Monday, July 1, 2013

Evidence and Phenomena

Suppose someone says that what we say is not supported by the evidence - what does this mean? Put it into other words. I suppose that we could view it in this way.

There is phenomena, appearance. Our sentences can be built upon these phenomena; in such cases the number of words is determined by what we perceive, their order is dictated by the way our perceptions appear to us, the sentence serves to show how we suppose that these appearances relate to one another.

The sentence "the ball broke the window" is built upon the appearance of a ball, the appearance of a broken window, the appearance of the memory of the window being recently whole, the sound of a shattering, the appearance of the ball breaking the window, and the understood concept that balls can cause windows to become shattered.

Now suppose we have a sentence like, "Timmy is a delinquent." This is not rooted in appearance, this is instead rooted in other sentences which are themselves rooted in appearance. If we have sentences like "Timmy broke the neighbors window," "Timmy glued Fluffy to the doghouse," and "Timmy poured water on the new computer," then we may use these models of appearances as grounds to make a sentence placing Timmy in the 'little bastard' category. Much language is rooted in other language, but there is also language that is rooted in appearance.

Let us leave aside for a moment the question of the validity of moral statements that claim we should only believe what is rooted in appearance. For now it is enough to note that we can distinguish between sentences that are rooted in appearance and those that are not - or rather - sentences that are heavily rooted and those that are shallowly rooted.

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