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Imagination... Do we really know?

 
 
komr98
 
Reply Tue 30 Apr, 2013 11:56 am
I've been getting into philosphy recently, asking questions that I simply cannot answer (maybe no one can). The one question that I've been thinking about for years (before I even knew what philosphy was) is: How do we know this is all real? How do we know it is not a figment of our, or some other being's, imagination?
 
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rosborne979
 
  5  
Reply Tue 30 Apr, 2013 12:24 pm
@komr98,
komr98 wrote:
How do we know this is all real?

From a philosophical perspective we don't (and probably can't) know, with certainty, the nature of reality.

From a functional perspective however the physical world around us highly consistent and seamlessly integrated across a broad range of observers (assuming the observers aren't imaginary as well).

The default perspective from which all organisms (human and otherwise) interact with reality is the functional perspective. The success of this perspective is measured by survival (of the organism).

Theatis
  Selected Answer
 
  3  
Reply Wed 1 May, 2013 03:58 pm
@komr98,
Practically, the first option wouldn't make any difference whatsoever, because 'reality' as You know it is just a projection in your brain anyway. It's just playing with terms. As for the second option, you can fantasize about it as long as you want but you won't come to any definite conclusion and whatever you come up with, will have absolutely no impact on your life. But it's fun to imagine, let's say, that the entity who made up this reality in its mind, had also been made up by some different entity in some different reality, which had also been made up by another entity, which... well, you get my point. There might be an infinite chain of such entities. Also, it might be a circle, where the 'last' entity imagines the 'first' entity and therefore creates it. And maybe right now, by imagining another entity, or a chain of other entities, that eventually create our reality, you create this entity /chain of entities and thus, as a consequence, you create also (Y)our reality. You can never know for sure.
Do you feel mindfucked enough or should I start rumbling about how the possiblity that one entity might create several realities? But like I said, no practical meaning whatsoever.
G H
 
  0  
Reply Wed 1 May, 2013 11:37 pm
@komr98,
Quote:
How do we know this is all real? How do we know it is not a figment of our, or some other being's, imagination?

"Real" was extracted from the public, intersubjective part of experience (shown existence, the phenomenal). Not an invisible counterpart or producer of that manifested manner of being. The invisible should probably still be granted a shot at seizing the title of "real" (if not the origin) if we could eventually either ascend or descend to it, and after this re-integration it likewise become empirical or perceptible (i.e., have evidence). Similar to a dream dissolving into a waking world that was formerly hidden; but with the alteration of the former being interpersonal rather than "just my dream". However, many secular and non-occult people believe that nothingness follows death or precedes life.

In light of this, a question to Ernest Hemingway, following killing himself with a shotgun blast to the head: "Now that you have returned to a more basic and less complex functioning organization of components, just what is the general or background existence like in itself, when minus consciousness and intellective activity?"

EH: "Damn, it's like nothing. Everything is gone, including me, and also this very perception, cognition, and conception of nothingness even being the case."

= = = = = = = = =

The dictum of all genuine idealists from the Eleatic school to Bishop Berkeley, is contained in this formula: "All cognition through the senses and experience is nothing but sheer illusion, and only, in the ideas of the pure understanding and reason there is truth."

The principle that throughout dominates and determines my Idealism, is on the contrary: "All cognition of things merely from pure understanding or pure reason is nothing but sheer illusion, and only in experience is there truth."
Immanuel Kant
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 09:46 am
@rosborne979,
Bravo, Rosborne, a well balanced and sober perspective.
On a less balanced note, my view is that all is illusion in the sense that it is the result of our (personal and cultural) interpretive processes. Interpretations of experience that have positive pragmatic consequences are, obviously, better for our well-being and survival than do those having negative consequnces, But from the point of view of ontological philosophy they are all illusory in so far as they are constructed or interpretive products.

And I agree with Theatis' notion "that 'reality' as You know it is just a projection in your brain anyway". This is why I insist that all of Our knowledge is human knowledge a "projection" of our (individual and collective) brain--or to put it another way, it is species-bound: other forms of animal life and probably intelligent creatures from distant galaxies will undoubtedly come up with radically different "realities".
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 11:20 am
@komr98,
Quote:
How do we know this is all real?

98 that's an interesting q, one often asked. Sci seems at a loss while philo chases its tail 'round in circles and ovals of speculation where Intuition seems the best approach that's left

The theist of course maintains that if we're all simply in the Mind of God we're nonetheless real. But as an apodictical existential pantheist I see it all as a semantic issue

As for some "other sort" of being, Occam 's Razor says unlikely

My own Intuition says those other participants have a pretty good handle on it, that 1) reality is backed by consistency (whatever that means) and 2) we're severely limited in our ability to carry on, at least until the semantic limitations are acknowledged and perhaps even addressed
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 11:35 am
Isn't life strange
A turn of the page
Can read like before
Can we ask for more?
Each day passes by
How hard man will try?
The sea will not wait
You know it makes me want to cry, cry, cry




As this thread is yet another pointless, rambling babblefest about the nature of reality, i thought i'd liven it up.
0 Replies
 
komr98
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 11:39 am
@Theatis,
I love the way you explained that, it's quite similar to the thoughts that have circled my heads for years although I've never seemed to put those thoughts into words. Thanks for helping me with that Smile
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 11:41 am
@komr98,
98, I want you to rest assured while I might be a pointless rambling babbler you're not
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 11:47 am
@Theatis,
The, your response most excellent indeed although I might take issue with
Quote:
just a projection in your brain anyway. It's just playing with terms.
as it violates the general principle tht nothing is entirelhy anything while everything is partly something else

Quote:
..which had also been made up by another entity, which... well, you get my point…..infinite chain...
Well put, the general principle in this case being Occam's Razor
0 Replies
 
komr98
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 11:49 am
@dalehileman,
what makes you so sure that I'm not a pointless rambling babbler as well?
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 11:51 am
@komr98,
Quote:
what makes you so sure
Intuition
komr98
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 11:52 am
@dalehileman,
That's some strong intuition...
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 11:54 am
@komr98,
Like I said it's underestimated
komr98
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 11:54 am
@dalehileman,
When did you say it's underestimated?
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 11:59 am
@komr98,
#……521
komr98
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 12:02 pm
@dalehileman,
okay, gotcha
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 12:04 pm
@JLNobody,
Thanks JL,

I must admit to a personal bias in which I do not like the purely philosophical perspective that "everything is just a dream and I am the only dreamer". I think it's academically valuable to recognize that such a condition is possible, but while I respect the "purist" philosophy, I have never felt that there is much value in exploring that perspective, or in trying to understand the world in relation to it.

It is for this reason that I choose to approach the world from a naturalistic perspective, and avoid the purely academic prospect of ideal philosophy. I enjoy your posts on many threads, sometimes to the point of being tempted to engage in discussions for which I am probably not qualified to comment on, and wouldn't have much patience for.

I was tempted to answer this thread because I wanted to get out the idea I've had for a while now that the condition of "survival" has a quality of value to it when considering the various perspectives on "reality".

Best Regards,
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 04:35 pm
@rosborne979,
Ros, while I feel that life is illusory, in the sense that it's meaning is our interpretive fabrication, I am not a solipsist. Thank goodness I do not feel that I am the only dreamer. I see my experience of Reality to be a collective phenomenon, an inter-subjective project in which an adequate degree of consensus gives me my sense (as illusory as it may be) of objectivity.Nevertheless, while I hold (I thing with Searle) that all experience is, by definition, subjective (and inter-subjective), that is--paradoxically--an objective fact.
0 Replies
 
mark noble
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 05:41 am
"WE" AGAIN!!!!!!!

why do you apply your construct to the whole?
I Know exactly what 'Reality' is.
QUE SERA...
0 Replies
 
 

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