Manifestation(立ち現れ) is not a monism that encompasses subjective-objective, but a thorough subjectivism (Contemporary Philosophy in Japan Final Paper)

Written on February 1, 2017

1. Reason for Manifestation: From the problems of objectivity / subjective

Manifestation is needed to overcome the real-copy view. What is Real-copy view? Omori want to debunk the common view of the subjective-objective world distinction. In this common viewpoint, objective world, e.g. a snake on floor, is something real. The counterpart of it is an image which arise in observer’s mind. This though about sensed snake, is the subjective view, a copy of real image. From this point of view, the world of objectivity is perceived by the subject, and the result of the sensation forms the subjective world of copying of the objective world. And this process is causal.

The problems Omori focuses on from this reality-replication perspective are as follows. First, the real-copy view can not specify the location of the objective thing that will be subject to observer. Since the real and the copy are strictly qualitatively different, if the copies are only possible to the subject, the world of objective becomes essentially unknowable and un-locatable. The problem is that the world of objectivity gives us a very clear and realistic intuition about it’s true existence. Strong feeling of the real suggest the possibility of the world of objectivity. Our lives are practically based on this objective, which works very well. The real-copy perspective makes the possibility of objectivity invisible, but everyday experience makes it seem to exist.

The way that Omori chooses is to reveal that the subjective world and the objective world are, in fact, the same thing. This is the manifestation(立ち現れ) monism. In manifestation monotheism, the real and the copy are more than equal, but same. What exists is manifestation, which cannot be distinguished as the real and the copy.

2. The Difference between Manifestations and the Real-Copy view over the Function of the Brain

It is helpful to look at how each view sees the brain, to make it clear that the difference between Omori’s claim and the existing real-copy perspective. First of all, in the existing philosophical position, if you feel something or see something, the brain accepts the sensation, and the sensation is imaged through the brain in connection with the mental and subjective world. The question of this position is how the physical world of the objective and its receptive senses can be linked to mental things. At this time, a brain becomes a mysterious translator, translating physical language into mental language. We must accept the unreasonable assertion that a brain, the physical parts of a body, connect the two qualitatively different worlds. But in the manifestation monotheism, a brain does not have to play such a mysterious role. A brain is like lens of glasses. Like the visual stimulus are fixed by the lens, a brain likewise modifies the sensory stimulus as appropriate. Thus, a brain is not part of any special mental institution, but rather a part of the process that accompanies the process of manifestation.

3. Meaning of Omori’s Claim

It is possible to explain much of the cognitive phenomena based on this, if we accept the Omori’s arguments of manifestations. The perceptual, conceptual, (emotional) manifestations seem to explain most of the things that happen in human cognitions. Perceptual manifestations, as described above, destroy the real-copy view of the subjective world and the objective view. Conceptual manifestation is an attempt to overcome the problem of real-copy in Hume’s though about impression and idea, that arises from recalling, expecting, and fancy (this is clearly distinguished from the real-copy dualism of objectivity-subjectivity. It is about Hume’s idea that impression as real, and idea is copy). In “Beyond Hume’s Fancy”, Omori defines fancy as one of perceptual conception manifestations, which go together with perceptual manifestations. these two cannot be framed as the real and the copy, but be manifestations of different kinds. Through his thesis, he tried to reinforce his argument by showing that this new classification based on manifestation can explain the problems of the dispositions, the minds of others, and past/future.

4. The Possibility of General Logical Critics of the strategy of Manifestations: Limitations of Upper-Dimension Approach

The problematic situation that manifestation claim is trying to solve can be abstracted as follows. There are two qualitatively different worlds, which seem to be closely related and causative of each other. Since the two worlds are clearly qualitatively different, it becomes a question whether they are possible to interact with each other.

One of the most general strategies to solve the problem of the two qualitatively different worlds and the contradiction between them, is to choose one. Denies one world and affirms another world. The denied world is a kind of illusion from the affirmative world. The inevitable differences and contradictions of the subjective and the objective are allegedly solved by thorough materialism or thorough ideology. That is to say, in loyal ideological view, the reality outside the subjective can never be convinced, and all what is seen as objective is an illusion of the subjective. The rope lying on the floor cannot be confirmed, only the images of the rope lying on the floor exist. Though we have intuitions that the two worlds are “real”, but we must crumble one into another for logical consistency.

Fortunately, the way to resolve the contradictions of the two different worlds is not just to deny one of them. There is a way to affirm both contradictory worlds. It is to define a new world covering these two worlds. From the point of view of this new world, the unbreakable wall that seemed to divide the two existing worlds is no different from just a pencil-drown line on paper. The wall of the line that cannot be overcame in the two-dimensional world is easily overcome by a small vertical jumping in the three-dimensional world. This new world includes two existing worlds, and it is clear that the existing contradiction was misunderstood on this level.

Manifestation is a form of the demolishing law called “Setting Up a New Upper Dimension”. The contradiction between the essentially different worlds of subjectivity and objectivity is resolved by declaring that both are manifestations “in real”, the unit of the new world.

The problem is, though the solution of “upper dimension” is handy and powerful, but is broken under certain conditions. If we say that the new world is indeed not different from one of the existing two worlds, the new upper level loses the base of existence. If the upper level is in fact the same as one of the lower levels, works done on the presumption of new dimensions are no different from the “a choosing strategy” described earlier. Only a little more fancily explained, one world must crumble into another world and nothing is changed.

I think that manifestation is one of a higher-level solution, and that it is a kind that can be demolished down because it converges to subjectivism.

5. The identity of Manifestation with the subjectivism

Perceptual manifestation seems to incorporate the world of subjectivity and objectivity into a new higher level concept based on physicalism(or materialism). But since Omori acknowledged the existence of the conceptual manifestation, and that the conceptual manifestation claimed to be the same as the perceptual manifestation, his claim returns to idealism.

A. The Difference between Perceptual Manifestation and the Objective World

In the perceptual manifestation, the sensation started from the objective object is settled as manifestation through a filter such as a lens or a brain. However, this manifestation is obviously triggered from an objective thing, but is not the same as the objective because it is filtered. We can misunderstand the object. For example, what I thought was a snake when I saw it from afar could be a rope when looked closer. In this case, there was manifestation, a snake, which, though it cannot be said to be right or wrong, and the thought about the object will be modified through subsequent experience. Regarding these modifications, Omori would probably say that manifestation of ​​the snake when seen from afar were not gone. In other words, the manifestation of the snake exists in same level with the manifestation when it is seen in close. Later manifestation is not repairing the existing previous manifestation. The thing is fixed is the thought of ​​a snake-like, not the manifestation.

This example reveals the problem of the perceptual manifestation. Several times of perceptual manifestations made a thought about the object be changed. The fact that it is revised means that perceptual manifestation can be mistaken. Let say: I realized that the object I saw from a distance, was not a snake but a rope. But as I got closer, this was not a rope, but a snake(!) that looked like a rope. This process can be repeated infinitely. The object may look like a snake at any moment, and it may look like a rope in another moment. This can repeat to be constantly modified, theoretically infinitely possible. Hence, perceptual manifestation, although triggered from an external object, is necessarily distant from its object. What the real object is will never change at every moment we mistake it. Manifestations, which change every moment, cannot be reconciled with objective objects because there is a possibility of change at every moment. This is something different from the objective. To put it a bit hasty, until now we have called these swinging stuffs as “subjective”.

B. Conceptual Manifestation’s subjectivity

Conceptual manifestation does not need an external real object. For example, it is possible to imagine a being that does not exist in reality. the unicorn’s manifestation is a product of my imagination. The physical world in which this manifestation is concerned is only a brain. Thus, the conceptual manifestation falls entirely within the scope of subjectivity in the existing distinction.

Because Omori is manifestation monism, the unicorn should be explained as follows. The unicorn we now conceive came from our existing manifestation about an unicorn, rather than from nothing. These existing manifestations are pictures of unicorns seen in books, or perceived manifestations in the forms of graphics of unicorns seen in movies. This is now result in a conceived manifestation, and the imagination of unicorn manifestation is produced. This keeps the position monism. Therefore, perceptual manifestations must belong to qualitatively the same world, because it becomes the material of the conceptual manifestations of now. This is what Omori himself claims. Manifestations are all equal. Perceptual or conceptual, everything is a manifestation. Given the fact that the conceptual manifestation and beyond cannot escape the domain of subjective notions, it is not simple to assert that perceptual manifestation goes beyond or overcomes qualitatively the realm of the subjective world.

6. The usefulness of the concept of Manifestation

It is not simple to deny that manifestation is impossible, even if we insist that there is no reason for the difference between manifestation and idealism. It is almost logically impossible to find counter examples of manifestation in experiences, because manifestation itself is defined to encompass the separation of objectivity-subjectivity.

Fortunately, there is a counter-example to criticize the introduction of a new dimension that encompasses both concepts. It is to say that the explanation of the new concept has no utility to use. In other words, although manifestation tells a lot of things, if we say that these are explained also by the language of the subjective, that is, by ideology, we can further reinforce the claim that manifestation is superfluous.

The argument of copy self-destruction by Omori attempts to logically claim that there can be nothing real. To be able to copy, you need something real. But, everything we see is a clone, and something real is impossible to be found. Therefore, there is no clue that copy exists if there is no real. The only thing exist is neither the copy nor the real – is manifestation. This is the argument of copy self-destruction by Omori. The problem is that if you look at everything as subject, this problem evenly solved. The reason that anything real is invisible, is that everything is an idea. Everything that man perceives belongs to the subjective world, and cannot to be exist in objective way. The claim that the idea is “real” and alpha to omega, is the same as the manifestation beside just names.

The situation in manifestation of past is similar. Omori sees that the past exists as manifestation. We recall the past with manifestation of recall. Therefore, the past is not an objective reality, but only manifestation. But the same argument can be made by subjectivism. The past is an idea, not an objective one. To recall the past is to show the idea of the past as idea of recall.

Finally, let’s look at the fancy of death that Omori mentioned in “Beyond Hume’s Fancy.” The fancies (a kind of conceptual manifestation) of death and afterlife, unlike all other fancies, is non-historical and immutable. Why are this fancies impossible to fix? This is because manifestations of death and afterlife are thoroughly subjective in their dependence with observer. After the end of subject that enables the idea, manifestations cannot do anything. The death of the subjectivity also killed manifestation.

7. Problem of Meaning

The “meaning” in the sense of philosophy of language cannot be incorporated into manifestation in Omori. When I see a serpent, as the perceptual manifestation gathered, the idea that it is a “snake” emerges. This idea of “it is a snake” is clearly distinguished from the just perception, and at the same time, neither memory nor expectation nor fancy. Meaning is located in an area that is distinct from the conceptual manifestation. It is triggered by the physical world, but it is also created within the subjective world. However, Omori does not clearly explain manifestation as a matter of meaning.

8. Conclusion

Manifestation of Omori succeeds in explaining many things. But that’s because of the strategy used in manifestation. By assuming a new level of world involving subjectivity and objectivity, Omori could express it in a completely different language while still taking ideological standpoints. In the end, however, manifestation could not be reconciled with the objective world. Manifestation is at least partially wholly ideological, and, given the premise that the whole is of the same status, manifestation cannot escape from the suspicion of the idealism. And also there is nothing that can be explained by manifestation but cannot be done by idealism. And there remains a question that the problem of “meaning” has not yet been covered by manifestation. In summing up these conclusions, I have a doubt that manifestation is just a different name of idealism. If so, the distinction between subjectivity and objectivity is not overcome but merely strategically postponed. For claims that cannot be wrong because they are arguing in a circle, full-scale refutation by counter examples is impossible. Therefore, the problem continues to a question of who are going to have burden of proof, and I conclude this report by saying that Omori has a greater burden of proof for suggesting the totally new concept.