Lee Corbin writes:
It's just amazing on this list. Does no one speak up for
realism? The *default* belief among *all* people up until
they take their first fatal dive into a philosophy book
is that there is an ordinary three-dimensional world that
we are all running around in.
(Yes---one *may* look at it as a model, but is this *really*
necessary? It prevents accurate understanding as well as
fosters terrible misunderstandings.)
When 99% of the human race use the word "reality", they mean
the world outside their skins.
If you sacrifice our common understanding of "reality", then
you'll find yourself in a hole out of which you'll never climb.
Yes, but what *is* this 3D world we can all stub our toe on? If we go back
to the start of last century, Rutherford's quaintly pre-QM atom, amazingly,
turned out to be mostly empty space. Did this mean that, suddenly, it
doesn't hurt when you walk into a brick wall, because it isn't nearly as
solid as you initially thought it was? Of course not; our experience of the
world is one thing, and the "reality" behind the experience is a completely
different thing. If it is discovered tomorrow beyond any doubt that the
entire universe is just a game running in the down time on God's pocket
calculator, how is this fundamentally different to discovering that,
contrary to appearances, atoms are mostly empty space, or subatomic
particles have no definite position, or any other weird theory of modern
physics? And how could, say, the fact that brick walls feel solid enough
possibly count as evidence against such an anti-realist theory?
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