On 6/30/2011 11:15 PM, Constantine Pseudonymous wrote:
"but I prefer to think of physics as a collection of models, models
that map the territory, but are never the territory itself. "

who's to say that there even is a territory or what it is?

It seems to me that we are all presupposing some vague notion of
"reality" to begin with, a notion as ambiguous, hypothetical, elusive,
and complex as "god".

we presuppose and pre-define a "reality" that we are trying to catch
an adequate glimpse of.

we project a pre-conceived notion of a goal and then go for it.

As Nietzsche pointed out, perhaps there is no such thing as truth and
reality,

There is no such thing as The Truth.  But there are some true sentences.

and even if there was, perhaps they are not only in some
sense presupposed and implicitly pre-defined, but that they may even
be highly overvalued.

If reality is conceived of like a Kantian "thing-in-itself" that is
essentially Other then you and inaccessible, but you are trying to
infer a conception of it..... what kind of conceptually conditioned
"reality" is that?

I'm only thinking of reality here as in some "fundamental" and
"systematic" sense.

Before we think of science or physics as the royal road to reality, we
have to recognize that we are the ones presupposing and preconceiving
and predefining notions of reality to begin with.

I don't think anyone on this list is unaware of this. We don't "presuppose" reality, we hypothesize it as an explanation of our intersubjective agreement about a very wide variety of perceptions which seem to be well predicted by various mathematical and other models. We can never be sure that the ontology of our models represent the ding-an-sich. But we can't be sure that they don't either; and in the meantime they represent our best guesses. And models can be very useful even when false, as any engineer can attest.

Brent
"When Herod asked Jesus what truth was, Jesus replied that truth was every word that proceeded from the mouth of God. Perhaps he should have said that truth was a provisional reification of the most useful model."
   --- Anne O'Reilly

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