Pondering Determinism.

Ive been having a discussion with Marvin from  A Keen Graspblog about determinism, and Im posting my latest reply. Please see my post Preliminary thoughts on the parameters of determination: Phenomenology and Object Orientation.and its comments for our ongoing discussion…


The question that is suspended there is the issue of mind and brain. The assumption is that there is a brain (and or mind) that we can know that is not a model, upon which or generally from which, or due to its operating, that models are made. One question would be how do we know when the modeling stops? Of course, I would imagine that it stops at what is obvious, or what is practical; the questioning of matters stops with what is apparent. Upon such apparent matters, we base our observations, relations, judgements conclusions, opinions, etc…

I agree with this. Likewise, I can understand religion as spiritual support.

I have pretty cogent ideas about how many things fit together philosophically (but Im open to dabate and change); they are the content of books, written and being written. But one piece Im looking at is determinism, so its good to have the definition you give, at least in so far as the significant piece there; correct me if I am wrong, its seems the burden of proof for determinism is is predicitive capacity.

This is a good definition. It allows me to again point to what is real, and say that indeed this definition is very practical, involved with determining what of reality is indeed real or possible.

I do not have fixed ideas around determinism (oddly enough, lol). I am working through the possibilities involved. Throwing stuff around, seeing where it lands, so to speak. Currently I am seeing the practical definition of determinism a bit light.

I do not question that I have to live in a very practical manner, think in certain ways, make choices, regardless of if they meet a definitional criteria of “pragmatic”. While definition is a real feature of discussion, though, I am not sure that ‘definition’ is a sufficient category to be able to encounter all that may be acting or involved. At every point I have to ask what I am suspending in order to come to a definite idea of a situation, and then how I am able to carry that suspension into other contexts? That the brain/body behaves in a certain manner practically, I think is narrow in its reckoning. While I do see that we must only describe what the body (the body in the sense of bodies, or objects, possibly) is doing, I think too often we first rely upon a limit that is immediately apparent, given, and then make decisions on this seeming “absolute” limit by which we come upon things.

There are many instances which could displace pragmatics as a viable manner by which to discern what is true. A sole reliance upon definition can be seen as slightly faulty.
For example of your apple: The assumption of limit that the model itself is exempt from being merely a condition. If we investigate, say, into the apple, we find that our model of the real apple that was once working, at some point along the investigation, fails, or at least we find that the model “apple” is constituted with an array of things that are not properly the apple. So at some point we merely ‘decide’ that X= apple= real, and not-X is an illusion or an aspect that makes what is ‘real’ a kind of illusion with respect of what we find in the investigation. For example: I find that apples are made of atoms, atoms of electrons, protons.. etc.. until we come into quantum estimations, etc..

The assumption here is that consciousness is giving me reliable data to work with; very practical and real, of course. The issue is not that it may not be giving me reliable data, but that this set of data is functioning in a manner to give me data that is irrefutable, or only refutable given certain conditions that are already a part of the particular manner. It seems to me that we have found a manner that consciousness functions: It is not that it finds actually true things, and not even models, but that such models function as Truth, and so to say that it is merely a model serves as a justifier for that particular manner of consciousness given data that is come upon as automatically true. It is like a redundant an unnecessary act to have to say “models”; its like every time I goto drive my car, I cant just drive my car without announcing to everyone all the time that I use it to go places. It is almost like a particular set of knowledge has become so tentative and found itself on such precarious grounds, that now it has to announce the truth that is in fact happening as “merely a model”. I see this as a feature of religion: It must produce apologies for its lack, for what innately occurs by the religious reckoning that is actually offensive to the functioning of the mode of knowledge, the ‘positive’ faith. I cant just say that God is real, I have to justify it along certain lines. My question is like, if God exists and is functioning truly, why would I have to justify it?

This conclusion, and the effect of such a conclusion, whether cognized or merely effecting, appears to have explanatory power for what is occurring in many places politically. No longer are people and groups feeling they just justify their actions and beliefs to a common sort, rather they just cut off rationalizing to the general sphere and act. The extreme examples are the American alt right and islamic terrorist groups. Well the Islamic terrorist groups probably have never felt the need to justify their activity to secular or Western powers, The alt right on the other hand being involved and invested in western ideals can be seen to be appropriating what otherwise are liberal postmodern intellectual philosophical concepts correctly but then applying them in a manner that is really offensive to the institutions that gave rise to these philosophical ideas. It’s as if the alt right has committed a foul in the game of intellectualism. 


But See that I am not making an argument about what is true or false, or about what may be more true or less true, but I am attempting to describe what is occurring. This approach really does nothing for an ability to choose upon activites or where or what I might be in reality, it is not a practical philosophy; I do not feel I need to know why I do things except in as much as I rely upon a practical manner of reconciling behavior to its justifying and predictive attributes –and indeed I do rely upon such avenues. Nevertheless, the nature of this investigation appears thus to be necessary, because it has little to do with what I might choose to do, what I might choose to be interested in, as though I might weigh up options of what might be interesting to talk and think about; I cannot help but put everything through a particular filter, a particular lens. Due to this apparent necessity, and my inability to chose what I cannot choose, the description seems to arise out of determined set of qualifiers, qualifiers that themselves arise within a necessary arena in which we choose. Indeed, I can choose upon various topics, but its seems that every occasion yields from me the same order of activity, yet framed in different instances. Its predictive quality thus might be found as a kind of history of the future, similar to what we find in the Bible.



I am understandning in a very practical way, how people came to the notion of a difference in philosophy between European continental and (generally) English-AMerican analytical philosophy. So I appreciate this opportunity. Part of my issue, also, is that what we have come to rely upon as continental, and indeed the now traditional divide, is almost useless. Often enough, what is deemed ‘continental’ is misunderstood as much as it is placed in a sort of scholastic category of speculation, which, to me, completely misses the point that the discerning came about, and indeed ironically becomes a topic that some philosophers (Badou and Zizek come to mind) even address about how what is original is commandeered by what is subsequent and or redundant, such that we have is a ‘changing of the past’ that can no longer be reckoned to its basis in common circles because of the nature of the change. Can we ask then what of those who see the substance that is the changed as no having fidelity to the intension involved?

But again: the point is not that what is practical and real has any other ‘more truth’ underneath it. The point is that there are two irereducible and mutually exclusive routes upon objects. Ill shut up now.


    1. Thank you.
      I think one of the differences in our approaches has something to do about that when I think ‘determinism’ i think about an actual thing, not merely a definition. Of course we have to define things to discuss, but I think that is he issue. Not merely argument for arguments sake: Discussion of what is actually occurring as the discussion.

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