Apr 29, 2012

Is Truth an Error?

"Truth is a kind of error without which a particular kind of living creature could not live. The value for life is ultimately decisive." - Friedrich Nietzsche

T) Truth is the idea that our thoughts correspond with reality
A) Man (or any living creature capable of thought) needs an idea of "truth" - Creatures cannot hold an idea without having the "idea about something", i.e. existence has to be taken as a priori.
B) Truth may not be "real" - i.e. Things may not have truth value and they need not be absolute - since any investigation into the "truth" of something ends up in having to take certain things for granted, w/o knowing their truth value.
CT + A + B: In absence of "truth", no basis for thought OR ideas cannot be validated via "reality checks"
NietzscheT + A + B: Assuming things are "true" leads to false assumptions of existence. Hence the concept of truth is a wrongly held belief. + C: validation of ideas (a process required to decide about the correctness of any object - whether psychological/mental or material) is done by evaluating the "Value for Life" the creature holds (read selfishness). Nietzsche's target "ideas" was (sic) Morality

Arguments in Support
SkepticismB cannot be disproved, since the process of finding the truth about something inherently demands acceptance of things which may not be true.
NihilismC can imply that their is no reality Or at least Man's conception of reality is spurious. However, may also argue that the value for life is ill-founded and can be arbitrarily different for different people, thus may not lead one (or many) to a rational end.
Mysticism) Since C, therefore the mind fabricates reality. This implies that reality may not exist or also that one has no way of knowing what is real; hence any "grasp" of reality would be illusory and any decision taken on the basis of such a illusory basis would necessarily be in error. In such an ideological vacuum, decisions can be taken on any arbitrary basis and that is what Man does. The preferred basis could be derived from divinity or self-interest.
PragmatismB implies that it is not always useful to investigate the Truth. "Value for Life" is a practical way to decide about things. (read: moral judgments)

Arguments in Opposition
Realism)  B is false. Reality exists regardless of your wishes or knowledge of it. Thus is the only way to "know" and think about something and hence the only way to live. If not then you could live in your hypothetical/imaginary world and your desires (arbitrary sense of Value for Life) could bear out to be "real" / applicable. This doesn't happen.
Rationalism / Empiricism / Representational-ism) Variants of Realism: Truth can be observed by trusting the senses or finding the logic to necessitate the existence of it. In effect whatever we conceptualize after a reasonable investigation is "The Truth".C would imply a negation/denial of our own existence.
Objectivism / Naturalism) Goes further from the above to claim that reality cannot be other than what is observed and perceived by us and to claim that Truth may not exist is a "criminal" error as it would completely nullify Man's faculty for thinking and render Man impotent, thereby creating severe impediment in realizing the Value for Life. It maintains that "Value for Life" cannot be contradictory with Truth (or reality) and thus would be equally (or rather synonymous-ly) decisive about moral judgments.

I adhere to the last point of view

Apr 25, 2012

Response to Nishit

Nishit's Argument,
You haven't followed the pattern of argument as mentioned. A1 and A2 are supposed to be the two implications of perception. Perception of the world is pure sensory perception which is a good case of it as in not an illusion to many. Perceptions of the world should be understood as isms, various points of view; for instance empiricism vs mysticism, or other forms of dualistic isms. Justify possible existence of A2 with examples where reality may be not entirely explained by perceptions.
B should entail the counterargument to possible differences between A1 and A2; as to why they are not completely or almost overlapping sets. Thus analyze examples of both A1 and A2.
Consider that your conclusion is perception of the world is more important than perceptions of it or vice versa, C should entail precise of the entire argument point wise [put it all together].
Choose more sensible examples that justify every nuance a concept. Language needs to be more straight, the given argument isn't very effective because of the same.

Apr 23, 2012

About Perceptions & Reality

Hello Young Philosophers,
Here's an assignment for the team and others who are interested.

Question: What can we trust more: a) our perception of the world Or b) our perceptions of the world?

My Argument

A) "Our" could imply that the perceptions are of one and the same person Or
Ax) "Our" implies that of humanity
B) "perception" => process of using sense data to form ideas about the world outside
C) "perceptions" => individual implementations of the process in (B) either spread out in time or 'maybe' spread out between different people (although the second does not sound very correct)
D) The process of perception is known to falter due to cognitive bias or incomplete or faulty sensory data
E1) However for most individuals it falters in the same way each time
E2) For others - may falter differently
Skepticism) A + B + D + E2: You can give NO garunty of what you know
Coherentism) A + B + D + E1: There would always be some bias in Knowing
Foundherentibilism) A/Ax + B + D + E1/E2: You need to establish "Reliable" methods which are in turn "Founded" on "Coherence" between common perceptions of most people. (requires C and not necessarily an efficient way, however, its the only path towards human knowledge)
Pragmatism/EmpiricismAx + C + D + E1/E2: Will have sufficient confidence in knowledge after having got the same picture from most people in areas where knowing is essential (read tangible/practical/useful)
Rationalism/Realism/ObjectivismA +  C + D + E1/E2: Only way to for you to know is to check for "Consistency" & "Coherence" between different ideas; "Rely" upon your past perceptions; judge your perception using these evidences; hence trust your perception.

Conclusion) For us to know  - Realism ... requires us to rely more upon C than B
ConclusionX) For us to know as mankind - Foundherentibilism requires us to rely more upon C than B

Apr 5, 2012

Training program 2012

The rigorous training for the 2012 team and prep for others trying to make it to 2013 is scheduled to begin in a few days - 8th Apr, 2012. It will be a 9 to 5 schedule up to 13th Apr. After that the training proceeds to be only online. This may be the only opportunity for the rest of the academic year for those who nearly missed the olympiad last year, to learn systematic philosophy.
Info at our site and a rough schedule (being finalized as you read)