Greetings, > In what way dont I have experience of myself? Who am I experiencing now? > Someone else?
You have no guarantee of "whom" you are "experiencing". it is your belief that you are experiencing something that is "yourself". > 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. you have no guarantee whether you exist in any one ELSE's reality. That you are sure that you exist in YOUR reality is a useless idea to the ME that is seperate from YOU. To ME it is no more than a belief. Any statement that is not verifiable is usually not taken as "fact". anything that is not known to be a "fact" is not "completely certain". Descartes tried to describe one such verification in "I think therefore I am", but this is also just a "thought", so it is more accurate to say "I think I think, therefore I think I am" [ www.cs.iitm.ernet.in/~swamy ]. Descartes was wrong in thinking that his statement was the final verification of self-existance. I admit that truth and provability are not the same thing, but by the same token, "something is not disproven, or not disprovable" is not necessarily true. Ofcourse you CAN say that your body exists, your brain exists, even probably that the software in your brain exists, these even a realist would admit, because now you are in the realm of VERIFIABLE statements. notice that I am not disproving your claim, because you qualify it as being true if and only if YOU think you have verified it as true. So basically going by your own claim that subjectivity is "more certain" than science, I can have my "subjective truth" that you don't exist. I can be morbid enough to take "I exist if and only if your self does not exist" as my subjective reality. What if I believe "I don't exist" (most times I really do believe that), can you disprove it? As soon as you say something that is not universally verifiable (note that verifiability is different from provability, Godel sentences are trivially verified to be true, but unprovable) you are stating a belief, something "certain" for you, but maybe not for others. you accept it on faith because you cannot prove it to yourself if you honestly treat yourself in the third person for a second. Faith MAY be true, there's no denying that. but till it is verified as such, it should not be classified as that. and science DOES deal with this issue, refining its axioms based on verifiable facts that aught to be derivable from the axiomatic system. realists don't pack it away in "laziness", they just don't presume to assign truth values to such statements until verification. > Given its certainty, it demands some kind of explanation Verifiability is a prerequisite for certainty. If we don't agree on the definition of "verifiability", then there can be no reconciliation between us, because you can never convince ME that you exist, I can always think you are a figment of my imagination with no personal experiences of your own, and therefore you don't experience anything, and your non-existence is subject only to a reconfiguration of my mind (your deletion from it). Ofcourse this is my subjective "truth" which you yourself are allowing me to have. But my whole point is that assuming things that are "unverifiable universally" as true leads to these conflicting "truths". This is what a realist begs: "please admit only LOGICALLY verifiable things are true or false". A realist is even humbler: he knows that even the logic we use is open to questioning, in other words verifiable. true/false applies only to verifiable things. in not assigning truth values to such statement a realist is not being lazy, only being cautious (or realistic if you may). -- Aditya Varun Chadha adichad AT gmail.com http://www.adichad.com