The ontic status of reasons

#1
Magical Realist Offline
What is the ontic nature of reasons? Reasons for our actions. Reasons for events. Reasons for existing. Where do they come from? It would seem they are objective in some sense in that they define objective events of the world. They are in some sense linked to causation. But they are made of words and are mental too. Nobody finds a reason under a rock. We experience reasons thru reasoning, the ability to think and infer and generalize that is the nature of our intelligence. But reasons preexist our reasoning. They are indemic parts of the world AND the mind, without which we would never understand anything. Together they represent a level of order and meaning that one might say emerges spontaneously from the interactions of all beings.
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#2
C C Offline
The primal backbone of intelligence, or proto-intelligence, is preference (bias, tendencies, selection-making). While evolution displays that in a machine-like "without the advanced interests of a personal life" context, the non-biological world at large exhibits yet simpler or more fundamental tilts that eventually accumulate into organization and reoccurring patterns of some kind. Though scientific preference would frame them as laws, principles, stable quantitative values, the predictability of forces, etc -- rather than physical "preferences" and "prejudices" that provide the basis for "reasons".
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#3
C C Offline
(Oct 14, 2021 07:41 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: What is the ontic nature of reasons? Reasons for our actions. Reasons for events. Reasons for existing. Where do they come from? It would seem they are objective in some sense in that they define objective events of the world. They are in some sense linked to causation. But they are made of words and are mental too. Nobody finds a reason under a rock. We experience reasons thru reasoning, the ability to think and infer and generalize that is the nature of our intelligence. But reasons preexist our reasoning. They are indemic parts of the world AND the mind, without which we would never understand anything. Together they represent a level of order and meaning that one might say emerges spontaneously from the interactions of all beings.

Sufficient Reason: "As previously stated, for any proposition, truth is defined by Leibniz in the same way: the predicate is contained in the subject. It only takes a little thought to realize that for any one subject (like Peter or Caesar), the number of predicates which are true of it will be infinite (or at least very large), for they must include every last thing Peter or Caesar did or will do, as well as everything that did or will ever happen to them. But now it is natural to ask: Why do all these predicates come together in the one subject? It could be that the predicates are a quite arbitrary or random collection—although Leibniz does not believe this, and it is certainly not intuitive. Rather, one predicate or set of predicates explains another. For example, Peter’s coming into contact with a virus explains his illness. Or, Caesar’s ambition and boldness explains why he decided to cross the Rubicon. So, many (at least) of the predicates that are true of a subject “hang together” as a network of explanations.

Leibniz goes further still by claiming that for every predicate that is true of a subject, there must be a set of other true predicates which constitute a sufficient reason for its being true. This he calls the principle of sufficient reason—that there must be a sufficient reason for why things are as they are and not otherwise. This is why he uses words like “foundation” and “reason” in the quotation above. Unless this were true, Leibniz argues, the universe would not make any sense, and science and philosophy both would be impossible. Moreover, it would be impossible to account for a basic notion like identity unless there was a sufficient reason why Caesar, for example, with his particular properties at a given time, is identical with the Caesar who existed a week prior with such different properties.
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That seems like the significance of coherence in is an epistemological or language model of the cosmos rather than the ontological situation, though. Still, coherence and "objective" can have a relationship. 

The "reasons" themselves (going back to your quote) could be falling out of competing processes whose primary agenda is to maintain a reality that appears coherent to observers. That upkeep ensured by each specialized managing "program" challenging another when it drifts away from inter-consistency. With the capacity to even edit the memories of observers if that becomes radically necessary at times.

Which is to say, thanks to future technology descended from today's primitive generative adversarial network (GAN), it will probably be possible to produce a simulated world that may appear to exist in a vast or infinite way to an observer, but actually be quite limited in the prior reality it abides in.

"Every pixel you see here is generated from a neural network while I play," explained Kinsley in the video (below). "The neural network is the entire game. There are no rules written here by us or the [RAGE] engine."

Even setting aside the eventuality of "waking up", and having no god-like control apart from the rare lucid variety, dreams fail the test of objectivity because they're not internally coherent. Additionally, dreams even have a next-level counterpart (the brain), but the world of the dream is obviously not trying to represent the brain. The idea that "representation" is transpiring should not be treated as a default fact for external environments presented in consciousness. (Though a particular skilled practice -- like either carpentry or a science discipline -- can require its novices to "dogmatically" adopt any routine that is convenient for carrying out its trade.)

Accordingly, it's not necessary that a meta-phenomenal version or duplication of a world must exist to explain the regularities of perception. IF its coherence can optionally be rendered by other means (that is, far better than the sloppy inconsistencies outputted by an ordinary brain during dreaming).

Moralilty and that self-importance of society (usually placing itself hierarchically above the individual) require that other minds exist in an interconnected manner. But there's no moral obligation to extend deep substantiality to objects and events that lack sentience and internal evidence of their own existence. Their value in the context of human or general biological survival is one thing, but extending ethical importance to rocks would be far more insane than post-vegans valuing the lives of plants after artificial food becomes available (food not dependent upon macroscopic flora and fauna). 


https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/udPY5rQVoW0
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#4
Magical Realist Offline
Good thoughts CC. I may be guilty of a little reifying of reasons abit as "entities" or "objects" in my OP. I guess they are more like ideas and properties and facts, whatever ontic status those have. I feel myself pulled towards some sort of platonic dualism..
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#5
Leigha Offline
Suppose our reasons are guided by emotions? Not all reasons are logical, sometimes people justify their unhealthy behaviors because of their ''reasons.'' Not all reasons stem from reasoning, but when we make decisions, usually what motivates us is what will lead us to good or bad results. I've heard many people say ''I know this hurt you, but I had my reasons.''

What reasons would someone have that would lead to another person being hurt? Or is this hurt person overly sensitive, and can't see that the other person's reasons were really for their benefit? Are reasons purely subjective, or can they be considered objective?

Where's Kant when you need him? Dodgy
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#6
C C Offline
(Nov 22, 2021 09:58 PM)Leigha Wrote: Suppose our reasons are guided by emotions? Not all reasons are logical, sometimes people justify their unhealthy behaviors because of their ''reasons.'' Not all reasons stem from reasoning, but when we make decisions, usually what motivates us is what will lead us to good or bad results. I've heard many people say ''I know this hurt you, but I had my reasons.''

What reasons would someone have that would lead to another person being hurt? Or is this hurt person overly sensitive, and can't see that the other person's reasons were really for their benefit? Are reasons purely subjective, or can they be considered objective?

Where's Kant when you need him? Dodgy

Physical interactions "out there in the world" -- entailed by definition (2) at the bottom -- aren't necessarily "logical", either, beyond their having to hang together consistently to produce their effects (and minus ambiguous or "missing areas" IF perfection was the standard).

However, even with (2) it's impossible to completely remove a biological mind background being involved -- the motivations, preference-based interpretations, systemic representations, etc. A claim of "objective" is usually corrupted to some extent, unless "objective" means a social consensus or neutral perspective or inability to control by personal will -- rather than literal independence in terms of all psychological and cultural properties.

reason [noun]

(1) A rational motive for a belief or action
"the reason that war was declared"

(2) An explanation of the cause of some phenomenon
"the reason a steady state was never reached was that the back pressure built up too slowly"

(3) The capacity for rational thought, inference or discrimination
"we are told that man is endowed with reason and capable of distinguishing good from evil"

(4) The state of having good sense and sound judgment
"he had to rely less on reason than on rousing their emotions"

(5) A justification for something existing or happening
"they had good reason to rejoice"

(6) A fact that logically justifies some premise or conclusion
"there is reason to believe he is lying"
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