An example of my kind of thinking:
"Nietzsche, in The Twilight of the Idols, argues against Kant's
philosophical theory of noumena (fundamentally real entities, not
directly observable but underlying all the phenomena we observe). Kant
viewed noumena as something that observed phenomena (the perceived,
apparent world) can approximate, but never quite find or achieve -- a
But really, to me, the puzzle isn't Kant's view of fundamental reality,
it's the everyday commonsense view of a "real world" distinct from the
apparent world. Kant dressed up this commonsense view in fancy language
and expressed it with logical precision, and there may have been
problems with how he did it (in spite of his brilliance) -- but, the
real puzzle is the commonsense view underneath."
"Something is real to a certain mind in a certain interval of time, to
the extent that perceiving it leads that mind to make correct
predictions about the mind's future reality.
Reality is a Property of Systems
Yeah, yeah, I know that characterization of reality is circular: it
defines an entity as "real" if perceiving it tends to lead to correct
predictions about "real" things.
But I think that circularity is correct and appropriate. It means that
"reality" is a property attributable to systems of entities. There could
be multiple systems of entities, constituting alternate realities A and
B, so we could say
an entity is real_A if perceiving it tends to lead to correct
predictions about real_A things
an entity is real_B if perceiving it tends to lead to correct
predictions about real_B things
I think this is a nicer characterization of reality than Philip K.
Dick's wonderful quote, "Reality is whatever doesn't go away when you
stop believing in it.""
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