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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #7231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Then let us go back to a sequence of identical versions of your car, each smaller than the one before, where the smallest one is 1 foot in size. The definition of a "model" that you advocated said a model is a "copy of something, generally smaller." So what I would like to know is, which of that sequence is a model of a car, and which ones are cars? If your position is "a model is not the object", it follows that "a model of a car is not a car", so you should have no trouble answering my question, correct? I will wait.
    the original is a car. Model lacks a critical aspect.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I see that you have not yet answered my question, I asked you which ones were cars, and which ones were models of cars. I'd say it should be clear to all that your current mental distinction, being "able to have a human driver", is not going to cut it to answer that question, now is it?
    sure I answered your question. When a car is built, a full funftioning car is built. When a model is built, a mock-up is obviously built.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Of course I remember, it was quite recent. And I'll say it again. It is true that science is out to investigate how things work, and it is not true that science is out to investigate "not what they actually are." Investigating what they "actually are" is the reason we create models, because creating good models is how we breathe meaning into our words "what things actually are," in science. To see this, try picking up a science book.
    nope, the bohr model or matrix mechanics prove otherwise.
    Last edited by gzhpcu; 2015-Sep-27 at 04:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KlausH View Post
    There is a difference between assuming a MIR (which I have no problems with) and making a definitive statement about the existence of a MIR, for which there is no basis.
    I'm not sure what is meant by a "definitive statement".

    With respect to epistemological solipism, the "fact" of it amounts to an assumption or a definition. We can define what we "know" to be a subset of all those phenomena that occur in our mind and conclude, by definition, that nothing we "know" can be external to the Mind. Or we can try to formulate a definition of "know" that does not define what we know to be a phenomena of the mind and try to add something to prove (deductively and, perhaps, emprically) that what we "know" is not external to the mind.

    I gave the example of Max Tegmark. He does indeed claim that mathematics has an absolute reality. He even goes so far as to claim that it is the only one.
    He did not qualify that statement as being his personal belief or philosophy (which would have been perfectly fine).

    I'm not familiar with Max's ideas. To me, any scientist who creates a model that does not explicitly mention Minds and some component of the model that is "mind dependent' can be accused of thinking in terms of "mind independent" things. I suppose a scientist who creates a model that explicitly mentions Minds and explicitly has a component described to be independent of all Minds could be accused of "flaming" MIR thinking.
    Last edited by tashirosgt; 2015-Sep-27 at 04:44 PM.

  3. #7233
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    sorry, here we go again, it's not a trap and understanding MDR does not mean concluding something does not exist. It means you cannot know the nature of that something. I know long ago you laughed at the brain in a vat idea, and the matrix idea, which is the same, but how can you test.?
    If your arguments are based on unreal propositions, there is nothing I can say other than I reject it for what it is.

  4. #7234
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Yes, it has been annoying to have to keep repeating this, but here we go again. MDR thinking does not lead one to conclude they don't need to fear a tiger, on the grounds that the tiger is "only a concept in your mind." The tiger is indeed a concept in your mind, as can easily be observed by digging into what you meant when you invoked that word in your story, and this concept clearly depends on your mind, but it is not "only" that. To say something is "only" something else is MIR thinking! MDR thinking, on the other hand, is what you can be observed to go through when you decide you need to run away from the tiger (if in fact you don't simply act on instinct, which is even more obviously mind dependent than reason).
    what does that mean? You say the tiger is a concept of my mind. My mind has the concept of the tiger and MDR thinking causes me to run away? Where does the concept come from in the first place? If my mind, what causes my mind to create the concept in the first place?

  5. #7235
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    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.
    Not a god-like power. We have an animal-like power to perceive objects (as a dog sees a rabbit or a tennis ball), plus an ability which other animals don't have, to give the objects names and talk about their properties. This enables us to know more about the world we live in than dogs know, but it doesn't mean we know everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    So this is where I differ from KlausH-- he feels that some beliefs are more than beliefs, they are self-evident truths, though maybe just one: your own existence. But that's still basically gzhpcu's stance, it's just that gzhpcu extends it beyond the basic "I" concept to external objects like cats and rocks. It's all a matter of this concept of a "direct" observation-- KlausH feels he only "directly" observes his own thoughts, so the "I" counts as the only MIR, whereas gzhpcu feels he "directly" also observes cats and rocks, so those are MIR also. I'm saying they are all models, including what we mean by "I", including what we mean by cats and rocks. To see this, we generally only need to look more closely, to dig more deeply into our intentions behind these words, and the mental processes we undergo by which these words acquire their intended meanings.
    Interesting ... I also envisaged Klaus' awareness of 'I' as being more of a fundamental model, and not necessarily as something independent of the mind.

    It also seems to me that 'I' can just as easily completely disappear when going through the very same process he describes for getting directly in touch with the 'I'. This 'flip-flopping' between 'I and 'disappearing I', by using the very same mind process, I see, as being evidence that the mind is still very much involved in the observation he describes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I don't think we can say "I think therefore I am", because MDR thinking shows us that all we can really say is "I observe myself to do what I mean by thinking, and that implies that I possess what I mean by existing, which allows me to invoke the 'I' mental abstraction in a self-consistent way."
    You seem to be so focused on linguistic interpretations that you don't see the obvious. None of that nonsense is actually going on when the "I am" recognizes that it is aware of itself.
    Just do what I recommended to Colin Robinson: sit still, close your eyes and empty your mind of all content, and, yes, that means especially your compulsive thinking.
    No thinking involved whatsoever in being aware of your own existence or your own mind. Absolutely no concepts are required. It is self-obvious. It is the mind being aware of itself if that is a language you find more accessible. None of your over-complicated linguistic convolutions are going on. It is as simple as it gets. Simple awareness. Simple self-awareness.
    Just do the experiment.

    It's all a matter of this concept of a "direct" observation-- KlausH feels he only "directly" observes his own thoughts, so the "I" counts as the only MIR, whereas gzhpcu feels he "directly" also observes cats and rocks, so those are MIR also.
    First of all, my stance has nothing to do with gzhpcu's unreflected claims.
    And it is most certainly not MIR!
    How could the mind being aware of itself be mind-independent!? That's total baloney. Without a mind there would be no mind to be aware of itself. Again, you seem to be too caught up in your linguistic convolutions and your MDR-MIR dichotomy that you don't see the obvious.
    It is the mind being aware of itself! That is a fact only known to the mind itself. For the mind itself it has the epistemological distinction of being a tautology if you will. It is literally self-obvious.

    It has the distinction of being the only thing the mind itself can be absolutely sure of because in this case subject and object are one and the same.
    All other objects, especially those considered to be outside the mind are necessarily and for principal reasons inaccessible to the mind and need to be assumed or believed.
    That is what epistemological solipsism is all about (and that's why I brought it up).

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    Quote Originally Posted by KlausH View Post
    .. No thinking involved whatsoever in being aware of your own existence or your own mind. Absolutely no concepts are required. It is self-obvious. It is the mind being aware of itself if that is a language you find more accessible.
    I beg to differ somewhat on there being 'no thinking involved whatsoever' .. on the contrary, actually .. there's a lot of thinking going on there. For example how else do you go about making all other thoughts, sounds, feelings etc 'inaccessible' without focusing (thinking) on that?

    Quote Originally Posted by KlausH
    It has the distinction of being the only thing the mind itself can be absolutely sure of because in this case subject and object are one and the same.
    Perhaps this is the same as my 'flip-flopping' observation? Ie: subject and object 'flip-flop' until one or the other ends up as the desired focus?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    I beg to differ somewhat on there being 'no thinking involved whatsoever' .. on the contrary, actually .. there's a lot of thinking going on there. For example how else do you go about making all other thoughts, sounds, feelings etc 'inaccessible' without focusing (thinking) on that?
    Maybe. But once the mind is empty to whatever degree you find it possible. Once thoughts and emotions are gone (for however brief a moment) you are still aware of yourself, aren't you?
    You know with absolute certainty that you are, don't you?
    Did you do the experiment?

  10. #7240
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    Quote Originally Posted by KlausH View Post
    Maybe. But once the mind is empty to whatever degree you find it possible. Once thoughts and emotions are gone (for however brief a moment) you are still aware of yourself, aren't you?
    You know with absolute certainty that you are, don't you?
    Did you do the experiment?
    Sure .. I've done the same, (I think), as you describe, many times. It seems to me, that state of mind can be focussed on just about anything one chooses(?) In the context of what we're talking about however, what I find is 'flip-flopping' between 'I' and 'not I' and I seem to have a choice over which of these I can then 'get in touch' with(?)

    Interestingly, the way to make thoughts and emotions disappear, (for me), is to focus heavily on them and then .. 'poof' .. they're gone!

  11. #7241
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    With respect to epistemological solipism, the "fact" of it amounts to an assumption or a definition. We can define what we "know" to be a subset of all those phenomena that occur in our mind and conclude, by definition, that nothing we "know" can be external to the Mind. Or we can try to formulate a definition of "know" that does not define what we know to be a phenomena of the mind and try to add something to prove (deductively and, perhaps, emprically) that what we "know" is not external to the mind.
    Epistemological solipsism is defined as here for example:
    Solipsism (Listeni/ˈsɒlɨpsɪzəm/; from Latin solus, meaning "alone", and ipse, meaning "self")[1] is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind.
    That is not a belief or a mere definition; it is logically inescapable.
    Just try to access anything outside the mind without using the mind. Really try it.
    You will find that you can't.
    That doesn't mean that there couldn't be anything outside of the mind. There might very well be but whatever this MIR might be is not accessible without using the mind. Not even it's very existence can be confirmed or denied.
    You simply have no way of ruling out that it is not a mere fabrication of your mind. Nobody is saying that's what it is but you can't rule it out.

    It is really as simple as that.

  12. #7242
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Sure .. I've done the same, (I think), as you describe, many times. It seems to me, that state of mind can be focussed on just about anything one chooses(?) In the context of what we're talking about however, what I find is 'flip-flopping' between 'I' and 'not I' and I seem to have a choice over which of these I can then 'get in touch' with(?)
    I don't know what you mean by "I" or "not I". It is that which is aware of itself - whatever you call it. You don't need a psychological concept or any other model of an "I" for this to be the case.
    It is a certainty that asserts itself - to itself.


    Interestingly, the way to make thoughts and emotions disappear, (for me), is to focus heavily on them and then .. 'poof' .. they're gone!
    That is interesting indeed and not at all how it is for me.
    It took me many years of regular meditation but these days I simply focus on - well nothing, and the mind just clears - for a while. It's like a mind "muscle" that needs to be trained for a while and then you can just use it.
    However, it can be done without training but in most cases the moment of emptiness will be very brief to begin with. A few seconds maybe, especially for compulsive thinkers.
    Last edited by KlausH; 2015-Sep-27 at 11:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    The anti-MIR faction is the one that denies the existence of MIR, for whatever reason. Agnosticism is not exempt.
    They don't actually deny the existence of MIR gzhpcu, just its usefulness to science. What they do do is try to append some sort of 'belief' system to the MIR to denigrate people who don't think entirely like themselves. What they do deny is that something that was unknown yesterday, that becomes known today, existed independent of any mind yesterday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KlausH View Post
    That is not a belief or a mere definition; it is logically inescapable.
    To say "logically" implies some deductive process. I think you are making an empirical claim. I think it amounts to "I am aware of myself". Is that the definition of "knowledge"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    what does that mean? You say the tiger is a concept of my mind. My mind has the concept of the tiger and MDR thinking causes me to run away? Where does the concept come from in the first place? If my mind, what causes my mind to create the concept in the first place?
    No, he's saying that everything is a concept of your mind, of his mind, my mind and any mind that is working to put events into a context that is relevant to their existence.

    After all this and you still don't get that without minds to interpret events there is no such thing as reality. Pretty sure rocks, ice, gas, whatnot have zero capacity to put anything to into any relevant context. Which all takes place within the minds of the organisms involved. Zero of the interpretation takes place outside them. That's what reality is and all it is as far as we know and as far as it's relevant to science.

    You are aware that this is all being discussed in a Science and Technology subforum right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    To say "logically" implies some deductive process. I think you are making an empirical claim. I think it amounts to "I am aware of myself". Is that the definition of "knowledge"?
    The core argument of epistemological solipsism is that we only have access to what our mind presents us. All sensory input and conclusions we draw from that input happens in the mind. That is a fact that every sane mind can confirm.

    Since all assumed access to an assumed MIR would have to happen via the mind it is logically inescapable that we don't have a mind-independent access to the assumed MIR.
    Since no mind-independent access to an assumed MIR is possible we cannot even confirm or deny its very existence.

    If anybody wants to refute this (s)he would need to show how exactly it is possibly to access a MIR without using his/her mind.
    Just give me one example and I'll post a youtube video where I'll eat a hat or any other revolting but non-toxic item of your choosing.
    Just one single example and I'll do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starcanuck64 View Post
    No, he's saying that everything is a concept of your mind, of his mind, my mind and any mind that is working to put events into a context that is relevant to their existence.

    After all this and you still don't get that without minds to interpret events there is no such thing as reality. Pretty sure rocks, ice, gas, whatnot have zero capacity to put anything to into any relevant context. Which all takes place within the minds of the organisms involved. Zero of the interpretation takes place outside them. That's what reality is and all it is as far as we know and as far as it's relevant to science.

    You are aware that this is all being discussed in a Science and Technology subforum right.
    Maybe it is just a semantical problem: if you want to call reality a concept of the mind, fine. I am saying that there is something outside of the mind, interpreted by the mind and its senses, independent of the mind. If the word "reality" disturbs you, call it X and call the creations of the mind "reality".

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    Quote Originally Posted by KlausH View Post
    The core argument of epistemological solipsism is that we only have access to what our mind presents us. All sensory input and conclusions we draw from that input happens in the mind. That is a fact that every sane mind can confirm.
    It isn't clear what "Mind" is - for example, which physical processes implement it - if any do. I think definitions must be invoked. A person chooses to say mental sensations "happen in my Mind". The only empirical fact is that the person has sensations. The "happen in my mind" aspect has no particular meaning unless some details are supplied about "Mind" and the inside and outside of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    It isn't clear what "Mind" is - for example, which physical processes implement it - if any do. I think definitions must be invoked. A person chooses to say mental sensations "happen in my Mind". The only empirical fact is that the person has sensations. The "happen in my mind" aspect has no particular meaning unless some details are supplied about "Mind" and the inside and outside of it.
    I am happy with Wikipedia's definition:
    A mind /ˈmaɪnd/ is the set of cognitive faculties that enables consciousness, perception, thinking, judgement, and memory—a characteristic of humans, but which also may apply to other life forms
    No assumptions about what might implement a mind are needed.

    Can you give an example of sensations that do not happen in the mind? The two are tightly linked, are they not?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Maybe it is just a semantical problem: if you want to call reality a concept of the mind, fine. I am saying that there is something outside of the mind, interpreted by the mind and its senses, independent of the mind. If the word "reality" disturbs you, call it X and call the creations of the mind "reality".
    It's not a concept of the mind which is my point and basically what others have been pointing out ad infinitum here. Reality is entirely a process and projection of the mind, any mind that is capable of processing information and placing it in a context relevant to their existence.

    As Klaus ask above, show how it's possible to access any reality without a mind involved. There is zero processing of information without a mind being involved and placing that information within a relevant context.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starcanuck64 View Post
    It's not a concept of the mind which is my point and basically what others have been pointing out ad infinitum here. Reality is entirely a process and projection of the mind, any mind that is capable of processing information and placing it in a context relevant to their existence.

    As Klaus ask above, show how it's possible to access any reality without a mind involved. There is zero processing of information without a mind being involved and placing that information within a relevant context.
    Reality has first created mind so the mind can than access reality-it's not the other way around, so yes reality is completely independent of mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starcanuck64 View Post
    It's not a concept of the mind which is my point and basically what others have been pointing out ad infinitum here. Reality is entirely a process and projection of the mind, any mind that is capable of processing information and placing it in a context relevant to their existence.

    As Klaus ask above, show how it's possible to access any reality without a mind involved. There is zero processing of information without a mind being involved and placing that information within a relevant context.
    Might I point out that pointing out something ad infinitum does not make it right. I just stated that you are free to define reality as a definition of the mind, but that the source of what the mind processes is mind independent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Might I point out that pointing out something ad infinitum does not make it right.
    A deep and fascinating insight.
    Especially, given the fact that that is all you are doing in this thread by endlessly repeating
    ... the source of what the mind processes is mind independent.
    Without any consideration or deduction or demonstration how that could possibly be established.
    Show me how and I eat a hat.

  24. #7254
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    Quote Originally Posted by KlausH View Post
    A deep and fascinating insight.
    Especially, given the fact that that is all you are doing in this thread by endlessly repeating
    both sides are. Neither can convince the other.
    Quote Originally Posted by KlausH View Post
    Without any consideration or deduction or demonstration how that could possibly be established.
    Show me how and I eat a hat.
    the alternative is what? That what the mind processes is mind dependent? A closed loop?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    the alternative is what? That what the mind processes is mind dependent? A closed loop?
    It is unknown and unknowable. That's all.
    I don't understand your problem with that simple fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KlausH View Post
    It is unknown and unknowable. That's all.
    I don't understand your problem with that simple fact.
    Unknowable can only refer to something. It can not refer to nothing. That something I call MIR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    the original is a car. Model lacks a critical aspect. sure I answered your question. When a car is built, a full funftioning car is built. When a model is built, a mock-up is obviously built.
    Nope, that won't work at all. Apparently you are saying I can tell by looking at the construction process, but have you have actually seen how cars are produced? News flash: they are all copies of an original, some a little smaller, some a little bigger. Also, you might notice something as a result: cars are called models. Get it yet?
    nope, the bohr model or matrix mechanics prove otherwise.
    I have no idea what you think the Bohr model, or matrix mechanics, "proves," other than the natural ways by which the scientific process advances. I'm not really sure you get science.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    what does that mean? You say the tiger is a concept of my mind.
    It means this. When you say "tiger" in a sentence (any sentence, your choice), and you then tell me what you meant when you used that word, you will be easily observed to be describing a model to me. Go ahead and do the test, if you don't believe me.
    My mind has the concept of the tiger and MDR thinking causes me to run away?
    I would think that part would be fairly obvious.
    Where does the concept come from in the first place?
    Do you seek a scientific answer to that question, or would you prefer to invoke one of your beliefs?
    If my mind, what causes my mind to create the concept in the first place?
    Again, is it the scientific answer you want, or do you just want to believe something there? If it is the scientific answer you seek, the answer is, "follow the scientific method to achieve progress in answering that. It will lead you down a road of well-tested models, including mental constructs like atoms, neurons, brains, etc., though you will not get very far because science has not progressed that far down that particular road."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Not a god-like power. We have an animal-like power to perceive objects (as a dog sees a rabbit or a tennis ball), plus an ability which other animals don't have, to give the objects names and talk about their properties. This enables us to know more about the world we live in than dogs know, but it doesn't mean we know everything.
    It doesn't matter to me if you call it "god-like" or "animal-like", it's still a miracle, which is the whole point. Not only is realism quite clearly not a "no-miracles" stance, it is the stance of the deepest miracle of all. The realists accuse MDR thinkers of invoking a "miracle", which is that similar minds perceive similar things and use them to deduce the existence of a similar universe, and that would be some kind of "miracle" if what those minds mean by the "reality" notion is how those minds made sense of those perceptions. Call that a "miracle" if you like (I prefer "mystery"), but the naive realists certainly do not escape it. All they do is sweep it under the rug and pretend it isn't there-- they invoke their "miracle" when they claim minds have the ability to know that which is "mind independent." That's not only a miracle, it comes very close to being an oxymoron.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KlausH View Post
    You seem to be so focused on linguistic interpretations that you don't see the obvious. None of that nonsense is actually going on when the "I am" recognizes that it is aware of itself.
    This is the one place where we reach a different conclusion. Even if we accept that it is possible to have a "pure experience" (an issue I will not take a stand on because it would take a lot of work to seek a scientifically useful meaning of that phrase), there is an internal inconsistency in your claim. That inconsistency is when you claim there is nothing linguistic about the statement "I am". That's wrong-- that is demonstrably a linguistic claim, and the claim cannot be made without analyzing what the words are intended to mean, and what process is used to generate that meaning. The process is not "pure experience", it requires something added to that: something analytical, something that requires modeling, something linguistic.

    I realize that you are saying you can experience being, without saying "I am." My point is, you are saying "I am", which is totally different from having an experience and not saying that! You, and Descartes both, must label your experience as an "I am" experience or your argument simply does not stand. And that's where the "linguistic interpretation" comes in. You are using words, even now, so the linguistic interpretation does not come from me, it comes from you, and you simply shoot the messenger that is telling you it comes from you.

    So what I'm saying is, you don't have to use words. You don't have to have an internal language that tells you "I exist", you can just be. Go right ahead and just be, I don't take that away from you. But the instant you attempt to make sense of your being, and the instant you try to say "I am", as a result of that making sense, you have entered the world of MDR. Identity is not just being, identity is an analytical state of saying something. The meaning of the word "I" does not come from experience, we do not experience "I"-- it comes from a mental process of analysis. We can study this in minds that can experience, but cannot build a concept of "I." Try saying "I think therefore I am" without the "I" and you will see what I mean!
    Just do what I recommended to Colin Robinson: sit still, close your eyes and empty your mind of all content, and, yes, that means especially your compulsive thinking.
    I understand what you are saying, but you do not understand what I am saying: when you do that, there is no "I," there is only experience. Try to imagine that you have a mind that is either incapable of the "I" concept, or has gone beyond it and rejected it. Do either of those minds still say "I think therefore I am"? No, they don't, neither one does! Yet either of those minds are capable of the experience you are describing here, are they not?
    No thinking involved whatsoever in being aware of your own existence or your own mind.
    That's what is wrong-- there may not be thinking involved in the awareness, but there is thinking involved in saying that you are aware, so the argument has to be made by a thinking brain. This is just what happens in MDR vs. MIR-- in MDR, we look at at "who is saying it, and what process do they need to go through to be able to say it." To say "I am" does require thought, you don't get that from the "pure experience" because the pure experience has no "I" and no "am", it just has whatever it is.
    It is the mind being aware of itself! That is a fact only known to the mind itself.
    The way I would put it is, the mind makes sense of itself in a way that it labels "awareness." We have a concept of what a mind is, and that concept is formed by our mind, in the way we model what is going on there. In the process, we also create a concept of "awareness", and we can say that our mind does that, because it's our concept, and this is all we mean by the term. But this is also the same process as occurs when we talk about being aware of the existence of our body, or of a rock outside our body.

    What I'm saying is, in Descartes' claim, the "I" is crucial, and the "think" is crucial. Descartes did not say "people think, therefore people are", because there is a claim here that we know something about ourselves that we don't know about others, we merely infer it for others. In other words, the idea is, to extend existence to others requires some analysis, some internal dialog about the "meaning of our word existence", but we can know it for ourselves without any analysis. That's what I'm saying is wrong, it always requires analysis to decide what we mean by "existence" and to apply it anywhere, even to ourselves. Pure experience without thought (and especially experience of thought) does not by itself generate a concept of existence, and to say that it generates existence without the concept of existence misses that "I think therefore I am" is a reference to a concept of existence.
    For the mind itself it has the epistemological distinction of being a tautology if you will. It is literally self-obvious.
    The problem with this argument is that words like "obvious" invoke the same kinds of analytical processes that science uses, and those are what I am talking about. Claiming something is obvious is simply a technique for sweeping the role of the mind under the rug, but here, the role of the mind is the whole point. The mind changes what it thinks about, it replaces it, it models it. Even when the process is regarded as "obvious", it is still a process, and it leaves its fingerprint.

    Perhaps a hypothetical case would help. Imagine we have two beings, being A and being B. Being A is capable of having experiences, and feeling pain and so on, but is not capable of creating a sense of self, so cannot give meaning to "I think therefore I am", or even "I feel therefore I am." Being A just doesn't get those concepts, it's more than that they are without a language for them. Being B, on the other hand, does have a highly developed sense of what existence means, and what identity means, perhaps much more advanced than our own. Also, being B has a system for taking what being A is feeling and pumping that same sensation directly over to being B (to whatever extent such a translation of feeling is possible between two different minds).

    Then we could put being A into a situation where they experience something, perhaps a rock falling on their toe. Being A and being B both respond to their experience by saying "ow", because both have that reaction to the feeling. But being A does not say "I am in pain" because being A has no concept of either "I" or "pain", those are linguistic constructs that being A simply doesn't get, they don't analyze at all. So the job falls to being B to say "that was the experience of pain, being A experienced it, and because I am hooked up to being A, I also experienced it." Then being B could unhook themself and do the experiment again, observe the same reaction by being A, and think "being A experiences pain, therefore I know that being A exists, since I have experienced being A's pain." But being A cannot say that, even though being A is the one that actually experienced the pain in that second experiment! So what this means is, being able to connect the concept of "existence" to the concept of "experience" (or "thought", as Descartes did) requires somethign more than just the ability to experience, it also requires the ability to think. But this ability to think is kind of a double-edged sword, because it leaves its fingerprints on the conclusion reached, that changes that conclusion from something that "just is" to something that is made sense of that way.

    In short, for Descartes to say "I think therefore I am", the word "therefore" reveals that he needed to think about it first-- leaving the fingerprints of that thought on what was supposed to be pure being. That's what doesn't work-- you can't have it both ways, you either have "pure being", but then you cannot "think" about it, and cannot use "thinking" to establish the "pure being", or else you did it Descartes' way and do think about it and do reach a mental conclusion about your own existence, but then you've changed your own existence-- you've replaced it with a model of your own existence, because that's what thinking always does. That's MDR-- the recognition that we cannot have it both ways, we cannot have either the MIR because we have no access to the MIR without thinking about it and turning it into MDR, we cannot say that the MDR is some kind of pure awareness because to gain access to the awareness concept we had to think about it. So again, I'm not saying you cannot turn you language off and your analytical abilities off and just have a pure experience, I'm saying that when you want to do science on that experience, and say something about it like "this means I exist", you have to turn the analytical ability back on again, and that will leave its fingerprints on what you end up saying is going on there.
    It has the distinction of being the only thing the mind itself can be absolutely sure of because in this case subject and object are one and the same.
    But that's what I mean, to be "sure" a mind must turn on its analytical ability. You are saying something more than just that the mind is having an experience, you are saying that the mind is sure it is having an experience. That's where MDR kicks in, and that leaves the fingerprints of the analytical capabilities of that mind on that experience. I could imagine a mental architecture that is capable of having "pure experiences", if you will, with no concept or sense of any kind that it is "sure it is having an experience," those are just two different things and require two different mental capabilities. In particular, to say "I am having an experience" requires not only the ability to experience, but also the ability to model one's "self," and to say "I am experiencing pain" further requires the ability to model "pain." The latter are science-- though perhaps not the "pure experience" part.
    All other objects, especially those considered to be outside the mind are necessarily and for principal reasons inaccessible to the mind and need to be assumed or believed.
    They need to be modeled. Just like the "self" does! That's the analytical component, the part that lets you say something rather than just be. Even if what you are saying is "I exist", that is modeling.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Sep-28 at 02:45 PM.

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