Subject and object

PH: Because we know that the subject of reason rejects contradiction, we know one parameter of the modern subject.

Me: What is the definition of subject? I honestly do not know the meaning of subject in this context.

— you are not wanting to paint yourself into a corner, is what is happening.  You know exactly what I mean by the subject.  Again, if you need another authority, check the multitude of philosophers, or psychologists, or even the dictionary.  But if you need a definition: a subject is a subject of discourse.  

I honestly don’t know which definition you are using.

Here are the noun definitions (including philosophical definitions) from the Oxford Dictionary. I have put in bold the definitions which could well fit into your statement.

  1. A matter, scene, etc to be discussed, described, represented, dealt with, etc
  2. A person, circumstance, etc, giving rise to specified feeling, action, etc
  3. Department or field of study
  4. Grammar. a noun or it’s equivalent about which sentence is predicated and with which the verb agrees
  5. Any person except a monarch living under a monarchy or any form of government
  6. Any person owing obedience to another
  7. Philosophy. Are thinking or feeling entity; the conscious mind; the ego, especially as opposed to anything external to the mind
  8. The central substance or core of a thing as opposed to its attributes
  9. Music. The theme of a fugue or sonata; a leading phrase or motif
  10. a person of specified mental or physical tendencies
  11. the part of a proposition about which a statement is made
  12. (as in subject for dissection) a dead body

As you can see six of the twelve definitions here can be meant. It is especially problematic when definitions 7 and 10 have complete opposite meanings for philosophy and psychology (areas which I must almost taken into consideration when looking at polysemy in your discourse). I did not include grammar subject in bold either, since you are not a language teacher.

And here are the definitions for object.

  1. A material thing that can be seen or touched
  2. A person or thing to which action was feeling is directed
  3. a thing sought or aimed at; a purpose
  4. Grammar. A noun or its equivalent governed by an active transitive verb or by a preposition
  5. Philosophy. a thing external to the thinking mind or subject
  6. Derogatory. A person or thing of especially pathetic or ridiculous appearance
  7. Computering. A package of information and a description of its manipulation

And the Oxford Dictionary does not include the second grammatical definition either.

Interesting that definition 1 (of normal usage) is different to the philosophical one (definition 5). Also, since the name OOO is (loosely) derived from object-oriented programming languages I cannot discount this usage (definition 7) by you either.

Do you see where my problem stems from?

You keep on assuming I am being uncooperative (obstinate is the word you keep on using). I do not have all of your definitions in my head as you keep on assuming (I have not even gotten to modern yet). I can only assume from this characteristic that you are also (I am including myself in here) fallible to other assumptions as well, and that I have to be weary of what they may be. It is the way I do my philosophy.

Reply: routes

In reply to this post.

A route is a path. There are two routes in philosophy.

What are the two routes? I read to the end. lol. Good read, by the way.

A route, is also a retreat. 

By “retreat” you mean a route of escaping from what? This is a metaphor that assumes something to escape from. I am not sure what yet.

One either has faith, or one doubts. But often enough, people think they are not having faith when they are doubting. But most often through their doubting they are really just upholding faith.

“… faith … doubt” Let us be clear here. Are we assuming just the Christian faith and Christian doubt? Or are we talk about all faiths, Judeo-Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Jainism and the other thousands of religions out there and therefore all doubts?

Faith is that which is already informing one to what they can possibly know.

Is it only Faith that informs? Can another faith inform? Can a non-faith inform?

‘…know …’ I am assuming Faith also means all that is to be Known in the widest possible sense, inside and outside the reality.

The operation of faith is based in offense. In our modern times, the basic offense of what we can call conventional philosophy is known as contradiction. 

What is the non-conventional philosophy that we are hinting at here?

In this way, the modern religion is based in A foundational theological tenant that we call reason.

You are not talking of any religion other than Christianity, are you?

Reason upholds the modern faith in reality by rejecting contradiction. Modern identity is founded in moving the other direction once contradiction is found. Contradiction defines the limit of subjectivity.

We need to define reason and contradiction clearer here. I don’t know if we are holding on to the same definitions for these.

We call a known thing which has parameters, and object. 

I will go with this. But I am not sure again, if your ‘know’ is the same notion as my ‘know’.

If we can define one parameter, we have found the beginning of an object, …

An object has not begun, then, until it is defined by a parameter. Until that moment the object does not exist.

… because all we need is one fact of an object and that necessarily leads to all the facts which constitute an object.

Fact equals truth? What is a fact?

All of the facts are what is knowable.

Because we know that the subject of reason rejects contradiction, we know one parameter of the modern subject.

What is the definition of subject? I honestly do not know the meaning of subject in this context.

Because we know one parameter, one fact of subjectivity, one true thing which establishes the modern subject in the real world, we likewise know that subjectivity is an object that we can know.

The difficulty in understanding this kind of knowledge is founded in a theological tenant that we know as philosophical phenomenalism, or what we could call the phenomenal subject. The modern subject becomes fully defined once the postmodern Version of phenomenalism arises.

When we see that the postmodern subject is really the completion of the modern theological subject, then we have all the information we need to begin to understand the object of the subject.

You have lost me here. But I may be lost because I do not have a theological tenant s my starting point. And also our uses of modernism/postmodernism is likely different, both idiosyncratic in their own ways.

The two routes is the way that we understand a subject, as an object.

Again, are the two routes taken by one person or taken by two people.

It doesn’t matter what one believes about a situation. …

I am glad to hear that … but it seems to me that you are continually projecting a faith and doubt onto me that I do not have, a kind of “Poor fella. He doesn’t know it but God will Save him.” You may feel the same of me, that I am projecting an emptiness or a nihilism that you do not want.

… What we find of the subject, by its parameters, is true, despite subjective knowledge. Because only subjectivity concerns belief, and belief is that by which subjectivity is upheld in faith. 

Language, or an orientation upon discourse in particular, is the means by which the theology of the subject Upholds the modern religious faith. Faith is that which grants reality, because it is operating to inform us what we are able to think and know.

I don’t know if we have the same notion of language also. For in the beginning wasn’t the word. It wasn’t with God. and it certainly wasn’t God.

I am not misquoting this because I want to poke fun at Christianity, but because I feel that language like this misleads. By Word=God we have no escape (retreat, if you will) from the narrative, the discourse.

Philosophy arises in simultaneity as a thrust forward, and as a retreat. The view which sees a choice in how to proceed, is always a move forward, a real move. Hence the reason which finds truth is retreating.

I highly recommend Metaphors We Live By as a route to understand how metaphors like this work. Lakoff would label this an [X IS WAR.] conceptual metaphor.

From concepts to Kierkegaard: a reply

A reply to preliminary-comments-on-the-existence-of-concepts

First, a delineation. The idea that philosophy must be about finding or asserting what is more true of a situation is but one manner of philosophy

So the issue, really, for the existence of concepts, in answering the question of their existence, one should first address: what is being attempted in answering the question? What is Being done? 

“… but one manner of philosophy.” Agreed. One manner.

Before we attempt to do any sort of philosophy. We should notice what is occurring, and come to terms with it somehow. Like Kierkegaard says, philosophy generally likes to start in the middle and then say a bunch of things about beginnings. I feel that a more significant issue for philosophy has to do with beginning at the beginning. 

“… Kierkegaard …” Another manner … leading to God, leap of faith, Existentialism.

“… beginning at the beginning …” I am happy with the beginning. But what I find at the beginning is not God. That is an assumption, a leap of faith. Even if you are not suggesting that, Kieregaard is. Let me clear on that.

Now, to say that none of us can actually start at the beginning, is to assert that there is only a middle. And not only that, but that everyone must adhere to the middle-ness.

As I said, I am happy with the beginning and I will say I happy with the end. The entirety of the reality is things, space and time. While there is a middle, I do not adhere to the middle-ness steadfastly. But neither do I go beyond reality.

It is a definition that goes into what is philosophically given, and then asserted on to every other category that begins with the term “human”. While real, I do not see such faux beginnings as addressing what is actually true of reality. 

Yes, what is given with a little ‘g’. Another manner is defining it by what is Given with a big ‘G’, to which I do not agree. Again, addressing Kierkegaard.


There is no arguing against that approach, though, And I call that approach, I call that method, I call that implicit assumption that supports method,conventional.

And I will call all approaches convictional. I am not trying to be clever. The point is that no position is value-free.

[…] Now, identifying that particular method as conventional is not implicating an insult or that something is wrong with it. It is merely identifying it. It could be a concept, it could be an idea, it could be a subjective opinion, it could arise in relativity, it could do and be represented in an infinite number ofmanners.

I do not take offence. And neither is saying convictional meant to be offensive. We all have positions. I am going to be transparent about mine.

It is to this kind of truth that I am involved with when I do philosophy. The recognizing of the reality of things, of what is occurring by the involvement with the universe. 

” … truth …” We must define that term. For me, truth is a concept of reason not of reality. Things are not “true” or “false”. Things (are, period). (Just) things.

For example: when I walk up to a computer, I first have to turn it on. And then usually I would have to login to my account. There is no feasible amount of argument about whether or not that occurs. It is a particular method or it identifies a particular method of how to get onto the computer. Sure, we could call it any number of things. We could use a whole variety of different languages and words and gestures to indicate the same thing. I first have to turn it on, though. The computer then has to come on. Then I have to log into my account. Etc. It doesn’t matter what we call that operation. It doesn’t matter, so far as I’m trying to do some thing, to have some thing Being done. What series of events I call into it has no has no barring: it doesn’t matter whether the computer is made up of invisible molecules or if it’s made up of pure consciousness that arises inside of my mind somehow. Ultimately I have to do those exact procedures. And if you were at work and someone said to log into the computer, and then you spent the next three hours discussing with them about the actual truth, the actual metaphysical truth of how these are only concepts or how Youre actually not doing anything here by logging onto the computer, that it’s a bunch of empty space, etc. You would be fired. 

Agreed. When I am hungry I eat. When I am tired I sleep.

Similarly, to take the approach that there really is no computer, or that logging in is a process having no real substance, is itself a method of coming upon real things. This is to say, that real things have no actual substance, so to speak. 

Denis Maurice wrote this of art: “Remember that a picture, before being a battle horse, a nude, an anecdote or whatnot, is essentially a flat surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order.”

The illusion is that a painting is a scene of battle horses, nudes, Anecdotes (capital ‘A’ deliberate) or whatever. Ultimately, we are working with things, and the processes and qualities of things.

So, It is with this kind of truth that I am involved with when I undertake philosophy. I am not being involved with discovering what is an underlying true about the situation, because I already know what is absolutely true about it: I have to go to the computer And turn it on and logon to my account etc. and that there is another kind of method which would argue that the computer and the act are different things, themselves having, again, no real substance. 

“… I already know what is absolutely true about it. …” Is it that you know or Know. Again, I am not being clever, rude, or obstinate. But rather are you doing a leap of faith without Knowing it, or is it Kierkegaard?

I’m not sure why this situation wouldn’t be true. That is, unless I demand that everyone must adhere to one method of doing things in philosophy, maybe. 

I am not demanding anything. I am giving one manner. You are giving another manner.

So I’m involved with wondering what value it holds for me to have a philosophy that argues that everything is concepts, and that there are no true objects, that there are existing things and then there are not existing things that there are processes, that there are abstractions… i’m not sure why that has anything to do with me going into the computer and turning it on and logging on — and yet, somehow it does. It doesn’t mean there is no value in it— surely, there is value in asserting that everything has relative substance. But I merely ask into what that value is, and attempt to shed might on why that might be the case. 

I didn’t say no value. But I am saying there is no absolute Value. And also in the reality everything has equal value. It is in this being that things have different values. This is not a choice but a process and quality of this being.

So back to the question of whether a concept exists. I am not sure when I come and I use a concept whether or not it exists only in language and that really this language has nothing to do with any actual objects out in the universe. Such philosophy seems to me only useful to idealists and people that don’t want to admit that they are involved with a true reality of things. They would rather set in their own ideas of philosophical fantasy, and avoid the truth that is right in front of them.

Interesting that you are mis-taking my position for an idealist one (or at least suggesting that this is an idealist one). I am thoroughly a materialist and a modern realist (not a scholastic realist). These are my convictions.

A Zen story

A Zen student came to Bankei and complained: ‘Master, I have an ungovernable temper. How can I cure it?’

‘You have something very strange,’ replied Bankei. ‘ Let me see what you have.’

‘Just now I cannot show it to you,’ replied the other.

‘When can you show it to me?’ asked Bankei.

‘It arises unexpectedly,’ replied the student.

‘Then,’ concluded Bankei, ‘ it must not be your own true nature. If it were, you could show it to me at any time. When you were born you did not have it, and your parents did not give it to you. Think that over.’

A serious “concept”

I am utterly serious when I say I do not believe concepts as things.

I am not trying to be clever, only to point out that language fools us into believing that concepts exist as things.

The self referential aspect of “concept” is what I am talking about.

We can never escape concept-as-thing because this is the only way we can deal with it. It is a kind of metaphor.

Do concepts exist?

I like lightning strikes. As an event they are dramatic and violent. They cause damage and they may even kill. But I cannot “catch” a lightning strike like I can catch a lion or a tiger. It is an event, process, action of a thing, not a thing in itself.

It is language that “catches” it as a thing. We call it a lightning strike. We conceive it that way. But we do not “catch” it that way.

Lakoff and Johnson, revolutionised our understanding words with Metaphors We Live By. The book gave us the concept of conceptual metaphor, showing how all language can be metaphorical. It is not just a device literary writers use but something that is inescapable as language. Apart from “literal statements” whatever that may be we have no recourse but to use metaphors.

Do concepts exist?

There are concepts, and concepts of concepts, but not the thing – concept.

Just like lightning strikes they are not things, but processes of things. A lightning strike is the conditions that make the process. Sequence of occurrences that have not “catchable” quality. Unlike lions which are catchable, cage-able.

There is no thing of concepts.

And just like the ‘is’ in the previous sentence is illogical to say there exists a negative. Materially impossible, conceptually create-able. Parmenides found this same problem and concluded that everything must be one. I do not think he drew the right conclusion.


This is a continuation of a conversation about the topic of unicorns with Hack. Here is the list of the conversation (correct me if I am mistaken, Hack)

Hack: I say, “unicorn” and you know what I am talking about.
103 (me): Yes.
Hack: So, because you and me know what we are talking about they exist.
103: Well, no. There is a concept of “unicorn”.
Hack: But you know what I am talking about, so they exist.

This went to Harry Potter (my example) and imagination to which I said they were both concepts, and do not exist.

Simply speaking: The cutting board that is in front of me and the mouse that is sitting next to me do not become one object no matter how I think about it, no matter how I conceptualize it, even though I am able to come up with some weird concept about how they might be the same or different or whatever. In truth there is the computer mouse there and there is a cutting board there. Two objects. In truth. That’s it that’s it. You either except it or reject it. If you reject it then I have to say that you’re being hypocritical. You’re not being consistent with the philosophical ideas that you play with so far as language games and things like that.

Because we were talking about imaginary things I took the mouse (in the first sentence) to be a live mouse (cutting board … mouse … scavenging for food). But in reality Hack was talking a computer mouse (second usage) in which I proceed to think he is talking about the imaginary usage of language.

In truth he is talking about cutting board and a computer mouse. I am assuming – from context – that he uses a cutting board for a computer mouse pad (lol. correct me if I am wrong, again). This went on for me to be accused of lying (of which I am not). I may be guilty of misunderstanding his meaning (and Hack, guilty of unclear language (who would have thought he uses a cutting board for a mouse pad)) but I am not guilty of lying that I do not believe in unicorns.

The point I was trying to make with “there is a concept of unicorns” is that there is the word “unicorn” and there is a concept of “unicorn” but there isn’t a real material thing that is a unicorn.

This, I think, is a misconception of how symbols, concepts and existent things relate.

That is my approach: I start by stating what I understand to exist, and go on to explain why I think language (symbols and concepts) is the ground on which these mistakes stem.