Tony Giovia


>>> What do you mean when you say >..ideas and sensations as physical empirical entities< ? What does "physical" mean to you in this sense? And does empirical simply mean something "perceivable" or does it mean a _method_ of evaulating perception? I am using "empirical" in that latter sense myself. <<<

1) My mind, composed of ideas, affects my body, a physical entity (for example, by directing behavior).
2) Sensations, as sensory input, affect my body (for example, by reflex behavior).
3) Only physical entities can affect other physical entities. (An assumption)
4) Ideas and sensations are physical entities.

An empirical entity is one that is perceivable by my mind or body. Therefore an empirical entity is physical. This includes ideas and sensations.

>>>  You are seeking an approach which defines "validity" across all sets, where I (and Pirsig, I think) are trying to make room for multiple "validities" if you will, with a scheme that permits them all to be discussed and compared relative to the contexts in which they originate. <<<

Validity across all sets sounds like a definition of ' truth'. That is not what I am talking about. Validity as I define it is merely starting with selected assumptions and applying math/logic ops to these assumptions; if the result is reproducible, that is if ops A, B, and C applied in the same order to assumptions X and Y always produces result N, then I would call the result valid or reproducible. I think this is a structural definition of what you are calling 'multiple validities' - ie we are talking about the same thing.

>>>  "Significance" in this sense is not something that I, the observer, select; "significance" is relative to the person who holds the belief. <<<

They wrote a song about this... " Wild In The Streets". <g>

>>> I am trying to talk about the ways in which belief systems form and how they operate for different people who have different frames of reference about what they mean. From those frames of reference flow all the decisions we make when we interpret our experience and attach significance to our thoughts, both individually and in groups. <<<

Belief systems = Validity Strings (as I described it above). 

>>>  But scientific views are only one of many ways to describe the operation of thought and mind. <<<

Science is logic at work. We communicate via logic. Even beliefs are based on logic (my beliefs are different from yours only because we apply our logic to different starting assumptions).

>>> >>> . But before I could say if "transitional context" said the same thing to me, I'd need to understand what you meant by that. <<<

I used this phrase to identify what I thought you were describing - a context that acted as a 'mediator' between contexts associated by different degrees of 'significance' - ie, different degrees of association. This is easy to visualize if you conceive of any individual context (say Context A) as being composed of multiple other contexts (c1,c2,c3 etc.) - then 'association' or 'significance' is a quantity - it is (at a minimum) the number of composing contexts physically shared by Context A and Context B.

A transitional context is the shared contexts of Context A and Context B. As a reference, consider that total sharing of all composing contexts between Context A and Context B = identity.



>>> We may be <g>, but I am stuck on the "reproducible" part. Are you saying that anything "valid" will have the same outcome every time? <<<

Yes. This is not a radical idea. It just says that a process and its result is capable of being reproduced.

>>>  If you want to say the way we form beliefs always follows the same series of steps producing the same results, I'm not sure I could follow you there unless you were merely describing the _process_ of forming a belief (e.g. listen/reflect/decide), not the intellectual content of the belief or its impact on people's feelings. <<<

I am only describing the process of forming a belief.

>>> Pirsig's point is, I think, that you can't predict, for example, what will happen when a Baptist talks to a Buddhist, in terms of how their beliefs may shift, even if you may, perhaps, be able to speak to the mechanical steps each takes in processing the ideas they each present. Would you agree with that? <<<

Yes, I agree with that. But I would only say that 'at the present time' the results are not predictable.

>>> Where does non-verbal perception, what we usually call "intuition," fit into this? <<<

It fits in the same place as all other types of data - it is processed by the mind using logical tools. Intuition is not a mystical form of information. As far as I know it is just subconscious processing.

>>>  But you could never hope to divide and classify each bit of data that makes my opinion true for me and compare it to each bit of data that makes your opinion true for you. IMO <s> <<<

It might not be necessary to go to a quantum level of detail to understand opinions.

I am a big fan of Persig's "ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE " ( ! ) and I was thinking that I wouldn't want my ideas criticized on the basis of someone else's interpretation of them (however accurate that interpretation might be). So in fairness to Persig I'm going to hold off on further participation in this thread until I get a chance to read LILA myself.