On 01 Jul 2011, at 09:27, B Soroud wrote:

Bruno,

"It is simpler to assume that we do have a relation with reality. If not you fall in solipsism."

This doesn't work for me, we can go into this more deeply point by point, but suffice it to say that reality is not something separate from us.... people always make this mistake.... we are reality, we are a part of reality, and our experiences are perception dependent, in some naive and rudimentary sense, and our experience is physiologically, environmentally and conceptually conditioned, always...

That is coherent with what I said.



reality is a word that is losing much meaning for me nowadays....

But this does not follow.



and as in response to the "we".... it is in the old Augustinean sense.... where you know what it is and paradoxically you don't know what it is....

That is the 1-person (even the singular 1-person). It is not really a we. For a we, you need to already bet on a reality with other people.



final quesiton.... has anyone here studied Hegel indepthly... I am starting to think that that is important to do.... and I'm getting ready to take it up.

You might try to make a summary. I find it rather obscure, but frequently some people find the universal numlber's discourse rather Hegelian. I am not sure because he seems to believe in a phenomenology of mind where I think we need a phenomenology of matter.

Bruno





On Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 12:09 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

On 01 Jul 2011, at 08:15, 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?

We assume this. Science start from theories, that is assumption.





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".

I appreciate this. That is why science is the best tool of the serious theologian.






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, 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.

What I try to explain is that if we assume that we are machine, then we don't need more than (N, + *), ontologically. In science we are always modest, and never know-for-sure if our theories are true. We can only hope to be refuted.

Science is not the truth per se. Science is doubt.






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?

It is simpler to assume that we do have a relation with reality. If not you fall in solipsism.





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,

If we are machine, physics is not the royal road. But consciousness and numbers (or finite things) are, and then it can be shown how the physical realm emerge from the number, and this in a way which makes it testable. Science does not exist, but some human can develop a scientific attitude, which is a modest doubting skeptical ability which departs from the authoritative arguments. Given than the most fundamental science (theology) is still in the hands of "authorities", and has still not yet come back in academy, we can say that science has not yet really begun. We have not yet the right to doubt in theology (be it the atheist theology, or the conventional theologies).





we
have to recognize that we are the ones presupposing and preconceiving
and predefining notions of reality to begin with.

What do you mean by "we"? Is the term "we" used for the universal numbers, or we the mammals, or we the homeotherm animals, the creature of earth?, etc.

If we don't make theories, we cannot be shown wrong, and we cannot progress. Science is a path from doubts to even more doubts.

Bruno





On Jun 11, 7:51 am, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote:
Instrumentalism, anyone?

http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/id.12395,y.2011,no. 3,content....

The range of phenomena physics has explained is more than impressive;
it underlies the whole of modern civilization. Nevertheless, as a
physicist travels along his (in this case) career, the hairline cracks
in the edifice become more apparent, as does the dirt swept under the
rug, the fudges and the wholesale swindles, with the disconcerting
result that the totality occasionally appears more like Bruegel’s
Tower of Babel as dreamt by a modern slumlord, a ramshackle structure
of compartmentalized models soldered together into a skewed heap of
explanations as the whole jury-rigged monstrosity tumbles skyward.

[...]

Such examples abound throughout physics. Rather than pretending that
they don’t exist, physics educators would do well to acknowledge when
they invoke the Wizard working the levers from behind the curtain.
Even towards the end of the twentieth century, physics was regarded as
received Truth, a revelation of the face of God. Some physicists may
still believe that, but I prefer to think of physics as a collection
of models, models that map the territory, but are never the territory
itself. That may smack of defeatism to many, but ultimate answers are
not to be grasped by mortals. Physicists have indeed gone further than
other scientists in describing the natural world; they should not
confuse description with understanding.

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