Belinda wrote: ↑Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:36 am
Noax, do you at least understand me when I say that existence is mind-independent?
I cannot be sure what you personally might mean by that, but on the surface, it seems to be an ordinary assertion of idealism of a kind. The 3D model of the universe is an idealistic model of time, but a realist model of space. Since spacetime is demonstrated to be one thing, this seems to be a inconsistent view to take, hence Minkowski declaring it provably wrong.
Descartes did not conclude idealism. He did not say that is thinking was what produced his existence, merely that it was evidence of it. He also was working on a much thinner set of scientific knowledge, some recent finding of which cast some of his assumptions (he tried not to have any) into definite doubt.
You may object that mathematics exists ontologically not, as I would have it, that mathematics exists only as a mental model of reality.
My stance is that it doesn't matter. Number and mathematics might exist to say a platonist, and not to you, but both sides agree that 2+2=4. It seems that mathematics works either way and is not existence dependent, except in the sense of existential quantification (a term of which I recently became aware). So the physicists say that a given subatomic particle is not really there, and reduces to pure mathematics. That mathematics works (I think) whether or not the mathematics exists (I am), so 'I am' doesn't follow. That mathematics is not being performed by a mind, but rather the mind being performed by it (says the non-idealist), so it seems that if numbers don't exist, then neither do we since that's what we're apparently made of.
Anyway, that's sort of how I've worked it out. Not putting this out there in a persuasive sense that this is the correct view.
Do you also understand that Descartes, who claimed that he proved that he existed by reason of his thinking, was right in his method of doubt but was in error only by his presuming that there must be a subject of thought ? That's to say that Descartes rightly proved that there was thinking going on, but he did not prove that it was Descartes who was doing the thinking.
"I think therefore" seems to say that there is a thinker, but that is an English translation and I'm not sure it is a good representation of his deductions. He was aware of doubt, and he worked up from that. Doubter came later.
You talked about personal identity, and it is relevant here. Thinking is a process, but doubt is a state, I can have doubt, but to doubt (not just have it) is thought, which is a process, a change in state between me and some past state that is not identical to me. So I only remember thought, but don't perform it.
The fact of thinking is not the same as the fact that there is a thinker of thoughts. By the same reasoning that existence is the case is not the same as that any mode of existence is the case. It follows that the existence of things is mind-dependent, but that existence itself is independent of thinkers.
This part I still didn't follow, and I nearly agree with it, but probably not in the same way. The existence of things (the moon say), what we label as the moon (naive realist view), is arguably observer, language, or mind dependent, but the thing-in-itself, which may not even be named, seems not observer/mind dependent. The moon did not beging to exist because humans arrived on the scene, it just wasn't 'the moon' then.
Can you tell me why you think that experiments make sense without the dimension of time? I would have thought that if an experiment E is taking place without the dimension of time then experiment E is disregarding relativity pro tem of the experiment.
I want to test the water temperature. A moment later I put my hand in water, and a moment later, I realize the water is cold. That is an experiment done in a 3-D model. It is something that happens. It was a valid thing to do. It's how most things are still framed today. Nowhere in that test was a dimension of time required. It can be framed as a series of steps that just happen. Relativistic experiments are not necessarily able to be framed that way, as illustrated by ken who is attempting to do just that.