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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #10321
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    Our minds use science to create models which result in a mind dependent reality. If we cease to exist, so do our models and "mind dependent reality" (because there is no mind around to maintain it). All we can ever know about the universe depends on our minds. We can not prove with science that there is a mind independent reality, because that is a contradiction of terms (science only comes up with mind dependent vies), as I understand it. If a mind speaks of it, it can not be mind independent (when speaking of it).

    However, there absolutely must be something out there which is detected/interpreted by our minds, perhaps always beyond our comprehension, for if there weren't there would be nothing. Just plain existence is the best proof of a mind independent reality. A reality which exists independently of a mind to analyze it and create MDR models.

  2. #10322
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Our minds use science to create models which result in a mind dependent reality. If we cease to exist, so do our models and "mind dependent reality" (because there is no mind around to maintain it). All we can ever know about the universe depends on our minds. We can not prove with science that there is a mind independent reality, because that is a contradiction of terms (science only comes up with mind dependent vies), as I understand it. If a mind speaks of it, it can not be mind independent (when speaking of it).

    However, there absolutely must be something out there which is detected/interpreted by our minds, perhaps always beyond our comprehension, for if there weren't there would be nothing. Just plain existence is the best proof of a mind independent reality. A reality which exists independently of a mind to analyze it and create MDR models.
    I think your position has shifted a little in a few thousand posts, but you still say there absolutely must be something. That's a belief you have. I think you now agree you cannot use science to test that something except for what we perceive, and what we understand form perception is mind based. So you arrive at saying there must be something but you don't know what it is. That is nearly an agnostic standpoint, but you don't want to admit that. Actually existence is proof of a mind dependent reality and a perplexing puzzle about how it works.
    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

  3. #10323
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Our minds use science to create models which result in a mind dependent reality. If we cease to exist, so do our models and "mind dependent reality" (because there is no mind around to maintain it). All we can ever know about the universe depends on our minds. We can not prove with science that there is a mind independent reality, because that is a contradiction of terms (science only comes up with mind dependent vies), as I understand it. If a mind speaks of it, it can not be mind independent (when speaking of it).

    However, there absolutely must be something out there which is detected/interpreted by our minds, perhaps always beyond our comprehension, for if there weren't there would be nothing. Just plain existence is the best proof of a mind independent reality. A reality which exists independently of a mind to analyze it and create MDR models.
    I sort of agree with that but would say there is something out there (independent) which our minds define. That something would still exist without our minds, but would be distinctly different without the mind to define it based on our or other biological systems senses.

  4. #10324
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    We can not prove with science that there is a mind independent reality, because that is a contradiction of terms (science only comes up with mind dependent vies), as I understand it.
    Is there a double standard for proving something ? Is there one standard for proving assertions about mind dependent things and another standard for proving assertions about mind independent things?

    If a mind speaks of it, it can not be mind independent (when speaking of it).
    You could define "mind independent" to mean "something no Minds think about", however, that would be strange definition. The usual definition of a Mind Independent thing would be something that exists whether Minds think about it or not. So Minds may think about a Mind Independent thing without causing it to disappear. In this thread, "Mind Dependence" hasn't been clearly defined. Some participants define it in terms of a single mind - i.e. If a single mind thinks about X then X is mind independent. Some participants define it terms of the behavior of a several minds - i..e. if different minds think about X in different ways then X is mind dependent.

    However, there absolutely must be something out there which is detected/interpreted by our minds, perhaps always beyond our comprehension, for if there weren't there would be nothing.
    From the MIR viewpoint the premise of doing a scientific experiment depends on having a "something" which is to be tested and which may turn out to produce results not predicted by any model. So the "something" is not itself identical to any mental model.

    Just plain existence is the best proof of a mind independent reality. A reality which exists independently of a mind to analyze it and create MDR models.
    Things can't be proven without beginning with certain assumptions or definitions.

  5. #10325
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    Is there a double standard for proving something ? Is there one standard for proving assertions about mind dependent things and another standard for proving assertions about mind independent things?



    You could define "mind independent" to mean "something no Minds think about", however, that would be strange definition. The usual definition of a Mind Independent thing would be something that exists whether Minds think about it or not. So Minds may think about a Mind Independent thing without causing it to disappear. In this thread, "Mind Dependence" hasn't been clearly defined. Some participants define it in terms of a single mind - i.e. If a single mind thinks about X then X is mind independent. Some participants define it terms of the behavior of a several minds - i..e. if different minds think about X in different ways then X is mind dependent.


    From the MIR viewpoint the premise of doing a scientific experiment depends on having a "something" which is to be tested and which may turn out to produce results not predicted by any model. So the "something" is not itself identical to any mental model.



    Things can't be proven without beginning with certain assumptions or definitions.
    right now turn that last statement around you head a few times. let it truly sink in.

    does everyone have to make the same assumptions? can we test them and if so are they still assumptions? would such tests not rely on further assumptions?do we not choose are assumptions on the basis of what is sensible, that is what makes sense to us? does that not potentially at least depend upon how we are are able to make sense? that is the way our minds work.

    that is the mind dependency in a nut shell.
    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

  6. #10326
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    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.
    You say anyone can look up how others use words. Maybe everyone can. Unfortunately, not everyone does...

    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.
    How can you establish that a new usage is better, if you haven't checked out the existing usage?

    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.
    Rather than saying things like "If that is the belief that 'realists' self-identify with...", wouldn't it be better to look carefully at published statements by realists, to see what beliefs (or theses) they actually have, and how in fact they use terms like "mind independent" and "reality"?

    For instance Howard Sankey's paper Scientific Realism - An Elaboration And A Defence. In this paper, Sankey first explains in some detail what he means by realism, and then goes on to present arguments in its favour. He also discusses the differences between a realist view about science and other views which he calls non-realist, such as idealist, instrumentalist and neo-kantian views.

    Sankey sees scientific realism as grounded in what he terms "commonsense realism":

    "By ‘common sense’, I mean our ordinary, prereflective awareness of our immediate surroundings and of the broader world which extends beyond those immediate surroundings. This is a world that is made up of material objects of all shapes and sizes, of which we have more or less immediate knowledge by means of our sensory experience of those objects. It is a concrete world of mind-independent objects with which we interact causally by means of bodily movement and action, but which is nonetheless beyond the immediate control of our powers of volition. It is also a world in which misperception and illusion have their place in the ordinary course of events, but in which a robust sense of reality nevertheless sustains a reasonable degree of practical certainty that things are by and large as they seem."

  7. #10327
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    in order to demonstrate something was true mind independently you would have to show that as a bare minimum it was free of all assumptions and even then that would be highly speculative because we could never know if something we're still a factor of unknown parts of the way in which we are able to make sense.

    it is the holding of these assumptions as true independent of the way in which we are making sense that is the belief. it is not belief in the same way to assert that they work well in making sense because that can be demonstrated to be the case.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-16 at 06:49 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

  8. #10328
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    so is the belief in our assumptions being true beyond the fact that they currently work out well a scientific truth or not?

    if u can get across this 1 point, we are well on the way to seeing what every MDR proponent has been saying throughout this thread. it's not that its wrong to say our assumptions are true, it's that its not a scientific claim, because science doesn't deal in stuff that cannot be demonstrated by definition.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-16 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

  9. #10329
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    so is the belief in our assumptions being true beyond the fact that they currently work out well a scientific truth or not?

    if u can get across this 1 point, we are well on the way to seeing what every MDR proponent has been saying throughout this thread. it's not that its wrong to say our assumptions are true, it's that its not a scientific claim, because science doesn't deal in stuff that cannot be demonstrated by definition.
    Doesn't your own thesis also have its assumptions? For instance that "mind" exists in the first place?

    Please note — I'm not saying the mind doesn't exist. I'm questioning whether the existence of the mind is a safer assumption than (for instance) the existence of a rock?

  10. #10330
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    my answer is it's provisional like anything else in our sense making and this is a model. the mind is a model we hold which classifies certain experiences we have. so yes to hold the mind actually exists is a belief and at some level some belief will be necessary in order to define one's ontology. but the science part doesn't need that bit it just has to work in describing what we do experience. which will require assumptions but they are not truths they are assumptions that our models are making in defining their truth value. this is the tricky bit to word. it's not making an assumption that is belief in the way we are talking. it's holding that the assumption has a truth other than that it works in our sense making and as such not recognising that the truth of the model depends upon the assumptions made in forming it.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-16 at 07:39 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

  11. #10331
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    my answer is it's provisional like anything else in our sense making and this is a model. the mind is a model we hold which classifies certain experiences we have. so yes to hold the mind actually exists is a belief and at some level some belief will be necessary in order to define one's ontology. but the science part doesn't need that bit it just has to work in describing what we do experience. which will require assumptions but they are not truths they are assumptions that our models are making in defining their truth value. this is the tricky bit to word. it's not making an assumption that is belief in the way we are talking. it's holding that the assumption has a truth other than that it works in our sense making and as such not recognising that the truth of the model depends upon the assumptions made in forming it.
    I can agree that statements in or about science are provisional. They don't have the sort of provable truth characteristic of mathematical statements. (And even mathematical proofs are subject to caveats — they depend on starting points, definitions, rules of inference... )

    Scepticism can be taken too far, though. For instance, unless human senses are regarded as reliable — at least provisionally reliable — what would be the point of testing a model by making observations? Doesn't every observation involve a human brain receiving data via human sense organs?

  12. #10332
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetlack View Post
    I sort of agree with that but would say there is something out there (independent) which our minds define. That something would still exist without our minds, but would be distinctly different without the mind to define it based on our or other biological systems senses.
    That I agree with.

  13. #10333
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Our minds use science to create models which result in a mind dependent reality. If we cease to exist, so do our models and "mind dependent reality" (because there is no mind around to maintain it). All we can ever know about the universe depends on our minds. We can not prove with science that there is a mind independent reality, because that is a contradiction of terms (science only comes up with mind dependent vies), as I understand it. If a mind speaks of it, it can not be mind independent (when speaking of it).
    Agreed. What's more, everything you just said is a simple matter of observation, we can actually see every part of it, no assumptions required. It's all well tested models.
    However, there absolutely must be something out there which is detected/interpreted by our minds, perhaps always beyond our comprehension, for if there weren't there would be nothing.
    But what you mean by that "something" is the crux of the matter. What I've said is, the more you try to give that "something" attributes, the more you enter the realm of MDR, whereas the more you leave it free of any attributes, it is less clear that you are actually saying anything at all. What is not saying anything cannot be tested, and what can be tested invokes mind dependence, that sums up the issues of this thread.
    A reality which exists independently of a mind to analyze it and create MDR models.
    But what do you mean by that reality? It sounds to me like all you mean by it is "that which must exist for us to observe anything." But you have given it no other attributes! If you give it no other attributes, your entire position reduces to saying "there has to be that which there has to be", which is certainly logically unassailable, but it sure isn't saying anything useful to science. As a personal belief, however, you can add to that concept without needing to cite evidence or scientific support, that's the power of belief.

  14. #10334
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    How can you establish that a new usage is better, if you haven't checked out the existing usage?
    This would have been a nice opportunity for you to actually say something, to actually give an example of a model that you think checks out well that you don't think I am already well aware of. Since you chose not to do that, the evidence is that you could not, nor could you admit there isn't one. This is how evidence works.
    Rather than saying things like "If that is the belief that 'realists' self-identify with...", wouldn't it be better to look carefully at published statements by realists, to see what beliefs (or theses) they actually have, and how in fact they use terms like "mind independent" and "reality"?
    Um, because I have been doing exactly that this whole thread? Along with other things-- like providing evidence for my claims. For example, I'll show you how this works. Since I just claimed I have been citing the "published statements by realists", and showing that they are indeed beliefs, my own approach is to actually cite evidence that I have done just that in this thread. Remember when I quoted the Wiki definition of "reality"? That's a published statement of the view of realists. And remember when I gave evidence that it was a nonscientific belief? If you forgot, I can always remind you. Here is what the Wiki says about "reality":

    "In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. "

    My comment on that was painfully obvious: that which is neither observable, nor comprehensible, is clearly unscientific.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2016-Jan-17 at 12:34 AM.

  15. #10335
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Rather than saying things like "If that is the belief that 'realists' self-identify with...", wouldn't it be better to look carefully at published statements by realists, to see what beliefs (or theses) they actually have, and how in fact they use terms like "mind independent" and "reality"?
    Um, because I have been doing exactly that this whole thread?
    ????

    Along with other things-- like providing evidence for my claims. For example, I'll show you how this works. Since I just claimed I have been citing the "published statements by realists", and showing that they are indeed beliefs, my own approach is to actually cite evidence that I have done just that in this thread. Remember when I quoted the Wiki definition of "reality"? That's a published statement of the view of realists.
    Are you saying that all Wikipedia contributors are realists? Where is your evidence for that claim?

    And remember when I gave evidence that it was a nonscientific belief? If you forgot, I can always remind you. Here is what the Wiki says about "reality":

    "In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. "

    My comment on that was painfully obvious: that which is neither observable, nor comprehensible, is clearly unscientific.
    This forum may be about science, but Wikipedia is about almost everything — science, mathematics, logic, philosophy, theology... Why would you expect its definition of reality to include only what is scientific?

    If you're willing to look at published works by scientific realists — people who in fact use terms such as "mind-independent reality" — why not take a look at the one I mentioned in my last message, Howard Sankey's Scientific Realism - An Elaboration And A Defence?
    Last edited by Colin Robinson; 2016-Jan-17 at 01:42 AM.

  16. #10336
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    I can agree that statements in or about science are provisional. They don't have the sort of provable truth characteristic of mathematical statements. (And even mathematical proofs are subject to caveats — they depend on starting points, definitions, rules of inference... )

    Scepticism can be taken too far, though. For instance, unless human senses are regarded as reliable — at least provisionally reliable — what would be the point of testing a model by making observations? Doesn't every observation involve a human brain receiving data via human sense organs?
    but how do we quantify where scepticism has gone to far except as a personal and thus very much mind dependent call.
    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

  17. #10337
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    but how do we quantify where scepticism has gone to far
    In relation to scientific method, if an ornithologist became so sceptical about the reliability of human senses that he or she lost interest in making or interpreting observations of birds, would you agree that the ornithologist's scepticism had gone too far to be good for ornithology? (At least for the time being...)

    except as a personal and thus very much mind dependent call.
    It's a matter of judgement, personal and collective (collegiate). And yes, like any intellectual judgement, it can reasonably be termed "mind dependent". Whether rocks (for instance) can reasonably be termed "mind dependent" is another question.
    Last edited by Colin Robinson; 2016-Jan-17 at 03:12 AM.

  18. #10338
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    But what do you mean by that reality? It sounds to me like all you mean by it is "that which must exist for us to observe anything." But you have given it no other attributes! If you give it no other attributes, your entire position reduces to saying "there has to be that which there has to be", which is certainly logically unassailable, but it sure isn't saying anything useful to science. As a personal belief, however, you can add to that concept without needing to cite evidence or scientific support, that's the power of belief.
    Well, I can not give it any attributes without resorting to a thought process in my mind, so I am trapped! The moment the mind is used -> mind dependent.

    My personal belief (yes, I now use the word belief...), is the certainty that a MIR is out there and it seeps through our senses and our mind attempts to make sense of it. Of course one can argue that distance, time, smoothness, etc are all mental concepts just because they are detected and described by our minds, but just because we use our minds to describe them does not mean they are created by our minds or dependent on our minds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Sankey sees scientific realism as grounded in what he terms "commonsense realism":

    "By ‘common sense’, I mean our ordinary, prereflective awareness of our immediate surroundings and of the broader world which extends beyond those immediate surroundings. This is a world that is made up of material objects of all shapes and sizes, of which we have more or less immediate knowledge by means of our sensory experience of those objects. It is a concrete world of mind-independent objects with which we interact causally by means of bodily movement and action, but which is nonetheless beyond the immediate control of our powers of volition. It is also a world in which misperception and illusion have their place in the ordinary course of events, but in which a robust sense of reality nevertheless sustains a reasonable degree of practical certainty that things are by and large as they seem."
    But is there such a thing as pre reflective awareness? Ironically the concept of "common sense" itself is contaminated with pre reflection. Anything that passes through our minds is going to be automatically laden with bias based on all sorts of preconceptions some concious and others subconscious. Its a noble ideal that we can look at the world outside our minds with such cold calculation but in practice i think its impossible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    so is the belief in our assumptions being true beyond the fact that they currently work out well a scientific truth or not?
    You keep appealing to our ability to test whether things work out (presumably by use of "science"). Examine what assumptions are involved in asserting we have such an ability. It's no problem to assert that an individual mind can form an opinion about what works to its own satisfaction. But you are advocating a "public" version of this assertion. Essentially you want to set-up a standard for what is "scientific" and what "works" that has a type of mind independence about it. You want the standard to exist independently of the fact that "incompetent" Minds may disagree with it. This is the awkward step for the theory of Mind Dependence. You start with assertion that reality is Mind Dependent and then, to explain "science" and "what works" you need to pick out a collection of Minds who opinions matter and permit yourself to ignore the opinions of other minds. The theory of Mind Dependence does not (thus far) explain why one Mind's version of their reality is more significant that another Mind's version of reality. Attempts to explain this start talking about "testing" whether things "work out" as if the group of Minds who opinions matter has already been selected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetlack View Post
    But is there such a thing as pre reflective awareness? Ironically the concept of "common sense" itself is contaminated with pre reflection. Anything that passes through our minds is going to be automatically laden with bias based on all sorts of preconceptions some concious and others subconscious. Its a noble ideal that we can look at the world outside our minds with such cold calculation but in practice i think its impossible.
    There are different degrees of reflection... Sankey's argument isn't that common sense is infallible, but that it serves as a starting point. He thinks the onus of proof should be on those who say common sense is getting things wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    There are different degrees of reflection... Sankey's argument isn't that common sense is infallible, but that it serves as a starting point. He thinks the onus of proof should be on those who say common sense is getting things wrong.
    I donīt think itīs a case of right or wrong. I think itīs more a case of accepting or assuming that we are seeing the world/reality through the filter of our minds and senses. I think proceeding with "common sense" is a good approach and its about the only way to proceed. But with caveats.

  23. #10343
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    You keep appealing to our ability to test whether things work out (presumably by use of "science"). Examine what assumptions are involved in asserting we have such an ability. It's no problem to assert that an individual mind can form an opinion about what works to its own satisfaction. But you are advocating a "public" version of this assertion. Essentially you want to set-up a standard for what is "scientific" and what "works" that has a type of mind independence about it. You want the standard to exist independently of the fact that "incompetent" Minds may disagree with it. This is the awkward step for the theory of Mind Dependence. You start with assertion that reality is Mind Dependent and then, to explain "science" and "what works" you need to pick out a collection of Minds who opinions matter and permit yourself to ignore the opinions of other minds. The theory of Mind Dependence does not (thus far) explain why one Mind's version of their reality is more significant that another Mind's version of reality. Attempts to explain this start talking about "testing" whether things "work out" as if the group of Minds who opinions matter has already been selected.
    the choice of who's opinions matter is also a personal choice and that choice will depend upon many factors, but not the mind independent correctness of someone's opinion.

    we have defined through trial and error what it means to be scientific and what the standard is, whether something is scientific or not us a judgement call on the part of the consensus as to whether a given conclusion is supportable or not and also to the individual who may or may not accept a given conclusion for a variety of reasons.

    nothing in this lends itself to the conclusion that science is about mind independent truths. in fact it seems fair to say that the integral role of the mind in defining what it means to be scientific is inescapable.

    when we talk about what works. this depends upon the goals we have in mind for defining what works for us. this shapes the way we interpret and thus model the evidence of our senses in defining the world around us.

    stating that there are mind independent things behind this may be true but that model isn't actually contributing very much, unless you start asserting that our models are how things really are within MIR and that is the bit which doesn't actually match up to the way science is setup to procede.

    you are seeing this still as some deep philosophical argument by which we are defining what actually is the case when it comes down to it. this is no such claim at all. it is the sense we are making out of it which is mind dependent not the thing we are making sense of. but because we have to make sense this means that all our conclusions are tied up with our sense making. this means that whilst we may conclude that the most rational choice is to interpret things as being mind independent this is a matter of blind Faith in the truths we currently hold being correct. they may be, but to ignore the role we are playing here is to igmore a large part of the picture.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-17 at 09:30 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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetlack View Post
    I donīt think itīs a case of right or wrong. I think itīs more a case of accepting or assuming that we are seeing the world/reality through the filter of our minds and senses.
    We are. But I'd suggest it is equally important to accept that this world/reality that we see does not owe its existence to our minds and senses.

    I think proceeding with "common sense" is a good approach and its about the only way to proceed. But with caveats.

  25. #10345
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    the choice of who's opinions matter is also a personal choice and that choice will depend upon many factors, but not the mind independent correctness of someone's opinion.
    Realists don't describe opinions as mind-independent. The question is how to describe the physical things which people have opinions about?

    we have defined through trial and error what it means to be scientific and what the standard is, whether something is scientific or not us a judgement call on the part of the consensus as to whether a given conclusion is supportable or not.

  26. #10346
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    We are. But I'd suggest it is equally important to accept that this world/reality that we see does not owe its existence to our minds and senses.
    And I suggest it's important to accept that we cannot know the real nature of this reality because of our brain/mind based limitations.
    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

  27. #10347
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Realists don't describe opinions as mind-independent. The question is how to describe the physical things which people have opinions about?
    i know, i put them together to make the point. opinion and mind independent don't make sense together. but that is what is being done in effect when one decides that our models represent something mind independent.

    when it our minds who.have made sense in producing our model. that model is shaped by the minds forming it.

    i agree that given MIR these models will relate back in some sense to those things but at best we can only ever really make the claim of consistency because that is what we seek when we impose mind dependent factors in our models in shaping them to our needs.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-17 at 10:09 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

  28. #10348
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    We are. But I'd suggest it is equally important to accept that this world/reality that we see does not owe its existence to our minds and senses.
    I think thereīs a difference between the existence of the universe in some form or shape, and the reality we see.

  29. #10349
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    i want to point out once again... simplicity. this had led to some very common misconceptions that lead to rather unscientific comments from scientists . like 'nature is frugal'. the statement makes no kind of sense, we choose to model things in the simplest way we can get them to work, not because that is how nature IS, but because it is foolish to over complicate things in our sense making. it has to work as a model but it also has to work in the way that is best for us out of the available options.

    the same is true for unification and in our choice of method etc and the way we interpret the evidence in General.

    eta: i shall also here define that scientifically, to work only ever means that it is consistent with what we have currently been able to observe. that is also the basis of the testing we are talking about. our models evolve in relation to tests of our observations and predictions the model will make. those models will naturally take on properties that are desirable to us for all they are tied back to observations.

    simplicity has no reasonable mind independent meaning. all I have to ask is. 'simple for whom' or perhaps, 'simple in what respect'? this brings the walls crashing down because no one can actually answer those two questions in a way that the evidence supports and which offers any information. you end up with something along the lines of 'simple as it can be', but that is inconsistent because we have no way to know how simple things could be and we can certainly envisage that it could have been simpler than we have observed

    as a process we can note in fact that as science has progressed it has found increasing complexity in many ways rather than increased simplicity to the point now that our best answers are such that few can understand them.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-17 at 11:10 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

  30. #10350
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    In relation to scientific method, if an ornithologist became so sceptical about the reliability of human senses that he or she lost interest in making or interpreting observations of birds, would you agree that the ornithologist's scepticism had gone too far to be good for ornithology? (At least for the time being...)



    It's a matter of judgement, personal and collective (collegiate). And yes, like any intellectual judgement, it can reasonably be termed "mind dependent". Whether rocks (for instance) can reasonably be termed "mind dependent" is another question.
    on the first point it would depend entirely upon just precisely he was being sceptical about in drawing such a conclusion. an idealist could equally be a good ornithologist because they do not argue with that is being observed. however yes as science is tied to observation it is reliant upon a certain level of assumption about the reliability of the senses but equally that such reliability can be seen in various lights. what is plain is that science relies on the consistency of our senses in delivering us a reality we can make sense out of such that we can determine when our information is not doing and reject such as hallucinations etc.

    on the second point one has to take care in what is being said. there are different mind dependencies at play here. our sense making that tells us there is a Rock there depends upon the shared property of human senses in informing us there is something there which we term a rock. such objectivity is a vital part of science. however just because we are perceiving it doesn't necessary mean that it is there in the way we percieve it to be. However as that is how we percieve it to be to all meaningful extent it is there because that is what we kind of mean when we establish that it is there. its the why it is there that is undemonstrable at any fundamental level.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-17 at 11:59 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

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