Logos and the sensible

The proper sensibles can neither be verified nor reasoned from. We can analyze a quantity into parts and use it to give rise to theorems (what else are geometry and physics?) but tastes, scents, and colors don’t give rise to any science of themselves.

The proper sensibles have no logos, that is, none can give rise to a –logy. We can study color only after we have turned it into a quantity or motion, or after we’ve made a study of how it affects something other than itself, or studied how the organ that detects it has such-and-such a structure. The scent, color, taste, pain, sound (who knows how many proper sensibles there are?). all arise from nowhere and lead to no further conclusions.

And so if the proper sensibles are real, then not every reality can give rise to a science or discourse. One can take this as a reason why the proper sensibles are not real, which seems to be the dominant opinion today. We’re strongly convinced of a system of everything (even after modifying this after Godel), and you can’t very well have this if some things cannot be parts of a larger system or –logy. This is probably a mistake, based on an overconfidence in logos. After all, any argument that, say, color is subjective will apply just as much to motion as actually sensed* in classical and contemporary physics (for whether something is in motion is just as observer-relative as whether it is red, sweet, or hot) but we’d be fools to say that this makes motion “subjective”.

*italic clause inserted since classical physics introduced absolute space to deal with this, but absolute space cannot be sensed. You might just as well stipulate “absolute color” to make color absolute, or stipulate that there was an absolute taste relative to which all differing tastes are measured.

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1 Comment

  1. thenyssan said,

    April 14, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    But aren’t they taken up into a larger system? They give rise to common sense and abstraction. They seem more like the fundamental units of a -logy.


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