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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #13231
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    First of all, thanks for the time you take to respond.

    A question:
    What is it that is perceived?
    In the spirit of recent posts, reminded again of the set of things that belong to no set, the idea that is independent of all ideas about it, the perception that is independent of all perceptions, or the phenomenon that is never perceived, it is more illuminating to ponder “what is it that is not perceived?” That is your MIR question.

    Or again “what can you know about what you cannot perceive?”
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  2. #13232
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    In the spirit of recent posts, reminded again of the set of things that belong to no set, the idea that is independent of all ideas about it, the perception that is independent of all perceptions, or the phenomenon that is never perceived, it is more illuminating to ponder “what is it that is not perceived?” That is your MIR question.

    Or again “what can you know about what you cannot perceive?”
    Is this response in the spirit of “If you can’t convince them confuse them?”.
    PS: the thanks was meant for KenG...

  3. #13233
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    A question:
    What is it that is perceived?
    That's what my mind is trying to figure out, and the result of that effort is what I call "reality." So the short answer is, what is being perceived is reality. To see the mind dependence there, just consult that slightly longer version. And this whole thread is the really longer version.

  4. #13234
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Here's 'a corker' of a quote:

    "... the difference between the one-hundred dollars in my pocket and the one hundred dollars I imagine to be in my pocket is not a difference in the concept of “one hundred dollars.” To say that something “exists” — even in the case of God — is not to predicate a property that its concept lacks if the thing did not exist".
    Yes, that is an interesting quote to ponder. It seems to me the point being made is that a concept and whether or not that concept corresponds to something that exists are independent elements of the concept. That argument can be taken in several directions, so I would have to see the rest of it to see where they are going with it. My guess is, they would then attempt to argue that there is some kind of fundamental difference between a concept, which may be of something that either exists or does not exist, and whether or not that thing actually does exist. This looks like a back door entrance to MIR, until you recognize that even "existence" is a concept. So the issue is not that we have some things that are concepts and are not predicated on whether they exist or not, and other things that are not concepts that either exist or don't. It is that we have some concepts that are not predicated by "existence", and other concepts that are so predicated. In particular, the concept of reality is in the latter class of concepts.

    Put differently, we could rewrite the above argument in the form, "the difference between existence and non-existence is not a difference embedded in the concept of existence. Er wait, yes it is."

  5. #13235
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    Finally a metaphor worth $100. Perhaps we can stretch it a bit. The "concept of one hundred dollars" to me suggests an understanding of its value, whether you have it or not. But if you're buying a ticket to a concert, either you have it in your pocket or you don't. Decades ago, for my first date with Dee, I tried to buy a rodeo ticket with the money I knew I had in my wallet. I had objective evidence (historical but fresh) that the money was indeed in my wallet. My only problem was the wallet had been stolen from me while fighting the crowds at the carnival outside. Things that really should be real, sometimes aren't, IMO.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  6. #13236
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Yes, that is an interesting quote to ponder. It seems to me the point being made is that a concept and whether or not that concept corresponds to something that exists are independent elements of the concept. That argument can be taken in several directions, so I would have to see the rest of it to see where they are going with it. My guess is, they would then attempt to argue that there is some kind of fundamental difference between a concept, which may be of something that either exists or does not exist, and whether or not that thing actually does exist. This looks like a back door entrance to MIR, until you recognize that even "existence" is a concept. So the issue is not that we have some things that are concepts and are not predicated on whether they exist or not, and other things that are not concepts that either exist or don't. It is that we have some concepts that are not predicated by "existence", and other concepts that are so predicated. In particular, the concept of reality is in the latter class of concepts.
    Yep .. I was doing ok with it right up until the end where 'exist' was implied as being something which was not also a concept. I sort of liked the irony introduced by that part.
    Now for the reveal: it was an argument mounted by Kant on the existence of God. I would have loved to have chased it further because he subsequently developed his objection to it .. but I got lost in all the subsequent philosophical gobbledegook which appears to require more in-depth study (& time).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    Put differently, we could rewrite the above argument in the form, "the difference between existence and non-existence is not a difference embedded in the concept of existence. Er wait, yes it is."
    Chuckle, chuckle .. It'd be interesting to compare his subsequent work to see if he ended up heading down the general MDR hypothesis route (though I doubt it, I guess), (?)

  7. #13237
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Finally a metaphor worth $100. Perhaps we can stretch it a bit. The "concept of one hundred dollars" to me suggests an understanding of its value, whether you have it or not. But if you're buying a ticket to a concert, either you have it in your pocket or you don't. Decades ago, for my first date with Dee, I tried to buy a rodeo ticket with the money I knew I had in my wallet. I had objective evidence (historical but fresh) that the money was indeed in my wallet. My only problem was the wallet had been stolen from me while fighting the crowds at the carnival outside. Things that really should be real, sometimes aren't, IMO.
    .. or in that example you just didn't know that at the time .. but you had the meaning of the concept of lost.

  8. #13238
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Do you think that models which develop and subsequently change, somehow then contain information which was never in any mind, and is therefore evidence of mind independent reality? Is that what you're saying?
    Maybe you wonder what didn't change over the time period?

  9. #13239
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    I would have loved to have chased it further because he subsequently developed his objection to it .. but I got lost in all the subsequent philosophical gobbledegook which appears to require more in-depth study (& time).
    Yeah, philosophers are tough sledding!

  10. #13240
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    I don't even know that there was a past. All I have access to is my current mind that contains a mental model of a past. That mental model contains a version of my mind that doesn't know things that I know now, but I have no evidence that that mind ever existed. All I have is my current mental model of it. Right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    I don't even know that there was a past. All I have access to is my current mind that contains a mental model of a past. That mental model contains a version of my mind that doesn't know things that I know now, but I have no evidence that that mind ever existed. All I have is my current mental model of it. Right?
    Well, I don't know about you, but I've left, (somewhat unfortunately), a trail of testability throughout my life which, when put to an objective test in the present, produces evidence of what minds do. In fact, the evidence specifically includes my witnessed signature on certain documents (eg: bank documents) which would stand up in court. That evidence allows myself and others to infer that that my mind existed in what we all mean by 'the past' (and what we mean by 'existed').

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    Maybe you wonder what didn't change over the time period?
    .. or maybe not .. but wondering is still what my mind does .. even when it doesn't.
    It also takes my mind to conceive of: 'over the time period'.

    In other words, utter 'meaninglessness' is still a concept.

  13. #13243
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    I don't even know that there was a past. All I have access to is my current mind that contains a mental model of a past.
    Actually, what you are calling your "current mind" is also a mental model! But bear in mind, what most people mean by "knowing" is just this-- a mental model that is deemed highly reliable. We have no reason to define "know" to mean something that is impossible to do.
    That mental model contains a version of my mind that doesn't know things that I know now, but I have no evidence that that mind ever existed. All I have is my current mental model of it. Right?
    No. You have plenty of evidence that the mind you are referring to existed. That evidence comes in the form of working mental models, which is what all evidence is. The objective here is not to cripple our ability to know things, or to cripple our ability to apply evidence, it is merely to recognize and analyze the role our minds play in knowing and judging evidence.

  14. #13244
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Actually, what you are calling your "current mind" is also a mental model! But bear in mind, what most people mean by "knowing" is just this-- a mental model that is deemed highly reliable. We have no reason to define "know" to mean something that is impossible to do.
    In wading my way (very slowly) through Kant, and in spite of our trying to get back to the topic of the MDR hypothesis, apparently he says, interestingly: (3.3 On The Very Possibility of a Positive Kantian Philosophy of Religion):
    The former position, that we can have no knowledge of the supersensible, is textually well supported. Knowledge [Wissen], for Kant, follows its traditional tripartite model as justified-true-belief, and if there is neither experience nor rational proof of any supersensible claim, no such claim can meet with suitable justification.

    The latter position, that we can have no cognition of supersensible objects, is likewise correct. However, the alleged implication that this makes meaningful thought about them impossible is false. Kant does not reject the thinkability of the supersensible, and, in fact, the body of arguments in the Transcendental Dialectic shows this to be clearly the case. If, for example, propositions about the supersensible were incoherent according to Kant, then he would not need his Antinomies or Paralogisms. Rather, he could sweep them all away quite simply through the charge that they fall short of the conditions for meaning.

    The problem, thus, is not that we cannot coherently think the supersensible. It is, rather, that we can think about it in too many ways. Absent experience, reason is without a touchstone through which hypotheses can be refuted. Instead, so long as the ideas of reason are internally consistent, the faculty can construct a multitude of theses and antitheses about the supersensible.
    So, it would seem that: 'unbounded' also has its problems.

  15. #13245
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Actually, what you are calling your "current mind" is also a mental model! But bear in mind, what most people mean by "knowing" is just this-- a mental model that is deemed highly reliable. We have no reason to define "know" to mean something that is impossible to do.
    No. You have plenty of evidence that the mind you are referring to existed. That evidence comes in the form of working mental models, which is what all evidence is. The objective here is not to cripple our ability to know things, or to cripple our ability to apply evidence, it is merely to recognize and analyze the role our minds play in knowing and judging evidence.
    When I compare my mental model of the past to today's mental model, I add more memories to my mental model of the past as the new information becomes more memories. That shows that my mental model of the recent past is consistent with my mental model of the more distant past, at least at the moment. It might take a few seconds for my mind to adjust my older memories to make them agree with my recent ones. It doesn't show that anything that I remember actually happened. Having my mental models of other people agree with what I remember doesn't change this. It just gives me memories of others agreeing with me, at least at the moment. How can I test my memories for accuracy when all I can compare them to are more memories?

  16. #13246
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    When I compare my mental model of the past to today's mental model, I add more memories to my mental model of the past as the new information becomes more memories. That shows that my mental model of the recent past is consistent with my mental model of the more distant past, at least at the moment. It might take a few seconds for my mind to adjust my older memories to make them agree with my recent ones. It doesn't show that anything that I remember actually happened. Having my mental models of other people agree with what I remember doesn't change this. It just gives me memories of others agreeing with me, at least at the moment. How can I test my memories for accuracy when all I can compare them to are more memories?
    This sound like the "brain in a vat" paradox. How can you prove that you aren't currently living in the matrix (ie: your memories are real and not being faked)? I personally go with the conclusion that even if this is the matrix, we should live as though it's not because whether in the matrix or the real world the consequences of our actions are equally real enough to us that it doesn't make a difference.

  17. #13247
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    I don't think that the actual source of our information is as important as the untestability of our memory of it.

  18. #13248
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    .. or maybe not .. but wondering is still what my mind does .. even when it doesn't.
    It also takes my mind to conceive of: 'over the time period'.

    In other words, utter 'meaninglessness' is still a concept.
    So only the now exists in your model of the SMDR and everything else is utter 'meaninglessness'.

    Is that because of a deficiency in your model?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    So only the now exists in your model of the SMDR and everything else is utter 'meaninglessness'.

    Is that because of a deficiency in your model?
    I don't have a clue of what you're on about.

    What is SMDR?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    .. or in that example you just didn't know that at the time .. but you had the meaning of the concept of lost.
    Yep. The concept of losing my wallet was low on my list of things to think about given the formerly pleasant circumstances.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  21. #13251
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    In wading my way (very slowly) through Kant, and in spite of our trying to get back to the topic of the MDR hypothesis, apparently he says, interestingly: (3.3 On The Very Possibility of a Positive Kantian Philosophy of Religion):
    So, it would seem that: 'unbounded' also has its problems.
    In my mind, the underlined quote,
    "The problem, thus, is not that we cannot coherently think the supersensible. It is, rather, that we can think about it in too many ways. Absent experience, reason is without a touchstone through which hypotheses can be refuted. Instead, so long as the ideas of reason are internally consistent, the faculty can construct a multitude of theses and antitheses about the supersensible" ,
    is a good summary of the basis of the scientific approach to knowledge. Don't get me started on justified-true-belief, I never saw any sense at all in this claimed meaning of "knowing." It certainly has nothing to do with "scientific knowledge," which is all about justification, is sketchy on truth, and is devoid of any need for belief. Knowing in science is choosing where you are going to place your bet, when the bet has objective consequences. So "knowledge" boils down to "track record", and nothing else. Certainly not "justified true belief."

  22. #13252
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    .. Don't get me started on justified-true-belief, I never saw any sense at all in this claimed meaning of "knowing." It certainly has nothing to do with "scientific knowledge," which is all about justification, is sketchy on truth, and is devoid of any need for belief.
    Hmm .. I'm not sure I can see the 'justification' part of that(?) Doesn't that trace straight back to 'justified true belief'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    Knowing in science is choosing where you are going to place your bet, when the bet has objective consequences. So "knowledge" boils down to "track record", and nothing else. Certainly not "justified true belief."
    Ok .. so you're saying science is based on experience (test/observation/results/consistencies), and not simply on the belief that that 'the truth' is already (miraculously) 'justified' by way of a believed-in posit?

    You first usage of 'justified' above then, may just a wording thing then(?)

    PS: I'm having some difficulty in distinguishing 'justified' without including 'truth' somewhere in its meaning..

  23. #13253
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Hmm .. I'm not sure I can see the 'justification' part of that(?) Doesn't that trace straight back to 'justified true belief'?
    I'm saying justification is everything in science. There is no need for it to be true (most of science is true to some degree, and false to some other degree), and there is no need for it to be believed (the scientist can be well aware that she is committing idealization, and it is not "belief" that past results are a good guide to the future, that's simply the strategy of science. Belief is the opposite of skepticism).
    PS: I'm having some difficulty in distinguishing 'justified' without including 'truth' somewhere in its meaning..
    That's probably because justification is what scientific truth is all about. But scientific truth is not "true", that is indeed the aspect of science that seems the least widely understood!

  24. #13254
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    I don't have a clue of what you're on about.

    What is SMDR?
    The scientific MDR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I'm saying justification is everything in science. There is no need for it to be true (most of science is true to some degree, and false to some other degree), and there is no need for it to be believed (the scientist can be well aware that she is committing idealization, and it is not "belief" that past results are a good guide to the future, that's simply the strategy of science. Belief is the opposite of skepticism).
    ...
    That's probably because justification is what scientific truth is all about. But scientific truth is not "true", that is indeed the aspect of science that seems the least widely understood!
    I understand what you mean in the above.

    I personally prefer to steer clear of speaking about 'scientific truth' because I see value in maintaining the distinction between it and philosophical (or logical) truth.

    The idealizations committed by the general scientist are often well camouflaged, (even from themselves), which is much to science's detriment .. (but I do get your drift).

  26. #13256
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    The scientific MDR.
    Which is Objective Reality .. Which doesn't include: not yet tested hypotheses.

    Theoretical models change. Objective Reality typically doesn't .. unless its context does .. which then updates its meaning.
    Last edited by Selfsim; 2019-Aug-30 at 10:53 AM.

  27. #13257
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Which is Objective Reality .. Which doesn't include: not yet tested hypotheses.

    Theoretical models change. Objective Reality typically doesn't .. unless its context does .. which then updates its meaning.
    So the SMDR doesn't change its context only changes and then it gets an update and changes.

    Sounds like a MS-DR model that crashes alot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    So the SMDR doesn't change its context only changes and then it gets an update and changes.
    For example: Newtonian physics is only workable as a classical limit of GR, (ie: flat spacetime). That doesn't mean the wealth of objective test results underpinning Newtonian Physics was completely thrown out when Einstein's GR came along. Objective reality is nothing more than the latest best tested, (verified, or 'consistent with'), theory and in this case, that was originally Newtonian Physics. When GR came along and was sucessfully tested many times over, it then gave us more insights into different contexts. So the Objective Reality of Newtonian Physics never really changed .. GR introduced an expanded range of contexts and thus expanded our knowledge of Objective Reality (or your 'SMDR') beyond the Objective Reality applicability range of Newtonian Physics.

    If one views the overall topic here as 'Gravitational Theory', one can say that the theory changed .. but the scientific Objective Reality (of Gravity) didn't. And that, in no way, supports the notion of the existence of some MIR .. Rather, it just shows that our collective human scientific knowledge grew to understand the newer concepts that GR introduced, which then turned out to be useful in making predictions of (or explaning) behaviors in less typical (more extreme) spatial environments.

  29. #13259
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    So now we have mind independent reality, mind dependent reality, scientific mind dependent reality, objective reality... leaping lizards...

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    So now we have mind independent reality, mind dependent reality, scientific mind dependent reality, objective reality... leaping lizards...
    Nope .. leaping lizards are objectively testable, as is mind dependence .. and objective reality has its meaning produced by the scientific method.
    Mind independent reality is just an untestable belief (or a mind model, of convenience).

    Scientific mind dependent reality, (introduced solely by LaurieAG), appears to be equivalent to objective reality, (although this awaits his confirmation).

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