AI and cognitive psychology rant (getting more and more OT - tell me if I should shut up)
steve at ninereeds.fsnet.co.uk
Sat Oct 25 18:32:24 CEST 2003
On Sat, 25 Oct 2003 16:00:14 +0100, Robin Becker
<robin at jessikat.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
>In article <2askpv0sqrv7k9hbpis3ig4iqclpl24ojc at 4ax.com>, Stephen Horne
><steve at ninereeds.fsnet.co.uk> writes
>>Even if this was not the case, you have not proved that reality is not
>>real. Of course perception still varies slightly from person to
>>person, and more extensively from species to species, but it is not
>>independent of reality - it still has to be tied to reality as closely
>>as possible or else it is useless.
>Actually it was not my intention to attempt any such proof, merely to
>indicate that what we call real is at the mercy of perception. If I
>choose to call a particular consensus version of reality the 'one true
>reality' I'm almost certainly wrong.
True. But perception cannot change reality. Reality is not about
perception - it existed long before there was anything capable of
What we *normally* call real is normally a perception, or more
precisely (as you say) a model, and not the actual reality. But at
least when that model has been built up from experimental evidence, it
is vanishingly unlikely to have approached anything other than
reality. The model defined by science has limits and inaccuracies of
course, but it is not credible to claim that it is arbitrary.
>What we humans call 'reality' is completely determined by our senses and
>the instruments we can build.
Not at all. What our senses and instuments are observing is real,
*not* arbitrary, and *not* affected by perception. Our perceptions are
dependent on reality, even though they cannot be a perfect. We are not
free to define perception arbitrarily precisely because it is a
representation of reality, derived from the information provided by
As I already mentioned, if a primitive person observes a car and
theorises that there is a demon under the hood, that does not become
true. Reality does not care about anyones perceptions as it is not
dependent on them in any way - perceptions are functionally dependent
on reality, and our perceptions are designed to form a useful model of
If there was no reality, there would be no common baseline for our
perceptions and therefore no reason for any commonality between them.
In fact there would be no reason to have perceptions at all.
steve at ninereeds dot fsnet dot co dot uk
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