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?uhU Your Suggestions Are All Equally Reasonable

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Posted by Whittier on March 28, 2002 06:59:38 UTC

That guy wrote:
"Here is an example on why I just cannot take you very seriously when you respond. You absolutely did address me when you said:

***Dear Harv, Regarding sense impressions and their place in the assembly of information... "

1) According to our agreement, he is allowed to respond.
2) He really caught me on that one...
The rest of it isn't much, but plenty of bluster.

He also wrote:
"If you really want a response, then here it is:

I agree that sense impressions are interpreted as part of a context-sensitive situation. But, this is beside the point. All of our models, theories, laws, theorems, etc is (ultimately) in response to the sense impressions we have of the world. You can't develop a model that is 'sense impression'-free. Whatever knowledge we have to approach any problem assumes the world we know of having these sense impressions (along with the years of learning and experience having developed in such a world)."

The context of this is probably that he is fishing for a way to explain how science is different from "direct perception," waiting for someone finally to make it clear

This is a weird guess, but closer than his guesses about 'reality'...which of course cannot be his real opinion. The B.S. detector rings every time this poster reads that person's words. I think he's an unflappable troll, and he's welcome here as far as I know or care.

So, although he might never admit the light bulb went on in his head as a result of my excellent scientific explanations, here goes again:

The term "sense impressions" does not tell us what individuals perceive. Incoming information about one's surroundings are interpreted differently by different persons according to their
1) comprehension level in science
2) emotional programming
3) purpose in interpreting them
4) selection of senses to interpret
(ie. tune out or tune in various parts)

So, there IS NO general category of 'sense impressions' in perceiving physical phenomena.
Serendipitous discoveries which depended on
visual information, such as Fleming's discovery of Penicillin, resulted not from his seeing the spill, but on abstract constructions of information. Helen Keller, though her eyes and ears were 'silent,' learned to read, write and speak...not because her hands were intelligent, but because her hands conveyed information to her mind. She learned a whole world of abstraction
with a very narrow window to the world of senses.

A physicist need not make a column on his or her paper which asks why the sky is blue. He or she needs to devise instruments to investigate what seemingly invisible details may be reasoned out. He or she may benefit from knowing what invisible details were previously investigated. Ther are visible clues which emerge from investigations, such as the fact that a flame burns different colors in different gasses. In fact, the sky is not blue, exactly, but the experience of blue is a secondary effect which we figured out only after learning about gasses, sun angle,
and things like that. Which came first, senses or science? Senses! and most animals see everything without doing even moderately advanced science.
That means to me that it is meaningless to insist on this intermediate step, asking 'what are the sense impressions? The term 'sense impressions' has as little meaning in physical science as he keeps saying Dr. Stafford's paper seems to have. One difference is that 'sense impressions' is not mathematically defined in ways consistent with the phenomena.
The cautious tone of science yields that 'sense impressions' is not actually creating a problem...but it isn't helping solve one either.
Seems clear to me that the minimum model says there is objective physical reality and there are persons who may either see it blurry (and call that 'sense impressions') or they can select some parts for measurement and analysis. These parts, unpoetic as it may seem, are merely parts.
The analysis of the atmosphere does not require mentioning the sky is blue. An explanation of atmospheric makeup mentions the color blue as a nod to convention and human perception, but the perception and the name of the color "blue" was hardly any help in measuring light wavelengths, or figuring out the chemical constituents of the atmosphere. Humans have seen the 'blue sky' since we had color vision...probably thousands of years. When scientists figured out the atmosphere, it was ONLY when they went beyond sense impressions.

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