Is it reality that we perceive

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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby RJG on August 3rd, 2017, 8:55 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:RJG - Is the sky blue?

I perceive it as blue.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby BadgerJelly on August 3rd, 2017, 10:08 am 

RJG » August 3rd, 2017, 8:55 pm wrote:
BadgerJelly wrote:RJG - Is the sky blue?

I perceive it as blue.


You perceive blue and call it sky, you perceive sky and call it blue, or something else?

The whole concept of "real" relates to this. The habit of language can form some confusions.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby RJG on August 3rd, 2017, 12:04 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:You perceive blue and call it sky, you perceive sky and call it blue, or something else?

I am not sure what you are getting at here, but NO, these are two different perceptions. I perceive “sky” and I perceive “blue”.

“Sky” is that which I perceive when I walk outside and look upwards (i.e. it is the volume above the horizon).

“Blue” is the color (a property) of the sky that I perceive during the day.

BadgerJelly wrote:The whole concept of "real" relates to this. The habit of language can form some confusions.

Sounds interesting, but how does the concept of “real” relate to language? Aren’t ‘words’ just a reference (a short-cut "label") to commonly understood meanings?

In other words, instead of going into a descriptive definition of sky or blue, I just say “sky” or “blue” with the expectation that whomever I am conversing with has the same common meaning of these words.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby mitchellmckain on August 3rd, 2017, 12:39 pm 

Braininvat » August 2nd, 2017, 9:25 am wrote:
Our perceptions of reality are true, because our perceptions say so


This was not a proposition made by either Doogles or myself. Aspects of scientific realism have been brought up by MM, Doogles, and others. Your response is to reduce their statements to a caricature of naive realism.


Yes, his latest response only underlines his basic dishonesty. He uses only the most flimsy of excuses to equate what doogle has said to something absurd in order to plaster the term "logical fallacy" on it. Well, what he has done is easily identified as a specific logical fallacy called the strawman fallacy. I must say, this is so far from being reasonable, I am not encouraged to think this person is worth pursuing a discussion with. If he is only going to replace our words with those of his own choosing then what would be the point in saying anything to him at all?
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby BadgerJelly on August 3rd, 2017, 1:35 pm 

RJG -

So I can perceive the blue of the sky OR the sky being blue? Does that really make much sense to you?

See what I am getting at now regarding language?
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby RJG on August 3rd, 2017, 3:01 pm 

doogles wrote:…that if others report similar perceptions to your own, then you can be more confident of the reliability of your own perceptions of reality.

mitchellmckain wrote:Yes, his latest response only underlines his basic dishonesty. He uses only the most flimsy of excuses to equate what doogle has said to something absurd in order to plaster the term "logical fallacy" on it. Well, what he has done is easily identified as a specific logical fallacy called the strawman fallacy. I must say, this is so far from being reasonable, I am not encouraged to think this person is worth pursuing a discussion with. If he is only going to replace our words with those of his own choosing then what would be the point in saying anything to him at all?

Mitchell, I respectfully ask that you try to turn down your emotional dislike of me for a moment so as to take a closer and second look at what is actually being said here.

Please honestly answer ---
1. Are these “others” and their “reports” also ‘perceptions’?
2. If so, then is Doogles using these ‘perceptions’ (that he calls “others/reports”) to validate the realness of perceptions?

Can you see the flaw to this line of reasoning?

If not, then do you believe it is rational to accept that the Bible is the true word of God because the words in the Bible say so?

Can you see the flaw to this line of reasoning?

If you agree that this is flawed reasoning, then you will likewise (hopefully) agree that we cannot use (the objects of) perceptions to prove the validity of (the objects of) perceptions.

Agreed?
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby mitchellmckain on August 3rd, 2017, 3:08 pm 

BadgerJelly » August 3rd, 2017, 12:35 pm wrote:RJG -

So I can perceive the blue of the sky OR the sky being blue? Does that really make much sense to you?

See what I am getting at now regarding language?


We know that the perception of the sky and the blue of the sky are distinct because we can isolate the two perceptions. I can show you a blue spot on a page which only gives you the color and no reason to connect it with the sky. I can show you the sky in a black and white film, and of course there are people who are color blind. To that extent I agree with RJG.

I guess the point is that singular perceptions can involve many uncertainties and ambiguities but analytical thought concerning the whole range of human perceptions eliminate most of such uncertainties and ambiguities. Doogles raised one example of this in the comparison between the perceptions of different people in which we are able to get a handle on the variable of individual perception and thus employ our capacity for abstraction to see the commonality.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby RJG on August 3rd, 2017, 3:31 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:So I can perceive the blue of the sky OR the sky being blue? Does that really make much sense to you? See what I am getting at now regarding language?

The meaning seems to vary somewhat between the two versions, but sorry I’m not really getting what you are trying to say. Though I do vaguely remember you wrote something seemingly very interesting about this topic quite a while back. My old age is affecting my memory.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby BadgerJelly on August 3rd, 2017, 3:39 pm 

Let me reframe the question again then.

If I look at a blue sky do I perceive the sky without the blue? What makes the sky "sky" and if I see blue and the sky is blue then are you saying I don't perceive "blue" but only perceive "sky"?

I am not talking about the mere sensory data. I am talking about how the data is perceived. You are referring to sense datum where I am not.

I have used another example before in referring to a mirror. I can look "into" a mirror and "at" a mirror. Can I do both considering the sense data is identical in both cases?

If the sky has no colour can I perceive it any other way? Let us assume for a moment the sky is always blue. If I was to take the blue away what would remain of the "sky"? This has nothing to do with other peoples subjective views other than by having to refer to each other right now through the obvious medium of common language. By which you can further conflate the issue if you wish by saying if that is so then what does "This" "has" or "nothing" really mean for such a statement at all ... and so on ad infinitum.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby mitchellmckain on August 3rd, 2017, 5:19 pm 

RJG » August 3rd, 2017, 2:01 pm wrote:
doogles wrote:…that if others report similar perceptions to your own, then you can be more confident of the reliability of your own perceptions of reality.

mitchellmckain wrote:Yes, his latest response only underlines his basic dishonesty. He uses only the most flimsy of excuses to equate what doogle has said to something absurd in order to plaster the term "logical fallacy" on it. Well, what he has done is easily identified as a specific logical fallacy called the strawman fallacy. I must say, this is so far from being reasonable, I am not encouraged to think this person is worth pursuing a discussion with. If he is only going to replace our words with those of his own choosing then what would be the point in saying anything to him at all?

Mitchell, I respectfully ask that you try to turn down your emotional dislike of me for a moment so as to take a closer and second look at what is actually being said here.

Please honestly answer ---
1. Are these “others” and their “reports” also ‘perceptions’?
2. If so, then is Doogles using these ‘perceptions’ (that he calls “others/reports”) to validate the realness of perceptions?

Can you see the flaw to this line of reasoning?

Your imagination of an emotional dislike has no bearing on the facts.

1. yes.

2. This is an incomplete sentence query -- are these perceptions what? Your words "validate the realness of perceptions" are not his words.

Is what Doogles said a logical fallacy? No, it is not. Confirmation from multiple perception does indeed increase your confidence in the reliability of your own perceptions for it makes the likeliness of various flaws in perception more unlikely. It does not rule out more systematic flaws of a cultural or species origin but this does not change the fact that it does rule out some flaws and thus gives you good reason in increase your confidence in the reliability of your perception. If you don't change his actual words to those of your own choosing then your claim of logical fallacy falls apart.

RJG » August 3rd, 2017, 2:01 pm wrote:If not, then do you believe it is rational to accept that the Bible is the true word of God because the words in the Bible say so?

In my thinking rationality consists of the following three things.
1. logical coherence is required for a belief to be meaningful.
2. consistency with the objective (scientific) evidence is required for a belief to be reasonable.
3. compatibility with the ideals of a free society is required for a belief to be moral.
Together these three things are the requirements I have for a belief to be generally rational.

The above does not violate any of these three conditions, therefore it is rational. There is no logical fallacy because it being the truth and it being the word of God are two distinct propositions. If the proposition was that it was simply that it was true because it says it is true then it would indeed be circular. It would not mean that the belief is irrational but only that the argument is invalid.

Now the following is an entirely different proposition: Do you believe it is rational to expect others to agree that the Bible is the true word of God because the words in the Bible say so? An expectation of agreement requires objective proof and evidence so the answer is no, such an expectation is not reasonable.

RJG » August 3rd, 2017, 2:01 pm wrote:Can you see the flaw to this line of reasoning?

Once again the flaw I see is in your own reasoning. It causes me to suspect that once again you are altering the words somehow in your own mind.

RJG » August 3rd, 2017, 2:01 pm wrote:If you agree that this is flawed reasoning, then you will likewise (hopefully) agree that we cannot use (the objects of) perceptions to prove the validity of (the objects of) perceptions.

Agreed?

I do not agree with your flawed reasoning. Furthermore, I disagree that we cannot use perceptions to prove the validity of particular perceptions. This is, in fact, how science works and is the source of its objectivity. It provides written procedures which anyone can follow to get the same results. This is a not only a valid reason for increasing your confidence in your own perceptions but is even a valid reason for expecting other people to agree with the claims being made. The pipe dream of absolute proof is such a wild goose chase that making such a standard for the rationality of beliefs is little more than a red herring.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby Braininvat on August 3rd, 2017, 6:19 pm 

Indeed. Absolute skepticism, regarding the reality of other perceiving beings, is the essence of solipsism. A philosophy so bleak as to almost demand that we make the minimum wager of a universe outside of ourselves (and Descartes's Demon).
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby BadgerJelly on August 4th, 2017, 1:51 am 

mitch -

The pipe dream of absolute proof is such a wild goose chase that making such a standard for the rationality of beliefs is little more than a red herring.


Yes. I believe the better course is to look into the grounding of knowledge rather than to chasing ghosts.

The issue is it is very easy to get caught up in the idea of "real". This is why I repeatedly turn to phenomenology, and why science is based on phenomenon rather than some absolute "real".

In ethics we have people who suffer from phantom pains. They may believe they are on fire. It does not matter what we say is real to them, they still experience pain and distress, it is real for them and to deny their reality is to disregard their suffering and call their pain not worthy of our attention.

I think it is fair to say science is not capable of questioning its own grounding very well because its method would involve refinement rather than dismissal. It is here that philosophy can be moved to investigate the grounding of science.

I think RJG has a justified complaint when it comes to justifying the "real" as purely physical (although in places he also seems to be trying to defend this and in others he is attacking it.)

Biv -

To question the existence of other being is most definitely a proof of "other". If we deny something then we frame the said "thing" in some way right? I find this to be a use of solipsistic thought that is often overlooked.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby Sivad on August 4th, 2017, 3:18 am 

Braininvat » August 3rd, 2017, 3:19 pm wrote:Indeed. Absolute skepticism, regarding the reality of other perceiving beings, is the essence of solipsism. A philosophy so bleak as to almost demand that we make the minimum wager of a universe outside of ourselves (and Descartes's Demon).


Skeptics aren't solipsists. We just honestly don't know what to make of any of it, so we don't bother. Skeptics are highly skeptical of solipsism.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby Sivad on August 4th, 2017, 3:27 am 

Is it reality that we perceive?

Bostrom and NDEs provide some reason for doubt. Just about every speculative consensus in the history of the world turned out to be completely wrong, in light of that trend there is little doubt that everything we know is questionable.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby BadgerJelly on August 4th, 2017, 3:37 am 

Sivad » August 4th, 2017, 3:27 pm wrote:Is it reality that we perceive?

Bostrom and NDEs provide some reason for doubt. Just about every speculative consensus in the history of the world turned out to be completely wrong, in light of that trend there is little doubt that everything we know is questionable.


To me that is just about the only important thing to take on board. The "real" can be questioned and that is what makes it "real". Even things that seem unquestionable can still be applied in areas that open them up to speculative thought.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby doogles on August 4th, 2017, 7:24 am 

I agree that everything we know is questionable, but I would like to add a proviso that there are degrees of reliability when we are talking about perceptions. As I’d pointed out earlier, our perceptions are subjective and fallible, but they are the only tool we have for interpreting the world around us with our five senses.

As far as the reliability of perceptions is concerned, we must never allow our familiarity with the everyday phenomena of our lives to take them out of our minds as examples of established and highly reliable perceptions. Again, as I’ve said earlier, we all witness the reality of everything around us 365 days a year. Who would be game enough to say that their houses and everything in and around them are not real? We perceive their reality daily.

Mostly, the only time we have need to question the reliability of our perceptions is when we are dealing with novel objects or action events in which there are changes of scenes. As far as objects are concerned, if they register positive (in ‘normal’ persons) to all five senses it is unarguable that they are ‘real’.

Where only a limited number of senses can be utilised, eg in the viewing of distant phenomena, the reliability of the perception decreases. And as we’ve also suggested previously, the more people who perceive the same phenomenon in the same way, the more reliable is the reality of the observation. But it is still questionable.


Perhaps the best example of the reversal of a general perception is that which occurred in the time of Copernicus, Bruno and Galileo. I think it would be fair enough to say that 100% of humans with sight, would agree that there is a big yellowy-orange-red glowing ball in the sky on cloudless days and that in the English language, we call this object the Sun. And in Europe at least, until the days of the above gentlemen, virtually everyone believed that it travelled across our sky daily from east to west. The perception that it did so seemed reasonable because that's what it appears to do even now.

But as we are told, Bruno was burned at the stake for heresy for expounding the theory that we were actually on a planet that orbited the sun, while Galilileo was confined to house arrest for the rest of his days for producing data virtually confirming this.

It’s a good example of a consensus of perceptions being wrong, and why everything we know should be questionable.

But I’d like to try to keep a sense of perspective in this questionable aspect of perceptions. Generally everything seems to be real and stable in the material micro-worlds that each of us moves around in each day. I believe it would be foolish to question the reality of more than 99% of the immediate environments that each of us has moved around in for years. There's not a single item among the many millions in my own house or garden or street or suburb that I do not perceive as being real.

Just as a side comment outside of this topic, this revelation of the heliocentricity of the planets is also a good example of where the production of evidence contradicting entrenched belief systems is most likely to be met with manifest antagonism.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby mitchellmckain on August 4th, 2017, 12:53 pm 

Doogle,

Thank you for the elaboration of examples of systematic flaws in perception from of a cultural origin, and the clashes when these are challenged.

Hmmm... examples of systematic flaws in perception from a species origin might be more difficult... but off the top of my head some of the optical illusions come to mind.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby RJG on August 4th, 2017, 1:45 pm 

RJG wrote:…we cannot use the words of the Bible to prove the truthfulness of the words of the Bible [rephrased].

…we cannot use (the objects of) perceptions to prove the validity of (the objects of) perceptions.

mitchellmckain wrote:I do not agree with your flawed reasoning. Furthermore, I disagree that we cannot use perceptions to prove the validity of particular perceptions.

So as to better understand your view, are you saying that -- some of our perceptions of reality are true, because some of our perceptions say so?

If the truths of ALL perceptions are 'suspect', then how can you trust some (or any!) of them to vouch for another?

mitchellmckain wrote:This is, in fact, how science works…

So then, do you also agree that “science” is just a bunch of perceptions? …and that there is nothing in science that is NOT a perception?

mitchellmckain wrote:…and is the source of its objectivity.

What “objectivity”??? Isn’t everything in science (including its conclusions) dependent upon subjectivity (perceptions)?


Braininvat wrote:Absolute skepticism, regarding the reality of other perceiving beings, is the essence of solipsism. A philosophy so bleak as to almost demand that we make the minimum wager of a universe outside of ourselves (and Descartes's Demon).

So then, out of curiosity, do you 'reject' the plausibility of solipsism?


BadgerJelly wrote: I believe the better course is to look into the grounding of knowledge rather than to chasing ghosts.

…The issue is it is very easy to get caught up in the idea of "real". This is why I repeatedly turn to phenomenology, and why science is based on phenomenon rather than some absolute "real".

Good points.

BadgerJelly wrote:I think it is fair to say science is not capable of questioning its own grounding very well because its method would involve refinement rather than dismissal. It is here that philosophy can be moved to investigate the grounding of science.

Bingo! Nicely said.

(Though “refinement” could be restated as “exploring relational knowledge”.)

BadgerJelly wrote:I think RJG has a justified complaint when it comes to justifying the "real" as purely physical (although in places he also seems to be trying to defend this and in others he is attacking it.)

Good observation BJ. You are correct.

I claim (“attack”?) that it is logically impossible to know ‘objectivity’ (“real stuff”) via ‘subjectivity’; i.e. via post-experiential (a posteriori) knowledge.

I claim (“defend”) that it is logically possible to know ‘objectivity’ (“real stuff”) via ‘objectivity’; i.e. via pre-experiential (a priori) knowledge.

In short, …we can’t get 'objectivity' from 'subjectivity', ...we can't get true knowledge from contaminated knowledge.


doogles wrote:As I’d pointed out earlier, our perceptions are subjective and fallible, but they are the only tool we have for interpreting the world around us with our five senses.

The "only tool" at our disposal for ascertaining 'objectivity' is math/logic; which are pre-experiential (a priori) tools that are not subject to the whims of personal sensory subjectivity.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby mitchellmckain on August 5th, 2017, 1:11 am 

RJG » August 4th, 2017, 12:45 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:I do not agree with your flawed reasoning. Furthermore, I disagree that we cannot use perceptions to prove the validity of particular perceptions.

So as to better understand your view, are you saying that -- some of our perceptions of reality are true, because some of our perceptions say so?

Incorrect. What I said is quoted here and what you said is not equivalent.

RJG » August 4th, 2017, 12:45 pm wrote:If the truths of ALL perceptions are 'suspect', then how can you trust some (or any!) of them to vouch for another?

I never said that either and wouldn't. Sound weird to me. People do not suspect the vast majority of their perceptions. All we can say is that perception and reality are not equivalent because individual and systematic flaws can be found. No, this does not mean that all perceptions are suspect. Such a black and white approach is generally considered childish and in philosophy highly suggestive of a dishonest agenda. At the very least I think it falls under Kierkegaard's critique of many philosophies as utterly useless for the challenges of human existence.

As I said in my first post in this thread, if reality cannot be perceived at all then something is wrong with your definition of "reality" and/or "perception." Apprehension of reality is what "perception" means and it is only on that basis what we can even recognized that it is sometimes flawed. Human perception is a product of evolution because it is crucial to survival. The flaws show that it is not the perfect product of an all powerful designer but more like a work in progress. But we survive because the vast majority of our perceptive process works just fine.

RJG » August 4th, 2017, 12:45 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:This is, in fact, how science works…

So then, do you also agree that “science” is just a bunch of perceptions? …and that there is nothing in science that is NOT a perception?
mitchellmckain wrote:…and is the source of its objectivity.

What “objectivity”??? Isn’t everything in science (including its conclusions) dependent upon subjectivity (perceptions)?

Certainly! Or in my own words... Our primary access to reality is subjective. The objective is totally a product of abstraction -- deriving the commonalities of our perceptions by cross checking them with others.

LOL This is beginning to sound like the lead into one of Xeno's paradoxes, which don't fool anyone anymore. We have learned to identify and reject his sort of black and white thinking also.


RJG » August 4th, 2017, 12:45 pm wrote:So then, out of curiosity, do you 'reject' the plausibility of solipsism?

Define "plausibility."

I would compare it to the supposition that the world started this morning with all our memories as they are. Is this a possibility? Sure. In fact, it is unfalsifiable -- which is part of the problem. Is it reasonable? No. Why? Because it is useless. The supposition serves no purpose whatsoever in the living of human life. Solipsism is the same. Philosophies and suppositions which for whatever reason simply dismiss human experiences do not have any value for human beings.

This is not to say that people are not sometimes inordinately preoccupied with whether something is real or not. In some sense, everything is real otherwise you could not even ask the question. Quite often the much much more important question is "WHAT is it" rather than whether it exists? There is little doubt that things are quite often not what people believe.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby BadgerJelly on August 5th, 2017, 3:08 am 

RJG -

I think Biv already pointed out, and I have more than several times too in the past, that "objectivity" is "inter-subjectivity". We merely use the term "objective" to fix the meaning of some common phenomenon. With the event of measuring more and more accurately and the mathematisation of the physical world.

We use events to measure things. We can, and have, createe units with which to measure. The measuring can always be improved and will always contain errors. In this sense the "absolute" and "real" values of what we are measuring will remain necessarily unknown (in a truly exact sense.)

Any kind of absolute is only known to us by abstraction. We create a rules and within the confines of these rules we can say this or that is true or false. Assuming rules for nature has allowes us to understand. It may very well be that science in its current state cannot unearth all the rules of nature. It may be that it can. Up to now we have certainly discovered quite a lot along the avenue of scientific investigation and we've by no means reached its limitations (if it has any?)

The history of science has shown what was once deemed beyond scientific understanding is then brought into the visible world of scientific analysis and investigation.

Personally I do think that we're approaching a certain turning point in history and that maybe a "new science" will develop. I am also aware that if history is any judge that I am probably wrong. What has happened is "refinement" of science rather than revolution.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby BadgerJelly on August 5th, 2017, 3:18 am 

To add to the whole problem more generally in trying to bring words to bear here:

"word-language allows of nonsensical combinations of words, but the language of imagining does not allow us to imagine anything nonsensical."

- Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations.

What is more we all seemed primed to attempt to make sense of everything we come across. This is the major hurdle that philosophy tries to cope with. Scientific hurdles are of a different species requiring verification by physical means. This is also why I am very careful about how I read analogies used by scientists. Often they don't appreciate, or simply cannot overcome, the immeasureable problem of bring abstract ideas into "word-language" without confusing and misleading many readers whose knowledge of the basic method of science and the extension of mathematical language simply remains at a distance or almost entirely alienated.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby Athena on August 5th, 2017, 9:30 am 

edy420 » July 15th, 2017, 8:04 am wrote:Actual reality" if it exists, can never be perceived, understood or experienced in its entirety. (At least not by any one individual)

We have X-rays, but what other rays have we not yet discovered, Y-rays, Z-rays that we can't perceive with our sense of reality.
Only recently have we discovered the Higgs Boson exists, a second moon, a new prime number, how to turn pesky co2 emissions into a solid, and much more.
What else do we not know about reality.

Trying to understand actual reality, is like trying to understand God, it's not possible.
We only know a fraction of reality, but how large is that fraction?
Some atheists will say we know it all, scientists like to argue we know a lot about reality, but I think we know next to nothing about actual reality.

We perceive reality with our senses, but what is it that we perceive?
If we all have different degrees of sense, then is our perception really of reality.

The concept in the movie, The Matrix, has us believe that no, our perception is not reality.

I've worked with intellectually disabled, and it seems obvious to me that they are in alternate realities, and interact with me in mine.
One has no concept of pain, yet in my world pain is very real.
For him, no one and no animal feels pain either, they simply make alarming sounds when feeling discomfort.

My personal belief is that yes, our perception is realiity, but there are multiple realities.
Each individual, has their own reality, because we interact with "actual reality" in different ways.

This would mean people are just a collection of multiverse/multi-reality travellers, all colliding and interacting in one place at a cross roads of infinite realities.
A good example is the way we witness the same event differently, but swear that our perspective is the right one.
A miracle of God for example, will be sworn as the will of God by Theists, and completely explainable by science according to atheists.
Trying to convince either that the opposite is true, is rather difficult, if not impossible.

We could all explain what our perception of reality is, but who's perception is right.
If none are right, then is it reality that we are perceiving?


Your introduction to a discussion of reality is nothing as I expected. Our reality has little to do with our perceptions and knowledge of matter, because our reality is what we make it, and is not limited by nature as is is so for other life forms.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby Athena on August 5th, 2017, 10:05 am 

BadgerJelly » August 3rd, 2017, 8:08 am wrote:
RJG » August 3rd, 2017, 8:55 pm wrote:
BadgerJelly wrote:RJG - Is the sky blue?

I perceive it as blue.


You perceive blue and call it sky, you perceive sky and call it blue, or something else?

The whole concept of "real" relates to this. The habit of language can form some confusions.


Going along with what you said...What is blue? Is the sky a blue? Are there any other forms of blue? To quote Wittgenstein "The limits of my language mean the limits of my world".

Can reality be any more than a proposition or a theory?
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby mitchellmckain on August 5th, 2017, 3:36 pm 

mitchellmckain » August 5th, 2017, 12:11 am wrote:This is not to say that people are not sometimes inordinately preoccupied with whether something is real or not. In some sense, everything is real otherwise you could not even ask the question. Quite often the much much more important question is "WHAT is it" rather than whether it exists? There is little doubt that things are quite often not what people believe.


For example, consider the sun...

Everything we know and experience certainly tells us that the sun is real. Setting aside unreasonable mind and verbal games which reduce all of human life to babble, the sun is logically and experientially undeniable. But how many people really understand what the sun actually is? We can even ask whether any of us fully understand it? Thus if we are simply asking if whether the simplistic image most of us have in our heads for the sun actually exists, then the answer is probably no. But this just means that we make a distinction between our image and understanding of it from the sun itself. We do not take our flawed understanding and limited perceptions to mean that the sun does not actually exist.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby Braininvat on August 5th, 2017, 5:46 pm 

Relates to Kripke and a causal concept of reference. We don't have to fully understand something to refer to it, to name it. We need only to causally interact with it in some way. Reality needs only to be causally efficacious in getting us to name things, to point things out, to refer to some thing. A tiny child might point at the sun and say, "Look, big shiny Sky Penny!" Even if the child's interpretation of their sensory input is highly subjective and poetic, we wouldn't say that the sun did not cause their delighted exclamation. We understand, through science and verification with others, that the sun is not a large glowing coin in the sky, but that doesn't mean we deem the child's perception to be an hallucination.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby RJG on August 5th, 2017, 11:35 pm 

RJG wrote:If the truths of ALL perceptions are 'suspect', then how can you trust some (or any!) of them to vouch for another?

mitchellmckain wrote:…this does not mean that all perceptions are suspect.

Can you name one that is not suspect?

What perception is it that are you absolutely certain, is of some “real” (or true) object?


BadgerJelly wrote:I think Biv already pointed out, and I have more than several times too in the past, that "objectivity" is "inter-subjectivity". We merely use the term "objective" to fix the meaning of some common phenomenon. With the event of measuring more and more accurately and the mathematisation of the physical world.

Badger, I use the definition/understanding that is appropriate for this topic (perceiving reality). My usage of “objectivity” is also in-line with Wikipedia’s:
Wikipedia wrote:Objectivity is a central philosophical concept, related to reality and truth, which has been variously defined by sources. Generally, objectivity means the state or quality of being true even outside of a subject's individual biases, interpretations, feelings, and imaginings.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby RJG on August 5th, 2017, 11:40 pm 

mitchellmckain wrote:Everything we know and experience certainly tells us that the sun is real.

Isn't this only true when dependent on a state of mind? In other words, does the sun still exist if we are no longer perceiving (seeing/hallucinating/dreaming) it? I know we all accept that the sun exists, but how can we really possibly know?

1. Do we perceive ‘things’ directly; as they really are?, or
2. Do we just perceive ‘perceptions’ (mental impressions of supposed ‘things’)?
3. Can we trust these mental impressions to tell us of 'things' as they really are?
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby mitchellmckain on August 6th, 2017, 1:22 am 

RJG » August 5th, 2017, 10:40 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:Everything we know and experience certainly tells us that the sun is real.

Isn't this only true when dependent on a state of mind? In other words, does the sun still exist if we are no longer perceiving (seeing/hallucinating/dreaming) it? I know we all accept that the sun exists, but how can we really possibly know?

I have already suggested you examine your definition of "perception" and "real". We should add "knowledge" to that list as well, and in fact this may be the more important one.

I have explained in another thread how I reject the usual definition of "justified true belief" because nobody believes things which they think are not true or unjustified. Thus such a definition only serves the purpose of rhetoric for pushing your own beliefs onto other people. We can say the same thing of "certainty." Is knowledge and truth simply something we award to the one who speaks loudest and with greatest confidence? Personally, I have no inclination to grant any authority to loud mouth ideologues.

Thus, I have asked myself, what is the best objective measure of certainty? And I have decided it is logically what people live by. When people put their lives on the line then that is a more tangible measure of certainty and I am willing to call it knowledge. Does that mean what they call knowledge is "true?" No. I have taken that word out of the definition of knowledge. This works quite well in science also, to say that theories become scientific knowledge when they become the routine tools of scientific inquiry themselves.


RJG » August 5th, 2017, 10:40 pm wrote:1. Do we perceive ‘things’ directly; as they really are?, or

Perception is a system of processing sensory data from things in the environment. So, yes, what we perceive is the thing as it is. But the perception is not the thing itself.

RJG » August 5th, 2017, 10:40 pm wrote:2. Do we just perceive ‘perceptions’ (mental impressions of supposed ‘things’)?

We perceive things in the environment. Perceiving our perceptions is something else -- a part of reflection or self-consciousness. But like I said the perception is not the thing itself. Nor do I think this is identical to the mental impression either. These are two distinct areas of human adaptation, i.e. the brain and the mind. The transition of the data into the abstract linguistic (mental) world of concepts and ideas is not the same thing as the operation of the brain (mostly the same in other animals such as other primates) in the processing of the sensory data.

RJG » August 5th, 2017, 10:40 pm wrote:3. Can we trust these mental impressions to tell us of 'things' as they really are?


If we could not trust our perceptions the vast majority of the time then we would not survive as a species. But scientists have proven that belief does play a role in perceptions and thus our perceptions are sometimes skewed by this. So we can and do trust our perceptions the vast majority of the time, but have learned to be wary in some areas where our perceptions have proven less reliable.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby Sivad on August 6th, 2017, 4:22 am 

BadgerJelly » August 4th, 2017, 12:37 am wrote:
Sivad » August 4th, 2017, 3:27 pm wrote:Is it reality that we perceive?

Bostrom and NDEs provide some reason for doubt. Just about every speculative consensus in the history of the world turned out to be completely wrong, in light of that trend there is little doubt that everything we know is questionable.


To me that is just about the only important thing to take on board. The "real" can be questioned and that is what makes it "real". Even things that seem unquestionable can still be applied in areas that open them up to speculative thought.


I was thinking of a possible wider spectrum of reality in my reply, but if your concern is something like 'is reality anything like the way we perceive it' then my answer is that reality just is that which is perceived. If you're asking if our perceptions are veridical to an external world then I'd point you to Kaufman and Plantinga who each make a good case for skepticism.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby mitchellmckain on August 6th, 2017, 5:10 am 

BadgerJelly » August 4th, 2017, 12:51 am wrote:The issue is it is very easy to get caught up in the idea of "real". This is why I repeatedly turn to phenomenology, and why science is based on phenomenon rather than some absolute "real".


I turn to phenomenology as a useful way of looking at things. I may not find much use the the claims of many of its philosophers but I think it provides fruitful tool to ground your thinking in something a bit more tangible than the traditional way of looking at things. In fact, I think my definition of knowledge is a phenomenological one in the sense that I am grounding the meaning of the word in what people are actually doing when they know something.

In the Wikipedia article on phenomenology, we see that it is not easy to pin down. It seems to be more defined by a range of philosophical methods than making claims about anything.
Phenomenology should not be considered as a unitary movement; rather, different authors share a common family resemblance but also with many significant differences.
...
There are several assumptions behind phenomenology that help explain its foundations:

1. It rejects the concept of objective research. Phenomenologists prefer grouping assumptions through a process called phenomenological epoché.
2. Phenomenology believes that analyzing daily human behavior can provide one with a greater understanding of nature.
3. Persons should be explored. This is because persons can be understood through the unique ways they reflect the society they live in.
4. Phenomenologists prefer to gather "capta", or conscious experience, rather than traditional data.
5. Phenomenology is considered to be oriented on discovery, and therefore phenomenologists gather research using methods that are far less restricting than in other sciences.

1. I rebuild the concept of objective research from a recognition of the basic subjectivity of the human experience.
2. Especially when trying to understanding the meaning of words about human actions, we need to look at what people are actually doing when we think such words are applicable.
3. Philosophy needs to be grounded in the human experience of existence or it is ultimately meaningless.
4. I find the word "capta" difficult to get a handle on. My best guess is that it is another way of accepting the basic subjectivity of human existence as well as its relational and dynamic characteristics. It seems to be a reaction against the idea that reality can be reduced to a set of facts. I think I have simply dealt with this using a different terminology.
5. I certainly think a variety of methods is needed to understand the totality of human existence. Often the methods need to be tailored to the subject you are investigating.
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