter of opinion - not knowledge - and, thus, could be opened up to anyone (no expertise required).
In any case, let me state two of the arguments that Plato gave in favor of the existence of the Forms. If you wish to press the objection that these arguments are question-begging, then tell me, please, which of the following premises is merely a restatement of their respective conclusions.
March 1, 2016 at 8:09 PM -->