All facts are subjective

Updated on December 16, 2021 in Philosophy
91 on June 6, 2017

(Nearly) All facts are subjective. 

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11 on July 18, 2017

yes. i agree because there are things that we aren’t 100% certain of

on May 21, 2018

You don’t what you’re talking about, don’t comment on this thread again

on September 3, 2021

If you’re going to claim that, at least explain why. Now you kind of look bad. They gave a valid opinion.

on October 10, 2021

You’re all wrong lol I might be also, but the opinion isn’t valid, but Acpool’s response is also braindead. The opinion itself is wrong, yes wrong, because it doesn’t think past the statement its making. Just because you can’t know something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or can’t be known.

on October 10, 2021

“Just because you can’t know something doesn’t mean it…  can’t be known.”

LOL. Just because a number is negative doesn’t mean it is a negative number, right? 

on October 14, 2021

No no, just because YOU can’t know something, doesn’t mean it can’t be known by something or even you if placed in another point of view. So what I’m saying is facts can exist without being observed.

on October 14, 2021

Whether it “can’t be known” is irrelevant. That it ISN’T known is all that matters. 
If it ISN’T known it cannot be a fact, because facts are a subset of knowledge. 

on October 15, 2021

So what you’re saying to me is that you cling to this arbitrary definition and if I don’t grant you that as true we can’t go forward with the convo. Honestly its crazy how you can’t see how hard you’re avoiding the question.

on October 15, 2021

what is “arbitrary” about understanding that facts are knowledge? 

What question is being avoided? 

What I’ve offered is extremely simple and logically airtight, and you want to try to make it convoluted and filled with errors, all because you reify your religious beliefs and can’t understand that epistemologically knowledge and beliefs are more foundational to the semantic hierarchy than empirical evidence is. 

What I’m really saying to you, is that you should think through what you want to say, and be sure you have something meaningful and useful to say before posting. 

on October 16, 2021

I guess man. I was just hoping we could have a conversation but this internet bloodsports is tragic tbh. This whole “my position is airtight” thing just shows you aren’t interested in learning, or helping people like me, but more in just dumping your position on us. Feels bad bud.

on October 16, 2021

Again, it is ARGUE Anything, not LEARN anything. 
That said, I’m happy to learn, but you’ve offered nothing. 
Conversely, what more can I have done to help you? 

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12 on September 6, 2017

Facts are ideas that have been proven multiple times without fail and never been disproven (or they wouldn’t be a fact). Therefore facts are not subjective and instead are simply notions that cannot be disproven as of yet.

on May 21, 2018

Agree

on August 17, 2021

That facts have been demonstrated by evidence, usually repeatedly, does not change the fact that they are nevertheless subjective.

Let’s be clear what it means to be subjective, as opposed to objective. Something is objective if it exists independent of any subject’s, i.e. person’s, knowledge and/or perception of it. A thing is subjective if it depends on the knowledge and/or perception of one or more people. Intersubjectivity is often our basis for assuming that something is objective, but in point of fact intersubjectivity is NOT objectivity. 

Facts are ideas. Ideas are knowledge, i.e. cognitions. They exist in a person’s mind. What a person knows, including facts, are not an objective reality, but a person’s perception or model of reality, predicated on that person’s perceptions. 

on October 10, 2021

I love your response @Blyden, but you’re still wrong. You engaged the topic fully, but you’re leaning a bit too much on terms you’ve learned. You’re pre-supposing that all facts must be experienced, and therfore are subjective. This would be true if this were the case, but just because the facts of objective reality have been seen through intersubjectivity doesn’t mean there aren’t any unknown unknowns that are identifiable, but have yet escaped the projection of subjectivity onto them by living things. Think of the atomic bomb. The facts that lead to it being a thing existed millenia before any living being’s capability of understanding them.

on October 10, 2021

If it is an unknown then it is not a fact. Facts are knowledge. Things that are not yet known are not facts.

Your native impulse is to conflate what actually is with your or anyone else’s model of what is with the resulting error of thinking that a fact pre-exists anyone’s knowledge of it. 

on October 14, 2021

No, you’re just not granting any charitability here. Say you cut a length of rope at random and you and I don’t know the new length without measuring. Now, even though nobody knows the length of the rope, we can agree that it has a definite length, right? That definite length is a fact about the rope even though it has never been identified by anyone.

Also since we’re throwing shots here your first sentence was flat out wrong. Unknown unknowns have definite properties. Facts are not knowledge. Facts precede knowledge. Your recognition of a fact is knowledge, but your acknowledgement of something doesn’t make it become fact, it already was. You’re making the pseudo-Cartesian argument of science can never be real because it could be a lie.

on October 14, 2021

“we can agree that it has a definite length, right? That definite length is a fact about the rope even though it has never been identified by anyone.”

You are being sloppy. If you know it has a definite length, then it is a fact that it has a definite length. If you don’t know what that length is, then the measured length of the rope is NOT a fact. 

Facts ARE knowledge. There is no way around that, epistemologically. You can’t name any facts that are not known. There is no way for anyone to have a model if they don’t have a model. What you are trying to do, very ineptly and weakly, is the game that most objectivists try to play of impute or inferring that the “facts” must have existed prior to their knowledge of them. IOW, after accepting the theorized existence of an objective reality — which nearly all of us do — they then reify that theory, and insist that what they have theorized takes priority, ontologically, over their own consciousness. That is where they have made a mistake, epistemologically. 

“pseudo-Cartesian argument of science can never be real because it could be a lie.”
“real”?  See what you are doing? LOL. 

on October 15, 2021

Ohhh so you’re an ontologist? I prefer deontology. So now I get why we see my example differently. I’m saying that the measurement (even if unknown) is the fact in question, not that the length is definite. To me, that was an emergent property of the universe that exists prior to observation and unravels your position. However, I will acknowledge that if I grant your definition of fact, you are correct. But tbh your definition is dumb and incorrect anyway. Also, your last quip doesn’t make sense.

on October 15, 2021

My bad I was being dumb at the top of my last reply. I should have said, you’re an ontological idealist, I’m an ontological materialist. I just think ontological idealism is ignorant of things I think are relative to epistemology.

on October 15, 2021

“Ohhh so you’re an ontologist? … you’re an ontological idealist…”
Did I say anything to even remotely suggest either of those?  
You better go back and consult your philosophy references again. 

“I’m saying that the measurement (even if unknown) is the fact in question”
You have repeatedly made it very clear what you are saying. The problem is that what you are saying doesn’t make sense. LOL. If no one knows the length then the length is not a fact. 

“emergent property of the universe”
Why an “emergent” property?  Is the length changing?  If it isn’t changing and the universe is objective, then it should just be a property of the university
That something may be a property of the universe does not make it a fact. A fact is never a property of the external universe per se, but rather a property of one or more people’s cognition; a model of what some property of the universe is believed to be. Why is something so simple and so obvious so hard for you to grasp? 

“…and unravels your position. However, I will acknowledge that if I grant your definition of fact, you are correct. But tbh your definition is dumb and incorrect anyway.”
What a sharp line of argument you make.    LOL. 

“your last quip doesn’t make sense.”
I’m not surprised, because your whole mindset is that “real” is a term for what you can only theorize, rather than a term that describes the act of you being able to theorize. 

on October 16, 2021

This is overwhelmingly debate bro like, and I apologize if I’ve been sloppy, but dude you’re not explaining anything, you’re just doubling down. It would be nice to know why I’m wrong. Not just that I am.
Also I’m describing you as an ontological idealist. This is based on your use of ontology and the fact that the convo topic is the fundamental question that delineates materialist and idealist ontology. We clearly fall on those lines so I don’t need you to understand that for it to be true. I think if you look into it, you’d agree that your position here is ontological idealism.

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3 on September 19, 2017

“Facts are ideas… facts are not subjective”

How can an idea not be subjective? Aren’t all ideas in the minds of one more knowers (i.e. subjects), and thus not independent of them as subjects?  Isn’t all knowledge qua knowledge necessarily subjective? 

I don’t see how the the reliability or replication of an idea has any bearing whatsoever on facts being (or not) subjective. Why should it? 

on May 15, 2018

You forgot to take into consideration the rest of that sentence… the part about it being continually proved and hasn’t yet been disproved.

on May 15, 2018

Strictly speaking a “proof” is a process with a system of logic whereby one demonstrates that if certain assumptions are accepted or found to be true, then some conclusion necessarily, logically follows. Facts are never proven in this strict sense of the word. The tests for facts are empirically, a question of preponderance of evidence supporting or disconfirming. Sloppily and popularly this is often called “proof”, but it is really a very different thing. 

Facts “continually ‘proved’ and… not ‘disproved'” means merely that people have judged the evidence available and find the fact supported by the evidence. That doesn’t mean that the fact is right/true in any objective sense. What it means is there is intersubjective agreement about its validity as a model. Still knowledge. Still existing in the minds of some set of knowers, without whom it would not exist. Still subjective. 

on October 10, 2021

I went over this in another reply to you @Bluden but this commenter came at you wrong. You’re not wrong because God can’t be disproven, but because of the God of the Gaps.

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19 on January 17, 2018

He just chose his wording badly. Facts are natural principles with some unmistakeable, empirical reality that are given interpretation via ideas. Ergo you can have factual ideas and infactual ideas but you cannot have ideal facts.

on May 15, 2018

Can you give an example of a fact that is “natural principle”, i.e. that isn’t subjective? I’ve had this discussions with hundreds of people and so far no one has ever yet been able to present an example of something known that isn’t known by some set of knowers and thus dependent on their cognition of it, nor of anything that they can demonstrate conclusively exists in the objective world exactly as people imagine it does. And generally it is pretty easy to show how knowledge is a model of what is, rather than what actually is, so I’m curious to see what you have to offer. 

on May 21, 2018

Smoking crack in the US is illegal, fact or opinion?

on May 21, 2018

“Smoking crack in the US is illegal” is a fact, thus also an opinion, since facts are a subset of opinions, i.e. opinions people agree on. Like other facts, it is intersubjective. 

 

on May 21, 2018

Uhhh no, opinions people agree on are still opinions, facts are ideas that you may not agree on, but are still true, for example if I’m looking at a black table, I would say that table is black, you may not agree with me, you may say it’s gray or purple, but in all reality it is black, that is a fact, opinions are based off of preferences, values, feelings, and judgments while facts are based off of logic and knowledge of things, another example would be me saying all people who are or were associated with IS IS are bad people, that is an opinion, although you or me may think that, a lot of others don’t believe so, so to say something is good or bad is an opinion, correct? And my little sentence I said before this”smoking crack in the US Is illegal” is a fact, not subjective, you may not agree with smoking crack being illegal or legal, but it’s still a fact that it is illegal in the US , thus my explanation earlier, facts are ideas that you may not agree on but are still true, subjective claims are based on your own personal preferences, values, feelings, and judgments thus dividing them from being able to be facts, even if every single being thought something was bad, it still would be an opinion because it’s based on either personal preferences, values, feelings, and judgments

on May 21, 2018

“facts are ideas that you may not agree on, but are still true… facts are ideas that you may not agree on but are still true”
How can anyone know if it is true if they don’t agree with it? For them it is, by definition, false. LOL. 

“you may say it’s gray or purple, but in all reality it is black”
Science shows us that color is subjective. An impression one’s mind has of what is, presumably an objective phenemonon, light. But we can never access light, only our impression/perception of it. 

“‘smoking crack in the US Is illegal’ is a fact, not subjective”
So if there weren’t any people who agreed with that statement, you hold it would still be true? 

“…even if every single being thought something was bad, it still would be an opinion because it’s based on either personal preferences, values, feelings, and judgments.”
Yes it would still be an opinion, but it would also be a fact, like gravity, because everyone would agree that it is the truth. 

on May 21, 2018

Evaluations of whether or not something is true are subjective. They cannot exist independent of some set of knowers. So anything that is predicated on whether or not something is true must also necessarily be subjective. 

on May 21, 2018

I don’t know if this is supposed to be a troll argument or not but, YES, SAYING something is a fact or an opinion is an opinion, so me SAYING “smoking crack in the US is illegal” is a fact is an opinion, but that doesn’t change “smoking crack in the US is illegal,” from a fact to a subjective claim,i.e opinions, and please read what I have to say this time, because s you’re comments are starting to sound scripted, and that’s where arguments usually hit there plateau.

on May 21, 2018

What is there to read? What do you have to say? You merely assert — erroneously — that facts are not subjective. You say nothing else. You have no argument. Do you imagine that merely repeating “facts are not subjective” will change anything? 

You are right that nothing changes a fact to a subjective claim, because (nearly) all facts ARE already subjective claims.

on May 21, 2018

If facts were objective, then they wouldn’t need to be discovered, would they? 

People talk about “debating the facts”, “getting their facts straight”, “contesting the facts”, “disputing (or agreeing on) the facts”. If facts were objective none of that would make any sense semantically. How do you explain those expressions? 

If facts are objective they can never be wrong, right?  Is there any knowledge that people have that has no possibility of being wrong? All scientific knowledge begins with the premise that future evidence might show it to be wrong, or at least flawed. So then by your argument nothing known to science is a fact, because nothing known to science is objective. 

If facts are objective, then mustn’t it be true that no facts can ever be known? Because how can a human mind know anything that is, by definition, independent of itself? 

on May 21, 2018

You haven’t even yet explained how you can know anything is (objectively) true, which you said was the basis of knowing what was and was not objective. 

 

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12 on May 22, 2018

Consider anything that you or we recognize as a physical object. We presume that there is something there that has objective existence and that constrains our perception of it. But we have no way of knowing the objective reality, or even knowing for certain that there is any physical reality there. If we were in some kind of sensory ‘fun house’ or hooked into a computer that simulated reality for us (ala The Matrix) we would still have the impression of a physical reality, just as we sometimes have when we are dreaming. But then we awake to discover it was all ‘illusion’. We have only our subjective, cognitive model(s) of the physical reality. And all facts, all knowledge, is subjective, at best a perception of a presumed objective reality, not the objective reality itself. 
<p>
Moreover, the models we do have make it pretty clear that whatever the objective reality may be, it certainly isn’t what our models are. There is no ‘chair’ or ‘leather’, except in our minds. Those concepts are parts of our model, not elements of an objective reality. 

on October 10, 2021

I’m happy I finally found your direct response to the topic and after reading a few things I can tell that id love to continue engaging with you about philosophy.
That being said I’m going to be rigorous with you.

You’re flat out wrong for a few reasons. You’re tying everything back to subjective experience of it before accepting that it may have existed before being observed. You observing something doesn’t mean it didn’t exist before the observation. Even your matrix example implies an existence outside the consciousness of the observer that defeats your view. To speak of dreams, you will find that if you look into sleep studies that most if not all dreams are a synthesis of previous experience and imagination. The effect that previous experience has on dreams is so crucial that it can not be separated from your analysis.
Finally, your models thing is also self defeating because it supposes that nothing exists outside of conscious models, even though those models are formed based on previous experience.

on October 10, 2021

“observing something doesn’t mean it didn’t exist before the observation.”
Whether something existed objectively before observation is irrelevant. The question is whether it was a fact before observation, and since facts are knowledge that generally is not true. 

“your models thing is also self defeating because it supposes that nothing exists outside of conscious models”
I don’t think it does, but if you want to knock yourself out trying to demonstrate that, I would certainly be entertained by your effort.  LOL.

The point, again, is that facts are knowledge, i.e. a model of reality, not objective reality itself. Objective reality can only be approximated, triangulated, guessed at by models. The models can never capture the objective reality independent of the processes of perceiving and knowing, so we can never be absolutely certain that any of our models are correct, although we can often see if models are incorrect. Lots of things presumably exist out there unknown to any of us, but those things are not facts until they are known, at least implicitly. 

on October 14, 2021

I feel like your marriage to this definition of the word fact is hindering your ability to accept the obvious. The important part of the definition in this argument is that they can repeatedly be proven to be objectively true. The part about being known refers to the scientific method (which is not where we get facts) and the ability to reference a fact that has been discovered. Facts are not knowledge, we have knowledge about facts.

The second thing is easy. All you need is two conscious beings to prove my point. Can something be a fact for someone and not a fact for another? Say person A knows what is actually inside Schroedinger’s box, which is a fact to them, and they pose the question of what is inside to person B who is clueless. We know whats in the box because person A put it there, but it has remained outside the conscious experience of person B. Does the fact of which object is inside exist for person B the same way it does for person A? If not, what you’re engaging in is solipsism.

Finally, yeah, you’re doing solipsism and sophistry (or more accurately a circular argument). You’re picking and choosing which definitions of words will always lead to your conclusion rather than working from evidence first. IE your argument is valid, but not sound. Your premises don’t lead to your conclusion the way you think they do. This is what allows you to admit my position to be correct but because of an arbitrary choice of definition double down on your own and gallop past scrutiny. It is absolutely demonstrable that facts are not knowledge. You can even prove the negative here. Is a fact that is later disproven a fact for length of time it prevailed because we knew it as such? Of course not. The same way the truth existed objectively, without observation, for the whole duration that the falsehood was seen as fact.

on October 14, 2021

I feel like your marriage to the objectivist philosophy is hindering your ability to understand that your models are models. 

“The important part of the definition in this argument is that they can repeatedly be proven to be objectively true.” 
Strictly speaking, proof is a logic process whereby you show that a conclusion must logically follow from other statements that have been accepted. You can “prove” that something exists empirically by the logic that if you sense/observe it then it exists, and voila here you observe it, but absent from, independent of, that or similar logical structures, the empirical does not prove anything, strictly speaking. 

Moreover, nothing is every proven to be *objectively* true. Proof is a cognitive process, and therefore always subjective. You prove it to someone’s or some set of person’s satisfaction that it is valid. There is generally no proof and no truth independent of knowers. The only exception would be if you had some logic that was self-evident, ala Descartes, Husserl, Schutz.

Facts are knowledge. That point is ironclad. You have no means of refuting it. 

“Can something be a fact for someone and not a fact for another?”
Absolutely. That’s true of the majority of facts, presumably. 

“solipsism”
It took you this long to get around to recognizing epistemological solipsism? LOL. 

“rather than working from evidence… it is absolutely demonstrable that facts are not knowledge.”
Well then demonstrate it. LOL. If you think you have any evidence that could alter this, please stop beating around the bush and provide it.

Personally, I don’t see that there is any way to produce such evidence, since the entire concept of evidence is higher (slightly) on the semantic hierarchy than the assumption that one possesses knowledge, which is pretty close to the foundation of consciousness. 

“Is a fact that is later disproven a fact for length of time it prevailed because we knew it as such? Of course not.”
Failing to understand your mangled grammar here. I think what you are asking is that if there was a fact for a while but that was superseded by some other fact, e.g. if the original fact was disproven, still a fact, and the answer to that is that it was a fact until it was disproven or superseded. That seems pretty obvious. The philosophy of science is that every currently existing fact is potentially false. New theory can come along that alters what we thought the facts were. 

“The same way the truth existed objectively, without observation, for the whole duration that the falsehood was seen as fact.”
Your religious convictions are quite strong on this point. Sorry that your religion has so misled you. LOL. You want to argue that knowledge should come from evidence, yet hear you are making an assertion of truth in defiance of your own admitted absence of evidence?!? Rather irrational, aren’t you?

on October 15, 2021

First, let’s talk to each other as good faith actors please? You’re being a little troll for my taste. I’m here to learn from you bud.
Now, once again you’re talking past my points rather than addressing them as such. Is there some proxy for the word “fact” that describes emergent properties of matter that exist prior to observation. I really feel like our disagreement comes from me not having a word besides fact to describe this. Or do you think there is no emergence without observation (hopefully besides that it doesn’t matter because nothing conscious has been impacted by it)?
It seems like we are seeing the disagreement between ontological idealism (you) and ontological materialism (me). Again, please disregard the misuse of the word deontology earlier. My bad. I think the question is, “can and does reality exist outside of conscious experience?” I would say it does, and I would say the measurements of the emergence of reality is much closer to my definition of facts.

on October 15, 2021

 “I’m here to learn from you”

1) You don’t act like a person interested in learning. All you do is post “you are wrong, you are wrong, you are wrong”, without even making any kind of argument. 
2) There is only one small thing to learn here, and you repeatedly reject that. 
3) This site is ARGUE anything, not LEARN anything. 

“you’re talking past my points”

What points?  You seem to have none. 

“Is there some proxy for the word ‘fact’ that describes emergent properties of matter that exist prior to observation….”

1) What would be the point of that? 
2) If the property is emergent then it is clearly not yet a fact, even if it is known, and in all likelihood will cease to be a fact even by the time it is known. So I’m not sure what the point is. 

“…  really feel like our disagreement comes from me not having a word besides fact.”

A pretty sad state of affairs for you, if that’s true. 
3) If you can articulate what it is that you have in mind you have created your own proxy. “property of the universe” for example. 

“can and does reality exist outside of conscious experience?”

You think it does, because you reify your own cognition, and tautologically so because in your schema you have defined “reality” as things that exist objectively, in line with the reification you are committing, but everything any person knows about “reality” exists in their own consciousness. 

“I would say it does…”
That has been clear from your first or second post. LOL. 

“…reality is much closer to my definition of facts.”
LOL. Your reality is presumably IDENTICAL to your definition of facts. LOL. 
The real question is why you choose to define facts in that way. 

on October 16, 2021

Dude, thank you, honestly, because this reply was very helpful. Its been obvious this whole time that you’re much more versed in this area, and I can see how my refutation style came across as preachy rather than confrontational for the purpose of being proven wrong and thereby learning. I apologize.

So, as an aside, do you have a more singular term for unobserved properties of the universe that fits my conception, which seems apparent, that I can replace the word fact with?
Also I think you’re misunderstanding my use of the word emergent. Something isn’t emergent because it changes, but because it comes into our world (via conscious observation) upon discovery. I would say it existed, and then was discovered. I guess my core question is, do you argue that it didn’t exist prior to observation? Or, like me, do you believe it existed, and then was discovered?

Ancillary to all of this, I’d ask for a more in depth refutation of my points to improve my understanding of them. Such as you saying my definition of reality is identical to my definition of facts? How so, exactly? I believe you have insight into this that I’m unaware of and that I don’t have the information at hand in your reply to understand why exactly I’m wrong.
Or take the tautology thing. I’ve felt that your arguments are circular, but being critical of myself I can see the same thing. What element of my position is causing me to circle back? Is there some more in depth answer to why facts are a subset of knowledge? Is there a more accurate term I could be using in its place?

Finally, now seeing you’re the OP and the conceit in your question, I would ask why you added the word nearly in parentheses. This leads me to believe that punobserved properties of reality exist prior to observation, but I can agree that if facts are a subset of knowledge then that word doesn’t describe unobserved properties. What word would? Also at this point, I’m granting you that they are not “facts” as such, but resemble them in being identifiable, but yet unknown. My ultimate question would be do identifiable properties of the universe exist prior to observation?

on October 16, 2021

“do you have a more singular term for unobserved properties of the universe that fits my conception, which seems apparent, that I can replace the word fact with?”

Why would I, why should I, and why are you dissatisfied with calling them “unobserved properties”? 

“I think you’re misunderstanding my use of the word emergent.”
Perhaps. See above. 

“do you argue that it didn’t exist prior to observation?”
No. 

“do identifiable properties of the universe exist prior to observation?”
I guess that depends on what you mean by exist. Presumably they have (had) objective existence, but we can never know that with certainty. 

“I’d ask for a more in depth refutation of my points to improve my understanding of them.”
What point(s) specifically do you want refuted? 

“Is there some more in depth answer to why facts are a subset of knowledge?”
I’m not sure what you are looking for here. If you think there are facts that are not part of knowledge, provide an example. I don’t think you can because anything you can provide must have come from your knowledge. You have no way to provide anything that is not from your knowledge because the entire extent of what you know, your entire “reality”, is what exists within your cognition, i..e your knowledge. There is no way to get outside of your own consciousness because conscious is itself the semantic foundation. Facts, being recognized/perceived aspects of anything must be part of consciousness because there is no re-cognition or perception outside of consciousness. But none of this really provides any more depth than what was already provided above.  

“I would ask why you added the word nearly in parentheses.”
I wrote “nearly” because presumably anything that MUST logically be true for there to be whatever set of facts there may be would also be a fact, independent of whether it was recognized as such. We know that this category has at least one example, that offered by Descartes, and elaborated by Husserl, Schutz, and others. It is possible there may be others. For example, the hierarchical semantic structure, also implied by those same scholars, may be another objective fact that logically must exist for there to be any subjective facts or meaning-making. There may be other examples. 

on October 17, 2021

Thank you again.

1) I’m not attempting to project my bad ideas on you, tbh I get on here when I’m drinking so I didn’t notice why that question was bad. I guess I’m not saying you do or would, I’m just getting investigatory and I guess I assumed you’d be as curious about the question as I would. But I see how it has nothing to do with your question about facts. I just feel like you might have insight here, but I didn’t consider whether it would be important to you.

2) yeah pretty sure, but its all good.

3) yeah, pretty sure I explained why I was wrong for thinking you were. My bad.

4) while yes, I agree that exist is a hard thing to sus out here because although those properties may indeed exist prior to observation, but we can never have enough certainty about them to make such a positive claim about them? (Also, showing my dumbest here, that would be a positive claim right? A statement about the way the world is. Its not a normative one right?)

5) obviously the same claims, the more in depth part is what I’m after. An old teacher of mine used to play the game of explain it like I’m 5. Or like I know nothing about the topic. My bad ideas expressed stemmed from a reaction to a lack of clarity and understanding of the elements behind your refutations.

6) so yeah, I suspected that to be your conceit, and I would say with our arrived upon agreement of the definition of facts, isn’t even a necessary one. Your absolute claim is true.
I would wonder though whether my core question behind the bad arguments was a good one. All day you’ve had me questioning which term best describes the inverse(converse?), but not opposite of a fact. Something that is provable, but not known (as opposed to facts which are provable and known). To ask a question at a second level stemming from the topic, I would ask if you find it reasonable to take an epistemological leap of faith in saying that there are unobserved properties of reality that are provable, but not known, and can be said to exist? Hopefully I’m not being ridiculous, but is it Kant that advised a “leap into faith” for reasons like this?
Id also say that my big conceit here is a possibly silly comfortability with the uncertainty regarding unobserved properties. Is this reasonable? Or is the uncertainty so great that it is irresponsible to make positive claims about unobserved properties? To tie it back I would ask if you would say that the measurement of the length of randomly cut rope from my earlier example fits the definition of provable, but not known? I think I would actually get some utility out of finding a word for this phenomena that can be used as succinctly as the word fact.

Finally, I want to thank you again because I know I’m asking of you rather than flat out arguing with you at this point. I’d also ask more of you in the way of recommendations. I’m unfamiliar with concepts like the hierarchical semantic structure, and I’m sure I can just Google that term, but do you have any favorite recommendations for philosophical viewing and reading?

on October 17, 2021

“Something that is provable, but not known (as opposed to facts which are provable and known)…. take an epistemological leap of faith in saying that there are unobserved properties of reality that are provable, but not known, and can be said to exist?”

First, I’d be very cautious with the term “provable”. Do you mean provable in the strict, logical sense of the word, or do mean empirically demonstrable, i.e. that one can show support for by virtue of observation/senses? If you mean the former, then I would not agree that all facts are provable — that vast majority of facts are not provable in that sense — but I would agree if you mean the latter, than facts are empirically demonstrable, i.e. supported by evidence. 

Second, in the same vein, if it is provable in the first sense then I would say that too would be a fact. If the proof does not rely on or assume any subjective facts, it would be one of the rare exceptions to the general rule that facts are subjective, but I don’t think there are very many of those exceptions. There is one for certain. A second is likely. There may or many not be others. It is an extremely limited category, I believe. If it relies on or assumes subjective facts as its basis then it too is ultimately subjective by virtue of that dependency. 

Not sure how something could be “provable” in the second sense without being already known. 

“…the measurement of the length of randomly cut rope from my earlier example fits the definition of provable, but not known?”

I don’t think that would be provable in the strict, logical sense of the term. One can, presumably make a measurement, but any measurement is again a subjective model of a concept of length. We could measure the rope a thousand times and come up with a different measurement each time, if our measure is sufficiently precise. We can be reasonably confident that our measurement is a close approximation, but we also can be reasonably confident that it will never be exactly right. That measurement will always be subjectivity. Probably (and hopefully) intersubjective, but that is still subjective. And, the act of coming to an agreed upon length for the rope is what establishes its length as a fact. 

“hierarchical semantic structure”

I’m not sure what you will find if you try to Google that. What I mean is that cognitions are built, logically, on other cognitions. They thus constitute a structure of meaning that has a hierarchical dimension where some are more fundamental, closer to the foundation, based on less derivative semantics, while others are higher-order, logically requiring many steps of assumed meaning below them. Awareness of one’s own consciousness is at the foundation of that hierarchy, requiring no assumptions at all. Recognition that there is such a dimension must also be very close to the bottom, implied by the existence of semantic steps up,

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4 on May 22, 2018

Note also the title of this thread. It is not a debate about what is or is not a fact. It is a debate about whether facts are objective or subjective. 

 

on May 22, 2018

1.No you clearly said early, and I have screenshots that my statement was “a fact thus also making it an opinion” don’t try to go back on that

2.And that’s the point of a fact, it doesn’t have to be known by all to be true,for example, if I lived in Uruguay and smoked crack everyday and just loved it, that doesn’t change “smoking crack in the US is illegal” From objective to subjective, if I had 11 toes but no one knew about it but me it doesn’t mean I don’t have 11 toes

3.I think you’re getting the words subjective and intersubjective mixed up, Now if you were to say all facts are intersubjective, I would agree with you, but that’s not the case, you’re saying all facts are subjective, subjective has to do with feelings and you can look on any single page about the word subjective and I promise you the meaning won’t change, same goes with objective, you’re making up definition for these words now, I’ don’t know where you got them from

4.A theory is A “testable statement”, a hypothesis is an answer to something too, that’s ridiculous to say that it’s not,and there is no confusing these two things because they practically are the same, I could make a theory and call it a hypothesis right now, and vise versa. The theory of evolution is a hypothesis of how things evolved, correct?

5.I can prove with evidence that smoking crack in the US is illegal,that’s proven already, it’s true it doesn’t make any sense that it’s not.You don’t need to tell me that theories aren’t proven because I know that, they’re opinions, I’ve already said that.

6.And once again you are getting the words intersubjective and subjective mixed up, nothing else to say about that.

7.If you wanted to debate on whether facts are “objective or subjective” you should of set your title as “Are facts subjective or objective? ” But instead you went with ” All facts are subjective” So that’s on you.

on May 22, 2018

“if you were to say all facts are intersubjective, I would agree with you”

Great. End of discussion. Thank you. 

on May 22, 2018

Alright. End of discussion, great argument man.

on May 22, 2018

For a future reference, if you ever try to talk about this topic again don’t get intersubjective and subjective mixed up, you could of saved us both a lot of time, otherwise like I said great argument

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3 on June 6, 2018

The claim “All facts are subjective” is nonsense because it would itself have to be either subjective or objective. But it can’t be objective, since in that case it would be false if true. And it can’t be subjective because then it would not rule out any objective claim, including the claim that it is objectively false.

on June 8, 2018

It is, of course subjective. 

“it can’t be subjective because then it would not rule out any objective claim, including the claim that it is objectively false.”

Given that (nearly) all facts are subjective there are no objective claims to rule out. 

How could ANY claim ever be objective, if it is a claim?  It has to be claimed by someone doesn’t it? 

on September 7, 2021

hello Blyden… Do you think… how people can get a fact without the scientific method? While 1 of characteristic of scientific methods is subjective?

on September 7, 2021

What the “scientific method” means depends on who you ask. If we understand it narrowly, then there are many facts that exist independent of the scientific method, but if we understand “scientific method” at its broadest to mean basing knowledge on evidence, with an emphasis on people agreeing about the evidence and the knowledge, then I think pretty much all facts come via that method, understood in its broadest way. 

What we mean by a fact is a bit of knowledge, in which we have confidence, that purports to describe or otherwise model some aspect of the world of our experience. It is the confidence, primarily, that distinguishes it from being some other kind of belief, especially insofar as that confidence comes either from evidence and/or as a result of agreement with other people in a way that approximates consensus. 

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0 on December 25, 2018

Well, when you throw in the “nearly”, now it’s true. No argument needed.

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0 on December 25, 2018

Wait… if i place one stick beside another, there are two sticks. Yes, numbers are a creation of our own, but the sticks present are still what they are. Unless you dabble in that whole “how do we know we even exist and what if only I exist and you’re all just a figment of this reality created just for me” thing, it’s safe to say, there is a stick and another stick.

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4 on March 21, 2019

a fact is simply something we perceive to be true on our plane of existence.

you can’t say a rock is real, you could be in a simulation.

Whilst you cant disprove you are in a simulation, you have to assume that you aren’t since no evidence points to it.

If you never believe anything you will never do anything.

All facts are subjective, but we already have a subjective plane of existence. You must assume facts are actually fact.

on August 17, 2021

If you call it a fact, then have already assumed that it is one. 

on October 16, 2021

Only replying because I fell into a trap here. They aren’t facts, because definitionally facts describe things that are known. To argue against Blyden here, you need to understand how narrow his acceptance of what a fact is. You’re arguing properties of the universe, and Blyden is arguing purely what is and is not a “fact” (provable AND known) you and I have missed the argument here, but I would argue that its more a product of misdirection than correctness. I as an ontological materialist would say that identifiable properties of the universe exist before being known, but they are not facts until they are identified. We need a different word for what we’re describing that is more accurate. The issue with that is that it has no place in this discussion because Blyden is arguing facts, not properties of objective reality. Blyden, hopefully this time I understand the disagreement properly.

on October 16, 2021

“you need to understand how narrow his acceptance of what a fact is”
If you cannot imagine any alternatives how is that narrow. 

OMG, the universe is so narrowly defined because it doesn’t include anything outside of it. LOL. 

“provable”?  
That’s another inaccurate characterization of my position. I think I made comments above about the word “proof”, didn’t I? 

on October 17, 2021

Once again, man, some charitability would be nice. “It’s better to attribute stupidity to someone, than malice if you don’t know their intentions.” -someone, sometime.

I’m saying it is a definition that can seem narrow to a layman like myself. Obviously my biases led me to assume the word fact describes anything provable, and therefore to find the constraint of known to be limiting i.e. narrow. Chill out a bit and see me as just a dumby, I’m trying to be good faith as possible.

As for the provable thing, yes you have, but thats a bit much to foist upon someone I see as a fellow layman right off the bat. I think you would agree that while the common definition of facts as provable and known is arguable because of the lack of certainty around “proof”, that it serves a useful function in the way that it is commonly used.

Though, off of that, I would ask for clarification of your definition of fact when considering doubts about proof. Do you fall upon Cogito Ergo Sum like I do? Or do you have some specific and concrete definition I’m unaware of?

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