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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #10231
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    By SR I refer to subjective reality, as in world 2 stuff and OR is world 3 stuff. Scientific Reality is one particular OR that an individual can subscribe to or not, depending on what particular values that person has. Scientific Reality though has many things going for it in its attributes (as I know everyone here will agree) but you can't force someone to accept it into their SR.
    Ah that's different, I will think about it.
    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

  2. #10232
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    Before going headlong back into the issue of belief, I want to talk about meanings for a second

    In an objective sense, it seems plain that we can have 2 potential types, contextual and contextless. That is one type that will depend upon the OR its based within and one type that will be true across all OR, that is a universal meaning (for a given language). These two things are kind of critical and can be misplaced. As a given OR will shape the precise nuances a word has, often greatly. What we can say is that the contextual meaning is the precise one, and the contextless one has to provide a much broader meaning, more a kind of feel about the meaning of a word, which guides the choice of using a word within a context. We're going to come face to face with this issue when I go onto belief in a huge way. But for now its enough to note the following

    The more we try to get a consistent meaning across OR, the more its going to become vague towards being almost without specific meaning. This is a natural thing of trying to force a word to match so many different meanings, and draw the commonality between contextual meaning into the contextless meaning. Putting it simply, true meaning is always somewhat contextual. So when I will talk about belief from the point of view of science, this is not going to be the same thing as belief from the point of view of a creationist and this is a purely natural property of language and meaning.

    Indeed we can take this all a step further and realise the natural conclusion of this that the ultimate contextual meaning of words lies in our SR. That is we are each likely to differ slightly in our precise meaning to a word. This a always going to be a problem with communication.

    Aside note that once again MDR would predict this very problem as our meaning of words depends upon the concepts we hold which depend upon the way we made sense, which we observe all the time. Whereas MIR allows for it but it doesn't stem as a logical prediction from it being there.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-07 at 12:00 PM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  3. #10233
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    So then belief.

    Let us start from the top with what can be taken as a contextless meaning. The one Ken has asserted many tmes is useless. Its useless because it carries no real that is practical nuance.

    A belief is something we hold to be the case next to disbelief which is something we hold not to be the case. Of course this forms a scale

    The issue isn;t that this isn;t a valid meaning for the word, its that it is so general that we cannot actually make use of it in any practical sense. We need to know mpore about the meaning a person is giving to this word. The most important part of this is 'why they think its true' and for this we need to know something about the OR they are subscribed to, as well as any specifics to the individual.

    When we start talking about why, we immediately start thinking in terms of justification and as such the evidence they are basing their assessment upon. This is because belief in the general form applies only to individuals, where belief enters an OR it has to come with come kind of justification, and we can call the individual pieces of this, evidence. So here is the contextless meaning for this closely related word also.

    All of this brings us to our general meaning of fact and fiction. A fact is something that is true and fiction is something that is not true. However at a personal level we see that a fact is something we believe is true and fiction is something we don't believe is true, or rather believe is false and thus these things actually exclude the middle, they are talking about the extreme ends of the scale. In the middle we have an agnostic position. Therefore at an objective level we can see that a fact is something we believe is true and can justify and fiction is something that we can justify as being false and again we have an agnostic position in the middle.

    All of which are still hideously general, but they seem to convey some kind of universally accepted meaning, something which can broadly be considered contextless.

    Now then we can cut to the chanse, if justification is something that requires evidence for its indivual parts and a fact is something we can justify, then for any given OR, a fact is something that is justified with evidence and fiction is also something that is justified with evidence. However we have no clear idea as to what we mean by evidence. This is defined by the OR in question, which represents the commonalty between those who subscribe as to what constitutes such.

    The broad conclusion here can be that whilst tashirosgt is right in that MDR must define what we mean by evidence etc if we wont to separate belief from inference. MDR actually deals with this problem.

    The truth is that belief at an objective level has to disambiguate itself from belief at a subjective level in order to make the difference between fact and fiction and the individuals opinion on this matter. There are many ways in which this can be done but lets skip a bit because this is itself a subjective issue

    I am now going to talk about science: Science has its own meaning to fact, fiction, belief, disbelief etc, this is purely contextual. But it does feed down into the SR of those who subscribe to it. It defines a belief as the holding of something as factual or fictional without reasonable evidence to the fact. But again Evidence is contextual, it refers to justification that is provided by the scientific method. So if one doesn't subscribe to science then one isn't forced to accept any of this but if you do then it means that any conclusion not made via acceptable application of the scientific method in gathering evidence is classed as belief. Which includes any truth from a different OR. There is nothing absolute here, no fundamental claim of correctness, only correctness if one finds value in Science. An inference is the opposite of a belief in this respect and refers to a conclusion that stems directly from the evidence, which scientifically means that which stems directly from the output of the scientific method correctly executed, or rather a method that is accepted as being under the umbrella of the scientific method. It is at this bit that consensus comes in. Its not made up, but we still need consensus that allows us to define what we are going to consider as reasonable justification for truth and there will still be the subjective element of confidence an individual SR has in a given conclusion within the OR of science. This then objectively and thus as consensus provides the confidence of the scientific community as a whole. All of these things are in flux between the respective SR feeding the OR and the OR feeding the SR.

    To see all this though, you have to notice that there is a difference between contextual and contextless meanings of words. The standards and meanings that science applies, only apply if you are being scientific, that is are using the OR of science as your guide.

    Again MIR applies to none of the above, scientifically its a subjective choice, unless you can demonstrate through a scientifically objective acceptable method that it should be part of this.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-07 at 01:04 PM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  4. #10234
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Let's have a look at how the terms "mind-independence" and "realism" are used in published works by philosophers of science, and how they apply to your question:
    And that is just precisely what I was talking about. If there were no beings in the universe that could read a book, then clearly, the book to the realist is just what I said-- pages with ink on it.
    In that sense, a book is as mind-independent as a table.
    Exactly what I mean-- to a realist, there is no fundamental difference between a book and table, they are both "mind independent objects." And that, of course, is how realists undersell books, relative to tables. (They undersell tables too, but not nearly as badly as books!)
    I remind you of what Popper calls "threefold realism" on page 151 of his lecture Three Worlds (the lecture which Tashirosgt brought to our attention a week or two ago).
    How would Popper's very individualized, highly-mind dependent, and utterly uncommon, version of realism be relevant at all to your MIR belief? Do you believe in his scheme, that you just read about, or your own?
    The text of any book — which in traditional hard-copy books is expressed in paper and ink, but can be expressed in some other physical form, e.g. an electronic storage device — belongs to what Popper calls world 3.
    Sounds like you no longer believe in your own MIR, and now believe in his. But you should at least notice that Popper's world 3 has little connection with Ladyman's meaning of realism-- the two are diametrically opposed. So it's odd you'd quote them both in the same argument!

    Ladyman's definition of realism is what Popper calls "world 1" only, so Ladyman is what Popper meant by a "monist"-- just one reality, and it has nothing to do with minds. In monism, minds are just more stuff. Then there's also "dualism", which asserts you have two very different kinds of "stuff" that are real, the physical stuff, and thoughts/awareness/consciousness. Popper's version of realism is "pluralist", since he recognizes three different types of "stuff", that are so different, he actually prefers to regard them as three completely different worlds. You can't get much farther from Ladyman's description of realism than that-- which shows what I've been saying, that even the believers in MIR don't believe in the same MIR, and the differences depend on their minds.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2016-Jan-07 at 02:48 PM.

  5. #10235
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Before going headlong back into the issue of belief, I want to talk about meanings for a second
    It will take more than second to say what "meaning" is in the context of MDR.

    In an objective sense, it seems plain that we can have 2 potential types, contextual and contextless.
    You assert there are two types, but you don't manage to say what either type is.

    That is one type that will depend upon the OR its based within and one type that will be true across all OR, that is a universal meaning (for a given language). These two things are kind of critical and can be misplaced. As a given OR will shape the precise nuances a word has, often greatly.
    What we can say is that the contextual meaning is the precise one, and the contextless one has to provide a much broader meaning, more a kind of feel about the meaning of a word, which guides the choice of using a word within a context.
    If all meaning takes the form of a representation, then how is any meaning "precise"? For example if a "model" is "model of a model of a model..." then why is the meaning of a model to be considered precise?

    I don't know whether your own attempt to define "Science" asserts that Science only uses "operational definitions" (in the standard sense of that terminology or in the KenG sense of that terminology). If your version of "Science" relies on operational definitions, then why is the meaning of an operation definition considered precise?

  6. #10236
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    I am now going to talk about science: Science has its own meaning to fact, fiction, belief, disbelief etc, this is purely contextual.
    Like everyone else (including myself) , you haven't managed to define an unique thing called "Science". In fact you admit that there can be various different "objective realities" , each corresponding to a different group of people. You assert that some groups of people do not following the "scientific method" and so are not "Science". However the only way to justify that assertion is to claim that you "observe" that they don't follow the scientific method. You can make the appeal that "we, on a science forum" observe that conventional science is the "real" Science and that things such a religious activities are not "real" Science. I, myself, agree with this observation. However, this shows that I choose to believe my observation - i.e. accept a particular interpretation of my perceptions. All the abstract philosophical background that you labor to create isn't sufficient to explain why my choice to accept my interpretation of "Science" is correct and the choice of a person in a religious group to accept a different interpretation is incorrect.

    I don't object to admitting that we simply assume that conventional Science is the real science and that imitations of it are pseudo-science. However, I do object to the claim that some abstract philosophical machinery has been able to establish this except by assuming it.

  7. #10237
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    Well I'm glad we've established that some people don't really understand what science is. Those who do already knew that!

  8. #10238
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    But Ken, you have never described science. You mix word salad about how you wonder about definitions etc .

  9. #10239
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    Like everyone else (including myself) , you haven't managed to define an unique thing called "Science". In fact you admit that there can be various different "objective realities" , each corresponding to a different group of people. You assert that some groups of people do not following the "scientific method" and so are not "Science". However the only way to justify that assertion is to claim that you "observe" that they don't follow the scientific method. You can make the appeal that "we, on a science forum" observe that conventional science is the "real" Science and that things such a religious activities are not "real" Science. I, myself, agree with this observation. However, this shows that I choose to believe my observation - i.e. accept a particular interpretation of my perceptions. All the abstract philosophical background that you labor to create isn't sufficient to explain why my choice to accept my interpretation of "Science" is correct and the choice of a person in a religious group to accept a different interpretation is incorrect.

    I don't object to admitting that we simply assume that conventional Science is the real science and that imitations of it are pseudo-science. However, I do object to the claim that some abstract philosophical machinery has been able to establish this except by assuming it.
    And as I said this purely a way of seeing things, take it or leave it. But it does all follow, if you choose to run it round your mind a bit and see it just as a way of classifying thoughts. if you take away the bit which applies science to MIR for a second and look at epistemology, rather than ontology for a while. I have told you my assumptions. Indeed I was clear about them, and I don;t claim that this is assumption free. Everything else builds up from them as a model. The rest follows straight from text book definitions of the scientific method and related philosophy that describes scientific thought.

    To reriun that in case this lights a bulb. MDR is not about ontology, its about epistemology.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-07 at 07:09 PM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  10. #10240
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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    But Ken, you have never described science. You mix word salad about how you wonder about definitions etc .
    and for some reason, you guys think that communication of thoughts is not important, indeed that the way we are thinking about it is not.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  11. #10241
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    In reply to your post ( page 338, #10120), I can't get beyond that sentence because I don''t understand what you mean by "empirical knowledge". In my passage, "empirical knowledge" is simply the records of experiments that have been done. Is that what you mean? - or do you mean theories that are supported by those records?
    Well I just mean knowledge of "what is written" is knowledge derived within phenomena. Empirical knowledge seems to me to specifically invoke the act of human observation - empirical knowledge cannot exist without that observation, and observation cannot occur without a mind. That in itself doesn't mean that "what is written" is not properly represented by phenomena, the observation could easily be a very passive affair. But given that the scientific method requires observation, we are confined to saying that the fruits of that scientific method using observation are empirical. So what gives me difficulty is the relationship between your "what is written" and the representation of "what is written".

    If we see a distinction between the fruits of the scientific method that requires observation and that which we take to be "what is written", then how do we present this distinction to the world at large? Do we ignore it, do we own up to it or do we convince ourselves that the distinction can easily be assimilated by the scientific method?

    Perhaps just forget about empiricism and what it means, I am simply interested in the distinction between your "what is written" and the representations - the former is not accessible to science, the latter is. I would just like to know how you would present this distinction to the world at large. Would you feel the need at the outset to say that you believe/assert/infer that the scientific model you are presenting to the world at large is a good representation of what exists outside of phenomena, but that belief/assertion/inference cannot be shown to be scientifically true?

    I'm not trying to pin you down in any manner, I am just interested to know if you consider the distinction I talk about is sufficient to be told as such to the world at large so as to maintain the integrity of the scientific method as requiring observation, or should the distinction just be ignored because it is of no consequence to anyone?
    Last edited by Len Moran; 2016-Jan-07 at 07:21 PM.

  12. #10242
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    OK I have not said this directly, but I am going to do so now. prove (in the scientific sense) that something objective must be mind independent? That therefore OR must be MIR. that is the gauge you have to meet up to. Understand the question, which applies to us agreeing on things. so if we agree on something does that make it a mind independent truth?

    Please note, that whilst there are subtle differences between what we think of as scientific, the method is very well documented, such that it can be taught equally by teachers to pupils, who then go to college with a pretty good idea what science is, who then graduate with a good idea of what science is. Science is defined, and refined but we at this point in time can observe what it is. We didn't get science itself through observation directly, except through feedback from the process but now we can can observe what it is in many ways.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-07 at 07:23 PM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  13. #10243
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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    But Ken, you have never described science. You mix word salad about how you wonder about definitions etc .
    that just just not so, but there is a lot to read!
    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
    And that is just precisely what I was talking about. If there were no beings in the universe that could read a book, then clearly, the book to the realist is just what I said-- pages with ink on it.
    One could imagine a scenario for a period of time there was no-one who could read the book, then later there was someone who could...

    Which happened in the case of Egyptian hieroglyphic papyrus scrolls. The skill of reading them was lost when the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, then was re-discovered after the Rosetta Stone was found at the end of the 18th century.

    Would anyone suppose that

    * the ancient scrolls were originally more than papyrus with ink on it,
    * then become just papyrus with ink on it,
    * then, many centuries later, again became more than papyrus with ink on it?

    Exactly what I mean-- to a realist, there is no fundamental difference between a book and table, they are both "mind independent objects."
    If two items can be included in a single category, that doesn't mean there are no significant differences. For instance, Earth and Mercury are both planets. Humans and sponges are both metazoans.

    And that, of course, is how realists undersell books, relative to tables.
    Would you say that "of course" astronomers undersell Earth relative to Mercury? Or that taxonomists undersell humans relative to sponges?

    (They undersell tables too, but not nearly as badly as books!)
    How would Popper's very individualized, highly-mind dependent, and utterly uncommon, version of realism be relevant at all to your MIR belief? Do you believe in his scheme, that you just read about, or your own?
    Sounds like you no longer believe in your own MIR, and now believe in his.
    Popper's three worlds schema is a way of simultaneously affirming the significance of nature, experience, and culture. I think (or "believe", if you like!) that Popper gets something right here.

    But you should at least notice that Popper's world 3 has little connection with Ladyman's meaning of realism-- the two are diametrically opposed. So it's odd you'd quote them both in the same argument!

    Ladyman's definition of realism is what Popper calls "world 1" only, so Ladyman is what Popper meant by a "monist"-- just one reality, and it has nothing to do with minds.
    Not sure why you think the passage quoted from Ladyman is a "definition of realism"? I quoted it because it is an explanation of the term "mind-independence", which is a term sometimes used by realists, and a term mentioned in your question about a mind-independent book.

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    Hi Mal , " prove (in the scientific sense) that something objective must be mind independent?" . Have you ever pumped your own petrol and
    paid by credit card? Did you get a receipt ? Did your mind turn the pump on? No. An inanimate object initiated the response from the pump, which also existed without your mind. Someone else built it there under the leadership of the exact sciences. You got a receipt. A piece of paper detailing the transaction. The test was performed by the pump. You received 8.37 gallons of gasoline ( sorry here; Ken doesn't know what gasoline is ...definition buried in a salad bowl I guess) and this whole business happened under automation , mind independent reality. Maybe there's a trained bear that can pump gas. The pump was scientifically certified to produce the amount of gasoline issued according to the volume represented by the pump , by law . The Mind dependent reality was your decision to purchase fuel at this station, and select a pump not in use.
    Some stuff is MDR , and some stuff is MIR.

  16. #10246
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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    But Ken, you have never described science.
    What a strange claim in a thread that has probably exhibited upwards of 100 posts of mine on the topic of describing science. I guess there's just no accounting for mind dependence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    One could imagine a scenario for a period of time there was no-one who could read the book, then later there was someone who could...
    Ah, you are starting to understand how mind dependence works!

    Popper's three worlds schema is a way of simultaneously affirming the significance of nature, experience, and culture. I think (or "believe", if you like!) that Popper gets something right here.
    So your realism is beginning to open the door to mind dependent features. That is a step closer to science, indeed.
    Not sure why you think the passage quoted from Ladyman is a "definition of realism"? I quoted it because it is an explanation of the term "mind-independence", which is a term sometimes used by realists, and a term mentioned in your question about a mind-independent book.
    The reason is, this whole thread is about mind dependence, not realism. So it doesn't much matter what anyone thinks "realism" is (indeed, notice the "R" in MDR!), it matters if they think reality is mind independent. That's why I talk about MIR vs. MDR, as opposed to realism. It is only the extent to which the realist believes in MIR, so when they are the same, that we can use the term "realism" (or "scientific realism" when "what is real" comes from science), in place of the much more important term "mind independent." In fact, Ladyman's definition of realism is so vague it doesn't even distinguish MIR from MDR, as it was quoted above:

    "Scientific realism is the view that we ought to believe that our best
    current scientific theories are approximately true and that their central
    theoretical terms successfully refer. Hence, if the theories employ terms
    that purport to refer to unobservable entities such as electrons, or
    gravitational waves, then, realists say, we ought to believe that there
    really are such entities having the properties and exhibiting the behaviour
    attributed to them. "

    That definition of "scientific realism" is perfectly appropriate for either MDR or MIR based approaches, because it never says what it intends to mean by the all-important phrase "really are." If we simply use science to say what "really is", and no other criterion (like, nothing about being mind independent), then MDR and MIR are not distinguished at all! But they are distinguished-- the difference is, in MDR ones says that the quoted snippet is simply what the scientific thinker means by "real", and in MIR, one says that there is no need to mean anything by real, because what is real is there whether you mean it or not. Since there is nothing in what Ladyman said in that quote that implies the realness is "mind independent", unless you already believe that personally, it says nothing about MIR vs. MDR. In fact, all I have to do is point to the mind dependence of science, and I can show that Ladyman has just defined "realism" in terms of MDR and not MIR! This is always the defining character of MIR belief-- it never does anything, it's just tacked on by the individual at the end, if they so choose.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2016-Jan-07 at 11:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Ah, you are starting to understand how mind dependence works!

    So your realism is beginning to open the door to mind dependent features. That is a step closer to science, indeed.
    What?

    The reason is, this whole thread is about mind dependence, not realism. So it doesn't much matter what anyone thinks "realism" is (indeed, notice the "R" in MDR!), it matters if they think reality is mind independent. That's why I talk about MIR vs. MDR, as opposed to realism. It is only the extent to which the realist believes in MIR, so when they are the same, that we can use the term "realism" (or "scientific realism" when "what is real" comes from science), in place of the much more important term "mind independent."
    Why?

    In fact, Ladyman's definition of realism is so vague it doesn't even distinguish MIR from MDR, as it was quoted above
    Where?

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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    Hi Mal , " prove (in the scientific sense) that something objective must be mind independent?" . Have you ever pumped your own petrol and
    paid by credit card? Did you get a receipt ? Did your mind turn the pump on? No. An inanimate object initiated the response from the pump, which also existed without your mind. Someone else built it there under the leadership of the exact sciences. You got a receipt. A piece of paper detailing the transaction. The test was performed by the pump. You received 8.37 gallons of gasoline ( sorry here; Ken doesn't know what gasoline is ...definition buried in a salad bowl I guess) and this whole business happened under automation , mind independent reality. Maybe there's a trained bear that can pump gas. The pump was scientifically certified to produce the amount of gasoline issued according to the volume represented by the pump , by law . The Mind dependent reality was your decision to purchase fuel at this station, and select a pump not in use.
    Some stuff is MDR , and some stuff is MIR.
    There are 2 things I want to say here on this.

    1) That this wasn't really answering the question I asked, the key thing here was about agreement. DOes the fact 2 minds can agree on something require that this then be a mind independent truth? I shall give counter immediately to this and say that if you and I agree that we like a piece of music, this is not a mind independent truth. It wouldn't be if the whole human race agreed on this. This however is still an objective truth, not just because the 2 of us like the piece of music, but because we can communicate this fact and thus anyone can know that we like this piece of music. If this is true, and thus we can have 2 types of objectivity, Mind Dependent and Mind Independent, (if we hold to realism), ask yourself where does the line lie? now ask how you could ever test that, such that you could get a false result?

    2) The problem here is that your realism is so tightly entwined into all of your concepts that it is difficult for you to see that none of this holds unless you already hold beliefs about MIR. So what is happening, is that you take MIR out in certain ways, in order to question it, but because its still there in other ways, you are forced back into the conclusion that you were right in the first place. Given MIR everything you said is 100% correct. TO put this more simply, in order to lose realism you have to fundamentally think about everything in a different light. If you are thinking in a realism type of way, you will always conclude realism. Its a comparable, though different situation to why its impossible for a theist to not see the role of god in the world, so long as he/she thinks like a theist, because its a self affirming belief, that shapes the way you interpret things. Its different in that nothing in realism contradicts nor can contradict science, whereas the theist way of thinking can lead to things that do, though it doesn't have to.

    The thing is that the models of science still work fine whether you hold to realism or idealism etc, because no-one is challenged the fact that we experience patterns in our perceptions that we can make sense of, only the why, or that we can know the why etc. Theism only violates this when they actively deny that science even works in certain situations, or that its even telling the truth.

    ETA: The key thing about Mind Independence is that this is applied to say that this would be true whether we are here or not. The problem is, how can we test something that by definition we can't. What we can demonstrate are a load of things, that point to Mind Independence but which are shaped by our assumptions and our way of making sense. We can try and remove the role of the individual mind from things and we do as we form our objective view, which gives a form of mind independence to our conclusions, but this is never truly independent of our minds as a whole. It is still our model.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-08 at 10:28 AM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  20. #10250
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    The issue comes up about testing, so lets look at what those of us from the MDR side at least are asserting here and this is simple. A testable hypothesis is one that can be falsified, in practice this means falsified empirically. However before we can test it empirically we need to have made predictions about what will constitute a true or false result for our test. What is clear is that if we cannot define a false state, i.e. something is tautology in the weay it is defined then we cannot test it. The precise mechanism of testing is something else entirely to this basic concept.

    Therefore if a concept is a taulology then it cannot be tested by definition, and as science only deals with falsifiable stuff (at least in theory) then unless you can define a concept in a falsifiable form then it cannot be considered a part of science. That doesn't mean its not a reasonable belief, it just means that science cannot assert a truth value to it.

    Now it is obviously true, that in order to perform a test upon something you need something to be tested that is independent of the test itself. No-one is going to argue with that, but the conclusions will always depend upon the test made as much as the independent thing being tested. They are both part of it. A poor test will logically yield a wrong result, but the only way we have to determine this is the conclusion we come out with, we can check for consistency etc, but we have no way to actually assess the conclusion of the test in terms of the thing being tested independently of any given test you choose. We will be comparing conclusions in terms of chosen criteria.

    The fundamental issue is that this would always be true of anything external to ourselves, because our set-ups are testing machines and our perceptions, our conclusions are all shaped by the way it does its tests as much as the source it is testing by the same merit. This is why you cannot test MIR you can only test, using our chosen method whether our concepts work in our goal of making sense. We are always dealing with what makes sense to us, even at the level of perceptions becuase what makes sense to us, is equally into the way our setup makes sense in the first place.

    We can see that nothing in our definition of what it means to test can change this issue, unless we predefine that what the result of our test gives is what is actually the case, that what in fact makes sense to us, is the case and this robs any kind of Mind Independent Meaning from this, to anyone who doesn't agree with you.

    really with idealism vs realism, it could be seen to be an issue of the minds importance in the system as a whole. For realists, the mind is something implemented in MIR, but MIR has no dependency upon the mind,m whereas idealists argue that the mind is an integral part of the system as a whole in one respect or another. To an agnostic, its that we have npo means to tell the difference between these 2 possibilities, becausethe end result of perception is the same.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-08 at 12:03 PM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  21. #10251
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    It is time for me to drop another reference into the pot. I first mentioned Karl Popper and now for those interested in a wider debate I urge you to read P D Ouspensky in translation from the Russian, Tertium Organum. It is from 1923 and wordy but covers the MDR ground anticipating and supporting KenG and LenMoran and also discusses psychology in a way that seems very up to date. You will not find the acronym but the discussion is clear about the unknowability of the cause or reality of phenomena. He widens phenomena rather as Popper does, to include thought and also emotion. He wrote other amusing fiction stuff too, exploring the human condition, but that's enough for now. It was revised 1981 by Ouspenski himself and republished.
    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

  22. #10252
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    What?
    Your realism is starting to consider as "real" the creations of the human mind-- like science. You used to think science was a study of that which is real, but now you are starting to see Popper's point that the creations of the human mind can also be regarded as real, in and of themselves. That's the MDR view!
    Why?
    The top ten reasons, of course. You have been reading the thread, yes?
    Where?
    In the quote I cited.

  23. #10253
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    Back to testing for a moment, when I mentioned criteris, you can introspect those which you are using for yourself. You will check for consistency, you will hopefully consider if there are other possibilities and check if they have been ruled out etc. All of these things represent your testing of the conclusions to see if they match up and we are all doing this, but at this point its a test upon the conclusion against our criteria, you are not testing the thing itself, which the original test tested, unless you are repeating the test or performing a separate test which you will then compare using your criteria to the original one etc. Nothing allows us to step beyond our sense making, unless we choose to hold that it does.

    ETA: put it short, the conclusion that there are things mind independent is an interpretation that in itself is not mind independent. and this means we can question it, but by its nature we cannot test it to get an objective answer to it in the sense that science defines in terms of falsification though. So if by the standards of science, it cannot be tested and as science would only include as truth that which it can test. How can without contradiction this be included as a part of the scientific model. Unless we are saying that realism is axiomatic of science and thus that anyone who isn't a realist cannot call themselves a scientist etc, well at very least such would require that any idealist was by definition of his/her own beliefs ATM, even if he/she wasn;t making any ATM scientific claims about stuff we can test.

    Anyone is still free to come forward with a test, that independent of personal interpretation will yield a false result to the existence of MIR.

    It simply is not enough though to show any specific property of reality here, because what you have shown is a particular part of the description, you have not shown that the thing being described exists in the sense you are implying. The reason being is that MIR would have come out whatever the result of the experiment, that's why it is fundamentally a tautology. Its not a problem with retrofitting your model, that is oart of science, its that any such model can be considered MIR just as it can be considered to not be MIR by idealists, who have the same fundamental problem of course.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-08 at 04:32 PM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  24. #10254
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    Well I just mean knowledge of "what is written" is knowledge derived within phenomena. Empirical knowledge seems to me to specifically invoke the act of human observation - empirical knowledge cannot exist without that observation, and observation cannot occur without a mind.
    From a MIR point of view, any kind of human knowledge is implemented in the phenomena that implement a Mind.

    From the MDR viewpoint, "knowledge" is a model for something, which is a model for something else, which s a model for something else etc.

    So what gives me difficulty is the relationship between your "what is written" and the representation of "what is written".
    That difficulty must persist as long as we take the view that everything is a representation of something else.

    A sheet of paper with the notation "13.4 v" can represent the a specific result from a past experiment. If was are willing to say that the result from the past experiment is something that "really" happened then we arrive at a kind of bedrock that establishes the distinction between the representation and something "real". However, if we want to say "result from a past experiment" is a mental phenomenon involving mental models that represent "result", "past" and "expereiment" then we proceed down another level of representation. Any vocabulary we use to represent something like "result", in turn, represents other representations, which represent other representations etc.


    If we see a distinction between the fruits of the scientific method that requires observation and that which we take to be "what is written", then how do we present this distinction to the world at large?
    I'm still not sure what kind of distinction you are making between "what is written" ( - what happens in an experiment?) versus "knowledge". From an MIR point of view, one may distinguish between "what happens" and "what a human Mind observes". However, from an MDR point of view, there can be no distinction.

    Do we ignore it, do we own up to it or do we convince ourselves that the distinction can easily be assimilated by the scientific method?
    We all observe situations where we ourselves represent "what happened" one way and other people form a different opinion. So the philosophical question is whether there is some kind of "objective" viewpoint that can declare which opinion is correct. MDR (as presented in this thread) defines correctness in terms of being "scientific". However, being scientific is defined in terms of a consensus of Minds and two different groups of Minds can disagree on which group is being scientific. So if two groups disagree on whether they are doing science then there is no way to pick which group is the one that is "really" doing "the scientific method" except by a personal decision about which group we want to join.

  25. #10255
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Your realism is starting to consider as "real" the creations of the human mind-- like science. You used to think science was a study of that which is real,!
    If you're going to tell me what I "used to think", it would help if you quoted from one of my postings.

    but now you are starting to see Popper's point that the creations of the human mind can also be regarded as real, in and of themselves. That's the MDR view!
    Popper's argument begins with the reality of the physical world (world 1), and then presents mind and culture as emergent from the physical world. That's the MDR view?

  26. #10256
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    If you're going to tell me what I "used to think", it would help if you quoted from one of my postings.
    So you didn't quote Ladyman's definition of realism as what you mean by "what is real"? And Ladyman's definition of what is real does not specifically leave out anything that human minds are responsible for, like culture? This is what you wish to argue now?
    Popper's argument begins with the reality of the physical world (world 1), and then presents mind and culture as emergent from the physical world. That's the MDR view?
    Yup, that is the same model that MDR uses all right, as I've said very many times. It is a perfectly common scientific model, right along with the Big Bang and biological evolution. All of which are theories that human minds are responsible for giving meaning to and testing, all part of MDR thinking.

  27. #10257
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    From a MIR point of view, any kind of human knowledge is implemented in the phenomena that implement a Mind.
    And that is why Popper is not talking about MIR. This is what the MIR believers who think they are realists like Popper don't seem to understand-- they aren't. Just read his world 3, and look at what he says about "unintended consequences", and think a little bit on the topic of what is "implementing a mind"-- and how world 3 is something quite different from that in Popper's view.

  28. #10258
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    So you didn't quote Ladyman's definition of realism as what you mean by "what is real"?
    No, I quoted Ladyman's definition of mind-independence as what Ladyman means by mind-independence...

    Yup, that is the same model that MDR uses all right, as I've said very many times. It is a perfectly common scientific model, right along with the Big Bang and biological evolution. All of which are theories that human minds are responsible for giving meaning to and testing, all part of MDR thinking.
    You differ from Popper because you situate world 1 (physical things) within world 3 (cultural things, including scientific theories and models).

  29. #10259
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    No, I quoted Ladyman's definition of mind-independence as what Ladyman means by mind-independence...
    Actually, the fact is, you equated the two, which is my whole point here. To remind you:
    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson
    If you want to present an argument against realism (i.e. against the notion of a "mind-independent world", as presented by realists), good luck to you.
    Notice the equation you are implying plain as day: an argument against realism is an argument against a "mind independent world." So, that is my evidence that your beliefs about realism have indeed changed since seeing Popper's mind-dependent version (world 3).
    You differ from Popper because you situate world 1 (physical things) within world 3 (cultural things, including scientific theories and models).
    Yes, that is correct. But that means my version of MDR is a bit different from his-- not that he was ever equating realism with MIR, like you did, and he didn't.

  30. #10260
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    I have told you my assumptions. Indeed I was clear about them, and I don;t claim that this is assumption free. Everything else builds up from them as a model.
    I'll give you credit for admitting that the "what is science?" portion of MDR must be based on assumptions. However, you assumptions (page 340, post #10180) are not clear. The problem with the your model of science is that it is a subjective matter to select which human activities are science. In the end, you resort to saying that "we observe" or "we know" what science is due a long process of its historical development and our secondary school education. If the point is to establish that "Science" refers to conventional science and the argument in favor is that "we observe" this to be true, then you aren't using 4 abstract assumptions to pick out conventional science as the "real" Science.

    The rest follows straight from text book definitions of the scientific method and related philosophy that describes scientific thought.
    The textbook definition of the scientific method does not mention anything about a Mind Dependent Reality. So your process is not explained by the textbook definition.

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