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Are we incapable of seeing things as they really are?

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posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 03:51 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax

...the underlying reality remains the same. The differences are in the sensory and cognitive apparatus, not in what is presented to it.


This we agree on. Which is why I continue to feel that because of this, it may not be constructive, for any of us to lay claim to knowing and percieving the objective reality. It is an assertion of a certain humility for us each, faced with our perception of reality.


Why bother to reply at all, then?

Because in interacting with the reality I percieve (and the others in it) I discover more of myself.
In responding to others who are directing focus towards me, (in this particular instance, in a discussion) I get an opportunity to explore and develop my thoughts.



I have no difficulties with understanding your words. What I don't understand why you're being so confrontational.


I don't feel I am... but I guess I did disagree with the assertion that using examples and metaphors which pertain to political, social, and spiritual issues is getting those confused with the topic of a philosophical theory of the nature of reality, and therefore being "off topic". If disagreeing is "being confrontational" (it surely is ideas opposing each other), then I guess my answer is simply - I am (was) having a different point of view than yours. I don't see why I should change my point of view simply because it opposes someone elses. Why should anyone?


-And if you understand my words, then why ask me to make them more comprehensible and less numerous?
Was that demanded out of concern for others besides yourself who might be having trouble comprehending?




posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 05:08 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma


FRom my point of view that sounds like repeating exactly what I tried to say. The wide variety of different experiences that exist in human perception as whole indicates the possibility that this objective reality might be bigger and more complex than any individual, or any group of individuals, can ascertain.

No, that is completely wrong. It has nothing to do with the theory or the topic under discussion. This, I'm afraid, has been your mistake from the beginning.


If you understand my words, then why ask me to make them more comprehensible and less numerous?

Must you ask? I would rather not give you further occasion to be offended.


edit on 1/11/15 by Astyanax because: it's like that.



posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 07:38 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax

No, that is completely wrong. It has nothing to do with the theory or the topic under discussion. This, I'm afraid, has been your mistake from the beginning.




My particular philosophy that I have been describing here is different in some ways than that of Hoffman, yes.
I have asserted that from the beginning, and will continue to defend mine, (and anyone elses) right to disagree or diverge from his.
This is a common practice in philosophical discussion - contrast and comparison of differing theories.

A point that his and mine have in common is this point-

Adaptive function, not veridical perception, is what is important.



posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 08:58 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma


FRom my point of view that sounds like repeating exactly what I tried to say.

It is. As I mentioned…


The wide variety of different experiences that exist in human perception as whole indicates the possibility that this objective reality might be bigger and more complex than any individual, or any group of individuals, can ascertain.

Definitely


I do not claim to understand what this objective reality consists of (like I said, I've always pretty much assumed we cannot see it completely as it is, we are trapped within subjectivity), ultimately, (as I said in my first post) how we can then make any claims upon the perception of others with confidence?

All of our experiences are limited by our ability to describe them to each other. No matter how well we do explain - with words, science, math, art, music, interpretive dance or finger puppets - we are still trying to explain a personal experience that can’t be experienced by the other person

If, for the sake of argument, our experience is truly something different from what the billions of us past and present have experienced on a fairly regular basis - that difference is still an experience of a bit of reality. Our perception of reality is still only a part of something we can never actually know. I think we agree pretty much on this much

I think what happens so often in these kinds of conversations is a statement is made, and then a lot of people want to say - but maybe I know something you don’t. It goes further than that, insisting that because I don’t know what you know - I'm trying to invalidate your experience

The article is saying something that doesn’t need to be turned inside out or stood on it’s head or painted purple to make it more magical than it already is. It’s fun to do - but it kind of misses the point

No matter what you or I think we know (unless we insist on dragging our needy egos into this conversation) if we are very honest we’ll have to admit that we got squat - we don’t understand reality. We can’t. We aren’t equipped to take in all that information - only some of it


But "are they percieving objective reality as it is?", is a very subtly different question in wording,
but vastly different in meaning , then "Do they percieve the same forms of reality as the majority around them?”

I once saw a video that tried very hard to demonstrate what the world looks like to your dog. I don’t know how accurate it was - but it was fascinating. The dog is not mentally ill - or hallucinating. Neither am I. We see the world very differently - and still more the same than different

I can promise you this much - my dog knows some truths that I don’t. I know things he can’t possibly know. Neither one of us understands reality. We can’t

(In the interest of full disclosure - I don’t have a dog. But I did once)

I love these kinds of conversations. Especially late at night, with a glass of wine or two. Free association, magic, what ifs... it's fun precisely because we can't know I think

edit on 11/1/2015 by Spiramirabilis because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 09:54 AM
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originally posted by: Spiramirabilis
All of our experiences are limited by our ability to describe them to each other. No matter how well we do explain - with words, science, math, art, music, interpretive dance or finger puppets - we are still trying to explain a personal experience that can’t be experienced by the other person


I am not sure that in all cases, it is impossible to communicate an experience from one person to another. Though perhaps it is limited to our communication skills.

My point, in reference to the concept of collectively held percepts, is that they might actually be obstacles in awareness of what is in front of us, in more detail. But that, for someone who considers the veridic nature as secondary (or irrelevent) to the use of the perception, that is not a "problem"?

Two people observe two horses. One says, these are both yellow horses. They are the same in coloring.
The other slaps their head and declares Oh my god, are you kidding? One is a dun, the other is a buckskin!
It's obvious, what are you- stupid?

That person could, in fact, choose to be amicable and kindly explain the difference and point out the details which distinguish the two. These details may suddenly come into focus for the other, and they would gain two new concepts or images in mind to file under the previous thought catagory of "yellow horses".

But if they have no reason or usage in their life for perception and conceptualization of these, if they have no intent on learning more about horses, they will probably be resistant to distinguishing the difference. This is where the idea that it really isn't necessary for them to be forced to! They don't need to know the difference.

With the beetles and the bottlecaps, if a couple beetles develop (because evolution is a continuing process) a precept of "bottle cap" (and if they could talk) they could explain and point out the differences between a bottle cap and a female beetle to another one.

But if the other one has no use for this information (there are not bottlecaps in the area they breed in, or they are females themselves and don't have the problem of trying to mate with bottlecaps) then I am betting they would be resistant to grasping the differences and forming such a precept. And that is perhaps, okay.
Perhaps a glitch in their system, but one that if fine to leave as is. The two beetles can have a laugh at their different perceptions, and go on being friends, despite their different precepts.

But then, this is coming from someone who tends to side with the very pragmatic approach that the objective truth is less important than is utility.


edit on 1-11-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 10:02 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax


If you understand my words, then why ask me to make them more comprehensible and less numerous?
Must you ask? I would rather not give you further occasion to be offended.



Well, it gave way to the impression you only said that to try to insult me, but I usually try not to jump to conclusions on peoples intents behind what they do - I prefer to ask instead.
But sometimes, my first impression was correct after all.
I'm not offended. Trying to personally offend or insult is pretty commonplace human behavior, we're all used to.

It only matters to me if the person speaking was actually making a sincere request for me to make effort to help them understand - then that is worth considering in choosing my responses.
Glad we cleared that up though, so I know there is no need to consider adjustment.



posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 10:22 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma


Two people observe two horses. One says, these are both yellow horses. They are the same in coloring.
The other slaps their head and declares Oh my god, are you kidding? One is a dun, the other is a buckskin!
It's obvious, what are you- stupid?

That person could, in fact, choose to be amicable and kindly explain the difference and point out the details which distinguish the two. These details may suddenly come into focus for the other, and they would gain two new concepts or images in mind to file under the previous thought catagory of "yellow horses".


Funny - you just described how this conversation is not going to go

But you still haven't explained reality

You are like a dog with a bone when you have an idea

That's not an insult Bluesma - just an objective observation. I can be very much the same way - as you can plainly see

:-)
edit on 11/1/2015 by Spiramirabilis because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 11:03 AM
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originally posted by: Spiramirabilis

Funny - you just described how this conversation is not going to go


The slap in the head or the amicable explanation?


Doesn't really matter, though, ultimately. If I am not getting it, that indicates I probably don't need to.



But you still haven't explained reality


True dat. Since I don't believe I am capable of perceiving objective reality, I don't bother. I can only focus on explaining my perception of it.




You are like a dog with a bone when you have an idea


I can be open to collaboration and creativity on ideas with others... I like to do that too. I kinda feel like I have to expose what I have to put into the project from my side, as do the others who want to take part in that.
We have to understand each others full idea to be able to do the combining!

I am sorry if that is not the impression I give here. It is not because one or a few persons have no interest in such creative work with me, that I am not open to those who do!

A glass of wine in front of a blazing fire would be more conducive, I think. (and more fun!)



posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 11:18 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma



A glass of wine in front of a blazing fire would be more conducive, I think. (and more fun!)

Every single time I find an interesting thread and get into a good conversation here at ATS - this is the first thing that pops into my head

Salud! Or whatever it is you say in France...

:-)

edit on 11/1/2015 by Spiramirabilis because: an a



posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 01:10 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: Bluesma


Look: this is from your first post.

You misunderstood right from the outset. This is not a subjective vs. objective story. It's not 'different people see the same thing different ways.' It's about how everybody (except for Aunty Acid) sees the same thing the same way, but what they're seeing isn't actually the Ding an sich, the thing in itself; just a model of it.

Your entire participation in the thread seems (correct me if I am wrong) to have been based on this technical error. It is what I have been seeking to correct. Develop your own ideas based on the theory by all means, but get the theory right first, no?



I never saw this post until now!

Whether what humans percieve (as a whole, or individually) is objective reality as it truly is(ding an sich) is EXACTLY what I started off from, what I started with (as made obvious in the quote of mine you included) and what I continued with.



I don't even remember the first time I was introduced to the theory that humans may not be capable of percieving the world in a truly objective way - there is always a subjective twist, no matter how subtle.


Even a percept that ALL humans share is therefore, a subjective percept!

With this premise in mind that humans cannot percieve objective reality (and it being my personal view already) I cannot describe here in this thread, or anywhere, in any context, REALITY as in the ding an sich! I am only capable of exposing my perception of it. I am a human. So are the others here present, so they too, are only able to describe their subjective perception.

>I guess my mistake in my way of writing was using the term "objective reality" in the place of using "ding an sich". I thought that would be more widely understood, as not all are familiar with Kant. I wondered why some keep repeating back to me exactly what I asserted over and over!

Objective- reality as it REALLY is in itself, apart from perception.
Subjective- the perception a mind or minds have of reality.


edit on 1-11-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 09:55 PM
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a reply to: Bluesma


Whether what humans percieve (as a whole, or individually) is objective reality as it truly is(ding an sich) is EXACTLY what I started off from, what I started with (as made obvious in the quote of mine you included) and what I continued with.

Indeed. You got the wrong idea in your head and galloped off with it like a buckskin horse.


a percept that ALL humans share is therefore, a subjective percept!

All perception is subjective -- by definition. That is understood. It is not what this thread is about.

This could have been such an interesting thread. It's a topic that opens up a whole Pandora's chest of strange and wonderful implications. You have ruined it with your insistence on dragging it back to the mundane, tedious Philosophy 101 question of subjective vs. objective perception.



I guess my mistake in my way of writing was using the term "objective reality" in the place of using "ding an sich". I thought that would be more widely understood, as not all are familiar with Kant. I wondered why some keep repeating back to me exactly what I asserted over and over!

I guess it was. Either that, or you are genuinely incapable of understanding the difference people have been patiently trying to explain to you.

Hardly matters now, does it? Your objectively perfect impression of a pigeon playing chess has pretty much closed the thread down.

This I shall not forget.

My thanks to Serdgiam, Spiramirabilis, jobless1 and others who really got the topic and made some meaningful contributions.


edit on 1/11/15 by Astyanax because: I wanted to acknowledge another poster.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 02:39 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

Look, the thing is that you have to look at an object in one way or another, as I mentioned in my previous post to this I see things rather "acutely" so to me all looks the same but I can see small details in shape that pertain to functional differences, so, I can look at a computer screen and I "know" what it is because I can see that there is an image on it, and I know that a piece of glass that displays an image is indeed a screen. If a person that had never seen a screen before were to look at it, perhaps they would think of it as something else, perhaps just a strange square-like object, and if they are in a sense of wonderment perhaps even might want to call it a "magic mirror" or something, as opposed to just a regular computer monitor like all the others.

If you were to remove all perceptual differences you would not see at all I believe, the brain in my mind needs to "know" somehow what an object is in order to even see it!

... Whatever you think that object to be.
edit on 2-11-2015 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 05:11 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: Bluesma
This could have been such an interesting thread. It's a topic that opens up a whole Pandora's chest of strange and wonderful implications. You have ruined it with your insistence on dragging it back to the mundane, tedious Philosophy 101 question of subjective vs. objective perception.



No, I just figured that premise (that humans are incapable of perceiving ding an sich) was already established and understood as underlying the theory, that we were past that assertion and ready to go on exploring the strange and wonderful implications. I went on to one branch of implication that I find interesting.




you are genuinely incapable of understanding the difference people have been patiently trying to explain to you.


Patiently returning back to the premise, "the concept indicates we cannot know ding an sich, this isn't about individual perception differences" is just going back to that Philo 101 we already covered and I acknowledged.

This is what is patiently explaining to me-



What the OP is saying is that a reality exists - but we can't ever really know that reality. We can only know our relationship to it.


I totally get they are trying to explain this to me with good intent, so I didn't say, "DUH!" rudely, or insult them.

It is objecting to the further implications (past that) I am exploring.
The idea that these "malfunctions" may be perfectly utile if considered as symbols- not necessarily of what is "out there", but of what is "in here" and our current relationship to the exterior.

as Peeple put it-



The interface malefunction is maybe in reality a "reading-comprehension-skill" problem. When someone confuses the symbol with the meaning, or used an exterior key to interpret instead of the own set of experiences and intuition.
There are of course some commonly shared facts. Like 4=4...
But for ghosts, aliens etc. it looks a lot like the subconscience is messing with the experiencer. Which doesn't mean it isn't very real for that person, but maybe a symbol for feeling hopeless, or sthg?



That still renders all perception (be it directly related to external objects or not; a "malfunction" or not) of utility.

Seeing a nasty alien could be an important symbol for feeling manipulated, controlled, repressed by the current society one in in, for example. It could be useful to consider the experience in such a way. As our subconscious giving us information about the "I" which is interacting with all that is "not I".

Yes, this takes off and diverges somewhat from the focus of his theory, into implications that are uncommon or strange.
Although it continues with the theory in it's assertion of evolution of perception according to survival- it may have been beneficial for survival for certain "malfunctions" to occur.






Your objectively perfect impression of a pigeon playing chess has pretty much closed the thread down.
This I shall not forget.

It doesn't look closed to me. But perception varies, obviously!

Your perception of me, does it include your relation to what is happening? Of the part you played in the overall schema? The insults, how did they influence events? for example.
It is not just what is out there that is valuable to discern, but ones relation and part in it as well.


But whatever, it seems the myriad of "strange and wonderful implications" has a limit on it in this thread.
It doesn't seem you are interested in provoking original thought in the responders.
I don't feel any need to force anything, I just really enjoy delving into ideas and can get rather enthousiastic about it.
My apologies. Carry on, I'm stepping out for ya.
edit on 2-11-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:30 AM
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a reply to: SystemResistor

Maybe a diagram will help. Here's one.

REALITY


⬇️


GUI


⬇️


OBSERVERS (A, B... Z)


The question of how different observers (call them A, B... Z) have different perceptions is a question about the relationship represented by the lower arrow. Yes, we all agree these perceptions can differ; quite possibly none of us experiences things in quite the same way. But these are differences in how we perceive the GUI.

So yes, the relationship between observers and the GUI is not constant.

The relationship between the GUI and reality (represented by the first arrow) does not change. Every element of reality produces its own representation in the GUI, and this is always constant. In a computer, the same instruction in the program always causes the same pixel on the screen to light up. This never varies.

What this thread is about (for the last time; I'm giving up after this) is the relationship represented by the first arrow. The relationship between the eternal dance of physical matter and energy and what it gives rise to. It's not about individual perceptions; it is about the perceptual apparatus we have developed as a species, and more broadly how animals and even plants 'perceive' their environment.

It's not about whether I see cups where you see cobras. It's about the difference between the cup/cobra/whatchyermacallit and the underlying reality that projects it.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 03:52 PM
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a reply to: SystemResistor

Here's a more useful diagram:



It relies on the fallacious notion that we are little observers in the head of a human body, indirectly observing reality through some medium or filter or other, something like a screen, a "projection", a "perception", a "GUI", a "representation", or insert term here. Of course on simple inspection these terms reference nothing in reality.

Yes we see things as they really are. We see how things really are, but at the same time we see how these things really interact with our bodies. What we don't see are anything that remotely resembles GUIs and icons.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 10:06 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope


It's obvious you didn't read the article linked in the OP

It's actually a very interesting idea


edit on 11/2/2015 by Spiramirabilis because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 09:09 AM
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a reply to: Spiramirabilis

I did read it. I also went further and read his paper. I doubt you went any further than what was placed in front of you. No, too much work.



posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 09:49 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope



I did read it. I also went further and read his paper. I doubt you went any further than what was placed in front of you. No, too much work.


Have it your way



posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope


I did read it. I also went further and read his paper.

That shows commendable diligence, since there was no link to it in the article.

You read the paper, and still thought the diagram you posted was relevant? That diagram represents what epistemologists call 'the theatre of consciousness'. How do you think Hoffman's 'interface theory of perception' affects questions regarding the emergence and existence of consciousness and will? Is consciousness essential to his theory? Is it even relevant?

'There is no interface', you said. Well, Hoffman disagrees.


Space, time, position and momentum are among the properties and categories of the interface of H. sapiens that, in all likelihood, resemble nothing in the objective world.

Now, if your disagreement with that is based on a philosophical premise, perhaps you would like to state it. And explain, if you would, how the premise eludes what Dr Hoffman calls Bayes's Circle, of which the first premise, amusingly, is


We can only see the world through our posteriors.

But he is not interested in the relationship between the percept and the perceiver, which is what the theatre-of-consciousness thing is about, and which some other posters, and possibly yourself, seem to think this thread is about. He is interested in the relationship between reality and percept, and how it comes to be.


Real progress in understanding the relation between perception and the world requires careful theory building. The conventional theory that perception approximates the world is hopelessly simplistic. Once we reject this facile theory, once we recognize that our perceptions are to the world as a user interface is to a computer, we can begin serious work. We must postulate, and then try to justify and confirm, possible structures for the world and possible mappings between world and interface. Clinging to approximate isomorphisms is a natural, but thus far fruitless, response to this daunting task. It’s now time to develop more plausible theories.

He is not trying to explain how conscousness models the world, or (alternately) how biological automatons with delusions of selfhood respond to external stimuli. He doesn't care which is which; if you read the paper you know the argument applies to anything that needs an Umwelt to function — which is pretty much everything, even animals that arguably lack consciousness, such as the jumping spider he uses as an example in the paper. What he's interested in is how these interfaces evolved, and how they work, and how we can get a better grip on the nature of reality by better understanding what they can and cannot do, and perhaps working round their limitations.

*



I doubt you went any further than what was placed in front of you. No, too much work.

I wonder why you thought that was called for. I, too, wonder why you posted that particular diagram. Frankly, I don't see its relevance — either to the paper or to Dr Shermer's dissenting article.

Spiramirabilis, the paper is a pleasure to read. Among other things, it's funny, at times devastatingly so. The guy is not just lucid and intelligent, he's a smart alec and a great writer.


edit on 3/11/15 by Astyanax because: of Dr Shermer's dissenting article.



posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 11:37 AM
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a reply to: Spiramirabilis




Have it your way


Thanks for allowing me that privilege, I suppose.




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