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Re: Representation

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Posted by Harvey on October 21, 2002 16:09:57 UTC


***I'm very limited now re: computer time and costs but in response:***

No need to keep telling us your situation. Just respond when you want to. I can wait for long periods for your reply.

***"However, the predicate and criteria of identity are human constructs. " Fair comment; and Dr. Dick would add that the mode of comparing (which here is "looking at" the allegedly human- constructed interpretation of actual Mount Fuji
with the allegedly human-constructed painting of Mount Fuji; is also human constructed?***

The predicate is human constructed, the criteria of identity is human constructed, and the object is 'human constructed' in that the images are processed by our human brain and we act on those images. In that sense, the object is 'human constructed'.

***Now that is curious; because if all 3 are human constructed; knowing full details on how humans construct such things would help reveal any logical inconsistencies in making the pattern match-up. Thus fully know thyself and know anything as precisely as you can?***

By 'knowing fully' I'm assuming that you are referring to neurological science. I agree, but neurological science is very limited in that it is very difficult to identify brain functions responsible for identity of objects. Neurology is very good at pin pointing specific functions that are mainly responsible for certain functions (e.g., the visual cortex), but the brain also appears to operate in a more global manner and that even localized functions such as vision do not all depend on just the visual cortex. If that doesn't make it complicated enough, the brain appears to switch prime locations if brain injury or impairment occurs. The brain is much more complicated than we can grasp, and 'knowing thyself' seems at this stage to be outside our capabilities.

***I see no reason why chimps should not be considered conscious. Actually I saw an experiment on TV where an object was placed on a chimp's head; when they saw themself in a mirror they saw the object and removed it (so they recognized themself in the mirror).***

If I recall correctly, not all chimps recognize themselves in the mirror.

***The question "WHO is knowing reality" has meaning. The key is "WHO". To know something absolutely is to know its uniqueness. Example: you know who comes to the door when you can exclude all other people except one as being that person at the door.***

You liked that band too, eh? Seriously, the problem is not 'who' it is what do you mean by 'reality'. As a current discussion is illustrating, there are many disagreements as to what constitutes reality and these disagreements, I think, illustrate that the subject is dubious at best. Knowing your uniqueness seems to me to be dubious as well since the subject of identity is just as contentious as any philosophical discussion that comes to mind. You should forget this line of reasoning, it isn't correct.

***But what if they had an identical twin you didn't know about? How to be sure you know who is at the door?***

The question is ridiculous.

***Well, if you know yourself fully; you know the accuracy of the "WHO" doing the knowing. You can say that within such-and-such boundaries of precision you by definition know who is at the door? Any uncertainty will be accounted for in the certainty-level of self-knowledge?***

Alan, we don't need to 'know reality' we only need to know enough about our environment to make reasonable and rational decisions. If someone is so confused that they cannot identify themselves in a mirror (or know who is at the door), then probably that person is unable to participate in society due to their severe impairments. This happens with people struck with Alzheimer's disease, and the issue is the inability to function in their environment, the issue is not them lacking knowledge of reality. I could care less if I know reality, I'm interesting in functioning. Why do you not see the importance of pragmatic reasoning? Pragmatism is a far, far superior philosophical approach over other approaches (e.g., your metaphysical approach to 'reality').

***The reality then is that you know who is at the door within the limits imposed by the precision level of defining "you" and "the person at the door"?***

Not so. You know who is at the door within the limits imposed by the 'standards' we've adopted to survive and prosper in society. Those standards are what determine what is 'good' reasoning and what is 'poor' reasoning. You are taking the adopted standards of good reasoning to an unwarranted level by getting caught up into metaphysical identities. That's all nonsense. The real, fact-of-the-matter is that if the pragmatic standards of 'who' is such and such were different, then so would the identity criteria would be different. For example, if future genetic engineering made it difficult to tell us apart (let's say in the future governments wanted to eliminate racism so everyone was made to look alike), then the pragmatic standards for telling people apart would dictate the rules. If it was found that we didn't need to tell each other apart, then guess what, no one would be seeking the other person's identity. It is only because we find it useful information of knowing identity that we even ask these questions. Pragmatism, Alan, pragmatism.

***Even mistaken, model, or approximate "knowledge" can be accurately known as a non-contradicting match-up within accuracy error margins?***

You are getting too hung up on the word 'non-contradicting'. The term is circular as I've tried to show you before (apparently to no avail). Non-contradiction is based on pragmatic experience and we've formed notions which are based on these experiences. These are called classical laws of logic. These 'laws' are not unchallenged by logicians. It is quite possible that classical rules of logic are only in effect based on the human level of experience. Quantum mechanics illustrates how our experience can mislead us into what is acceptable and non-acceptable in nature. Certainly, no one predicted the bizarre nature of quantum laws. I'm sure this is only the tip of the iceberg as we learn more about nature.

***I explained elsewhere why the LNC can never be wrong.***

You were never successful in that explanation. All of your arguments stemmed from your unmovable assumptions using LNC as an inherent truth. Besides, I recall that you gave up on that discussion and agreed that LNC could not be proven to be true.

***In addition: "ultimate reality" seems an unnecessary duplication of words: reality is what is. It is already ultimate. The addition of the term "ultimate" occurs because of a theory like "atoms" being mapped onto speculative ground (such as speculation that they can not be divided?).***

If we don't say 'ultimate reality' than it is very possible that someone might confuse the world they see before them (including chairs, tables, buildings, etc) as 'reality'. This is not what we are talking about. We are talking about the ontological status of such objects.

***All there is is what/ who there is; so all we ever deal with is reality? Whether we face it or evade it, it is all we deal with? Thus "as one judges, so oneself is judged"? Any confusion about "reality" would be a statement about oneself?***

Don't bother about that. Concern yourself as to what works. Who cares if a chair is actually an object or not. The ontological status of a chair does not prevent us from sitting on a chair. The discussion of the ontological status is certainly fascinating, but it is not our top priority. In fact, many pragmatists have said to even ignore the discussion of reality or ultimate reality. This is why people have often vasting misunderstood philosophers like James, Dewey, Pierce, etc. Pragmatism is not subjectivism and it is not relativism. It simply wishes to focus more attention on pragmatic concerns and less on the metaphysics. That's not to say we should entirely ignore metaphysics, it suggests only that we need to put more emphasis on the pragmatic state of affairs in epistemology (i.e., justifying our knowledge).

***If one has full awareness of the limits of one's definitions; one may be able to make precise non-contradicting match-up possibilities among those definitions. You would need to cover everything you ever knew to cover all bases. Then any future mistake would be an honest mistake; or more accurately, perhaps not a mistake, but a surprise, a time to reorganize one's definitions.***

This is unbelievably naive. You cannot know the limits of one's definitions without having more sophisticated science (etc). For example, we lack a full neurological understanding of the brain. If that's the case, from your perspective we should say that we are completely out of touch wth reality. From the pragmatic view, this is ridiculous. We have a very workable system which we are improving, so we are doing very well at understanding our environment (saying nothing about reality or ultimate reality).

***The future would be unpredictable; though zones of potential might be known.***

Very naive again. You can't know the 'zones of potential' without a working scientific or philosophical model, and these don't claim infallibility. You are always vunerable to new experiences and surprises. You simply try to reduce those surprises by basing your predictions on sound models. The models are to be revised based on evidence and better explanations.

***An axiom makes future claims so is excluded from a scheme of pure definitions. Tautological relations should be reliable among pure definitions where error margins are noted.***

You need axioms in order to make use of definitions. Tautological relations require axioms and rules of inference, otherwise you could never deduce a tautological relation! Again, forget tautologies. They are only effective with respect to formal languages, but in the real world we need to make inductive inferences and these are terribly non-tautological in nature.

***I do not see that relations of relations is absurd. You get an infinite pool of consciousness, of ways of looking at ways of looking.***

Then you need to admit the existence of a great number of absurdities. One could argue the existence of every Greek, Mayan, Polynesian god with that rule as your basis. You need to apply a little more Occam's razor to your thinking processes.

***If Dr. Dick has found that the re-occurrence of any sub-pattern, from appearing in a so-called "random" larger pattern, to appearing again in another so-called "random" larger pattern; delivers a recurrence-probability rule that fits physics laws; this is consistent with the idea that everything is eternally created new.***

Dick's views have not been accepted or published for that matter. There are many errors in his approach in that he makes many invalid assumptions. I'm surprised you cannot see that Alan, tsk tsk.

***"Random" actually just means "unique".***

Not in my book. There are several definitions o of randomness, but I like the algorithmic definition. Random is that which cannot be algorithmically computed. I would also add that random has no meaning beyond its own occurence. The reason I add the latter phrase is that it seems that 'randomness' is usually connected to our sense of an event being meaningless. For example, there might not be any algorithm that can know the thoughts of God, but we wouldn't see God's thoughts as random in that sense. However, if God had a uncomputable thought having no meaning whatsoever, then this strikes me as a random thought. Anyway, it's just a side thought. I don't see 'uniqueness' of any particular importance to something being random unless you somehow meant uncomputable or meaningless.

***Thus the laws of Existence turn out, as Dr. Dick seems to have uncovered, to apply to random pattern recurrences.***

Alan, you are scratching glass. If you have 'laws of existence', then do the laws make themselves true laws? That's circular. If they are circular then these aren't logical laws, and therefore they contradict their own existence.

***This does not mean that we don't know anything because it could all be random. Rather, we can know things because everything is unique.***

No, we know things because evolution happened in the circumstance where life acquired mental capabilities. As these mental capabilities evolved, life flourished and was able to survive in other habitats. As intelligence evolved on land, life became cognizant of its own existence (consciousness) and continued to take advantage of its intelligence by distinguishing itself from other species and individuals from other individuals. It has nothing to do with this metaphysical use of identity. We are creatures of evolution, and this is why we are able to recognize human faces rather than non-recognizable features (e.g., someone's ankles). Had evolution been different, we might recognize people by their ankles. However, I can't tell ankles apart, so I prefer to recognize people by their faces (of course, I am more equipped to do so because of evolution). Think with more common sense Alan.

***Dr. Dick seems to be claiming that 'chance recurring patterns obey physics laws'.
Take pattern 'A' and pattern 'B'.
What probability is there of a recurring pattern 'C' occuring within both 'A' and 'B'?
Any rule that determines the re-occurence of 'C' must have at least as much structure as the by-definition-base-probability of a 'C' recurrence.***

Show me where Dick has said that. I think you have no comprehension of Dick's model. He has even said so. You shouldn't attribute opinions to people especially when they are saying that you misunderstand their model. I can't understand why you even reference someone who says that you don't understand their model and won't even reply to your posts. It is uncalled for.

***He seems to have found that the by-definition necessarily true probability layerings for recurring patterns, match physics laws. So he figures that we don't know anything, as it is all random. But random = unique.***

This is a first. I've never heard Dick say that everything is random. I think you misunderstand him. You should stop talking about a model that you don't understand.

***To exist is to be unique.
So this may explain why the laws of physics are found to fit a collection of unique phenomena?***

No. No one has successfully deduced the laws of physics. If they had, then they should, in a short period of time, be able to jump ahead of science and write equations that only future physicists will write on their chalkboards and future experimenters will prove to be 'correct'. Since no one has done this, it only shows that all of this physics-by-simple-assumptions stuff is all a bunch of quackery. Think along the lines of current philosophers and scientists. Stop all this quackery business. I just don't have patience for quackery stuff, especially when I think it is having detrimental effects on you.


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