Shouldn't we define 'Existence/Being'?

  • Thread starter nameless
  • Start date
47
0
Dmstifik8ion said:
...Objectivity demands that we prove the validity of each fact we accept in the development of our knowledge base and that we use unerring logic to integrate our knowledge in a coherent fashion. To be objective we must first understand what knowledge is, where it comes from and how we obtain it...

Existence is self-evidentiary; this means it proves itself by its very existence. No proof is needed for existence because it is the proof; it proves itself...
It would be dubious to say that we must prove every fact and then rely on self-evidence to prove existence. However, what you seem to be suggesting is that one needs to gain a preliminary, pre-objectivist understanding before objecitivism is even possible, right?

Not to put words in your mouth before giving you a chance to answer, but I want show how I think this is relevant. This sort of preliminary understanding varies with the subject but not in any direct way with things only objectively present. I would argue that this preliminary understanding would be very relevant if we are to gain any sense of the meaning of existence, and objectivism would not. Things that follow from what is objectively present can only find a place after ontological notions, and can never turn around and penetrate back into these ontological notions once they has been left behind.
 
Last edited:
47
0
nameless said:
After all, if we are going to discuss whether anything 'exists', aughtn't we determine whether 'existence' exists in the first place? Then perhaps who or what is 'Being'? Who or what is 'Existing'? To do that, aughtn't it be adequately 'defined'?
I have nothing 'positive' to offer 'here' but the question.
I'm currently reading Heidegger's Being and Time. So far, I think it is hitting on all the points you bring up. In the introduction, he points out that there is no real way to define being. Some notion of being is contained in any statement we make about something and can be seen in the way we use the verb "to be" especially. But then if we define being this way we would have to say "Is is..." and use the word we are defining in the definition. He also points out that being transcends genus and species. So there is not general to specific deductive reasoning that will arrive at a definition, and there aren't specific examples of being we can use induction to get a general definition of being. You can't point at a rock and say that is what being is.
 
Last edited:
192
1
VonWeber said:
It would be dubious to say that we must prove every fact and then rely on self-evidence to prove existence. However, what you seem to be suggesting is that one needs to gain a preliminary, pre-objectivist understanding before objecitivism is even possible, right?
Not to put words in your mouth before giving you a chance to answer, but I want show how I think this is relevant. This sort of preliminary understanding varies with the subject but not in any direct way with things only objectively present. I would argue that this preliminary understanding would be very relevant if we are to gain any sense of the meaning of existence, and objectivism would not. Things that follow from what is objectively present can only find a place after ontological notions, and can never turn around and penetrate back into these ontological notions once they has been left behind.
First let me note that I work under the assumption that those seeking the truth only require the roadmap and that those seeking delusion will choose the road leading to Delusion Ville. Please understand I am not implying that this is the case with you or anyone else in particular but I have witnessed this choice being selected.

What I meant by self-evidence in the previous context is not the person but the thing, existence. The answer to your first question is, yes. We learn about existence before we learn to speak or learn the meaning of the word “existence” ; by perceiving it.

Before I learned about the terms objective, subjective, etc., I had already learned to put my thoughts together in a somewhat haphazard manner. When I learned about objectivity and came to understand that our knowledge is based on what we gathered from reality through perception (the only verifiable source of facts of reality), I then had to go back and confirm or discard beliefs I held by seeing if they followed from what I knew based on what I had or could perceive directly from reality. This was not easy for me but I had observed that even the beliefs I held which I latter confirmed were correct were of little use because of their ambiguity with respect to where they came from. I found such unsubstantiated beliefs functioned much as a house of cards, without any apparent foundation, caught in the prevailing winds of conjecture blowing about.

I hope this provides you with a better foundation for your understanding of my position. If this has helped perhaps I can clarify some other points?
 
47
0
sameandnot said:
von weber,
did you notice this post?
https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=852976&postcount=24
what else can we say about being/existence? what are your thoughts?
I think I read in one sitting, and forgot it in the next sitting. Not my original ideas, but I think that the first impressions we gain of things is in a wordless form and the act of formulating words carries us away from those fisrt impressions. If we approach these first impressions in a rational way and bring together evidence then I don't rule out the possiblity of gaining a "better" understanding of being. This "better" understanding may give some insites into the underpinnings of various philosophical systems.

Your formless ground concept, would that be related to the Unity of Analogy by which Aristotle and the scholastics understood being?
 
Last edited:
47
0
Dmstifik8ion said:
I hope this provides you with a better foundation for your understanding of my position. If this has helped perhaps I can clarify some other points?
Thanks for explaining. I think the approach of using reason and relying on appropriate evidence to support conclusions is a good one. I'm for it, anyway. The only other comment I could make is that I think technically existence is not a thing, not even an abstract thing. Perhaps, it could be the totality of things? But I would say an entity is nothing like what we mean when we talk about the existence of entities. It really is an ambiguous concept and we must be careful we aren't merely hiding the ambiguity by words or terminology that conceals it.
 
192
1
VonWeber said:
Thanks for explaining. I think the approach of using reason and relying on appropriate evidence to support conclusions is a good one. I'm for it, anyway. The only other comment I could make is that I think technically existence is not a thing, not even an abstract thing. Perhaps, it could be the totality of things? But I would say an entity is nothing like what we mean when we talk about the existence of entities. It really is an ambiguous concept and we must be careful we aren't merely hiding the ambiguity by words or terminology that conceals it.
Good point; “Existence” does not refer to a specific thing; as a concept it refers to all that we perceive in one glance and everything else that exists as well; we see a part (an existent) or several parts of the whole, existence. When we learn to regard separate objects as entities than we can through evaluation determine identity.

I’m beginning to feel a little hard pressed to refer you to a discussion on the theory of concepts in the book, “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology”, by Ayn Rand. I prefer to cut out the middle-man when it appears a direct relationship would be more efficient, productive and quite probably more accurate. If you are not familiar with this book or author and you like clarity and fundamentals I believe you’ll find this book rewarding.
 
295
0
vonweber said:
Your formless ground concept, would that be related to the Unity of Analogy by which Aristotle and the scholastics understood being?
i dont know. i am not familiar with a lot of aristotle.

i am saying: what does it mean to value "being"? does it mean to value some "beings," in particular? or, is that value of a transcending quality; transcending particular forms to truly value what "being" is, fundamentally? "being/existence" is what all "beings/existences" have, what all "beings/existences" are of, and what all "beings/existences" are in. how could it be other than formless? in its essence.
 

Related Threads for: Shouldn't we define 'Existence/Being'?

Replies
3
Views
3K
Replies
10
Views
5K
  • Posted
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Posted
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
34
Views
6K
  • Posted
2
Replies
41
Views
8K
Replies
17
Views
2K

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads

Top