Realism Fails

Realism Fails
Wittman
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Posted Dec 30, 2010 - 7:43 PM:
Subject: Realism Fails
Assuming that the brain is where 'external' data is organized and processed to form our perceptions, we can falsify realism (the brain will serve as a convenient vehicle for my argument, but later we will have to abandon that...).

Our perceptions do not represent direct data of an external world, because the brain reduces sensations (the five senses; our window into the world) to chemicals/brain activity. Our veiw of the 'external world' is not direct; we must nessessarily have an interface, which is the brain. Since we can reduce our perceptions to brain activity, realism is fundementally incorrect. No picture of an external world can be entertained without the brain, because the brain BUILDS reallity. Once we have reduced reallity to the brain, we can begin supposing things like brains sitting in vats and malevolent demons projecting our world into the brain.

We must admit that our perceptions might allude to an external, objective reallity. There seems to be a fairly causitive relationship between my actions and what they yeild. I was discussing this before break in my chemistry class and upper classmen began to punch me, asking me to 'turn the pain off'. This represents a fairly common objection to idealism: that if reality really were built in the brain, then we would have direct access to our emotions/perceptions. I will point out that omnipitence is not a requisit/result of idealism. The fact that humans do not have direct access to our perceptions does not somehow 'prove' an external reality, it simply means that we must attain our goals in an indirect way: influencing the 'external' world physically to produce a certain desired result.

To sum up, although our perceptions might allude to an external, objective world/reality, our perceptions are fundementally divorced from any such reality because of the brain.

Some of you might remember my 'Christianity is definitively true' thread a while back. There I argued that if someone believes something is true, it IS true, but did not really know what idealism was. Since reality is built in the brain, religion remains true, depending on your point of veiw. There is no objective reality we must allign our ideas with.

Edited by Wittman on Dec 30, 2010 - 8:11 PM
fdrake
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Posted Dec 30, 2010 - 8:07 PM:

You could be an indirect realist and consistent with your position.
Wittman
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Posted Dec 30, 2010 - 8:10 PM:

fdrake wrote:
You could be an indirect realist and consistent with your position.

What is an indirect realitst?
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Posted Dec 30, 2010 - 8:13 PM:

We must admit that our perceptions might allude to an external, objective reallity


Something like that.
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Posted Dec 30, 2010 - 8:23 PM:
Subject: I believe you are a brain in a vat...

Wittman, but some of us aren't. Therefore we see this differently.

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Posted Dec 30, 2010 - 8:28 PM:

Unfortunately, the mind does not stop with 'the brain'. See: David Chalmers, Andy Clark, The Extended Mind:

http://consc.net/papers/extended.html
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Posted Dec 30, 2010 - 8:30 PM:

photographer wrote:
Wittman, but some of us aren't. Therefore we see this differently.

Because we can reduce reality to brain activity, there is no difference between a brain-in-a-vat reality, and a reality in which we live in an objective world.

Please propose a counter argument. If you have nothing to say don't make the server work.
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Posted Dec 30, 2010 - 8:32 PM:

StreetlightX wrote:
Unfortunately, the mind does not stop with 'the brain'. See: David Chalmers, Andy Clark, The Extended Mind:

http://consc.net/papers/extended.html[/quote]
This was the problem of the brain as a vehicle I mention in line 1. Ok, our perceptions can be reduced to the mind, and we reach the same end result.
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Posted Dec 30, 2010 - 8:52 PM:

To sum up, although our perceptions might allude to an external, objective world/reality, our perceptions are fundementally divorced from any such reality because of the brain.


Brain's divorced from the thing it is representing to us?
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Posted Dec 30, 2010 - 9:53 PM:

Wittman wrote:
Our perceptions do not represent direct data of an external world, because the brain reduces sensations (the five senses; our window into the world) to chemicals/brain activity. Our veiw of the 'external world' is not direct; we must nessessarily have an interface, which is the brain. Since we can reduce our perceptions to brain activity, realism is fundementally incorrect. No picture of an external world can be entertained without the brain, because the brain BUILDS reallity. Once we have reduced reallity to the brain, we can begin supposing things like brains sitting in vats and malevolent demons projecting our world into the brain.
...

To sum up, although our perceptions might allude to an external, objective world/reality, our perceptions are fundementally divorced from any such reality because of the brain.

Some of you might remember my 'Christianity is definitively true' thread a while back. There I argued that if someone believes something is true, it IS true, but did not really know what idealism was. Since reality is built in the brain, religion remains true, depending on your point of veiw. There is no objective reality we must allign our ideas with.




What does the brain build? You say it builds reality. Now look what happens when a simple qualifier is put in... "the brain builds a representation of realty". This makes this idea consistent with "although our perceptions might allude to an external" but throws into dustbin your "if someone believes something is true, it IS true," nonsense.

If inserting one phrase resolves the issue, then the problem is itself not real, but ideological.

I use to use the same technique in analyzing political speeches. If the speech does not make sense or leads to ridiculous conclusions, go through it work out what it is actually talking about (in your case you mistook the real for representations of the real) and the substitute the correct expression systematically.

If the end product then makes perfect logical sense then that is probably the true meaning of the speaker.

I came across this when some self-appointed feminists put up a political statement that was expressed as a way of imp;roving the lot of all women. It did not make basic logical sense between the means of change and the so called effect of change -- as the paper was all about what should be done I left that alone and instead started with the simple correction, if not all women which women, it turned out that if I substituted "our group" for where "women" in general were used then the document made perfect and logical sense, and guess what, the means put forwarded delivered just the effect my substitution suggested.

In your case you have word played "reality" into its image, similar for suggesting that there is a person in the mirror but not one facing it as that one cannot be seen.

So what is your actual point where is this anti-realism supposedly pointing?
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