Sunday, April 30, 2006

a small bit of background

thomas nagel states in his classic essay 'what is it like to be a bat' that even if we could somehow experience the consciousness of a bat, we would still not be a bat but rather be a human experiencing what it is like to be a bat, without actually knowing what it is really like to be a bat, because bat-ness is what makes a bat a bat just as human-ness is what makes a human human.

thus wittgenstein - even if a tiger could talk to us, we would not be able to understand it.

it gets worse; as quine proposes in the indeterminacy of translation thesis, we cannot even fully understand each other as fellow human beings, because we can never communicate a full and complete propositional statement from one person to another, since each person's individual attitudes and emotions will shape the proposition into slightly different forms.

thats the philosophy, how is in the real world?

well, sometimes i know exactly what my cats are thinking and i would imagine the flip is true.
nonverbal communication can be precise and full of information. the philosophical view encourages this arrogant human position that we are all individual and separate whereas of course if you listen to your body you know we are all connected, thus i believe i can in fact know what it is to be a bat, and if i did, then i could be a bat. such is magick.

there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy

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