Is knowing a mental event?

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Reply Wed 2 Dec, 2009 02:40 am

I'm sure you meant well, but the shoe doesn't fit. I write positive theories in regards to reality all the time. But I know all the time that what I am working with is mental models. I think the issue is significant. Of course in a practical sense there is objective reality. The issue here is the foundation of truth. In the strict theorectical sense, "objective reality" is a mental-model, a human invention. If a person fails to grasp that essential point, I doubt they will understand what I am saying about the foundation of truth. O

ur "minds" are mental-models within what these mental-models symbolize -- our minds. Do you see that we live and die in our pile of mental-models? Or do you think concepts (born as metaphors) and names (learned by consensus) live outside human skulls?

Start from the individual human brain and ask yourself what it chooses to call truth. Is it not a question of persuasion? Is there a trans-subjective criterion of truth?

You might be tempted to say "objective reality," but reality is experienced subjectively and interpreted by means of language. Examine the testimony of different witnesses at a crime scene. Also other situations. Some claim to have seen ghosts. Other talk to God. In this age, the consensus is that such experiences are hallucinations, etc. In another age, atheism was perhaps unspeakably absurd. Despite the lessons of history, man is as arrogantly blind as usual, immersed in the fads of his time.

To control the mental-model of so-called objective reality is power. And this mental-model also serves as a myth. It's a macho sort of religion, this implied association with reality. And it serves its purpose. Maybe most dreamers are socially useless. But critical philosophy can wipe the prejudice from man's eyes. Kant's "thing-in-itself" is just a concept, just a mental model. My point is just an extension of Kant's. What we take for reality has been structured involuntarily by the mind. But I like to stress the metaphorical nature of man. He lives, unawares, in a jungle of mental-models, linked metaphorically, that he takes for Reality Prime.
Reply Wed 2 Dec, 2009 07:31 am
Zetherin;107502 wrote:
It's easier to say the objective is an illusion, than to admit that you have the potential to be wrong.

I see many people who just begin contemplating things philosophical start off with a belief in some sort of subjective relativism. It's like that cool, "Ouuuu, things aren't how they seem!" feeling. It's a drastic way to put things in disarray - it makes you reconsider everything you initially thought was true - and this seems like the natural door to choose when you first start hearing all the thought-provoking philosophical talk! Unfortunately, it just leads to confusion, and strong subjectivism doesn't really make any sense once one exits from one's intellectual dungeon of a mind and steps foot in the practical world.

I would know, I've gone through it.

EDIT: Reconstructo - not implying you're definitely going through this, just offering up a possibility!

Yes, that may be it, or it may be sadder. It may be that reality has not been as good to them as young people had been led to expect it would be. And so, reality is rejected as a kind of illusion. Just speculation, of course. But this kind of subjectivism/Idealism does not seem to me an accident. It is, it seems to me, worth thinking about.
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 09:28 pm
That's funny. I thought about making some "truth is a woman" jokes to explain the density of a certain type of mind. We are falling into my "philosophy as role play" theme. The voice of Reality is on the scene, and somehow neglecting to read from the bible of logic. But the voice of Reality (note the capital R) is also the classic wisdom of Dad, it seems. Philosophy, for some, is the rubber stamp on prejudice. I find it hard to relate to those not ambitious enough to want to extend the tradition. To memorize ancient triviliaties and pose as bearded wisdom...

And yet instead of formal logic much touted as significant, we see practiced (clumsily) the art of interpretation -- and an epistemology based on motive. As I said long ago, logic is not like life. Formal logic is rosary beads for altar boys. As soon as the possibility of consensus developes, a little all-too-human roleplay flares up.

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