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#23 - Perception cannot be a relationship between a

Jonathan Evans
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Jessica,

Great question! You did symbolize the conclusion correctly:

    Material Object Beliefs :arrow: NONE from Perception

Your method of parsing out the structure of the argument is a valid approach, not to say this couldn't get you into trouble, for instance with a Mistaken Reversal™ that otherwise maintains the same syntax, but the bottom line is our job is to use all and any tools at our disposal to get the problems right in an efficient manner. Since you clearly have a pretty good grasp of conditional reasoning, you should be confident in your analysis.

Now, as outlined above, the premise doesn't exactly conform to a tidy conditional flaw. Just to summarize, this author argues:

  • Conclusion: If we have material object beliefs, these beliefs are not from perception.
  • Why not? Because we have beliefs about material objects that cannot be the result of perception.

In other words, the author is trying to say, "it can't be possible for us to have material object beliefs from perception if we have any material object beliefs that are not from perception."

Thus, this is similar to starting with ~P but not exactly the same, because the ~P in the necessary condition of the conclusion is about material object beliefs in general and not beliefs about the imperceptible material objects.

The author's intended argument would look like this:

  1. Material Object Beliefs :arrow: ALL from Perception OR NONE from Perception
  2. There exist Material Object Beliefs not from Perception.
  3. Therefore, Material Object Beliefs :arrow: NONE from Perception.

But as we noted, the author's argument as written omitted Statement 1 above:

  1. (Furiously waves hands! Do not look behind the curtain!)
  2. There exist Material Object Beliefs not from Perception.
  3. Therefore, Material Object Beliefs :arrow: NONE from Perception.

The omission of this essential premise is the flaw.
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FIRST QUESTION: For the premise in the stimulus, how can we determine what is the sufficient/necessary condition. The sentence reads, "For there are many imperceptible material objects about which we have beliefs." The explanation (in this discussion page) states that the "belief in objects" is the necessary condition, and the "not perceiving" as the sufficient condition. How come it isn't the other way around?

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SECOND QUESTION (related to the first):
Nikki Siclunov wrote:How does the author question that proposition? By suggesting that there are many imperceptible material objects about which we have beliefs (Beliefs :some: NOT perception). In other words, the author is showing an instance in which the necessary condition occurs (having beliefs about some object) in the absence of the sufficient condition (said objects are imperceptible). This is a flaw: belief does not require perception, so the counterexample provided does nothing to the original statement.

Hi Nikki! I am a little confused with the explanation (I hope you can help!). In this explanation, you wrote "(Beliefs :some: NOT perception)", thus putting "beliefs" as the sufficient condition. But in the next sentence, you stated, "the necessary condition occurs (having beliefs about some object)." I am a little confused. Could you help clarify which is the sufficient/necessary. Thank you!!


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THIRD QUESTION:
Administrator wrote:Conclusion: ..... perceptible objects ..... :arrow: ..... cannot cause us to have beliefs about

I am having trouble understanding the conditional statement for the stimulus conclusion. I don't see how the conclusion is saying we cannot have beliefs about certain objects. Instead, I read the conclusion ("Perception cannot be a relationship between conscious being and a material object that causes that being to have beliefs about that object") as not perceiving these objects. That the perception is false (not that the belief is false).