Saturday, May 3, 2014

Observations on Modal Realism / Precie on Categorical Realism

I have been reading an article at the SEP about 2-Dimensional Semantics, and it seems to me there are some key, highly aggravating problems with the methodology of Modal Realism:

(1) There is a problem with assigning a definite value to a proper name that is anywhere outside of logic, because of the problem of relevance: it is possible that a given term has an objective and definite relevance even if it is not true. This form of secondary or surrogate truth can manifest significantly even if the original (proper name) term is not actually relevant. In other words, there is a double-double-negative: we can't confirm or deny, although we might affirm or might deny, that something which is partially real, but influential, is in fact real in its relevance. Following from this, is a relative argument that anything which is absolutely relevant, but not absolutely real, fits this precise case every time. And this might apply to everything.

(2) Although there may be no problem in formalizing logic through causality, many logical terms must in this sense be accepted on an 'as if' basis, because accepting the validity of the logic does not always entail absolute acceptance of the system. In other words, the system itself may have a causal relevance which does not in itself support its complete reality. It is possible that to be right about everything, a system would have to compromise its own standard. But even if it didn't, there is a possible problem that the terms being described are in some way more real than the system itself. In what way, then, can the system describe the terms? Although Modal Realism could adopt semantic significance, or even with greater strength, relatively semantic significance, none of this semanticism can prevent the system from being dominated by objects which may have greater causal relevance than the system. If the system has less causal relevance, it may then be concluded that the system does not determine all of the relevance of the objects. One conclusion, that the domain is material, results in radical realism about everything, including all objects and all systems. Apparently, any adequate appearance, independent of human authority, would be adequate to determine relevance. Another conclusion is that causality is immaterial, in which case one can beg the question of whether immaterial things obey the laws of logic. Apparently, in an immaterial realm, appearances don't matter, because everything is about non-sensibilia, and appearances are a constituent of sensibilia.

(3) A nagging question I have had, is if the proper objects in modal realism are the most integral aspects of logic sentences. I have sensed an excessive dependence on the familiarity of nouns. Any given thing is a noun, goes the argument. And yet, it is not the only sense of a thing. What if nouns had been defined as adjectives or verbs? What if, additionally, some independent, universal standard of objects proved to be the most logical approach? If we theorize that for every valid application in logic, some proper universal standard exists for objects, then it seems inevitable that some such independent standard, which is not nouns, or adjectives, or verbs, is in fact the valid one. Must we accept the conditionality of objects to have definitions of them? Are objects, in fact, true in their own sense, if they are not true in another sense? I sense that the criterion of real, actual truth may be deeper than any logical definition could, in fact, construct. And, if language is so slippery as to 'not actually be true, in the highest sense', then what makes us think that the real reasons we ascribe to objects, true as they are, are the most relevant ones? Apparently, relevance is a big question and criticism, because of the contingency of facts. But if facts are not contingent, doesn't this mean that we must rely on conditionalism? Aren't facts in this sense, merely relationships? But if facts are relationships, there is a problem with defining proper objects as the central point of definition. For reductio ad absurda, we cannot define a fact as a relationship without defining it literally as "relationship".

(4) If facts are defined in a reductive way, according to the rule that the correspondence of logic sentences is what grants factuality, then correspondence is what must be considered as though it is logical. However, if logic signifies correspondence, and correspondence logic, then there are two choices regarding the logic: (A) settle on one thing which defines itself independently of the common tools of logic, and (B) define all expressions in logical terms. Since according to my assessement of proper objects logic must be an object or a relation, in fact both of these positions argue for pure logic in some form, either by using logical terms, or by logicifying an object. Therefore, it may be concluded that this method, in its ultimate boundary of realization, assumes itself infallible. This is what I think some have observed about Modal Realism. There may be a better option than Modal Realism, which is by accepting the relative absoluteness of terms. If 'relative' is taken to mean a relationship such as conditionalism, then absoluteness can be measured as the extent of reality for an object. Does an object in itself constitute reality? Then, by definition, such an object has a kind of truth. This undercuts the question of the sentential veracity of a statement by asking, 'what is important?' 'what is a relation?' What truth consists of is simply the combination of importance and relation. It is not as clearly the nounification of a sentence, OR purely logical correspondence. This is an entirely different method, but I think it may prove more fruitful.

This has been re-posted at my articles pages. AcademicRoom.

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