Hi dmb, Thanks for the snippet, now I know stellar's opinion. I am not sure what he means by "true", for he seems to self defeat his own argument. I have no reason to disagree with him, for the most part however, based on what you post.
I believe that knowledge is something we create. Therefore we create truths. If many agree that a creation makes sense, then we have an agreement on such truth. Such an agreement is a "given".
What I do not understand is how someone cannot have epistemological access to his own perception, because such access is created by the perception. If he is saying that one cannot expand on one's perception, then I think he is not correct, for we do that all the time. Explanations are one form of epistemology. He seems to deny the creativity of the human mind. Maybe his not saying that at all, I only have your quote to go on.
If I say that something looks green to me, I am providing a perception. I can then elaborate in any way I want to, just like Stellars does. This is what we do whether he likes it or not.
> > Myth of the Given as explained by an internet encyclopdedia: > > Sellars (1956) provides an extended critique of the notion of the Given. There are two parts to Sellars’ argument: first, he claims that knowledge is part of the “logical space of reasons;” and second, he provides an alternative account of “looks talk,” or an alternative reading of such claims as “that looks red to me,” claims that traditionally have been seen as infallible and as foundations for our perceptual knowledge. According to Sellars, no cognitive states are non-inferentially justified. For him: > “The essential part is that in characterising an episode or a state as that of knowing, we are placing it in the logical space of reasons, of justifying and being able to justify what one says.” (Sellars, 1956, p. 76)Whether we are talking about perceptual or non-perceptual knowledge, we must be able to offer reasons for why we take such claims to be true. To even claim appropriately that I have knowledge that I now seem to be seeing a red shape, I must be able to articulate such reasons as, “since my eyes are working fine, and the light is good, I am right in thinking that I am having a certain sensory experience.” As Rorty (1979, chapter 4) argues, justification is essentially a linguistic or “conversational” notion; it must consist in the reasoned recognition of why a particular belief is likely to be true or why one is rightly said to be having a certain experience. If such an account of justification is correct, then the notion of non-inferentially justified basic beliefs is untenable and non-conceptual perceptual experience cannot provide the justification for our perceptual beliefs. > Surely, though, “this looks red to me,” cannot be something that I can be wrong about. Such a foundationalist claim seems to be undeniable. Sellars, however, suggests that such wording does not indicate infallibility. One does not say, “This looks red to me,” to (infallibly) report the nature of one’s experience; rather, one uses such a locution in order to flag that one is unsure whether one has correctly perceived the world. > … when I say “X looks green to me”…the fact that I make this report rather than the simple report “X is green,” indicates that certain considerations have operated to raise, so to speak in a higher court, the question ‘to endorse or not to endorse.’ I may have reason to think that X may not after all be green. (Sellars, 1956, p. 41)Thus, Sellars provides a two-pronged attack on traditional foundationalism. The way we describe our perceptual experience does indeed suggest that we have infallible access to certain private experiences, private experiences that we cannot be mistaken about. However, we should recognize the possibility that we may be being fooled by grammar here. Sellars gives an alternative interpretation of such statements as, “this looks red to me,” an interpretation that does not commit one to having such a privileged epistemological access to one’s perceptual experience. Further, a conceptual analysis of “knowledge” reveals that knowledge is essentially a rational state and, therefore, that one cannot claim to know what one has no reason for accepting as true. Such reasons must be conceived in terms of linguistic constructions that one can articulate, and thus, the bare presence of the Given cannot ground the knowledge we have of our own experience or, consequently, of the world. This, then, is a rejection of the traditional foundationalist picture, or what Sellars calls, “the Myth of the Given.” > One of the forms taken by the Myth of the Given is the idea that there is, indeed must be, a structure of particular matter of such fact that (a) each fact can not only be noninferentially known to be the case, but presupposes no other knowledge either of particular matters of fact, or of general truths; and (b) such that the noninferential knowledge of facts belonging to this structure constitutes the ultimate court of appeal for all factual claims, particular and general, about the world. (Sellars, 1956, pp. 68-9) >> Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2012 13:59:21 -0600 >> From: combinedefforts@eart... >> To: moq_discuss@moqt... >> Subject: Re: [MD] The dirty doors of perception? >> >> Hi Mark, >> >> I snipped this section to see if we can get at the crux of the issue. >> >>>> dmb says: >>>> In the preceding paragraph Pirsig explains that "he used this example >>>> because his chief questioners seemed to see things in terms of >>>> stimulus-response behavior theory". He says this sort of explanation was >>>> "easiest intellectual analog of pure Quality that people in our environment >>>> can understand". Also, despite the fact that he's explaining this in terms a >>>> behaviorist can understand, the substance of his claim strikes a direct hit >>>> against the myth of the given. Think about it. If every last bit of reality >>>> is an invented analog, then everything is constructed and nothing is given. >>> >>> Mark: >>> Yes, I agree with dmb, if I am interpreting correctly what he is >>> writing. Reality is not invented, it is realized in a manner which we >>> humans find useful. We are simply interpreters of the given. If >>> somebody interprets Spanish into English, this does not mean that the >>> English is not something similar to the Spanish. It does not somehow >>> make the English unreal. Our interpretation as presented through sq >>> is as direct as the DQ which is being interpreted. To say that such >>> analogue is somehow separate from the given is not correct. Our >>> ability to think is very real, as real as the hardness of steel. We >>> cannot say that we are "imagining" steel to be hard, or we once again >>> get lost in the distractions of logic. >> >> Dave >> And my understanding is that dmb, Wilbur, maybe Pirsig, and many other >> philosophers of this bent are saying that from a human POV there is no given >> per se, reality it is built up individually and collectively as time goes >> on. They start with "humans experience" as the most basic element. After the >> fact build up a collections of "what is experienced" that allows them to >> make claims about "reality," but these claims always fall short of "what >> truly is." They are only good in so far as they're useful, practical. Then >> from those experiences some can deduce that there must be "pure experience" >> or "dynamic quality" which is much more vast and complete than their limited >> experiences. At the end of this process many come to the conclusion that >> "reality" is best described by form of realism, often scientific realism. >> But there is no "reality" given prior to the experiencing and describing of >> those experiences. I understand why this may be a technically more correct >> description of what happens or has happened to human understanding. But I >> think a "given" universe with me an integral part of it is much less >> confusing. I can't imagine how to teach children in grade school the MoQ >> when people here, many with college degrees, can't come to any common >> agreement on what he says, let alone what he means. So I agree that Lila >> confuses more than clarifies. And ZatAoMM, while intriguing, makes >> claims,IMHO, that in the end will not and cannot be verified. Very similar, >> IMHO, to the God hypothesis. >> >> Dave >> >> >> Moq_Discuss mailing list >> Listinfo, Unsubscribing etc. >> http://lists.moqtalk.org/listinfo.cgi/moq_discuss-moqtalk.org >> Archives: >> http://lists.moqtalk.org/pipermail/moq_discuss-moqtalk.org/ >> http://moq.org/md/archives.html > > Moq_Discuss mailing list > Listinfo, Unsubscribing etc. > http://lists.moqtalk.org/listinfo.cgi/moq_discuss-moqtalk.org > Archives: > http://lists.moqtalk.org/pipermail/moq_discuss-moqtalk.org/ > http://moq.org/md/archives.html Moq_Discuss mailing list Listinfo, Unsubscribing etc. http://lists.moqtalk.org/listinfo.cgi/moq_discuss-moqtalk.org Archives: http://lists.moqtalk.org/pipermail/moq_discuss-moqtalk.org/ http://moq.org/md/archives.html