Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘How mind acquired knowledge?

How mind acquired knowledge? (Nov. 25, 2009)

Berkeley, the British philosopher of the 19th century, insists that we cannot directly comprehend objects with just our senses: our senses are causally linked to phenomena that are affected by the objects. In this case, the “existence of objects” becomes problematic if we try to insert a third transmission factor between the subject and the object to account for our comprehension.

Hume, another British philosopher, claimed that causal relations, among other concepts considered essential, cannot be understood from matters that are offered to our senses.  According to Hume, the sensed brute matter is our only source of knowledge and thus, it modifies our understanding but it should never leads us to formulating laws: “empirical knowledge is never certain”.

Hume warned against indulging into metaphysical concept (as the true opposite to objectivity). This word “metaphysics” aroused this erroneous fear that got the subsequent contemporary philosophers rattled and wrote thousand of obscure pages just to sound objective.

This anxious fear of extending metaphysical notions prompted philosophers into describing objects as equivalent to their qualities or characteristics, thus, evaluating relations is equivalent to evaluating qualities.

Consequently, contemporary philosophers reached this understanding that sure and stable knowledge has to be founded on reasoning such as it is done in geometry and the principle of causality.

The paradox, said Einstein, is that we learned that most reasoning systems do not necessarily generate certainty in any field of science or that they are intimately necessary for our knowledge development.

The traditional reflection that we need a speculative concept-based system of thinking to mediate between object and subject has been disrupted by physical sciences.

By the by, the conviction that transformations of our senses lead to comprehending brute matters relied on a double proof:

First, the impossibility of acquiring knowledge by the sole speculative thinking and

Second, empirical research enhanced our knowledge base.

Bertrand Russell in his “Inquiry into meaning and truth” stated:

“We all start with the realism that objects are what they appear: grass is green, snow is cold, and stone is hard. Then physics teaches us that color, heat, or hardness are different in quality or characteristics of what we might have experienced.

The observer is in fact registering the impressions of the grass, snow, or stone. When science attempts to be objective it sinks, against its will, into subjectivity.

Thus, naïf realism leads to physics, physics then demonstrates that realism is false. Logically false, and thus false.”

To avoid their concepts of being labeled “metaphysical” the scientists have been formulating boundaries or axioms to their concepts.

For example, in order for a concept not to degenerate into metaphysics first, enough numbers of propositions must be linked to the sensed world. And second, the conceptual system must have essential functions of re-arranging, organizing, and synthesizing the sensed “reality”.

A system expresses a game of logical symbols ruled by logical arbitrary given propositions.

Einstein is not bothered at all by the term metaphysics: he does not mind accepting an object as an independent concept in spatial-temporal structures. As he views it, it is unavoidable bypassing metaphysical concepts and thus, there should be no need to be apprehensive of a concept being considered metaphysical.

Einstein thinks that concepts are logical creations of the mind, that it cannot be due to inductive reasoning from the sensed experiences.

For example, prime numbers are considered invention of the mind. That concepts are extracted from the sensed brute matters is a reasonable contention, but what is wrong is to exclude all concepts not considered to be related to the sensed world as metaphysical concepts.

What is so fishy about contemporary philosophy is that they avoid dwelling on the processes of hundreds of thousands of years that was necessary for human brain to acquire the necessary associations and images of objects and expressions, of metaphors, and abstract analogies.

It is my contention that reasoning methods of induction, deduction, and logical systems of rules are but organizations and descriptions of mental processes of the brain and memories for retrieving and recalling stored information.

I believe that the neo-cortex has been undergoing specialized connected areas for expert specialized and restricted disciplines for work or labor divisions.

General knowledge is going down the drain and I believe restricting knowledge to specialization will result in man destruction and moral oblivion.




January 2021

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