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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #10291
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    first see kens response to this. the only thing I want to add is that. one can see science in three ways by your response either all beliefs that science cannot actually test are scientific or none are. or finally that the beliefs are neither scientific or not but one must recognise the difference between a belief and an inference in your thoughts and keep them separate when trying to do science.
    You say "one can see science in three ways" and then you try to define those ways by using the adjective "scientific" as part of the definition.

    scientifically they are neither correct nor incorrect. but logically this means we can accept relative correctness to both sorts of they work in providing a useable form of understanding.
    This is a repetition of the arguments based on assuming that the thing called "Science" has been defined and that scientific tests exist etc. From an MIR point of view, such assumptions are reasonable. It is also reasonable to simply assume that Science will be defined to be conventional science and that conventional scientific tests exist.

    However, I think you are trying form an argument that takes the MDR point of view, which is asserts each person has an individualistic reality. Even appealing to a "public" sort of reality, you still need to distinguish which group of people are the "public" that is scientific. What's I'm pointing out is that using vocabulary like "useable understanding" , "tests" , "models", "objective evidence" doesn't solve the problem defining Science until you assume those words refer specifically to things in conventional science. If you argument concerning the distinction between Beliefs and non-Beliefs has the step: "Let's just assume 'Science' refers to conventional science" then it starts to make sense.

    so by this i will post a question. is a belief that there is a God, scientific or not? consider this one carefully because it directly relates.
    The assertion that God exists is neither a belief nor a scientific claim until "God" and "exists" have been defined.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Finally I want to come back to the solipsism argument you gave Colin. I want to quickly deal with just why the argument I gave is not solipsism.
    What MDR is saying is rather different. For starters, whilst MDR does give a certain element of self a raised position in our sense making, it doesn't then move on to describe all other things as equally unequal.
    It makes the very clear role of a scale of mind dependence in these things and it deals not with what is, but simply that it is us making sense of these things and this is always going to be a factor, but not equally.
    That is precisely what MDR doesn't make clear. How does your version of MDR distinguish any scale of mind dependence? Is there anything that is not 100% mind dependent? If the scale of mind dependence is to be reduced by "hard work" , you must answer: "Hard work to do what?".

    Thus there is a clearly observable difference between something objective and something subjective.
    That's would be a useful assumption in formulating a philosophical system. Are you making that assumption?

    Solipsism of all kinds makes everything entirely subjective to the singular individual, whereas MDR would state that our observations are key, but they are all the sense we are making as as part of that sense making.
    You shifted from taking about "the singular individual" to a statement about "we" and justified the shift by saying:

    We observe there are other individuals who to the best of our knowledge are just as real as we are.
    I think you should include that claim as one of your fundamental assumptions. It wouldn't be controversial.

    Solipsism is possible, but again this would just be a subjective point of view. However it is very much part of the typical MDR that my existence is equal to other people I observe as this is what makes sense to the evidence of my perception.

    From the point of view of MDR, Mind Independence is to basically remove the individual and human collective from the equation entirely.
    I disagree. For example, the most common view is that MDR is embedded in MIR (i.e. the Mind is implemented by mind independent things that form a brain). So the MDR of the mind is not removed from the MIR viewpoint. In fact the Mind (and the phenomena of MDR) are forced into the picture.
    Last edited by tashirosgt; 2016-Jan-11 at 10:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Finally I want to come back to the solipsism argument you gave Colin. I want to quickly deal with just why the argument I gave is not solipsism. The prblem is that solipsism is shifting the goal posts as I have previously said. What MDR is saying is rather different. For starters, whilst MDR does give a certain element of self a raised position in our sense making, it doesn't then move on to describe all other things as equally unequal. It makes the very clear role of a scale of mind dependence in these things and it deals not with what is, but simply that it is us making sense of these things and this is always going to be a factor, but not equally. Thus there is a clearly observable difference between something objective and something subjective. Solipsism of all kinds makes everything entirely subjective to the singular individual, whereas MDR would state that our observations are key, but they are all the sense we are making as as part of that sense making. We observe there are other individuals who to the best of our knowledge are just as real as we are. Solipsism is possible, but again this would just be a subjective point of view. However it is very much part of the typical MDR that my existence is equal to other people I observe as this is what makes sense to the evidence of my perception.
    What about other objects, such as rocks? Don't I have the same sort of evidence for the existence of the rock in the yard as I have for the existence of my next-door neighbour — the evidence of my senses? I am not saying the rock is equal to my neighbour in every sense, but is it not equally real?

    From the point of view of MDR, Mind Independence is to basically remove the individual and human collective from the equation entirely. It has to assert that at a certain level, that which makes sense to us, has to exist in that way. This completely misses the potential role we are playing consciously or unconsciously in what makes sense to us and this is always the case, we simply have no way to step outside and find out which of those potential factors are real factors.
    Scientific realism posits that the scientific method is a way of gradually developing more accurate conceptions regarding things whose existence is independent of our own existence. It doesn't remove the human observer from the equation. It recognises observable things as independent factors in the equation.

    This is not solipsism because it allows for Realism equally to Solipsism or any other philosophy to be the truth, it just states that such is not a scientifically objective conclusion, its a personal one.

    Putting kit simply, that MDR actually isn't even epistemological solipsism, because it recognises the vital role of self in establishing self, I typically take this as an assumption, but its still an assumption and thus recognisably part of my sense making. MDR is about the relationship between observation/experience and the way in which we make sense and thus how we play a role in our conclusions, potentially at every level. This does kind of put what is actually the case outside of our frame of reference but only to the extent that we can ever be totally certain of anything, all we can go with is what makes sense to us. How this relates to science is also key, scientifically we should never drop our guard and just see something as just the case. Nothing is beyond question, but different questions have relative levels of importance in answering and some questions may even be beyond our ability to answer with any real confidence (objectively). All that this meansthough is that no answer is scientifically correct.

    ETA: thus when science for example seems to be answering questions about what is true outside of our universe, we can immediately spot the belief coming into play. There is no scientific conclusion here, only hypothesis, unless something about such hypothesis can be tested, and that test is performed and checks out. Equally it should be such that it would discount the other possibilities and in this case its simply impossible for us to currently do this. Likewise though this applies to anything about how our perceptions apply to what is actually the case, but the critical part is that this is not some binary condition, its a scale, and that's where the solipsism counter claim falls down, it rests upon a false dichotomy. Where MDR questions the scientific nature of MIR, its a claim towards such being a false certainty, a claim that simply says that we have no scientific way to answer this right now that meets the bench mark, its not a claim to it being false. Its not a claim that we cannot know about MIR, its a claim that currently we have no way to establish it and as such right now its not a scientific conclusion. That is not solipsism. All 'isms' are about something considered to basically be absolute in our thoughts. Science doesn;t deal in such because its nature is to question anything and everything. Allowing a temporary cessation in the case of assumptions, and 'proven beyond reasonable doubt' but neither have some absolute status of correctness,

    I'm going to make one further statement here. What MDR actually states more specifically is that its not about whether we can or cannot know the ultimate truth of things, thats a matter for philosophers (outside of science), its that modern science stopped even aiming to do that except at the most abstract level of hope.
    Maybe it depends which branch of science you are thinking of.

    E.g. On the topic of wave-particle duality, it's true that early in the 20th century scientists generally gave up debating whether light really consists of waves or particles, in favour of acknowledging that it behaves like both in different respects... Although the de Broglie-Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics argues that light behaves like both particle and wave because it is both particle and wave.

    For another example, consider the early 20th century debate within astronomy about the spiral nebulae — whether they are clouds of gas within the Milky Way system, or bodies of stars outside it. That has been resolved — the conclusion has been reached that spiral nebulae are galaxies of stars and are not clouds of gas within our home galaxy.
    Last edited by Colin Robinson; 2016-Jan-12 at 09:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    yes it does, knowing means making models in our mind that explain our experience in the best way we can which is models that make good predictions. from infancy we are scientists in that respect but we need in adulthood to appreciate science sets out to falsify to know more. .
    I don't understand whether you have a "double standard" for "knowing". Are you defining one standard for "knowing our experience" ( or is it "knowing our model of our experience"? ) and a different standard for knowing "absolutes"?

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    I'm curious at this point-- in all their posts, do either tashirosgt or Colin Robinson think they have established anything as true in this thread? Not necessarily something that someone else thinks they have established, and not something that they are simply choosing to believe is true, but something they themselves think they have provided enough evidence to establish as true. If so, what, and by what evidence?

    If they would ask me the same question, my answer would be:
    Yes, I regard two points as well established by evidence presented in this thread:
    1) People form a concept of reality that clearly depends on their minds, even when they think scientifically and rely on evidence, and certainly when they don't think scientifically and simply choose beliefs. And my evidence for that is, this thread, where we have seen countless examples of both those phenomena at play. One need only step back from one's beliefs, and look at what's in the thread.
    2) Many of the concepts and theories of science are better understood if the role of the mind interpreting that concept or theory is understood. My evidence was given with all the specific physics models I showed that was true about, although this requires a fairly deep understanding of those theories and is more open to interpretation than point #1.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2016-Jan-13 at 03:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    If they would ask me the same question, my answer would be:
    Yes, I regard two points as well established by evidence presented in this thread:
    1) People form a concept of reality that clearly depends on their minds, even when they think scientifically and rely on evidence, and certainly when they don't think scientifically and simply choose beliefs.
    So you have established the existence of people and Minds, independently of what other Minds may think? - independently of Minds that say all we know is our own existence?

    And my evidence for that is, this thread, where we have seen countless examples of both those phenomena at play. One need only step back from one's beliefs, and look at what's in the thread.
    Some thread participants are willing to call their beliefs "beliefs" and some are willing to admit that their arguments are based on assumptions. Other's disguise beliefs and assumptions with an alternative vocabulary involving "well tested models", "objective perceptions" , "consensus of Minds".

    2) Many of the concepts and theories of science are better understood if the role of the mind interpreting that concept or theory is understood. My evidence was given with all the specific physics models I showed that was true about, although this requires a fairly deep understanding of those theories and is more open to interpretation than point #1.
    In spite of your emphasis on scientific testing, your examples were all theoretical. And they involve your own ideas about theoretical problems that the MIR viewpoint supposedly leads to.. I don't know of any scientific articles that support what you said the MIR viewpoint implies. Can you cite some?

    What theoretical problem couldn't be solved by saying "it's only a model"? A challenge for MDR is to contribute more to science than saying "Don't worry about it, its only a model". A person can take the MIR viewpoint and say "Don't worry about this theory, it's only a model"

    I've repeated several times that taking the MIR viewpoint involves assumptions. Taking the MDR viewpoint and getting the part that deals with "What is science" also involves assumptions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    So you have established the existence of people and Minds, independently of what other Minds may think? - independently of Minds that say all we know is our own existence?
    That does seem to be the situation, that's correct. So for the record, you aren't claiming to have established anything by citing any evidence, or anything you are claiming to have tested out well, in all those posts?
    Last edited by Ken G; 2016-Jan-13 at 07:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    actually one more.

    Science : we both experience a coffee cup as being there.
    Science : that we can observe that such matter is made up of things we call atoms..... etc. all objective, to the point that either someone is lying or we could both see the evidence that led to the conclusion.
    You consider it true that matter is made up of atoms? In that case, you have something in common with the scientific realists, who argue that conclusions arrived at by science (e.g. that matter is made of atoms) are to be believed, that is, considered as true.

    None Science: Realism, Idealism, Solipsism all of which completely depend upon how you wish to read the evidence. Not directly science, becuase they cannot be confirmed or refuted, except within our own personal thoughts of what makes sense to us.
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    I don't understand whether you have a "double standard" for "knowing". Are you defining one standard for "knowing our experience" ( or is it "knowing our model of our experience"? ) and a different standard for knowing "absolutes"?
    I expressed those steps of knowing in a growing up way, childhood knowing may include absolutes but for me, later thinking including Popper and that chap Ouspenski I realised I cannot know absolutes. So personally I went from a teenage atheist to a confident agnostic.
    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 profloater View Post
    I expressed those steps of knowing in a growing up way, childhood knowing may include absolutes but for me, later thinking including Popper and that chap Ouspenski I realised I cannot know absolutes. So personally I went from a teenage atheist to a confident agnostic.
    Ouspenksky? Leaping Lizards! An occult New Ager! To quote John McEnroe, "You can't be serious!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Ouspenksky? Leaping Lizards! An occult New Ager! To quote John McEnroe, "You can't be serious!"
    Have you read any of his books?
    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 gzhpcu View Post
    Ouspenksky? Leaping Lizards! An occult New Ager! To quote John McEnroe, "You can't be serious!"
    My guess is you have not read any; he was a mathematician, philosopher and yes mystic, but occult new ager is rather dismissive. If you have read for example Tertium Organum and still stand by your assessment, then we just have to disagree. If you have not then you are guilty of ignorant mudslinging.
    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 Colin Robinson View Post
    You consider it true that matter is made up of atoms? In that case, you have something in common with the scientific realists, who argue that conclusions arrived at by science (e.g. that matter is made of atoms) are to be believed, that is, considered as true.
    This is how I have addressed that point, countless times above, but seems to still not be understood. The issue is not whether we regard it as "true" that matter is made of atoms. Of course we do, just pick up any science book about atoms, and read where is says "all matter is made of atoms." That is a clear statement of what scientists "regard as true." So is evolution, so is the age of the Earth, so is climate change. Understand? However, the scientific thinker knows that any and all of these models could be replaced in the future with new discoveries, that is called scientific skepticism. It doesn't mean those models will stop working where they have worked, it means they will stop working somewhere they have not been tested yet, or it means some different model will eventually be viewed as superior in some other context, like a context of higher accuracy or greater unification. If a "scientific realist" has forgotten all about "scientific skepticism", then the scientific realist has forgotten what it is to be a scientist.

    So what this thread is actually about is, what does it mean for us to regard something as true? That's why this thread is not at all about "realism", if you define scientific realism as simply meaning that we manipulate a concept of "scientific truth". We do, that's easy to observe. The real issue behind realism is not that at all-- it is whether we choose to believe it is "actually true" in some "mind independent" way, rather than simply the recognition that our minds have devised a good and well-tested model, and that's all the scientific meaning of "the truth" ever was. That's why the thread is not about realism, it is about "mind independent realism", and how that is a chosen belief, versus "mind dependent realism", which is more like Popper's regarding of his "worlds 2 and 3" as truly real. As always, it is not the word "true", or the word "real", that is at issue here-- it is the meaning of those words, their mind dependence, their contextuality, and their provisionality-- all sophisticated notions that the naive realist has not managed to entertain. But that is what this thread is about. Not whether scientists regard science as "truth", but what the scientific thinker means by that word. I hope I will not have to say that again in every 50 pages of this thread!
    Last edited by Ken G; 2016-Jan-13 at 01:55 PM.

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    Well said, I reread this week a NS special report on Belief (April 2015) which discussed how our evolution tends to make beliefs get "hard wired" and we cling them despite evidence as truths. we are wired to what the writer described as patternism and agenticity, which are useful survival tools like belief in causation (agenticity and patternicity combined in one concept) but all too often we cannot make the internal leap to realise these are beliefs without external evidence. In the article the five core human beliefs are
    1) traditional religiousness
    2)subjective spirituality
    3)unmitigated self interest
    4)communal rationalism
    5) inequality aversion
    and the final sentence is that although belief has served us well it would be a better world if we all stopped believing so strongly.
    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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    I agree with the outline of an idea that beliefs (defined not as things we hold true, but rather, things we hold true beyond what we can actually provide evidence for or make testable predictions about) are much more common than we realize, even among those who believe they only choose scientific thinking as their path to truth. Also, I agree that beliefs do serve us well in many situations, and I think there is plenty of evidence that belief is human nature. And there is also plenty of evidence that a failure to self-identify our beliefs often leads us to over-extrapolating their purpose into areas where they do not belong, and can actually serve as an impediment to being able to make successful predictions or advance our evidence-based understanding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    The issue is not whether we regard it as "true" that matter is made of atoms. Of course we do, just pick up any science book about atoms, and read where is says "all matter is made of atoms." That is a clear statement of what scientists "regard as true." So is evolution, so is the age of the Earth, so is climate change. Understand? However, the scientific thinker knows that any and all of these models could be replaced in the future with new discoveries, that is called scientific skepticism. It doesn't mean those models will stop working where they have worked, it means they will stop working somewhere they have not been tested yet, or it means some different model will eventually be viewed as superior in some other context, like a context of higher accuracy or greater unification. If a "scientific realist" has forgotten all about "scientific skepticism", then the scientific realist has forgotten what it is to be a scientist.
    Two contrasting views (and perhaps some views that are in between) can be taken. For example, if I ponder a coffee mug that is sitting on table and decide that I prefer not to call it a "coffee mug" any more and instead call it a "coffee container" then has the "reality" of the situation changed? My change of terminology might be due to a whim or it might be due to a discovery, for example, I might discover that the object has an inner metal wall instead of being solid ceramics. From the viewpoint of realism, there has been no change in the "reality" of the object. What has changed is my own terminology and perhaps my own stock of information about the object. From the viewpoint of MDR the "reality" of the object is exactly my mental model and the "meaning" of my words, so "reality" has changed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    That does seem to be the situation, that's correct. So for the record, you aren't claiming to have established anything by citing any evidence, or anything you are claiming to have tested out well, in all those posts?
    I don't claim to have established anything without making assumptions and agree that making claims about evidence does involve making assumptions about how to interpret things. You don't accept ordinary experience as evidence for the existence of mind independent objects. I observe that what I call "my coffee cup sitting on the table" does not change as other people describe it in various ways or apply different terminology to represent it or leave the room and don't think about it. If I change my mind about the vocabulary that I use to describe the situation, I consider that a change in my description, not a change in the situation that is described. I assume that this behavior is not unique to my mind and that the vocabulary and perceptions of other minds are not dependent on my own vocabulary. I consider this evidence for a mind independent situation and say that what varies from mind-to-mind is various choices about how to describe the situation and perhaps various amounts of information about it.

    By contrast, you wish to define "mind independent" in some way that prevents its existence or non-existence from being supported by evidence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    Two contrasting views (and perhaps some views that are in between) can be taken. For example, if I ponder a coffee mug that is sitting on table and decide that I prefer not to call it a "coffee mug" any more and instead call it a "coffee container" then has the "reality" of the situation changed? My change of terminology might be due to a whim or it might be due to a discovery, for example, I might discover that the object has an inner metal wall instead of being solid ceramics. From the viewpoint of realism, there has been no change in the "reality" of the object. What has changed is my own terminology and perhaps my own stock of information about the object. From the viewpoint of MDR the "reality" of the object is exactly my mental model and the "meaning" of my words, so "reality" has changed.
    Interesting point.

    On the Wikipedia page Naive Realism, someone has written: "Na´ve realism is distinct from scientific realism, which states that the universe contains just those properties that feature in a scientific description of it, not properties like colour per se but merely objects that reflect certain wavelengths owing to their microscopic surface texture."

    How much difference is there between saying "This cup is blue" and saying "This container reflects visible light mainly in wavelengths between 450 to 495 nm"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    My guess is you have not read any; he was a mathematician, philosopher and yes mystic, but occult new ager is rather dismissive. If you have read for example Tertium Organum and still stand by your assessment, then we just have to disagree. If you have not then you are guilty of ignorant mudslinging.
    Then we can agree to disagree. I read Gurdijef and Ouspensky years ago, but both were too occult for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Then we can agree to disagree. I read Gurdijef and Ouspensky years ago, but both were too occult for me.
    fair enough, it was years ago for me too. But I liked his independent take.
    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 tashirosgt View Post
    Two contrasting views (and perhaps some views that are in between) can be taken. For example, if I ponder a coffee mug that is sitting on table and decide that I prefer not to call it a "coffee mug" any more and instead call it a "coffee container" then has the "reality" of the situation changed?
    To answer that, you need to dig deeper into two things:
    1) the reasons you decided to change your description, i.e., how did what you mean by the reality there change such that you decided to change your description, and
    2) what you mean by reality in the first place.
    The classic example of exactly this situation, in a more physically important example, was when people shifted from regarding the universe as geocentric, versus Copernican. Did the universe go from geocentric to Copernican when people changed their views? No, because anyone who adopts the Copernican view will hold that it was always Copernican, so the model does not say the universe changed, it is the model that changed. But what we mean by "the universe" is always a model, and that's what changed-- what we mean by the universe changed. It all comes down to correct usage of models, and understanding how our words, like "the universe", acquire meaning. One will keep tripping over the same issues if one starts from an untestable belief that it makes sense to talk about "the universe" in any way that is not some model being invoked to give that word its meaning.

    My change of terminology might be due to a whim or it might be due to a discovery, for example, I might discover that the object has an inner metal wall instead of being solid ceramics.
    And as I said, to what extent your model of the universe has changed is the relevant question-- so the reason you changed terminology is far from an inconsequential detail, it is the whole issue.

    From the viewpoint of realism, there has been no change in the "reality" of the object.
    Again, that is not something that distinguishes realism from MDR thinking. In MDR thinking, the "new" object has not changed, the model of it has changed, and the model will include as an attribute that the object has not changed. But what you mean by the words has changed-- including what you mean by the words "the reality of a coffee container." Indeed, this is not just some claim, it is quite easily tested, if you simply dig into your reasoning for changing your description of that situation.

    What you, and many others, have tripped over continually throughout this thread is the crucial difference between a model of something that includes as an attribute that the thing has not changed, versus changing the model of the thing. This is similar to the way you are tripping over the difference between a model that includes as an attribute that it does not explicitly refer to a mind, versus a model that requires a mind to interpret and test. Mind dependence appears in the second version of both those distinctions-- so any mention of the first is simply off topic.
    From the viewpoint of MDR the "reality" of the object is exactly my mental model and the "meaning" of my words, so "reality" has changed.
    Again, no, for the above reasons. But you never really understood MDR thinking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post

    How much difference is there between saying "This cup is blue" and saying "This container reflects visible light mainly in wavelengths between 450 to 495 nm"?
    I don't see much, so I don't think the distinction they were trying to make holds much water. They seem to have reversed the whole point of a scientific investigation-- we don't do scientific investigations to decide which of our objective perceptions are "real" (the ones we can understand and quantify) and which ones "aren't real" (the ones we cannot understand nor quantify), we do them to try to understand and quantify what we already regard as real. In the process of doing the science, we can change what we regard as real, in the sense that we can have a new idea of what "blue" means, but we don't say blue isn't real when the whole point of the investigation of it was to figure out what we should mean when we use the word, not to decide there is no such thing. Similarly, the MDR approach does not make its goal to say there's no such thing as reality, instead it makes its goal to investigate what we should mean by the word, and in the process, acquires a mountain of evidence that what we should mean depends on our minds.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2016-Jan-14 at 09:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    What you, and many others, have tripped over continually throughout this thread is the crucial difference between a model of something that includes as an attribute that the thing has not changed, versus changing the model of the thing.
    A model that includes the attribute that the thing has not changed wouldn't make sense unless the thing exists in the first place before the model was invented. The thing would have to be something before we declare that it didn't change from being it.

    This is similar to the way you are tripping over the difference between a model that includes as an attribute that it does not explicitly refer to a mind, versus a model that requires a mind to interpret and test. Mind dependence appears in the second version of both those distinctions-- so any mention of the first is simply off topic.
    It may be "off topic" to you, but the thread is about perceptions and reality, not about mind dependence.

  24. #10314
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    A model that includes the attribute that the thing has not changed wouldn't make sense unless the thing exists in the first place before the model was invented.
    Of course the thing exists, that's another attribute of the model. As I've said so many times now! To the scientific thinker, what it means for something to exist is that we have a good model for it. To see this, just open a science book, and look.
    It may be "off topic" to you, but the thread is about perceptions and reality, not about mind dependence.
    That sentence would only make sense to someone who has no understanding of MDR. You actually just said that perception has nothing to do with mind dependence! So yes, for people with no understanding of MDR, this thread could be about whatever you want. But for someone who talks as much about MDR as you do, it certainly seems like you think the thread is about that.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2016-Jan-15 at 12:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    This is how I have addressed that point, countless times above, but seems to still not be understood. The issue is not whether we regard it as "true" that matter is made of atoms. Of course we do, just pick up any science book about atoms, and read where is says "all matter is made of atoms." That is a clear statement of what scientists "regard as true." So is evolution, so is the age of the Earth, so is climate change. Understand? However, the scientific thinker knows that any and all of these models could be replaced in the future with new discoveries, that is called scientific skepticism. It doesn't mean those models will stop working where they have worked, it means they will stop working somewhere they have not been tested yet, or it means some different model will eventually be viewed as superior in some other context, like a context of higher accuracy or greater unification. If a "scientific realist" has forgotten all about "scientific skepticism", then the scientific realist has forgotten what it is to be a scientist.

    So what this thread is actually about is, what does it mean for us to regard something as true? That's why this thread is not at all about "realism", if you define scientific realism as simply meaning that we manipulate a concept of "scientific truth". We do, that's easy to observe. The real issue behind realism is not that at all-- it is whether we choose to believe it is "actually true" in some "mind independent" way, rather than simply the recognition that our minds have devised a good and well-tested model, and that's all the scientific meaning of "the truth" ever was. That's why the thread is not about realism, it is about "mind independent realism", and how that is a chosen belief, versus "mind dependent realism",
    As far I can recall, this is the first post in which you described your position as "mind dependent realism". Interesting...

    which is more like Popper's regarding of his "worlds 2 and 3" as truly real. As always, it is not the word "true", or the word "real", that is at issue here-- it is the meaning of those words, their mind dependence, their contextuality, and their provisionality-- all sophisticated notions that the naive realist has not managed to entertain. But that is what this thread is about. Not whether scientists regard science as "truth", but what the scientific thinker means by that word. I hope I will not have to say that again in every 50 pages of this thread!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    As far I can recall, this is the first post in which you described your position as "mind dependent realism".
    I guess you need to be reminded what the letters in MDR are!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I guess you need to be reminded what the letters in MDR are!
    Method of Debate by Repetition?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Method of Debate by Repetition?
    The repetition is required because it is not getting through. This entire thread has been about mind dependent realism, that's what MDR means, so it's very odd for you to claim that I just brought that up "for the first time" in my last post. Oh well.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2016-Jan-16 at 03:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    The repetition is required because it is not getting through. This entire thread has been about mind dependent realism, that's what MDR means, so it's very odd for you to claim that I just brought that up "for the first time" in my last post. Oh well.
    Ken, just over a week ago (January 7), you were using the word "realism" to name the position you were arguing against.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    This is what I mean about how realism ends up underselling science, in the ironic guise of "taking science seriously." In realism, a book is nothing but some paper with ink on it. What else could it be,
    Now you've started describing your own position as a sort of "realism". The odd part is that you apparently didn't notice the change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Ken, just over a week ago (January 7), you were using the word "realism" to name the position you were arguing against.
    I don't argue against labels, that would be a waste of time-- I argue against ill-supported ideas. Hence, I argue about what the words should mean, not their current usage, which anyone can look up. I've said a hundred times that the hard work of science is always in deciding what the words should mean-- that means, making better models. It always means that-- no exceptions. All else in science is pure pretense.

    The ill-supported idea I have argued against, for over 300 pages, is the belief that science ever uses a concept that reality possesses a mind independent existence. If that is the belief that "realists" self-identify with, then I am arguing they are simply not being scientific, they are choosing a belief. "Mind dependent realism", on the other hand, has been my brand of realism from the very start of this thread. Countless times I pointed out how much more "realistic" it is than the naive realism that is often identified with that term, as in the Wiki quote I showed so many times was unscientific. Above all, what I have conjured a mountain of evidence to support, is the contention that the brand of realism I have called "mind dependent realism", which means simply that what the scientist means by "reality" can always be observed to depend on their mind in ways that leave the mark of that mind on that model they call "reality", is the one that is actually used in science-- regardless of whatever beliefs the individual may choose in the comfort and privacy of their own mind, after all the science is over.

    Now you've started describing your own position as a sort of "realism". The odd part is that you apparently didn't notice the change.
    No, the odd part is that you have forgotten everything I've said in this thread, and think it's all about who gets to call themselves a "realist." What I've said for over 300 pages is that "realism" is a phrase used in philosophy to mean something, and "mind dependent reality" is a much more scientifically supportable and meaningful use of the concept of reality. So you can call me a "mind dependent realist", but that's just a label-- what matters is what it means, which has not changed one iota. But you don't think that matters, somehow.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2016-Jan-16 at 06:29 AM.

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