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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #6631
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Later on, if a previously undiscovered dinosaur fossil is observed, scientists will make statements like: "The fossil has been there since the Cretaceous Period." Implying that it was already real before it was known about, and indeed before there were any human scientists on Earth to know about it.

    And yes, I know that terms or concepts like "Cretaceous Period" have a cultural history. But the history of the concept is a different topic from the history of the Cretaceous Period itself.
    Try on that time has been created by the mind in order to give meaning to what it perceives ... and to explain how it evolved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    To essentially repeat what KenG said, a buried nail is discussed on page 217 post #6506.
    Yes, and a lot was said then about what if it's only half a nail, or partially decomposed etc... Even if it is only half, and partially decomposed to boot, that does not resolve the question of whether a buried nail can exist without currently being observed.
    Last edited by Colin Robinson; 2015-Sep-08 at 12:05 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Try on that time has been created by the mind in order to give meaning to what it perceives ... and to explain how it evolved.
    If Mind is the creator of time and reality, does that mean that Mind is the Supreme Being?

  4. #6634
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    When you follow things through, consistently taking the MDR point of view, you observe that nothing of any sort can be demonstrated. So the fact that MIR cannot be demonstrated isn't a defect peculiar to MIR.

    Of course the first question is whether your definition 1) is a valid definition of something that is "mind independent". Your Mind created it, so the definition itself is created by a mind. If an insane person disagreed with it then, according to viewpoint of MDR, that would demonstrate your definition is Mind Dependent. I, myself, do not require that a definition of MIR be itself mind independent over the population of normal Minds, insane Minds, infants and dogs. However, some participants in the thread do stipulate this requirement.


    The so-called "MDR hypothesis" focuses on how people use the word "reality". One could apply the same sort of test to ask how people use the words "objective", "evidence", "model", "observe" and get a variety of opinions. The discussion of MDR in connection with "Science" focuses on one particular word and freely uses other words without applying the same scrutiny to them. This is a selective use of observation. If the assertion that MIR cannot be "scientifically demonstrated" is supposed to be particularly significant then presumably there are a large collection of things that can be "scientifically demonstrated". Yet what does it mean to "scientifically demonstrate" something? We are asked to accept the fact that all the vocabulary used in explaining a scientific demonstration has a commonly understood meaning and that vocabulary is exempted from tests like those that are applied to the word "reality".




    The more common example is something that our own mind judges to be independent of a certain population of minds. For example, I think there is a thing called "my green coffee" cup that has predictable properties, but I observe that other normal people who come into the room also agree on the existence and properties of "my green coffee cup". So my evaluation of the "consistency" of the "my green coffe cup" depends on my evaluation of how I sense other Minds reacting to it.

    If I conceive of a thing called "Science" or "The Perfect Breakfast" , other Minds' evaluation of that thing may be less consistent and less predictable. Nevertheless, I may regard "Science" or "The Perfect Breakfast" as being completely definite and predictable to my own Mind.




    It's rather grandiose to call it "objective reality" if it is a completely private sensation. You mention "consensus", so I assume your concept of consistency of thing X includes both consistency of X to a given Mind A and also that Mind A senses that some other population of Minds that he respects also senses X in the same way that he does.



    Technically, in MDR, all models are Mind Exclusive Models. For example, if a model only stipulates that there is a Mind A within the model, it fails to mention that some Mind B created the model and made the stipulation that there was a Mind A.




    Some observations on that definition:

    1) It isn't clear that your defintion 1) is a valid definition. Whether it is or not depends on what requirements we put on a definition of MIR. In particular, must a valid definition of MIR be, itself, mind independent ?

    2) The assertion that MIR is a "Belief" is not an empirical result. The opinion of some participants in the thread is that some things can be established "scientifically". This process involves Minds creating a model and testing the model vs the consensus perception of reality to see if the model makes some accurate predictions. However, they do not allow anything in a model to be called "Mind Indpendent" because things in models are created by minds. Hence nothing that is Mind Independent can be scientifically verified because nothing Mind Independent can exist in a model. Hence it isn't an empirical result that MIR can't be verified; it's simply that the definition of scientific verification forbids anything being tested from being called an MIR in the first place.
    If you think we apply it only to the meaning of the word reality then you are mistaken. MDR applies to every word we wish to give meaning to. This is in fact the key tenet. Everything depend on our chOlsen interpretation

    Et: the whole point is this, there are no absolutes in science and what's more we don't need there to be. You are misrepresenting what MDR is saying
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Sep-08 at 12:45 AM.
    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. #6635
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Later on, if a previously undiscovered dinosaur fossil is observed, scientists will make statements like: "The fossil has been there since the Cretaceous Period."
    Of course, but what does that have to do with mind independence? I see minds reaching a mind-dependent conclusion that the fossil has been there since the Cretaceous Period. The statement never invokes MIR anywhere.
    Implying that it was already real before it was known about, and indeed before there were any human scientists on Earth to know about it.
    And what is the moment when it is regarded as real before it was known about? When it was known about, and by the minds that found out about it. Is that not just exactly what you just described? There's some strange myth circulating throughout this thread that if a mind-dependent conclusion is reached about the existence of things prior to the existence of minds, that somehow makes the mind-dependent conclusion mind independent. I'm somewhat mystified by the logic of that argument, I cannot follow it.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Sep-08 at 12:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Yes, and a lot was said then about what if it's only half a nail, or partially decomposed etc... Even if it is only half, and partially decomposed to boot, that does not resolve the question of whether a buried nail can exist without currently being observed.
    Our MDR has no difficulty accounting for the existence of things that are not being observed, and the potential existence of things that have not yet been observed. I still don't see any mind independence anywhere there, can you say where you are seeing the mind independence? What would the situation look like if everything being said, and every conclusion reached, was mind dependent-- what difference would you expect there?
    If Mind is the creator of time and reality, does that mean that Mind is the Supreme Being?
    Every so often on this thread, it has been necessary to point out that this thread is saying that everything we know about reality represents some kind of mind-dependent conclusion we reach, and every claim we make on reality is demonstrably mind dependent, so the goal of science has never been to know some mind independent version of reality, but rather to know exactly whatever our minds can make sense of, in mind-dependent ways.

    Notice that none of that makes any kind of claim that minds create reality-- minds create meaning, and hang a label on that meaning, in this case the label "reality." This meaning is created via various different processes, and various different meanings result from those various different processes. Only the process of belief can claim that the meaning that our minds have created is something other than a meaning that our minds have created. If you already believe that reality is something mind independent, it will not make sense for you to try to imagine that minds are creating this mind independent thing you are imagining. But the meaning you are imagining is not the one that is supported by the scientific process-- the scientific meaning of the word reality is demonstrably created by minds, in ways that observably depend on those minds, and this was the scientist's purpose in using that word in the first place.

    Perhaps I can elaborate on this crucial point. I think a lot of people imagine there was a colloquial term "reality" that was in play before there was anything we could call science. Then, this story goes, science was invented to figure out what this "reality" actually was. The problem with that story is that it overlooks something completely crucial: when science was invented to make sense of reality, it changed the process that breathes meaning into the reality concept, so it made the word "reality" mean something different.

    In particular, the mind-dependent elements of the scientific process (oft alluded to above in areas like thermodynamics, mechanics, relativity, and quantum mechanics) caused the scientific meaning of the word "reality" to inherit mind-dependent elements. It is only those who believe that somehow science manages to "study reality", without in the process having any effect on the meaning of the word reality, who are "MIR believers." There is no scientific evidence to either support, or refute, that belief-- it's pure belief. What we actually can observe is that the meaning of the word "reality", as that word is implied implicitly or explicitly in science books, is mind dependent. This is inherent in the fact that all scientific thinking ever does is create and test models, and both the creation, and testing, of models plays out in easily observable mind-dependent ways. When we understand this fact about science, it makes a lot of things make sense that otherwise don't-- like how hard it is to get people who have strong beliefs to accept scientific conclusions that run counter to those beliefs.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Sep-08 at 12:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Of course, but what does that have to do with mind independence? I see minds reaching a mind-dependent conclusion that the fossil has been there since the Cretaceous Period. The statement never invokes MIR anywhere.
    And what is the moment when it is regarded as real before it was known about? When it was known about, and by the minds that found out about it. Is that not just exactly what you just described?
    The question is whether the discovery of the fossil bestows a retrospective reality on the fossil's history? Which is what the idea of MDR would seem to imply...

  8. #6638
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    The question is whether the discovery of the fossil bestows a retrospective reality on the fossil's history?
    Yes, and that is precisely what we observe happens. Do we observe something else that I'm missing? But we must be clear what "retroactive reality" means-- it means we have a new idea about reality, which we apply retroactively to everything that came before, because that is our purpose behind the "reality" concept. It's not that we think "reality" changed when we discover the fossil, what "retroactive" means is we update our idea of what happened, and part of the new model of reality is that no change occurred in anything except our best model of what happened. That's what "retroactive" means. But if you think you see anything else happening there, then you have added a belief that is not in evidence.
    Which is what the idea of MDR would seem to imply...
    Yes, that is just what it implies, with the proper meaning of "retroactive" (i.e., not that our discovery propagated backward in time and changed what happened-- what changed is our mind dependent concept of what happened, i.e., our best model). But this is not any kind of problem for MDR, it's just how MDRs work. When the ancient Greeks thought the Earth was the center of the universe, they were engaging in MIR thinking-- they thought the Earth really was at the center of the universe, not just that their best science had reached that mind-dependent conclusion. Then, when Galileo discovered the ancient Greek model made incorrect predictions, the best scientific model shifted to a sun-centered universe. That was again wrong, if interpreted as some kind of "mind independent" reality. But it was a perfectly natural step in our understanding if interpreted as a mind-dependent version of our own concept of reality. This kind of process plays out throughout the entire history of science, so when we actually observe that the way scientific thinking works is to bestow "retroactive reality" on each of our latest best models, the only question that remains is: how long will it take us to notice the lesson of these facts?
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Sep-08 at 01:38 AM.

  9. #6639
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Yes, and that is precisely what we observe happens. Do we observe something else that I'm missing? But we must be clear what "retroactive reality" means-- it means we have a new idea about reality, which we apply retroactively to everything that came before, because that is our purpose behind the "reality" concept. It's not that we think "reality" changed when we discover the fossil,
    If it isn't "reality" that changes when we observe something previously unobserved, then it isn't "reality" that is "mind-dependent".

    what "retroactive" means is we update our idea of what happened, and part of the new model of reality is that no change occurred in anything except our best model of what happened.
    Then instead of talking about "mind-dependent reality" (MDR) perhaps you should be talking about "mind-dependent models of reality" (MDMR)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    If it isn't "reality" that changes when we observe something previously unobserved, then it isn't "reality" that is "mind-dependent".
    You miss the point. The mind's concept of "reality" does change (and can be observed doing so). This is exactly what we mean by the word "reality" and is what science means by "reality". Can you show us how science could possibly mean something other than this (including objective evidence)?
    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson
    Then instead of talking about "mind-dependent reality" (MDR) perhaps you should be talking about "mind-dependent models of reality" (MDMR)?
    Can you describe the process by which you arrive at what you mean by the word you use above ie: 'reality'? Can you do this without involving your mind, (or its models)? Does that process produce evidence? If so, please show us that evidence, so that we have some means of achieving agreement on this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    You miss the point. The mind's concept of "reality" does change (and can be observed doing so). This is exactly what we mean by the word "reality" and is what science means by "reality".
    Then you are disagreeing with Ken's statement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    It's not that we think "reality" changed when we discover the fossil,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    If it isn't "reality" that changes when we observe something previously unobserved, then it isn't "reality" that is "mind-dependent".
    That logic is fallacious. What we can observe is that we have a mind-dependent concept of reality, and that concept changes with new information. Whenever this happens, the new concept is that the reality did not change, the mind-dependent concept changed. The reality is still demonstrably mind dependent, because at any moment, what we mean by "reality" depends on our minds. It simply depends on our minds subject to our intended constraint that it has stayed the same. Our minds give it the property that it has stayed the same, and we can see exactly when and where our minds gave our model that attribute. Hence, it is a mind dependent model, which has the attribute of something that has stayed the same.

    Perhaps an example would help show the flaw in your reasoning here. In the movie Star Wars, no one watching the first movie expected (spoiler alert) Darth Vader to be Luke's father, but George Lucas did. So the people watching the movie formed various different versions of what they thought was the "reality" of that story, after the first movie. Later, it was revealed that Darth Vader was Luke's father, so the people watching the movie had to change their idea of what the imaginary "reality" was in that story. By the argument you just gave, that story must be mind independent, since it was not the reality of the story itself that changed, just the mind-dependent impression that moviegoers had of what the reality of that story was. So the logic fails, because the fact that the story was actually fully consistent throughout, and never changed, in no way implies that story was mind independent, obviously-- the story came from George Lucas' mind, and depended on his mind, it was a mind dependent story and was never intended to be anything but a mind dependent story. This situation is similar to scientific discovery, except that there the dependence on the minds is not the entire story-- mind-dependent never claimed to be the same as mind-invented, the very fact that the words are different shows that.

    This is another point that has had to be made on several occasions in the above long thread. It is clear that the mind-dependent models of reality that we create and test are not free of constraints. We cannot "wish" a model into working, we must test it. So that's a well-known attribute of science, the models must satisfy the constraint of passing tests, and these tests must involve consistencies among different observers, and the same observer at different times. We have no idea why our models are able to satisfy these constraints, it is a complete mystery. Certainly, saying "MIR did it" adds nothing, because it is just as easy to imagine an MIR that does not exhibit those consistencies, just imagine an MIR that contains only minds that are completely insane, or asleep, or imagine an MIR that is utterly incomprehensible to any of the minds that inhabit it. Consistency is not a prediction of MIR, I can have inconsistent MIRs as easily as falling off a log. But consistency is a perfectly natural feature of a reality that means "the similar sense that similar minds make of similar circumstances, in ways that depend on those minds." No problem at all.
    Then instead of talking about "mind-dependent reality" (MDR) perhaps you should be talking about "mind-dependent models of reality" (MDMR)?
    The two are not different in any testable way, yours just adds extraneous implications. If you think there are testable differences, please tell me what the demonstrable difference is, not the different untestable beliefs invoked. This is quite important-- if you cannot do it, you will understand MDR. Remember, MDR just means "the sense our minds make, in ways that depend on our minds, of our objective perceptions." How is that any different from "mind-dependent models of reality", except for the extraneous and untested implication that the models are models "of" something else that isn't itself a model? Any time we say "A is a model of B", it is going to be demonstrably true that B is just another model, generally a more complicated one that we are trying to simplify. The "of something mind independent" is sheer belief, and never shows up anywhere in the science. Or show that it does show up-- no one has been able to do that.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Sep-08 at 04:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Then you are disagreeing with Ken's statement?
    No, he summarized it smack on. Maybe my last post will clarify why. To repeat: "Reality" is a model, chosen in various contexts and for various reasons from a set of reality models, and each of these models has the attribute of being the same over time. Which one of these models, that don't change over time, is the one we regard as best, does change over time. It also changes with context. That is why we say scientific reality is "contextual and provisional", even though the models themselves do not include a "context parameter" or a "time parameter."

    Let's consider an example. An electron in an atom. Before Bohr, it was imagined that this electron was a tiny particle following a definite trajectory around that atom. After Bohr, that particular idea of the "reality" of an atom was essentially dead. But no one thought atoms changed into something different, it was what everyone meant by "an atom" that was different. See the difference? The meaning of the word atom is what changed. But the new version, like the old version, was intended to be a model that explains all past observations, even those prior to the new model replacing the old model. So it is with all notions in science, including the notion of "reality."
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Sep-08 at 04:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Then you are disagreeing with Ken's statement?
    Nope.
    In this discussion, 'model, 'concept' and 'meaning' are all things minds exclusively do. These things therefore comprise our 'Reality', and they can change with new experiences.
    Any apparent discepencies you might perceive between what Ken posted, and what I posted, are because we are trying to dance around what presently seems to be a fixed, absolute interpretation of what you seem to mean when you use the term 'Reality'. This 'type' of reality is what we're calling MIR, and it doesn't fit into the scientific paradigm because no-one can produce a test which produces results which would lead us to conclude that it 'escapes' the intervention of some mind or another. This does not necessarily rule out some absolute MIR, but the absence of evidence independent from our minds' perceptions, leads us to conclude that it cannot influence a scientific investigation following the scientific process for leading to objective evidence. It can thus be ruled out as being a sufficient or necessary part of doing science.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Yes, and a lot was said then about what if it's only half a nail, or partially decomposed etc... Even if it is only half, and partially decomposed to boot, that does not resolve the question of whether a buried nail can exist without currently being observed.
    I agree that subsequent posts attempted to contradict the assumption that the example was a "testable" statement. It isn't clear to me if they wish to make the property of "testability" overtly mind dependent. Some participants have freely used the term "testable" when described properties of scientific theories, so this suggests that they think "testable" has some common interpretation in the audience they wish to persuade.

    Ignoring the issues of ambiguity, the MDR point of view (as presented in this thread) is that things may exist without being observed but that this existence cannot be "scientifically demonstrated". For example, it cannot be scientifically demonstrated that the earth has a definite past history that is independent of the various Minds that consider it. The "past history of the earth" is a concept created in each Mind that thinks about it. Did the earth exist at a time when there were no Minds at all? It may have, but this cannot be "scientifically demonstrated". All that can be investigated are current Minds concepts about what the earth was like when there were no Minds.

    What it means to "scientifically demonstrate" something hasn't been scrutinized in much detail. It is clear that the definition of a "scientific demonstration" automatically rules out scientifically demonstrating mind independent concepts. So I don't know why people who use this model for "scientific demonstration" bother to challenge others to "scientifically demonstrate" something mind independent. If it's impossible by definition to incorporate something mind independent in a scientific demonstration then instead of saying "I dare you to scientifically demonstrate something mind independent", the proper admonishment is "Sorry, you can't scientifically demonstrate anything mind independent because it's against the rules".
    Last edited by tashirosgt; 2015-Sep-08 at 10:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    If you think we apply it only to the meaning of the word reality then you are mistaken. MDR applies to every word we wish to give meaning to. This is in fact the key tenet. Everything depend on our chOlsen interpretation
    I agree that MDR ought to be applied that way. But people who want to persuade others of specific assertions usually resort to making claims employing concepts that "everybody knows".

    Et: the whole point is this, there are no absolutes in science and what's more we don't need there to be.
    Using the definition of "Science" employed by some participants in the thread, the more precise statement is "Absolutes are forbidden in Science".

    You are misrepresenting what MDR is saying
    I'll protest that MDR is Mind dependent, so you can't claim that I'm misrepresenting it. MDR has no mind independent interpretation.

    Do you defend your definition 1) of MIR as being valid ? Presumably you acknowledge that it is a mind dependent definition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    ... What it means to "scientifically demonstrate" something hasn't been scrutinized in much detail. It is clear that the definition of a "scientific demonstration" automatically rules out scientifically demonstrating mind independent concepts. So I don't know why people who use this model for "scientific demonstration" bother to challenge others to "scientifically demonstrate" something mind independent. If it's impossible by definition to incorporate something mind independent in a scientific demonstration then instead of saying "I dare to you scientifically demonstrate something mind independent", the proper admonishment is "Sorry, you can scientifically demonstrate anything mind independent because it's against the rules".
    I know there is always the chance that the MDR hypothesis might be falsified. Someone might know a way of doing this. I don't think I've noticed anyone asserting by definition that its 'impossible to incorporate something mind independent in a scientific demonstration' .. has anyone actually said this? (It would be odd to do so, because it happens all the time).

    Also, I know of no 'rules' being invoked as a way of preventing someone from falsifying the MDR hypothesis. What are these 'rules'?

    Come to think of it, 'admonishment' is also a rather strange accusation to make, too.

    Perhaps such language harkens way back to Len's original statements about feeling 'trapped' in a kind of 'mind prison' or something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post

    ......... It is clear that the definition of a "scientific demonstration" automatically rules out scientifically demonstrating mind independent concepts. So I don't know why people who use this model for "scientific demonstration" bother to challenge others to "scientifically demonstrate" something mind independent. If it's impossible by definition to incorporate something mind independent in a scientific demonstration then instead of saying "I dare to you scientifically demonstrate something mind independent", the proper admonishment is "Sorry, you can scientifically demonstrate anything mind independent because it's against the rules".
    That's a valid point, though it is one that I think I have always adhered to, at least within realism. My involvement with realism before MDR ever came on the scene has always invoked in me the sense that a MIR is never empirically ruled out or in. The crucial point is as you say, if the scientific method relies on observational verification, then if we try to invoke the scientific method into an arena whereby observational verification is not possible, then by default the scientific process is no longer a scientific. So we make a guess or an assumption as to that what we can observe may look like outside of that process. I think representative realism has been so readily absorbed into science such that this "guess or assumption" gets forgotten about because it appears so "common sense" to consider that the rock is the same rock outside of the observation, but beneath that "common sense" the philosphical exrapolation of the scientific model to a MIR has always been there, it's just been swept under the carpet by many (though not all).

    Realism never went any further than this philosophical quandry - you could choose to see the mind as "more passive" or "more active", the crucial point was that science could not tell us what the relationship was between the mind and the rock such that we could mitigate for it in determining what the rock was outside of observation.

    But MDR has gone much further because it looks at scientifically describing the process by which we give meaning to what we observe. Realism just comments on the fact that we cannot show that what we observe is the same outside of that observation - MDR shows scientifically that the meanings tied up with the observation are entwined with the process of thought, so take away the process of thought and we have no meanings without which the observation looses it's substance. So within the model of MDR, it is a logical consequence of the model that a MIR is meaningless without cognitive thought, it is not a default consequence as per realism. Realism simply asserts that the scientific method cannot be carried out without a mind without asserting in any manner what the mind does - it just treats it as a "blackbox" and says without this "blackbox", we can't carry out the scientific method, so we better just guess what things would be like. But the model of MDR is quite different - within the structure of the model it defines the absence of a specific cognitive process that if missing renders the manner in which we ascribe meaning to our reality as meaningless. We can still guess if we wish, but we have to realise that what we guess is entwined with the cognitive process and without that cognitive process the guess is meaningless. So the guess as to what may be in a MIR is meaningless - it turns into a very sterile and disconnected belief. But MDR doesn't stop you guessing, it just makes it (in my opinion) a meaningless guess. Realism never did this, the guess in realism was never a meaningless guess because realism did not comment on the intrinsic process of our mind, it just commented on our observations and treated the mind as a "black box".

    So I would say there is a subtle and important distinction between MDR and realism in terms of your point. In realism, a scientifically unknowable (rather than meaningless) MIR is a default position rather than being eliminated as a result of a scientific model. In MDR, a meaningless (rather than unknowable) MIR is a result of the ramifications of the scientific model of MDR - the model itself renders a descriptive notion of MIR as meaningless.

    To counter this ramification either involves a refutation of the model or the presentation of a better model. So if a model of a mind could be presented that showed it to be essentially "passive" then a MIR would not be rendered as being a meaningless product of that alternative scientific model.
    Last edited by Len Moran; 2015-Sep-08 at 08:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    I agree that MDR ought to be applied that way. But people who want to persuade others of specific assertions usually resort to making claims employing concepts that "everybody knows".



    Using the definition of "Science" employed by some participants in the thread, the more precise statement is "Absolutes are forbidden in Science".



    I'll protest that MDR is Mind dependent, so you can't claim that I'm misrepresenting it. MDR has no mind independent interpretation.

    Do you defend your definition 1) of MIR as being valid ? Presumably you acknowledge that it is a mind dependent definition.
    Well yes, it's our model, nothing we know can be truly mind independent, it may however represent something mind independent. We just can't test that

    However my opinion is that there is something other than collective thoughts going on.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    I know there is always the chance that the MDR hypothesis might be falsified.
    Perhaps it can be falsified in some sense, but It can't be falsified "scientifically" if the model for doing "science" incorporates MDR.

    Also, I know of no 'rules' being invoked as a way of preventing someone from falsifying the MDR hypothesis. What are these 'rules'?
    Well, I was talking about the impossibility of demonstrating something mind independent.

    With respect to that, I refer to the following requirements, which you might not stipulate, but other thread participants do.

    1) Science is done by creating models and doing experiments to test whether those models make some accurate predictions.
    2) The things described in models are created by Minds. They are mind dependent.
    3) A valid definition of something mind independent must itself be mind independent.

    Thus you can't scientifically investigate any MIR. To investigate it, you would have to specify it in a model. But if you specify something in a model, it is mind dependent. Since nothing MIR can exist in a model, nothing MIR can be involved in what Science does.

    It is an interesting question whether the "MDR hypothesis" could be falsified. The "MDR hypothesis" has been presented in several forms. For example, in it's most restrictive form, it only asserts that different Minds assign different meanings to the word "reality". In a wider form, it asserts that different minds assign different meanings to any word. In a even broader form, we don't restrict ourselves to questions of word usage and we say that different minds "make sense" of their perceptions in different ways. If "different Minds" is interpreted as including infants, insane persons, intoxicated persons, dogs etc then it's plausible that given any assertion, we could find two Minds in that population that had different reactions to it. MDR does not make a "risky" prediction.
    Last edited by tashirosgt; 2015-Sep-08 at 08:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    If it isn't "reality" that changes when we observe something previously unobserved, then it isn't "reality" that is "mind-dependent".



    Then instead of talking about "mind-dependent reality" (MDR) perhaps you should be talking about "mind-dependent models of reality" (MDMR)?

    Only if one doesn't understand what MDR is actually saying. The word reality is our word, with meaning breathed into it by our minds. It is a concept within our minds which evolves over time. This isn't idealism, because none is saying there isn't an actuality beyond our sense making, we are simply saying that what we know, what we perceive etc demonstrably depends upon the way we work and that a mind that worked differently will reach different conclusions and experience things differently. The word reality relates to our experience and sense making, when taken from science, not to whatever the actuality is beyond this.

    To see this in action simply consider the following: if the actuality did in some way differ to our experience, would it effect science? The answer is a firm no, because science models things as we perceive and make sense of them, it does not model things we have no way even in theory of empirically testing, and empirical testing is done using our minds and our senses, it is dependent fundamentally upon the way we work.

    ETA: this also why brains in vats etc, are so irrelevant scientifically. Science can't prove it wrong, it's just not a scientific question, unless you could find a way to falsify it, and that means it would have to make a risky prediction to our experience
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Sep-08 at 08:48 AM.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    ... It is an interesting question whether the "MDR hypothesis" could be falsified. The "MDR hypothesis" has been presented in several forms. For example, in it's most restrictive form, it only asserts that different Minds assign different meanings to the word "reality". In a wider form, it asserts that different minds assign different meanings to any word. In a even broader form, we don't restrict ourselves to questions of word usage and we say that different minds "make sense" of their perceptions in different ways. If "different Minds" is interpreted as including infants, insane persons, intoxicated persons, dogs etc then it's plausible that given any assertion, we could find two Minds in that population that had different reactions to it. MDR does not make a "risky" prediction.
    Hmm ... notwithstanding Len's suggestion of working from a "passive mind" model, then perhaps the MDR Hypothesis might actually be a Scientific Law, then .. and Ken was just being too humble about it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    Perhaps it can be falsified in some sense, but It can't be falsified "scientifically" if the model for doing "science" incorporates MDR.



    Well, I was talking about the impossibility of demonstrating something mind independent.

    With respect to that, I refer to the following requirements, which you might not stipulate, but other thread participants do.

    1) Science is done by creating models and doing experiments to test whether those models make some accurate predictions.
    2) The things described in models are created by Minds. They are mind dependent.
    3) A valid definition of something mind independent must itself be mind independent.

    Thus you can't scientifically investigate any MIR. To investigate it, you would have to specify it in a model. But if you specify something in a model, it is mind dependent. Since nothing MIR can exist in a model, nothing MIR can be involved in what Science does.

    It is an interesting question whether the "MDR hypothesis" could be falsified. The "MDR hypothesis" has been presented in several forms. For example, in it's most restrictive form, it only asserts that different Minds assign different meanings to the word "reality". In a wider form, it asserts that different minds assign different meanings to any word. In a even broader form, we don't restrict ourselves to questions of word usage and we say that different minds "make sense" of their perceptions in different ways. If "different Minds" is interpreted as including infants, insane persons, intoxicated persons, dogs etc then it's plausible that given any assertion, we could find two Minds in that population that had different reactions to it. MDR does not make a "risky" prediction.
    Yes there is a lot of truth here, but the term create is an ambiguous one. In a sense it is true, because as part of our sense making we define the things that go into our models and that requires a mind, but there is no implication that such cannot represent something mind independent, what is in evidence is that whether it does or does not, does not effect the model which really is the point when you get right down to it. Every word and concept is something our mind produces as part of making sense of our experience and all science can do is test whether or not the concept matches the world as we experience it.

    The bench mark question is to ask about any experience, whether or not an experiment would come out differently if the model inclydes MIR or not. Not simply through interpretation, but through definite falsification? This is the 'science' that Ken has been performing throughout the thread. Now sure I agree, that it's not great science and have said so previously. The experiment hasn't been laid out in a form that would satisfy peer review for starters. However it is meaningful to see MDR in action. Can it be falsified well yes, the risky prediction is that there is no experiment that can be done that matches the specification, thus demonstrating just one will falsify MDR. The fact that this cannot seem to be done, is not a weakness it's a strength of the theory.

    N.b. this wouldn't I agree remove the mind entirely from the equation, what it would do is demonstrate scientifically, that we must model things with MIR included. So philosophically MDR would still hold, but scientifically it would not in the sense that our concept of reality would have to include the concept that there are mind independent things, rather than it being simply a belief
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Sep-08 at 09:25 AM.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Yes but to what MIR are you referring?
    Demonstrate that these things that we don't yet know are true today, without the prior assumption of the cosmological principle, without it being a conclusion dependent upon the way your mind works?
    Show that given MIR be true that even when we have learnt something, that something is not so fundamentally shaped by our setup, that what we are experiencing has little or no relationship back to the actuality beyond our setup?
    Like understanding the difference between historic and modern actualities?

    late 14c., "power, efficacy," from Old French actualite and directly from Medieval Latin actualitatem (nominative actualitas), from Late Latin actualis (see actual ). A Latin loan-translation of Greek energeia. Meaning "state of being real" is from 1670s ( actualities "existing conditions" is from 1660s).

    Mod. use of actuality in the sense of realism, contact with the contemporary, is due to Fr. actualité, from actuel, which does not mean actual, real, but now existing, up to date. [Weekley]

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    Like understanding the difference between historic and modern actualities?
    Lol, I am trying to use some kind of distinction between our concept and MIR. There are no mind independent words though. The point is you can only demonstrate things based upon the way we experience them, regardless of whether MIR exists or not, any difference that does not show up in our experience in one way or another is unknowable.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    The question is, why would we say that? When J. K. Rowling had only written the first two books in the Harry Potter series, why would we say those books depended on her mind, but the books she hadn't written yet didn't? The scientific theories we have not discovered yet are still going to depend on the minds that discover them when they do get discovered.
    And these future discoveries will happen despite no current mind knowing what the discovery will be, who is going to discover it and when it will be discovered. While this is an infinitesimal point, science doesn't work properly without infinitesimal points!

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    The problem here though which you are kind of still missing, is that MDR can include this concept without invalidating itself, purely because it is not answering the deepest questions. Something we don't know about is not part of our reality concept, except in so far as we think there is more to learn.

    If you want to argue otherwise you will need to demonstrate that things are true before we know about them, without your mind making an assumption that they are. It's certainly a reasonable way to see things, indeed the one of best utility in our sense making so far as i can see, but it is a mind dependent concept

    Yes I agree infinitesimal points are important, and the above is also such, your argument is based upon the assumption that your argument is true.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Sep-08 at 10:26 AM.
    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

  28. #6658
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    D
    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    Perhaps it can be falsified in some sense, but It can't be falsified "scientifically" if the model for doing "science" incorporates MDR.



    Well, I was talking about the impossibility of demonstrating something mind independent.

    With respect to that, I refer to the following requirements, which you might not stipulate, but other thread participants do.

    1) Science is done by creating models and doing experiments to test whether those models make some accurate predictions.
    2) The things described in models are created by Minds. They are mind dependent.
    3) A valid definition of something mind independent must itself be mind independent.

    Thus you can't scientifically investigate any MIR. To investigate it, you would have to specify it in a model. But if you specify something in a model, it is mind dependent. Since nothing MIR can exist in a model, nothing MIR can be involved in what Science does.

    It is an interesting question whether the "MDR hypothesis" could be falsified. The "MDR hypothesis" has been presented in several forms. For example, in it's most restrictive form, it only asserts that different Minds assign different meanings to the word "reality". In a wider form, it asserts that different minds assign different meanings to any word. In a even broader form, we don't restrict ourselves to questions of word usage and we say that different minds "make sense" of their perceptions in different ways. If "different Minds" is interpreted as including infants, insane persons, intoxicated persons, dogs etc then it's plausible that given any assertion, we could find two Minds in that population that had different reactions to it. MDR does not make a "risky" prediction.
    The MDR explanation is not a hypothesis, it is a statement arising from the personal and collective experience of being conscious. mIR is an hypothesis which indeed is untestable. It is fundamental to being conscious that the origin of perception or the causes of what we perceive must remain unknown. We make the model of reality and today we assume it is in our brain, self generated from our senses. That model does tend to encourage beliefs of various kinds to explain the experience of being.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    D
    The MDR explanation is not a hypothesis, it is a statement arising from the personal and collective experience of being conscious. mIR is an hypothesis which indeed is untestable. It is fundamental to being conscious that the origin of perception or the causes of what we perceive must remain unknown. We make the model of reality and today we assume it is in our brain, self generated from our senses. That model does tend to encourage beliefs of various kinds to explain the experience of being.
    Well to claim that MDR is scientific, one must also accept that it is a theory.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post

    The bench mark question is to ask about any experience, whether or not an experiment would come out differently if the model inclydes MIR or not.
    Let me make sure I understand this. You (although perhaps not other participants) assert that a model used in a "scientific" investigation can contain an MIR? What would distinguish a model that contained a MIR versus the situation in your definition 3) of a Mind Exclusive model?


    Can it be falsified well yes, the risky prediction is that there is no experiment that can be done that matches the specification, thus demonstrating just one will falsify MDR.
    What specification is being considered? MDR has been only been described ambiguously. "Different minds make sense of their perceptions in different ways" might mean any or all of the following:

    1.) For each set of perceptions there exist at least two different Minds that make sense of those perceptions differently

    2.) For each pair of two different Minds, there exists a set of perceptions such that those two Minds makes sense of those perceptions differently.

    3.) For each pair of two different Minds A and B , there exist two possibly different sets of perceptions P1 and P1 such that Mind A makes sense of perception P1 differently than Mind B makes sense of perception P2.

    4) There exists at least one pair of different Minds A and B and there exists at least two possibly different sets of perceptions P1 and P2 such that Mind A makes sense of P1 differently that Mind B makes sense of P2.



    It isn't clear that 1) and 2) are meaningful claims.

    In 1) only a single set of perceptions is mentioned but if the two Minds make sense of the perceptions differently then who is to say that there is only one set of perceptions? Claim 1) seems to imply that there is some common feature of the "one set" of perceptions that is independent of the two minds. If we consider how the minds make sense of things, there are two different sets of perceptions, not one set.

    In 2) , if we have two different Minds, doesn't this imply that there must be some set of perceptions that cause the Minds to function differently? If the two Minds always functioned in the same way, why would they be "two different Minds". What would make them "different"? It appears that 2) is simply a proof-by-definition.

    Claim 3) and 4) aren't risky.

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