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Posted by Aurino Souza on September 17, 2002 17:14:36 UTC

Harv,

I'm impressed with your reply, impressed both by your ability to understand as well as my success in communicating it to you. Excellent start!

My head is spinning. Let's take this one by one.

Trust me, this is actually quite simple, only difficult to explain. Most things that are simple to understand are also simple to explain, but this happens to be an exception for a very particular reason.

***Theories are themselves Objects.***
I would classify a theory as a conceptual scheme that is communicated as a stream of symbols. The symbols, afterall, have meaning of something conceptually understood by someone else. The conceptual scheme can be treated as an 'object' - although it is an abstract object (not having physical properties).


I would like to ask you to rethink that so that you can see the problem. You see, what you call a theory is an abstract entity, it is not an Object, and therefore can't be Experienced. What I call a Theory is an object which can be Experienced. That reduces Theories to the manner in which we encounter them, which is through symbols. And symbols are Objects.

I agree that theories are more than that. All I want you to do is try and understand what I mean by my definition of Theory, because I'd like to know if you agree with things I want to say about Theories. Your theories are more complex entities and must be discussed later.

***And when people Experience a Theory about an Object they already have some Experience of, it often happens that they Experience of the Theory about the Object conflicts with their Experience of the Object.***
Do you have direct experiences of physical objects and mental objects without a theory (i.e., conceptual scheme)? I say no.


I agree with you. Can we use Conceptual Scheme instead of theories so that we don't get confused? When I talk about Theories, I'm referring to my definition. What I'm trying to discuss is the role that Theories (symbols) play in our attempts to build Conceptual Schemes.

Even at birth and even in the womb we are pre-wired with a primitive conceptual scheme by which we experience objects.

This is also a bit ahead and eventually leads to the proposition that Reality is a Language. I'm glad you can see it but we can't go too fast or our heads will spin.

But to give you a foretaste, while we are born with a pre-built Conceptual Scheme which allows us to have Experiences, we have no such Scheme to figure out the meaning of symbols. You can't learn a language if you can't find links between statements in that language and other forms of Experience. For instance, you can spend your whole life reading a Russian dictionary and you may never learn a single word in Russian. So if you think about it, it is a fact that we can only discover the meaning of symbols if we are able to Experience them as Objects. That may sound trivial but it actually carries an implication: if symbols are Objects, it's perfectly possible to treat many Objects as symbols.

I bet your head is spinning by now.

If so, then this issue boils down to having conflicts in conceptual schemes. For example, the QM scheme conflicts with the GR scheme which conflicts with the Classical Physics scheme, and so on.

What I have discovered is that such conflicts are more trivial than they seem, as they can't possibly exist in Reality and therefore only betray deficiencies in our Theories. And there are only two fundamental reasons why those conflicts happen, and those reasons have nothing to do with the nature of the Object of Theory, but with Language. In essence all problems boil down to the fact that some Languages (not all!) allow particular kinds of statements to be made.

Any issues so far?

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