On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 12:52 PM, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote:

> My basic point is this:
> 1.  Explanation is subordinate to description.
> 2.  Description is subordinate to observation.
> 3.  Observation is subordinate to experience.
> 4.  And now we want to close the circle by explaining experience.

While I don't dispute the validity of the epistemological axioms you start
with, I think they are different from mine.  I tend to agree with David
Deutsch, who says this of explanation:

"Explanations are inevitably framed partly in terms of things we do not
observe directly: atoms and forces ; the interiors of stars and the rotation
of galaxies; the past and future; the laws of nature.  The deeper an
explanation is, the more remote from immediate experience are the entities
to which it must refer.  But these entities are not fictional: on the
contrary, they are part of the very fabric of reality."

I see observation as an input to my subjective experience, which informs my
mind and enables me to place bets on the probable validity of different
theories.  The theories may involve entities I cannot directly observe, and
there is no reason I see that it cannot come full circle and inform theories
about why I have experiences to begin with.

Starting from your belief system, which places explanation subordinate to
experience, description, and observation, I can see why you have arrived at
the beliefs you have, and the only way to escape may be to change
your epistemological axioms.

BTW, I just noticed you have the first digits of Pi as part of your e-mail
address. :-)


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