Because a) you have experiences but not experiences of yourself and
In what way dont I have experience of myself? Who am I experiencing now?
b) experiences are not more certain that every scientific truth.
Experiences are often misleading or outright illusions.
That I exist is more certain than any scientific truth. This is what I said.
We can argue about experiences, illusions and being misled by perception if
you like, the argument that will come back is that the very fact I am being
misled by perception or undergoing an illusion proves beyond doubt to me
that I exist.
Experiences are one source of knowledge, but their coherence with other
knowledge is important too.
The point is that given the certainty of 'I exist' subjective experience can
not just be dismissed by the realist. Given its certainty, it demands some
kind of explanation, but the realist recoils from providing any because
marrying objective language with subjective language has been an intractable
problem. If they are going to do that, they should admit how certain and
central subjective experiences are, how the enlightenment was forged by
those who dealt with them, and the poverty of their own theories in being
unable to explain them.
They may be basic, but they're not certain.
Its not that beliefs are true through being had. Thats not a position Im
interested in. Thats relativism, that truth is subjective. I dont see many
people defending that. The unfalsifiable but nevertheless absolutely certain
fact that i exist is just derived from the fact there are experiences, it
doesnt derive from the content of those experiences - however 'deluded' they
may be. I want to ask what is a delusion? what is a dream? Nuerons firing?
I suppose it is hard to build from the cogito. Descartes didnt manage it.
However, to ignore it altogether is just lazy and is hardly a argument
against those who dont.
From: Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: chris peck <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: Re: subjective reality
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 14:13:21 -0700
chris peck wrote:
Well, maybe some of the above helped to explain it. Basing stuff
on "1st person" has a long history. That's what everyone, it seems
to me, did before the scientific era (about 1600?). So far as I know,
has ever come of it.
Its been the cornerstone of modern philosophy since the 1600's. It defines
the moment the 'scientific era' begins. In the realm of indubitable facts,
that I exist is one of them. It is established to me, for myself if not
you, just by the fact I have 1st person experiences going on. No doubt you
know this, perhaps it will incur your ire that Im reminding you of it, but
this subjective fact unfalsifiable though it is, has more certainty than
any 'objective' scientific truth. Why not build from this certainty?
Because a) you have experiences but not experiences of yourself and b)
experiences are not more certain that every scientific truth. Experiences
are often misleading or outright illusions. Experiences are one source of
knowledge, but their coherence with other knowledge is important too. They
may be basic, but they're not certain.
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