Do we see reality as it is?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Magical Realist, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    A crucial distinction I often fail to make. There's the spatial externality of physical objects. Then there's the transensory state of "things in themselves", if we are feeling generous enough to admit the existence of such. I personally consider the former "outsideness" to be generated internally, much as say a hallucination or psychotic delusion can equally appear totally outside you. DMT users testify to being submerged into an underground cavern that feels every bit as real as the normal physical "outside." I also question the nature of physical outsideness as being something that goes on without my being "inside" my brain. That extendedness of my consciousness into an animated movie universe derives from an ongoing experienced contrast with my being inside my own body/brain. It is in other words synthetic, generated dialectically thru movement and perception, and not a static given that precedes my experience of it.
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  3. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    "As we want to go on this journey of exploring what the heck we’re made out of,the first thing to do is to recognize that what you’re seeing out there is not actually reality. You’re not sort of opening your eyes, and voila, there’s the world. Instead, your brain constructs the world. Your brain is trapped in darkness inside of your skull, and all it ever sees are electrical and chemical signals. So all the colors you see, and so on, that doesn’t really exist; that’s an interpretation by your brain. (…)

    All we’re actually doing is seeing an internal model of the world; we’re not seeing what’s out there, we’re seeing just our internal model of it. And that’s why, when you move your eyes around, all you’re doing is updating that model.

    And for that matter, when you blink your eyes and there are 80 milliseconds of blackness there, you don’t notice that, either. Because it’s not actually about what’s coming in the eyes; it’s about your internal construction. And, in fact, as I mention in the book, we don’t even need our eyes to see. When you are asleep and dreaming, your eyes are closed, but you’re having full, rich visual experience —because it’s the same process of running your visual cortex, and then you believe that you are seeing. (…)

    Because all the brain ever sees are these electrical and chemical signals, and it doesn’t necessarily know or care which ones are coming in through the eyes, or the ears, or the fingertips, or smell, or taste. All these things get converted just to electrical signals."====
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  5. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    That should have been obvious to even a philosophically and scientifically uninformed rock star tripping on acid back in the 1960s, once he saw green fur sprouting on his guitar and a talking cobra rising up and singing along beside him. "Hey, man, dig this: The everyday external world I'm experiencing is in my skull."

    However, I still feel that the most extreme views entertained in postmodernism can be warded off cross-and-garlic-like by the intersubjectivity of humans or similar species sharing the same representational system; and how language allows us to compare our experiences.

    Indirect realism or the involvement of representations doesn't necessarily even have to be the case, though the cure might be worse than the supposed affliction. A dream, for instance, is not trying to copy / map the brain's structure. It's instead a virtual reality regulated by whatever erratic principles the brain resorts to for dream fabrication / manipulation. A dream is ironically close to a pure case of direct realism, where I'm not experiencing a copy of a world existing at another outer level. My generated avatar is in direct contact with that "internal" external world created on the fly by the brain.

    Shifting that program / process from the tiny confines of the brain to a group scale embracing multiple instances of mind, so that "other people" are more than just outward appearances which lack their own perceptions and thoughts, would be quite a project though. While being more substantively minimalist than what's implied by indirect realism, in the end the complexity required to coordinate a distributed "cosmic dream" that's being spit out by some transcendent algorithm seems just as daunting. Instead of an existing archetype to mimic there is only the world-producing formula. I'm not sure the Matrix of film myth took the dream approach of avoiding maintaining parts of that reality which none of its resident avatars were around to immediately observe.

    Erwin Schrödinger: The reason why our sentient, percipient and thinking ego is met nowhere within our scientific world picture can easily be indicated in seven words: because it is itself that world picture. It is identical with the whole and therefore cannot be contained in it as a part of it. But, of course, here we knock against the arithmetical paradox; there appears to be a great multitude of these conscious egos, the world is however only one. This comes from the fashion in which the world concept produces itself. The several domains of 'private' consciousness partly overlap. The region common to all where they all overlap is the construct of the 'real world around us'. With all that an uncomfortable feeling remains, prompting such question as: is my world really the same as yours? Is there one real world to be distinguished from its pictures introjected by way of perception into every one of us? And if so, are these pictures like unto the real world or is the latter, the 'world in itself', perhaps very different from the one we perceive? --Mind and Matter, Chapter 4: The Arithmetical Paradox: The Oneness of Mind
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  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Doesn't that contradict this:

    And what about this:

    Shared with who? Shared with what? Other minds, located somehow 'behind the construct'? Or are all of the other minds simply illusory, just part of a subjective reality-construct created by my own mind?

    Why are idealists so eager to make the physical world go away, reducing it to a 'mental construct' (without ever specifying what 'mind' has supposedly done the constructing) but so reluctant to follow the logic of their own argument when it comes to all of the other people that populate the hated physical world?
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Probably because his distinction only arises in the context of his philosophy.

    I'm not convinced that it even makes sense there.

    Kant seems to start out in his 'Trancendental Aesthetic' with the implication that the 'mind' that's doing the constructing of spatial-temporal reality is unproblematically the individual human mind. But later in his 'Critique' he ends up arguing that all objects of thought are mental products. Which lands him in a self-referential conundrum, it seems to me.

    We seem to end up with two very different 'minds':

    There's the phenomenal mind of both subjective experience and philosophical conceptualization, which is itself merely a part of the 'mental construct'.

    And then there's a transcendental (divine?) noumenal mind that's supposedly doing all the constructing. It makes no sense to ask whether there is one or many noumenal minds, since number is supposedly one of the mind-imposed categories of the construct and only has phenomenal application.

    Except that on Kant's own principles, positing such a thing would seem to be an inadmissible metaphysical extension of the speculative faculties beyond the realm of possible experience.

    So Kant's philosophy would seem to render Kant's own philosophy problematic.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I have a map of Middle Earth. It represents Middle Earth. Does Middle Earth exist? Who knows? Maybe...

    Right...other minds behind the construct, just like in a video game with other avatars. The avatars are there part of the construct, but there are minds behind them as well. Think paralogically.

    I'm just following the logical conclusions of neuroscience, as quoted by several neuroscientists on this matter. Why do I have to present a coherent TOE every time I show the failings of your folk realism view of the world? Have you solved everything? ignore the fact that everything we experience is generated by our brains. You somehow assume the world sits out there being exactly as it is without a brain at all experiencing it. How do you explain this?

  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I already clarified this for us. I said as long as you are in the construct, it is experienced as the reality. But it is also a map of reality, to the extent that there is an absolute reality behind it. What IS a reality anyway other than a construct or generalization of the mind? It's an abstraction based on our limited experiences, like say possibility or nothingness.

    FYI, don't start insulting me with comparisons to other members you hate. That will only get you ignored.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  12. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    If a scientist admits that the appearance of herself which she is viewing (with the aid of a mirror) is not the actual "her" containing or generating that perceptual experience, then she too has to duplicate herself at another level (with either a similar conception of herself or a radically different one). One way to escape such nesting (the appearances needing a similar or transfigured duplication of themselves as their cause) might be to posit that "I'm just a minor part of a more general phenomenal continuum brutely generating itself and its changes without any further cause or provenance being responsible, which has these multiple person-centered views of itself featuring a cosmos that we are all depicted as residing in." Kind of a grand dream floating on its own. But that's an outlook probably suitable for the later post-Kantians, rather than their "supposed" intellectual forebear.

    Kant fleetingly mentioned the possibility of a "world-mind" or something that Hegel latched onto, but it was too speculation-assertive. The default view nearest to being derived from what we actually experience is that each "mind" does have boundaries; my thoughts and perceptions don't have those of a neighbor bleeding in on me, or those of a God-Mind. Since on the thing-in-itself side I would be relation-less (at least in a spatial manner), there is no collecting us into sets or groups (quantitative). But on the appearances side we seem completely relational dependent in a space. I'm a corporeal shape existing outside itself that varies by distance, POV, scale, etc; an elusive illusion I seem to become in that extrinsic arena of variable interpretations.

    In the context of his rehabilitation of speculative / theoretical philosophy, the faculty of Understanding was to be re-directed away from venturing "certainties" about the supersensible, since it only had empirical content with which to "verify" anything when applied to the faculty of Sensibility [which supplied what the phenomenal, natural world was derived from]. But in the context of practical philosophy, less dogmatic and very general items could be projected upon the intelligible realm of the Greeks (or whatever) if moderns had good arguments for why it was beneficial to believe such and such.

    Kant, of course, preferred the practical enterprise to be restricted to moral affairs and God, freedom [the noumenal mind], and immortality. But that was just his preferences for plugging into that empty slot. He admitted he was only offering a rough outline of his overall project, relying on his future apprentices to flesh-out more specifics and iron-out any potential inconsistencies. What he got instead was the post-Kantian lot, who simply butchered / grabbed what they liked and then took off on their own pursuits. In turn garbling perception of Kant's original scheme on the occasions or periods when they were deemed his true acolytes.

    KANT: But when all progress in the field of the supersensible has thus been denied to speculative reason, it is still open to us to enquire whether, in the practical knowledge of reason, data may not be found sufficient to determine reason's transcendent concept of the unconditioned, and so to enable us, in accordance with the wish of metaphysics, and by means of knowledge that is possible a priori,though only from a practical point of view, to pass beyond the limits of all possible experience. [...] reason has, in respect of its practical employment, the right to postulate what in the field of mere speculation it can have no kind of right to assume without sufficient proof.

    For while all such assumptions do violence to [the principle of] completeness of speculation, that is a principle with which the practical interest is not at all concerned. In the practical sphere reason has rights of possession, of which it does not require to offer proof, and of which, in fact, it could not supply proof. The burden of proof accordingly rests upon the opponent. But since the latter knows just as little of the object under question, in trying to prove its non-existence, as does the former in maintaining its reality, it is evident that the former, who is asserting something as a practically necessary supposition, is at an advantage (melior est conditio possidentis).

    For he is at liberty to employ, as it were in self-defence, on behalf of his own good cause, the very same weapons that his opponent employs against that cause, that is, hypotheses. These are not intended to strengthen the proof of his position, but only to show that the opposing party has much too little understanding of the matter in dispute to allow of his flattering himself that he has the advantage in respect of speculative insight. Hypotheses are therefore, in the domain of pure reason, permissible only as weapons of war, and only for the purpose of defending a right, not in order to establish it. But the opposing party we must always look for in ourselves. For speculative reason in its transcendental employment is in itself dialectical; the objections which we have to fear lie in ourselves. We must seek them out, just as we would do in the case of claims that, while old, have never become superannuated, in order that by annulling them we may establish a permanent peace.
  13. Yazata Valued Senior Member


    You seem to be adopting a realism regarding other minds, while simultaneously adopting a strong constructionist anti-realism regarding physical reality. What justifies treating other people differently than the tables and the chairs?

    Historically, most philosophical idealists seem to try to do that. They are far more reluctant to embrace the solipsistic implications of their own arguments than they are to deny the independent reality of physical objects, something they often appear strangely eager to do.

    Neurons and nervous systems are physical.

    I didn't ask you to produce a 'theory of everything', whatever that is. I asked why idealists are typically far more reluctant to give up realism regarding other minds than realism regarding the physical world.

    It is? That's a pretty radical philosophical speculation.

    I'm not God. The rest of the universe isn't dependent on me and on my being aware of it. I'm not an adherent of George Berkeley's dictum: 'To be is to be perceived'.

    I have no problem thinking that there are countless places in the universe that very much exist, that have just as much being as anything else, that have never at any time been perceived by any sentient being. (Probably countless extrasolar planets for example. I'm confident that geological processes happen in those places, even if there's nobody there to see it. Mars certainly seems to have a history.) When we send a space probe to the moons of Jupiter, we are discovering, not creating. The same thing is true when I open a closed drawer and look inside.

    How do I explain how things can have being and existence? I can't. The nature of being is one of the fundamental mysteries as far as I'm concerned.

    How do I explain how existence is possible without minds or perception? I don't think that I need to do that, since I don't see that as a problem.
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    You can label it anything you want. At this point it's all pretty much speculation, even for you.

    If one's own mind exists outside the construct, then it makes sense that other minds do to. The problem is conceiving of some sort of existence outside the construct. But we sort of do that already with mathematics and the equations of physics don't we?Entities that exist beyond physicality.

    Is consciousness physical? Does it have extention in space and time? Does it have mass or density? Can you examine it with a microscope?

    It's pretty basic science actually. What do you think the brain does with all those neural signals?

    I think that planets exist "out there" too, but only as constructed as doing so by our minds. There's no sense in talking about anything existing out there without a mind conceiving it as such. I don't even know what a planet would be like without a mind conceiving it as such. Would we even recognize it as a planet, assuming we could step out of our minds to experience the raw unconceived planet in itself? I doubt it. In fact we already have a pretty good idea of what the universe would be like outside of our conceiving mind. We call it death--a state of nonconscious eternal blankness. If the brain doesn't construct the world as there for us, why does it cease to exist for us when we die?
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  15. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    I like your introduction of "transensory" as an optional adjective, especially if it hasn't been co-opted by the New Age community as much as "transcendental" was during the 20th century.

    When growing up we can become so indoctrinated by the metaphysical versions of an external world that we forget the only inspirational source for those inferences to begin with is that of our own immediate outer experiences. But the latter itself carries within it the eventually exhumed, natural story that such outer manifestations are generated by a brain / body via certain of its specialized tissues being stimulated. Which brain / body is actually just another phenomenal object itself exhibited with spatial relations to the rest. So the consequence of this inferred story concerning the cause of the original reality presentation, the reality that actually has "shown" evidence for itself, is that this cause for it is ironically and perversely just another member of it own product (the cause residing within its effect). This then provokes going right back to the historic tradition of positing philosophical versions of "outer" so as to escape that situation, where some meta-external correlate of the empirical brain carries the true responsibility for outputting those manifestations.

    In regard to candidates for that meta-external stratum, Noam Chomsky seems to suggest that "material" and "physical" have become just as defunct today in their extra-epistemological usage as they were back when positivism dominated: "The term physical is just kind of like an honorific word, kind of like the word 'real' when we say 'the real truth'. It doesn't add anything, it just says 'this is serious truth'. So to say that something is 'physical' today just means 'you’ve got to take this seriously'. [...] As soon as we come to understand anything, we call it ‘physical’". But I personally doubt that metaphysical realism has subsided since its gradual return decades ago. Apart, of course, from it diminishing among the postmodernists arising during that stretch, and the Richard Rorty -like consequences that offshoot from eliminative materialism's demotion of qualitative properties to linguistic hallucinations (Rorty, after all, originally introduced EM along with Paul Feyerabend's stripe of it).

    Unlike the 19th century and very early 20th century "materialism" of the scientists of that era who avoided metaphysics (see Reed quote at bottom), today's ontological version of materialism avoids duplicating the cosmos as it appears in perception, due to scientific realism contending that it is very different than such. Since that combination usually yields a non-panpsychism conclusion (experience is emergent and confined to only the "beyond the mental" correlate of the brain appearance), its meta-external version of the cosmos (which is non-conscious) becomes as empirically blank as Kant's things-in-themselves. Thus similar pessimism seems warranted that an "invisible" brand of existence can ever really validate even the reason-fueled speculations projected upon it; at best they can have practical or "beneficial" justifications supported by argument.

    [Side note: Kant's so-called "noumenal mind" was affected by other things-in-themselves, so it actually did not fully qualify as the latter classification. Rather it served as the bridge between the independent, supersensible thing as in itself and the inter-dependent thing as outside itself (appearance, phenomenon). Unlike humans (etc), the thing-in-itself side of stones and the like (if they had such) could only have primitive faculties of reception and emission (of influences) appended to it as its "bridge" between noumenal and phenomenal. Perhaps vaguely similar to Leibniz's windowless and knowable version of things in themselves, the less advanced monads, which lacked understanding of their internally-programmed and synchronized flow of "percepts". But Kant rejected that overall Wolf / Leibniz contribution to Platonic conceptions.]

    EDWARD S. REED: Huxley, like all the other scientists in the group--and like almost all scientists in Europe or America at the that time--was not a materialist [apart from name only], despite his belief in the progress of mechanistic physiology. He argued in two directions: one from the external phenomena of science (say, the data of physiology) and the other from introspective phenomena (for example, our belief in free will). He was inclined to believe that most (or all) introspectively revealed phenomena would prove to be caused by externally revealed ones. But in any event he was a phenomenalist, arguing that what is real is phenomena. If the soul (or the unconscious) is not real, it is because it is not part of the phenomenal world.

    This panphenomenalism was widely labeled positivism when it was propounded by scientists. In the loosely defined meandering of the term, positivism dominated the European intellectual scene from approximately 1870 to 1890. [...] Matter for Huxley was just what it was for Mach or Hertz: a set of phenomenal observations made by scientists. It is thus remarkable but true that the most reviled "materialists" of the 1880s--Huxley, Tyndall, and Clifford--were all phenomenalists of sort or another and not materialists at all.

    The positivist impulse gave new life to a variety of panphenomenalism, one whose adherents were surprisingly uncritical about the analysis of those allegedly basic mental phenomena, sensations. Thus, thinkers as different in outlook and interests as Huxley and Mach, Taine and Spencer, Wundt and Lewes all agreed that the basic "data" on which all science was to built were sensations.
    --From Soul to Mind: The Emergence of Psychology
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  16. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    All is reality.
  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    It's like a Klein bottle which twists back upon itself to make it's inside identical to its outside. The outer world gets constructed as "there", as one whole self-contained place in itself, while simultanously including our body/brain as part of itself. But the thing it is being outside to IS the brain itself. The outsideness is projected outward only to come back up around to swallow whole the very thing it is being outside to. Like how a self-inclusive set contains yet exteriorizes itself at the same time. The set is in itself, yet outside of itself at the same time, bounded by an exteriority/interiority that defines both its limits and its content.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Is the fluid on the inside of the bottle, the outside of the bottle, or both?

    "I Am a Strange Loop is a 2007 book by Douglas Hofstadter, examining in depth the concept of a strange loop to explain the sense of "I". The concept of a strange loop was originally developed in his 1979 book Gödel, Escher, Bach.

    “In the end, we are self-perceiving, self-inventing, locked-in mirages that are little miracles of self-reference."”

    — Douglas Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop p.363

    "And yet when I say "strange loop", I have something else in mind — a less concrete, more elusive notion. What I mean by "strange loop" is — here goes a first stab, anyway — not a physical circuit but an abstract loop in which, in the series of stages that constitute the cycling-around, there is a shift from one level of abstraction (or structure) to another, which feels like an upwards movement in a hierarchy, and yet somehow the successive "upward" shifts turn out to give rise to a closed cycle. That is, despite one's sense of departing ever further from one's origin, one winds up, to one's shock, exactly where one had started out. In short, a strange loop is a paradoxical level-crossing feedback loop." ibid. (pp. 101-102)
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  18. river

    Despite all of the above posts , we do see reality as it is. As to the limits of our senses.

    Our senses are limited; sure. But if we had the ability to actually sense ALL that is going on this Earth and in space, I doubt we could survive the information draw in.

    We see reality. Just not the full spectrum.
  19. birch Valued Senior Member

    One area that I've noticed most people don't recognize as reality is metaphysical energy and emotions. They only consider thoughts as real or physical objects.

    Predators and 'sensitives' are well aware this is untrue. Predators can sniff out vulnerability and detect energies. They know how to exploit, bend, twist and feed off it. They are called emotional vampires. There is a lack of respect for unseen boundaries. Basically its parasitic and empowers them. When someone drains you, its not your imagination. It is actually a true cause and effect. Not only does it empower them with just extra positive energy but gives them an unfair advantage by gleaning much personal knowledge because your energies contain much intimate and objective info. They use these energies to serve their purpose. They also feed on those who are good or sincere as its the most helpful or beneficial. They also don't do mutual beneficial with their victims. They also assess who they can and not or dare not. They dont victimize their own kind. People can Its like identity theft on the metaphysical plane.

    Some of it is unconscious, you don't know what is lurking inside of people, good and bad. There are all kinds of things that exist in this world and processes that are not status quo. Some could be considered dysfunctional or twisted but if they aren't caught or can't be stopped, its not 'dysfunctional' to them if it benefits. Just like transference of thought so is energy with living organisms. Just like some would steal your last dollar or physically take your life, there are people who would deplete you of your soul, dreams, energy and facilitate unfair exchanges or just exploit. These things occur under the nose of society. There are all kinds of machinations going on levels that cannot be physically defined but are just as real. The idiom that one should heed their little inner voice, should not be easily ignored. Its aware of what you can't 'see'. Predators are aware, so should you for your protection and well-being. Logic is not always true in all cases. Actually it can be very superficial to reality or even mislead, blind or fool. Logic in a hypothetical vacuum is also akin to illusion. You must use all your senses at times and in certain circumstances, intuition or instinct will be correct and your rational thought will be oblivious to certain or pertinent realities or to yet consciously become aware of them.

    So yeah, reality is not just what you see. There are so many different levels and dynamics going on, often hidden too. And often people are not what they seem either on the surface. Some people are conniving in ways that defy conventional understanding. Watch out if you let someone get close. With the wrong person, you may witness it in all its hideous, shocking, and amoral glory while they put on the regular bloke facade to the outside like second nature and not miss a beat. The world is stranger than you think.

    They exist in all strata of society but all have narcissistic personalities even if their outward persona seems charismatic, friendly etc. Often, the more advanced males will have overflowing contradictory energies like an overinflated leech whereas the females will tend to give off a darker subdued energy but will be sly. I've noticed these types believe some should serve them, are below them and hierarchal in value system (evaluating peoples inherent worth), whether they openly admit it. They are not the type to believe everyone deserves humane respect but completely dependent on level of power, ill-gotten or not.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
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  20. birch Valued Senior Member

    Its like Schrödinger's cat. Just because we can't detect, see or even be affected doesn't mean it doesn't exist. We're just limited to certain practicalities for existence. The brain constructs reality in a margin to maneuver but not as reality as it is. We can't see atoms (we assume thats exactly what it is but does it just appear in this form to us? what properties do we not detect or can never? Its not just a matter of linear macroscopic to micro such as protons, neutrons, string theory etc) or reality exactly as is but nature considers it axiomatic that its unnecessary for general purposes. The question would be if we could, would we be lost as to discern the forest for the trees? Would we discern the difference between a planet or a tree? We are blind to reality by a specialized narrow margin but its possible we would also be unable to detect where you and your environment end or begin, but similarly have insights we cannot know within our current perception. It would be like a parallel universe or dimension of perception. For instance, if temperature did not affect us, how would we even define its properties? How would we perceive reality as a remote viewer?

    Everything we perceive, how its perceived and defined is more likely just a fraction of its properties or potential. Because we can only detect reality in relation to us but that is, of course, not necessarily the case. Reality exists independent of us as well. Therefore, it would be impossible to know all. Its possible to master and understand within our scope and even be aware there are other possibilities but totally incapable to even begin to even hypothesize or speculate as we would be utilizing and defining within the same parameters of perception, bringing forth, defining and molding to our reality thus again, within our limitations. Thereby missing the point, it remains ever elusive. To us.

    Its defined in our narrow scope of existence, within the perceivable laws of the universe. We can even imagine and mentally construct additional dimensions 5,6, or 100 or multiverse etc (everything is still perceived with an assumed root understanding based on our reality) but is that the only way reality can express itself? To only our ability since its impossible to speculate because that is all we know and that is the only way our brains are constructed to detect and conceive. Its like being colorblind. Even those laws may have other properties or be completely different than what we assume them to be.

    I'm sure there exists things we would never be able to detect, not only because they don't affect us perceptibly but also we are limited to our three-dimensional physical viewpoint. Physical reality is most likely just a level of reality which we are confined because this is the construct of the level of our existence. We possibly may get a peek here and there of the unexplainable but even that reality would be detected in a reconfigured or limited margin to our perceptive ability.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
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  21. river

    I disagree

    Hmmm....what exactly do you think the Brain is made of if not atoms in this Universe?

    Physical reality is important; this is where reality starts. Without the fundamentals; without the understanding of physical reality ; you can't advance to a higher level.
  22. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    During brief bouts of historical amnesia, it could become puzzling for any of us as to why rationalist traditions want to shift "real" from the sensational / perceptual to the theoretical / conceptual. The latter is the wrong direction to go for validation. At least since the metaphysical pessimism introduced in the 18th century pulled the rug out from under such, that reasoning or logical-driven speculation in itself could prove an opaque, covert, non-exhibited manner of being... or a variant of a general, abstract kind if the former doesn't already equate to that.

    An empirical fundamentalism which disdains to call phenomenal absence "reality" doesn't mean that there is no cause for the world of extrospection or the external half of experience. Just that such a viewpoint finds it ridiculous to label that provenance, style of existence, etc, with the term "reality". IOW, rejecting this centuries-long philosophical fad that a non-conscious, non-intellective, lack of appearing-as-anything-at-all to itself "origin" for the opposite set of affairs deserves such a distinguished title.
  23. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Do we see reality as it is?
    Not quite yet.
    Successive approximations toward a goal.

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