Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

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Veritas Aequitas
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Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

In his book,
The Case Against Reality:
Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes


and video,
Donald Hoffman | The Case Against Reality
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HFFr0-ybg0

Donald Hoffman postulated there is NO [edited] such thing as Objective Reality.
... our perceptions of snakes and apples, and even of space and time, do not reveal objective reality.

We encounter a startling “Fitness-Beats-Truth” (FBT) theorem, which states that evolution by natural selection does not favor true perceptions—it routinely drives them to extinction.
Instead, natural selection favors perceptions that hide the truth and guide useful action.

The FBT Theorem tells us that the language of our perceptions—including space, time, shape, hue, saturation, brightness, texture, taste, sound, smell, and motion—cannot describe reality as it is when no one looks.

Space, time, and physical objects are not objective reality.
They are simply the virtual world delivered by our senses to help us play the game of life.
At this point Hoffman hypothesis would agree with the following threads I raised;
Humans are the Co-Creator of Reality They are In
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=31180

Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=25316

Despite postulating there is no objective reality, Hoffman is driven by the same fundamental psychological impulse to think there is still some thing more fundamental, i.e.
Physics and evolution point to the same conclusion: spacetime and objects are not foundational.
Something else is more fundamental, and spacetime emerges from it.

If our senses hide reality behind an interface, then what is that reality?
I don’t know.
Hoffman then speculated the basic of that reality could be 'consciousness'.
Perhaps the universe itself is a massive social network of conscious agents that experience, decide, and act.
If so, consciousness does not arise from matter; this is a big claim that we will explore in detail.
Instead, matter and spacetime arise from consciousness—as a perceptual interface.
Note in the video Hoffman stated, the consciousness and conscious agents has nothing to do with God or creative intelligence.

What he stated was, such consciousness and conscious agents are merely ASSUMPTIONs necessary for his theory to work.

My take from Hoffman's book is there is no independent objective reality or objective facts out there.
In contrast to my take, people like Peter Holmes et. al. insist there is a real objective feature of reality, i.e. facts that we make factual assertions [descriptions] about.

Whatever is real is conditioned upon a specific framework and system of reality [FSK] constructed by humans and thus objective in that sense and it is interdependent with the human conditions.
Last edited by Veritas Aequitas on Wed Dec 23, 2020 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Do we see reality as it is? | Donald Hoffman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYp5XuGYqqY
Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman is trying to answer a big question: Do we experience the world as it really is ... or as we need it to be?
In this ever so slightly mind-blowing talk, he ponders how our minds construct reality for us.
Belinda
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Re: Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by Belinda »

Instead, matter and spacetime arise from consciousness—as a perceptual interface.
To name ultimate reality 'consciousness' is perhaps unwise, because people who hear the word 'consciousness ' infer it means either a well- known clinical state of awareness, or else they infer an ontic substance with no attributes, which is meaningless.


People who call ultimate and absolute awareness 'God' at least define its essence.
Gary Childress
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Re: Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by Gary Childress »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:45 am In his book,
The Case Against Reality:
Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes


and video,
Donald Hoffman | The Case Against Reality
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HFFr0-ybg0

Donald Hoffman postulated there is such thing as Objective Reality.
... our perceptions of snakes and apples, and even of space and time, do not reveal objective reality.

We encounter a startling “Fitness-Beats-Truth” (FBT) theorem, which states that evolution by natural selection does not favor true perceptions—it routinely drives them to extinction.
Instead, natural selection favors perceptions that hide the truth and guide useful action.

The FBT Theorem tells us that the language of our perceptions—including space, time, shape, hue, saturation, brightness, texture, taste, sound, smell, and motion—cannot describe reality as it is when no one looks.

Space, time, and physical objects are not objective reality.
They are simply the virtual world delivered by our senses to help us play the game of life.
At this point Hoffman hypothesis would agree with the following threads I raised;
Humans are the Co-Creator of Reality They are In
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=31180

Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=25316

Despite postulating there is no objective reality, Hoffman is driven by the same fundamental psychological impulse to think there is still some thing more fundamental, i.e.
Physics and evolution point to the same conclusion: spacetime and objects are not foundational.
Something else is more fundamental, and spacetime emerges from it.

If our senses hide reality behind an interface, then what is that reality?
I don’t know.
Hoffman then speculated the basic of that reality could be 'consciousness'.
Perhaps the universe itself is a massive social network of conscious agents that experience, decide, and act.
If so, consciousness does not arise from matter; this is a big claim that we will explore in detail.
Instead, matter and spacetime arise from consciousness—as a perceptual interface.
Note in the video Hoffman stated, the consciousness and conscious agents has nothing to do with God or creative intelligence.

What he stated was, such consciousness and conscious agents are merely ASSUMPTIONs necessary for his theory to work.

My take from Hoffman's book is there is no independent objective reality or objective facts out there.
In contrast to my take, people like Peter Holmes et. al. insist there is a real objective feature of reality, i.e. facts that we make factual assertions [descriptions] about.

Whatever is real is conditioned upon a specific framework and system of reality [FSK] constructed by humans and thus objective in that sense and it is interdependent with the human conditions.
I sort of wonder; when I say, "the sky appears blue to me", is that an objective statement or is that a subjective statement? For example, it is factual that the sky appears to be a particular color which I have learned to ascribe the word "blue" to. Presumably, if anyone else were in my position or situation they would agree with my sentence. And if the sky were (in an independent reality) not blue, then I would be incorrect or under deception however, my statement that the sky appears blue is still true and based on something factual.
Nick_A
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Re: Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by Nick_A »

This thread is similar to my thread called "Protagoras vs Socrates." Protagoras asserts that "Man is the measure of all things" So if Man can't measure objective reality, objective reality doesn't exist.

Socrates asserts that objective reality is the property of "forms" or the ideas and ideals of our source in the spiritual realm. They exist as examples in the physical realm

So what are these Forms, according to Plato? The Forms are abstract, perfect, unchanging concepts or ideals that transcend time and space; they exist in the Realm of Forms. Even though the Forms are abstract, that doesn't mean they are not real. In fact, the Forms are more 'real' than any individual physical objects. So, concepts like Redness, Roundness, Beauty, Justice, or Goodness are Forms (and thus they are commonly capitalized). Individual objects like a red book, a round ball, a beautiful girl, a just action, or a good person reside in the physical realm and are simply different examples of the Forms.
Objective reality doesn't exist for the senses of Man as he is in which fitness is dominant Can they be perceived by conscious Man in which truth is dominant? That is the question
seeds
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Re: Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by seeds »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:45 am In his book,
The Case Against Reality:
Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes


and video,
Donald Hoffman | The Case Against Reality
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HFFr0-ybg0

Donald Hoffman postulated there is such thing as Objective Reality.
At around the 12:25 minute mark of the video, Hoffman stated the following (this also includes my clarifying [bracketed] interjections):
“...objects don’t exist as pre-existing things. When I see an apple we like to think that’s because there really is an apple, and I’m saying no no, there’s some other reality out there, but just like the blue icon on your desktop [computer screen] doesn’t resemble the true file [an actual email, for example], the apple does not resemble anything in objective reality – it’s an abstract data structure....”
He’s on the right track, but he seems to have things backwards (at least in the way he worded that quote). And that’s because (IMO) the term “abstract data structure” should be applied to the quantum underpinning of the apple and not to the apple itself.

Anyway, he went on to say:
“...the point of this is that we create any physical object that we see - in the moment that we see it...”
Forgive me for constantly referencing my own illustrations, but in my drawing of the laser hologram,...

Image

...I suggest that Hoffman’s “...other reality...” that he alluded to is represented by the correlated patterns of information in the photographic plate (a parallel of the quantum world), while we (as conscious observers) are represented by the laser that shines-in and explicates the 3-D objects into existence from the patterns of information.

So Hoffman is right in suggesting that the three-dimensional objects of the universe “...don’t exist as pre-existing things...,” but only in the same sense that the 3-D forms of the key, the die, and the paperclip in the hologram would not exist if you removed the explicating laser.

However, his assertion that objects have no pre-existence until the moment we see them is misleading, for it seems to imply that they materialize from nothing, when, in fact, the precise (and pre-existing) details of their construction is encoded in the fabric of, again, that “...other reality...” he mentioned.

And lastly, we do not literally create “...any physical object that we see - in the moment that we see it...” as is suggested by Hoffman,...

...but rather it is the conjoined relationship between consciousness (any consciousness) and that of the quantum world (working together in tandem) that causes the (pre-existing) patterns of quantum information to yield-forth and display (in 3-D) whatever it is that the information encodes.

(I keep wondering when everyone is going to realize that we each carry around within our own heads, a precise parallel of everything I just described above.)
_______
Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 5814
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Re: Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Gary Childress wrote: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:16 pm I sort of wonder; when I say, "the sky appears blue to me", is that an objective statement or is that a subjective statement? For example, it is factual that the sky appears to be a particular color which I have learned to ascribe the word "blue" to.
Presumably, if anyone else were in my position or situation they would agree with my sentence. And if the sky were (in an independent reality) not blue, then I would be incorrect or under deception however, my statement that the sky appears blue is still true and based on something factual.
When you assert 'the sky is blue to me' that is a subjective statement, i.e. conditioned upon you as a subject.

If you state 'the sky is blue to me' in accord with scientific truth, then your subjective statement is in alignment an objective claim of science which is qualified and conditioned only upon the scientific framework and system.

If anyone were to agree with you, they still have to refer to the authority of science as a basis of truth.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Nick_A wrote: Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:49 pm This thread is similar to my thread called "Protagoras vs Socrates." Protagoras asserts that "Man is the measure of all things" So if Man can't measure objective reality, objective reality doesn't exist.

Socrates asserts that objective reality is the property of "forms" or the ideas and ideals of our source in the spiritual realm. They exist as examples in the physical realm

So what are these Forms, according to Plato? The Forms are abstract, perfect, unchanging concepts or ideals that transcend time and space; they exist in the Realm of Forms. Even though the Forms are abstract, that doesn't mean they are not real. In fact, the Forms are more 'real' than any individual physical objects. So, concepts like Redness, Roundness, Beauty, Justice, or Goodness are Forms (and thus they are commonly capitalized). Individual objects like a red book, a round ball, a beautiful girl, a just action, or a good person reside in the physical realm and are simply different examples of the Forms.
Objective reality doesn't exist for the senses of Man as he is in which fitness is dominant Can they be perceived by conscious Man in which truth is dominant? That is the question
The point with Hoffman in the OP is there is no objective reality as with Socrates and Plato.
As such, in relation to objective reality, "man is the measure of all things".
Gary Childress
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Re: Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by Gary Childress »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:02 am
Gary Childress wrote: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:16 pm I sort of wonder; when I say, "the sky appears blue to me", is that an objective statement or is that a subjective statement? For example, it is factual that the sky appears to be a particular color which I have learned to ascribe the word "blue" to.
Presumably, if anyone else were in my position or situation they would agree with my sentence. And if the sky were (in an independent reality) not blue, then I would be incorrect or under deception however, my statement that the sky appears blue is still true and based on something factual.
When you assert 'the sky is blue to me' that is a subjective statement, i.e. conditioned upon you as a subject.

If you state 'the sky is blue to me' in accord with scientific truth, then your subjective statement is in alignment an objective claim of science which is qualified and conditioned only upon the scientific framework and system.

If anyone were to agree with you, they still have to refer to the authority of science as a basis of truth.
I'm not asserting "the sky is blue to me". I'm asserting the sky appears blue to me". It may be subjective but it still seems to be a factual statement.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

seeds wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:17 am However, his assertion that objects have no pre-existence until the moment we see them is misleading, for it seems to imply that they materialize from nothing, when, in fact, the precise (and pre-existing) details of their construction is encoded in the fabric of, again, that “...other reality...” he mentioned.

And lastly, we do not literally create “...any physical object that we see - in the moment that we see it...” as is suggested by Hoffman,...

...but rather it is the conjoined relationship between consciousness (any consciousness) and that of the quantum world (working together in tandem) that causes the (pre-existing) patterns of quantum information to yield-forth and display (in 3-D) whatever it is that the information encodes.

(I keep wondering when everyone is going to realize that we each carry around within our own heads, a precise parallel of everything I just described above.)
_______
Noted your interesting points, except the following point;

Hoffman did not imply humans LITERALLY create “...any physical object that we see - in the moment that we see it...”
as if like waving a wand and things appear.
It is more sophisticated than that.

Note the clue of emergence from this concave-convex hollow mask illusion.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKa0eaKsdA0
You will note the real concave [hollow] side the mask always appear to be 'convex' -3D only when we set our eyes upon it.
This mean this perceived 3D 'convex' mask only exists when we set our eyes on it, when we don't it does not exist.

Note, since

Your brain hallucinates [ALL of] your conscious reality
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=25316

and that the illusion of the hollow-mask above is along the same continuum as the above,

thus the hollow mask illusion is at least a hint,
"objects have no pre-existence until the moment we see them"
thus, is plausible and good basis for any one to investigate further.

For me, I agree with Hoffman,
"objects have no pre-existence until the moment we see them"
in the context as qualified.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Gary Childress wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:22 am I'm not asserting "the sky is blue to me".
I'm asserting the sky appears blue to me". It may be subjective but it still seems to be a factual statement.
Regardless of whether you assert the certainty or the sky appears to be blue, your assertion is subjective as an opinion or belief.

You can only state 'the sky is blue' is factual and objective confidently with reference to 'because science said so' as conditioned by the scientific framework. In addition, science will not assert the sky is absolutely blue but only upon certain conditions.
Gary Childress
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Re: Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by Gary Childress »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:47 am
Gary Childress wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:22 am I'm not asserting "the sky is blue to me".
I'm asserting the sky appears blue to me". It may be subjective but it still seems to be a factual statement.
Regardless of whether you assert the certainty or the sky appears to be blue, your assertion is subjective as an opinion or belief.

You can only state 'the sky is blue' is factual and objective confidently with reference to 'because science said so' as conditioned by the scientific framework. In addition, science will not assert the sky is absolutely blue but only upon certain conditions.
I can say the sky appears blue to me and it is a factual statement (at least when I last looked at the sky). It didn't look to be what I consider being "red", it didn't look to be what I consider "yellow". I can say that as a fact (albeit a fact that conceivably only I may be aware of).
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Gary Childress wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:58 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:47 am
Gary Childress wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:22 am I'm not asserting "the sky is blue to me".
I'm asserting the sky appears blue to me". It may be subjective but it still seems to be a factual statement.
Regardless of whether you assert the certainty or the sky appears to be blue, your assertion is subjective as an opinion or belief.

You can only state 'the sky is blue' is factual and objective confidently with reference to 'because science said so' as conditioned by the scientific framework. In addition, science will not assert the sky is absolutely blue but only upon certain conditions.
I can say the sky appears blue to me and it is a factual statement (at least when I last looked at the sky). It didn't look to be what I consider being "red", it didn't look to be what I consider "yellow". I can say that as a fact (albeit a fact that conceivably only I may be aware of).
You can insist it is a fact or whatever but your claim is only subjective and has no credibility until it is qualified to 'because science said so'.

Generally, there is instant agreement to the common sense statement 'the sky is blue' [on a clear cloudless sky at noon] as a fact without dispute [at our present age] because the scientific backing is implied.
In any case, the statement 'the sky is blue' is too basic to be of significance to the discussion on the OP.

However, if you claim as a fact that the Earth and Universe was created by God, then that factual claim would not be acceptable by all unless there is scientific backing [the standard bearer] to justify it.

What is a fact is only a fact when it is verified and justified to be real and factual as conditioned upon a credible Framework and System of Reality/Knowledge. [FSK]
The scientific FSK is the standard bearer of what is fact, truth and knowledge where all other FSKs are of a lower ratings.
Gary Childress
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Re: Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by Gary Childress »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:20 am
What is a fact is only a fact when it is verified and justified to be real and factual as conditioned upon a credible Framework and System of Reality/Knowledge. [FSK]
It's a fact that the sky appeared blue to me the last time I looked, I assure you. Are you saying the sky didn't look blue to me? And if so, how would you know this? Or do you think I'm lying and it actually looked yellow or some other color to me? If so, why would I do that?
Last edited by Gary Childress on Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Donald Hoffman: There is No Objective Reality

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Gary Childress wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:29 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:20 am
What is a fact is only a fact when it is verified and justified to be real and factual as conditioned upon a credible Framework and System of Reality/Knowledge. [FSK]
It's a fact that the sky appeared blue to me the last time I looked, I assure you.
You cannot claim "it is a fact" the sky appeared blue to you.

The most you can do is to claim 'the sky appeared blue to me the last time I looked'.
Then it is up to me or others to believe you or not whether what you state is true or not.
Even then it is still not a fact until you qualified it within the scientific FSK.
Are you saying the sky didn't look blue to me? And if so, how would you know this? Or do you think I'm lying and it actually looked yellow or some other color to me? If so, why would I do that?
If you have some sort of color blindness or some other visual defects you may have mistaken for the sky you saw as blue.

Note this contentious claim on whether the dress was blue or black.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_dress
The dress is a photograph that became a viral internet sensation on 26 February 2015, when viewers disagreed over whether the dress pictured was coloured black and royal blue, or white and gold.
Image
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