Solipsism redefined?

  • Thread starter philly
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What do you think of this perspective on solipsism?

  • Innovative

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Makes sense

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Nothing new

    Votes: 6 54.5%
  • Rediculous!

    Votes: 2 18.2%

  • Total voters
    11
  • #51
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Does the Rational Mind exist? If so, is it the unified whole (it can't be part of it otherwise the unified whole wouldn't be a unified whole without parts)? Or, is it outside of, and separate from Reality? If that is the case, we would have to conclude that the Rational Mind is not real but nonetheless exists, wouldn't we?
If I may butt in a bit...

"Rational Mind" is referring to "subjective experience", not to a physical "thing" having an experience.

Like Mosassam mentioned, it is hard to see all this because it is intrinsic to our mind (brain) that reality is classified into things.

It is not possible to understand or even to think about any system without breaking it into sensible "things" (that then can be thought of being in interaction with each others). Rational mind is based on this kind of classification process. (Another way to put it, the system is broken into semantical components, which make up the mental model we are aware of... Because of having a mental model of reality, we can make predictions about its behaviour. And all our rational behaviour is based on this capability of making predictions)

So, the subjective experience definitely exists, but if we want to understand the real nature of the subjective experience, it can be erroneous to assume identity to one's own mind. As if you are metaphysically the same person today that you were yesterday. What you have is memories of yesterday; existing by the virtue of physical configuration of the brain. What is there that persists in a person metaphysically? Well, there is absolutely no need to assume anything else persists from moment to moment, but the memories. It is part of our semantical worldview that we assume there is an objective "self"

This is not the most complicated philosophy but it is not the most intuitive one either... Still it comes as a kind of a natural revelation to many people at some point during their lives. At least to those who are inclined towards materialism.

For a deeper look, check out:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Being-No-On...ka_1/026-4300388-2023627?ie=UTF8&s=books&tag=
 
  • #52
All he did was posit the existence of a process ontology, something already constructed from eastern philosophical and religious paradigms. The Dao or Tao being the most famous example.

The concept that reality can't be defined or classified, is really really ancient. Substance ontology, what most of embrace, emerged out of the west.

Explain how we would have made the advancements we have made, had we not assumed the universe is built upon constituent parts?
 
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  • #53
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Explain how we would have made the advancements we have made, had we not assumed the universe is built upon constituent parts?
We would not have. That is the way we make "valid models". Valid as in yielding valid predictions. There is nothing wrong in understanding a system in any way that we find useful, but the difference between scientific models and ontological considerations must be kept firmly in mind here.

I'll just refer to myself:
https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=1256285&postcount=297
 
  • #54
We would not have. That is the way we make "valid models". Valid as in yielding valid predictions. There is nothing wrong in understanding a system in any way that we find useful, but the difference between scientific models and ontological considerations must be kept firmly in mind here.

I'll just refer to myself:
https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=1256285&postcount=297
I have read lots of Kuhn and Popper what do they have to do with ontology? They are philosophers of science.

Kuhn's distinction of paradigms between normal science and revolutionary science, do not correlate to what you are saying.

Also, again, you both seem to be presenting a slightly modified process ontology, which I already stated, is nothing new. Not to say it shouldn't be discussed but I feel as if some people here think they are being original.
 
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  • #55
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I have read lots of Kuhn and Popper what do they have to do with ontology? They are philosophers of science.

Kuhn's distinction of paradigms between normal science and revolutionary science, do not correlate to what you are saying..
Well granted there are many ways to interpret Kuhn, but to me his observations speak volumes about hpw physical theories really are just models of reality. A model as in something that can yield valid predictions without capturing the real nature of the system it is predicting.

Also, again, you both seem to be presenting a slightly modified process ontology, which I already stated, is nothing new. Not to say it shouldn't be discussed but I feel as if some people here think they are being original.
Don't worry, I know many people have written books voicing the same ideas hundreds of years ago, and I think it goes without saying we can take any given philosophy today, and trace someone else who's had the same idea thousands of years back. When I think of something that is new to me, I usually find some writings about it pretty quickly. Oh the joy of internet. :)
 
  • #56
Well granted there are many ways to interpret Kuhn, but to me his observations speak volumes about hpw physical theories really are just models of reality. A model as in something that can yield valid predictions without capturing the real nature of the system it is predicting.



Don't worry, I know many people have written books voicing the same ideas hundreds of years ago, and I think it goes without saying we can take any given philosophy today, and trace someone else who's had the same idea thousands of years back. When I think of something that is new to me, I usually find some writings about it pretty quickly. Oh the joy of internet. :)
You are quite correct with your last paragraph. Perhaps it is to abrupt of me to conclude that your idea has nothing to do with Kuhn. I will read into it a bit deeper.

Regards,
-cP
 
  • #57
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Does the Rational Mind exist? If so, is it the unified whole (it can't be part of it otherwise the unified whole wouldn't be a unified whole without parts)? Or, is it outside of, and separate from Reality? If that is the case, we would have to conclude that the Rational Mind is not real but nonetheless exists, wouldn't we?
I would like to go through this slowly, if I may, as I'm on new ground myself.
Nothing can be separate or "outside" the unified whole but what does "unified whole" mean? Obviously, one sense must be the inclusion of everything known (and unknown) into a single grouping, but, to me at least, this gives the impression of a "thing" (the unified whole) in which everything else exists. I find that I cannot agree with this view. At this moment I am inclined to view the unified whole, not as an 'entity', but as a 'state of being' (please remember, I'm flying by the seat of my pants here).
I am reminded that, in Quantum Theory, "things" have been replaced by "waves of probability patterns".
Although it may not be possible to speak validly of "parts" of the unified whole, it may be possible to speak of aspects of it without shattering its "wholeness". Day to day reality consists of separate parts and the Rational Mind reflects this aspect of the unified whole. However, human consciousness also experiences moments of 'wholeness' (the "Eureka moment" for the scientist, "being in the groove" for a musician, "being in the zone" for an athlete and so on). The problem arises when these deeply personal moments have to be communicated, they have to be "broken down" into their constituent parts and once this occurs we have moved from the realm of "wholeness" back into the realm of "separateness" (the Rational Mind.)
Can we even discuss the unified whole/fallacy of identity through the lens of the Rational Mind?
 
  • #58
190
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All he did was posit the existence of a process ontology, something already constructed from eastern philosophical and religious paradigms. The Dao or Tao being the most famous example.
The view expressed of the unified whole/identity of fallacy posted above occured as a personal comprehension or "revelation" (if I want to be dramatic). Whilst being vaguely aware of the paradigms you mention they had minimal impact on the above view. I first came to this forum after I comprehended that Time doesn't objectively exist. No doubt this must old news to you guys but it certainly wasn't to me and I was quite shocked to discover this, but to say "Oh, this has already been discovered" in no way invalidates my personal experience. (I must also confess that I don't know what 'process ontology' means).

The concept that reality can't be defined or classified, is really really ancient. Substance ontology, what most of embrace, emerged out of the west.
Through the view of the unified whole I must agree that reality can't be classifed (I'm not sure about 'defined'). Does this reflect a shortcoming that science will always have (has had) when trying to describe reality or can it be possible, with this great constraint still in place, that science has the flexibility to "make a bridge" from the 'separate' to the 'whole'? One of the main influences I had regarding the unified whole/fallacy of identity view was David Bohm's Implicate Order (As well as Fritjof Capra's "The Web of Life" and Robert Anton Wilson's "Quantum Psychology")
 
  • #59
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Can we even discuss the unified whole/fallacy of identity through the lens of the Rational Mind?
Not properly no. Any discussion and even any thoughts about some systems work by us having classified the system into parts. This is the most serious problem when trying to communicate this idea to someone else. You can only use improper words to describe it :P (i.e. it requires little bit of effort from the other party... not something people are too willing to do in 'net forums :)

-Anssi
 
  • #60
190
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Any discussion and even any thoughts about some systems work by us having classified the system into parts. This is the most serious problem when trying to communicate this idea to someone else. You can only use improper words to describe it :P (i.e. it requires little bit of effort from the other party... not something people are too willing to do in 'net forums :)
1000% Amen
In my last post I spoke of the 'flexibility' science (physics) needs to reach beyond the obvious limitations of the Rational Mind. Definitions must be required but there seems to be a tendency for many people to want to define things "out of existence". Like-minded people must find a language that transcends the traditional limitations, unfortunately it will be one that must be based on trust, or even faith, in each other - a most unscientific principle. Criticism and scepticism will still be vital necessities but not for their own sake, and certainly not to be used as a sheild to protect oneself from the vague terror of uncertainty - the genuine fear of the unknown. In this respect, science and religion have been twins for too long.
 

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