RE: Can we ever know truth? - simulation

From: Nick Prince <>
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2006 00:47:23 +0100

This is a form of solipsism - it is difficult to attack it and defending it
can be similarly time consuming. I think we have to move on and believe
there is a better approach - if only to get somewhere other than back to the
beginning every time.




----- Original Message -----

From: Norman Samish <>


Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 12:53 PM

Subject: Can we ever know truth?


In a discussion about philosophy, Nick Prince said, "If we are living in a
simulation. . ."


To which John Mikes replied, "I think this is the usual pretension. . . I
think 'we simulate what we are living in' according to the little we know.
Such 'simulation' - 'simplification' - 'modeling' - 'metaphorizing' - or
even 'Harry Potterizing' things we think does not change the
'unknown/unknowable' we live in. We just think and therefore we think we


This interchange reminded me of thoughts I had as a child - I used to wonder
if if everything I experienced was real or a dream. How could I know which
it was? I asked my parents and was discouraged, in no uncertain terms, from
asking them nonsensical questions. I asked my playmates and friends, but
they didn't know the answer any more than I did. I had no other resources
so I concluded that the question was unanswerable and that the best I could
do was proceed as if what I experienced was reality.


Now, many years later, I have this list - and Wikipedia - as resources.
But, as John Mikes (and others) say, I still cannot know that what I
experience is reality. I can only assume that reality is how things appear
to me - and I might be wrong.


Norman Samish



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Received on Fri Aug 11 2006 - 19:50:08 PDT

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