Marc seems unclear between "unperceivable" and "unperceived," maybe clearing 
that up would help. 

If everything real needs some sort of perceivability, then everything real 
would need not only to be interpretable and decodable, but also to be 
verifiable, confirmable, corroborable, etc., by interpreted signs' (not symbols 
per se, just anything significant) recipients on the basis of 
earlier/current/later experiences. Evolution confirms/disconfirms in a way; but 
percipient intelligent organisms prefer to check our interpretations before 
evolution gets a chance to find them wrong and to discard them by discarding us 
from the gene pool. If reality needs perceivability, & not merely decodability 
by something plantlike and unlearning, then it needs not only interpretability 
(meaning, value, etc.), but also observability-in-light-of-interpretations and 
verifiability (validity, cogency, soundness, etc.) as to meaning. This seems 
more or less the view of typical working scientists (of whom I'm not one) -- if 
it's beyond all observability by anything whatsoever, even in principle,!
  then is it even real? One can argue about it. But if we're talking about a 
requirement for actual perception, then we're talking about a need by reality 
for actual observation, verification, etc. (and ultimately more science than 
seems possible for us finite creatures to produce). Bishop Berkeley might like 
it, though.

Regards, Ben Udell

----- Original Message ----- 
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2005 6:07 PM
Subject: Re: Summary of seed ideas for my developing TOE - 'The Sentient 
Centered Theory Of Metaphysics' (SCTOM)

OK, you said All comments welcome.  You asked for it.

First, there's a lot to read here, so I assumed you were presenting the 
basic gist of your ideas in the first few paragraphs, and so I have a 
few comments about those paragraphs.

I commend you for trying to explain values as part of the framework.  
I've whinced before when I've read some thought experiments on this 
list that depended on accepting the existence of such ideas as good and 
bad.  I believe in the existence of good and bad, but one needs to 
support his/her belief in good and bad and not take them as a given.

It seems that your limitation of reality to meaningful existence is 
actually rejecting Mathematical Platonism.  Why is consciousness 
required to make a mathematical truth real?  I thought that you are 
trying to deal with all of existence, not just meaningful existence, 
since your theory tries to explain "how the most fundamental properties 
of existence facts fit together into a unified metaphysical framework." 
 And yet here you limit existence to what we can perceive.

>> The core assumption is that existence without perception is 
meaningless. Reality requires not only raw data but something to 
*interpret* that data, to supply meaning to it. This can only be done 
by consciousness of *some* kind. If something was hypothesized to exist 
that could in no way directly or indirectly affect the conscious 
perceptions of *any* possible observer, then in what sense could it be 
said to exist at all? Even if it could be successfully argued that it 
did have some kind of abstract philosophical existence, it could never 
have any possible value to sentient minds. For the purposes of 
understanding general intelligence, it suffices to define that which 
exists as that which could directly or indirectly ( i.e. in principle) 
affect the perceptions of *some* possible conscious observer.

So you've eliminated the whole realm of "unperceived reality" in the 
superset of existence.  You've eliminated the motivation to bring 
unperceived reality into the realm of perceived reality, since the 
former does not exist.

Reading these metaphysical theories doesn't really impress me when I 
realize that these theories really don't have anything new in them that 
the ancient Greeks (for instance) didn't have.

Of course the big gap in all of these theories, which I believe will 
never be filled, is the integration of consciousness (in general) into 
physics.  Even if we integrate human consciousness into it (which I 
don't think is going to happen), that doesn't cover the whole gammit of 
what consciousness is in the whole universe.  Who knows, there's so 
much we don't know about stars (and they are so big) that perhaps some 
stars have consciousness of some kind that is outside of the definition 
of how we would define it, but may be even more "enlightened" about the 
universe, and yet we may never know.


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