• John Paterson
    2
    Hi Guys. This is my first post here. I don't know anything much about philosophy, but I'm interested in the concept of the world existing in your mind and would like to explore the idea. I don't mean solipsism, I just mean that your experience of the outside world is created in your mind/brain from the inputs of your senses. I just wonder what the implications are of this and:
    - how much of our world view is stuff we invent ourselves
    - how much control we have over our world view
    - what the implications are for mental health / personal development
    It may even be more of a psychology question than a philosophy question. Kind of bordering on cognitive behaviour therapy, but more fundamental.
    Interested in what you guys think, but also just looking for something to read during lockdown if you have any book recommendations.
    Thanks in advance!
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    466


    I think the most popular is Donald Hoffman's The case against reality.

    It's on my 'to read list'.
  • 180 Proof
    11k
    I recommend these works which call 'mind-independent reality' into question in different ways:

    Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, Immanuel Kant
    Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Ludwig Wittgenstein
    Ways of Worldmaking, Nelson Goodman
  • Amity
    4k
    I don't know anything much about philosophy, but I'm interested in the concept of the world existing in your mind and would like to explore the idea. I don't mean solipsism, I just mean that your experience of the outside world is created in your mind/brain from the inputs of your senses.John Paterson

    Hi and welcome :smile:
    For what it's worth, what instantly came to mind...was a book I bought and can't remember if I even started or finished. So much for that - but you can look it up !
    It's 'The Kingdom of Infinite Space: A Fantastical Journey around Your Head' by Raymond Tallis.
  • Gnomon
    2.8k

    I think the most popular is Donald Hoffman's The case against reality.Down The Rabbit Hole
    FWIW, here's my blog review of Hoffman's book, and its thesis of Model Dependent Realism.

    Reality is not what you see :
    http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page21.html

    Model-dependent realism :
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model-dependent_realism
  • Joshs
    4.2k
    If you haven’t read it, you might enjoy Lisa Feldman Barrett’s ‘How Emotions are Made’.
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    466


    FWIW, here's my blog review of Hoffman's book, and its thesis of Model Dependent Realism.

    Reality is not what you see :
    http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page21.html

    Model-dependent realism :
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model-dependent_realism
    Gnomon

    I didn't know Hoffman had discussed his ideas with THE Francis Crick? I'm not surprised he was a critic.

    I take it Hoffman is a lot more radical than the rather tame view that reality and our perception of it are not one and the same?
  • Manuel
    3.1k


    Starmaking by Nelson Goodman
    The World as Will and Representation by Schopenhauer
    Why Materialism is Baloney by Bernardo Kastrup
    Treatise Concerning Eternal and Immutable Morality by Ralph Cudworth
    Inborn Knowledge: The Mystery Within - Colin McGinn

    There's likely more of this type of thing within the rationalist tradition, it's also an area of personal interest for me, but these days such views aren't as common.
  • John Paterson
    2
    Thanks so much for all the awesome suggestions! This is going to keep me busy for a while :grin:
  • Gnomon
    2.8k
    didn't know Hoffman had discussed his ideas with THE Francis Crick? I'm not surprised he was a critic.

    I take it Hoffman is a lot more radical than the rather tame view that reality and our perception of it are not one and the same?
    Down The Rabbit Hole
    Don Hoffman was a close associate of Francis Crick, and they worked together for years. But Hoffman was a lot younger, and began to diverge from Crick in his basic worldview. Crick was a fairly traditional reductive-materialist-classical scientist, and famously said "you are nothing but a pack of neurons". Yet, over time, Hoffman's views turned toward more holistic Eastern models of reality, in which "You" are more than your physical structure. He also was influenced by the contra-classical findings of Quantum Theory -- including the role of the observer in constructing models of reality. And I wouldn't be surprised, if Crick lived long enough to read Hoffman's latest books, that he would find his ideas "radical". Nevertheless, Hoffman remains respectful of his mentor's contributions to science.

    Hoffman's "astonishing hypothesis" is just the opposite from Crick's. And he turned the old evolutionary arguments for reality (arbitrary & random reshuffling of matter) upside-down, by implying that even hard-nosed no-nonsense scientists are dealing with illusions of their own making. This does not necessarily mean that there is no ultimate true Reality, but merely that each of us is like the blind-men and the elephant story, in which each observer sees only a part of the whole. In that case, the role of science is to have a meeting of minds, and to merge our various "illusions" into a single useful approximation of Holistic Reality. :nerd:


    The Astonishing Hypothesis is that “You,” your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased it: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” ___Francis Crick
    https://todayinsci.com/C/Crick_Francis/CrickFrancis-Quotations.htm

    The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality :
    The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman believes that evolution and quantum mechanics conspire to make objective reality an illusion.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality-20160421/

    BLIND MEN OBSERVING A WHOLE ELEPHANT'S PARTS
    blindmen-elephant.gif
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant
  • Gnomon
    2.8k
    I just wonder what the implications are of this and:
    -how much of our world view is stuff we invent ourselves
    - how much control we have over our world view
    John Paterson
    See my reply to for an introduction to Don Hoffman's answer to your question.
  • Ying
    355
    Books:
    Maurice Merleau-Ponty - "Phenomenology of Perception"
    Wolfgang Kohler - "Gestalt Psychology"
    Kurt Koffka - "Principles of Gestalt Psychology"

    Lecture series from thegreatcourses.com:
    Francis Colavita - "Sensation, Perception, and the Aging Process"
    Steve Joordens - "Memory And The Human Lifespan"
  • Richard B
    175
    I would recommend John R. Searle
    “Seeing Things as They Are: A Theory of Perception”. This book will provide an alternative view that it is not all in the mind.

    Enjoy.
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