When applied to people and the way we perceive things/others, are surface and substance separate values?
Posted: 21 October 2007 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Or are they inseparable?

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Posted: 21 October 2007 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think I’d need more detail to understand and try to respond to your question. Are we talking about physical appearances, dress, language, social behavior, etc? The relationship between something we perceieve and something “underneath” depends on what sort of things you’re talking about.

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Posted: 21 October 2007 08:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I agree with Brennen, that we need much more detail about what you mean by your question.  For example, are you asking if, say, physical beauty equates with high ethics?  And how do you differentiate between surface and substance?  If a person treats everyone around him fairly and positively, but by himself, has vicious fantasies he never acts on, what is the surface and what is the substance?

Occam

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Posted: 22 October 2007 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I think, really, everyone has weird fantasies that are never brought to light in one way or another, or opinions they don’t share.  But for the people looking at that person Occam described, they have no idea about what he really thinks of them.  Although, if your fantasies are too weird or vicious I think something’s going to show on the surface… you’ll get a troubled look about you or something. 

I used to be really untrusting of peoples’ outward appearances, and, of course, I didn’t show it!  I guess this will explain my answer: I usually take people at face value these days.  I think the surface/substance dichotomy naturally happens when we know people over time, though.  We witness their behavior patterns over time, and usually this is when we start getting ideas about their substance.  I think if we’ve seen someone who has behaved extremely for a while suddenly start acting differently, part of us is going to have a severe reservation about this, even if we welcome this change.  This may be a completely superficial distinction from what you’re talking about, zzzzap!

If that is a superficial distinction then of course, surface is substance in the eyes of a judge.  I think the point where it does not seem a superficial distinction is the consideration of the extent of the surface.  Is it the surface now? a week ago?  Will it be the surface tomorrow?  Considering objects:  Who made it?  What was the person paid?  Why am I getting charged five dollars if it cost ten cents to make?  Why did it just cost ten cents to make?  Is this sustainable?  Does this contain anything that will make me ill?

I think that is part of the values system of the judge—the extent of the surface.  Hopefully the judge has a good values system.  In most situations I have multiple surfaces that exist in my mind for one object or person, one which tells an impersonal cause-and-effect tale, and the other which tells a personal tale be it hostile, or pleasant, or frightening.  I want to say that both affect my judgment.

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Posted: 22 October 2007 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Without knowing the exact details of what you mean, I can offer this - It has been said that we are like an onion, in that we have many layers. Perhaps the “surface” could be percieved as a single layer (perhaps the outer layer) and “substance” being the entirety of all the layers.

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Posted: 22 October 2007 12:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I thought ogres were like onions? grin (for those of you with kids)

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Posted: 27 October 2007 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Words can be both useful and deceptive.

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Posted: 27 October 2007 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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mckenzievmd - 22 October 2007 12:53 PM

I thought ogres were like onions? grin (for those of you with kids)

Oh, I thought you said they liked onions.  Well, I’ll assume that’s what you meant so I can write the following.

Ah, that explains my first wife.  Shortly after we were married we were sitting on the couch one Saturday evening reading (no TV then).  She got up, went into the kitchen, and made herself a sandwich.  She came back with it and a glass of milk.  She took a bite, I was jolted, and asked what it was.  She replied that it was an onion sandwich - two slices of rye bread, butter,,two thick slices of yellow onion, salt and pepper.  I got up, went into the kitchen, poured myself a glass of milk, buttered two slices of rye bread, applied the filling, and went back into the living room.  A few moments after I took my first bite, she asked. WHAT IS THAT???

I said it was a garlic sandwich (eight large cloves of garlic).  From then on she made herself onion sandwiches when I was gone on a trip. 

Monday morning, the guy at the next desk (his surname was Giacobenni) sniffed and said, “What’s that?” 

I said, “What?”

He said, “It’s you.  You smell like my wop relatives.”  Apparently my breath had an interesting aroma even 36 hours later. 

Occam

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Posted: 27 October 2007 11:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Occam,

Sorry, the quip was a pop culture reference to the movie Shrek. Hence the parenthetical aside “for those of you with kids,” who would be more likley to recognize the joke. Still, since this thread seems to be like a Seinfeld eipsode (i.e. about nothing), your Milton Berle ex-wife anecdote (“Boy was my ex wife an ogre….”) fits right in! grin

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Posted: 02 November 2007 08:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Well, in the vein of the British empiricists, surface and substance is separate. In the vein of QM, surface and substance is separate. A mirror upon first inspection is smooth until you scan it with an electron mircroscope. Consider QM and it’s even “worse”.

As far as humans and ontology…..ehhh….....

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