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Subjectivity, Reality, Illusion, And Meaning


Guest billmc
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Well, here's the reality of the matter. Reality is what ever it is. No matter what any of us think about it. And since whatever it is, we, or at least our perceptions, are within it. And anything that is within something else has to be lesser than what it is contained within, and the lesser can never comphrend the greater it is a part of,

 

Minnows in a puddle. Best thing is to just concentrate our attention on our puddle and fellow minnows. Maybe it's God that devastates our little puddle environment from time to time, and snatches away some of our fellow minnows...or, maybe just a hot thirsty dog.

 

Jenell

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In my own way of viewing the question of perception and reality, there is the obvious sense in which perception is not reality. That is, we can't infer with certainty that things are objectively a certain way based on our perceptions. In another sense, we can say that perception is reality, because what constitutes perception is reality itself. The former knowledge is knowledge-by-inference, the latter is knowledge-by-identity. It is the same principle that we can be mistaken about what we see, but not that we see. I tend not to think of our perceptions as divorced from reality, as if our perceptions are caged up "in here", cut off from the "real" reality that lie "out there on its own side." In my own life I have not found the idea of reality as it is on its "own side" very useful. Naturally, then, rather than an objective view of reality, I would rather approach reality in terms of inter-subjectivity. To paraphrase analytic philosopher Martin Munitz: that words cannot describe the independently existing, objective properties of reality is due not merely to the limitation of words, but to the very nature of reality; there is no such independent reality. This is not anti-realism, but simply a statement to the notion that our very existence presupposes our inextricable, meaningful, intimate connection to reality itself.

Edited by Mike
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I think objective reality about the world is that in which there is a consensus of perception. Nobody, to my knowledge, denies experiencing the sun, gravity or trees although we may have different words for them and our definition may differ on the edges (i.e. trees vs bushes).

 

Subjectivity, I think, is that in which our perceptions differ like the experience of god(s), beauty, truth, ghosts and the like.

 

In any event, for working purposes, I can't see that it makes any difference in our lives if objective reality is, in fact, an illusion. Since we all perceive the existence of trees, we should operate and behave as if they are real. However, that about which our perceptions differ (subjectivity) should be acknowledged and the other perspectives respected. The harm, IMO, is in universalizing our subjective perceptions.

 

George

Edited by GeorgeW
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George

 

Objective reality - a consensus. Yes, I would had said confessional: This we believe to be so.

 

However, that about which our perceptions differ (subjectivity)

interesting spectrum. From that which we agree about most to that which we agree about least.. true in that we are making it all up. Attitudes towards differinf items concerning objectivity might vary from group to group depending how big you draw the group. and whether it is important.

 

I am not sure I want to disagree but where does disagreeing on the diameter of the earth come in?

 

Dutch

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George

Attitudes towards different items concerning objectivity might vary from group to group depending how big you draw the group. and whether it is important.

Dutch

In my proposed analysis, I would include cultural differences under subjectivity.

 

All cultures, to my knowledge, recognize the existence of the sun, gravity, trees, stones, etc. We all perceive them and in most cases the perception is multi-sensory.These matters, for operational purposes, I would classify as objective reality.

 

I do agree that there is not a perfect dichotomy and there are gray areas even among things I would call reality.

 

Although it is probably be worth another thread, I suspect that morality fits in both categories - issues that are universally agreed upon and issues that differ from person to person and culture to culture. No culture, to my knowledge says, 'thou shalt kill,' yet we differ on what comprises killing, when it is justified, the consequences for violating the prohibition, etc., etc.

 

George

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George, your comments on objective reality is much the same as the commonality Bill was speaking of. I see it most similar to what Mike has expressed.

That is, we can't infer with certainty that things are objectively a certain way based on our perceptions.

 

I say this because yes we can all agree that a tree is a tree and gravity is gravity etc etc but we still subjectively experience, are looking from a particular perspective or single frame of conditioned mind and can not be certain we are looking at is any more than an agreed perception even though we agree its real to us. A good example was the world being flat. Commonality is still only agreed perceived reality so how can it be objective?. When we look from space or a different view or more advanced science we see differently. There are times i have looked at a tree or a person without a thought of the noun and devoid of any adjectives and the experience (no drugs here) is a knowing beyond words that there is no separate objective tree from Self, it was just perceived that way by giving it a name and applying adjectives to it.

 

Of course you might be saying the same thing and just calling objective reality the same as perceived common reality?

 

Joseph

Edited by JosephM
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Joseph,

 

My point is much too simple for the number of words I have used. I am just saying that there are certain things, that for all practical purposes, we can treat as being real and whether they are or not is only a metaphysical issue.

 

With regard to the earth, I think we can agree on its existence but maybe not all of its detailed characteristics - size, shape, consistency, etc.

 

George

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Joseph,

 

My point is much too simple for the number of words I have used. I am just saying that there are certain things, that for all practical purposes, we can treat as being real and whether they are or not is only a metaphysical issue.

 

With regard to the earth, I think we can agree on its existence but maybe not all of its detailed characteristics - size, shape, consistency, etc.

 

George

 

Thanks. That would be my thought also even though i would insert the word "perceived" to existence which kind of says its existence here can only be perceived and as such is not objective reality if there is such a thing for us humans. It is real enough and thats what counts.

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George,

 

In my proposed analysis, I would include cultural differences under subjectivity.

I would think this observation can only be made outside the culture because there is a larger group for which the culture observed is a subset. I think this violates what is an excellent statement about objectivity and subjectivity - when one is needed.

 

I think objective reality about the world is that in which there is a consensus of perception....Subjectivity is that in which our perceptions differ.

 

Consensus depends on which group we choose. Our perceptions have a reality until they don't. Your examples, god, ghosts, tree, bush seem to contain assumptions about which group, which size group has found consensus. Gods and ghosts are not always subjective. Sometimes there is consensus about these things.

 

If 6 people are watching TV and one of them says, "Smurfette is telling me to eat 1,000,000 s'mores," the other 5 probably would not agree. That is "subjective." in this scheme. If the same 6 are meditating and later relate a feeling of self-transcendence and feeling at one with universe, there is consensus. The self-transcendence of being one with the universe is objectively real. Likewise there can be a consensus about the nature of God. So God is real.

 

I went googling and found this - even science depends on consensus.

 

"Even Nobel Prize-winning ideas take a long time to get accepted and the acceptance does not remain stable," said Christine Charyton, Ohio State University.

http://www.newkerala...news-43390.html

 

Objective reality, between adults :lol: is communal, confessional, and consensual.

 

 

Dutch

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Consensus depends on which group we choose. Our perceptions have a reality until they don't. Your examples, god, ghosts, tree, bush seem to contain assumptions about which group, which size group has found consensus. Gods and ghosts are not always subjective. Sometimes there is consensus about these things.

Dutch

Dutch,

 

I was referring to human universals. I don't' think there is any consensus on the nature of god, the existence of ghosts, etc. The perception of these vary from person to person and culture to culture. Therefore, in my model, they would be subjectivities.

 

On the other hand, I think there is a human consensus on the existence of trees, rocks, the sun, etc. although the ontology may vary a little on the edges. So, these would be 'objective reality.'

 

Thanks for challenging me. It causes me to think more about what I have proposed.

 

George

Edited by GeorgeW
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