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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #6931
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    On some questions, yes.
    Only when the goals are very vague. There is no question in science that invokes a detailed predictive model that does not yield gray areas when you dig into it. Everything looks black and white "from afar," black and white thinking is nothing but an approximation tool, a mind-dependent device for doing idealization. And it has pitfalls when not recognized as such, similar to the pitfalls of MIR belief when not recognized as such.
    No, the spiral nebulae which Curtis and Shapley debated are now known to be galaxies. I suppose you would prefer to say, "modelled as galaxies"...
    You can say "known to be galaxies," we all do-- as long as you know what you actually mean. But yes, I will grant you that Curtis' ideas were much closer to correct, akin to Copernicus vs. Ptolemy. However, there were plenty of aspects of Curtis' model that are not accepted today, the main one being the complete absence of dark matter. Curtis imagined that the gravity that bound the spiral galaxies was the gravity from their stars, but we now know that that would never have been enough. So at a vague level, Curtis' model was correct, but at a more precise level, it was not. So it is with models.

  2. #6932
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    Wow, this thread is taking off again (thank you Colin and Tashirosqt.. ).

    Though I feel rather daunted with the long posts, I'd still like to pose a few short questions:


    • Why does MDR evolve?
    • Why is reality so difficult to understand?


    MIR would seem to me to provide an answer to these questions

  3. #6933
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    Perhaps another way to look at the issue is to understand that what goes into a model must come of a model if it is correct in a very real sense. Thus When science creates its models, it puts in its observations and we expect to get those observations back out if the theory is correct. This allows us to test that the model is accurately predicting our observations. If the model is wrong it will throw up a result that does not match our observation. Therefore the fact that MIR is put in and thus comes out is not a problem in itself. This is the expectation for an accurate model.

    The problem is that it is not observation that is going in in this case, it is purely a rationalisation, a mental model. Therefore what comes back out is purely a rationalisation, it doesn't make predictions that can be applied to observation to determine if the model is correct or not. At best you kind of get, well it predicts that we will observe things, oh look we observe things. But it doesn't provide any meaningful new predictions, other than what went in. This is in stark contrast to the observations going in, which create new predictions to be applied against observation.

    Understanding this is so critical in recognising the difference between a belief and a scientific inference, such that it is not just us saying it using specialist language, they are demonstrably different. Scientific Inferences don't have to be truth in the philosophical sense, they just need to work. On top of this goes none scientific meaning for the construction of our ontology and such are beliefs and it applies to any conclusion/interpretation being put into the model that doesn't supply any new information when it comes back out that can be applied to new observations.

    Therefore yes an electron exists in our models for instance as a useful concept in predicting what we see. It can be said to exist scientifically because that model works in making such predictions. It is part of the scientific concept of reality, but that is not something mind independent, it was added as a basis of observation and because it predicts new observations correctly. The concept of its mind independent reality must be added separately, but it adds nothing new scientifically, it doesn't add to our scientific understanding, because it doesn't predict anything that wouldn't be predicted anyway.

    That is what is meant by a belief in contrast with scientific inference and it is demonstrably what is going on in the process of science, as Ken says you just have to look at how science actually works in practice. Look at its process and the underlying philosophy of pragmatism and scepticism, through which we achieve consensus without our particular beliefs getting in the way.

    beliefs may drive us forwards, they may prompt us to make certain hypotheses and if testable, i.e. make make new empirical predictions then such beliefs can cease to be such instead being scientific inference, the key difference is not about such being correct in some absolute sense, it is purely in how they relate to prediction of empirical observation.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  4. #6934
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Wow, this thread is taking off again (thank you Colin and Tashirosqt.. ).

    Though I feel rather daunted with the long posts, I'd still like to pose a few short questions:


    • Why does MDR evolve?
    • Why is reality so difficult to understand?


    MIR would seem to me to provide an answer to these questions
    It provides a potential answer, although not without problems, which is true for all the potential answers. The problem is it doesn't provide an answer that is testable, in the manner I describe above. This is the distinction, it comes purely from rationalisation and what you get back is pure rationalisation. Put in MIR and you will see MIR come back out. It cannot be shown to be wrong, nor to provide anything you didn't already 'know' when you formulated it.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  5. #6935
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post

    MIR would seem to me to provide an answer to these questions
    Would you be happy with this rephrasing?

    "MIR would seem to provide for me a personal answer to these questions."

  6. #6936
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    I'd rather see the MDR answer to the question...

  7. #6937
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    I'd rather see the MDR answer to the question...
    Which is that there is no known empirically demonstrable answer to the question. And that because of this all positions can scientifically be said to be God of gaps.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  8. #6938
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Wow, this thread is taking off again (thank you Colin and Tashirosqt.. ).

    Though I feel rather daunted with the long posts, I'd still like to pose a few short questions:


    • Why does MDR evolve?
    • Why is reality so difficult to understand?


    MIR would seem to me to provide an answer to these questions
    MDR evolves because ideas change, models develop, new evidence is found.

    A belief in MIR as an evolving universe or a belief in Godlike powers of transformation would both answer your question.

    Now to answer why it's hard to understand is up to you. I will repeat earlier words inevitably. if you model yourself as a brain with senses, then it is clear I think that the brain's internal model depends on those senses and a memory of them. Now you must ask yourself how your brain and mind can test that model other than by using the same senses.

    What happens is that you want to make sense of your model so you form a set of beliefs about the external world, these may vary depending on what you have been taught as a child.

    the next step is to think about what evidence you have that your belief is right. Is there any evidence other than what you have learned through your senses?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  9. #6939
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    MDR evolves because ideas change, models develop, new evidence is found.

    A belief in MIR as an evolving universe or a belief in Godlike powers of transformation would both answer your question.

    Now to answer why it's hard to understand is up to you. I will repeat earlier words inevitably. if you model yourself as a brain with senses, then it is clear I think that the brain's internal model depends on those senses and a memory of them. Now you must ask yourself how your brain and mind can test that model other than by using the same senses.

    What happens is that you want to make sense of your model so you form a set of beliefs about the external world, these may vary depending on what you have been taught as a child.

    the next step is to think about what evidence you have that your belief is right. Is there any evidence other than what you have learned through your senses?
    The evidence is that there must be a source feeding the senses. Else you relegate the belief in Godlike powers to your brain and senses.

  10. #6940
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Though I feel rather daunted with the long posts, I'd still like to pose a few short questions:
    I presume you want the answers that science gives, yes? The way science answers all questions, including these, is making models, and testing them.
    Why does MDR evolve?
    We say we have minds. This is a very powerful model. Then we say the minds do science. All is testing out quite well so far. What we observe happens, when minds do science, is that they create models, and improve them with time. That's evolution of MDR. So the answer to "why does MDR evolve" is "that's how science is seen to work." I can't possibly see how realism has anything to add to that answer, that isn't just imposing a belief that cites no observational support-- unlike the answer I just gave, which is observationally supported at every turn.
    Why is reality so difficult to understand?
    Hang on, the realists ask why is reality possible to understand, even easy (as with the rocks and cats you talk about, yes?), and cite their realism as a (bogus) explanation. By asking why is it so difficult to understand, you are recognizing how bogus that usual argument really is. MDR thinking, on the other hand, actually does find it easy to answer either question, simply by lowering the stakes of what "reality" is all about. MDR thinking says that reality is difficult to understand because what we mean by "reality" is always at the frontier of our understanding, hence, is difficult to understand. That is also why we succeed in understanding reality-- what we mean by reality is always at the frontier of what we have succeeded in understanding.
    MIR would seem to me to provide an answer to these questions
    I sure don't see how. If I have no belief that MIR means anything, I see nothing that belief, which I don't share, would have to add to those questions. In other words, if I pretend I do believe in MIR, and ask myself "have I gained any insight into those questions", the answer I come up with is "nope, I understood them better without the MIR baggage." If there was an actual observation that I could not understand with MDR thinking, but could with MIR thinking, that would be different. But there isn't. Certainly there is nothing I can predict by pretending to believe in MIR, that I was unable to predict without that pretense!
    The evidence is that there must be a source feeding the senses.
    And the evidence for that, to an MIR nonbeliever, is....? Your argument is exactly like what people who believe in a supreme deity say, only aimed at what you believe to be reality. They often say "there must be a source to the reality, and the reality is then the source feeding the senses." So much for "must be a source" arguments!
    Else you relegate the belief in Godlike powers to your brain and senses.
    Actually, that is just precisely what naive realism does! Naive realism claims that my senses have the godlike power to "see reality as it actually is." Then realists say they have a "no miracles" argument! That is classic sleight of hand, magicians know it well-- you simply slip the miracle by when no one was looking, and poof, it seems to disappear. But not for those of us who are looking up the sleeve. The fact is, MDR thinking relegates no godlike powers at all, that's exactly the point of it-- we do not have to imagine that our minds, though evolved from apes, are amazingly able to see The True Reality, we have only to say that our minds have developed a remarkable ability to make sense of our perceptions. Which is just exactly what we observe is happening.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Sep-15 at 07:34 PM.

  11. #6941
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Therefore the fact that MIR is put in and thus comes out is not a problem in itself. This is the expectation for an accurate model.

    The problem is that it is not observation that is going in in this case, it is purely a rationalisation, a mental model. Therefore what comes back out is purely a rationalisation, it doesn't make predictions that can be applied to observation to determine if the model is correct or not. At best you kind of get, well it predicts that we will observe things, oh look we observe things.
    Why do you assume that a model of something as mind independent cannot be based on observations?


    But it doesn't provide any meaningful new predictions, other than what went in.
    Why not? For example, mathematical formulas usually predict more instances than the observed data?

    "MDR thinking" likes to take a swipe at any theory that overtly uses "Beliefs" (e.g. Creationism). However, you are tarring any theory that uses MIR with the same brush. Furthermore, most science is presented in the context of MIR. The only way to cite it as "evidence" for MDR is to apply a pro-MDR interpretation. However, when you talking about how models are created, you are talking about a question of human behavior -i.e. what human beings do when they create a model. It isn't correct to say than a person who creates a model in the context of MIR doesn't employ observations and that the model doesn't make predictions.



    Therefore yes an electron exists in our models for instance as a useful concept in predicting what we see. It can be said to exist scientifically because that model works in making such predictions. It is part of the scientific concept of reality, but that is not something mind independent, it was added as a basis of observation and because it predicts new observations correctly.
    You are saying that something created by a Mind, must be "mind dependent". Technically, "mind created" and "mind dependent" aren't the same concept. If we bring in the infants and insane persons, we can probably show that any thing in a scientific model is "mind dependent". However, when we discuss "scientific thinking", we desire to leave out the non-consensus Minds, so we leave out the infants and (many) insane persons.

    The concept of its mind independent reality must be added separately, but it adds nothing new scientifically, it doesn't add to our scientific understanding, because it doesn't predict anything that wouldn't be predicted anyway.
    The mind dependent reality of something would predict that minds similar to our own would have similar perceptions of it under similar circumstances. It would predict that the crankshaft of a car engine would still function as crankshaft even when no Mind is perceiving it. It has been asserted that "scientific models" can contain things that are "outside the Mind". That is the significant feature of a mind independent reality.

    That is what is meant by a belief in contrast with scientific inference and it is demonstrably what is going on in the process of science, as Ken says you just have to look at how science actually works in practice.
    In practice, science is not conducted in such a firmly empirical fashion. You're ignoring theoretical work - or you're using an abstract version of "science" that mixes together the theoretical work with associated experimental work.

    Look at its process and the underlying philosophy of pragmatism and scepticism, through which we achieve consensus without our particular beliefs getting in the way.
    You must be referring to "science" as an abstraction (like "Democracy" is an abstraction) because individual scientists can have a variety of philosophies. In my vision of that abstraction, I agree that science is skeptical and I agree that it is pragmatic in the common language meaning of "pragmatic" (i.e. practical).

  12. #6942
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    MIR would seem to me to provide an answer to these questions
    The main dispute about the concept of MIR in the current posts is not whether it provides a good answer (model) for something. It's the question of whether such a model is "scientific", according to various people's definition of that word.

  13. #6943
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    The main dispute about the concept of MIR in the current posts is not whether it provides a good answer (model) for something. It's the question of whether such a model is "scientific", according to various people's definition of that word.
    If science is mind-based and builds models, then it seems to me that when we speak of "science" we speak of a tool created by the mind to create models based on sensorial input. Science is then confined to these models. The model is not reality, however. How could it be? It is just a mental construct: images, mathematical equations, etc. I do not see how science can be self-sufficient and generating, without being imbedded in MIR, which it attempts to investigate through our senses.

  14. #6944
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    If science is mind-based and builds models, then it seems to me that when we speak of "science" we speak of a tool created by the mind to create models based on sensorial input. Science is then confined to these models.
    Agreed, MIR belief is not science.
    I do not see how science can be self-sufficient and generating, without being imbedded in MIR, which it attempts to investigate through our senses.
    This means you believe in MIR. I think the situation here is pretty clear at this point.

  15. #6945
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Which is that there is no known empirically demonstrable answer to the question. And that because of this all positions can scientifically be said to be God of gaps.
    Pure mathematics isn't empirically demonstrable either. Does that make it a "God of the gaps"?

  16. #6946
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    Why do you assume that a model of something as mind independent cannot be based on observations?
    You have to understand what I am saying here a little more. Of course it can be based upon observation, in the sense that we rationalise our observations, the key detail is that it makes no new predictions, what comes out is precisely what you put in and no more. I'll continue this below


    Why not? For example, mathematical formulas usually predict more instances than the observed data?
    And maths has nothing to do with MIR unless you choose to see it that way, that is you choose to include something that is not required, nor can be demonstrated. The formulas that are making predictions are part of our MDR.

    "MDR thinking" likes to take a swipe at any theory that overtly uses "Beliefs" (e.g. Creationism). However, you are tarring any theory that uses MIR with the same brush.
    Only if you you see beliefs as something wrong, which is classic MIR type, they are just not scientific, because for something to be considered factual in science requires empirical evidence. Theoretical science is not considered factual, until there is empirical evidence you cannot say if it actually matches our experience or not. The idea if theoretical science is to try and firm testable hypotheses. So of course theoretical science is important, but it cannot report it's results as truth.

    Furthermore, most science is presented in the context of MIR. The only way to cite it as "evidence" for MDR is to apply a pro-MDR interpretation. However, when you talking about how models are created, you are talking about a question of human behavior -i.e. what human beings do when they create a model. It isn't correct to say than a person who creates a model in the context of MIR doesn't employ observations and that the model doesn't make predictions.
    Ok the first statement here is just appellation to numbers, the thing is this has already been dealt with in lots of detail. What we are talking about is mind exclusive, objective models, they are not mind independent. To make things include MIR a whacking great assumption needs to be made, which doesn't follow from the evidence because it cannot. The reason it cannot is because you have stepped outside of what science does, which is attempt to describe information as perceived by us, using our senses and minds. There is a fundamental disconnect, that MIR in the form of representative realism, pushes under the carpet. We simply cannot know whether phenomena match MIR even if we accept that there is a source there. this is why it makes no new predictions, which OR would not also make without including MIR. To get MIR out you have to already believe it is there, it doesn't come out of the empirical models themselves.





    You are saying that something created by a Mind, must be "mind dependent". Technically, "mind created" and "mind dependent" aren't the same concept. If we bring in the infants and insane persons, we can probably show that any thing in a scientific model is "mind dependent". However, when we discuss "scientific thinking", we desire to leave out the non-consensus Minds, so we leave out the infants and (many) insane persons.
    Of course mind dependant is different to mind created, that is what we have been saying for over 200 pages mind created is idealism. MDR is about the sense we are making, which is dependent upon the way we work. The consensus could be 100% about MIRs existence and this would change nothing. It would still be something that doesn't follow directly from the evidence, and more important a sterile inclusion, to show otherwise you have to demonstrate something within our experience which would be predicted differently if MIR is there or not. Good luck with that one. MIR makes no testable predictions

    More later.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  17. #6947
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    If science is mind-based and builds models, then it seems to me that when we speak of "science" we speak of a tool created by the mind to create models based on sensorial input. Science is then confined to these models.
    If the subject of science is models then it is confined to those things which a model can represent. If we think that models can only represent other models then science is confined to studying models.

    The model is not reality, however. How could it be? It is just a mental construct: images, mathematical equations, etc.
    The MDR point of view simply defines scientific "reality" to be the content of scientific models. Many participants in the thread agree that there is "something out there" besides Minds. However, some refuse to refer to that something as a "reality". There is some grounds for refusing to refer to a "something out there" as reality if we insist that anything called a "reality" needs to have a specific description and properties. However, there is also general agreement that language is ambiguous. So how much ambiguity do we permit before declaring a concept meaningless?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    ... Many participants in the thread agree that there is "something out there" besides Minds.
    And the point is that agreement ain't worth the electrons it was written with.
    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt
    However, some refuse to refer to that something as a "reality".
    Because as soon as you do that, we've invoked a mind model called 'reality', and we're therefore no longer talking about the 'something' we set out to address in the first place, (which was wasn't worth the electrons it was written with anyway).
    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt
    ... However, there is also general agreement that language is ambiguous. So how much ambiguity do we permit before declaring a concept meaningless?
    'Mind independence' would seem to be a good starting point, no?

  19. #6949
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    You have to understand what I am saying here a little more. Of course it can be based upon observation, in the sense that we rationalise our observations, the key detail is that it makes no new predictions, what comes out is precisely what you put in and no more. I'll continue this below
    Are you saying that property is true of any model or only of models based on MIR?

    Models of both sorts can make predictions beyond the observations that motivated creating them? If we make an empirical curve fit of a formula to data then you might say that what comes out of the model is no more that what was put in. But most models are more elaborate than empirical curve fits.




    And maths has nothing to do with MIR unless you choose to see it that way, that is you choose to include something that is not required, nor can be demonstrated.
    I don't what you mean by that.

    The formulas that are making predictions are part of our MDR.
    The question isn't about the formulas, it's about what the formulas represent.

    Only if you you see beliefs as something wrong, which is classic MIR type, they are just not scientific, because for something to be considered factual in science requires empirical evidence.
    Which requires that we "believe" the evidence.


    What we are talking about is mind exclusive, objective models, they are not mind independent.
    The question is whether a model can represent something mind independent, not whether infants and insane persons might interpret the model differently. If a model is "mind exclusive" then the creator of the model chooses to treat the things in the model as mind independent. That concept of "mind independent" does not involve the assertion that all minds would be able to interpret the content of the model.

    To make things include MIR a whacking great assumption needs to be made, which doesn't follow from the evidence because it cannot.
    You are forgetting that "evidence" for model is taken to be confirmation of its predictions, not necessarily confirmation of each statement or object postulated by the model. If you look at some isolated statement or object in an "MDR model" then "evidence" for the model isn't evidence for that thing in isolation.

    The reason it cannot is because you have stepped outside of what science does, which is attempt to describe information as perceived by us, using our senses and minds.
    Are you' referring to something"outside" our Minds? I recall that you accept some degree of Realism, so that question isn't intended to be provocative.

    There is a fundamental disconnect, that MIR in the form of representative realism, pushes under the carpet. We simply cannot know whether phenomena match MIR even if we accept that there is a source there. this is why it makes no new predictionswhich OR would not also make without including MIR.
    To repeat, I dispute the assertion about "no new predictions". Perhaps you mean that if X is something in a "mind exclusive" model and we to that model the assertion that "X is mind independent" then the model makes no new predictions. I agree with that, but, it illustrates that the things in "mind exclusive" models function exactly the same as "mind indpendent" things for the population of Minds that can understand the model.

    If a model includes an assertions that something in the model is "mind dependent" then do it's predictions depend on that assertion? If you take a "mind exclusive" model and add only the assertion "Everything in this model is mind dependent" then you don't change the predictions of the model. So MDR is also an extraneous component in most scientific models since they are mind exclusive.







    Of course mind dependant is different to mind created, that is what we have been saying for over 200 pages mind created is idealism.
    If so, then we should all accept idealism.

    MDR is about the sense we are making, which is dependent upon the way we work. The consensus could be 100% about MIRs existence and this would change nothing. It would still be something that doesn't follow directly from the evidence, and more important a sterile inclusion, to show otherwise you have to demonstrate something within our experience which would be predicted differently if MIR is there or not. Good luck with that one.
    Since most scientific models are "mind exclusive" you'd also need good luck to show that MDR makes any difference if you add it to the model. I dont' discount this possibility. What are some scientific models where the model itself makes assertions about mind dependence? Do we look to Psychology?
    Last edited by tashirosgt; 2015-Sep-16 at 06:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    .'Mind independence' would seem to be a good starting point, no?
    We could start with "evidence".

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    The main dispute about the concept of MIR in the current posts is not whether it provides a good answer (model) for something. It's the question of whether such a model is "scientific", according to various people's definition of that word.
    We already covered how science distinguishes itself from other MDR thinking. As explained at the time, this does not come down to some 'definition' found in some dictionary. The 'how' it does this, is all important. The scientific process leading to objectivity is the 'how'. The 'how' is a distinction .. not a definition.

    There is a big difference between how something is 'distinguished', (from a backdrop of other 'stuff') and a 'definition' of something (usually done on some arbitrary basis/standard). I really, really think this is a crucial issue which doesn't seem to have struck a chord with those who don't see how the 'MIR is a belief' conclusion emerges, once a technology such as a 'distinction' is applied(?)

    (In the very least, your above quoted statement, certainly appears as an attempt to 'erase' the many pages of this thread, which delved into this matter).

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    It looks like the people who don't understand just aren't going to. Does anyone who does understand have any other lingering issues? Here is what I would argue has been quite conclusively established by scientific evidence (and no resort to any metaphysical principles or assumptions):

    1) science only demonstrably deals in a version of reality that is mind dependent, and it only needs that concept of reality to function (where by a mind-dependent concept of reality, I mean a recognition that the goal of science is to use our minds to make sense of our perceptions, with no requirement whatsoever for any part of that process to be independent of our minds, or any need to imagine that the process "refers to" anything mind independent).

    2) understanding the mind dependence of scientific theories is helpful in better understanding those theories, and avoiding misconceptions that lead to questions of the form "is reality such-and-such?" When one understands the MDR concept, one instead asks "what conceptual advantages or predictive power do we obtain by building models with the attribute such-and-such?"

    3) mind-dependent reality in no way suggests that there is nothing "out there" other than minds, or that what is "out there" is not reality, that's the talk of people who don't understand the thread. Instead, mind-dependent reality means that when we do talk about what is "out there", and we do call it "reality", we are using our minds to do that, and we have no need to claim we are not using our minds, or that what we refer to as being "out there" is in any way independent of our minds. Indeed, scientists can often be seen to talk about what is "out there", outside their minds, as well as what is "in there", inside their minds, and as scientists do that, they can be seen to be using their minds in fundamentally important ways, that could be done very differently by the very different minds we already observe around us.

    4) claims that realism is a "no-miracles" philosophy, or that it in any way predicts or explains any scientific discovery, has no evidential basis at all. Instead, realism is just something that people like to believe. Indeed the most naive version of realism, that what exists independently of our minds is nevertheless faithfully reported and understood by our minds, is the most blatant example of a miracle-based philosophy that I can think of.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Sep-15 at 11:58 PM.

  23. #6953
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    It looks like the people who don't understand just aren't going to.
    Yep. As I said quite a few pages ago:

    Quote Originally Posted by KlausH View Post
    I have had many such discussions about the nature of reality and the fact that it cannot be known beyond what is accessible by the mind.
    Since it cannot be known its very existence cannot be confirmed.

    It seems such a simple thing to see.
    And yet, I have seen it again and again that some people simple cannot see it, no matter how logically consistent and convincing the reasoning may be. Or how many of the participants see it and cannot fathom how it could not be seen.
    I don't think there is any kind of refusal going on, and I am certainly not suggesting that those people are stupid in any way.
    Maybe it has to do with a certain wiring in the brain, I don't know.

    All I can say is that in my experience there are virtually always a few participants in those kind of ontological discussions who simply cannot get their head around the fact that (what this thread calls) MIR is inaccessible. Utterly inaccessible. In principle.
    They are always in the minority but they are usually quite argument-resistant.

    Maybe people in this thread are at the point where this can be accepted?
    It's the only way I can see to deal with it.

  24. #6954
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    If the subject of science is models then it is confined to those things which a model can represent. If we think that models can only represent other models then science is confined to studying models.
    The word "model" has a funny side, but does have some value as a metaphor.

    Earlier in this thread, someone mentioned "the model we call the Moon". Since then I've had a mental picture of two astronauts:
    "This is it, Buzz. We're about to touch down on the lunar surface."
    "Hey, lighten up, Neil. It's only a model."

    On a more serious note, yes, we do make mental models of things, which can be externalised in physical models made of clay, plasticine, etc. For instance, one can make a plasticine model of an elephant or a plasticine model of a unicorn. The difference is that plasticine model of the elephant refers to an out-there, non-plasticine animal, which zoos and museums keep specimens of. The plasticine model of the unicorn does not.

    What do we mean when we call a scientific statement "true" or "false"? One answer to this question, known as the correspondence theory of truth, is that a true statement corresponds to an out-there, independent reality, whereas a false statement does not. That is, the relation between a true statement and a false statement is analogous to the difference between the plasticine elephant and the plasticine unicorn.

  25. #6955
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    On a more serious note, yes, we do make mental models of things, which can be externalised in physical models made of clay, plasticine, etc. For instance, one can make a plasticine model of an elephant or a plasticine model of a unicorn. The difference is that plasticine model of the elephant refers to an out-there, non-plasticine animal, which zoos and museums keep specimens of. The plasticine model of the unicorn does not.
    Yes, it is certainly true that you meant by an "elephant", and what you meant by a "plasticine elephant", in that last statement, are quite clearly two rather different models that share some similarities. That is what we observe here.

  26. #6956
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Of course mind dependant is different to mind created, that is what we have been saying for over 200 pages mind created is idealism.
    The proposition that reality is "mind created" is metaphysical idealism. There is also epistemological idealism, which argues that nothing outside the mind can be known...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    ... On a more serious note, yes, we do make mental models of things, which can be externalised in physical models made of clay, plasticine, etc. For instance, one can make a plasticine model of an elephant or a plasticine model of a unicorn. The difference is that plasticine model of the elephant refers to an out-there, non-plasticine animal, which zoos and museums keep specimens of. The plasticine model of the unicorn does not.
    Yes, it is also certainly true that what you meant by "out there", and what you meant by "plasticine unicorn", in that last statement are quite clearly, two rather different models that share some similarities. That is also what we observe here.

    Actually, one might even say that the differences between the two, are trivial when compared with the similarities.

  28. #6958
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    The proposition that reality is "mind created" is metaphysical idealism. There is also epistemological idealism, which argues that nothing outside the mind can be known...
    One more time: neither of those things is what this thread is about, for they are both beliefs, just like realism is a belief. Simply look at the 4 points I summarized above, and tell me which of them is either metaphysical idealism, or epistemological idealism? None, for I have no interest in either of those flavors of idealism, I have interest only in what I can actually observe. The MDR hypothesis asserts neither anything about "what reality is", nor anything about "what can be known." It does something way simpler-- something actually observable. It pays attention to how the scientist uses his/her own concept of "reality," by doing exactly one thing: looking. Those unwilling to look haven't seen this; those willing, have been shown it in countless examples from actual science books, and actual examples of how people have used their concept of "reality" in this thread.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Sep-16 at 02:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    If the subject of science is models then it is confined to those things which a model can represent. If we think that models can only represent other models then science is confined to studying models.
    It would seem to be so, if we are straightjacketed by our minds.


    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    The MDR point of view simply defines scientific "reality" to be the content of scientific models. Many participants in the thread agree that there is "something out there" besides Minds. However, some refuse to refer to that something as a "reality". There is some grounds for refusing to refer to a "something out there" as reality if we insist that anything called a "reality" needs to have a specific description and properties. However, there is also general agreement that language is ambiguous. So how much ambiguity do we permit before declaring a concept meaningless?
    Well, I just consider the alternatives: on the one hand, those who say there might (but need not be) something (MIR) out there, and I who maintain, that no matter what tag you put on it and if the tag "reality" has too much baggage with it, then let's call it "the unknown".

    I am certain the unknown is out there, what I believe is that we detect some of it with our physical senses and map it in our brains to create a model, MDR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post

    On a more serious note, yes, we do make mental models of things, which can be externalised in physical models made of clay, plasticine, etc. For instance, one can make a plasticine model of an elephant or a plasticine model of a unicorn. The difference is that plasticine model of the elephant refers to an out-there, non-plasticine animal, which zoos and museums keep specimens of. The plasticine model of the unicorn does not.
    It's an interesting question whether "MDR" considers a physical model to be "real" in any non-mental sense of the word. If not, then a physical model of an elephant is a mental model.

    What do we mean when we call a scientific statement "true" or "false"? One answer to this question, known as the correspondence theory of truth, is that a true statement corresponds to an out-there, independent reality, whereas a false statement does not.
    That's why, in viewpoint of MDR it is important to deny that any scientific statement is "true" or "false" except relative to a particular mind. For example if the statement "Unicorns exist" were globally "false" independent of Minds, then it's negation ("Unicorns do not exist") would be a Mind Independent truth.

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