Re: A calculus of personal identity

From: <>
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2006 15:55:03 -0400

Brent, Colin and Bruno:
I had my decade-long struggle on 3-4 discussion lists (~psych and ~Physx)
about "objective reality" being really "subjective virtuality" - and I
finally won.
Assuming (!) an existing 'reality' (=not being solipsist) also assumes that
impacts arrive at one's mind (what is it?) which interprets them to a
suitable understanding within the limitations we have. That is widely
called the "objective reality". (Brent went a step further in his "agreed
upon" clause).
It was exciting how differently the students of different disciplines gave

Subjective is ambiguous: pertaining to the subject (person) thinking, or
pertinent to "a subject" to speak about. This later is frequently called
So we have a semantical mess (why not in this, too?) and we fall in the
We have no ways (tools, understanding) to get to "the real thing" whatever
that may be, sending those impacts to us. Agreed intersubjectively, or not.
(We - sort of - agreed on this list lately to speak about "percept of
To Colin's experiment a question: are blind people not capable of thinking
straight? "scientific" is an odd word and could be 'subject' to debate: IMO
all sciences (conventional that is) are based on some model-view, at least
are topically limited and observed within such limitations. The new ways of
'free thinking' what we try to exercise on this one and some other lists
lately, try to think broader, if not quite without boundary-limitations (it
would wash away whatever one could state into a wholeness of ambiguity).
Paradoxes, (unexpected) i.e. emerging novelties, axioms, givens etc. are
products of model-limitations. The visual is not the only restriction we
suffer from,
simply the most studied one.
I thank Colin for the wise par about the 'objective'.
Finally to Brent's concluding words: "We all" can agree on features based
on models because "we all" suffer from the same incompleteness.
And please, take into account that the "model" you talked about is not
fixed, it is a snapshot "at a time" and changes continually into different
occurring characteristics. So our conclusions are temporary-based.
It is hard to do "science" with such premises, but who said that life is

Best regards

John Mikes

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brent Meeker" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, June 23, 2006 2:29 PM
Subject: Re: A calculus of personal identity

> Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:
> >>Bruno writes
> >
> > <snip>
> >
> >>>I see what you mean and I agree with you, but now, you were again
> >>>talking about third person description of the first person point of
> >>>view (I will write 1-pov, 3-pov, ...).
> >>
> >>Yes. I find that the 1st person accounts to be pretty subjective,
> >>actually. They also lead to inconsistencies and unnecessary
> >>differences of opinion. In history, the 1st person experience
> >>(e.g. the stars revolve around the Earth) are always upstaged
> >>sooner or later by actual, objective data.
> >
> >
> > Bruno! This is a very good joke!
> > "I find that the 1st person accounts to be pretty subjective"
> > LOLOLOLOLOL!!! :-)
> > How could a 1st person account be anything else!?
> >
> > Actually I'd like to challenge your statement and suggest that there is
> > such thing as 'an objective view'!
> >
> > All we _actually_ have for our scientific evidence is first person
> > experience! What we do (behave) is to carry out a procedure called
> > _objectivity_ to select/agree on what we are studying within the
> > individual subjective experience of those doing the 'agreeing'/being
> > objective. When they have all agreed, there is _no_ _one_ _person_
> > actually having (experiencing) that so called 'view'.
> >
> > The objective view is a VIRTUAL construct. The universe is acting 'as
> > there was someone having the view, but there is no-one actually having
> > view. Ernest Nagel called the so called objective view "the view from
> > nowhere".
> >
> > Here's a scientific experiment for the list:
> >
> > 1) Close your eyes.
> > 2) Now prove you can do science to the same extent you could before.
> > is if you are now even able to read the rest of the instructions for the
> > experiment!
> >
> > .i.e it ain't gonna happen, is it?
> >
> > Such an odd position for a scientist!
> >
> > a) Totally dependent on subjective experience as a causal ancestor to
> > act of 'being scientific', .i.e. it is all there is.
> >
> > b) having a false belief in the existence of an 'objective view', and
> >
> > c) finds that when you use the scientific observation system (subjective
> > experience) to try and observe and be scientific about the scientific
> > observing system (subjective experience), you can't observe it!
> >
> > Your words "actual, objective data" are actually an oxymoron! There is
> > objective data, but it's derived entirely from a subjective experience
> > which is discarded by the act of objectivity. What does the word
> > mean in this context? We have something going on in the universe that
> > been mapped through a human's subjective experience and then mapped
> > by the 'method' we call objectivity.
> >
> > By the time this incredibly long causal chain/mapping through a situated
> > cognitive agent called the scientist has finished with the original
> > observed 'thing', how does this claim any cudos as 'actual', except in
> > that it is all we have?
> >
> > Subjective experience has PRIMACY in science, and we don't even know it!
> >
> > cheers
> > colin
> Right, except I think thoughtful scientists do know it. They recognize
that what we call
> "objective" would be more accurately called "intersubjective agreement".
We create models and when
> they work for everybody we (tentatively) agree on them. A lot of physics
now is derived from
> symmetry principles and the most basic principle is invariance of the
model under changing
> subjective viewpoints.
> Brent Meeker

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Received on Fri Jun 23 2006 - 15:59:18 PDT

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