I imagine a circle with many circles inside of it. The main circle is reality, the many circles inside are people. As you move about you can only view reality at one time from one angle and never fromt he angle of another person at the same time. What you know, you only know subjectively. How can you know objective reality, without being the reality which is impossible? You can reason from what you do know, but this to is done from a subjective viewpoint. I dont understand. I also dont understand, after tons of reading as well, some aspects of A = A. Just int hat example. They subjectively have the same defintion, but to be completely forthcoming those two A's are different A's, they are not really the same. Even as their forms are nearly identical, they surely differ in at least minute ways. In fact even if I ignore that i have trouble understanding it as applied further. If A can equal A despite being separate A's then how does the concept of individuality in the scope of the philosophy hold true? Man is Man, but yet individual? All i get when i seriously ask these questions is either "go read" or hostility. I want to grasp it, but I tend to learn more effectively kinetically. That is hard to do with these subjects.
There seem to be a couple of confusions which are tripping you up:
First, just because you can't know everything in every way doesn't mean you can't know some things in some ways. That is, the knowledge you do have is not invalidated by your ignorance: whatever knowledge you have is knowledge. For a perceptual-level example, consider that I can know (see) that flower from this perspective, and even though I don't know it from any other perspective, I do nonetheless know it from this one. I don't have to know everything about the flower to know what I do know about it; omniscience is not a proper standard of knowledge.
Second, it is true that all knowing is necessarily accomplished by some knower -- a subject -- but this does not render all knowledge subjective. Subjectivism is not the doctrine that all knowledge involves a subject (after all, that's something every epistemological position is going to assert). Rather, subjectivism is the doctrine that the object of knowledge depends radically upon the subject -- i.e., that the subject doesn't grasp the object of knowledge but rather that it creates or shapes the object of knowledge.
answered Jan 18 '12 at 03:55
Greg Perkins ♦♦
Do not confuse "A is A" with "A = A". The former is a metaphorical statement about metaphysics, the latter is a (mathematical) expression.
The two statements are allegorical, but not identical. A, in "A is A" stands for any given existent, just as A, in "A = A" stands for any given number.
Identity is a metaphysical idea. Equality is mathematical identity. It's more specific than identity as such.
"A is A", if taken literally, is talking about a letter of the alphabet (and, note, that's not a letter as printed on paper, but the idea of the letter A as held in the mind before one might use instances of that letter in any given word or sentence), but metaphorically, it's talking about each and every existent.
It's saying: "Whatever a thing is, it is what it is, and is not what it is not. Whatever it is, it has a single identity or nature at any given point in time. For any given identifiable attribute of a thing, the thing cannot, at the same time and in the same respect, both possess and not possess that attribute. To exist is to have one specific identity. Existence is identity."
"A = A" is a more specific statement: it says: "Whatever value any particular number has, the value is identical to the value." "A = A" is the law of identity applied to numbers. But each number has only a single attribute: its value.
answered Jan 24 '12 at 11:11
John Paquette ♦
Regarding A = A, also known as the Law of Identity: What it says is not that two different A's (objects) are the same. What it says is that a given object is the same as itself; that each object IS itself; they are what they are.
answered Jan 18 '12 at 04:46
The world consists of over 7 billion people now. Each of these 7 billion people, are who they are. In essence, this is A is A
These 7 billion people look down and see the world under their feet. It is the same world, shared by 7 billion different perspectives of this world. In this sense, 7 billion people look at the world under their feet. While it is 7 billion people, each person has eyes. While 7 billion people hear 7 billion different sounds, each person has ears. If all 7 billion people reached down and picked up a handful of dirt, there would be 7 billion perceptions of what it is that dirt feels like, yet each person has touch sensation.
Each view of the world, each sound heard, each grasp of the earth, is what is specifically what it is. This is in essence, "A is A."
The fact that each person has eyes, that each person has ears, and each person has a sense of touch can be integrated into attributes, or characteristics of what is "man" on the basis of similarity. The concept of "man" allows us to take what is perceptually given to us by perception from each individual, and integrate it into a concept we refer to as "man". While each "man" has his own eyes, with their own color, his own ears with their own ability to hear, and his own fingers, with their own ability to touch and feel, this can be integrated into its own concept of man, each consisting of eyes, ears, touch, smell and taste. Each "man" has his own specific 5 senses. But as the concept of "man," they are united by each one having its own unique specific 5 senses.
The part that makes it objective, is the recognition that each man has his unique specific 5 senses. We base the "objective" criteria of "man" on the basis that they ordinarily have these 5 senses, (blind, deaf, etc, excluded).
Objective reality is given to us by a chain of events. Percepts are the form by which we grasp reality. Percepts are given to us automatically by our brains subconscious integration of the data processed by the senses. The percepts are processed by the mind into concepts. The concepts are used by the mind to organize the materials received by the senses by the means of words, which are symbols to represent the concepts.
While we each have "our own perspective" on what we see, we "see" the same object in many cases. By agreeing on what criteria to identify the object as, we can objectively work together to to arrive at a common understanding between the "word" and the "concept" derived from the "percept" of the common object observed.