On 3 Aug, 06:51, Rex Allen <rexallen...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 3:21 PM, Bruno Marchal<marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> > Rex proposes something like:
> > It is radical, and it is difficult to say if it explains anything. I
> > suspect the goal could be personal enlightnment instead of a search in
> > a communicable theory which should or could explain the observable and
> > non observable (but "feelable", like pain) phenomena.
> On Sat, Aug 1, 2009 at 2:19 AM, Brent Meeker<meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> >> The only thing we have direct access to is our conscious experience.
> >> Trying to explain the existence of this conscious experience in terms
> >> of what is experienced inevitably leads to vicious circularity.
> > If you explain the existence of a pain in your tooth by a cavity the 
> > experience may lead
> > to a dentist - and less pain in your experience.
> I am proposing, I suppose:
> So obviously it seems useful to postulate the existence of things like
> quarks and electrons, which we then use to make predictions about what
> will happen if we do this, that, or the other.  However, I think there
> is good reason to believe that this only holds true in our own
> relatively well-behaved part of what is actually a vast experiential
> wilderness.

What good reason would that be? How do you experience things you
can't experience.

> Any proposal that has our consciousness as being "caused", whatever
> the causal mechanism, is open to the possibility that we are caused to
> experience something that is not reflective of the reality that
> produced the experience.  Dreams, delusions, hallucinations,
> brains-in-vats, and computer simulations of brains all offer real or
> conceivable examples of scenarios where what is experienced might lead
> one astray in trying to determine the underlying nature of things.

Yes, but all those are more complex hypotheses than realism, and
so are deprecated by Occam's razor.

> However, I question the need to push the explanation down to a
> separate layer.  So we are at the top of your ontological stack, I
> assume.  And we look below us to see what supports us.  But then we
> have to look below that level to see what supports it, and below that
> level to see what supports it, and so on.  Infinite regress.  Turtles
> all the way down.

Why do we have to look past the n-1th level to explain
what is happening on the Nth level?

> But instead why not look at our own experience, which is the only
> thing we know directly, as the foundation of the ontological stack.
> Everything that exists rests on the foundation of our conscious
> experience?  In this view, the stack goes up for as far as our
> intellect can reach.  And as our intellectual capacity expands, the
> our view of the existential landscape above us also expands.

WHat evidene do we have that anything at all is on level N+1 with
consciousness as its basis?
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