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Posted by Luis Hamburgh on August 17, 2002 18:57:32 UTC

Hi Paul,

>>>"Do you really think that is what is presented in Dick's paper?"

Not seriously. But as the author of "Descartes, scepticism and solipsism" (heretofore "DSS") points out, Descartes’ ideas could be convoluted to bolster themes like that of "The Matrix." I have no idea who penned this thing, but I found his/her manipulation of Descartes to be quite a bizarre, but not entirely illogical, take on solipsism and 'scepticism.' I’d never quite thought of it this way, and so in a fit of "humor" I suggested a similar convolution of Staf’s paper was the "bombshell" Aurino has prepared for us.

>>>"How In The World Did You Arrive At That Connection?"

Again, just a cheap laugh, but the connection itself isn’t absolutely out of the question. Think about it:

1a) DSS: "Descartes wanted to find a piece of knowledge of which he could say with absolute certainty ‘this is indisputably true and no one can question it’. He knew that with one piece of certain knowledge as a foundation, he could build a secure structure." (second emphasis mine)
1b) Staf: "What I have to present is . . . a way of looking at the universe designed to absolutely avoid assumptions." (Preface, Page 2)

2a) DSS: "Modern versions of this argument point out that we could, without knowing it, be wired up to a computer which feeds us false sense data . . ."
2b) Staf: "There exists no universes which cannot be represented in my model" (Chapter I, p. 13)

3a) DSS: "I'm not suggesting that the world is a virtual reality simulation, but pointing out that this is compatible with the available evidence i.e. the fact that we experience sense data is inadequate to establish the existence of a physical reality."
3b) Staf: "The central issue of my presentation is that the representation is capable of representing anything communicable" (recently posted in this forum)

And so forth. A joke, but not as far-fetched as you seem to think.

I'm amazed some folks around here still regard Staf’s work as something new.


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