Is Theravada "Realist"?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby santa100 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:21 pm

Acinteyyo wrote:
I'm trying to point out that the "material cause", the mahā-bhūta are independent of perception but we cannot say that it did exist or that it didn't before it appeared in consciousness dependent on sense base and sense object.


Yes we can, with the help of logical reduction and deduction, beside raw perception. The "John Doe" thought experiement just proved that raw perception (from us mere mortals) alone could be errorneous and as a result, leads to a mistaken view of reality. And this is not just for science, even for Dhamma training, human's perception alone is extremely error-proned. "Mistaken the rope for the snake in the dark" simile is an example. And not too long ago, we all believed the earth was flat because our direct experience told us so!!! The result was that a bunch of smart good guys were burned alive because their view ran counter to the offical view! There's also a funny story about a group of blind elephants. They never knew what human beings are like and decided to "directly" experience us. After some times, they all reached the same conclusion: "All human beings are flat"!!!!
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:29 pm

santa100 wrote:
Acinteyyo wrote:
I'm trying to point out that the "material cause", the mahā-bhūta are independent of perception but we cannot say that it did exist or that it didn't before it appeared in consciousness dependent on sense base and sense object.


Yes we can, with the help of logical reduction and deduction, beside raw perception. The "John Doe" thought experiement just proved that raw perception (from us mere mortals) alone could be errorneous and as a result, leads to a mistaken view of reality. And this is not just for science, even for Dhamma training, human's perception alone is extremely error-proned. "Mistaken the rope for the snake in the dark" simile is an example. And not too long ago, we all believed the earth was flat because our direct experience told us so!!! The result was that a bunch of smart good guys were burned alive because their view ran counter to the offical view! There's also a funny story about a group of blind elephants. They never knew what human beings are like and decided to "directly" experience us. After some times, they all reached the same conclusion: "All human beings are flat"!!!!

I disagree. Logical reduction and deduction creates a world in the mind which is logically imaginable of course according to the applied framework. I don't need such a mind-made-world-model I don't even assume a "real world" "out there" with which such a world created from logical reduction and deduction could possible be compared or even be congruent. Assuming such a wold is in my eyes what is mentioned in MN1:
The Blessed One said: "There is the case, monks, where an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — perceives earth as earth. Perceiving earth as earth, he conceives [things] about earth, he conceives [things] in earth, he conceives [things] coming out of earth, he conceives earth as 'mine,' he delights in earth. Why is that? Because he has not comprehended it, I tell you.


best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby santa100 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:36 pm

Then we agree that we disagree. I totally disagree with your statement "Logical reduction and deduction creates a world in the mind which is locically imaginable according to the applied framework". From logical reduction and deduction, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force were found. And they're no mere "world in the mind". Try to tell that it's all just "world in the mind" to the relatives of ~ 350,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki!!
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:49 pm

santa100 wrote:Then we agree that we disagree. I totally disagree with your statement "Logical reduction and deduction creates a world in the mind which is locically imaginable according to the applied framework". From logical reduction and deduction, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force were found. And they're no mere "world in the mind". Try to tell that it's all just "world in the mind" to the relatives of ~ 350,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki!!

Don't jump to conclusions my friend. I didn't say "that's all world in the mind". What I say is that from what we experience we create a world-view, we conceive [things] about what we experience, we conceive [things] in what we experience, we conceive [things] coming out of what we experience, we conceive what we experience as 'mine,' we delight in what we experience.

Apart from that I never dismissed that the rulez established by science don't work within their framework. But the "world of science" is in the end just a mind-made-world-view based on regularities from experience which were expressed as principles. As a matter of course those principles are more or less convenient to our experience though.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby santa100 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:57 pm

I'm not jumping to conclusion. If the practicality and usefulness of science could help in any way for our Dhamma practice, especially in correcting the wrong view as a result of blind belief in raw perception only, call it mind-made or whatnot, it is a good tool to be used..
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby acinteyyo » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:10 am

santa100 wrote:I'm not jumping to conclusion. If the practicality and usefulness of science could help in any way for our Dhamma practice, especially in correcting the wrong view as a result of blind belief in raw perception only, call it mind-made or whatnot, it is a good tool to be used..

There are certainly aspects which are useful, but keep in mind that science is the world of what is publicly observable and perception or feelings for example are not oberservable publicly, thus not part of the scientific world. In lack of better words see this if you like.
best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:44 am

Hi Santa100,
santa100 wrote:I'm not jumping to conclusion. If the practicality and usefulness of science could help in any way for our Dhamma practice, especially in correcting the wrong view as a result of blind belief in raw perception only, call it mind-made or whatnot, it is a good tool to be used..

Certainly science works in the sense that we can investigate stuff and use the knowledge to engineer devices.

That, in itself, doesn't prove any one of the various realist/non-realist philosophies of science that have been created and argued over during the past few hundred years. There is no consensus amongst philosophers of science on which model is correct. And such machinations appear to have had a vanishingly small impact on science itself. Noone I know goes into a lab worrying about issues such as reality. We go into labs to try to get our equipment to work and to see whether our mathematical or computation models match the data that comes out.

The lesson I take from dabbling a little in the philosophy of science is that philosophical arguments are unlikely to yield much of practical use to either science or Dhamma. They are, however, intriguing topics of discussion.

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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby Sylvester » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:04 am

acinteyyo wrote:The four great elements (dhātu or mahā-bhūta) have their footing in consciousness. Without contact the dhātu are not established. Then they're not here, not there, nor inbetween. Rather like fire without sustenance, which is simply classified as "out" (unbound) the dhātu are brought to an end. It is wrong to assume the four great elements to be "out there", it's just a futile attempt to objectify non-objectification (se AN4.174).

MN72 wrote:And suppose someone were to ask you, 'This fire that has gone out in front of you, in which direction from here has it gone? East? West? North? Or south?' Thus asked, how would you reply?"
"That doesn't apply, Master Gotama. Any fire burning dependent on a sustenance of grass and timber, being unnourished — from having consumed that sustenance and not being offered any other — is classified simply as 'out' (unbound)."

DN11 wrote:"Where do water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing? Where are long & short, coarse & fine, fair & foul, name & form brought to an end?

"'And the answer to that is:
Consciousness without feature, without end, luminous all around: Here water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing. Here long & short coarse & fine fair & foul name & form are all brought to an end. With the cessation of consciousness each is here brought to an end.'"


best wishes, acinteyyo


Hi accinteyyo

That's certainly how Gombrich also understands the riddle of the "footing" of the dhatus. It's in his "How Buddhism Began".

I used to subscribe to the same interpretation and translation of "vinnana anidassana" that Gombrich advances (p.44). However, of late, I find Ajahn Sujato's and Ajahn Brahmali's analyses of this text and its Chinese parallels more compelling. The "place" where the 4 dhatus loose their footing is really just the formless stations.

When I have the time, I'll try to post something from Gombrich. He gives a compelling linguistic analysis of one sutta, which he says opens up the possibility for an Idealist reading, a la Vijnanavada.
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby santa100 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:15 am

Mikenz66 wrote:
Noone I know goes into a lab worrying about issues such as reality. We go into labs to try to get our equipment to work and to see whether our mathematical or computation models match the data that comes out.


Well, you'll be surprised that modern theoretical physicists are passionately working in their labs for the sole purpose of finding out the truth about reality. As we're speaking, Fermi and Cern are actively conducting their experiments around the clock to search for traces of graviton, dark matter, and dark energy. Unlocking these forces, and we might get closer to understanding reality. Anyway, I'm not saying science is the solution to everything, but its spirit taught us so many valuable lessons. The objective spirit of putting everything to the test, the humility to know that there're still a lot more to learn about this universe, the patience to listen to others point of view, and the open-mindedness to observe and study, instead of flatly reject any idea, even though they might sound weird at first. These values are the same kind that great Buddha always tried to teach us..
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby Sylvester » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:17 am

Dear Alex

Alex123 wrote:Dear Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:Dear Alex
The external ayatanas (sense objects) are clearly "out there"...
...So, yes, I would agree that external ayatanas exist independent of the cognitive act,...
...I agree, to the extent that the dhatus are "out there", whether or not there is contact. ...


I am glad that we agree that external āyatanas can exist without the mind. Considering that the OP question was about Theravada (which includes Tipitaka) and not Early Buddhism, then I feel it is proper to use definition from Vibhanga.



Hee, hee. But one could also say that Theravada 'proper' must include the Commentaries, and as I mentioned previously, the Commentary to the Dhammasangani does throw in an "idealist" alternative definition of "dhamma".

Some Mahayanists accuse the later Theravadins of having departed from the Commentaries' by veering together with the 'Hinayana' in asserting realism. Karunadasa points out that the "idealist" strand of defining dhammas is preserved even in the Tika to the Vsm (sorry, too lazy to type out note 105 to Chap 1 of his opus magnum).
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby chownah » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:25 am

santa100 wrote:Then we agree that we disagree. I totally disagree with your statement "Logical reduction and deduction creates a world in the mind which is locically imaginable according to the applied framework". From logical reduction and deduction, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force were found. And they're no mere "world in the mind". Try to tell that it's all just "world in the mind" to the relatives of ~ 350,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki!!

santa100,
I would gladly discuss the scientific approach to reality and its implications but I'm wondering if it would just be a distraction for most people if it was focused on here. There is a thread in the lounge where I have recently posted about relativity theory and how it might have implications for this discussion. I invite you to come on over there and we can discuss science specifically without boring most posters....up to you.
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby santa100 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:31 am

Hi Chownah, sure let's do it. I remember seeing one of your question about the existence of traveling photon. Please re-visit a few of my posts above about the thought experiment of the star and John Doe. And feel free to share your view point..
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby chownah » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:56 am

Santa100,
Do you want to discuss it here, in this thread?...or over in the "Question for Physicist" topic on the lounge?

Everyone,
Would it be too boring and off topic to discuss here?....I don't want to derail any of the ongoing discussion by introducing stuff that is just too boring for most people....otherwise it's all the same to me....here or in the lounge......
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby santa100 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:09 am

All up to you Chownah..
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby chownah » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:49 am

Ok...I'll try to start off. I don't think I have time today to completely develop the ideas but we can make a start perhaps.

Science is based on what is received by the five sense organs and these sensory inputs are used by the mind to fabricate a model which explains why or how some kind of experience at the five sense organs happens.

For instance let's take "gravity" which I posted about earlier but will discuss again within the context of science as I have described it here. Isaac Newton observed the motions of objects in the sky...stars..moons...planets...comets. He tried to find an explanation as to why they appeared in various places at various times. People had been trying to explain this for centuries.

Before Newton some people got the idea that if these celestial objects were attached to spheres and the spheres rotated then this would explain how it happened....many scientists put alot of effort into refining this idea and even built complicated physical models to demonstrate how it happened and from which to take measurements in an attempt to predict where objects would be in the future and as a way to test the accuracy of their ideas. In those days scientists put alot more credibility in their models than scientists do today and those scientists thought that there actually existed some kind of celestial spheres of invisible something which moved celestial objects around and they even conjectured about what they could be made of and what their properties were. In short...the scientists had constructed a mental model in the hopes of understanding how the planets moved and at that time many (probably the vast majority of them) actually thought that they were discovering reality....the way things really are. But....the models were always a bit off and the elaboration of spheres within spheres and spheres anchored to other spheres in an attempt to perfect the model so as to perfectly understand reality became so complex and still was appreciably innacurate that some scientists felt there must be some other way.

So....Isaac Newton was one of the "let's find another way" scientists. He, no doubt, had different ideas early on but eventually he noticed by watching things and trying to apply mathematics to what he saw (he was a superbly gifted mathematician....he invented calculus...with a bit of help from others) and eventually came up with his theory of gravity....notice here that it is a theory...it is a mental fabrication that he put forward which would predict how celestial objects would move (and also shed light on the fundamental characateristics of nature. He hypothesized that all objects have mass and that mass has the characteristic of attracting other mass and he called that attraction "gravity". He did not know how gravity happened or why it happened or anyting else about it.....this was his idea...an idea which would predict where celestial objects would be in the sky and also how they moved in general. When he first put forth his theory there was alot of opposition precisely because this new fangled "gravity" thing was completely unsubstantiated as to what it was or even if it actually existed or not (similar objections were lodged concerning the celestial spheres).....but.....what happened was that Newtons theory was so good at predicting where celestial objects would be that after awhile people just decided to give up on substantiating the existence of the theoretic force called gravity and started to apply Newton's ideas not only as they applied to celestial object but to places where they apply right on the ground as well.......with exceptionally good success.

The practicality of Newton's theory not only dispelled (for most people) the concern about the existence of gravity but actually seduced them into believing that it is a proven fact that gravity exists.....and the important thing here to note is that the only thing that has lead to the idea of gravity was the desire to predict where objects will be in the future....as a mathematical means for describing the motion of things.....the model used to explain these motions contains an imaginary force called "gravity".....some might say that gravity is not imaginary....but scientists of today have to a large degree discarded gravity as defining characteristic of mass but instead have adopted a model of warped space time to predict where celestial objects will be in the future....

In short....science seems to be an ongoing parade of fabricating new ideas to explain things which are later discarded in favor of a new and better fabricated idea which explains things better which is later discarded in favorof a newer and betterere fab.....you get the idea?

Also, there seems to be a progression in science over time being that 5 centuries ago scientists thought that their ideas actually existed as reality and that their ideas defined what reality really was......nowadays it seems that there is alot more of a feeling that what we are doing is only modeling and that it is likely that it is not possible to make a model to actually encompass reality but that a model is just that...a fabricated idea whose worth is judged by how well it can predict things.

Similar things can be said for the strong force, the weak force, etc.......

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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:03 am

santa100 wrote:
Mikenz66 wrote:
Noone I know goes into a lab worrying about issues such as reality. We go into labs to try to get our equipment to work and to see whether our mathematical or computation models match the data that comes out.


Well, you'll be surprised that modern theoretical physicists are passionately working in their labs for the sole purpose of finding out the truth about reality. As we're speaking, Fermi and Cern are actively conducting their experiments around the clock to search for traces of graviton, dark matter, and dark energy. Unlocking these forces, and we might get closer to understanding reality. Anyway, I'm not saying science is the solution to everything, but its spirit taught us so many valuable lessons. The objective spirit of putting everything to the test, the humility to know that there're still a lot more to learn about this universe, the patience to listen to others point of view, and the open-mindedness to observe and study, instead of flatly reject any idea, even though they might sound weird at first. These values are the same kind that great Buddha always tried to teach us..

Well, I'm a modern physicist and I'm passionate about finding out stuff. What we have is experiments and theories. Of course we like to use flowery terms like "finding out about reality" but as I tried to briefly explain hardly any scientist has a clue about the issues surrounding technical definitions of "reality", and even if they did, it seems unlikely it would make any difference to how they worked.

I'm not arguing that we are not "learning about the universe with open-mindedness, etc, etc". But that the question of realism (as being discussed in this thread) is tricky, and not something that science is designed to test, as far as I can tell.

PS Chownah summarizes many of the issues very well...

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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:06 am

PS,

This discussion about science is somewhat off topic. However, the point I am trying to make is that I think it is fruitless to try to enlist inaccurate ideas about what science has "proved" in a discussion about Dhamma.

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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby danieLion » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:08 am

mikenz66 wrote:I'm not arguing that we are not "learning about the universe with open-mindedness, etc, etc". But that the question of realism (as being discussed in this thread) is tricky, and not something that science is designed to test, as far as I can tell.

PS Chownah summarizes many of the issues very well...

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See Scientific Realism and Antirealism.

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:8j_isaDmd3cJ:www.philoscience.unibe.ch/documents/kursarchiv/SS05/fine.pdf+arthur+fine+scientific+realism+adn+antirealism&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShB7pCUMH0aa0oG2PI8tsZf3gTrCo-G_nIpKnuBBhiNH0SuvoIRY4_T8W6gNBbAgRtFzLX_o05JYaqqNJnSxlC1KiSxHjiyiKMnPbHxjFdLHkM2HstKc4GGgrehbdipbB9PmKlL&sig=AHIEtbS_KPuwDzWf_i2_l7zS1nkW-MvI7A
DL :heart:
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:42 am

danieLion wrote:See Scientific Realism and Antirealism.

Yes that's a good reference. I have a student who I co-supervised with a philosophy colleague who recently handed in a thesis examining Fine's NOA approach, among others. So when I see simplistic statements about how science has proved something about reality, or someone has proved something about science and reality I simply roll my eyes... :coffee:

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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby danieLion » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:44 am

chownah wrote:REALISM
Realism, Realist or Realistic are terms that describe any manifestation of philosophical realism, the belief that reality exists independently of observers, whether in philosophy itself or in the applied arts and sciences. [from wikipedia]
Observations there are but no observer can be found.
ANTI-REALISM
In analytic philosophy, the term anti-realism is used to describe any position involving either the denial of an objective reality of entities of a certain type or the denial that verification-transcendent statements about a type of entity are either true or false. [from wikipedia]
The view that the self does not exist is just as wrong as the view that the self exists and we should have no doctrine of self whatever....we should not have the view that the existence of self is either true or false.

To me it looks like "realism" does not apply to Theravada in that "realism" seems to assume an observer and of course the Buddha taught to have no doctrine of self whatever...so it seems that "realism" is dependent on a doctrine which the Buddha teaches we should do without.

To me it looks like "anti-realism" is bulls-eye right on target.....the Buddha denies an objective reality of "self" and denies any verification-transcendent statements concerning the self are either true or false.....I guess.....but I'm not sure.

chownah


From the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 2nd Ed.

ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY: an umbrella term currently used to cover a divers assortment of philosophical techniques and tendencies.... Whatever...it is, [it] is manifestly not a school, doctrine, or body of accepted propositions.

ANTI-REALISM: is any view which rejects one or more of the three theses of metaphysical realism [below], though if (a) is rejected the rejection of (b) and (c) follows trivially (If it merely denies the existence of material things, then its traditional name is 'idealism').

DIRECT REALISM: the theory perceiving is epistemically direct, unmediated by conscious or unconccious inference. Direct realism is distinguished, on the one hand, from indirect, or representative realism, the view that perceptual awareness of material objects is mediated by by an awareness of sensory representations, and, on the other hand, from forms of phenomenonalism that identify material objects with states of mind... [see naive realism below].

INTERNAL REALISM denies irrealist claims founded on the past falsification of accepted theories. Internal realists are, however, skeptical of "metaphysical" claims of
"correspondence of true theories to the real world" or of any notion of truth that can be construed in radically non-epistemic terms....

METAPHYSICAL REALISM: the view that (a) there are real objects (usually the view is concerned with spatiotemporal objects), (b) they exist independently of our experience or knowledge of them, and (c) they have properties and enter into relations independently of the concepts with which we understand them or the language with which we describe them...[see also David A. Armstrong's work].

MODAL REALISM: David K. Lewis' [view that] other possible worlds and the objects in them are just as real as the actual world and its inhabitants.... [O]bjects exist in at most one possible world, and for which the necessity of identity fails. Properties are defined with the set of objects that have them in any possible world, and propositions as the set of worlds in which they are true.

MORAL REALISM: a metaethical view committed to the objectivity of ethics. It has (1) metaphysical, (2) semantic, and (3) epistemological components.

Metaphysical: the claim that there are moral facts and moral properties independent of people's beliefs and attitudes about what is right or wrong.

Semantic: Primarily cognitivist. Cognitivism holds that moral judgments should be constru3d as assertions about the moral properties of actions, persons, policies, and of he object of moral assessment, that moral predicates purport to refer to properties of such objects, that moral judgments...can be true or false, and that cognizers can have the cognitive attitude toward the propositions that moral judgments express.... Moral realism also holds that truth for moral judgments is non-epistemic....

Epistemological: to avoid skepticism moral realism claims that some moral beliefs are true, that are methods for justifying moral beliefs, and that moral knowledge is possible....

NAIVE REALISM: A form of perceptual realism [below] that shares with representative realism [below] a commitment to a world of independently existing objects.... It differs, however, in its of how we are related to...objects in ordinary perception. Direct realists deny that we are aware of of mental intermediaries (sens-data) when, as we ordinarily say, we see a tree or hear the telephone ring....

PERCEPTUAL REALISM: A causal theory of objects that holds that the perceptual object, what it is we see, taste, smell, or whatever, is that object that causes us to have this subjective experience.

PROPERTY/Ontological Status: roughly, an attribute, characteristic, feature, trait, or aspect....

Ontological Status:
Because properties are a kind of universal, each of the standard view on the ontological status of universals has been applied to properties as a special case. NOMINALISM: only particulars (and perhaps collections of particulars) exist; therefore, either properties do not exist or they are reduceable (following Carnap et al.) to collections of particulars (including perhaps particulars that are not actual but only possible). CONCEPTUALISM: properties exist but are dependent on the mind. REALISM: properties exist independently of the mind. Realism has two main versions. In rebus realism: a property exists only if it had instances [For example, the property red is a predicable of red objects; they are instances of it]. Ante Realism: a property can exist even if it has no instances....

REPRESENTATIVE REALISM: Representative realists concede that there IS a world fo mind-independent objects (trees, stars, people) that cause us to have experiences..., we nonetheless do not directly perceive these external objects. What we directly perceive are the effects these objects have on us--an internal image, idea, or impression, o more or less (depending on conditions ob observation) accurate representation of the external reality that helps produce it....

REDUCTION: The replacement of one expression by a second expression that differs from the firt in prima facie reference.... Logical positivists talked of the reduction of theoretical knowledge vocabulary to an observational vocabulary, first by explicit definitions and later by other devices.... In the philosophy of mathematics, LOGICISM claimed that all of mathematics could be reduced to logic.... In contrast, we take scientific theories to tell us unequivocally, that water is H2O and that temperature is mean transitional kinetic energy. Accounts of theory reduction in science attempt to analyze the circumstances in which a "reducing theory" appears to tell us the composition of objects or properties described by a "reduced theory."

SCIENTIFIC REALISM: the view that the subject matter of scientific research and scientific theories exists independently of our knowledge of it, and that the goal of science is the description and explanation of both observable and unobservable aspects of the world. Scientific realism is contrasted with logical empiricism and social constructivism.

(pp. 26, 237, 501, 562-563, 588, 655-567, 702, 751-752, 821)


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