David Nyman wrote:
> 2009/7/23 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>:
>> If I understand you correctly, this is similar to the explication of "I" by
>> Thomas Metzinger in his book "The Ego Tunnel".  He expresses it as the self
>> being transparent.  We look *through* it but not *at* it, and necessarily so.
> Well, I haven't read it, but yes, what I've been saying certainly implies 
> this.
>> This paradox arises in quantum cosmogony.  The universe (or multiverse) 
>> evolves
>> as the rotation of a single ray in Hilbert space.  But relativistic horizons
>> separate different local projections so that we see decohered, classical 
>> objects
>> (and we are such objects).  At least that's the speculation - there is both
>> unity and diversity: different aspects of the wave-function of the universe
>> which is unknowable.
> Yes, the wave function indeed expresses just such 'paradoxical
> partness in wholeness'.
>> You make the self fundamental, but is it so.  Maybe the self is a 
>> mathematical
>> construct or a statistical ensemble or experiences.  RITSIAR may not be real 
>> in
>> the ontology of the best theory.
> No, I emphatically do not make 'the self' fundamental.  In fact,
> taking my lead from Plotinus,  Vedanta et al, I would deny the
> existence or necessity of any such independent existent as 'the self'.
>  The "I" that I take to be real in RITSIAR is the reflexive "I" of the
> 'personally present' unity.  

I'm not sure I can even parse this paragraph.  An "I" that is reflexive is one 
that refers to itself.  So what is RITSIAR can refer to itself.  So it 
implicitly entails a unity to refer to.  Our is the unity the unity of 
perception, i.e. all my perceptions cohere so they are "mine".  They constitute 
a world being present to "me" from "my" point of view.

'Reflexive' because it is unique;

Why would being unique imply it can refer to itself - or whatever "reflexive" 
means in this context ("unconscious reaction"?)?

> 'personal' because it is the superset out of which 'persons' (subsets)
> emerge; 'present' because - given that such 1-persons self-assert
> 'presently' 

Does everything RITSIAR "self-assert"?  I understand asserting proposition, 
assigning a value "true" to it.  I don't understand "self-assert".

- the background from which they can be said, for certain
> purposes, to distinguish themselves a fortiori constitutes a more
> inclusive 'presence'.  


>Hence I claim that 'the best theory'  -
> whatever else it encompasses - can't help but be ontologically
>> But that's where I would appeal to two different senses of "basic".  Basic to
>> epistemology is perception/intuition/experience/cognition.  But based on that
>> knowledge one may develop theory in which the ontology is different.
> No, I emphatically think not.  This is the point of my 'collapse' of
> epistemology and ontology.  My claim is that 'knowing' and 'being' are
> cognates - more specifically, 'knowing' is a 'way-of-being'.  We can
> only know - reflexively - what we are and we can't know what we
> aren't.  

Of course one can't know a falsehood.  Or are you saying we can't know anything 
but ourselves (a step toward solipism).  Or are you saying we can only know 
we are through introspection (reflection)?

>AFAICS this is the only way to avoiding the otherwise
> infinite regress between 'observer' and 'observed'.  Furthermore,
> through the intuition or insight that 'ways-of-being' are equivalent
> to instances of 'self-motivated-relativisation' of the One, we situate
> 'causal closure' inescapably in an indivisible unity of reflexive
> 'perception' and 'action'.  The consequence of this of course is 'no
> brains without minds, and vice-versa'.  These are the minimal
> requirements, IMO, of any foundational ontology capable of going on to
> account for a 'mind' or 'body' that is  RITSIAR - as opposed to being
> the kind of 'Cheshire Cat' or 'arm's length' abstraction that can't
> help conjuring 'philosophical zombie worlds' and other such
> monstrosities.

To many scare quotes.

>> Physics gains knowledge from physicists looking at records and instrument 
>> readings.  But
>> the theory built on this knowledge is in terms of elementary particles and
>> fields.  The positivists wanted to build physics on an ontology of 
>> perceptions
>> and instrument readings, but it was not at all fruitful and has been 
>> abandoned.
> The trouble here, I'm convinced, is the attempt to ground the argument
> at a level of analysis that is already much too 'sophisticated' - what
> one author recently called an 'adultocentric' viewpoint.  What I'm
> trying to do by contrast is to base my foundational theorising solely
> on what a 'philosophical neonate' would be able - or need - to lay
> claim to: IOW, the simplest and most irreducible logical
> pre-requisites necessary to justify the 'appearances' that our later
> theorising will rely on.
>> You are concerned that RITSIAR can't be recovered if it's not asserted in the
>> beginning, but the alternative is that the ontology of the world is real in a
>> different sense than you are real, i.e. "you" are not really real.
> Well, if the 'real' ontology of the world isn't foundationally
> 'present' and 'personal', I have a hard time seeing how "I" could ever
> be.  You see, "I" don't need to be 'really real' in the sense I think
> you mean; but I *do* need to be *as* real - 'real' in the same sense -
> as the background from which "I" emerge.  RITSIAR cuts both ways: "I"
> am also 'real in the sense the world is real' (RITSTWIR? No - I can't
> take any more acronymical realities!)  So I can't be any *more*
> 'present' or 'personal' than this background is, nor can I 'know' any
> more or any differently than is constituted by my 'way-of-being' in
> terms of this selfsame foundational reality.

You are asserting monism.  But the One, the ur-stuff, is ineffable/unknowable. 
So when we place ourselves in the world it is by making distinctions within the 
unity.  To become distinct from the background (the One) is what it means to be 
RITSIAR.  Right?


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