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Thread: Philosophical musings of science, reality, blind men and elephants

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    On the face of it, I really would describe your perspective as being that of radical idealism – but you consistently insist on not ascribing that label to yourself yet you never take on even a hint of realism.
    Indeed, there is no hint of realism. But realism and idealism do not exhaust the possibilities, and in fact I don't like either of them because they both make a claim on mind-independent reality that I claim is incoherent. Realism claims that mind-independent reality is everything that is real, and mind-dependent reality is the null set. Idealism claims that mind-dependent reality is everything and mind-independent reality is the null set. I'm saying mind-dependent reality is all we can talk about, all we can learn about, and all we mean by the word "reality", whereas mind-independent reality is a meaningless notion. Not the null set, mind you, but meaningless, which is something quite different. I suspect there does have to be "something" outside of mind-dependent reality, but what it is we can say nothing about, hang no words on beyond a single meaningless label, and then leave totally alone. We certainly cannot say that mind-dependent reality is everything, or that we create mind-dependent reality out of nothing, because we have no idea-- we simply cannot make any claims about anything that is outside mind-dependent reality. Indeed, we should spend no effort or thought whatsoever on anything outside mind-dependent reality, not because we claim it doesn't exist, but because we know we can say nothing about it, find no attributes that it satisfies, or make any logical claims on it whatsoever, as any of those acts are entirely reserved, by definition, for mind-dependent reality.
    This approach seems to legitimately enable science to proceed with investigating mind dependent reality (as per radical idealism) as if it constituted all of reality rendering any question that a small or large chunk of mind dependent reality owes its structure to "something” outside of mind dependent reality as being a non question.
    Right, or perhaps more accurately, a non-scientific, non-linguistic, and non-philosophical question, as all those things invoke the tools of the mind. We can allow other areas of inquiry, like religion, to hold any view they wish on mind-independent reality, as they are not beholden to the requirements of logical and perceptual consistency.
    I would prefer to say that science can investigate mind dependent reality but has no capability whatsoever to investigate an indescribable structure which can be philosophically inferred within mind dependent reality as being independent of mind dependent reality and having an indescribable (through science or language) connection to mind dependent reality manifesting itself within mind dependent reality as a large or small influence. That for me places the applicability of science (and language) in the context of nature with and without humans and legitimately connects idealism with a valid hint of realism. I would call that philosophical stance Open Realism.
    Yes, we are not really that far apart, but I say that the tenuous connection you wish to retain between mind-independent reality and philosophy cannot be supported, expressly because of that indescribability problem, which philosophy must reject as incoherent within the rules of logical discourse. Also, you still want to reserve the term "realism" for claims on reality outside the mind, but I say any such claim is coming from a mind, so that kind of meaning of "realism" is internally inconsistent. Hence, ironically, I claim my stance is the only "realistic" one available.

  2. #122
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    Ken, if I am standing under mountain and a boulder comes tumbling towards me, am I supposed to say to myself, "not to worry that is amind dependent reality and I can't really prove that it is coming towards me"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Ken, if I am standing under mountain and a boulder comes tumbling towards me, am I supposed to say to myself, "not to worry that is amind dependent reality and I can't really prove that it is coming towards me"?
    Why on Earth would you do that? It is mind-dependent reality in which your mind exists, so if you want to keep your mind existing, I suggest you use your mind to tell those things you conceptualize as your two legs to do what you imagine is stepping out of the way of that thing you conceptualize, in your mind, as a boulder. After all, your mind has noticed certain consistencies in how mind-dependent reality behaves.

    You cannot find any flaws in my stance, it's perfectly rock solid.

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Why on Earth would you do that? It is mind-dependent reality in which your mind exists, so if you want to keep your mind existing, I suggest you use your mind to tell those things you conceptualize as your two legs to do what you imagine is stepping out of the way of that thing you conceptualize, in your mind, as a boulder. After all, your mind has noticed certain consistencies in how mind-dependent reality behaves.

    You cannot find any flaws in my stance, it's perfectly rock solid.
    How can something mind-dependent physically hurt me? In other words, if the mind-dependent world can hurt me, what does the difference between mind-dependent and mind-independent mean?

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    If my existence is in mind-dependent reality, and mind reality can terminate my existence, than the whole discussion is a moot point...

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    If my existence is in mind-dependent reality, and mind reality can terminate my existence, than the whole discussion is a moot point...
    Of course your mind can terminate your existence, it's called suicide. Why does that make any of this moot?
    ETA: I think I see what you mean, you are saying that if mind-dependent reality is that "real," then it isn't any different from mind-independent reality. That's pretty much what I'm saying, yes, but note there is still a key difference-- we are freed from having to afford reality with inscrutable properties we can't even make any sense of, we just give it the properties we can understand. In short, we get all the same benefits as realism, without the pitfalls and fairly obvious logical inconsistencies of taking realism too seriously. It's all about escaping the OP lament-- if reality is what we can understand it to be, if that's all we ever meant by the term "reality" in the first place, then we don't have to be sad we cannot understand it! But we also don't have to enter into a kind of state of self-delusion to be realistic about what it is that we are understanding.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2013-Dec-16 at 03:37 PM.

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I suspect there does have to be "something" outside of mind-dependent reality, but what it is we can say nothing about, hang no words on beyond a single meaningless label, and then leave totally alone. We certainly cannot say that mind-dependent reality is everything, or that we create mind-dependent reality out of nothing, because we have no idea-- we simply cannot make any claims about anything that is outside mind-dependent reality.
    Acknowledging that there may be “something” outside of mind dependent reality may at least imply that a large or small chunk of mind dependent reality may owe its structure to something other than mind dependent reality. It is an open question and thus surely must impact on questions pertaining to the ability of science to investigate all of nature (which was the original OP question), a question that for most people would involve there being no distinction between nature with or without humans.

    So all I say really is that an acknowledgement of the possibility of a mind independent reality in the context of nature as a whole is a valid picture for us all to have.(After all, we are all from an early age told about what the universe was before humans came on the scene, why not clarify this historical time line in terms of a notion of mind independent reality, mind dependent reality and the resultant time line that extrapolates humans as hypothetically being present just after the birth of the universe). Reducing nature in its entirety to mind dependent reality because that’s what science and language can only operate within doesn’t seem to do justice to nature as a whole given that we can at least philosophically point to a notion of mind independent reality from within mind dependent reality. If it were the case that mind dependent reality unambiguously indicated that that’s all there is (and need be) then there is no issue. But given that there are philosophical pointers to there being something outside of mind dependent reality, then that is enough for me to define the notion as significant within the context of nature as a whole. I know we can't say anything philosophically or scientifically about the "structure" of that notion, but that doesn't remove the significance of the notion as possibly being a part of nature.

    Of course if those pointers are thought to be meaningless then that’s another story. To me they do seem to invoke a proper philosophical discourse carried out within mind dependent reality that properly philosophically suggests there may be “something” outside of mind dependent reality and which may be prior to mind dependent reality.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    Acknowledging that there may be “something” outside of mind dependent reality may at least imply that a large or small chunk of mind dependent reality may owe its structure to something other than mind dependent reality.
    What is tricky is that we can't tell if whatever that is is fundamentally mind-independent, i.e., independent of any mind, or just independent of our minds. We can say that the mind-dependent reality in which a dog exists owes its structure to the same mind-independent reality (replace this term with "glarblesmurtz" at will) as ours does, or we could just say that all the possible mind-dependent realities have some kind of connection, and that's all we could ever mean by "mind-independent reality," a kind of union of mind-dependent realities. Not necessarily that those minds exist, but that they hypothetically could exist, and their union is everything that we need to call mind-independent reality-- which thus isn't strictly mind independent at all, it's more like mind-general. That's the part we can't understand, somebody else's mind-dependent reality, if we have different minds. But it's less likely to cause us to lament-- it is clearer that we should be trying to understand the reality that our own minds inhabit.
    So all I say really is that an acknowledgement of the possibility of a mind independent reality in the context of nature as a whole is a valid picture for us all to have.
    And I don't object to that-- as long as we replace "mind independent reality" with "glarblesmurtz", to avoid confusing ourselves that those words really mean something in combination. I say "reality" is a concept that inextricably invokes "mind." After all, when you think about what you mean by "mind independent reality," are you not using your mind?
    (After all, we are all from an early age told about what the universe was before humans came on the scene, why not clarify this historical time line in terms of a notion of mind independent reality, mind dependent reality and the resultant time line that extrapolates humans as hypothetically being present just after the birth of the universe).
    The timeline is of no issue, we are using our minds to create that timeline. So it's just the timeline of mind-dependent reality, it makes no difference what stages of the timeline the humans are actually present in. It's very important to recognize that everything we say about the first few seconds of the universe is already titrated through the filters of our minds, and quite demonstrably so. It actually helps us understand what our words mean.
    But given that there are philosophical pointers to there being something outside of mind dependent reality, then that is enough for me to define the notion as significant within the context of nature as a whole.
    I don't mind hanging a label on that, I mind choosing the self-contradictory label "mind independent reality."

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Why on Earth would you do that? It is mind-dependent reality in which your mind exists, so if you want to keep your mind existing, I suggest you use your mind to tell those things you conceptualize as your two legs to do what you imagine is stepping out of the way of that thing you conceptualize, in your mind, as a boulder. After all, your mind has noticed certain consistencies in how mind-dependent reality behaves.

    You cannot find any flaws in my stance, it's perfectly rock solid.
    Ken - not indending this as a joke, but seriously asking this question.... so in this little scenario we've produced, were gzhpcu to lose conciousness (as in to faint or pass out)....would this boulder, which exists in a mind-dependent reality according to you (right?)....would it cease to exist? ...ore not?
    I'm just trying to follow....not rocking the boat. heh I mean, thus far I think this idea of mind-dependent reality is just a bit of rubble. ......someone stop me... please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BadTrip View Post
    Ken - not indending this as a joke, but seriously asking this question.... so in this little scenario we've produced, were gzhpcu to lose conciousness (as in to faint or pass out)....would this boulder, which exists in a mind-dependent reality according to you (right?)....would it cease to exist? ...ore not?
    We would have no reason to conceptualize it as ceasing to exist, and good reason to conceptualize it as still existing, so that's what we do. Our mind-dependent reality says the boulder still exists when we go unconscious, just as it says the boulder existed before there were any humans at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    .........
    I don't mind hanging a label on that, I mind choosing the self-contradictory label "mind independent reality."
    So based upon that statement then you are saying there is no reality outside the mind. ....correct? Otherwise why would you state that the term is self-contradictory?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    ..........or we could just say that all the possible mind-dependent realities have some kind of connection, and that's all we could ever mean by "mind-independent reality," a kind of union of mind-dependent realities. Not necessarily that those minds exist, but that they hypothetically could exist, and their union is everything that we need to call mind-independent reality-- which thus isn't strictly mind independent at all, it's more like mind-general. That's the part we can't understand, somebody else's mind-dependent reality, if we have different minds. But it's less likely to cause us to lament-- it is clearer that we should be trying to understand the reality that our own minds inhabit.
    Yes, that union of minds might be a better way of describing mind independent “reality”, or whatever we want to call it. It perhaps takes away the “reality” bit that you don’t like, it’s more a case of “something” outside of minds placing the same constraints on all minds.
    Last edited by Len Moran; 2013-Dec-16 at 07:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BadTrip View Post
    So based upon that statement then you are saying there is no reality outside the mind. ....correct? Otherwise why would you state that the term is self-contradictory?
    Right, I am saying that the word "reality" has all its meaning given to it by our minds, being as that is where all words get their meanings. Ergo, when we talk about "reality", we must be talking about the meaning we ascribe to the term, which comes from our perceptions, thoughts, and experiences. That is the sum of mind-dependent reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    Yes, that union of minds might be a better way of describing mind independent “reality”, or whatever we want to call it. It perhaps takes away the “reality” bit that you don’t like, it’s more a case of “something” outside of minds placing the same constraints on all minds.
    What a funny idea that a consensual mind offers more reality than just the one. Take for example the panoply of Greek Gods that many even today know quite well. In that consensual sense those gods are real. However I hope that example serves to make the point. No matter how consensual, the independent reality remains unknowable. It is not really a major point unless you take objection to the view that an agnostic starting point, meaning we cannot know certain bases, (not that we feel unable to decide) is not rigorous. We have to get on with the job assuming our consensus is an accurate shadow of reality.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    Yes, that union of minds might be a better way of describing mind independent “reality”, or whatever we want to call it. It perhaps takes away the “reality” bit that you don’t like, it’s more a case of “something” outside of minds placing the same constraints on all minds.
    Yes, it seems fruitful to imagine that our minds are acting under some kinds of constraints, constraints that are different for other minds. We must use our minds to study and understand these constraints, so the constraints are also part of our mind-dependent reality, but we can still imagine they come from somewhere else. Whenever we reach a dead end in the chain of "but why" questions, we can always just attribute the answer to whatever is this unknowable, indescribable place. More of a place-keeper than a place, actually-- just the root of the tree of our logic, if we like to feel rooted in something. I doubt it's decidable that there is any such root, but there's no harm in feeling rooted!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BadTrip View Post
    So based upon that statement then you are saying there is no reality outside the mind. ....correct?
    Please correct me if i am wrong. But, i think what Ken is trying to say, is, "reality" is a construct of our mind, nothing else is knowable.

    Also, we are trying to think about a mind independent reality with a mind dependent mind. The only thing that can be known can be known with a mind. Nothing else makes any sense.
    Far away is close at hand in images of elsewhere...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin1981 View Post
    Please correct me if i am wrong. But, i think what Ken is trying to say, is, "reality" is a construct of our mind, nothing else is knowable.
    Indeed.
    Also, we are trying to think about a mind independent reality with a mind dependent mind. The only thing that can be known can be known with a mind. Nothing else makes any sense.
    Right, so what this actually does is makes realism much more "realistic", by freeing it from its most undefensible claims. It's not that I object to the claims of realism, it's that I object to the definition of realism.

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    I'm quite comfortable with the concept that our universe (as we perceive it) is the product of 'mind-dependent reality'.

    The issue I think we struggle with, mainly comes from the distinctions we make within that paradigm. For example we go on from 'mind dependent reality', and make the distinctions of 'physical reality' (something measurable), 'individual reality' (experienced (in the present) by an individual; like a dream) and 'consensus reality' (mentioned just recently in this thread … ie: a reality constructed by a collective of minds .. eg: a widely held sociological viewpoint).

    If we adopt the idea that these are all still constructs of the mind, (mind dependent reality), then how can we think that doing any of this, brings us closer in understanding the environment external to ourselves? … (Which is, after all, the predominantly portrayed purpose of science!)

    Are we really more exploring just how our minds interact with our environment, than how the universe interacts with itself?

    One might even call this 'Mind-Centrism' … are our minds really all that special and privileged in the universe?

    … Perhaps so .. after all, we couldn't exist without 'em, I suppose …

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    I think Selfsim raises an important point which is about "evidence" which appears to conflict with "consensual reality". It is well known that history is full of examples but it remains difficult to put proper weight on such evidence with "an open mind". Often the problem is that the consensus comes to believe that they have defined an external reality which cannot therefore be challenged. One interesting area for science is the set of non repeatable phenomena which elude the whole scientific method. There is after all no universal law that any particular phenomenon must repeat to be "true"
    I have had to use so many quotation marks to convey the ironic cultural understanding involved in what should be clearly defined entities.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Right, I am saying that the word "reality" has all its meaning given to it by our minds, being as that is where all words get their meanings. Ergo, when we talk about "reality", we must be talking about the meaning we ascribe to the term, which comes from our perceptions, thoughts, and experiences. That is the sum of mind-dependent reality.
    OK, so if mind-dependent reality is solely a product of the human mind and its senses, then prior to the rise of humanity, and after humanity is gone, there will be no more mind-dependent reality. But, nevertheless, mind-independent reality always exist, ergo the universe as well. So science needs to gets its models based on mind-dependent reality as close as possible to mind-independent reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    OK, so if mind-dependent reality is solely a product of the human mind and its senses, then prior to the rise of humanity, and after humanity is gone, there will be no more mind-dependent reality. But, nevertheless, mind-independent reality always exist, ergo the universe as well. ...
    The 'physical reality' that we call 'the universe', which has come to our attention, certainly since we became self-aware, seems to have persisted for as long as we've been around. The only reason we'd say it would continue to exist independently from us, would seemingly be because we have never known it to be any other way .. .does that make it mind-independent?
    (Ah don't think so …)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    It is all a function of what the mind is capable of, as we explore our mind dependent reality.
    Is the existence of the mind then not a function of mind-dependent reality? It is a concept that you're using that depends on your mind, quite circularly it seems.

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    [T]rue philosophy must at all costs be idealistic; indeed, it must be so merely to be honest. For nothing is more certain than that no one ever came out of himself in order to identify himself immediately with things different from him; but everything of which he has certain, sure, and therefore immediate knowledge, lies within his consciousness. Beyond this consciousness, therefore, there can be no immediate certainty ... There can never be an existence that is objective absolutely and in itself; such an existence, indeed, is positively inconceivable. For the objective, as such, always and essentially has its existence in the consciousness of a subject; it is therefore the subject's representation, and consequently is conditioned by the subject, and moreover by the subject's forms of representation, which belong to the subject and not to the object.

    — The World as Will and Representation, Vol. II, Ch. 1
    Far away is close at hand in images of elsewhere...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post

    If we adopt the idea that these are all still constructs of the mind, (mind dependent reality), then how can we think that doing any of this, brings us closer in understanding the environment external to ourselves? … (Which is, after all, the predominantly portrayed purpose of science!)
    I would say that when doing science we are exploring our "construct" of phenomena using our constrained individual minds examining the differing interactions between phenomena. External reality in this sense is just that which is separated from us in space and time within our construct.

    It’s as if there are two levels. At the level of our reality I have a mind that relates only to a perception I have of my body and my environment which manifests itself as a picture within space and time, likewise for other people. My body and brain seem to be real and unique to me, the rock in front of me also seems to have an independent structure.

    That scenario is naive realism and is dead and buried, instead it is a construct of phenomena, but what keeps all those individual minds together so that we all see the rock in the same place? If the rock really was a rock existing within real space and real time, being observed by a real me as an independent object and all being registered passively by my real brain, then it’s all these external things in themselves with independent intrinsic existence that keep our minds syncronized. But as I said, this kind of naive realism is dead, along with the rock, my body and my brain as things in themselves with independent structure. The only survivor in this scenario seems to be the mind that hangs on to each of us as giving us an illusion of being an independent structure with an independent rock to look at. So what keeps our minds synchronized?

    We seem to arrived at “something” external to minds that places constraints on each of our minds keeping us all together. But that’s a pretty illusive “something else” and the more I think about it, the more I can appreciate Ken’s insistence that we stick to only what we can speak about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    The issue I think we struggle with, mainly comes from the distinctions we make within that paradigm. For example we go on from 'mind dependent reality', and make the distinctions of 'physical reality' (something measurable), 'individual reality' (experienced (in the present) by an individual; like a dream) and 'consensus reality' (mentioned just recently in this thread … ie: a reality constructed by a collective of minds .. eg: a widely held sociological viewpoint).
    Yes, it seems each field has its own version of "reality", and that's just how it should be. The hard part is linking them together into a cogent whole! Perhaps that is more or less the duty of philosophy, because philosophy is basically the art of addressing questions of all kinds, and it spawned each of these subfields as a means of addressing different sets of questions.
    If we adopt the idea that these are all still constructs of the mind, (mind dependent reality), then how can we think that doing any of this, brings us closer in understanding the environment external to ourselves? … (Which is, after all, the predominantly portrayed purpose of science!)
    The first step is to drop the words "external to", those were never really part of doing science. After all, when we watch a scientist work, we will easily see his/her fingerprints all over everything they do. Indeed, a brilliant scientist is simply one who leaves better fingerprints.
    Are we really more exploring just how our minds interact with our environment, than how the universe interacts with itself?
    Why must it be one or the other? We frame the latter in terms of the former, that's just what we do every step of the way.
    One might even call this 'Mind-Centrism' … are our minds really all that special and privileged in the universe?
    I don't see it as a matter of privilege-- more like necessity! After all, does one have to be "full of ones self" to have a perspective? Try not having one, and see how far that gets you!
    … Perhaps so .. after all, we couldn't exist without 'em, I suppose …
    It does seem the inevitable conclusion, does it not?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    OK, so if mind-dependent reality is solely a product of the human mind and its senses, then prior to the rise of humanity, and after humanity is gone, there will be no more mind-dependent reality.
    Mind-dependent reality does not exist at any particular time. It has already been a hundred different things in the history of physics alone. So it will always be those things, long after we are gone. Shall we say that after humanity is gone, there will be no more World War II? It was, it happened, it's over now, life has moved on. So it is will mind-dependent reality, we can conceptualize it by invoking a concept of time, but that does not mean that mind-dependent reality itself exists in that time. I believe this may be part of what Einstein meant when he made his quote about past, present, and future being a kind of illusion.
    But, nevertheless, mind-independent reality always exist, ergo the universe as well.
    You mean, your concept of mind-independent reality, the one you are referring to right now, will always exist, do you not? Seriously, that is what your words mean, isn't it? Otherwise I am quite confused what your words could possibly mean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
    Is the existence of the mind then not a function of mind-dependent reality?
    Absolutely.
    It is a concept that you're using that depends on your mind, quite circularly it seems.
    And you see that as a problem? Why? All meaning is circular, it is supposed to be. Must I not ride a horse to know what a "horse" is? Similarly, I must use a mind to know what one is.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2013-Dec-17 at 01:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin1981 View Post
    — The World as Will and Representation, Vol. II, Ch. 1
    Yes, Schopenhauer said it well, I would say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    I would say that when doing science we are exploring our "construct" of phenomena using our constrained individual minds examining the differing interactions between phenomena. External reality in this sense is just that which is separated from us in space and time within our construct.
    Well, I have a feeling that this spatial and temporal 'aloofness' definition of external reality might be yet another mid-dependent construct(?) There are experiments which, I think take us towards such a conclusion, too (see below).

    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran
    It’s as if there are two levels. At the level of our reality I have a mind that relates only to a perception I have of my body and my environment which manifests itself as a picture within space and time, likewise for other people. My body and brain seem to be real and unique to me, the rock in front of me also seems to have an independent structure.

    That scenario is naive realism and is dead and buried, instead it is a construct of phenomena, but what keeps all those individual minds together so that we all see the rock in the same place? If the rock really was a rock existing within real space and real time, being observed by a real me as an independent object and all being registered passively by my real brain, then it’s all these external things in themselves with independent intrinsic existence that keep our minds syncronized. But as I said, this kind of naive realism is dead, along with the rock, my body and my brain as things in themselves with independent structure. The only survivor in this scenario seems to be the mind that hangs on to each of us as giving us an illusion of being an independent structure with an independent rock to look at. So what keeps our minds synchronized?
    Well, I've referred to a simple experiment, (in previous posts), where the perception of location generated by our minds can actually be separated from our bodies, by feeding us with an image taken by cameras from another viewpoint. Our brains apparently then adopt this 'FPV' perspective as if we have a completely new body (from the vantage point of the cameras). This perception of the mind's newly found location can then be made such that it appears to be actually lodged in another person's body! Our minds seem to be constantly asking the questions: "What am I?" and "Where am I?". 'Twas a Marcus duSautoy/BBC documentary … I'll dig around and find the link when I get the chance.

    The point here, is that our minds create the thing we think is reality .. but that reality is easily moved to another domain .. so it certainly can't be a fixed absolute perspective (always perceived as existing in a particular time and space).

    As far as synchronisation is concerned, I think our language centres seem to accomplish that feat .. so, in a way, as Ken points out, this particular collective consensus type reality, would have to then rely on language, and the meanings we associate with its words. And that's in spite of syntactical and semantic differences amongst cultures ..(?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran
    We seem to arrived at “something” external to minds that places constraints on each of our minds keeping us all together. But that’s a pretty illusive “something else” and the more I think about it, the more I can appreciate Ken’s insistence that we stick to only what we can speak about.
    Well that idea also immediately, (and somewhat conveniently), works for supporting the idea of mind-dependent reality, too .. I wonder what would happen if we consider how animals, (without language), respond instinctively to the same threats as us? How does that come about? Have we somehow hypnotised them into adopting our mind dependent reality? I guess we share parts of brain anatomy in common, (which is also a mind-dependent story) .. and the meaning of 'brain' is also created by our minds … even if the 'brain' in an animal didn't get our speech centres and our need for words … It may not be a perfect comparison, but it does give us a small degree of independence from human minds .. (even though again, its still the human mind perceiving the 'similarity' of: 'instinctive response', by drawing comparisons with 'self'.

    I think Ken may be right .. its a pretty tough perspective to just toss out. I'll admit I favour it because it leads to a less grandiose conception of our ability to make predictions. I often think the need for predictions at all, might only be our need …

    If humans had no capacity of 'memory', then I don't think time becomes necessary, either .. (which is kind of weird ..).

    Cheers

  30. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    If humans had no capacity of 'memory', then I don't think time becomes necessary, either .. (which is kind of weird ..).
    Along those lines, it is interesting that the fundamental laws of physics do not prefer either direction of time, so a universe that is "running backwards" appears perfectly normal. Sure, some will object that Humpty Dumpty doesn't fly together and fall upward onto the wall, but that is prejudice talking-- for a being that lived with time running the other way, that's just exactly what happens to Humpty Dumpty. No fundamental microscopic law of physics is violated, it is a function of how we order our perceptions (and yes, how memory works) that we say it happens the way it does and not the opposite way. But a detective that inspects the scene of a crime, and works out what happened, is experiencing a piece of what it would be like to live backward. When the detective reconstructs the story, it runs forward again, but it is their prejudice to do so-- their thinking along the way is often essentially reasoning backward.

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