On 1/26/2013 11:18 PM, Jason Resch wrote:



On Sun, Jan 27, 2013 at 12:09 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

    On 1/26/2013 9:53 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
    I think what you are describing comes automatically with comp, as any 
observer only
    knows their direct observations, which could be created by any one of an 
infinite
    number of possible programs going through the same state.  Any one of these
    programs will have its own consistent history, but unless analyzed or 
explored
    further, that information is in a sense, undecided.  It is like: "Before 
you finish
    reading the second half of this sentence, the color of your toothbrush 
could have
    been any possible color."  However, now that you have finished reading it, 
and
    performed a memory look up you have changed the set of possible programs 
manifest
    your consciousness.  It is almost scary to think, when you aren't looking 
or or
    imagining/recalling what your mother, your wife, your children, they could 
look
    like or be almost anything (within some constraints of what is compatible 
with your
    experience in the moment you are not thinking of them).  And it is only 
when we
    "stop and think" we can for a time, lock down that possibility.

    'You' are only a consistent history of experiences too, and so 'you' could 
be almost
    anything also.  But this fails to explain the intersubjective agreement of
    observers: That you AND your wife agree on what your children look like.


I don't see why it should fail to explain that agreement. Any fact you become conscious of should be consistent with all the other current content of your mind and immediately perceptible environment (which includes the apparent behavior of others).

But you've begged the question by saying its a *fact* you become conscious of. You have conscious experiences, including inferences about the world, but the inferences don't necessarily correspond to facts of the external reality. So our hypothesis about the world and our relation to it must explain not only the consistency of intersubjective agreement, but also the inconsistencies of our errors and illusions.


    So unless you are a solipist, just dreaming your wife's agreement, an 
external
    reality becomes a good hypothesis.


I think there is an underlying reality which explains the consistency of experiences. I don't see why anything I said above implies the absence of an external reality nor solipsism.

No it doesn't. But the hypothetical external reality then obviates the worries you expressed above about your wife being 'almost anything' when you aren't looking.

Brent

That external reality just happens to be so big and so varied that it is easy for observers (or souls) to get lost in it.

Jason
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