Is a dream a object?

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  • #26
yinyinwang
Originally posted by hypnagogue
Can we agree that an 'object,' whatever it might be, must be objective in nature? (That doesn't seem like too much of a stretch, does it? :wink:) If so, the question of dreams being objects becomes rather trivial.
This actually avoid the question, certainly no answer to this question will not affect the world much, but logically, we are expecting a yes/no answer, not big/small.
 
  • #27
hypnagogue
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Originally posted by LW Sleeth
Now it's time for me to nitpick :wink: .

You are probably right to imply this question is trivial, but it is interesting to me as an opportunity to explore what a philosophical problem is versus simply understanding the use of language.

First, the word "object" precedes in meaning the word "objective," and each have several meanings. For example, besides something that is perceived as an entity and referred to by a name, an object can be the focus of someone's attention, an aim or purpose, grammer meanings, computer program meanings, optic meanings, and verb forms (as in "to object).

"Objective" likewise is used many ways, and just saying something is objective doesn't necessarily mean it is an "object." In fact, I could find no dictionary definition that exactly stated that, with the closest being "existing independently of mind or perception." If, Hypnagogue, you meant that because a dream is subjective to the person dreaming, it isn't an object, that overlooks the fact that with the definitions there are, a dream can be an object (or objective) in several ways (an object of study, for instance).

But I believe yinyinwang was specifically asking about whether a dream is an object in the sense of how we define a thing of substance. My answer to that is, in the English language a dream is not substantial enough to be considered an "object" in that regard. Assuming I've understood yinyinwang's question correctly, my point to Sikz has been that blurring distinctions between multiple definitions of a word doesn't make it a philosophical issue ( though it could be a science issue if one were suggesting there is more substance to a dream than we believe).
You are correct to note that there is a lot of ambiguity in the term "object." I think the definition as supplied by the online Mirriam Webster Dictionary fully encompasses this ambiguity.

object
1 a : something material that may be perceived by the senses <I see an object in the distance> b : something that when viewed stirs a particular emotion (as pity) <look to the tragic loading of this bed... the object poisons sight; let it be hid -- Shakespeare>
2 : something mental or physical toward which thought, feeling, or action is directed <an object for study> <the object of my affection> <delicately carved art objects>
3 a : the goal or end of an effort or activity : PURPOSE, OBJECTIVE <their object is to investigate the matter thoroughly> b : a cause for attention or concern <money is no object>
4 : a thing that forms an element of or constitutes the subject matter of an investigation or science
5 a : a noun or noun equivalent (as a pronoun, gerund, or clause) denoting the goal or result of the action of a verb b : a noun or noun equivalent in a prepositional phrase

In the strictest sense, "object" is defined much as you indicated earlier in the thread: "a discrete, tangible thing." In the loosest sense, any noun can be an object, insofar as it can be the direct object of the action of a verb.

The latter is not very useful for our purposes, and I don't think the spirit of the initial question was asking what can be classified as an object in a purely linguistic sense. I think it would be most useful at this point for yinyinwang to clarify what parts of the above definition correspond to the notion of "object" that s/he intended in the initial question. If there was no specific notion as to what an "object" is in the first place, then (as you have pointed out) the question is no longer philosophical but merely a matter of how we choose to define our terms.

Assuming we mean by object "a discrete, tangible, material thing that may be perceived by the senses," then I think my initial criterion holds up well, although is in need of some revision and clarification. First, let's clarify "a thing that may be perceived by the senses" to mean something that may be perceived by the senses, even if indirectly-- for instance, we cannot directly perceive atoms, but we can perceive measurements that indirectly "perceive," or assert the existence of, atoms. So we replace "something that may be perceived by the senses" with "something that is observable."

So an object must be something that is discrete, material, and observable. ("Tangible" I think can now be recognized as a redundant criterion, since "material" and "observable" together exhaust the meaning of "tangible.") The term "objective" encompasses "material" and (in the scientific sense of the word, at least) "observable," but not necessarily "discrete." So we are left with the following proposition:

An object is a discrete thing that is objective in nature.
 
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  • #28
yinyinwang
Originally posted by hypnagogue

So an object must be something that is discrete, material, and observable. ("Tangible" I think can now be recognized as a redundant criterion, since "material" and "observable" together exhaust the meaning of "tangible.") The term "objective" encompasses "material" and (in the scientific sense of the word, at least) "observable," but not necessarily "discrete." So we are left with the following proposition:

An object is a discrete thing that is objective in nature. [/B]
you provide useful analysis and dictionary definition of object.thank you for that.
But the last definition is cyclic because using "objective" to define "object" is like saying chicken is something chichening.

the word "detectable" is btter than "observable".
 
  • #29
yinyinwang
when i try to define the concept of object, i mean the philosophical sense of the word, not the general language usage, a very presise, clearly,logically defined, which means the clear connotation and extension.
 
  • #30
hypnagogue
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Originally posted by yinyinwang
you provide useful analysis and dictionary definition of object.thank you for that.
But the last definition is cyclic because using "objective" to define "object" is like saying chicken is something chichening.
It's not cyclic insofar as I have merely replaced "material" and "observable" with "objective." If you prefer you can think of it without using the word "objective"-- I just think that that particular phrase is useful in guiding our thought in questions such as "is a dream an object?"

the word "detectable" is btter than "observable".
What is the difference between "detectable" and "observable"?
 
  • #31
hypnagogue
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Originally posted by yinyinwang
when i try to define the concept of object, i mean the philosophical sense of the word, not the general language usage, a very presise, clearly,logically defined, which means the clear connotation and extension.
So, which of the terms in the above definition of object correspond to "the philosophical sense of the word"?
 
  • #32
yinyinwang
Originally posted by hypnagogue


What is the difference between "detectable" and "observable"?
"observe" is more related to human behavior, "detect" can be an equipment or unhuman behavior, like a dog finds something.
 
  • #33
yinyinwang
Originally posted by hypnagogue
So, which of the terms in the above definition of object correspond to "the philosophical sense of the word"?
i am still examing them, but do not feel promising.
 
  • #34
hypnagogue
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Originally posted by yinyinwang
"observe" is more related to human behavior, "detect" can be an equipment or unhuman behavior, like a dog finds something.
I think this distinction exists as a function of your personal connotations, not as a result of the definitions of the words themselves. For instance, there is nothing semantically wrong with saying "the dog observed a peculiar smell." If anything, I suppose you could make a case that "observing" entails "detecting" accompanied by "reflecting," though this is not the meaning of the word in scientific parlance. Either way, though, "detectable" works just as well as "observable."
 
  • #35
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Hypnagogue said:

I think this distinction exists as a function of your personal connotations, not as a result of the definitions of the words themselves. For instance, there is nothing semantically wrong with saying "the dog observed a peculiar smell." If anything, I suppose you could make a case that "observing" entails "detecting" accompanied by "reflecting," though this is not the meaning of the word in scientific parlance. Either way, though, "detectable" works just as well as "observable."
So I could say "the dog detected a peculiar smell" as well as "the dog observed a peculiar smell" and still come across to the 'reader' as the same meaning? I can buy that. But as you said the meaning in scientific purposes, it'd be a far cry short of a design.
 
  • #36
Les Sleeth
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Originally posted by yinyinwang
when i try to define the concept of object, i mean the philosophical sense of the word, not the general language usage, a very presise, clearly,logically defined, which means the clear connotation and extension.
Your paragraph is full of contradictions.

First, what is the "philosophical sense" of the term object? There is no "object" philosophy I've ever heard of.

Next you say you don't want a language meaning, but then ask for a precise, clear, logically defined term. Well, that is how language operates, not philosophy which is seldom so clear or defined.

Finally, after asking for preciseness and definitiveness, you demand "connotation and extension"!!!! To connote and extend is exactly the opposite of precise and defined, so I don't think you are helping this discussion by your latest input.

If you think there is a philosophical issue with the meaning of "object," then please lay it out for us so the rest of us can understand what it is. Nothing you've said so far indicates to me that you are asking anything other than a language question.
 
  • #37
yinyinwang
Originally posted by LW Sleeth
Your paragraph is full of contradictions.

First, what is the "philosophical sense" of the term object? There is no "object" philosophy I've ever heard of.
Well, there always a first time for every thing.

Next you say you don't want a language meaning, but then ask for a precise, clear, logically defined term. Well, that is how language operates, not philosophy which is seldom so clear or defined.[/B]
i want a newly defined meaning of language because the old ones are not satisfactory.

Finally, after asking for preciseness and definitiveness, you demand "connotation and extension"!!!! To connote and extend is exactly the opposite of precise and defined, so I don't think you are helping this discussion by your latest input.[/B]
Please explain why "To connote and extend is exactly the opposite of precise and defined, "

If you think there is a philosophical issue with the meaning of "object," then please lay it out for us so the rest of us can understand what it is. Nothing you've said so far indicates to me that you are asking anything other than a language question. [/B]

i am still working on this and i will let you know as soon as i get it.
 
  • #38
yinyinwang
an object is associated with timing or existing within a spand or interval of time. It is also related to space,should an object occupy some amount of space?
 

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