Our perception of Euclidean space

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You can't reach a conclusion on this topic without a set of assumptions, which are the foundataions of science. Even your proposition that consciousness is something unknown and separate to the body and creates the mental image we call 'objective reality' is based on a few assumptions(even if you don't realise that).
I realize that I am assuming that what my consciousness perceives is connected to sensory receivers such as eyes and other nerves. You are right that this assumption is based on information derived from sensory data and cognitive synthesis. I guess I should really start with "I think therefore I am."

Unfortunately for our state of understanding of reality, most of the assumptions are challenged by modern physics. The ones i can list off the top of my head:
What makes the assumptions of modern physics about the ontology of existence any more valid than any other approach? Just because physics can explain and predict observations well in terms of dimensions doesn't mean that the dimensions are more than cognitive constructs, does it?

Free will
Realism
Locality
The assumption that the human mind is the right tool to comprehend reality
The assumption that solipsism is wrong
The assumption of there being true randomness
You need to explain your reasoning for each of these instead of just stating them.

We can't hope science to answer the big questions without these assumptions. As there is no way to verify any of them, although unlikely, there is some percent chance that they could all be wrong and this would cause a collapse to the castle in the sky.
If you choose to make philosophical axioms the basis for your ontological assumptions, more power to you - I don't believe more is possible.

Still, I build my science-philosophy on the axiomatic principle of empiricism, which leads me to accept first as foremost that what is perceived or observed is the basis for doing science, not synthetic assumptions about whatever reality I may suppose is generating those sensory data.

Will I assert that there are objective artifacts that correspond to my empirical observations? Yes. Do I believe that I can make such an assertion on the basis of empiricism alone? No. Every assertion or claim to knowledge is necessarily an active assertion that can only be critiqued at the discursive level. Empirical testing, deductive reasoning, etc. are all reasonable methods of engaging in discourse, but it is fundamentally wrong to claim that reality is directly accessible. Reality is the resource-pool from which discursive negations are empowered. It is not simply "there" for observation and testing. It is constructed (in discourse) through observation and testing. If it exists outside of that, no one can truthfully claim to have better access than what they perceive and believe through sensory perception and cognition.
 
  • #27
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I realize that I am assuming that what my consciousness perceives is connected to sensory receivers such as eyes and other nerves. You are right that this assumption is based on information derived from sensory data and cognitive synthesis. I guess I should really start with "I think therefore I am."

I got the impression you were saying that the 'out there' didn't exist and dimensions, time and space were mental constructs. Did i get what you were saying wrong?


What makes the assumptions of modern physics about the ontology of existence any more valid than any other approach? Just because physics can explain and predict observations well in terms of dimensions doesn't mean that the dimensions are more than cognitive constructs, does it?

I only said that the main assumptions that are at the base of all of our theories, and which are the foundations of science, are being challenged. I don't know how what you said is related to my comment. I never said dimensions weren't or couldn't be mental constructs.



You need to explain your reasoning for each of these instead of just stating them.

I think you have misunderstood what i said. All of the assumptions i listed were for the sole purpose of illustrating that you can't have scientific models without these assumptions. You can't do science if you don't think you are justified to make these assumptions. So without these assumptions, we cannot assert anything, not just "the objective existence of something that cannot be directly observed or measured".




If you choose to make philosophical axioms the basis for your ontological assumptions, more power to you - I don't believe more is possible.

Still, I build my science-philosophy on the axiomatic principle of empiricism, which leads me to accept first as foremost that what is perceived or observed is the basis for doing science, not synthetic assumptions about whatever reality I may suppose is generating those sensory data.

Will I assert that there are objective artifacts that correspond to my empirical observations? Yes. Do I believe that I can make such an assertion on the basis of empiricism alone? No. Every assertion or claim to knowledge is necessarily an active assertion that can only be critiqued at the discursive level. Empirical testing, deductive reasoning, etc. are all reasonable methods of engaging in discourse, but it is fundamentally wrong to claim that reality is directly accessible. Reality is the resource-pool from which discursive negations are empowered. It is not simply "there" for observation and testing. It is constructed (in discourse) through observation and testing. If it exists outside of that, no one can truthfully claim to have better access than what they perceive and believe through sensory perception and cognition.
I agree to that, i didn't imply reality was directly accessible. I did imply though that even our very best empirical-based reasoning rests on a set of unprovable assumptions. This is hardly surprising, what would be surprising would be if all the assumptions turn out to be true.
 
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I got the impression you were saying that the 'out there' didn't exist and dimensions, time and space were mental constructs. Did i get what you were saying wrong?
The existence of "out there," or externality, is as much of an assertion or claim, and therefore subject to social-cognitive construction discourse, as dimensionality, time, and space. Even if you assert that matter-energy exists beyond subjectivity, which I believe it does, I think it is confounding to mix up the existence of matter-energy with that of dimensionality, space, and time. Dimensionality, space, and time are conceptual tools for making sense of matter-energy dynamics.

I only said that the main assumptions that are at the base of all of our theories, and which are the foundations of science, are being challenged. I don't know how what you said is related to my comment. I never said dimensions weren't or couldn't be mental constructs.
Empirical rigor begins, imo, with the acceptance that what is perceived is perceptual data. The claims made about the nature of "what's behind" the perceptual data are still claims. They are mental constructs first and their reality is only conceivable as a result of constructing them as such cognitively.

I think you have misunderstood what i said. All of the assumptions i listed were for the sole purpose of illustrating that you can't have scientific models without these assumptions. You can't do science if you don't think you are justified to make these assumptions. So without these assumptions, we cannot assert anything, not just "the objective existence of something that cannot be directly observed or measured".

The point is that justification is an assertion that requires authority. The authority cannot be projected onto the thing you are claiming as a source of its own authority. To believe you are justified in making certain assumptions requires claiming a justifying-authority. Without claiming such authority, nothing can be justified.

Can authority exist outside of claims-making? If you answer yes, then how? Authority is required to reason and generate an answer. If that authority is not internal to the thinker, how does s/he gain access to it and recognize it as authority? Recognizing external authority requires internal authority, so you can't really get beyond internal authority as a starting point for all reasoning, justification, perception, observation, synthesis, and so on.

I agree to that, i didn't imply reality was directly accessible. I did imply though that even our very best empirical-based reasoning rests on a set of unprovable assumptions. This is hardly surprising, what would be surprising would be if all the assumptions turn out to be true.
This sounds like Kuhnian paradigm logic. Kuhn's logic, in my understanding, is that science is built on relatively arbitrary socially-established shared bases agreed upon by scientists that make other claims and conclusions sensible. I dislike this logic because it implies that critical challenges to scientific authority are impossible without ultimately undermining the paradigm on which the science is dependent. I believe that critical discourse yields progressive levels of truth.

It is true that no certainly is possible regarding the ontology of sensory perceptions outside of cogntion - but it is also true that sensory perceptions yield relatively stable data. Since the data is stable enough to perform synthetic analyses, these data and analyses provide a basis for truth-discourse. Establishing veracity for empirical perception/observation does not require the existence of external reality, only the power of truth-discourse to establish it synthetically.

E.g. a stick isn't a meter long because it exists externally to observation and measurement. It is a meter long because it is measured as such and subject to critical discourse to verify or falsify its true length. Disputing truth-claims requires truth-power, to use Foucaultian language, not transparent access to presumed realities.
 
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Take for example the idea of Santa Clause. As long as a kid perceived Santa as an external reality, logics for how Santa makes it to every house in one night, gets through the chimney without getting burned or dirty, how he carries so many gifts, etc. are all issues. Once kids understand that Santa Clause is just an idea, "the spirit of giving" as one friend of mine says, the mechanics come to seem less fixed.
The difference is that santa doesn't exhibit properties than can be measured. An immeasurable idea is fine, as long as it's an idea. But santa doesn't interact physically with other matter.

Another model I'm working on is being able to conceptualize matter-energy interactions without any projection of space as a container.
There is a spatial dimension that exists between your face and your computer screen right now. What existed in that particular "space" at T=0 and before?

Something must be there. I compare it to a piece of paper and a pencil. If I draw a line with my pencil on the paper, the line will exist as long as I keep it on the paper. But once I extend the pencil beyond the paper, the line is invisible. But the paper needs to be there in order for the line to exist. Space is that paper.

Explain why that same spatial dimension in front of you can contain the mass of the earth and/or just an electron. How is space able to host such disparate amounts of energy?


The ultimate truth is that space cannot be measured or empirically observed except as a function of matter-energy dynamics. Space and time are generalizations about relationships between multiple points. It may be an inconvenient truth to deal with cognitively, but how can you assert the objective existence of something that cannot be directly observed or measured?
I'm not sure how nothing can be observed or measured. But there's so many other concepts in the material world that fit into that group---other dimensions, super-symmetrical particles, cosmological constant, list goes on. Space is no different. And I don't think it's a perceived construct.
 
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The difference is that santa doesn't exhibit properties than can be measured. An immeasurable idea is fine, as long as it's an idea. But santa doesn't interact physically with other matter.
You missed my point. I used Santa as a concrete example of how the perceiver orients toward "him" when they externalize their perception verses when they treat it as a subjective/internal thing. When the child externalizes Santa the questions asked are things like "how can he carry so many presents to so many houses in one night?" "how do reindeer fly?" etc. When its treated as a subjective topic the questions are "what causes children and adults to orient toward Santa and the corresponding spirit of giving as such?"

You're relapsing into the assumption that there is an inherent difference between objective and subjective artifacts prior to cognitive externalization of them. This is a cognitive reflex many if not most people have, I think, but it is nonetheless a reflex with epistemological consequences. The consequence is that it prevents you from being aware of your perception of external-objects from the subjective interface of consciousness.

I.e. you think that you have transcended consciousness and have come to operate outside of it in the objective universe of your perception. The matrix has become completely transparent, in other words. There's nothing inherently wrong with operating within "the matrix" but I'm just pointing out that within the image of your embodied position within objective reality, it is possible to empirically recognize that your body does not have direct access to the universe it perceives as external to itself. Its access is mediated by sensory reception and cognition. Consciousness is unbridgeably separated from the external reality it imagines to exist by its own embodied, neural existence.

There is a spatial dimension that exists between your face and your computer screen right now. What existed in that particular "space" at T=0 and before?
I can project such spatial dimensionality between my perception of my face and the computer screen by applying a generalized notion of length and width, but that doesn't mean that those dimensions and spatiality aren't projections that are overlaid on the perceptions of the things within my consciousness.

In other words, why is the image you are conscious off through your eyes any different from the image on a computer desktop? The only reason you differentiate them is out of a desire to claim transparent access to some ultimate im-mediate reality - but how can you claim transparency or immediacy without denying the mediality of sensory receptors and cognition/consciousness?

Something must be there. I compare it to a piece of paper and a pencil. If I draw a line with my pencil on the paper, the line will exist as long as I keep it on the paper. But once I extend the pencil beyond the paper, the line is invisible. But the paper needs to be there in order for the line to exist. Space is that paper.
Light (supposedly) exists without a medium. You can conceptualize space as a medium for light, matter, and other energy - but that logically contradicts the notion that no medium is necessary. If space was like paper on which the existence of matter-energy was "drawn," wouldn't it have to be empirically observable or measurable in some way beyond interrelations among observable/measurable things?

Can't matter-energy happen vis-a-vis itself without having a container-concept projected around it?

Explain why that same spatial dimension in front of you can contain the mass of the earth and/or just an electron. How is space able to host such disparate amounts of energy?
With these questions you're axiomatically constructing the existence of space as an a priori given. That's cognitive-synthetic, not empirical. The more relevant question, imo, is how matter-energy can operate at the level of electrons but also at the level of solar-planetary gravitation.

My understanding of relativity, GR and SR, is that it explains scale relations according to the frame-relative speed of light/energy verses the absolute speed of matter relative to other matter.

So, imo. scaling differences are the product of energy being translated into spacetime dilation instead of velocity at a given level of dilation. When objects approach the speed of light in the same frame with other objects, the spatial relations among the objects "dilate" as they contract relative to each other.

So I think that electrons only appear as the size and mass that they do because their energy/momentum has propelled them to the scale at which they operate. I think other objects appear at the scale we perceives ourselves at because their energy levels are within the spectrum of gravity-velocity dilation at the intersection of Earth's gravity and the sun's at Earth's distance/velocity relative to it.

Your perception of relatively stable spatial and scaling relations between the various objects surrounding you is the result of relative simultaneity of their grativational/motion. We're all basically in rotational free fall around the center of the Earth except for tensile friction has causes us to pile up in a sort of "traffic jam."

The matter-energy dynamics of the traffic jam at sea-level are what you perceive as dimensional stability. In another gravitational/motion context, you would have to come up with radically different projections of spatiality/temporality or other dimensionality to appropriately orient toward other matter-energy.

I realize I may be mixing up theoretical aspects of relativity with my own synthesis of it, but I'm just sharing what I think.

I'm not sure how nothing can be observed or measured. But there's so many other concepts in the material world that fit into that group---other dimensions, super-symmetrical particles, cosmological constant, list goes on. Space is no different. And I don't think it's a perceived construct.
I think I've said it before, but I'll go ahead and say it again. Just because a concept is useful for analyzing a multitude of situations doesn't make it part of the reality it helps to organize conceptually. Space doesn't have to be a bad perceived construct to be a perceived construct. The only criteria for being a construct is that humans construct it through interpolation or otherwise. If matter-energy exists outside of consciousness, which I assert it does without proof, it is qualitatively distinct from the constructs of space, time, and other dimensionalities which are cognitive-overlays projected at the level of conscious-perception and modeling.

You can model gravity as a rope connecting a planet with the sun, but that doesn't mean it exists as an actual rope.
 
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