Are all models wrong?

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uwot
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by uwot »

AlexW wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:07 am1) Direct experience (what you call "Fact empirical") is really all that you can and will ever know directly.
Yup.
AlexW wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:07 am2) A "Fact contingent - the cause of an experience" has to be again a direct experience, right?
No; this is where it gets complicated. As Descartes pointed out, the cause of an experience could be anything - it is the reason every scientific model is theory laden and underdetermined. Are the fields of Quantum Field Theory real? The strings of String Theory? The loops of Quantum Loop Gravity? If you take a pragmatic/instrumentalist approach, it doesn't matter, working within what Kuhn called a paradigm is how nearly all 'normal science' is done - there's a bit more detail on this in the short biography of Kuhn I wrote for Philosophy Now here: https://philosophynow.org/issues/131/Th ... _1922-1996 Essentially scientists, and people generally, operate on the basis that some idea they have is true, until they discover some experience for which their idea doesn't work. Such ideas could include things like 'If I buy Alice dinner and roses, I'll get my leg over', 'Bob will pay me back the 20 quid he owes me' or things like 'The universe revolves around the Earth', 'Protons and neutrons are fundamental particles'.
AlexW wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:07 amThat it is a cause of another experience is a deduction, but not a direct experience.
I may be missing something, but this appears to contradict the sentence that immediately preceded it.
AlexW wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:07 am3) Real ontological - independent of experience: What would that be? I don't think you can actually know anything directly that is "independent of experience"? Can you? Do you have an example of what you are referring to?
An apple.
AlexW wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:07 am4 & 5) Real conceptual - a product of experience & Thing conceptual - a model we create from empirical facts: Aren't these two the same? Both are concepts, right? Both are interpretations of "empirical facts". To me, a concept is a concept, one is not "more real" than another - it would be like saying that red is more real than green... You might think that the concept "apple" is more real than "unicorn", you can see the apple, the unicorn you don't, but when actually analysing direct experience all the way to its source one will find that "apple" is just as much "thought up" as is "unicorn".
Well, I've yet to have an experience I could attribute to eating a unicorn.
AlexW wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:07 am6) Thing actual - the putative cause of empirical facts.
I think number 6 emerges from this perspective:
uwot wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:58 am Personally, I think the obvious place to start is the common sense/naïve view that actual things are real and cause the empirical facts
...and yes, I agree, the personal view (common sense) states that this has to be the case. There is an apple and the apple's separate existence makes it possible for me to experience it as an empirical fact.
But if you actually investigate direct experience you will find that this is actually not the case...
That's the claim some people make, the evidence or argument for which doesn't persuade me. Why do you think it is so?
AlexW wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:07 amThe question is thus: Do we subscribe to common sense - the naïve view - or do we actually want to figure out the truth of what experience actually is, of what "things" are and of what I am?
Well again; can you demonstrate that the two are mutually exclusive?
AlexW wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:07 amIt is of course not an easy task to throw all old/conditioned knowledge over board - ignore common sense (which we can do at least for the time of our investigation) - and look in an honest way at what is actually happening here/now...
Indeed, that's partly why a first degree in this stuff takes three years.
AlexW wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:07 amI thought that is what this is all about...
"Epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief" - it would thus only make sense to question all and everything, suspend all established belief and lexical definitions and simply look at what is here/now. Where else should one find truth? In a lexicon? In acquired concepts and beliefs or in directly experienced reality/life?
I think modesty demands that I acknowledge that some people are better informed and/or smarter than yours truly. It is a bit of a mantra amongst the Flat-Earthers that one should only accept the evidence of our own eyes. Big mistake, in my view.
AlexW wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:07 amTo me, there are only two "levels" of reality - level one is real, direct experience, level two is the conceptual wrapper we have learned to wrap around it.
The thing is there are many different conceptual wrappers, not all of which can be ontologically real.
AlexW wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:07 amIts equivalent to the territory that is described and navigated using a map - the map shows borders, markers, elevations, distance and whatever else we might find useful, but the territory itself knows nothing of all of that. Problems arise once we believe the map is actually real and we forget about the terrain - we still live in it, but being lost in conceptual thought we only see the things that we have drawn onto maps (and start to believe they are actually real)... meanwhile life happens here/now, but we are actually to distracted to really see it...
Well yeah, getting on with life is more important than discovering its deepest mysteries, but I'm grateful for the time I can waste twiddling my thumbs.
Impenitent
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by Impenitent »

wrong models...

Vanna doesn't have to actually spell the words, she just turns the correct letters...

-Imp
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henry quirk
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by henry quirk »

Impenitent wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:50 am wrong models...

Vanna doesn't have to actually spell the words, she just turns the correct letters...

-Imp
She hosted the show for a bit while the host was out sick. She was pretty decent at it, and she could spell (mebbe offa teleprompter).
AlexW
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by AlexW »

uwot wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:32 am No; this is where it gets complicated. As Descartes pointed out, the cause of an experience could be anything
...
I may be missing something, but this appears to contradict the sentence that immediately preceded it.
Well... whats "anything"?
Is there "anything" else besides 1) whatever is directly experienced and 2) conceptual thought ?
As far as I can tell these are the only options a human being has to experience or know anything...

What I was trying to say was, that ideas such as: "The universe revolves around the Earth", or really any other idea, can not be a cause for an empirical fact/direct experience to arise. Ideas/interpretations are on a different level all together - they do not cause anything.

Sure, we might (and do) believe that they cause things to happen - e.g.: 'If I buy Alice dinner and roses, I'll get my leg over'
But these ideas are really not more than comments, a conceptual map to what we believe is happening to (or may be caused by) us - in reality they don't do or cause anything at all (just like a map doesn't change the terrain, no matter how much we adapt the map to our liking)

I guess this is hard to digest... We make plans and of course we believe they will make a difference, that we can achieve somehting if only we plan hard enough... And I am not saying that this is wrong. It is just that some plans might magically work out and others don't... If I plan to become an Olympic swimmer I am pretty sure I will fail, if my plan is to get up and have breakfast then it will most likely work out fine... but, as I see it, these plans are not more than (more or less realistic) comments about what will happen anyway...
uwot wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:32 am Well, I've yet to have an experience I could attribute to eating a unicorn.
Haha... yes, but what I was trying to point out is that you also never really had "the experience of eating an apple" - thats just an interpretation of an experience that will always change, that is never the same, and that we, via approximation, label as "I am eating an apple".
uwot wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:32 am That's the claim some people make, the evidence or argument for which doesn't persuade me. Why do you think it is so?
I think this is so because of investigating direct experience and coming to the conclusion that whatever thought has to say about it, is not true - but neither is it false. The experience is simply on a different level than our dualistic interpretation - the experience itself is essentially non-dual, boundless, borderless, and actually free of all attributes and relativity. All boundaries, borders, attributes etc etc are not more than ideas - yes, common sense ideas, but still ideas.

You can easily verify that this is the case. Grab a piece of fruit, maybe an apple, and look at it. Imagine how it will taste, the texture, the flavours... After a minute or so, eat it slowly and experience the taste directly. Can you find a border between the taste and other tastes? Does it actually contain the information "sweet-sour-crunchy etc etc"? Do we have to label it? Does the label make the slightest difference to the experience?

Yes, this might sound very simplistic, but hey, how else do you know the world if not by simple, direct experience? And then we think about what happened and add all these conceptual trimmings. But the trimmings are not the experience - just like a word is not the thing.
uwot wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:32 am I think modesty demands that I acknowledge that some people are better informed and/or smarter than yours truly. It is a bit of a mantra amongst the Flat-Earthers that one should only accept the evidence of our own eyes. Big mistake, in my view.
I fully agree - there are millions of better informed people out there. But we all have one thing in common: we experience the world via our senses.
What thought might make of it, is a different cup of tea.
See, I don't think measuring intelligence based on ones conceptual capacity is a valid measure - it is rather a measure of confusion.
The more one knows (and believes in it) the more entangled in the world of concepts one will get - while true knowing is actually not conceptual at all.
Lao-tzu expressed this in a similar sentiment in his Tao te Ching:
"Those who seek learning gain every day, those who seek the Way lose every day."
Meaning: One sees more and more through the conceptual veil and takes it as less important. One lives in the here/now, not in the mind. The here/now is where direct knowing is always present, not in a concept riddled map.

By the way: Aristotle pointed out in his Metaphysics that the rejection of the principle of contradiction must lead to the conclusion that "all things are one." This seemed to him absurd, but when investigating direct experience one will not find any contradictions, no separation, no relativity.
If you look at an apple - what do you see? Do you really see a separate thing?
When you break down the direct experience of "seeing", the most basic description will be "color" - all you actually really see is color. We could actually state that: seeing = color.
Now "color" is still a concept, but it is as close as we can get to the direct experience - there are no more words left to reduce it even further.
Now the question arises: Is there any separation in "seeing"? Can color separate color? Can seeing separate seeing? Of course not! The separation is imagined, thought into conceptual "existence" - nothing more... this is obvious in the direct experience, but thought, of course, only works in opposites...
uwot
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by uwot »

AlexW wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 amWell... whats "anything"?
Take your pick. Michael Faraday put it rather well: "All this is a dream. Still examine it by a few experiments. Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature; and in such things as these, experiment is the best test of such consistency."
Karl Popper's falsificationism is far from perfect, but there is mileage in the idea that anything that isn't demonstrably wrong could be true.
AlexW wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 amIs there "anything" else besides 1) whatever is directly experienced and 2) conceptual thought ?
Well that's Kant's phenomena/noumena question. Idealism is entirely consistent with experiment, but then so is materialism.
AlexW wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 amAs far as I can tell these are the only options a human being has to experience or know anything...
Indeed, and if you hack away with Occam's Razor, they're all the entities that necessity demands. To me though, that there appears to be a universe made of some sort of stuff is explained quite neatly by the hypothesis that a universe made of some stuff actually exists. Tricky thing to prove, but I find the evidence compelling.
AlexW wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 am...ideas are really not more than comments, a conceptual map to what we believe is happening to (or may be caused by) us - in reality they don't do or cause anything at all (just like a map doesn't change the terrain, no matter how much we adapt the map to our liking)
I guess this is hard to digest...
Not really, I get it; I just don't think it is a sound reason to rule out other possibilities.
AlexW wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 am...what I was trying to point out is that you also never really had "the experience of eating an apple" - thats just an interpretation of an experience that will always change, that is never the same, and that we, via approximation, label as "I am eating an apple".
Well no, "the experience of eating an apple" is one thing I am certain I have had, short of Bertrand Russell's observation that it is logically possible that the universe popped into existence 5 minutes ago, complete with all my memories of apple eating. I could be mistaken in my belief that I have had the experience of eating an apple because I have actually eaten an apple, but again, it strikes me as a plausible hypothesis.
AlexW wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 amThe experience is simply on a different level than our dualistic interpretation - the experience itself is essentially non-dual, boundless, borderless, and actually free of all attributes and relativity. All boundaries, borders, attributes etc etc are not more than ideas - yes, common sense ideas, but still ideas.
This is where I think you make an invalid leap. It may be so, but it doesn't follow from 'all you need is ideas' that 'all there is, is ideas'.
AlexW wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 amYou can easily verify that this is the case. Grab a piece of fruit, maybe an apple, and look at it. Imagine how it will taste, the texture, the flavours... After a minute or so, eat it slowly and experience the taste directly. Can you find a border between the taste and other tastes?
Frankly, yes.
AlexW wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 amDoes it actually contain the information "sweet-sour-crunchy etc etc"? Do we have to label it? Does the label make the slightest difference to the experience?
Nope. As Shakespeare's Juliet says: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By Any Other Name would smell as sweet.”
AlexW wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 amLao-tzu...
"Those who seek learning gain every day, those who seek the Way lose every day."
Meaning: One sees more and more through the conceptual veil and takes it as less important. One lives in the here/now, not in the mind. The here/now is where direct knowing is always present, not in a concept riddled map.
I think there are other possible meanings. Given that Lao-tzu also said: "To know yet to think that one does not know is best. Not to know, yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty." it could be interpreted as a warning. Some people accept that they will never stop learning. Others believe they have all the answers thanks to some 'Way' they have concocted.
AlexW wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 amBy the way: Aristotle pointed out in his Metaphysics that the rejection of the principle of contradiction must lead to the conclusion that "all things are one." This seemed to him absurd, but when investigating direct experience one will not find any contradictions, no separation, no relativity.
Well, Aristotle was responding to Parmenides' contention that that 'nothing' doesn't exist, therefore everything is 'One'. Here's another article I wrote that puts a bit more flesh on those bones: https://philosophynow.org/issues/104/Ph ... d_Branches Long story short; the leap that Parmenides made was from 'There is not nothing' to 'There is no nothing'. It doesn't follow.
AlexW wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 amIf you look at an apple - what do you see? Do you really see a separate thing?
I don't know for certain, but it looks that way.
AlexW wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 amThe separation is imagined, thought into conceptual "existence" - nothing more... this is obvious in the direct experience, but thought, of course, only works in opposites...
I disagree. I may be wrong, but I don't think thought can be 'digitised' in that way, I'm fairly confident the human brain is an analog device.
AlexW
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by AlexW »

uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am Karl Popper's falsificationism is far from perfect, but there is mileage in the idea that anything that isn't demonstrably wrong could be true.
This is certainly acceptable for the world of thought where we are dealing with apparent things and ideas - this is a world of right and wrong, true and false and the judgements vary depending on your point of view (what is right to you may be wrong to me...)
But there is no wrong or false in direct experience - as I said perviously, it is beyond/before the mind places it in a prefabricated box labelled X, Y, Z...
The taste of an apple is as it is, its neither right nor is it wrong - this is actually true for all direct experience.
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am To me though, that there appears to be a universe made of some sort of stuff is explained quite neatly by the hypothesis that a universe made of some stuff actually exists. Tricky thing to prove, but I find the evidence compelling.
Sure... the conventional evidence is compelling. Are you surprised that this is the case? We have been brought up living this belief - why should we doubt it?
If people would be taught from childhood on that they exist in some sort of simulation then this would be our basis for describing/making sense of existence and I am pretty sure that each and every "natural phenomenon" (gravity, speed of light and whatever else) would be scientifically explained/proven based on this understanding.
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am Well no, "the experience of eating an apple" is one thing I am certain I have had
What's wrong with this:
1) An empirical fact / direct experience is not a thing.
2) An apple is a thing
3) You have never experienced eating an apple.
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am I could be mistaken in my belief that I have had the experience of eating an apple because I have actually eaten an apple, but again, it strikes me as a plausible hypothesis.
Well... you can only know if the belief/hypothesis that you have had the experience is actually true by investigating, right?
Just thinking about it wont take you any further (even most people believe it does).
What once happened, or not happened, is now only a memory, which again is nothing but another thought...
If you eat an apple now, and really, honestly, investigate into what is happening then you should be able to tell if there are all these "parts" that thought talks about.
If you eat an apple, maybe even with your eyes closed, and discount all the running commentary that thought comes up with... what is left when the conceptual interpretation is - if only for a moment - switched off?
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am This is where I think you make an invalid leap. It may be so, but it doesn't follow from 'all you need is ideas' that 'all there is, is ideas'.
I didn't say 'all you need is ideas' or even 'all there is, is ideas', did I?
What I was saying was that "experience is on a different level than our dualistic interpretation". That directly experienced reality is non-dual - which can be seen directly here/now - and that all interpretation, aka conceptual thought is the dualistic wrapper that provides meaning, that introduces borders, separation, judgement and even a separate self, the I, that has these experiences.

Also, I would rather say: "all things are ideas", but also: "reality is not a thing"
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am Alex: Can you find a border between the taste and other tastes?
...
Frankly, yes.
Can you describe this border that exists between tastes? How does it look/feel/taste like? What makes you believe that this sensation is a border?
Is this border maybe only another taste/sensation that thought describes as a border?
If so, how could taste be a border to another taste?
Wouldn't you agree that before tasting an apple, there was also a taste present? Yes, this taste might be described as "tasteless", but it for sure was there (even you might not have been thinking about it and thus haven't formed a conceptual memory of it).

Its like saying one color is the border to another color, whereas in reality its just color - color A / the border (color B) / color C
And as I explained before: color = seeing / and seeing cannot separate more seeing, can it? And just like that taste cannot separate more taste...
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am Nope. As Shakespeare's Juliet says: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By Any Other Name would smell as sweet.”
Perfect example :-)
...and, in the end, even "sweet" and "smell" are just names...
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am I think there are other possible meanings. Given that Lao-tzu also said: "To know yet to think that one does not know is best. Not to know, yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty." it could be interpreted as a warning. Some people accept that they will never stop learning. Others believe they have all the answers thanks to some 'Way' they have concocted.
Sure, thats the beauty of us having different perspectives... we all see different meanings, but there is also the meaningless - e.g. the smell of "That which we call a rose".
Also, I agree that we have concocted a "Way", as well as a "someone" that can progress from ignorance to enlightenment - but the more we see through the veil of thought the more the "way" (which is also just an idea) vanishes into non existence and one sees that everything has always been perfectly here/now and that all the learning and its answers are not more important than the song of a bird.
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am Long story short; the leap that Parmenides made was from 'There is not nothing' to 'There is no nothing'. It doesn't follow.
"Nothing", just like "everything", is a concept, thus again a "thing" - not an empirical fact (you cannot experience nothing).
Stating that there is a thing that is nothing (or even: not a thing) makes no sense at all.
It would be much more elegant to simply come to the conclusion that there are no things in the first place, thus no nothing, no everything, simply no thing (outside of the idea of things - but ideas don't make it so, right?).
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am I disagree. I may be wrong, but I don't think thought can be 'digitised' in that way, I'm fairly confident the human brain is an analog device.
Well... scientist seem to start believing that the brain actually digitises received data (and also stores it in discrete form - makes sense if you want to store huge amounts of data in something like a brain) - see: https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... _the_Brain

Furthermore it simply makes sense, considering how we handle and process visual data:
... The cells in the retina convert the light into electrical impulses. The optic nerve sends these impulses to the brain, which produces an image.
Looks a lot like an Analog to Digital converter to me...
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by AlexW »

uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am Here's another article I wrote that puts a bit more flesh on those bones: https://philosophynow.org/issues/104/Ph ... d_Branches
I have just read your article and really enjoyed it - very informative.

Regarding Parmenides you state:
A key point in his argument is that there can be no such thing as ‘not-being’; that the very idea of ‘not-being being’ is contradictory. Given the materialistic sense that Parmenides has of ‘being’, this means there is no such thing as empty space. As a result, change is impossible, because for any change to happen one bit of being would have to move into an unoccupied space, that is, somewhere there is ‘not-being’, but this is impossible, as there exists no ‘not-being’. Accordingly, ‘being’ is unified (‘one’), flawless, infinite, and eternal; hence reality is very different to most men’s opinions, and certainly to their experiences.

I would even go one step further and state: there is neither being, nor is there not-being.
Reality simply does not work like that.
I guess Parmenides stating that there is only "being", no "not-being" is an attempt to express this in a more conservative way - trying to cut away only one side of the dualistic opposite. Its like stating: there is only infinity, but ignoring that thought has actually a term for its opposite: the finite, the limited (and that we cannot but think of the limited even we attempt to refer to the unlimited).
Stating that: X neither is, nor is it not - takes this one step further towards the truth of how reality/direct experience actually works.

That change is ultimately impossible also follows from infinity/eternity "existing" (or rather reality having no limits or borders) as change is only possible once we introduce separation, and thus independently existing things. This doesn't mean that we cannot think up things that apparently change.
I think it was Heraclitus that stated something like "the only constant is change" - and yes, this is how it appears to us (to thought) - but outside of thought, in the non-conceptual here/now, change is non-existent (as time as well as space is non existent).
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by uwot »

AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 am
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am Karl Popper's falsificationism is far from perfect, but there is mileage in the idea that anything that isn't demonstrably wrong could be true.
This is certainly acceptable for the world of thought where we are dealing with apparent things and ideas - this is a world of right and wrong, true and false and the judgements vary depending on your point of view.
So are your ideas right or wrong?
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 am(what is right to you may be wrong to me...)
Well yeah, some people like apples, some don't.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 amBut there is no wrong or false in direct experience - as I said perviously, it is beyond/before the mind places it in a prefabricated box labelled X, Y, Z...
The taste of an apple is as it is, its neither right nor is it wrong - this is actually true for all direct experience.
I agree. It's not the flavour of apples which is right or wrong, it is the hypothesis to which we attribute our direct experience.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 am
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am To me though, that there appears to be a universe made of some sort of stuff is explained quite neatly by the hypothesis that a universe made of some stuff actually exists. Tricky thing to prove, but I find the evidence compelling.
Sure... the conventional evidence is compelling. Are you surprised that this is the case? We have been brought up living this belief - why should we doubt it?
It's what any philosophy graduate is trained to do.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 amIf people would be taught from childhood on that they exist in some sort of simulation then this would be our basis for describing/making sense of existence and I am pretty sure that each and every "natural phenomenon" (gravity, speed of light and whatever else) would be scientifically explained/proven based on this understanding.
Yup, that is pretty much Thomas Kuhn's point.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 am
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am Well no, "the experience of eating an apple" is one thing I am certain I have had
What's wrong with this:
1) An empirical fact / direct experience is not a thing.
2) An apple is a thing
3) You have never experienced eating an apple.
It doesn't work as a syllogism. If 3 is meant to be the conclusion of 1 and 2, it simply doesn't follow. Again, it is conceivable that the reason I have a direct experience of eating an apple is that I am eating an apple.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 am
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am I could be mistaken in my belief that I have had the experience of eating an apple because I have actually eaten an apple, but again, it strikes me as a plausible hypothesis.
Well... you can only know if the belief/hypothesis that you have had the experience is actually true by investigating, right?
As you said yourself:
AlexW wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:59 amThere is no question, the experience is a fact...
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 amJust thinking about it wont take you any further (even most people believe it does).
What once happened, or not happened, is now only a memory, which again is nothing but another thought...
If you eat an apple now, and really, honestly, investigate into what is happening then you should be able to tell if there are all these "parts" that thought talks about.
If you eat an apple, maybe even with your eyes closed, and discount all the running commentary that thought comes up with... what is left when the conceptual interpretation is - if only for a moment - switched off?
The direct experience.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 am
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am This is where I think you make an invalid leap. It may be so, but it doesn't follow from 'all you need is ideas' that 'all there is, is ideas'.
I didn't say 'all you need is ideas' or even 'all there is, is ideas', did I?
It's just a blanket term for thoughts, perceptions, direct experiences, any conscious activity.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 amWhat I was saying was that "experience is on a different level than our dualistic interpretation". That directly experienced reality is non-dual - which can be seen directly here/now - and that all interpretation, aka conceptual thought is the dualistic wrapper that provides meaning, that introduces borders, separation, judgement and even a separate self, the I, that has these experiences.
One of the criticisms of Descartes' 'I think, therefore I am' is that you cannot soundly conclude from the existence of ideas, in the above sense, that there is an I that has the ideas. It is indeed logically possible that all that exist are the ideas.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 amAlso, I would rather say: "all things are ideas", but also: "reality is not a thing"
That is your prerogative, and for all I know you may be right; plenty very fine philosophers would agree with that much.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 am
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am Alex: Can you find a border between the taste and other tastes?
...
Frankly, yes.
Can you describe this border that exists between tastes? How does it look/feel/taste like? What makes you believe that this sensation is a border?
Is this border maybe only another taste/sensation that thought describes as a border?
If so, how could taste be a border to another taste?
Salt and sugar. Personally, I have no trouble distinguishing the two.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 amWouldn't you agree that before tasting an apple, there was also a taste present? Yes, this taste might be described as "tasteless", but it for sure was there (even you might not have been thinking about it and thus haven't formed a conceptual memory of it).
Well, if you are not conscious of it, in what sense is it a direct experience?
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 amIts like saying one color is the border to another color, whereas in reality its just color - color A / the border (color B) / color C


And as I explained before: color = seeing / and seeing cannot separate more seeing, can it? And just like that taste cannot separate more taste...
Red/blue, sugar/salt. Yeah, you can mix them up with green, bitter and whatnot for sensory cocktails, but the ingredients are themselves discreet, at least in my view.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 am
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am Nope. As Shakespeare's Juliet says: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By Any Other Name would smell as sweet.”
Perfect example :-)
...and, in the end, even "sweet" and "smell" are just names...
...that we give to direct experiences.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 am
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am I think there are other possible meanings. Given that Lao-tzu also said: "To know yet to think that one does not know is best. Not to know, yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty." it could be interpreted as a warning. Some people accept that they will never stop learning. Others believe they have all the answers thanks to some 'Way' they have concocted.
Sure, thats the beauty of us having different perspectives... we all see different meanings, but there is also the meaningless - e.g. the smell of "That which we call a rose".
Meaning is contextual. If someone attaches meaning to the smell of a rose, that is their business.

AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 amAlso, I agree that we have concocted a "Way", as well as a "someone" that can progress from ignorance to enlightenment - but the more we see through the veil of thought the more the "way" (which is also just an idea) vanishes into non existence and one sees that everything has always been perfectly here/now and that all the learning and its answers are not more important than the song of a bird.
Well again, it's not my place to impose restrictions on what importance people attach to birdsong.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 am
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am Long story short; the leap that Parmenides made was from 'There is not nothing' to 'There is no nothing'. It doesn't follow.
"Nothing", just like "everything", is a concept, thus again a "thing" - not an empirical fact (you cannot experience nothing).
Nor, I would suggest, can you experience everything.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 amStating that there is a thing that is nothing (or even: not a thing) makes no sense at all.
Precisely Parmenides' point.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 amIt would be much more elegant to simply come to the conclusion that there are no things in the first place, thus no nothing, no everything, simply no thing (outside of the idea of things - but ideas don't make it so, right?).
No, but going back to my clumsy lexicon, there is a difference between conceptual and actual things.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 am
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am I disagree. I may be wrong, but I don't think thought can be 'digitised' in that way, I'm fairly confident the human brain is an analog device.
Well... scientist seem to start believing that the brain actually digitises received data (and also stores it in discrete form - makes sense if you want to store huge amounts of data in something like a brain) - see: https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... _the_Brain
Scientists make all sorts of 'bold conjectures' (Popper again). They also tend to explore the current technology to see if it is a suitable description of the broader universe. So at the moment computer programmes are written mostly in binary (dualist) code. It's not really my field, but I understand that things will get more complicated when quantum computers really come on line.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:35 amFurthermore it simply makes sense, considering how we handle and process visual data:
... The cells in the retina convert the light into electrical impulses. The optic nerve sends these impulses to the brain, which produces an image.
Looks a lot like an Analog to Digital converter to me...
You make it sound like a thing.
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by uwot »

AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:08 am
uwot wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:53 am Here's another article I wrote that puts a bit more flesh on those bones: https://philosophynow.org/issues/104/Ph ... d_Branches
I have just read your article and really enjoyed it - very informative.
Thank you.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:08 amRegarding Parmenides you state:
A key point in his argument is that there can be no such thing as ‘not-being’; that the very idea of ‘not-being being’ is contradictory. Given the materialistic sense that Parmenides has of ‘being’, this means there is no such thing as empty space. As a result, change is impossible, because for any change to happen one bit of being would have to move into an unoccupied space, that is, somewhere there is ‘not-being’, but this is impossible, as there exists no ‘not-being’. Accordingly, ‘being’ is unified (‘one’), flawless, infinite, and eternal; hence reality is very different to most men’s opinions, and certainly to their experiences.

I would even go one step further and state: there is neither being, nor is there not-being.
Reality simply does not work like that.
Well, if there is reality, there is being. However wrong our theories about 'being' may be, the fact that this sentence exists is all the evidence you need to demonstrate that there is being on some level.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:08 amI guess Parmenides stating that there is only "being", no "not-being" is an attempt to express this in a more conservative way - trying to cut away only one side of the dualistic opposite.
Parmenides didn't have the advantage of the last two and a half thousand years of philosophical and scientific study that has led to quantum field theory. The observable universe, the bubble of which we are the centre, is estimated to be in the order of 90 billion light years in diameter, gawd knows how big the unobservable universe is. No point in that bubble is empty, as far as we know, although Boötes void is a pretty freaky place.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:08 amIts like stating: there is only infinity, but ignoring that thought has actually a term for its opposite: the finite, the limited (and that we cannot but think of the limited even we attempt to refer to the unlimited).
Stating that: X neither is, nor is it not - takes this one step further towards the truth of how reality/direct experience actually works.
The way I see it is that even if direct experience is all there is, then that is what X is. To say that X is not, is self-refuting.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:08 amThat change is ultimately impossible also follows from infinity/eternity "existing" (or rather reality having no limits or borders) as change is only possible once we introduce separation, and thus independently existing things. This doesn't mean that we cannot think up things that apparently change.
I think it was Heraclitus that stated something like "the only constant is change" - and yes, this is how it appears to us (to thought) - but outside of thought, in the non-conceptual here/now, change is non-existent (as time as well as space is non existent).
In contemporary western cosmology, that is a version of the block universe. It may be so, but I just happen to think that a viable cause of apparent change is actual change.
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by AlexW »

uwot wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:45 pm So are your ideas right or wrong?
Right from my personal point of view (the interpretations that arise as thought in this head), maybe wrong from yours, but ultimately neither.
uwot wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:45 pm It doesn't work as a syllogism. If 3 is meant to be the conclusion of 1 and 2, it simply doesn't follow. Again, it is conceivable that the reason I have a direct experience of eating an apple is that I am eating an apple.
If with "conceivable" you mean "imaginable" then yes, sure, many things are imaginable, but are they backed up by empirical fact?
That a separate "you" has never been doing the "eating" of another separate thing called "apple" is actually backed up by empirical fact (not by thought, by direct experience).
uwot wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:45 pm One of the criticisms of Descartes' 'I think, therefore I am' is that you cannot soundly conclude from the existence of ideas, in the above sense, that there is an I that has the ideas. It is indeed logically possible that all that exist are the ideas.
Agree - and furthermore it is pretty easy to see - not to think, but to consciously observe - that thought simply arises without an "I" doing anything.
How much proof does one require to understand that experience - including thought - does not need an external, controlling creator to arise? Millions of people have been looking for this elusive individual "self" that is meant to be in control of thought for thousands of years.. has anyone found it? Or is all that we have found more thought? Thought stating that "I am thinking" and "Therefore I am!"
I understand that science doesn't like things happening that it cant attribute to a specific cause - but hey, maybe all of reality works like that.
uwot wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:45 pm Salt and sugar. Personally, I have no trouble distinguishing the two.
Diversity in taste (and thus being able to distinguish) doesn't mean it is a border.
Only thought creates borders out of diversity, in reality its all just taste - one salty the other sugary, but both tastes.
Its the same with colours, sounds, smells... Is this really so hard to understand?
uwot wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:45 pm Well, if you are not conscious of it, in what sense is it a direct experience?
You are mixing up consciousness with mind/thought.
Just because there is no thought about something it doesn't mean that "you" aren't conscious.
Yes, sure, when no thought arises there is also no personal "I" present, but the experience is still there, consciousness still is - not as a conceptualised, translated, dualistic "experience", but as the direct experience/presence that it actually is.

I think this is one of the great misunderstandings of today. People believe that mental activity is evidence for being conscious, that the "I" thought is self-consciousness and that constant thinking about what seems to be going on is how consciousness works.
In truth its the other way round: consciousness simply is (or rather: neither exists, nor does it not exist) - and thought arises in/as it, just like any other "experience" arises in/as it. Even if there is no experience and/or no thought, consciousness still is.
Even if there is no thought, you still are, aren't you? When you are asleep, you still are - you haven't gone anywhere, its just that there is no experience, no thought... but you, as presence, consciousness (or whatever we call it) still are.
uwot wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:45 pm Red/blue, sugar/salt. Yeah, you can mix them up with green, bitter and whatnot for sensory cocktails, but the ingredients are themselves discreet, at least in my view.
Maybe this view requires an update :-)
uwot wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:45 pm No, but going back to my clumsy lexicon, there is a difference between conceptual and actual things.
Not in direct experience, only within the conceptual construct that you have erected.
uwot wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:45 pm You make it sound like a thing.
Yes, thats how language works :-)

Wasn't it Heidegger that said: "Language thinks us more than we think language" ?
I think he was on to something...
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by AlexW »

uwot wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:43 pm Well, if there is reality, there is being. However wrong our theories about 'being' may be, the fact that this sentence exists is all the evidence you need to demonstrate that there is being on some level.
...and...
The way I see it is that even if direct experience is all there is, then that is what X is. To say that X is not, is self-refuting.
I think, the problem is mired in confusing language.

All we can truly express and think of is dualistic - when thinking in language, we cannot but think in opposites, in being and not-being, in right and wrong.
Thus we proclaim: Reality is! What we overlook is that "reality" is only a pointer to something that is not a thing. And if it is not a thing, how can it be (or not be)?
To me, awarding it any name or attribute is an attempt to limit it and to objectify the non-objective.
It simply doesn't work, isn't necessary and only adds to confusion.

When you state: This sentence exists! Then this is a concept/language (the conceptual you) "talking" in its dualistic realm of interpretations, of before and after, of things, about another concept (the sentence).
And yes, sure, within the conceptual borders this separate thing exists, but it neither exists, nor does it not exist in "reality".
Why? Because what thought calls "experience" (the interpreted version) - and thus all its concepts (including this sentence) - are the children of a barren mother. They, as well as their mother, are perfectly empty (see Buddhist teachings of emptiness (e.g. Nagarjuna), which, in the ultimate understanding, states that: reality/being neither exists nor does it not exist --- and thus all its conceptual "children", including this sentence, are empty as well).
But these are just words - direct experience, presence, here/now is the living proof. Its in every taste, sugary or sour - it doesn't require interpreting/conceptualising to know.

And yes, "To say that X is not, is self-refuting", but to say it neither is, nor is it not, is unifying, wholesome and saves us from the invisible "prison" of dualistic language.
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by uwot »

AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:07 pm
uwot wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:45 pmSo are your ideas right or wrong?
Right from my personal point of view (the interpretations that arise as thought in this head), maybe wrong from yours, but ultimately neither.
I guess in that respect at least I am a dualist. I think the universe is the way it is and either it is how you think, or it isn't. Dunno which, but it's one or the other in my view.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:07 pmThat a separate "you" has never been doing the "eating" of another separate thing called "apple" is actually backed up by empirical fact (not by thought, by direct experience).
The empirical fact of my having the experience, as in perception, of eating an apple would be exactly the same whether apples actually exist or not. Granted some version of non-dualism or idealism is more parsimonious, but it doesn't follow that apples therefore don't exist. Since, as I understand, you are making a definite claim that they don't, and assuming you wish to persuade me, what empirical fact backs up that claim?
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:07 pm...thought simply arises without an "I" doing anything.
In every case of my tasting an apple, it is because I have also had the direct experience of putting an apple in my mouth.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:07 pmHow much proof does one require to understand that experience - including thought - does not need an external, controlling creator to arise?
One example that cannot be attributed to hallucination or delusion will do the trick.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:07 pmI understand that science doesn't like things happening that it cant attribute to a specific cause - but hey, maybe all of reality works like that.
Maybe. And maybe it doesn't.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:07 pmOnly thought creates borders out of diversity, in reality its all just taste - one salty the other sugary, but both tastes.
Its the same with colours, sounds, smells... Is this really so hard to understand?
It's not hard at all, I just don't agree that it supports your conviction that there is no apple eating me better than the hypothesis that there is an apple eating me.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:07 pmYou are mixing up consciousness with mind/thought.
Perhaps. What's the difference?
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:07 pmJust because there is no thought about something it doesn't mean that "you" aren't conscious.
If there is no thought, what am I conscious of?
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:07 pm...consciousness simply is (or rather: neither exists, nor does it not exist)
In my book 'is' (in this context) is pretty much a synonym for 'exists'.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:07 pmEven if there is no experience and/or no thought, consciousness still is.
You and I clearly mean different things by consciousness then. This would be a good time for you to explain what you understand by the word.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:07 pm
uwot wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:45 pmRed/blue, sugar/salt. Yeah, you can mix them up with green, bitter and whatnot for sensory cocktails, but the ingredients are themselves discreet, at least in my view.
Maybe this view requires an update :-)
Well, if you can give me a good reason, I will happily do so.
AlexW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:07 pm
uwot wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:45 pmNo, but going back to my clumsy lexicon, there is a difference between conceptual and actual things.
Not in direct experience, only within the conceptual construct that you have erected.
Fair enough. What is wrong with my conceptual construct?
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by AlexW »

uwot wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:13 pm The empirical fact of my having the experience, as in perception, of eating an apple would be exactly the same whether apples actually exist or not.
Agree
uwot wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:13 pm but it doesn't follow that apples therefore don't exist. Since, as I understand, you are making a definite claim that they don't, and assuming you wish to persuade me, what empirical fact backs up that claim?
What I am saying is that there are no things (e.g. no apples) present in direct experience (DE). In DE there is simply seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling - none of the senses state anything about apples. They provide raw data, may it be visual, audible, tactile or gustatory - this is what you actually really experience. Its all you actually "know" about your surroundings (including the body).
While DE has been present/active since we were born, conceptual thought has been acquired/learned over the first years of childhood. That a certain mix of sensual impressions qualifies as an "apple" is acquired, conceptual knowledge, which is perfectly fine, very handy, but it doesn't mean that we actually ever experience this thing labelled "apple" - we still experience certain colours, certain sounds and a certain taste (and even that is already a conceptual description that a young child doesn't know - for the newborn there is no border between taste and sound, seeing and smelling - it is all one presence, without a separate observer or experiencer (the experiencer itself is not more than another conceptual structure we have acquired).

Also, I do not wish to persuade you, I would much rather have you actually look yourself and draw your own conclusion (and if you, after investigating, still believe that "apples" are present in DE... well... I am perfectly fine with that too... all I am trying to do is to point out what I have found... if someone is interested, great, if not, also fine :-) )
uwot wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:13 pm If there is no thought, what am I conscious of?
If there is no thought then there is no "conscious of" - there is only aware presence (which is again simply direct experience).
No separate one being conscious of something else - just "being".

"I am conscious of X" is a thought - agree?
"I" is a thought - agree?
Now, please ask yourself: Can a thought be conscious of something?
Or does the thought arise "in" consciousness (meaning: Is the thought known "in" consciousness?)

See, the way we operate, and this might be the fault of how we use language, is that we believe that "I" am conscious of something else - but when investigating we actually find that "I" is always just a thought - no thought, no "I". And thought, as far as I can tell, is not aware or conscious, it is, itself, known by what we call "consciousness" (even this is misleading again as it somehow posits that consciousness is a separate entity, a thing that knows, which is not exactly true - consciousness (call it reality or whatever) is not a thing).
uwot wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:13 pm You and I clearly mean different things by consciousness then. This would be a good time for you to explain what you understand by the word.
Did the above make it any clearer?
Consciousness could be described as reality itself, being, presence... but again, it is not a thing. It neither exists, nor does it not exist. It is beyond these dualistic limitations - maybe thats why it is so hard to explain what "it" is...
All experience, including thoughts, arise in/as it - are it - but the conceptual structures that thought weaves are not more than a (sometimes convenient) map, conjuring up borders that exist nowhere else but inside these concepts.
uwot wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:13 pm Well, if you can give me a good reason, I will happily do so.
A conceptual map that is truer to its terrain will make for a better, happier life.
The more borders you erase from your map the freer you will be to move.
uwot wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:13 pm Fair enough. What is wrong with my conceptual construct?
Its not in tune with your direct experience and thus not in tune with reality.

You may state "I am angry!" or "I am sad!" - but this anger and sadness only exists in the map - reality is never angry or sad.
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by uwot »

AlexW wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:55 pm
uwot wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:13 pmThe empirical fact of my having the experience, as in perception, of eating an apple would be exactly the same whether apples actually exist or not.
Agree
Right, so there is no way to decide whether apples are real or not. The choice is essentially aesthetic; people pick the option they happen to like and generally interpret the evidence in a way that favours their preference. That's confirmation bias for ya.
AlexW wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:55 pmWhat I am saying is that there are no things (e.g. no apples) present in direct experience.
It's what we're both saying. The difference is that you interpret this as apples neither exist, nor don't exist, which to me is meaningless. I think it's one or the other, but I'm not wholly convinced either way.
AlexW wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:55 pmIn DE there is simply seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling - none of the senses state anything about apples. They provide raw data, may it be visual, audible, tactile or gustatory - this is what you actually really experience. Its all you actually "know" about your surroundings (including the body).
You are pushing against an open door, me old china; we have both made this point.
AlexW wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:55 pmThat a certain mix of sensual impressions qualifies as an "apple" is acquired, conceptual knowledge, which is perfectly fine, very handy, but it doesn't mean that we actually ever experience this thing labelled "apple"
We are repeating ourselves. You know that, I know that. You've made your mind up, I'm sitting on the fence.
AlexW wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:55 pm...for the newborn there is no border between taste and sound, seeing and smelling - it is all one presence, without a separate observer or experiencer ...
Do you remember being a newborn? If not, where do you get this information from?
AlexW wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:55 pmAlso, I do not wish to persuade you, I would much rather have you actually look yourself and draw your own conclusion
I have actually looked myself, the result of which is that I haven't found an argument or evidence so compelling that I feel obliged to take a particular view.
AlexW wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:55 pm...(and if you, after investigating, still believe that "apples" are present in DE... well... I am perfectly fine with that too... all I am trying to do is to point out what I have found... if someone is interested, great, if not, also fine :-) )
Having investigated, rigorously and at length, I do not 'believe' that apples exist. I think it is a perfectly functional working hypothesis, but if it can be demonstrated that it isn't the case, I am not so committed that I wouldn't adopt the alternative. The world, reality if you wish, is the way it is, which may be very different to whatever functional working hypotheses you or I apply at any given moment.
AlexW wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:55 pmConsciousness could be described as reality itself...
Yes it could. We really are going in circles. Do you have anything to break it?
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Re: Are all models wrong?

Post by AlexW »

uwot wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:50 pm The difference is that you interpret this as apples neither exist, nor don't exist, which to me is meaningless.
Yes, ultimately meaningless (or rather: neither meaningless nor meaningful).
But when seen from a personal perspective, meaningful.
Thus, if you, the personal self, insists to attach a meaning to (an extract of) reality which, itself, is beyond/before meaning, so be it... fine... as long as one doesn't believe that this is the only meaningful interpretation.
uwot wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:50 pm I think it's one or the other, but I'm not wholly convinced either way.
Well... I am convinced that there are no apples in DE (at least I have not found any as of yet).
I am also convinced that there are apples in the conceptual map of DE.
Thus apples exist as a concept, but not as a separate, independently existing thing.
uwot wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:50 pm We are repeating ourselves. You know that, I know that
Yep :-)
uwot wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:50 pm Do you remember being a newborn? If not, where do you get this information from?
No, I don't remember, but thats not unusual.
Why? Because if there is no conceptual thought present then no (conceptual/language based) memory is being formed that one could remember.
Thus, our first memories normally date back to the time when we form our first conceptual thoughts.
Its the same in deep meditation - thought stops - one is present, aware, but doesn't really remember anything conceptual about this state pf pure presence.
uwot wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:50 pm Having investigated, rigorously and at length, I do not 'believe' that apples exist. I think it is a perfectly functional working hypothesis
I fully agree
uwot wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:50 pm We really are going in circles. Do you have anything to break it?
Not sure... This thread is labelled "Are all models wrong?"
Have we shown that all models are wrong?
What I was trying to say was that: all models are neither right nor wrong. They are simply a model, an interpretation, and these interpretations are right or wrong only within a certain, specific conceptual framework. Once the framework changes the model will have to change or it will become invalidated.
But ultimately, a model is never right or wrong, simply because it will always be a dualistic interpretation of non-dual reality and thus simply cannot touch/define it.

Its like asking: are all maps wrong?
My answer would be: the map is not the territory.
If one believes that the map IS the territory and then attempts to figure out if the map is right, then one is in deep sh... :-)
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