(via) Reality vs. Perception of Reality
In answer to Bruno’s recent comments on the old post:
* Thanks for helping me sort out my ‘Nagels’! I had them mixed up in EndNote. 
* Young? 49 years young. Getting young and seemingly knowing less and less 
every day. :-) This I seem to have to conclude is progress of a sort. 
I’ve caught up with the ‘subjective reality’ thread and am finding the usual 
linguistic blurs, wondering how to resolve them. Part of the process is to 
ensure we are all talking about the same things. It seems there is room for 
some work in this regard. In going through the posts it seems to me there is an 
overlap in the word ‘subjective’ in a very specific way. 


a) Firstly there is ‘subjective’ in the sense of experiential content (the 
‘now’ of our experiential fields vision, haptic, emotion etc)). This is 
implemented in brain material in some way. What the brain feels.

b) Secondly there is knowledge derived from that experience. This is devoid of 
experiential qualities and is reported as a belief. “Mr X had a headache on 
that day” is the example used here. What the brain does. This is a belief whose 
truth may or may not be supported by empirical evidence. This is formed by a 
separate brain mechanism.

There seems to be a tendency for these two to get mixed up. You can see 
evidence in the thread: the interpretive mismatch actually caused discussion to 
occur. Both of these constructs a) and b) can be characterised as ‘virtual’. In 
case (a) the brain makes the outside natural world have an appearance ‘as if it 
were like that’. In case b) the belief is a ‘truth’ about the natural world and 
the holder of the belief acts (behaves) ‘as if’ it were true.

Both are subjective in that they are properties of a subject (a brain) and the 
result of that subject’s view of the natural world (=not the brain) as an 
object. This leads is into the next potential confusion c) subject in contrast 
to d) object. This too has been in the possibly confused mixture and was well 
recognised by Lee.

This may be a confusion of word subject/object vs subjective/objective. Don’t 

Then there is the final confusion (? Not sure) e) that ‘measurement’ in the 
quantum mechanical sense of a so-called ‘observer moment’ and its relationship 
to a), b) c) and d). For I do not think they are the same thing. The quantum 
mechanical ‘observer moments’ happen continually at all places, scales and 
times where the natural processes taking place demand that resolution of 
position/velocity some other pair be resolved to a certain state. This is the 
massive collection of falling trees in the unobserved forest. They still fall 
in the sense that Schrödinger’s cat ‘fall’. This form of ‘observation’ may 
actually occur in a brain and be relevant to a), b), c) , d) but it does not 
necessarily _define_ a), b), c) d). I believe this to be an accidental cultural 
mis-interpretation that seems to continue unchallenged. Or am I seeing 
something that is not there?

There seems to sometimes be a tacit assumption that QM observation and 
observation by a cognitive agent inclusive of a phenomenal consciousness are 
literally the same thing or necessarily related or that QM is necessarily 
causal in phenomenal consciousness. A corollary of this is that if you do a QM 
depiction of the universe unfolding that somehow phenomenality has been 
depicted. This is not necessarily the case. To me they seem to be two 
completely separate aspects of the natural world that may or may not be 
connected and the confusion that they are seems to be in place here.

So here we are all thinking we are talking about the same thing whereas there 
seem to be at least 5 separable aspects to the discussion (a,b,c,d,e above). 
They appear very distinct to me, anyway, and in order to have any meaningful 
discussion it would seem that these 5 things be very clearly defined. Or  have 
I just done that? 


Colin Hales


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