Nothing exists outside the mind

So what's really going on?

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apaosha
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Re: Nothing exists outside the mind

Post by apaosha » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:50 pm

What I am asking is how can one determine whether a premise about reality is true if one is questioning the very way in which any such premise can be proven/disproven - perception.

It's the nature of perception and it's relationship to consciousness that you should be exploring. There is consciousness, which has an apprehension of the senses. Consciousness cannot control what the senses send it, it cannot switch them off. So there is a dualism at least: there is something other than consciousness.

(Well... it can switch them off in the sense that it can be fed perception of it's apparent body being injured in such a way as to remove the supposed cause of the sense in question.... but this would suggest that reality is as it appears.)

This dualism to me suggests that there is something outside the mind, rather that the mind is the effect of this "something"; namely the organ of the brain.

MGL
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Re: Nothing exists outside the mind

Post by MGL » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:04 pm

1) Certainly, all we have direct immediate perception of are the patterns of sensations that we identify with our mind.

2) But our mind seems to distinguish between two types of patterns. Those we seem to be able to conjure up at will - our imagination - and those over which we have no direct control. It is the latter kind of experience that we associate with forces outside our mind. This distinction is re-inforced by the pleasures and pains that accompany such phenomena.Imagining you are eating is just not as satisfying as actually eating.

3) Of course this does not prove that chairs we sit on actually exist, but it does suggest that our mind is part of wider reality we cannot consider as wholly part of ourselves. There is something distinct from our mind that gives the impression of a real chair. Whatever this is, our best bet is to always to assume unless there is evidence to to the contrary, that whatever produces in us the sensations of a chair, is a chair to all intents and purposes.

chaz wyman
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Re: Nothing exists outside the mind

Post by chaz wyman » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:44 am

MGL wrote:1) Certainly, all we have direct immediate perception of are the patterns of sensations that we identify with our mind.

2) But our mind seems to distinguish between two types of patterns. Those we seem to be able to conjure up at will - our imagination - and those over which we have no direct control. It is the latter kind of experience that we associate with forces outside our mind. This distinction is re-inforced by the pleasures and pains that accompany such phenomena.Imagining you are eating is just not as satisfying as actually eating.

3) Of course this does not prove that chairs we sit on actually exist, but it does suggest that our mind is part of wider reality we cannot consider as wholly part of ourselves. There is something distinct from our mind that gives the impression of a real chair. Whatever this is, our best bet is to always to assume unless there is evidence to to the contrary, that whatever produces in us the sensations of a chair, is a chair to all intents and purposes.

If it were 'all in your head', we would also have to conclude that you were the only being.
However...

As you have already agreed to the notion that there are other people with your use of the word 'our', then you assent to NOT being alone in existence.
There are easy enough ways to 'prove' the independent existence of a thing by means of independent corroboration from other people. Simply enough two people agreeing that contents of a closed box, or the daily agreement of the features and topography of foreign countries corroborated by foreign travel.

What is really interesting about all this is the undeniable fact that no one ever agrees exactly on every detail, and that is the beauty of Idealism against naive Realism. It is the root of understanding of misunderstanding, opinion and disagreement.

Toadny
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Re: Nothing exists outside the mind

Post by Toadny » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:18 am

chaz wyman wrote: What is really interesting about all this is the undeniable fact that no one ever agrees exactly on every detail, and that is the beauty of Idealism against naive Realism.
I don't see how that lack of agreement on details has any bearing on the issue of Realism vs. Idealism.

reasonvemotion
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Re: Nothing exists outside the mind

Post by reasonvemotion » Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:56 pm

We have to acknowledge that our "senses" have limits and can also be deceptive, but they are also our absolute judge of the truth about reality.

Dimebag
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Re: Nothing exists outside the mind

Post by Dimebag » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:15 pm

There can't possibly be only you in existence, even if you are a brain in a vat. There would have to also be another being which has set up the whole scenario, and chances are if thee is one, there are many.

MGL
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:58 pm

Re: Nothing exists outside the mind

Post by MGL » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:41 pm

chaz wyman wrote:
There are easy enough ways to 'prove' the independent existence of a thing by means of independent corroboration from other people. Simply enough two people agreeing that contents of a closed box, or the daily agreement of the features and topography of foreign countries corroborated by foreign travel.
But how can you be sure that "other people" are real?


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