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Alice And Wonderland?

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Posted by Harvey on September 29, 2003 20:20:21 UTC

The biggest difference between scientists and Dick is that scientists are not skeptical of their sensory experience. The argument you presented above means nothing to a person who doesn't rely on his own sensory perceptions of the world, and chooses to rely on logic alone.

I would disagree to some extent with this position Aurino. Many scientists simply don't think it is relevant to their work if our senses are wrong. The whole philosophy of empiricism is that we are guided only by what is observable. To be observable doesn't mean that it must be real, and to be real doesn't mean it is observable.

Now, metaphysicians (philosophy) care about sensory perceptions in terms of what this means about the world. Dick is a metaphysician and thinks like a metaphysician and that is why he cannot understand why science has absolutely no interest in his work.

but you have to agree with me that the first part of your sentence is wrong. How many words did you know when you were born? The problem obviously has a solution, although I'm fully convinced it has nothing to do with Dick's paper. I'd say Alan knew-it-all-when-I-was-born approach is closer to the truth, but I'm only speculating.

I didn't say the problem was not solvable. I only say it is far from solvable. However, this does not mean that we should accept fanciful metaphysics such as Dick's approach, or the advice of people who should be receiving medication for a serious mental illness disorder. Many brilliant minds are working in projects involving the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. These problems are difficult to solve since most likely there are key theories that we lack. If we had those theories, then maybe we might have a better understanding on how learning a first language is possible or how it is that we can conceive of things without a spoken language, etc. Of course, this kind of talk I realize has irritated you in the past.

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