On Wed, Jul 06, 2011 at 10:25:21AM -0700, B Soroud wrote:
> Russell: "Yet the
> reality we perceive is very definitely a construction of our minds "
> 
> Why do you say such things? How can you know that?

Many people working in cognitive science seem to be in agreement on
this point. For a discussion, I would refer you to the book by Dan
Dennett ("Consiousness explained"), or the one I'm reading at the
moment (David Deutsch's "Beginning of Infinity"). I have a copy of
Steven Pinker's "How the Mind Works" - I can't tell you if it also
makes the same claim, as  haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I'd
be surprised if it said something different.

> 
> IF this is true, then how did you get into the position to know this? How
> did you derive a true metanarrative from a "confabulation".
> 
> IF all that we know and perceive is false, how do we assume that idea is
> then uniquely and exclusively true?
> 

Nobody is claiming that all we know and perceive is false. But it is a
confabulation - an interpretation of the sensory data stream based on
our already constructed theories and beliefs. The phenomena of false
memories is merely the starkest manifestations of this (in that case
the "knowledge" is false - quotes to pacify Bruno :).

... snip ...

> "not one scrap of evidence that
> that reality exists independently of our minds."
> 
> people die, all the time... they get burried and life on earth continues...
> the pyramids stay up... species propagate.... babies are born.... mozart is
> still played... and people still cognize these thoughts.
> 

Have you experienced death? Can you experience these other things you
talk of without your mind? That they exist independently of our
perceptions is just a theory. One that happens to be incompatible with
theory that our minds are computer programs.

> 
> I don't think the choice is between a belief in some socalled physical
> reductionism or some noetic reductionism....
> 

I wouldn't think so either :).

> nor between an objectively existing reality or a hallucination or
> construction of reality via the brain (which itself is a hallucination or
> construction, no?) this makes no sense.
> 
> I think we simply don't know. agnosticism is best.

That is largely giving up. We can know some things.


-- 

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Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au
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