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 paradox arises in quantum cosmogony. The universe (or multiverse)
>> as the rotation of a single ray in Hilbert space. But relativistic horizons
>> separate different local projections so that we see decohered, classical
>> (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
>> construct or a statistical ensemble or experiences. RITSIAR may not be real
>> 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
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
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
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
>> and instrument readings, but it was not at all fruitful and has been
> 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
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