RE: Everything is Just a Memory

From: Higgo James <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 10:53:07 -0000

Wasn't Liebnitz a genius with his monads? That's not far off what we're
saying here.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Fritz Griffith []
> Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2000 10:19 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: Everything is Just a Memory
> >From:
> >To:
> >Subject: Re: Everything is Just a Memory
> >Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 11:58:56 -0800
> >
> >Marchal <> writes:
> >
> > > There is a widespread confusion between two kind of idealism.
> > >
> > > 1) There is solipsism, sometimes called "subjective idealism". It is
> > > (as James Higgo said) the doctrine that I am dreaming, that I am the
> >only
> > > builder of reality, and all other people are just zombie.
> > > This is a ridiculous doctrine, although it can be used to illustrate
> > > some philophical point, like the concept of zombie.
> > > It is a ridiculous doctrine, because a doctrine is something you
> > > communicate, and why should someone try to communicate things to
> > > zombie. So solipsisme (like some strong form of positivism) is
> > > self-defeating.
> >
> >I don't agree that this is a ridiculous doctrine, or that a believer in
> >solipsism should not communicate.
> >
> >A solipsist may communicate with others, even if he believes they are
> >not conscious, in order to get information and ideas. In his model of
> >the world, certain information comes to him only through interaction
> >with the outside. If he is to work out his ideas in fullness, he can
> >best do so by interacting with the outside world. This may involve
> >bouncing ideas off of other people, and even trying to persuade them,
> >in order to test the quality of his ideas.
> >
> >It is like a believer in more conventional philosophies who finds it
> >useful to write his ideas down on paper (or on a computer), in order to
> >clarify them and look for problems and new approaches. He doesn't think
> >the paper or computer is conscious, but this method of interacting with
> >the outside world can still be productive.
> >
> I totally agree with Hal here. I don't believe it's a ridiculous doctrine
> either, for exactly the reasons pointed out above.
> >The real problem with solipsism, IMO, is that it fails to predict or
> >explain why the world is the way it is. Fine, I'm dreaming. Why?
> >Why am I dreaming that I live in a lawful universe? And why do I have
> >dreams within the dream, and those dreams are not of a lawful universe?
> >None of this is explained.
> >
> >Contrast this with other approaches to philosophy, such as the all-
> >universes models we have been discussing. These approaches have the
> >potential to truly explain why the universe is lawful, and why we see
> >things in roughly the way they are. It might even turn out that our
> >very universe is, by some measures, the most probable one to exist.
> >
> >We don't know for sure that things will work out this way, but at
> >least the potential is there. This makes it a very productive avenue
> >to explore. It is hard to see how solipsism could begin to provide this
> >kind of explanation.
> >
> >Hal
> >
> My answer to you is that it is simpler for the laws of physics to directly
> control what you "dream" about than for the laws of physics to control a
> universe, which feeds you inputs, which forms what you dream about.
> Things
> are always simpler without a 3rd party intermediary. So, conventional
> science is definitely a productive anvenue to explore, because it explains
> the laws of our "dream". As for MWI, I am not a true solipsist because I
> believe that all possible dreams exist in the plentitude. For this
> reason,
> everyone I know is a zombie in my dream, but in all of reality, they are
> not, because the dream that would correspond to their reality does exist,
> even though it does not interact with mine.
> Fritz
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Received on Mon Jan 17 2000 - 02:52:19 PST

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