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Thread: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    Some of this material has already been debated here:

    http://www.revforum.com/showthread.p...irio-Criticism

    Lenin most definitely didn't believe in Santa Claus and The Tooth Fairy, but if he were consistent with what he wrote in Materialism and Empirio-Criticism [MEC] he should have:

    "Our sensation, our consciousness is only an image of the external world, and it is obvious that an image cannot exist without the thing imagined, and that the latter exists independently of that which images it. Materialism deliberately makes the 'naïve' belief of mankind the foundation of its theory of knowledge." [Lenin (1972), p.69. Bold emphasis added.]
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/one3.htm

    Again, later on he was even clearer:

    "The image inevitably and of necessity implies the objective reality of that which it 'images.'" [Ibid., p.279. Bold emphasis added. In both of these, the quotation marks have been altered to conform to the conventions adopted at my site.]
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len.../mec/four6.htm

    There are several serious problems with this way of viewing things (no pun intended):

    (A) Contrary to what Lenin imagined, images not only can, but they do exist without there being anything 'objective' corresponding to them in reality. For instance, it is easy to conjure up an image of Santa Claus, but apparently only children and foolish parents believe he exists.

    However, if we take Lenin at his word -- "The image inevitably and of necessity implies the objective reality of that which it 'images'" (emphases added) --, it must mean we should add Lenin to the list of those who believe in Santa Claus!

    The following points show that this untoward implication isn't unique:

    (1) The existence of mirages doesn't commit us to their 'objectivity'.

    (2) It is possible to form images in the mind's eye of people who no longer exist, which fact plainly doesn't imply they do exist.

    (3) It is easy to induce vivid but formless coloured images (phosphenes) 'inside' the eyeball by gently pressing one or other of them with a finger. Clearly, this doesn't mean that these artificial images are images of anything 'objective' in the 'outside world'.

    (4) Again, by re-focussing, or by pressing one eye, it is possible to form two images of the same object (which our system of sight normally merges into one). But, no one believes that there are in fact two identical copies of the same object in reality answering to these two pre-merged images. By a similar trick, it is also possible to see a three-dimensional image in two-dimensional "magic eye" pictures. Plainly, this doesn't mean that such an image corresponds with anything in the 'external world'.

    (5) We see stars every night (or are they merely images of stars?), many of which scientists tell us no longer exist. Does this mean that these scientists are mistaken, and those stars nonetheless do exist?

    (6) A scientist photographs a bent stick in a bucket of water. Does this image of the bent stick prove that there really are bent sticks in buckets of water?

    (7) Someone claims to see an image of Christ in the clouds. Should we all become Christians?

    (8) Those who have lost limbs claim they can still feel those limbs long after they have been amputated. Does this odd sensation (or is it an image?) prove that the surgeon who performed the operation was incompetent? Others experience sensations in their false limbs. Does that show these limbs aren't artificial after all?

    Examples like these can be multiplied almost indefinitely. They unambiguously show that images don't imply the existence of what they supposedly 'image'.

    If so, why did Lenin claim that DM begins with the "naïve belief" of humankind if this introduces "images" of things that only the severely disturbed actually believe picture things in 'objective' reality? Few ordinary people (not in the grip of superstition, drink, drugs, or mental illness) would be fooled into believing that phantom limbs, mirages, or dragons actually exist -- or even that sticks bend when immersed in water.

    "The 'naïve realism' of any healthy person who has not been an inmate of a lunatic asylum or a pupil of the idealist philosophers consists in the view that things, the environment, the world, exist independently of our sensation, of our consciousness, of our self and of man in general.... Materialism deliberately makes the 'naïve' belief of mankind the foundation of its theory of knowledge." [Ibid., pp.68-69. Bold emphases alone added. Quotation marks altered to conform to the conventions adopted at my site.]
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/one3.htm

    Lenin can't have been unaware of this. In which case, it isn't easy to understand why he concluded that anyone (not afflicted in the above manner) begins with "images" --, rather than with a healthy distrust of them. Or, even better: Why should anyone mention "images" in this connection to begin with, if only the mentally ill, the terminally naïve, the superstitious and those high (perhaps) on LSD or Mescaline would even think to base their knowledge of the world on such things?

    (B) There are many things that exist -- to which we can easily refer -- but of which we can form no images. For example, who among us can imagine (or 'image') a light ray, a pi-meson, a gene, 10^100 elementary particles (or even one elementary particle) --, or the universe itself?

    This shows that "objectivity" has nothing to do with 'imaginability' (or even 'image-ability').

    Of course, the above examples merely confirm that images do not have to correspond with anything in the 'real world', but, as we are about to see, they cannot correspond with them.

    (C) Worse still, images cannot correspond with the objects they supposedly depict. If anything, this observation is even more true of the sort of objects and processes studied in the sciences -- or even those mentioned by Lenin.

    To be sure, Lenin did attempt to argue as follows:

    "It is beyond doubt that an image cannot wholly resemble the model, but an image is one thing, a symbol, a conventional sign, another. The image inevitably and of necessity implies the objective reality of that which it 'images.'" [Lenin (1972), p.279.]

    "A reflection may be an approximately true copy of the reflected, but to speak of identity is absurd. Consciousness in general reflects being -- that is a general principle of all materialism. It is impossible not to see its direct and inseparable connection with the principle of historical materialism: social consciousness reflects social being." [Ibid., p.391. Bold emphases added.]
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len.../mec/four6.htm

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/six2.htm

    How Lenin knew this to be so is somewhat unclear. Indeed, and quite the opposite, Lenin couldn't possibly have known that an image is an "approximate" copy of the "thing reflected" unless he had independent access to the "thing reflected" with which to compare it. Was he able to 'jump out of his own head'?

    Even so, he went on to assert (or imply) the opposite of the above:

    "There is definitely no difference in principle between the phenomenon and the thing-in-itself, and there can be no such difference. The only difference is between what is known and what is not yet known. And philosophical inventions of specific boundaries between the one and the other, inventions to the effect that the thing-in-itself is 'beyond' phenomena (Kant), or that we can and must fence ourselves off by some philosophical partition from the problem of a world which in one part or another is still unknown but which exists outside us (Hume) -- all this is the sheerest nonsense, Schrulle, crotchet, invention." [Ibid., p.110.]

    "What two lines of philosophical tendency does Engels contrast here? One line is that the senses give us faithful images of things, that we know the things themselves, that the outer world acts on our sense-organs. This is materialism -- with which the agnostic is not in agreement. What then is the essence of the agnostic's line? It is that he does not go beyond sensations, that he stops on this side of phenomena, refusing to see anything 'certain' beyond the boundary of sensations. About these things themselves (i.e., about the things-in-themselves, the 'objects in themselves,' as the materialists whom Berkeley opposed called them), we can know nothing certain -- so the agnostic categorically insists. Hence, in the controversy of which Engels speaks the materialist affirms the existence and knowability of things-in-themselves. The agnostic does not even admit the thought of things-in-themselves and insists that we can know nothing certain about them." [Ibid., pp.116-17.]

    "All knowledge comes from experience, from sensation, from perception. That is true. But the question arises, does objective reality 'belong to perception,' i.e., is it the source of perception? If you answer yes, you are a materialist. If you answer no, you are inconsistent and will inevitably arrive at subjectivism, or agnosticism, irrespective of whether you deny the knowability of the thing-in-itself, or the objectivity of time, space and causality (with Kant), or whether you do not even permit the thought of a thing-in-itself (with Hume). The inconsistency of your empiricism, of your philosophy of experience, will in that case lie in the fact that you deny the objective content of experience, the objective truth of experimental knowledge....

    "The Machians love to declaim that they are philosophers who completely trust the evidence of our sense-organs, who regard the world as actually being what it seems to us to be, full of sounds, colours, etc., whereas to the materialists, they say, the world is dead, devoid of sound and colour, and in its reality different from what it seems to be, and so forth.... They do not recognise objective reality, independent of man, as the source of our sensations. They do not regard sensations as a true copy of this objective reality, thereby directly conflicting with natural science and throwing the door open for fideism...." [Ibid., pp.142-43. In all of the above, bold emphases alone added. Quotation marks altered to conform to the conventions adopted at my site.]
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/two1.htm

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/two2.htm

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/two4.htm

    These passages seem pretty clear: there can be "no difference in principle" between "the phenomena and the thing-in-itself"; "objective reality" belongs to "perception"; sensations are a "true copy of" objective reality. No hint here of Lenin's more usual 'relativism':

    "In the theory of knowledge, as in every other branch of science, we must think dialectically, that is, we must not regard our knowledge as ready-made and unalterable, but must determine how knowledge emerges from ignorance, how incomplete, inexact knowledge becomes more complete and more exact." [Ibid., p.111. Italic emphases in the original.]

    "Dialectics -- as Hegel in his time explained -- contains the element of relativism, of negation, of scepticism, but is not reducible to relativism. The materialist dialectics of Marx and Engels certainly does contain relativism, but is not reducible to relativism, that is, it recognises the relativity of all our knowledge, not in the sense of denying objective truth, but in the sense that the limits of approximation of our knowledge to this truth are historically conditional." [Ibid., p.154.]
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/two1.htm

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/two5.htm

    But, from the above rather dogmatic pronouncements (for which he offered no proof), it looks like Lenin had already reached the end of that "infinite journey" (along which we are all supposed to be involuntary pilgrims) that takes us ever closer to 'The Truth' (here, quoting Engels):

    "Here once again we find the same contradiction as we found above, between the character of human thought, necessarily conceived as absolute, and its reality in individual human beings with their extremely limited thought. This is a contradiction which can only be solved in the infinite progression, or what is for us, at least from a practical standpoint, the endless succession, of generations of mankind." [Ibid., p.149. For the exact reference to Engels, see below.]
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/two5.htm

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/mar...hring/ch07.htm

    Hence, Lenin doesn't say that perception/sensation is an approximate copy of "objective reality", but that it is a "true copy", and that "objective reality" belongs to "perception" --, nor yet that "the phenomena" roughly correspond to "the thing-in-itself", but that there is "in principle" no "difference" between them.

    Again, how he knew all this he annoyingly kept to himself. Sure, he appeals to practice and science to rescue his theory, but if we are to believe Lenin, all he has are images of practice and images of what scientists have to tell us, but with no way of discriminating the valid from the invalid images.

    More to follow...
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 05-29-2016 at 7:08 PM.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    Be this as it may, if we really have to view things in this 'traditional' way (again, no pun intended), then, as it turns out, an image cannot even approximately resemble that of which it is allegedly the image; in fact it doesn't even remotely correspond to its intended target, and nor could it (even in theory). Hence, whether or not Lenin spoke of the approximate or even of the absolute correspondence or identity between an "image" and "objective reality", as we are about to see, his theory falls flat on its face at the very first hurdle.

    In order to appreciate this point, consider an observer's view of, say, one of Scotland's greatest mountains, Liathach (in Torridon, Wester Ross).

    [Pronounced, "Lee-ah-Gach", with a hardened "ch", like someone clearing their throat. Others pronounce it "Lee-ach" (again with a guttural "ch").]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liathach

    Let us assume that Lenin is 100% correct about observers and their "images". In that case, let an observer stand n metres away from the base of this mountain, at a height of k metres above sea level. Clearly, the view this person would now have of that mountain will alter as he/she circles around it, and as n or k vary. Let us say that for every degree circled around the base (in one plane), each view of the mountain will change sufficiently enough for it to be, or for it to produce a recognisably different "image" experienced by an observer. Now, each such sighting of Liathach will in fact represent 1/360th (or approximately 0.3% -- rounding up) of the entire set of such perimeter "views" of this mountain, in that plane, at that height.

    If the viewing plane is now rotated, an entirely new observational circuit can be generated for this one mountain. Hence, if each plane is inclined at one degree to the next, then there will be 180 of these. Of course, this assumes that Liathach can be viewed from below ground level --, which would clearly be ridiculous -- but if Liathach is now replaced by the Moon, the same point can be made just as easily. Anyway, an 'objective view' (that is, an observer-less view) of anything cannot surely be embarrassed by the limitations of human perceptual modalities -- or by the presence of other objects in the line-of-sight.

    [I have added several photographs of Liathach (at my site, link at the end), taken from different points on the compass, at different heights, angles, seasons, and in varying lighting conditions, so that the reader may better appreciate the point being made here. Alternatively, readers might like to 'fly around' Liathach using Google Earth, or visit it on 'Street View'.]

    This means that there are 360 x 180 possible views of this mountain (minus the 180 common overlapping points) -- i.e., 64,620 --, each one representing approximately 0.0015% of the total available for this mountain at this height and distance.

    Keeping the height constant, we can now vary the distance. Assume that this mountain is clearly visible for up to 25km (16 miles), and that for every extra metre further away a distinct view may be had. If, for each of these metres 64,620 circuit views are also possible, that would mean that there are, for this one object at this height, 64,620 x 25 x 1000 (or 1,615,500,000) possible views. Each of these sightings will therefore represent approximately 6 x 10^-8% (or approximately 0.000000062%) of those available for this one mountain.

    Of course, a finer-grained division of viewing angles would make even this small percentage look rather large in comparison, as would adjusting the distance from which this mountain can be viewed. [Hence, assuming the base of the mountain is approximately 3km (2 miles) from its geometric centre, a one-degree turn about Liathach represents roughly a 50m arc at the base; at 25km (16 miles), one degree represents roughly 420m.] In addition, if the lighting and weather conditions are varied, even the above figure (i.e., 0.000000062%) would itself become rather large in comparison.

    Assume further that for each 'view' there corresponds one 'image' (or 'potential image') in 'the mind' of an observer. That would mean that even if each image was a perfect copy, it wouldn't even remotely correspond with the 'objective' mountain -- which is, of course, a perspectiveless 'object' situated in at least three dimensions, possibly four, 'condensed' out of the vector and scalar field that scientists assure us is, like 'God', everywhere.

    Now, it could be argued in response to this that each of these images does in fact correspond with, and is a copy of, an 'objective' view of Liathach from whatever position the latter is experienced, which is all that Lenin needs.

    But, this reply is unavailable to anyone who actually agrees with Lenin. He requires objective reality to correspond to each image, or vice versa. He said nothing about images corresponding with 'views' of objective reality. In an 'objective' universe, there are no viewers (or even hypothetical viewers), nor are there any 'views' to which images might or might not correspond. This means that each image of Liathach can't correspond to an 'objective view' of anything, since there is no such thing as an 'objective' view (if, that is, we leave 'God' and the mythical 'Ideal Observer' out of the picture). Plainly, that is because a 'view' requires a viewer (a sentient being, a man/woman), and, as noted, in an objective world there are none.

    As Lenin himself points out:

    "To be a materialist is to acknowledge objective truth, which is revealed to us by our sense-organs. To acknowledge objective truth, i.e., truth not dependent upon man and mankind, is, in one way or another, to recognise absolute truth." [Lenin (1972), p.148. Bold emphasis added.]

    "Knowledge can be useful biologically, useful in human practice, useful for the preservation of life, for the preservation of the species, only when it reflects objective truth, truth which is independent of man." [Ibid., p.157. Bold emphasis added.]
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/two5.htm

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/two6.htm

    But, if "objective truth" is "independent of man", then our images must 'correspond' with this 'independent' world, not with 'views' of it.

    Anyway, a hasty appeal to 'views' of 'objective reality' would immediately concede dangerous ground to the Phenomenalist by admitting that 'objects' in reality amount to nothing more than actual or possible perceptions (or 'views') of them.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenomenalism

    Hence, given Lenin's theory, no object 'in reality' would (or could) even remotely resemble an 'image' of it.

    As seems plain, the above difficulties apply to all objects and processes, not just magnificent mountains in Scotland. Indeed, with regard to the sort of things we can't see (such as the theoretical particles we find in modern Physics, like, say, electrons -- or, worse, centres of mass, like that of our Galaxy -- see below), we can't even begin to form an image of them so that they could correspond, or fail to correspond with any 'view' there might be of such things. Since, as noted above, there is no such thing as a 'view' of anything in an observerless, a-sentient universe.

    [My use of the word "theoretical" here doesn't imply I doubt the existence of electrons, only that these particles come heavily laden with theoretical baggage.]

    Some might appeal to photographs, here, but a photograph is a 'view' only to a human viewer. We can certainly view photographs, but photographs themselves have no eyes (and neither do cameras), so they can't view anything -- except perhaps metaphorically -- as in "This is a view of Uncle Joe at the side of the house....", or "Use the viewfinder...". We can take photographs from certain views, but is we who see these views, not the cameras we use -- still less the photographs we take of them.

    Of course, with respect to, say, the Centre of Mass of the Galaxy [CMG], there is in fact nothing there for anyone to form an image of, and yet the CMG exercises a decisive causal influence on the movement of the entire Galaxy. In which case, 'objectivity' appears to have little to do with physical presence, or, indeed, our capacity to form images.

    We might try to circumvent these difficulties by arguing that since both images and objects are both parts of 'objective' reality, the contrast outlined above is spurious. If both object and image are 'objective' (since, presumably, they both really exist), then the universe must contain 'objective' images as well as 'objective' objects.

    However, this reply would completely scupper Lenin's distinction between "objective reality" and the "subjective" contents of the mind. If "objectivity" is now equated with "externality" (that is, Lenin intimately links 'objectivity' with 'existence external to the mind'), then mental images (even of objects and processes in "objective reality") couldn't themselves be "objective" unless they, too, were external to the mind. A fortiori, an "objective" image would thus have to be external to any and all minds -- that is, it would have to be external to itself!

    Naturally, this means that not only could no mind be "objective", no image could, either!

    However, should the example of the Scottish mountain seem out of place in a scientific context, consider the image of, say, a hand. Presumably, such an image will be occasioned either by looking at it (which is what Lenin appears to think an image of a hand is -- he seems to think images result from direct perception), or by forming one in the mind's eye (from memory perhaps). But, the real 'objective hand' -- as 'revealed' by science -- 'looks' nothing like this or any 'imaged' hand. The 'scientific hand' is a complex ensemble of elementary particles (and/or tensor, vector, scalar fields), spruced up with a few probability density distributions, residing in a three-, or a four-dimensional manifold. It is unlikely that this is how anyone actually imagines (or 'images') his or her own hand to be. Worse still, it is unlikely that anyone could form an image of a 'scientific hand' -- and that includes scientists themselves!

    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Manifold.html

    To sum up: we have seen from the above material that the following propositions appear to be the case:

    (1) It is possible for images to be radically different from the 'reality' they supposedly depict.

    (2) We can form images of things that do not exist.

    (3) We cannot form images of many things that do exist.

    (4) It is impossible to form an image of most, if not all, 'objective' scientific entities and processes.

    And:

    (5) No image could correspond with anything other than a "subjective view" of anything -- if even that.

    In which case, Lenin's rock solid "foundation" looks about as firm as a jellyfish in a blender.

    --------------------------------------

    Pictures of Liathach (referred to above) can be found here (scroll down a dozen or so paragraphs):

    http://www.anti-dialectics.co.uk/pag...make_the_grade

    Word of warning: If you are using Internet Explorer 10 (or later), you might find this link won't work properly unless you switch to 'Compatibility View' (in the Tools Menu); for IE11 select 'Compatibility View Settings' and then add my site (anti-dialectics.co.uk). I have as yet no idea how Microsoft's new browser, 'Edge', will handle this link.

    Lenin's 'theory' is further taken apart, here:

    http://www.anti-dialectics.co.uk/page_13%2001.htm
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 05-04-2017 at 3:37 AM.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Senior Voting Member ravn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post

    "Our sensation, our consciousness is only an image of the external world, and it is obvious that an image cannot exist without the thing imagined, and that the latter exists independently of that which images it. Materialism deliberately makes the 'naïve' belief of mankind the foundation of its theory of knowledge." [Lenin (1972), p.69. Bold emphasis added.]


    (A) Contrary to what Lenin imagined, images not only can, but they do exist without there being anything 'objective' corresponding to them in reality. For instance, it is easy to conjure up an image of Santa Claus, but apparently only children and foolish parents believe he exists.
    "Sensation" is sense perception, not conceptualizing. Sense perception is direct interaction with external reality.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    (1) The existence of mirages doesn't commit us to their 'objectivity'.
    Mirages are "a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced image of distant objects or the sky ... a real optical phenomenon which can be captured on camera, since light rays actually are refracted to form the false image at the observer's location. What the image appears to represent, however, is determined by the interpretive faculties of the human mind. For example, inferior images on land are very easily mistaken for the reflections from a small body of water."
    http://askville.amazon.com/mirage/An...equestId=49557
    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    (2) It is possible to form images in the mind's eye of people who no longer exist, which fact plainly doesn't imply they do exist.
    In the above, you're not talking about sense perceptions. Those are the images Lenin is talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    (3) It is easy to induce vivid but formless coloured images (phosphenes) 'inside' the eyeball by gently pressing one or other of them with a finger. Clearly, this doesn't mean that these artificial images are images of anything 'objective' in the 'outside world'.
    There's no such things as formless images. Interacting with the eyeball produces a physical effect, not a concept. One is causing an effect to ones own body, & ones own body is part of the "outside world". As with above, a physical effect can be misinterpreted, but that doesn't mean it doesn't actually exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post

    (5) We see stars every night (or are they merely images of stars?), many of which scientists tell us no longer exist. Does this mean that these scientists are mistaken, and those stars nonetheless do exist?
    The light that reaches the earth is a physical phenomena. We see *light* from stars each night. It's a misconception to assume that those stars still exist presently. That's not a perception problem but a conception problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    (6) A scientist photographs a bent stick in a bucket of water. Does this image of the bent stick prove that there really are bent sticks in buckets of water?
    That's just light refraction. "When light passes from one medium to another (for example, when a beam of light passes through air and into water, or vice versa), the change of speed causes it to change direction. This accounts for the well-known fact that a stick half under water looks bent: light from the submerged part of the stick changes direction as it reaches the surface, creating the illusion of the bent stick.This effect is known as refraction, controlled by a property of the materials known as their refractive index. According to Snell's Law, the degree of refraction depends on the ratio of the two materials' different refractive indices. Most materials have a refractive index greater than 1, which means that as light enters the material from air, the angle of the ray in the material will be more nearly "normal" (perpendicular) to the surface than it was before it entered." Here, it's the light that's bending, not the pencil. & the effect depends on the physical properties of the materials involved.
    https://plus.maths.org/content/light-bends-wrong-way
    All your conclusions here depends on misinterpreting the facts. What else is new?

  4. #4
    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    ravn:
    "Sensation" is sense perception, not conceptualizing. Sense perception is direct interaction with external reality.
    But, according to Lenin, all you have are 'images' of this 'reality', so you can't possibly know that there is a 'reality' there to be directly connected with. You can certainly believe there is such a 'reality', but then that puts you in the same boat as the immanentists and fideists Lenin was criticising. In which case, all you and Lenin have is faith that there is such a 'reality'.

    [Now, I certainly don't believe this but then I reject Lenin's badly thought-out 'theory'.]

    Mirages are "a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced image of distant objects or the sky ... a real optical phenomenon which can be captured on camera, since light rays actually are refracted to form the false image at the observer's location. What the image appears to represent, however, is determined by the interpretive faculties of the human mind. For example, inferior images on land are very easily mistaken for the reflections from a small body of water."
    Yes, thanks for that, I do know what a mirage is (although I am glad this gave you the opportunity to look this up for yourself -- and well done too!) -- but according to Lenin, these mirages imply the existence of whatever it is that they image:

    "The image inevitably and of necessity implies the objective reality of that which it 'images.'"
    Bold added. Reference and link in my last post.

    So, if he were right, and you were wandering across a desert, and you saw a mirage of some water, then that water must exist "of necessity".

    There's no such things as formless images. Interacting with the eyeball produces a physical effect, not a concept. One is causing an effect to ones own body, & ones own body is part of the "outside world". As with above, a physical effect can be misinterpreted, but that doesn't mean it doesn't actually exist.
    Well, we certainly see these 'images', and sight is one of the senses (unless you think differently). So, according to Lenin, these 'images' "of necessity" imply the existence of...well what?

    You tell us. Off you go, you're good at doing 5 minute 'research projects' on such things.

    And where did I deny these images exist?

    The light that reaches the earth is a physical phenomena. We see *light* from stars each night. It's a misconception to assume that those stars still exist presently. That's not a perception problem but a conception problem.
    Ah, but do these stars still exist? If we have an 'image' of them, then, according to Lenin they "of necessity" still exist (even if they long ago ceased to exist).

    That's just light refraction.
    I can see little gets past you. Another 5 minute 'research project' there, eh?

    But, if we have an image of a bent stick in water, then according to Lenin, that, "of necessity", implies sticks are really bent in water. Don't blame me, it's a direct consequence of Lenin's crazy theory.

    All your conclusions here depends on misinterpreting the facts. What else is new?
    And yet, you seem not to be familiar with Lenin's theory of images. Once again, we see you don't know the theory you are supposed to be defending.

    That certainly isn't new.

    Well done, though, for ignoring my proof that no image can possibly reflect the object which it supposedly images, and hence that Lenin was completely misguided with his odd theory of 'images'.

    Too difficult for you was it?
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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    ravn:


    But, according to Lenin, all you have are 'images' of this 'reality
    No, he said that the image is a reflection of what actually exists. He's not saying "all you have are images". & he wasn't talking about what is imagined in the mind's eye, but what information the eye is receiving. Mirages actually exist but are not what people may *assume* them to be, mistaking light refractions for something else. You're relying here on equivocating on the meaning of "image".

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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    ravn:

    No, he said that the image is a reflection of what actually exists.
    He said he thought so, sure, but how did he know that these 'images' were an accurate reflection of the objects around him? Could he jump out of his head to check them?

    He's not saying "all you have are images".
    Well, can you name anything else that is or could be a foundation of 'objective knowledge'? Lenin certainly didn't. Before you answer, make sure you read the quotations I have posted below -- it might save you embarrassing yourself even more.

    Here is what he actually said (but, we already know you prefer to ignore what Lenin had to say when it doesn't fit with your idiosyncratic revision of this 'theory' of yours):

    "Our sensation, our consciousness is only an image of the external world...."
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/one3.htm

    Bold added.

    Notice the 'only', here.

    "All knowledge comes from experience, from sensation, from perception. That is true. But the question arises, does objective reality 'belong to perception,' i.e., is it the source of perception? If you answer yes, you are a materialist. If you answer no, you are inconsistent and will inevitably arrive at subjectivism, or agnosticism, irrespective of whether you deny the knowability of the thing-in-itself, or the objectivity of time, space and causality (with Kant), or whether you do not even permit the thought of a thing-in-itself (with Hume). The inconsistency of your empiricism, of your philosophy of experience, will in that case lie in the fact that you deny the objective content of experience, the objective truth of experimental knowledge....
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/two4.htm

    Bold added.

    Notice, he tells us that: "All knowledge comes from experience, from sensation, from perception."

    And we already know that:

    "Our sensation, our consciousness is only an image of the external world...."
    Quoted from above.

    So, if all knowledge comes from sensation, and sensation is an 'image' of the world, the only conclusion possible is that all we have as a basis for our knowledge of the external world, according to Lenin, are 'images'.

    And, as if to rub it in (for doubters like your good self), he added this:

    For instance, the materialist Frederick Engels—the not unknown collaborator of Marx and a founder of Marxism—constantly and without exception speaks in his works of things and their mental pictures or images (Gedanken-Abbilder), and it is obvious that these mental images arise exclusively from sensations. It would seem that this fundamental standpoint of the “philosophy of Marxism” ought to be known to everyone who speaks of it, and especially to anyone who comes out in print in the name of this philosophy.... Engels, we repeat, applies this “only materialistic conception” everywhere and without exception, relentlessly attacking Dühring for the least deviation from materialism to idealism. Anybody who reads Anti-Dühring and Ludwig Feuerbach with the slightest care will find scores of instances when Engels speaks of things and their reflections in the human brain, in our consciousness, thought, etc. Engels does not say that sensations or ideas are “symbols” of things, for consistent materialism must here use “image,” picture, or reflection instead of “symbol,” as we shall show in detail in the proper place.
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/two4.htm

    Notice, Lenin tells us that Engels also believed this, that a "consistent materialism must here use 'image.'"

    So, it looks like you aren't a 'consistent' materialist, chummy.

    And he continues to rub it in:

    The doctrine of introjection is a muddle, it smuggles in idealistic rubbish and is contradictory to natural science, which inflexibly holds that thought is a function of the brain, that sensations, i.e., the images of the external world, exist within us, produced by the action of things on our sense-organs.
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/one5.htm

    Bold added.

    The sole and unavoidable deduction to be made from this—a deduction which all of us make in everyday practice and which materialism deliberately places at the foundation of its epistemology—is that outside us, and independently of us, there exist objects, things, bodies and that our perceptions are images of the external world.
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/two4.htm

    Bold added.

    Thus, the materialist theory, the theory of the reflection of objects by our mind, is here presented with absolute clarity: things exist outside us. Our perceptions and ideas are their images.
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/two2.htm

    Bold added.

    For the materialist the “factually given” is the outer world, the image of which is our sensations.
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/two2.htm

    Bold added.

    The question now is: can you quote one single passage from Lenin that tells us we have access to a source of knowledge other than these images? -- Which, incidentally, Lenin clearly equates with sensations.

    Pick a fight with Lenin and Engels, not me, if you still disagree, sunshine.

    he wasn't talking about what is imagined in the mind's eye,
    So, I presume you have a passage from Lenin that supports this assertion of yours, eh?

    [Silly me expecting ravn to substantiate anything from the Dialectical Classics. When will I learn...!]

    but what information the eye is receiving. Mirages actually exist but are not what people may *assume* them to be, mistaking light refractions for something else. You're relying here on equivocating on the meaning of "image".
    Not at all; all I did was quote Lenin:

    "The image inevitably and of necessity implies the objective reality of that which it 'images.'"
    Emphases added. Reference and link in an earlier post.

    I then posed this problem, to which you have yet to respond:

    So, if he [Lenin] were right, and you were wandering across a desert, and you saw a mirage of some water, then that water must exist "of necessity".
    Are you telling us that Lenin was wrong, that the 'image' of a mirage means that this water mustn't 'of necessity' exist? He certainly seems to think that such images of 'necessity' imply the objective existence of that which it supposedly reflects.

    So, if Lenin is to be believed, when you experience a mirage, an image of water, that water must 'of necessity' exist.

    Well done, though, for ignoring yet again my proof that images can't possibly reflect objects in 'reality'.

    Lenin would be 'proud' of your ignorance of his theory, and your incapacity to defend what little you know of it.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 05-04-2017 at 3:40 AM.
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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    He said he thought so, sure
    No. He signified that sensation is direct contact with the objects sensed. It's an objective fact that they are, not a subjective opinion. & you said here that: "according to Lenin, all you have are 'images' of this 'reality'". But he never claimed that the images he's signifying about exist without any connection with external reality. Once again you come to erroneous conclusions based on your misrepresentations of what other people actually said. & why are you repeating your specious argument about mirages? These light refractions do exist. The problem is when people get confused by these optical illusions for some *other* real thing.

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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    ravn:

    No. He signified that sensation is direct contact with the objects sensed. It's an objective fact that they are, not a subjective opinion. & you said here that:
    But how did he know this? You keep skipping this point.

    He can most certainly assert this, and sincerely believe it, as can you, but as the quotations I added in my last post show, if Lenin is to be believed, all we have are images of these objects.

    So, you tell us, how do we discriminate reliable from unreliable 'images'?

    "according to Lenin, all you have are 'images' of this 'reality'". But he never claimed that the images he's signifying about exist without any connection with external reality. Once again you come to erroneous conclusions based on your misrepresentations of what other people actually said. & why are you repeating your specious argument about mirages? These light refractions do exist. The problem is when people get confused by these optical illusions for some *other* real thing.
    Yes, so you keep saying, but what we still lack is some explanation from Lenin, or, indeed, from you, how he/you know this, when, according to Lenin, not me, Lenin, all we have are images of the objects around us.

    I quoted several passages in my last reply to you where Lenin tells us that 'images' are all we have as a basis for knowledge -- which you seem to want to ignore (as usual!).

    Here they are again (in case you missed them from earlier), edited in order to help you out:

    "Our sensation, our consciousness is only an image of the external world...."
    "All knowledge comes from experience, from sensation, from perception."
    "Our sensation, our consciousness is only an image of the external world...."
    "and it is obvious that these mental images arise exclusively from sensations."
    "sensations, i.e., the images of the external world, exist within us..."
    "that our perceptions are images of the external world.
    "things exist outside us. Our perceptions and ideas are their images.
    "the outer world, the image of which is our sensations.
    And here is one I didn't quote, where Lenin corrects Bazarov:

    "This is either an idealist lie or the subterfuge of the agnostic, Comrade Bazarov, for sense-perception is not the reality existing outside us, it is only the image of that reality."
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...8/mec/two2.htm

    Again, the question is: Can you quote even so much as one single passage where Lenin adds another factor, here?

    Up to now, you seem content to tell us what Lenin did or did not believe without quoting one single passage in support. While I have no doubt that your ideas are interesting, this thread is about what Lenin believed, not what ravn thinks he can sell us.

    why are you repeating your specious argument about mirages? These light refractions do exist. The problem is when people get confused by these optical illusions for some *other* real thing.
    How do you know these "light reflections" exist, if, according to Lenin, all you have are 'images' of them? And how do you know you can trust these 'images' any more than you can trust a mirage?

    Well done, again, for ignoring the above passages, as well as my proof that images can't possibly reflect objects in 'reality'.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post



    But how did he know this?
    Because it's a scientific fact. Instead of spinning around in circles over a quote out of context, read the whole book.

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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    ravn:

    Because it's a scientific fact.
    You can only know that this is a fact because you are either (1) an expert in this field, or (2) you have read it in a book, or series of books and articles.

    Taking (2) first: let us suppose you read this 'fact' somewhere. To do that, you must have used your eyes (or, if it was read to you, your ears -- if you are deaf, you will have felt this with your fingers, using Braille). In other words, your senses will have put you in touch with this 'fact'.

    Now, Lenin tells us (and you) the following:

    "All knowledge comes from experience, from sensation, from perception."
    And:

    "Our sensation, our consciousness is only an image of the external world...."
    Bold added in both cases.

    Hence, according to Lenin, you can only know this 'fact' because it was communicated to you via your senses. But he also tells us (and you) that "Our sensation...is only an image of the external world."

    So, this fact also comes to you via these 'images'.

    The question now is: how do you know these images are correct?

    Well, Lenin tell us that we know they are correct (or we can distinguish the reliable from the unreliable images) by testing them in practice.

    Call this Option (2a).

    But the same problem only asserts itself in relation to (2a) as it did with (2), for if all our knowledge, including any that is communicated to us via practice, is mediated by these 'images', we end up testing one set of 'images' against another set, with no way of knowing which set is reliable and which isn't, once more!

    Perhaps you know a way out of this circle (of 'images' being used to check other 'images') that eluded Lenin (he certainly failed to address this fatal defect in his 'theory'), as well as all subsequent Leninists, but you have yet to tell us what that is.

    Turning now to alternative (1): Let us suppose your are an expert in this branch of physiology, and you know this for a fact because of (1a) experiments you have conducted, or (1b) specialist books and papers you have read.

    As seems obvious, (1b) is just a variant on option (2), so I think we can put it to one side.

    Turning to option (1a), let us suppose that as a result of work you yourself have done, you know this for a fact.

    But this is just a variant of (2a) above!

    So, whichever way we turn, you are trapped in a world of 'images' with no way out.

    Maybe I am being unfair, so let's hear your way out of this solipsistic circle.

    How do you propose to solve this problem (and one, incidentally, that has defeated some of the best philosophical minds in the last four centuries)?

    Perhaps you know more than they do? One can only hope...

    Instead of spinning around in circles over a quote out of context, read the whole book.
    So, what, in your opinion, is the correct context for, say, these words of Lenin's:

    "All knowledge comes from experience, from sensation, from perception.... Our sensation...is only an image of the external world...."
    Looks pretty clear to me: all knowledge comes from sensation, and sensation is "only" an image of the external world.

    If you think differently, maybe you can inform us of some other source of knowledge that isn't from sensation -- which would, by the way, end up refuting Lenin, since he says "All knowledge comes from sensation".

    Or, maybe, inform us of some part or aspect of sensation which isn't a 'image' of the world -- again refuting Lenin, since he tells us that "our sensation is only and image of the external world" and that "our perceptions are images of the external world."

    Perhaps you can quote a passage (just one will do), where Lenin tells us how he proposes to break out of the phenomenalist prison he has built for himself.

    -----------------------------

    And can I be the first to congratulate you for continuing to ignore the passages I have quoted several times, as well as my proof that images can't possibly reflect objects in 'reality'.

    You have to sink your head rather deep into the nescient sand dunes that you seem to love so much, and which now look to be your preferred home, in order to maintain such a level and intensity of wilful ignorance. You are rapidly becoming a legend, not quite on a par with those priests who refused to look down Galileo's telescope for fear they might see spots on the Sun, or rings around Saturn, but close.

    ["Nescience" -- "lack of knowledge or awareness".]
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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    You can only know that this is a fact because you are either (1) an expert in this field, or (2) you have read it in a book, or series of books and articles.
    None of that disputes that it is a scientific fact, & unless you can dispute it as a fact, all the rest of what you have to say here is a waste of time.

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    ravn:

    None of that disputes that it is a scientific fact.
    Ah, but the point at issue is how you know this is a scientific fact -- you can only know this in one or both of the two ways I highlighted earlier.

    Here they are again:

    You can only know that this is a fact because you are either (1) an expert in this field, or (2) you have read it in a book, or series of books and articles.

    Taking (2) first: let us suppose you read this 'fact' somewhere. To do that, you must have used your eyes (or, if it was read to you, your ears -- if you are deaf, you will have felt this with your fingers, using Braille). In other words, your senses will have put you in touch with this 'fact'.

    Now, Lenin tells us (and you) the following:

    "All knowledge comes from experience, from sensation, from perception."
    And:

    "Our sensation, our consciousness is only an image of the external world...."
    Bold added in both cases.

    Hence, according to Lenin, you can only know this 'fact' because it was communicated to you via your senses. But he also tells us (and you) that "Our sensation...is only an image of the external world."

    So, this fact also comes to you via these 'images'.

    The question now is: how do you know these images are correct?

    Well, Lenin tell us that we know they are correct (or we can distinguish the reliable from the unreliable images) by testing them in practice.

    Call this Option (2a).

    But the same problem only asserts itself in relation to (2a) as it did with (2), for if all our knowledge, including any that is communicated to us via practice, is mediated by these 'images', we end up testing one set of 'images' against another set, with no way of knowing which set is reliable and which isn't, once more!

    Perhaps you know a way out of this circle (of 'images' being used to check other 'images') that eluded Lenin (he certainly failed to address this fatal defect in his 'theory'), as well as all subsequent Leninists, but you have yet to tell us what that is.

    Turning now to alternative (1): Let us suppose your are an expert in this branch of physiology, and you know this for a fact because of (1a) experiments you have conducted, or (1b) specialist books and papers you have read.

    As seems obvious, (1b) is just a variant on option (2), so I think we can put it to one side.

    Turning to option (1a), let us suppose that as a result of work you yourself have done, you know this for a fact.

    But this is just a variant of (2a) above!

    So, whichever way we turn, you are trapped in a world of 'images' with no way out.

    Maybe I am being unfair, so let's hear your way out of this solipsistic circle.

    How do you propose to solve this problem (and one, incidentally, that has defeated some of the best philosophical minds in the last four centuries)?

    Perhaps you know more than they do? One can only hope...
    Simply repeating the assertion that what you say is a scientific fact is no use at all until you tell us how you know it is a scientific fact.

    Is there perhaps a third source of your knowledge that I have missed?

    & unless you can dispute it as a fact, all the rest of what you have to say here is a waste of time
    Again, the point at issue is that Lenin's theory undermines this alleged fact, since he imposed a layer of images between the world and your knowledge of it.

    So, it isn't a waste of time trying to ascertain how you know which of your images you can trust and which you can't, and on what basis you are able to discriminate between them.

    Recall, it isn't Rosa who is inserting this layer of images between you and your knowledge of the world, but Lenin, who tells us that all you have are images on which to base any knowledge, including the alleged fact to which you keep referring -- unless, of course, you can find somewhere in his work where he tells us you have access to a source other than sensation -- and hence other than 'images' -- on which you can base your knowledge of the world.

    -----------------------------

    Once more, may I continue to congratulate you for serially ignoring (a) the passages I have quoted, and (b) my proof that images can't possibly reflect objects in 'reality'?

    We have seen over the last six months or so that we have been 'debating' this failed 'theory' of yours, that this is typical of you; you ignore things you can't answer, and refuse to quote a single passage in support of your idiosyncratic and revisionist interpretation of it.

    Your only response to the passages I quote is that I have quoted them 'out of context', or have 'misinterpreted' them. But despite being asked many times to provide the correct context or the correct interpretation, you refuse to do so, or you adopt what can only be called a dialectical sulk, and you slope off refusing to engage further.

    I have little doubt you will continue to do this.

    You should be in no doubt that I will continue to call you out for it.
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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    Ah, but the point at issue is how you know this is a scientific fact --

    Because of the preponderance of evidence. There is no reasonable doubt to the contrary. Unless you can actually dispute that evidence then what's the point? Argue for solipsism?

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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    ravn:

    Because of the preponderance of evidence. There is no reasonable doubt to the contrary. Unless you can actually dispute that evidence then what's the point? Argue for solipsism?
    I have already covered this -- Lenin has inserted a layer of 'images' between every strand of this evidence (no matter how many of them there are) and your alleged knowledge of this 'fact':

    "All knowledge comes from experience, from sensation, from perception."
    "Our sensation, our consciousness is only an image of the external world...."
    Notice, according to Lenin, all knowledge (not most of it, nor yet 99% of it, but all knowledge) comes from sensation/perception.

    But, according to Lenin, again, sensation is just an "image" of the external world.

    He didn't just say this once, he said it many times:

    "sensations, i.e., the images of the external world, exist within us..."
    "that our perceptions are images of the external world.
    "things exist outside us. Our perceptions and ideas are their images.
    "the outer world, the image of which is our sensations.
    "sense-perception is not the reality existing outside us, it is only the image of that reality."
    Bold added in each case.

    So, all this evidence, if it counts as knowledge, which I presume to think it does, has this layer of 'images' between you and it.

    The question now is, how do you know whether or not these images are reliable? How is it possible to decide?

    Lenin gave us no way to do so that by-passes these 'images'.

    Worse still, you have given us no way to do this (that by-passes these 'images'), either.

    There is no reasonable doubt to the contrary.
    There is every reason to do so unless and until you show us that these 'images' are reliable.

    You seem not to be able to grasp this very simple point. Why?

    Unless you can actually dispute that evidence then what's the point?
    1) You have yet to quote, or reference this 'evidence'.

    2) It's not a question of doubting this 'evidence', but of pointing out that Lenin's theory undermines it all, by turning it into 'images' of dubious reliability and provenance.

    Argue for solipsism?
    Lenin's theory readily collapses into solipsism, as I have pointed out several times.

    That is why I have argued against it!

    His theory undermines materialism, it doesn't support it.

    --------------------------------------------

    Well done for continuing to ignore (a) the passages I have quoted, and (b) my proof that images can't possibly reflect objects in 'reality'?
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    I have already covered this -- Lenin has inserted a layer of 'images' between every strand of this evidence
    "Cover"? Or just confused? Look, saying that we get all information about the world is from our senses is not saying that everything sensed is just an image. So what is *real* problem here? If you're going doubt the senses connecting to anything at all, then you're just trying to argue for solipsism blaming it on someone else.

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    ravn:

    "Cover"? Or just confused?
    Well, you have failed to show where I have gone wrong, content merely to appeal to 'evidence' you have yet to produce, or even reference, all the while failing to support a single thing you have attributed to Lenin with even so much as one quotation from his work.

    That's a tactic you have adopted in all your rather pathetic attempts to respond to me over the last six months. And, as if to compound this, you blithely ignore the passages I have quoted from Lenin which substantiate all I have alleged of him.

    Look, saying that we get all information about the world is from our senses is not saying that everything sensed is just an image.
    Compare that with what Lenin said:

    "Our sensation, our consciousness is only an image of the external world...."
    Notice, "our sensation is only an image of the external world."

    And:

    "sensations, i.e., the images of the external world, exist within us..."
    "that our perceptions are images of the external world.
    "things exist outside us. Our perceptions and ideas are their images.
    "the outer world, the image of which is our sensations.
    "sense-perception is not the reality existing outside us, it is only the image of that reality."
    Bold added in each case.

    Notice, Lenin tells us that "sense perception" is "only the image of...reality".

    He doesn't say most of sense perception is this, or that some if it is, but "sense perception" is only an "image". He allows for no other layer between the world and our supposed knowledge if it.

    He adds that "our perceptions are images of the external world".

    The question is, can you find anywhere in Lenin's work where he says what you have just said?

    If you knew of one, you'd have quoted it by now. The problem is, as we have seen many times, you don't even know your own theory too well.

    So what is *real* problem here? If you're going doubt the senses connecting to anything at all, then you're just trying to argue for solipsism blaming it on someone else.
    No, it is quite clear what I am arguing, I made that plain in my last reply to you -- as I noted , you ignore stuff you don't like:

    1) You have yet to quote, or reference this 'evidence'.

    2) It's not a question of doubting this 'evidence', but of pointing out that Lenin's theory undermines it all, by turning it into 'images' of dubious reliability and provenance.

    Argue for solipsism?
    Lenin's theory readily collapses into solipsism, as I have pointed out several times.

    That is why I have argued against it!

    His theory undermines materialism, it doesn't support it.
    So, my words are perfectly clear: I am not arguing for solipsism, merely pointing out that Lenin's theory directly implies it -- which is part of the reason I reject it.

    --------------------------------------------

    Well done for continuing to ignore (a) the passages I have quoted, and (b) my proof that images can't possibly reflect objects in 'reality' -- contrary to what Lenin argued.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 05-29-2016 at 7:26 PM.
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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    Well, you have failed to show where I have gone wrong, content merely to appeal to 'evidence' you have yet to produce
    Evidence was provided in regards to your *confusion* or *obfuscation* over what mirages are. A mirage is a refraction of light which can create optical illusions. Sensations are evidently direct interactions between external objects & any observer, even if that interaction can be misinterpreted. The world is not a sensation. Sensations reflect the world. That's what *image* means here. Since you're anti-dialectical, (& you make it a point to proclaim this openly), you indulge in empty metaphysics, apparently to aggrandize your self. This is what assholes do.

  18. #18
    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    ravn:

    Evidence was provided in regards to your *confusion* or *obfuscation* over what mirages are.
    But, none in support of this, which is what I was asking for:

    Me: Ah, but the point at issue is how you know this is a scientific fact --

    You: Because of the preponderance of evidence.
    And still not one single passage from Lenin in support of your assertions about what he did or didn't mean.

    And where was I confused about 'images'?

    A mirage is a refraction of light which can create optical illusions.
    But, according to Lenin:

    "The image inevitably and of necessity implies the objective reality of that which it 'images.'"
    And, as I pointed out earlier, which you ignored (as usual):

    So, if he were right, and you were wandering across a desert, and you saw a mirage of some water, then that water must exist "of necessity".
    You:

    Sensations are evidently direct interactions between external objects & any observer, even if that interaction can be misinterpreted.
    And yet, Lenin tells us this about sensations:

    "Our sensation, our consciousness is only an image of the external world...."
    "and it is obvious that these mental images arise exclusively from sensations."
    "sensations, i.e., the images of the external world, exist within us..."
    "sense-perception is not the reality existing outside us, it is only the image of that reality."
    [Bold added in each case.]

    Nothing there in support of your assertion that "Sensations are evidently direct interactions between external objects & any observer..."

    The world is not a sensation.
    Who said it was? Not me.

    Sensations reflect the world. That's what *image* means here.
    You have yet to say how you or Lenin know which images are valid and which aren't, despite being asked many times.

    Since you're anti-dialectical, (& you make it a point to proclaim this openly), you indulge in empty metaphysics, apparently to aggrandize your self. This is what assholes do.
    Nice attempt to deflect attention from your incapacity to defend Lenin.

    ---------------------------------

    Well done for continuing to ignore (a) the passages I have quoted, and (b) my proof that images can't possibly reflect objects in 'reality' -- contrary to what Lenin argued.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Senior Voting Member ravn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    ... images can't possibly reflect objects in 'reality'
    Therefore, you're making an argument, however backhandedly, for solipsism.

  20. #20
    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Lenin Really Believe What He Argued In 'Materialism And Empirio-Criticism'?

    ravn:

    Therefore, you're making an argument, however backhandedly, for solipsism.
    In fact, I am pointing out the unacceptable consequences of Lenin's 'theory'.

    [Nice move putting that comment of yours in red -- had you chosen, oh, say, blue, I'd have had to agree with your point, so I hope you don't use that colour in future. I'm lost if you do... :-)]

    Interesting take on my argument, though: you can't answer it, or show where it goes wrong, so instead you blame me for the philosophically disastrous consequences of Lenin's theory of 'images'.

    Impressive attempt to deflect attention from your incapacity to defend Lenin, though!

    -------------------------------------

    Still waiting for the 'evidence' that supports this rather bold claim:

    Me: Ah, but the point at issue is how you know this is a scientific fact --

    You: Because of the preponderance of evidence.
    Why so shy? If your case is so overwhelmingly strong, quote or reference this 'evidence'.

    Or show how it manages to sneak past the layer of 'images' Lenin has placed between it and you.

    [Message to neutral observers: ravn will duck these challenges, too! Apparently he expects us to take his word for everything he brazenly asserts. So, if he says Lenin believed this or that, we mustn't expect him to get his hands dirty and prove it, or quote a single passage in support. And if he says our senses put us in direct contact with the world, and that the preponderance of 'evidence' supports this alleged fact, we must all bow down to his superior knowledge and never, never ask for proof. How dare we, us mortals, challenge his 'god'-like knowledge, or question it with tawdry requests for evidence and proof. The very thought!]
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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