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Monday, January 31, 2011

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No I am not feigning incomprehension when I say I don't understand it. This is the most incomprehensible post so far. Or rather, it seems riddled with the most obvious logical inconsistencies that I don't know where to start.

I'm going to pass on this one.

Your turn to be frustrated, eh? I'll buy you a beer if you an find just one obvious logical inconsistency.

I would rather clear up the outstanding points from the previous thread. In particular, I need to understand whether you regard the following sentence as inconsistent or not.

(**) Tom’s thinking has an intentional object, but there are no intentional objects

Is the sentence inconsistent or not? This is the same question as whether the following inference is valid

(**) if Tom’s thinking has an intentional object, something is an intentional object.

We need to know. If you answer my question, I will take up your offer.

I agree that the two questions are equivalent. The sentence is consistent and the inference is invalid.

If Tom has a car, then there are cars. Ownership is a relation, and we agree that if a relation holds then all its relata exist. But Tom's act of thinking does not have an intentional object in the way that Tom has a car. The mental act exists. The intentional object exists-in the act as its objective correlate. So the intentional object does not exist in itself, but it does exist in the act, as dependent on the act. This may give rise to puzzles but it is not obviously incoherent.

Apparently, for you 'object' means 'entity.' If so, then there are no intentional objects. But 'object' can also be used in such away that does not imply independent existence. This use is illustrated in 'Pamela is Tom's main object of desire.'

Or consider 'object of thought.' In a world without mind there are no objects of thought, but there are objects in your sense, e.g. Ayer's Rock Down Under. If I think about Ayer's Rock or actually look at it, it is my object of thought (in the broad Cartesian sense of 'thinking'). It needs me or somebody to be an object of thought, but not to be an object in your sense.

Thank you for clarifying that. I had thought you meant the reverse. The main confusion for the Londonistas, then ( and I think anyone else reading this) is that they naturally read ‘has’ as NON-intentional. Hence the confusion in the previous thread. My argument against Peter Lupu holds, however.

You say that
>> The intentional object exists-in the act as its objective correlate.

I don’t understand this. It sounds very ‘continental’. And you say
>> So the intentional object does not exist in itself, but it does exist in the act, as dependent on the act.

I don’t understand this either.

>> Apparently, for you 'object' means 'entity.' If so, then there are no intentional objects.

Object for me means, anything I can quantify over.

>>. But 'object' can also be used in such away that does not imply independent existence. This use is illustrated in 'Pamela is Tom's main object of desire.'

Tim Crane had a good point about not always being able to substitute ‘thing’ for ‘object’. We wouldn’t say 'Pamela is Tom's main thing of desire.' Is this what you mean? But then we would say that Pamela is the thing that Tom mainly desires. Thus we can always quantify over ‘object’ in this sense, thus, according to you, there are such things as intentional objects. But you have already agreed that

(**) if Tom’s thinking has an intentional object, something is an intentional object.

is invalid.

On the ‘beer’ argument in the main post, my main puzzle is how to reconstruct your argument without the jumps. Here’s an attempt.

(1) S is not thinking of b as determinate with respect to Y

(2) S is thinking of b as indeterminate wrt to Y

(3) S’s thinking has as object something (namely b) indeterminate wrt to Y

(4) Some object that is indeterminate wrt to Y is the object of S’s thinking

(5) Some object is indeterminate wrt to Y

The move from (1) to (2) is obviously invalid. The move from (2) to (3) is valid only if we construe ‘has’ in your sense, namely as intentional verb. The move from (3) to (4) is valid only if we construe ‘has’ in the standard sense, namely as NON-intentional verb. Thus (2) to (4) involves equivocation. The move from (4) to (5) is valid.

You have now clarified that the consequence ‘Tom’s thinking has an intentional object, therefore something is an intentional object’ is invalid. However, you make the following claims in the post above, all of which involve using ‘object’ as a grammatical subject rather than an accusative. But it is precisely this move from grammatical accusative to grammatical subject that is the problem. We seem to have agreed that a grammatical subject is always a logical subject, (and that a grammatical accusative is only a logical accusative when the verb taking the accusative is NON-intentional).

I have paraphrased some of your comments, please let us know if you have a problem with that, so that I can elaborate.

>>
There is something before my mind as the object of my visual experience which is indeterminate with respect to type of leather.
The intentional object of my visual experiencing is brown but not colored.
Intentional objects are not closed under property-entailment.
Merely intentional objects are "ontically heteronomous"
The existence of intentional objects is parasitic upon the existence of the mental acts whose intentional objects they are.
<<

Here are some more
>>
An intentional object is always an incomplete object
An intentional object is that to which [a] mental act is directed An intentional object does not exist on its own.
An intentional object exists precisely as the correlate of the act with all and only the properties ascribed to it in the act.
An intentional object has an 'ontically heteronomous' status.
<<

Bill,

I have taken the liberty of translating your Continental into Anglo-Saxon.

In reality every cube has 12 edges. But one could think of a cube without thinking it has 12 edges, and indeed without thinking that it has edges at all. If you know what a cube is, and I ask you, "How many edges does a cube have," you might reply, "I don't know."  During this exchange you are most assuredly thinking of something, but you are neither thinking it has 12 edges nor thinking it has some other number of edges.  

Another example.  Peter shows up at my door.  I note that he is wearing a brown leather vest.  Now anything made of leather must be made of cow leather or horse leather or alligator leather or . . . .  But I don't know of what kind of leather the vest I can see is made. What I can faithfully say about the vest is severely limited.

Peter's vest is brown, and everything brown is coloured.  But though I think of the vest as brown I don't at this moment think of it as coloured. Extracting the principle, we may erect the following thesis:

Non-Closure Under Property-Entailment:  We can't know everything about a thing and at any moment there can be aspects of it that we are not thinking about. If an X is a Y and I'm thinking about an X it doesn't follow that I'm thinking that it is a Y.

I'm trying to capture some of the subjective qualities of what it is like to have a thought. Have I misrepresented what you are saying?

Very good, David. I took the liberty of transferring this to tabular form so we can see exactly where the differences lie.

http://ocham.blogspot.com/2011/02/continental-to-anglo.html

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