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The Concept of Independent Reality in Discussions of Philosophy

 
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Dec, 2011 08:27 pm
@Procrustes,
Conception and death.
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Dec, 2011 08:37 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Good answer.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Dec, 2011 09:41 pm
@fresco,
Fresco, just a public note. You are never condescending and that shows in your consistent refusal to talk down to us. My only complaint about your posts is that they make me work sometimes more than I would like. When I do examine the background material you recommend your references are clear and useful. When I don't, well, I have to rest with intuitions as to your meaning. I come to A2K to learn and grow. From participants like you (and others I'm happy to say) that is made possible.
Thank you and a fruitful new year.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2012 02:29 am
@Procrustes,
The question of the boundaries of cognition is indeed an interesting one. In terms of "systems theory" (aka "second order cybernetics") there is no formal requirement for closure of nested domains ( cell, organ, body, society...). For those who are spiritually or religiously minded this leaves open a door to speculation about the roots of cognition/life.
http://thehope.tripod.com/Bernard_Scott/Observer.html
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2012 02:31 am
@JLNobody,
Appreciated !
(As Gurdjieff said "there's no intellectual slumming here !")
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2012 07:48 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
Hypocrite ! Your opening post was typically derogatory and now you appeal to the audience about my condescension.

No hypocrisy at all, I assure you. I know that I'm condescending -- I make no secret of it. Don't kid yourself, you're condescending -- hell, you're being condescending in this post. You just can't see it.

fresco wrote:
Not only have you have not done sufficient reading to get anywhere with standard objections to naive realism, but you refuse to do anything about it. I have merely suggested the same references which I gave to my colleagues at my local philosophy group and an enjoyable evening on the related topic of "embodied cognition" was had by all, including the dissenters, who at least gave me a run for my money.

Yes, and everybody I talk to agrees with me, so there. As for tracking down your sources, I've already told you I won't do that for you. If you can't state your own position in a cogent manner, I doubt that Maturana or Gurdjieff or any of the other frauds that you frequently cite can do it any better.

fresco wrote:
So a bit of high school heckling on your part is hardly worthy of a reply. Forget about your bete noir called fresco. If an acclaimed genius like Wittgenstein was sufficiently moved by the issues to repudiate his earlier logical positivist position, don't expect me to take your protest seriously.

Thanks for the comparison to Wittgenstein. I'm flattered, but I'm sure you realize that an appeal to authority such as that doesn't prove anything -- except maybe your inability to find a comparable quotation from Einstein. What's the matter? Did that well run dry?
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2012 11:26 pm
@joefromchicago,
I don't see that, and everybody I talk to agrees with ME. I guess that's why they talk to me...and why yours agrees with you.
Happy new year.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2012 01:15 am
@joefromchicago,
"Glug....glug....glug" ?...... Is that it ? Wink

igm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2012 08:55 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

I am not the wall. Of that I am quite certain. As for being "dependently linked" to the wall, I have no idea what that means.

You haven’t established that there is an independent wall yet for you not to be. There is a picture of a wall that you are conscious of. If the picture is a part of you then you are in a sense inseparable from the phenomenon ‘wall’. This is what I would call ‘dependently linked’.

joefromchicago wrote:

That's a very complicated way of saying that you don't have sense impressions of those things that don't make impressions on your senses. Thanks, but I knew that already.

You have no way of knowing whether the mental appearance of a wall was caused by your senses so you cannot say you that you ‘knew that already. You have the same problem that Descartes referred to.

joefromchicago wrote:

I draw that impression because everyone else tends to perceive the same reality that I do. If I were relying on my sense impressions alone, I would have no reason to believe that those impressions had any objective validity, just as my dreams are a sense impression for myself alone. But the testimony of others, who report the same impressions as I do, tends to confirm that reality is not something that is going on solely inside of my own head.

I see that finally you agree with me and say it here: “I would have no reason to believe that those impressions had any objective validity, just as my dreams are a sense impression for myself alone.”

I rest my case.

As for the testimonies of others we know that they can be deceived, mistaken, they can lie, they can be deluded because of the failure of language to describe reality. You cannot experience their sense impressions only your own so you cannot ‘know’ that they experience the same reality as you. The wall appears as a certain color… there are no colors in the world. The sense of its hardness is created not by the external wall but by your own mind. You have no way of knowing what the external world looks like, if there is one, nor can you even know whether it is a dream or illusion… the only thing you can have is the faith of the testimonies of others… which is just like Descartes' appeal that it’s all OK because ‘God would not deceive me’. You on the other hand have to do the same but in your case other peoples’ testimonies. This is, as you know, of course no proof at all.

We should all not try to assert that we can prove that there is an external independent reality and carry on with life regardless.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2012 08:59 am
@igm,
My conclusion would be the opposite, it would be foolish to carry on our lives by denying independent reality.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2012 09:05 am
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:

My conclusion would be the opposite, it would be foolish to carry on our lives by denying independent reality.

Why? What material difference would it make? I hold no view about reality's independence but live my life just as you do. You hold the view that it is independent without any proof. You are holding some baggage that you don't need. Reality is not changed by your view of it. I have no view to hold i.e. I have a lack of the view that you hold. Science also holds no fixed view but is open to having its temporary beliefs refuted by evidence.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2012 09:53 am
@igm,
Good point....and the scientific evidence for perception and cognition supports what you call "dependence".
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2012 11:04 am
@wandeljw,
A point to remember is that reality defines us as much as we define reality. My identity is a social phenomenon. If we entertain the notion of "reality independent of observers", we would also have to consider the notion of "observers independent of reality".
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2012 10:11 pm
@igm,
igm wrote:
You haven’t established that there is an independent wall yet for you not to be.

I have to my satisfaction. That's sufficient for my purposes.

igm wrote:
There is a picture of a wall that you are conscious of. If the picture is a part of you then you are in a sense inseparable from the phenomenon ‘wall’. This is what I would call ‘dependently linked’.

That's just a metaphor without any real meaning. You must be a fan of Heidegger.

igm wrote:
You have no way of knowing whether the mental appearance of a wall was caused by your senses so you cannot say you that you ‘knew that already. You have the same problem that Descartes referred to.

I'm satisfied that the mental appearance of the wall was caused by my senses rather than by some malevolent imp. But then it really doesn't matter, so long as everyone else's sense impressions are formed consistently by the same imp.

igm wrote:
I see that finally you agree with me and say it here: “I would have no reason to believe that those impressions had any objective validity, just as my dreams are a sense impression for myself alone.”

Once again you fail to see an"if" clause that completely alters the text that you quote. You need to get your vision checked.

igm wrote:
I rest my case.

Your case never even got winded.

igm wrote:
As for the testimonies of others we know that they can be deceived, mistaken, they can lie, they can be deluded because of the failure of language to describe reality.

Quite true, but then we can usually recognize when someone is deceived or mistaken or lying or deluded, because their descriptions of their sense impressions don't gibe with everyone else's.

igm wrote:
You cannot experience their sense impressions only your own so you cannot ‘know’ that they experience the same reality as you. The wall appears as a certain color… there are no colors in the world. The sense of its hardness is created not by the external wall but by your own mind. You have no way of knowing what the external world looks like, if there is one, nor can you even know whether it is a dream or illusion… the only thing you can have is the faith of the testimonies of others… which is just like Descartes' appeal that it’s all OK because ‘God would not deceive me’. You on the other hand have to do the same but in your case other peoples’ testimonies. This is, as you know, of course no proof at all.

It's proof enough. Furthermore, it's largely a matter of indifference to me whether we live in a world of objective reality or Berkeleyan idealism or Kantian noumena so long as everyone acts as if there's an independent reality. You may insist that the brick wall exists only in your mind, but you walk around it just the same. To paraphrase William James, then, what is the "cash value" of your position? How does it alter the way you live? How are you any different from the poor, deluded "naive realists" who walk around the brick wall in the foolish belief that it exists independently of them?
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2012 10:14 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

"Glug....glug....glug" ?...... Is that it ? Wink

Your drinking is clearly interfering with your thinking. Or is it the other way around?
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2012 10:22 pm
@wandeljw,
Quote:
Actually, I contend that there is a reality that is independent of any observer.


That qualifies you as a Republican, the dems don't believe that.
fresco
 
  0  
Reply Tue 3 Jan, 2012 01:24 am
@joefromchicago,
Well done. I see you have taken the hint and tried to include reference to Kant. And you you come up with the pragmatist's view which I indicated several pages ago. Now all you need to do to understand the question is to cover that part of the OP which says "in Discussions of Philosophy". For that you need to investigate pragmatism (Dewey and James) together with neopragmatism (Rorty) in the context of epistemological iconoclasm (Wittgenstein, Quine). BTW. Those epistemological implications of pragmatism for "truth" and "reason" answers your query on the other thread.
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Tue 3 Jan, 2012 09:57 am
@fresco,
And the condescension continues. I realize that JLN has his head so firmly ensconced in your ass that he fails to see it, but surely you must possess even the rudimentary self-awareness required to recognize that in yourself.

In any event, your reading list is noted, but I'm quite happy with mine. Furthermore, I don't agree with your list's implicit message that a thorough understanding of the discussion requires a thorough agreement with your position. You have JLN for that -- you don't need me.

As for my reference to Kant, I've referred to his work more often in this thread than you have, so I guess that means you have some catching up to do.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jan, 2012 10:02 am
@joefromchicago,
Sounds like Fresco's "condescension" has overwhelmed you, driving you to ejaculations of venom. Take some slow deep breaths.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jan, 2012 10:47 am
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:

Quote:
Actually, I contend that there is a reality that is independent of any observer.


That qualifies you as a Republican, the dems don't believe that.
I am certain old gung thing that you may both be right; and still be missing the point... It is our being that gives all things their meaning, and what does the existence of anything matter unless they matter to us??? Republicans tend to act as though liberty exists though they must be slaves of their fears and desires to hold humanity in bondage, and for those who are so held, liberty will only ever be an abstraction... It is human experience that gives to such realities all their reality as meaning...
0 Replies
 
 

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