Hi,

Im overrun with stuff at uni, but I have this one issue solipsism- which is hot and we seem to be touching on, so I thought you may help me collect my thoughts before I run off gotta leave all those threads hanging thereand I left them in an awfully under engineered statesorry!

 

SIDE ISSUE (infinity and the UDA)

Fromthe UDA you can show that to make comp false you need to introduce actual infinities in the subject.

The infinitely small and infinitely large are two sides of the same thing. One can construct an infinitesimal as an identity = the difference between two very nearly cancelling infinities (type A and type B) or from a single infinity consisting of an infinite number of random simple transitory events (changes from state A to B and back) that acts as an effective average ‘NOTHING’.

 

From this ‘change based’ model of infinity, based on mere statistical happenstance, an infinitesimal’s existence (albeit transitory) is predictable logically by the nature of the impossibility of infinity (a perfect NOTHING requires infinite cancellation of all A with all B under all circumstances). Indeed, rarely, you will get extraordinarily large (not very infinitesimal!) collections of transitory events as temporary coherence of massive quantities of simultaneous state A or state B.

 

The infinitesimal is therefore evidence of actual infinities, but in an ‘as-if’ sense. Whether this constitutes the introduction of ‘actual infinities’ in the context of disproof of the UDA you can work out yourself. There is a possibility it may do the job. I hope I have made sense. The important nuance to this idea is the intrinsic parallelism of it (massive numbers of identical instances of a transitory event)…that is where the UDA can fail, for the parallelism is innate…not ‘computed’….which means that if any property of nature occurs as a result of the innateness, replacement by computational abstractions will not replicate it. Am I making sense?… probably not… oh well.

 

 

BACK TO THE REAL ISSUE (solipsism)

I am confused as to what the received view of the solipsist is. As us usual in philosophical discourse, definitions disagree:

 

“An epistemological position that one's own perceptions are the only things that can be known with certainty. The nature of the external world - that is, the source of one's perceptions - therefore cannot be conclusively known; it may not even exist.”

or

“belief in self as only reality: the belief that the only thing somebody can be sure of is that he or she exists, and that true knowledge of anything else is impossible”

or

“the belief that only one's own experiences and existence can be known with certainty”

 

The definitions are all variants on this theme….

---------------------------------

 

Q1. As a solipsist, if you say ‘belief in self as the only reality’ does this entail the disbelief in anything else other than ‘self’ (=experiential reality of the observer)? .i.e. …..the active denial of any reality other than your experience?

 

This denial seems a tad optional from the definitions. That denial would necessitate magical intervention in the provision of phenomenal consciousness (Berkeley-esque beliefs) that constitute a mass-delusion of relentless detail.… a belief which is also bereft of empirical parsimony….

 

It seems to me that the denial or otherwise can have little effect on scientific behaviour. A scientist does not get up in the morning, deny reality and then use that denial to alter procedures… (apart from giving up altogether! – “for what’s the point”!)…so the denial seems a little moot…. nevertheless I’d like to have an opinion or two….

---------------------------

 

Q2. If experiences are all that are known with certainty, then why have scientists universally (a) adopted the explicit appearances (of the external reality) within experience as scientific evidence of an external reality, to the complete exclusion of (b) the implicit evidence that the existence of any experience at all provides that it is caused by something (and that something is also external reality)? This is rather odd, since in the ‘certainty’ stakes (b) wins.

-------------------------

Q3. How does a solipsistic denial of ‘other minds’ fit into the above in the context of provision of scientific evidence?

 

I have others but this will do as a start.

 

Regards

 

Colin Hales


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