Lee, I seem to have miss-attributed the source of my guffaw that lead to my
little outburst to Bruno. Apologies to all as appropriate... :-)

[John Mikes]
> Brent, Colin and Bruno:
> I had my decade-long struggle on 3-4 discussion lists (~psych and ~Physx)
> about "objective reality" being really "subjective virtuality" - and I
> finally won. 

> Assuming (!) an existing 'reality' (=not being solipsist) also assumes

Isn't this old sophist chestnut getting a bit tired? I am so happy to
_applaud_ your assumption. More than that I would add to the discussion a
demand from anyone who thought that arguing that issue justify how it can
possibly lead to anything useful other than the endless swapping of lexical
tokens chasing metaphor rainbows (double whammy metaphor there....sorry!)
followed by silence and no progress... for this is the empirically
available, supportable outcome of all such discussion, time and time again.
Time to just dump the whole thread as fun, intriguing, instructive, useful
training for 1st year philosophy and campfire rah-rah.... but not a
contribution useful to any scientific endeavor.

> that impacts arrive at one's mind (what is it?) which interprets them to
> a suitable understanding within the limitations we have.  That is widely
> called the "objective reality". (Brent went a step further in his "agreed
> upon" clause). It was exciting how differently the students of different
> disciplines gave in.
> Subjective is ambiguous: pertaining to the subject (person) thinking, or
> pertinent to "a subject" to speak about. This later is frequently called
> object. So we have a semantical mess (why not in this, too?) and we fall
> in the trap. We have no ways (tools, understanding) to get to "the real
> thing" whatever that may be, sending those impacts to us. Agreed
> intersubjectively, or not. (We - sort of - agreed on this list lately to
> speak about "percept of reality").

The practical effect of a belief in an objective view is the surgical
excision of the scientist from the process. Some clarity can be added here
by reversing ( a surgical resection?) that process and treating the
scientist (as scientists do all the time for absolutely everything but
themselves!) as a situated agent inside the scientists natural environment -
the universe. 

I ask the list to simply draw this situation. Draw a scientifically studied
'thing'. Then add next to it the scientist doing the studying. Then box them
both inside a universe.

When you do this you have applied the science of situated agency to the
scientist. The clarity that emerges is startling. Take a look at the
picture.. you will see that the John's "the real thing" is Kant's "Ding an
Sich" and that whatever it is, the scientist and the object of scientific
study are BOTH made of it. More than that, the universe containing them is
_also_ made of it.

Then take another look at "percept of reality"... inside the cranium of the
scientist in your diagram is "mind", which delivers a view of the studied
object in the "first person" to the scientist. Using this idea we cansee
immediately that we can indeed get at the 'noumenon' - the 'ding an sich' -
because we have conclusive proof that whatever "it" is, it delivered
subjective experience into the head of the scientist AND presents the
information accurately enough for the scientist to make really useful
predictions (via behaving objectively) via the descriptions provided by the
contents of the experience of the scientist...

The existence of the subjective experience in and of itself is surely
definitive proof that we can scientifically investigate structural schemes
of 'ding an sich' that simulataneously provide the subjective experiences
that behave as per the empirical descriptions we then derive from its
contents. This is a massive simultaneous equation set and results in two
intimately related set so of natural laws...one about "ding an sich" and the
other, what we already call 'laws of physics'. Subjective experience can act
as an evidence base for BOTH, because the two sets of descriptions are not
in the same domain of knowledge.

So I would definitely _disagree_ with Kant's assertion that the noumenon is
unassailable. There is one subtlety here... logically you can only get at a
science of the noumenon by forcing the science thus enabled to make
predictions of brain material. It is only in brain material where empirical
science is utterly voiceless.... (we have 2500 years of voicelessness here!
QED) in predicting structures and conceptual bases for the delivery of mind
consistent with empirically derived laws based on the usage of that mind. 

> To Colin's experiment a question: are blind people not capable of thinking
> straight? "scientific" is an odd word and could be 'subject' to debate:
> IMO all sciences (conventional that is) are based on some model-view, at
> least are topically limited and observed within such limitations. 
> The new ways of 'free thinking' what we try to exercise on this one and
> some other lists lately, try to think broader, if not quite without
> boundary-limitations (it would wash away whatever one could state into a
> wholeness of ambiguity). Paradoxes, (unexpected) i.e. emerging novelties,
> axioms, givens etc. are products of model-limitations. The visual is not
> the only restriction we suffer from, simply the most studied one.

Blind people can think straight, yes, but isolate them as situated
agent-scientists.... they have no means of apprehension or 'grounding' in
any causal way with that which is studied (at least in the visual sense).
Braille science of some sort could occur...I would argue the science
impoverished, not impossible. You can extend the argument by mentally
'closing the eyelids' on all subjective modalities...In that state the
cognitive agent-scientists would not be able to agree there was even
something there to study, let alone observe it... 

Subjective experiences are thus _literally_ the causal ancestors of
empirical laws... not in a information flow sense... I mean LITERALLY as
hard physics - the noumenon dance -... a tortuous causal train that may be,
without it we would have no science and without it thus we would have no
novel technology. Just as Lucy is our causal ancestor in hard physics,
subjective experiences are thus _proven_ causal ancestors of all technology!
When the cognitive agent-scientist acting 'as if' the empirical law was
literally driving the natural world, the cognitive agent can configure
initial conditions which include a desired target inside the causal
trajectory thus reified. That is what technology is.

This physics of the "ding an sich" I'd actually call "ENTROPY CALCULUS", a
calculus which naturally bestows upon a suitably configured meta-mathematics
(here-after called the cognitive-agent-as-scientist) the physics of 'mind'
which would then include "a personal identity".... a nifty idea, eh? Once
configuration of the entropy calulus makes atoms and scientists, where the
atoms inside a scientists head behave in such a way as to instantiate those
things resulting in experience.....One 'dig-an-sich' dance does it all!

In this system we scientist are merely the metamathematics of an instantated
entropy calculus! No other mathematics ever gets instantated, except as
cognitive artefacts - abstractions - by the scientist... :-)

> I thank Colin for the wise par about the 'objective'.


...I seem to have gone on a bit! Sorry....I'll address other posts later...


Colin of the ding-an-sich

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