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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #10381
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    there's the big question isn't it. what constitutes real? they are certainly real in the sense that we observe a demonstrable effect which we can interpret as exoplanets. however this is still a model, an interpretation of the evidence. so in this way they are certainly mind dependent, as people could interpret that evidence differently.

    however science would assert they are exoplanets as this is an explanation in line with other observations that have been interpreted in a certain way and so on. so the existence of exoplanets is certainly consistent with the scientific framework but critically that whole framework is still us making sense out of data we receive to create information.

    this is where the tricky part lies. the moment you include that it I'd our interpretation, you are forced to accept that no conclusion is independent of the way we gathered and interpreted the data. thus the scientific description of reality is very much mind dependent. however realism is also our interpretation of what would look like evidence. so I accept at this level that these things seem kind of equal.

    the bit that separates them is that we can test a description, we cannot test what it describes independent of this. so we are left right back with the problem that the existence of MIR itself is never tested. it's the descriptions we choose to test of it that are tested.
    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

  2. #10382
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    If reality does not depend on what any mind says, then a statement by Newton does not in itself constitute or create a reality.
    No one said it did. What it constitutes is what we mean by "reality." When a science book says that gravity is a force, that statement constitutes part of what we mean by reality-- we mean that reality includes a force of gravity. Does "mind independent reality" include a force of gravity? The book has asserted no such thing, indeed if the book is any good, it will explain just how we used our minds to decide to include a force of gravity in our concept of reality.
    Or do you consider Newton to be something other than a mind?
    Not only do I consider Newton to be a mind, I have already used that in my argument, so it's odd to be asked this.
    Science deals with both, and distinguishes between them.
    This is your claim, but let's examine your evidence.
    For instance, the Earth is more knowable to us than any exoplanet.
    Your evidence is not good at all. You are talking about two levels of knowability, something that science clearly does deal with. But how is two levels of knowability any kind of evidence that science deals in both knowability and reality? Science deals in observations and models, period. That should be very clear by simple inspection of the scientific method.
    Does that mean the Earth is more real than any exoplanet?
    Those are simply two levels of knowability, just what science deals with, and only what science deals with. If I write a paper on the knowability of exoplanets, how is my paper about anything else other than the knowability of exoplanets? As usual, all you are doing is tacking on a personal belief, after all the science is over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    there's the big question isn't it. what constitutes real? they are certainly real in the sense that we observe a demonstrable effect which we can interpret as exoplanets. however this is still a model, an interpretation of the evidence. so in this way they are certainly mind dependent, as people could interpret that evidence differently.
    Precisely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    there's the big question isn't it. what constitutes real?
    the bit that separates them is that we can test a description,
    Are you asserting that a test of a description is "real"?

    This is the paradoxical aspect of your viewpoint - it treats certain things as real and existing (e.g. tests, objective evidence, science, descriptions ) and then baulks at putting the reality and existence of other things on the same footing.

    we cannot test what it describes independent of this.
    Don't scientific tests have the possibility of producing outcomes that have not been previously described? If you execute a scientific test, you must pick something that satsifies a certain description to experiment upon, but you aren't merely experimenting on a description. You need an example of the thing that is described in order to actually perform an experiment.

    so we are left right back with the problem that the existence of MIR itself is never tested. it's the descriptions we choose to test of it that are tested.
    If that's true, you can say the same thing for MDR or any other thing.

    If there is to be a standard for "scientifically" testing the existence of something then how can the standard for establishing its existence exceed the standards that are used for establishing the things involved in science itself (e.g. 'tests", "objective evidence" meter sticks, voltmeters )?

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    Just thought of mine..

    A chair is a material construct made from atoms. Probabilty is not material, thus it can exist outside of space an time. The reason reality exists is because the probability of doing so was not zero. Probability and some other platonic values like numbers are fundamental and can exist outside of space, time and energy.

    Well, in my opinion anyway, i like this philosophical view ! !
    Far away is close at hand in images of elsewhere...

  6. #10386
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin1981 View Post
    Just thought of mine..

    A chair is a material construct made from atoms. Probabilty is not material, thus it can exist outside of space an time. The reason reality exists is because the probability of doing so was not zero. Probability and some other platonic values like numbers are fundamental and can exist outside of space, time and energy.

    Well, in my opinion anyway, i like this philosophical view ! !
    Well as I said I do not like thought experiments that argue from non existence. Numbers make no sense out of nothing and probability is numbers. If you propose a sudden existence of a lot of positive stuff and negative stuff that adds to zero, it may seem a neat trick but it leaves a big hole in the mechanics of how that happened. It's like that question of what came before god in creation versions. A continuous infinite universe is much easier to imagine, at least I always thought so when the question arose in the early years. But now we have dark (invisible) matter and energy to add to the mix so there are plenty of thought experiments. Remember Fred Hoyle "Black Cloud"? Nice story.
    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 malaidas View Post
    there's the big question isn't it. what constitutes real? they are certainly real in the sense that we observe a demonstrable effect which we can interpret as exoplanets. however this is still a model, an interpretation of the evidence. so in this way they are certainly mind dependent, as people could interpret that evidence differently.

    however science would assert they are exoplanets as this is an explanation in line with other observations that have been interpreted in a certain way and so on. so the existence of exoplanets is certainly consistent with the scientific framework but critically that whole framework is still us making sense out of data we receive to create information.

    this is where the tricky part lies. the moment you include that it I'd our interpretation, you are forced to accept that no conclusion is independent of the way we gathered and interpreted the data. thus the scientific description of reality is very much mind dependent.
    If it's us making sense out of data, isn't it as much data dependent as "mind dependent"?

    Everything in science, including exoplanets, can be called a model, if you want. Question is, according to the models of mainstream astronomy, did the exoplanets begin to exist at the moment in history when they become knowable to us, i.e. in the 1990s? Or did they exist before that? If they existed before that (according to the models), don't the models require us to think of existence and knowability as two different topics?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I'm sure anyone can see that science involves common sense and consensus. What I find so bizarre is how Sankey takes that pretty obvious fact, and somehow arrives at a concept of "mind independence" as being relevant to it. Common sense is mind dependent!
    The question is not whether common sense is mind dependent or independent, but whether the things common sense notices and talks about e.g. rocks, mountains, the sea, the moon are mind dependent or independent, and in what sense?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    There is an easy way to distinguish belief from fact. Here it is. What I mean by "scientific evidence" is this:
    1) an objective observation that comes out in a way predicted by your claim, but not predicted by the alternative to your claim.
    2) a way the observation did not come out, but could have in principle, such that you would have had to reject your claim.
    Now, you can mean anything you like by the word "evidence", but that's what I mean by it, and you don't have any of that. I do.
    You keep asserting that you have evidence, and that you put it forward some time in the past... Ever heard the Latin saying: Hic Rhodus, hic salta?

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Well as I said I do not like thought experiments that argue from non existence. Numbers make no sense out of nothing and probability is numbers. If you propose a sudden existence of a lot of positive stuff and negative stuff that adds to zero, it may seem a neat trick but it leaves a big hole in the mechanics of how that happened. It's like that question of what came before god in creation versions. A continuous infinite universe is much easier to imagine, at least I always thought so when the question arose in the early years. But now we have dark (invisible) matter and energy to add to the mix so there are plenty of thought experiments. Remember Fred Hoyle "Black Cloud"? Nice story.
    Maybe you are right.. If something has always existed then it did not have a beginning. And, it will not have an end. Would that then imply time is infinite or that time is just emergent
    from an underlying timeless reality ?

    I have always had a problem about where the energy has come from. Spontaneously appearing has always sounded a bit dubious to me. But, if it has always existed then i suppose maybe i could live with that..
    Far away is close at hand in images of elsewhere...

  11. #10391
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    The question is not whether common sense is mind dependent or independent, but whether the things common sense notices and talks about — e.g. rocks, mountains, the sea, the moon — are mind dependent or independent, and in what sense?
    I'm glad you haven't tried to dispute that common sense is mind dependent, so we don't have to swallow this claim that somehow, if realism involves common sense, it is therefore talking about something mind independent. That takes care of one of Sankey's "arguments," right there. The rest aren't any better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Ever heard the Latin saying: Hic Rhodus, hic salta?
    No.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    Are you asserting that a test of a description is "real"?

    This is the paradoxical aspect of your viewpoint - it treats certain things as real and existing (e.g. tests, objective evidence, science, descriptions ) and then baulks at putting the reality and existence of other things on the same footing.



    Don't scientific tests have the possibility of producing outcomes that have not been previously described? If you execute a scientific test, you must pick something that satsifies a certain description to experiment upon, but you aren't merely experimenting on a description. You need an example of the thing that is described in order to actually perform an experiment.



    If that's true, you can say the same thing for MDR or any other thing.

    If there is to be a standard for "scientifically" testing the existence of something then how can the standard for establishing its existence exceed the standards that are used for establishing the things involved in science itself (e.g. 'tests", "objective evidence" meter sticks, voltmeters )?
    what I do is make the distinction between how things are and how we percieve them to be noting that these things are by no means the same thing.

    at this point we note that what svience tests is our model vs how we percieve things to be. rather than against how things are directly indeed it become obvious that we can only work with how we percieve things and if there are any differences they will not be included.

    now given MIR is how things are we can immediately note that by our above logic that the nature of MIR is not directly part of the scientific process.

    this is the position of minimalist realism. MIR exists but we cannot say anything about it unless it happens to be how we percieve it.

    eta: this is entirely different to idealism etc . it simply notes that the extent to which MIR matches the world of our perception is always going to depend on the opinion of the individual never upon some objective measurement. in other words that whilst MIR does exist what we deal with is MDR sourced by MIR. or another way to put this we deal with the software that gives us feedback about the hardware but we cannot step outside to test the reliability of that feedback we can only note things about it that allow us to judge things real or not etc and make sense of things in terms of the feedback.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-20 at 03:06 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

  14. #10394
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    If it's us making sense out of data, isn't it as much data dependent as "mind dependent"?

    Everything in science, including exoplanets, can be called a model, if you want. Question is, according to the models of mainstream astronomy, did the exoplanets begin to exist at the moment in history when they become knowable to us, i.e. in the 1990s? Or did they exist before that? If they existed before that (according to the models), don't the models require us to think of existence and knowability as two different topics?
    yes the data is our perception of things and the way we make sense out that data the model.

    but both of these are tied up with the way we work
    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 Ken G View Post
    I'm glad you haven't tried to dispute that common sense is mind dependent, so we don't have to swallow this claim that somehow, if realism involves common sense, it is therefore talking about something mind independent.
    The question is not whether common sense is mind dependent or independent, but whether the things common sense notices and talks about — e.g. rocks, mountains, the sea, the moon — are mind dependent or independent, and in what sense?

    That takes care of one of Sankey's "arguments," right there.
    You mean the following argument?

    " 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. "

    How do you think you've "taken care" of it?
    Last edited by Colin Robinson; 2016-Jan-20 at 03:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    what I do is make the distinction between how things are and how we percieve them to be noting that these things are by no means the same thing.
    Why do you make that distinction, Malaidas? If all the information we have comes from our perceptions, what makes you think that "how things are" is different from how we perceive them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Why do you make that distinction, Malaidas? If all the information we have comes from our perceptions, what makes you think that "how things are" is different from how we perceive them?
    because I see my brains processes in producing the sensory model i consciously experience as active. the question is how active? a purely passive model simply doesn't work to account for the evidence.
    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

  18. 2016-Jan-20, 07:03 AM
    Reason
    duplicate

  19. #10398
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    because I see my brains processes in producing the sensory model i consciously experience as active. the question is how active? a purely passive model simply doesn't work to account for the evidence.
    The question is whether these active brain processes make the brain's models of its environment less reliable or more reliable?

    I'd suggest that the way our brains actually work, is that they combine data from different sense organs, or from a single sense organ used in different ways (e.g. at different ranges), and by comparing our own experiences with experiences described by others; and they do this in order to correct possible errors, confirm perceptions which aren't errors, and get a more accurate overall result than would have resulted from a single momentary sense experience.

    For instance, earlier in this thread we discussed Arthur C. Clarke's sighting of what initially appeared to him to be a group of silvery flying saucers, but which, as they came closer, began to look more like a flock of sea gulls.

    1. He sees a sight which he hasn't seen before a remote line of brilliant silvery disks which have a regular oscillating motion.
    2. From his brain's store of remembered concepts, the concept of "flying saucers" quickly emerges.
    3. He keeps watching the objects as they move closer, believing (reasonably) that the closer the range from which he looks at the objects, the more reliable his observations are likely to be.
    4. As the objects move closer, they start to look like something more familiar, i.e. birds.
    5. He then remembers something he had previously heard (but not believed) the hypothesis that at least some reported flying saucer sightings are due to the way bird's wings can occasionally reflect sunlight to the human eye.

    Does all this activity in Clarke's brain mean that his conclusion is likely to be radically different from "how things are" (the phrase you used a message or two ago)?

    Or is the activity, on the contrary, the very process by which the brain develops an increasingly reliable picture of "how things are"?

  20. #10399
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    The question is whether these active brain processes make the brain's models of its environment less reliable or more reliable?

    I'd suggest that the way our brains actually work, is that they combine data from different sense organs, or from a single sense organ used in different ways (e.g. at different ranges), and by comparing our own experiences with experiences described by others; and they do this in order to correct possible errors, confirm perceptions which aren't errors, and get a more accurate overall result than would have resulted from a single momentary sense experience.

    For instance, earlier in this thread we discussed Arthur C. Clarke's sighting of what initially appeared to him to be a group of silvery flying saucers, but which, as they came closer, began to look more like a flock of sea gulls.

    1. He sees a sight which he hasn't seen before — a remote line of brilliant silvery disks which have a regular oscillating motion.
    2. From his brain's store of remembered concepts, the concept of "flying saucers" quickly emerges.
    3. He keeps watching the objects as they move closer, believing (reasonably) that the closer the range from which he looks at the objects, the more reliable his observations are likely to be.
    4. As the objects move closer, they start to look like something more familiar, i.e. birds.
    5. He then remembers something he had previously heard (but not believed) — the hypothesis that at least some reported flying saucer sightings are due to the way bird's wings can occasionally reflect sunlight to the human eye.

    Does all this activity in Clarke's brain mean that his conclusion is likely to be radically different from "how things are" (the phrase you used a message or two ago)?

    Or is the activity, on the contrary, the very process by which the brain develops an increasingly reliable picture of "how things are"?
    a very nice description of the way the brain forms models by an ongoing process which is Bayesian to make the best sense of inputs. all in the mind.
    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
    The question is not whether common sense is mind dependent or independent, but whether the things common sense notices and talks about — e.g. rocks, mountains, the sea, the moon — are mind dependent or independent, and in what sense?
    Since Sankey repeatedly pretends that "common sense" connects with the mind independent world, you are quite wrong that this is "not the question." It's only not the question for me-- I'm quite clear that any argument that invokes "common sense" is clearly an argument for mind dependence! But you are right that the other question you cite is central to the thread-- what do our mind dependent models "refer to"?

    As said above, however, the answer is clear. The scientific thinker is only interested in creating and testing models, there simply is no question about "what do the models represent", the models represent other models. If you ask questions like "why do the models work" or "what determines which model will work in a given experiment", you are going to need more models to answer those questions. I can see you making models, it's quite apparent. Even the very concept of a "mind independent reality" is a model, it's simply a model for reality that does not explicitly insert any role for the mind that is interpreting the model. It is an idealization, like any model. This is a scientific fact, but it's one that you can imagine why MIR believers are loathe to accept, despite the mountain of evidence that supports it.
    " By ‘common sense’, I mean our ordinary, prereflective awareness of our immediate surroundings and of the broader world which extends beyond those immediate surroundings."
    Yes, I mean just that. He has just described the mind dependence of common sense, that is clear for all to see. That's the science part. Now, like any good MIR believer, the next thing he will do is take that science, after it is all over, and just tack on his ubiquitious MIR belief. That belief will add nothing to the science-- no new observations will be suggested, nor any predictions made, by tacking on that belief. Let's watch this in action, as he goes on:
    "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."
    Yup, just as I thought. He takes the science, which is our sensory experiences, and just tacks on his personal belief that the sensory experiences are from some MIR. That last sentence is just precisely a tweet of his personal MIR belief, and nothing more. This is obvious-- anyone predisposed to agree with his preconceptions will agree with that statement, anyone predisposed to reject his preconceptions will reject that statement. That is what a belief looks like, no evidence, no predictions, no tests being suggested. But he's not done-- he thinks that by simply repeating his personal belief over and over in different ways, this somehow adds to his "argument:"

    "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."
    Yes, we get that he is a fervent MIR believer, I wonder what he thinks he is adding by repeating that over and over? And what is this bizarre logic that cites our power of volition over something, and in the next breath denies that power of volition? Very odd indeed, it's just the kind of contortions MIR believers must undergo to try to make language that needs no MIR belief seem like it does. But he's not done, he finishes with just plain poor logic:
    "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. "
    Just look at those contortions again, he cannot say that reality is certainly made of things that are as they seem, because even he knows that would be complete baloney, so instead he must bend over backward to cling to his MIR belief, in the rather grotesquely contorted form of a "robust sense" (a mind dependent phrase) of reality that sustains a "reasonable" (another mind dependent term) degree of "practical certainty" (yet another mind dependent phrase!) that things are "by and large" (more waffling!) as they seem! Goodness, in one sentence he had to put in no less than four waffles involving the very mind dependence his beliefs would like to deny! And this would summarize some kind of "argument" for mind independence? Only if you are already predisposed to agree with his preconceptions, of course. That means, this is a belief. Make a hypothesis involving mind independence, without all the waffling references to mind dependence, and test it-- then it would be science. Remember, I never said naive realism is wrong, I said I can cite a mountain of evidence that it is not science, just by looking at it. Which I've done, over and over.
    How do you think you've "taken care" of it?
    Like that.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2016-Jan-20 at 02:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson
    Does all this activity in Clarke's brain mean that his conclusion is likely to be radically different from "how things are" (the phrase you used a message or two ago)?
    What does his brain mean by "how things are", that is different from the conclusions of the activity of his brain? So your question doesn't make much sense, does it? But we could look at how different brains make sense of how things are, and what do we see? All kinds of mind dependence, but it helps to use very different minds to see that. This is one of the many fallacies of MIR "arguments", they take a bunch of very similar minds, hand them similar stimulus, and see great import in the fact that they come up with similar conclusions (when they do-- which is not always). Is that the right way to test for mind dependence? If you wanted to test the smoking dependence of lung cancer, would you restrict your attention to the cancer rates in a group of people that all smoke the same amount?

    No, it isn't the right way to do it. Instead, show the motions of the planets in the sky to an ancient Greek and a modern astronomer and a 5 year old child, and just wait for the mind dependence in the reality there.
    Or is the activity, on the contrary, the very process by which the brain develops an increasingly reliable picture of "how things are"?
    How does a scientist seek answers to a question like this? He/she creates and tests models. So do that. I already have-- that's the MDR hypothesis, and the way it tests out is by noticing the process that Arthur C. Clarke underwent there. Yup, another success for the MDR hypothesis, you said it yourself: the process by which the brain develops an increasingly reliable picture of (what we mean by) "how things are". That is a precise, word for word, description of MDR, if you simply add the words I put in parentheses to underscore an obvious truth: we don't get how things really are, we get how we think things are. That really is obvious, yes? So the mind dependence is apparent at every step along the way, and also in your use of the words "brain develops" and "reliable picture". None of that needs any MIR belief to be tacked on, that's purely done after all the testing is over, as a matter of personal preference.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2016-Jan-20 at 02:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    what I do is make the distinction between how things are and how we percieve them to be noting that these things are by no means the same thing.
    Then you are justifying the thought that "A Mind Independent reality has no role in Science" with the viewpoint that "There is a Mind Independent reality and Science cannot describe it completely or perfectly".

    The latter viewpoint grants that the results of experiments depend on "the way things are" and presumably that a Mind itself is part of "the way things are". I don't see those situations as being consistent with saying "the way things are" has no role in science.

    I agree that no scientific theory can be proven just by declaring "That's the way things are". That's true whether we take the MIR viewpoint or the MDR viewpoint.

    However, any kind of argument (be it scientific or philosophical) that attempts to persuade other people about anything ends up making declarations about "the way things are".

    MDR itself says "the way things are" is that reality is Mind Dependent. MDR itself says "the way things are" is that "MIR is a belief".


    at this point we note that what svience tests is our model vs how we percieve things to be. rather than against how things are directly indeed it become obvious that we can only work with how we percieve things and if there are any differences they will not be included.
    Does that describe the way things are? If you offer that description as an assumption, I can agree with it. However, if you offer that description of something that is somehow demonstrable by using "science" they you are contradicting yourself because it asserts that science cannot demonstrate "the way things are".

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    there's the big question isn't it. what constitutes real?
    As the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick put it, reality is that which, if you stop believing in it, does not go away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    I'd suggest that the way our brains actually work, is that they combine data from different sense organs, or from a single sense organ used in different ways (e.g. at different ranges), and by comparing our own experiences with experiences described by others; and they do this in order to correct possible errors, confirm perceptions which aren't errors, and get a more accurate overall result than would have resulted from a single momentary sense experience.
    I think you are taking the viewpoint that MDR is embedded in MIR. In other words, our Minds are part of reality and their processes are part of reality. The limitations of the Mind are imposed by the limitations of how one part of reality can simulate another part of reality. For example, we think about a coffee cup due to physical processes that are different than having a actual coffee cup inside our brain. The mental process "in a brain" of thinking about a coffee cup sitting on a table is not the same physical process as an actual coffee cup sitting on an actual table.

    So whether Arthur C. Clarke has a mental process that says "that is a flock of seagulls" or has a mental process that say "that is a flock of flying saucers", his mental process is still distinct from whatever kind of phenomenon is going on outside his physical brain. The concept of developing a reliable theory of something is the concept of developing a physical process in the brain ("thinking about" the phenomenon) that is a good simulation of certain aspects of the phenomenon itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    As the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick put it, reality is that which, if you stop believing in it, does not go away.
    would that include hallucinations? where the person can be perfectly aware of what they are but that want stop them experiencing them?
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-20 at 08:34 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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Since Sankey repeatedly pretends that "common sense" connects with the mind independent world, you are quite wrong that this is "not the question."
    Your phrase "connects with" is quite right. Sankey says common sense connects with mind-independent things. He does not say that common sense is a mind-independent thing.

    It's only not the question for me-- I'm quite clear that any argument that invokes "common sense" is clearly an argument for mind dependence! But you are right that the other question you cite is central to the thread-- what do our mind dependent models "refer to"?

    As said above, however, the answer is clear. The scientific thinker is only interested in creating and testing models, there simply is no question about "what do the models represent", the models represent other models.
    Some time back, Ken, I asked you whether you recognise the existence of anything other than models? Did you ever answer that question? Would you like to answer it now?

    "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."
    Yup, just as I thought. He takes the science, which is our sensory experiences, and just tacks on his personal belief that the sensory experiences are from some MIR. That last sentence is just precisely a tweet of his personal MIR belief, and nothing more. This is obvious-- anyone predisposed to agree with his preconceptions will agree with that statement, anyone predisposed to reject his preconceptions will reject that statement.
    Do you reject the statement that our senses give us knowledge of a range of physical objects? When a mineralogist calls a rock a rock, is that a sensory experience or a personal belief?

    That is what a belief looks like, no evidence, no predictions, no tests being suggested. But he's not done-- he thinks that by simply repeating his personal belief over and over in different ways, this somehow adds to his "argument:"

    Yes, we get that he is a fervent MIR believer, I wonder what he thinks he is adding by repeating that over and over?
    You're projecting, Ken.

    What do you think you are adding by repeating over and over phrases like "mountain of evidence", "that is clear", "personal belief" etc etc?

    And what is this bizarre logic that cites our power of volition over something, and in the next breath denies that power of volition?
    I have immediate control over my own voluntary muscles, but not over much else. If I wish to move my own hand, I don't have to use a pair of tongs to do so. If I wish to move a pair of tongs, I do have to use my hand to do so. Isn't that common sense?

    Very odd indeed, it's just the kind of contortions MIR believers must undergo to try to make language that needs no MIR belief seem like it does. But he's not done, he finishes with just plain poor logic:
    Just look at those contortions again, he cannot say that reality is certainly made of things that are as they seem, because even he knows that would be complete baloney, so instead he must bend over backward to cling to his MIR belief, in the rather grotesquely contorted form of a "robust sense" (a mind dependent phrase) of reality that sustains a "reasonable" (another mind dependent term) degree of "practical certainty" (yet another mind dependent phrase!) that things are "by and large" (more waffling!) as they seem! Goodness, in one sentence he had to put in no less than four waffles involving the very mind dependence his beliefs would like to deny! And this would summarize some kind of "argument" for mind independence? Only if you are already predisposed to agree with his preconceptions, of course. That means, this is a belief. Make a hypothesis involving mind independence, without all the waffling references to mind dependence, and test it-- then it would be science. Remember, I never said naive realism is wrong, I said I can cite a mountain of evidence that it is not science, just by looking at it.
    That's the second time in this one message you've mentioned your "mountain of evidence". The nth time in this thread.
    Last edited by Colin Robinson; 2016-Jan-21 at 01:00 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    What does his brain mean by "how things are", that is different from the conclusions of the activity of his brain?
    I asked what Malaidas meant when he distinguished between "how things are" and the way we perceive things.

    As your question is very similar to mine, perhaps Malaidas can answer both at once...

    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    what I do is make the distinction between how things are and how we percieve them to be noting that these things are by no means the same thing.
    Last edited by Colin Robinson; 2016-Jan-20 at 10:03 PM. Reason: added quote

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    I think you are taking the viewpoint that MDR is embedded in MIR. In other words, our Minds are part of reality and their processes are part of reality. The limitations of the Mind are imposed by the limitations of how one part of reality can simulate another part of reality. For example, we think about a coffee cup due to physical processes that are different than having a actual coffee cup inside our brain. The mental process "in a brain" of thinking about a coffee cup sitting on a table is not the same physical process as an actual coffee cup sitting on an actual table.
    It's true that thinking about a coffee cup is different from having an actual coffee cup inside the brain. A brain with a real bit of porcelain in it, would be a serious medical problem!

    So whether Arthur C. Clarke has a mental process that says "that is a flock of seagulls" or has a mental process that say "that is a flock of flying saucers", his mental process is still distinct from whatever kind of phenomenon is going on outside his physical brain. The concept of developing a reliable theory of something is the concept of developing a physical process in the brain ("thinking about" the phenomenon) that is a good simulation of certain aspects of the phenomenon itself.
    Yes, our brains develop simulations of physical objects, these simulations are sometimes accurate, sometimes not so accurate, but our brains have ways of correcting inaccuracies, such as by continuing to watch an object as it gets closer.

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    yes what we percieve and thus consider to be the case is what we will call the case. however the key issue isn't what we mean if we are talking MIR. We deal with the results of the process via which zMIR is made available to our awarenes by our senses. we don't know what that process is precisely and thus what mechanisms have taken place that might optimise the way in which our brains deal with the data. thus our picture might not match directly with MIR. instrumentation doesn't actually resolve the issue because it is still our senses reading such.

    where what we mean comes into the picture is that to all practical purposes the actual nature of MIR is irrelevant to the picture we are creating, we are interested in those bits which can be apparent to us. what actually is the case, becomes what is the case to our awareness.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2016-Jan-20 at 11:40 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

  31. #10410
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Your phrase "connects with" is quite right. Sankey says common sense connects with mind-independent things. He does not say that common sense is a mind-independent thing.
    I know-- he says that. He can say that until the cows come home. He can say anything he likes-- I only care what scientific evidence he can present. None, of course. He doesn't even think he is doing science, so why are we even discussing if he is doing science? He isn't, this is really easy.

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