• noAxioms
    Are there other minds, or other bodies?Harry Hindu
    Only actual antirealist position I can think of is outright nihilism, and from what I understand of that, no, minds and bodies (not even ones own) exist.
  • A Seagull
    It is much more interesting when people talk about something they believe in rather than something they don't.
  • Harry Hindu
    Only actual antirealist position I can think of is outright nihilism, and from what I understand of that, no, minds and bodies (not even ones own) exist.noAxioms
    lol, so anti-realism defeats itself by rejecting it's own existence as a belief? A non-existent nihilist? :lol:

    I personally have found 'existence of an objective reality' to be a meaningless concept, and hence see no reason to assert it, which is a little different than actively denying it, so I'm not sure if I qualify as an antirealist.noAxioms
    What do you mean by, "'existence of an objective reality" to say that it is meaningless?
  • Michael McMahon
    “The image will be inverted, reduced in size, and real. Quite conveniently, the cornea-lens system produces an image of an object on the retinal surface... Fortunately, the image is a real image - formed by the actual convergence of light rays at a point in space. Vision is dependent upon the stimulation of nerve impulses by an incoming light rays. Only real images would be capable of producing such a stimulation. Finally, the reduction in the size of the image allows the entire image to "fit" on the retina. The fact that the image is inverted poses no problem. Our brain has become quite accustomed to this and properly interprets the signal as originating from a right-side-up object.”
    - physicsclassroom

    While the image my mind perceives will have the identical quantitative dimensions that a camera would have, there still seems to be some qualia attached to our vision. A camera appears to pass on colour to our brain rather than being the source of the colour itself. A colour-blind person would see different colours when looking at the same camera screen or photograph. However, we’d both agree on the objective spatial and proportional features. What gives?

    It seems subjectively inconceivable that the sentient contents of my visual system could themselves be projected onto a screen no matter what brain-scanning technologies one might have in the future. Might an upshot of this be that the real image our eyes receive must somehow be converted into a virtual image in the brain? That is to say an image which “cannot be projected onto a screen because the rays never really converge”. Phosphenes are incongruous entities: “an impression of light that occurs without light entering the eye and is usually caused by stimulation of the retina (as by pressure on the eyeball when the lid is closed).” The apparent irreducible and internal nature of phosphenes makes it hard to imagine them ever being by some means transplanted onto an external screen. Another person can’t see exactly that which I observe in my mind’s eye.
  • Michael McMahon
    “Now we look at both lines, noticing that since they are both pependicular to the mirror, they must be parallel to each other. Thus the distance from top to bottom on the object is the same as from top to bottom on the image. They're the same size!!

    The image formed by a plane mirror is the same size as the object.

    Why does the image look smaller, then, the further we go from a mirror? It's a simple matter of perspective. Something the same size, but further away, takes up a smaller angle of our vision. Therefore it seems to be smaller.”
    - cbakken website

    With regards 2D/3D space and perspective, I found an interesting and counterintuitive result on a Vsauce YouTube video. Plane mirrors don’t seem to have perspective despite looking equivalent to our reality. The explanation seems to revolve around similar triangles. The mirror surface itself gets smaller as we move away from it due to perspective. This appears to have a neutralising effect on the size of the image it produces.

    It’s after time 4:20 on “Inside a Spherical Mirror”:
  • Marchesk
    Nor need an antirealist deny that there is a physical world. It is open to them to say that if we talk as if there is a physical world, then by that very fact there is indeed a physical world.Banno

    True, but then this doesn't explain why we think a modern scientific account of the physical world is better than some previous mythological or metaphysical one. There has to be some explanation for why empiricism works better for understanding whatever reality is and how technology improves.

    For example, It's problematic to say we evolved from a common ancestor because we agree to talk that way, as if Darwin and other biologists were better at propaganda than their opponents. Or that lasers work because we agree to talk about light as if certain physical theories were the case.

    As for the cat on the mat, the cat itself doesn't care what we agree on. I realize you're not an antirealist, just wanted to add what has always bothered me about the position.
  • Banno
    Yes... see the very next post to the one you cited:
    And this is I think a very salient point; for how can one explain the astonishing degree of agreement between you and I and Aunty Millie and Fred over there, if there is no 'reality' that is somehow shared by us all?

    Two possibilities occur to me, neither of them very palatable. Perhaps me and Aunty Millie and Fred over there are your creations, you being all that there is. Or perhaps you and me and Auntie Millie and Fred over there all partake in some 'overmind' that sets us up to think much the same thing. Solipsism or panpsychism.

    SO we have solipsism and panpsychism, neither of which has much appeal; and the rather more mundane view that there is a real world within which we function.

    Of course, on these forums it's solipsism and panpsychism that get all the attention. One supposes those who think there is a real world feel little need to enter into debates about it.

    Odd, that this thread should return to the living after a year.
  • Michael McMahon
    “Tactile experiments show that both pressure and temperature can influence the content of a dream. In a study conducted by Nielsen (1993), participants wore a pressure cuff on their leg while sleeping in the laboratory. During REM sleep, experimenters inflated the cuff to produce pressure on the leg and subsequently awoke participants for dream reports. The authors found several examples of leg pressure incorporated into dreams, sometimes in a subtle yet direct fashion (ie, tingling in the leg), and sometimes in a more elaborate fashion (ie, a dream sequence that involved paralysis of the leg, attempts to move the leg resulting in intense discomfort). Thus the physical sensation of pressure on the leg was incorporated in idiosyncratic ways, perhaps depending on the prior narrative of the dream or the quality of sleep.”
    - Michelle Carr Psychology Today

    I think the sense of touch is a very necessary but not entirely sufficient reason to conclude that the world is real. I think the sense of touch is a prerequisite as it would be very difficult to imagine reality without it having a tactile component. But one would need extra reasons to further validate the reality and consistency of the world. How can one infer that they weren’t still being deceived in a dream by tactile hallucinations?

    “In addition, there has been considerable discussion of how touch and vision might differ in terms of their spatial features. Vision, it seems, provides a rich felt awareness of objects in a spatial field–an area where there are potential objects but where none currently reside (that is, we seem in vision to be able to see empty space). Touch, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to present features in this way. Instead, like audition, touch seems only to bring awareness of individual objects that each seem to occupy a specific location... When we press against a solid object, the resistance to our agential act of pressing gives our experience a more solid epistemic foundation than what we experience through the other sensory modalities. Only in touch do we seem to come into direct contact with reality, a reality that actively resists our voluntary actions.”
    - Stanford website
  • Gnomon
    Reality would be like a TV screen with no actual substance behind what you see.Michael McMahon
    Cognitive Psychologist Don Hoffman is not an anti-realist, according to your definition. But he has written a book, The Case Against Reality, which uses your analogy of a TV or computer screen with graphic symbols (icons) that stand in place of a more complex underlying Reality. You may find that his "hidden realism" is similar to your own "mental" reality. :smile:

    The Case Against Reality : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_D._Hoffman

    Interface Reality : http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page21.html

    Reality is Ideality : http://bothandblog5.enformationism.info/page17.html
  • Michael McMahon
    Gnomon: “You may find that his "hidden realism" is similar to your own "mental" reality.”

    Thank you for the links. Yes there perhaps exist a spectrum of views within anti-realism about the extent of the unreality.

    “ “Artificial intelligence will never get jokes like humans do,” he told the Associated Press. The main problem, Hempelmann says, is that robots completely miss the context of humor. In other words, they do not understand the situation or related ideas that make a joke funny...

    Puns are a kind of joke that uses a word with two meanings. For example, you could say, “Balloons do not like pop music.” The word “pop” can be a way of saying popular music; or, “pop” can be the sound a balloon makes when it explodes. But a robot might not get the joke. Tristan Miller says that is because humor is a kind of creative language that is extremely difficult for computer intelligence to understand...

    Comedy, on the other hand, relies on things that stay close to a pattern, but not completely within it. To be funny, humor must also not be predictable, Bishop said. This makes it much harder for a machine to recognize and understand what is funny.”
    - voanews

    Does the tone of a person’s speech reveal the fact they are conscious more so than the actual content of what they are saying? There are so many subtle nuances of words in the English language that the meaning of a statement can change a lot depending on the context. There are just so many synonyms and “simply equivocal” or analogical terms. So I think being able to speak fluently inevitably means that they are sentient as they must be able to truly comprehend the dynamic meaning of the words and all of the word’s connotations. A robot wouldn’t be able to suss out the ambiguity of language. Of course we can sometimes tell the emotional state and intention of a person from their tone of voice. For instance, if they are serious or angry they might slightly raise their voice.

    “However, even though the language is widely used, it’s not easy to learn. There are many confusing oddities such as homophones, homographs, homonyms, and inconsistent spellings that conspire to make English difficult to learn and easy to misunderstand... A bat can be a flying mammal or what you use to hit a baseball... There’s no shortage of examples of odd and curious inconsistencies with English.”
  • Michael McMahon
    “The optics of the eye create a focused two-dimensional image of the visual world on the retina, which translates that image into electrical neural impulses to the brain to create visual perception.”
    - Wikipedia

    We are not conscious of photons themselves. Our vision doesn’t actually extend outward when we look at a distant object. Our brain can only sense the curved 2D surface of the retina through the optic nerve. The eyes are not telekinetic so the 2D image we detect seems to be retroactively rendered into 3 dimensions in our brain using depth perception cues.

    Wikipedia: “In physics and cosmology, digital physics is a collection of theoretical perspectives based on the premise that the universe is describable by information. It is a form of digital ontology about the physical reality. According to this theory, the universe can be conceived of as either the output of a deterministic or probabilistic computer program, a vast, digital computation device, or a mathematical Isomorphism to such a device.”

    “Inter process communication (IPC) is used for exchanging data between multiple threads in one or more processes or programs. The Processes may be running on single or multiple computers connected by a network.”
    - guru99

    If consciousness is entirely physical then it would seem like each person behaved as a parallel computer. The universe obeys deterministic laws so it’s as if our minds are concurrent computations within the supercomputer universe. But how can we be mutually aware of so many people in a large gathering at the same time?

    I’m not a computer scientist but I understand there are limits as to how fast a parallel computer can communicate. So how do we communicate with each other in real-time? The communication seems external relative to me when I talk to someone. But isn’t it actually all internal communication from the standpoint of the universe itself? Our minds would be physical entities inside the physical universe.

    There’s the problem of other minds as well. I can only infer that you’re conscious by your physical communication. I can’t sense you directly as if I meet someone the image I see of them itself exists within in my mind. We run into the same difficulties of conceptualising other people as we would inferring external objects:
    “Another argument for the substance theory is the argument from conception. The argument claims that in order to conceive of an object's properties, like the redness of an apple, one must conceive of the object that has those properties.” - Wikipedia
    “In general, knowledge of the external world is knowledge of the existence of a thing distinct from one’s mind.” - https://iep.utm.edu/locke-kn/

    “Yes, I'm looking at you, looking at me, looking at you, looking at me, looking back at you.”
    - Sammy Hagar

    If my mind could directly observe another person’s mind there would be infinite regress as seen in the above quote. There would also be problems with identity as their mind would inherently become a subset of your own if you knew exactly how they felt.
  • creativesoul
    That's the thin version. There's a bit more to it than that. It's more about the meaning of propositions than about the reality of the objects around us.

    A realist might say that "Here is a cat" will be true exactly if there is a cat, here. The cat is independent of the utterance, and will be there whether the utterance is made or not, and indeed independently of the meaning of the utterance.

    An antirealist might rather say that the truth of "Here is a cat" depends at least to some extent on the circumstances in which the utterance takes place, especially the way the utterance is used to 'carve up' the world; so to some extent for the antirealist there is only a cat if we all decide that's how we will talk...

    Nice addition Banno. So, I'm firmly in the realist camp, in that regard. However, I do not hold that predictions about what will happen can be true/false at the time of utterance, and someone somewhere, once told me that that 'makes' me an antirealist.

    Not that I really care about those names. By my lights, far too much time is spent regurgitating such things rather than just making whatever argument needs to be made. Phorrest, for example has his thinking steeped in such. While those names may be useful identifying some conventional position, they are rather useless for understanding someone who has a view stitched together from various different people from various different schools of thought...
  • magritte
    An antirealist is "a person who denies the existence of an objective reality". It sees "no access to a mind-independent reality, even if it exists".Michael McMahon
    Given those two choices, I can't even imagine anyone actually being an antirealist.

    Realism is a useful but unnecessary philosophical fantasy. A non-philosopher can just ignore all philosophical theories and go on with their life. A philosopher can work on their own ideas without concern for such a logically restricting possible universe. There are plenty of others waiting for an unfettered fertile imagination to explore.
  • Michael McMahon
    I will just bounce around a few ideas so please correct me if I’m wrong. I haven’t fully researched it. Can the rotation about a point of a large irregular object result in something similar to gravity?

    The Earth isn’t a perfect sphere. There are uneven parts (mountains, ocean trenches, rift valleys, etc.).
    “Even though our planet is a sphere, it is not a perfect sphere. Because of the force caused when Earth rotates, the North and South Poles are slightly flat. Earth's rotation, wobbly motion and other forces are making the planet change shape very slowly, but it is still round.” -NASA website

    But an irregular object has different velocities on the outer surface when rotating as centripetal acceleration is inversely proportional to the radius: ac=v2/r.

    But would an object launched from such a large object be subject to Euler’s force:
    “In classical mechanics, the Euler force is the fictitious tangential force that appears when a non-uniformly rotating reference frame is used for analysis of motion and there is variation in the angular velocity of the reference frame's axes.”
    - Wikipedia

    For example, an asteroid has an irregular shape.
    “Asteroids, without artificial gravity, have relatively no gravity in comparison to earth.” - Wikipedia
    If you jumped off a rotating asteroid you’d just fly straight up into space with the same circular speed of the asteroid. This is from the lack of external forces as seen in Newton’s first law. But if the asteroid had an atmosphere you’d be slowed down by the air resistance. So you’d no longer have the same centripetal speed as the asteroid and you’ll have a negative relative speed with the rough perimeter of the rotating asteroid. So instead of you going straight up into space, the sharp edged surface of the asteroid would catch up with you and then hit you. Would that scenario be similar to the effect of gravity? Instead of you falling down to the ground, the uneven ground actually goes upwards and hits you.
    “Newton's first law of motion states that there must be a cause—which is a net external force—for there to be any change in velocity, either a change in magnitude or direction. An object sliding across a table or floor slows down due to the net force of friction acting on the object.” - khan academy

    “Perpetual motion is the motion of bodies that continues forever. A perpetual motion machine is a hypothetical machine that can do work infinitely without an energy source.” -Wikipedia
    Even though the solar system isn’t technically infinite in time, is it nearly like perpetual motion relative to us mortal beings? If one applies a planetary version of the anthropic principle instead of gravity, any large object that doesn’t conform to a steady orbit around the sun would have eventually collided with and been absorbed by other planets over a billion year time frame. Or else it would just hurtle off outside the solar system.
    “The anthropic principle is the philosophical premise that any data we collect about the universe is filtered by the fact that, for it to be observable at all, the universe must have been compatible with the emergence of conscious and sapient life that observes it.” - Wikipedia
  • Michael McMahon

    I’m not a mathematician but I might muse on the issue nonetheless! Can the lack of information inadvertently serve as information itself?
    For instance in probability theory the likelihood of an event happening is calculated through the chance of it not happening:
    Law of the complement: P(not A) = 1 - P(A).

    Also consider prior knowledge, plans and arrangements. So two people could come close together and devise what actions are to be performed depending on the receiving of signals or the lack thereof. So when they are separated by a great distance, the absence of a certain signal could itself be interpreted as a cue to carry out a certain operation.

    This might be a similar notion to something like cruise control:
    “In control engineering a servomechanism, sometimes shortened to servo, is an automatic device that uses error-sensing negative feedback to correct the action of a mechanism.”
    - Wikipedia

    Dualism: “In the philosophy of mind, mind–body dualism denotes either the view that mental phenomena are non-physical, or that the mind and body are distinct and separable.”

    If our perception of reality were like a closed system, would that resemble dualism? So our vision would be like a microcosm mimic of the actual physical reality. In a sense the brain is trapped inside the skull and it only interacts with the world through our different senses.

    “A closed system is a physical system that does not allow transfer of matter in or out of the system, though, in different contexts, such as physics, chemistry or engineering, the transfer of energy is or is not allowed.”
    - Wikipedia
  • Michael McMahon
    “If he were to run alongside it at just that speed, Einstein reasoned, he ought to be able to look over and see a set of oscillating electric and magnetic fields hanging right next to him, seemingly stationary in space.
    Yet that was impossible. For starters, such stationary fields would violate Maxwell’s equations, the mathematical laws that codified everything physicists at the time knew about electricity, magnetism, and light... Worse, stationary fields wouldn’t jibe with the principle of relativity, a notion that physicists had embraced since the time of Galileo and Newton in the 17th century.”
    - National Geographic

    The physical photons seem to be travelling at a mind-boggling speed. But the actual sensation of colour appears boringly stuck to the object; be it stationary or moving.

    “Like watching paint dry.”
    - used to refer to an activity that you consider extremely boring.

    “Your Color Red Really Could Be My Blue”

    The qualia of colour doesn’t seem to “jibe with” any metric of classical physics such as volume or weight. Two physically completely different objects may both have the same colour. So the different shades of wall paint seems to stubbornly defy our ordinary perception of physical reality. We can only conclude that the various colours are caused by the chemicals or dye in the paint. While the physical properties of colour can be distinguished by its wavelength, the sentient colour we perceive remains a dissatisfying mystery. The colours aren’t seemingly caused by objective dimensions such as mass or inertia.

    “Brilliant White / Winter's Tale / Carraig Grey/ Goosewing / Blue Grey /Atlantic Way / Achill White / Cobblelock”
    - a mocking Dulux Paint catalogue!

    "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
    - Wikipedia

    We can only see the colour of the outer surface area of the object. Visually speaking, the object might as well be hollow. Sorry to belabour this “philosophy of paint”, but would painting over a blue wall with yellow render that blue to be temporarily metaphysically nonexistent?

    “Radar is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the range, angle, or velocity of objects.”

    “Two types of technology share the name "sonar": passive sonar is essentially listening for the sound made by vessels; active sonar is emitting pulses of sounds and listening for echoes.”

    “Diffuse reflection is the reflection of light or other waves or particles from a surface such that a ray incident on the surface is scattered at many angles rather than at just one angle as in the case of specular reflection.”

    What if one way of interpreting it would be as if the colour were the reflected echo of light? The real physical photons would then corresponded to the incident wave of light. So we wouldn’t directly perceive an object. It would be like we see the precise depth that’s between our eyes and then the border of the material substance. So our colour vision would essentially be equivalent to the shape of the empty space which encapsulates an object. So the irregular microscopic contours of the empty space that’s contiguous with the physical object would give rise to the image we see. The rough intricate boundaries of all of the chemicals on the outer surface of the object might reflect the light in different ways. This diffuse reflected light may produce something like a small interference pattern that we perceive as colour.
    But I haven’t fully thought this through so I don’t know. I’m just putting it out there!

    “The same is true for all of humankind. When you plop down in a chair or slink into your bed, the electrons within your body are repelling the electrons that make up the chair. You are hovering above it by an unfathomably small distance.”

    “They have no definite volume. This means that gases always spread out in all directions to fill the container into which they are placed. This spreading out of gases to fill all the available space is called diffusion.”
    - exam learn website
    (In this comparison colour would be like the complex nanoscopic boundary between the gas and the physical container.)
  • Michael McMahon
    “In the allegory, Plato likens people untutored in the Theory of Forms to prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave. Behind them burns a fire. Between the fire and the prisoners there is a parapet, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave. The prisoners are unable to see these puppets, the real objects, that pass behind them. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see...
    Plato’s point: the general terms of our language are not “names” of the physical objects that we can see. They are actually names of things that we cannot see, things that we can only grasp with the mind.”

    If an astronaut on the moon could actually see the motion of the shadow on the moon’s surface from the small object on earth (Vsauce clip), could it be used in a similar way to a flag semaphore? The outline of the flag would be delineated by the shadow.

    “Flag semaphore is the telegraphy system conveying information at a distance by means of visual signals with hand-held flags, rods, disks, paddles, or occasionally bare or gloved hands. Information is encoded by the position of the flags; it is read when the flag is in a fixed position.”
    - Wikipedia
  • Michael McMahon
    - time 2:50 untill 5:45


    The objects illuminated by light get smaller the more further away from you they are. But would a photon itself obey perspective? If light causes perspective, does the light beam itself get smaller as it recedes into the distance? Would it have its own quantum meta-perspective? So if a photon occupied any sort of volume, that volume itself would remain the same size irrespective of the distance to the observer. But if it remained the same size, then wouldn’t it appear to increase in size relative to the diminished size of far away objects? It appears a bit circular if one tries to visualise a photon.

    “ Science has taught us, against all intuition, that apparently solid things, like crystals and rocks, are really almost entirely composed of empty space. And the familiar illustration is the nucleus of an atom is a fly in the middle of a sports stadium, and the next atom is in the next sports stadium. So it would seem the hardest, solidest, densest rock is really almost entirely empty space, broken only by tiny particles so widely spaced they shouldn't count. Why, then, do rocks look and feel solid and hard and impenetrable? As an evolutionary biologist, I'd say this: our brains have evolved to help us survive within the orders of magnitude, of size and speed which our bodies operate at. We never evolved to navigate in the world of atoms. If we had, our brains probably would perceive rocks as full of empty space. Rocks feel hard and impenetrable to our hands, precisely because objects like rocks and hands cannot penetrate each other. It's therefore useful for our brains to construct notions like "solidity" and "impenetrability," because such notions help us to navigate our bodies through the middle-sized world in which we have to navigate.”
    - Richard Dawkins TED talk
  • Michael McMahon

    It sometimes feels as if our minds are located somewhere directly behind our eyes; that the nearby objects we see are closer to our locus of consciousness than those objects in the far periphery of our vision. Technically the sentient image we perceive begins in front of the eye at the near point of accommodation:
    “In visual perception, the near point is the closest point at which an object can be placed and still form a focused image on the retina, within the eye's accommodation range. The other limit to the eye's accommodation range is the far point.”
    - Wikipedia

    But the entire depth of the visual 3-dimensional image is wholly and equally existent in our consciousness. The brain is obviously critically important to consciousness. But the fact it just so happens that our eyes are directly in front of the brain doesn’t itself translate to there being a spectrum of our consciousness receding out into the visual field. Objects that are located an intermediate length away from our physical body are not necessarily closer to our visual seat of consciousness than the distant objects we see. Our perception of all the entities in our vision might as well be silhouettes; we can’t escape our own mind.

    Indeed other animals have eyes at the each side of their head. So where would they feel their sentience to be located?

  • Michael McMahon
    “The Arch itself obviously doesn't change in size. Depending upon how far away you are when you view it, however, it can appear to be very large or very small. Why exactly do objects appear to be smaller the farther away we are from them?

    The answer lies in the concept of perspective and the difference between apparent size and actual size. These phenomena exist because of the optics of our eyes and how they process the rays of light that reflect off of objects so that we can see them.

    For example, the actual size of the Arch doesn't change. It can be measured in meters or feet. Its apparent size, however — what we perceive its size to be — depends upon an angle, which can be measured in degrees.

    The visual angle that determines apparent size can be thought of as the angle at the top of a triangle. The eye is the top of the triangle, and the bottom of the triangle is formed by the ends of the object you're looking at.

    As an object gets closer, the visual angle increases, so the object appears larger. As the object moves farther away, the visual angle decreases, making the object appear smaller.”

    Isolating the variables is common technique in maths. So maybe to try to understand consciousness, what if you tried to keep the physical world stationary? We could then analyse the apparent motion of the observer. The only geometrical property that seems to change as you move is perspective. Is there anything more than meets the eye to this phenomenon?

    “When you have an equation with one variable and you need to know the value of that variable, your task is to isolate the variable x. It’s called “isolating” because at the end of the process the variable is alone on one side of the equation (and we can see what it equals).

    The basic technique to isolate a variable is to “do something to both sides” of the equation, such as add, subtract, multiply, or divide both sides of the equation by the same number. By repeating this process, we can get the variable isolated on one side of the equation. The trick is to know which operations to perform in which order.”
    - gmatfree website

    Could perspective be understood in terms of magnification? Instead of passively changing in size due to light intensity, the visual object would be actively magnified as it got closer to the observer. Therefore it would appear to demagnify and diminish in size as it moved away from the observer. Consequently the scale of the magnification would be irregular and it would depend on the distance to the person. The mass of the object remains the same.

    “Magnification is the process of enlarging the apparent size, not physical size, of something.”
    - Wikipedia

    “Scale: The ratio of the length in a drawing (or model) to the length on the real thing”
    - mathsisfun website

    It would be hard to envision a world without perspective. Objects have to get smaller the further away you look. Otherwise your field of view would expand exponentially if external objects stayed the same size.


    “Consciousness is real. Of course it is. We experience it every day. But for Daniel Dennett, consciousness is no more real than the screen on your laptop or your phone.
    The geeks who make electronic devices call what we see on our screens the "user illusion". It's a bit patronising, perhaps, but they've got a point.
    Pressing icons on our phones makes us feel in control. We feel in charge of the hardware inside. But what we do with our fingers on our phones is a rather pathetic contribution to the sum total of phone activity. And, of course, it tells us absolutely nothing about how they work.
    Human consciousness is the same, says Dennett. "It's the brain's 'user illusion' of itself," he says.”
    - BBC

    If consciousness were like an image on a screen, then what direction would this 2-dimensional screen be facing? Would it be an opaque screen? So the image we see is facing out towards the physical world. It would be in the opposite direction to the light we perceive.

    Or if it was like a translucent screen the image would be in the same parallel direction to the incoming light. It would actually be facing inwards towards the brain.


    “Emission theory or extramission theory (variants: extromission) or extromissionism is the proposal that visual perception is accomplished by eye beams emitted by the eyes. This theory has been replaced by intromission theory (or intromissionism), which states that visual perception comes from something representative of the object (later established to be rays of light reflected from it) entering the eyes. Modern physics has confirmed that light is physically transmitted by photons from a light source, such as the sun, to visible objects, and finishing with the detector, such as a human eye or camera...

    While emission theory does not correctly explain vision, it does correctly describe the mechanism underlying echolocation and sonar. Namely, rays are emitted from the sensing organism or device, and information about the environment is inferred from the rays reflected back by objects.”
    - Wikipedia

    Physical photons convey the spatial qualities of an object. But colour seems to be internal; we can only observe our own sensation of colour. Could the image we see be multifaceted in having both physical and conscious features? If colour was projected outwards, would that have any testable predictions? The coloured image would then be magnified by the lens of the eye in the opposite direction to the rays of the incoming photons.

  • magritte

    I recommend that you take a look at the entry on "Relativism" at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP) and especially at the three related articles by Westacott,
    Moral, Cognitive, and Aesthetic relativism.

    Edit - You're in a foreign land, the sights and sounds are bewildering. Learn the language of the natives.
  • Michael McMahon
    “I recommend that you take a look at the entry on "Relativism"...”
    - magritte

    Thanks. Yes I will have a read of it.

    “Much of the human brain is arranged in a way that the right half of the brain controls the left half of the body and vice versa.”

    I remember when I was younger I had a fighter jet video game where you had to move the wheel scroller in the opposite direction to control the plane. It just reminded me of it when I mentioned the visual image being directed the other way towards the brain. Although I’m not too sure how much they’re related to each other!


    “But habitual use is not the only possibility. Inverting or not inverting may also involve differences in spatial perception and the interpretation of information on a screen. One theory involves how the player perceives their relationship with the character or vehicle they are controlling.”
  • Michael McMahon
    “However, the notion of seeing conscious choice work as a veto may be exactly what we need to focus on in order to stop engaging in nonconsciously initiated actions that are undermining our lives. We can veto our habitual actions if we make the intention to. We have free choice to invoke this "free won't!"”
    - Psychology Today


    I’ll just give my two cents on the problem! What if you approached it from a free will compatiblist viewpoint? How free is the player in the game to make a random choice in the first place?

    Probability is not an exact science. It needs more than one trial to make an estimate. So intuitively it seems that the probability must be 50% for each remaining option. The fact that the host reveals another false option doesn’t seem to have any bearing on your remaining choices. Maybe for a single trial the probability really is 50%. The trouble would then occur when you try to add the probabilities of multiple trials for this unusual game.

    The setup of the game is somewhat abstract. Perhaps a real life analogy would be if you were a tourist at an unfamiliar road junction. There were three different paths. A local person in the area knows the correct way. But the person is for whatever reason trying to be a bit cute and won’t give you the answer upfront. He tells you to take a guess. After you doing so he subsequently tells you that one of the other paths that you did not choose the wrong way.

    Let’s imagine that you were in a state in the middle of America. You wanted to go to New York and the other roads led to Los Angeles or Miami. A city is a massive area so there’s no quantum strangeness or superposition of answers at play. In this case the goat wouldn’t be in a hybrid state of being dead or alive! The city is always at that particular location regardless of the choice you made. So your original choice and then “the road not taken” both seem to be equally likely. So for that junction both roads are at 50%.

    But the road you take is windy and you encounter numerous junctions with each having 3 other alternative paths. Each one also has a stubborn local person. I think your next decision is inevitably going to be slightly biased by your previous choices. If you picked left the last time, you might then be tempted to pick the right turn on the following junction. You might mistakenly err on the side of caution and not pick the left path twice in a row. So the decision of the tourist/observer is not completely free to make a truly random choice on subsequent paths.

    Maybe by always switching to the other path after talking to the local person, you as a deterministic agent might be able to counteract and overcome your own personal ignorance of the various probability fallacies. This could allow you to minimise the risk of going too far off track in terms of the junction analogy.

  • Michael McMahon
    Pseudorandom: “ (of a number, a sequence of numbers, or any digital data) satisfying one or more statistical tests for randomness but produced by a definite mathematical procedure.”

    Even an individual’s first attempt in the Monthy Hall game isn’t completely random. They might have chosen a certain number owing to subliminal subconscious factors. Maybe 2 is actually their favourite number or that was just the first number they looked at on the stage.

    Lucky charm: “an object that is believed to bring its owner good luck.”

    “ ... supraliminal messages involve a stimulus that has both a conscious and subconscious influence. Unlike subliminal messages, supraliminal messages contain a stimulus that people can actually notice, but since people don’t know that it’s influencing their behaviour.”
    - subliminal advertisements website
  • Michael McMahon
    Keep/hold your cards close to your chest: “to keep your intended actions secret.”

    Bluff: “To deceive someone by making them think either that you are going to do something when you really have no intention of doing it, or that you have knowledge that you do not really have, or that you are someone else.”

    Maths is obviously a much more precise language compared to English. I’m afraid I haven’t tried at all to understand the maths arguments. So I’m not trying to take a verbal explanation out of context. It’s merely that I don’t understand why it’s relevant that the game show host knows the answer. It would appear to rely on a sort of cynicism or reverse psychology. Bluffing is an imprecise psychological technique related to tone and body language. So I don’t quite see how that could somehow translate into concrete maths.
  • Michael McMahon
    A needle in a haystack: “something that is impossible or extremely difficult to find, especially because the area you have to search is too large.”


    Is that the same game though? If there were 100 doors, then to be consistent wouldn’t the game host have to close exactly 33 of them? So you’d then have your original choice with 66 other doors. A one out of 67 chance seems at first glance to be a harder challenge. Unless the number of prizes were also increased so there’d be 33 doors with the money behind them. 33 out of 67 is still 50:50 as we’re obviously forgetting about the infinite number of decimal places when 1/3 or 2/3 is converted to a decimal.

    But if he closed 99 doors for there to be only one other door; it would certainly appear to be more than a coincidence. In that case you’d definitely change as there’s the notion of the complement (1-probability of it not happening). But if there’s two doors out of 3 as is the case in the original game; I’m not sure if that argument holds as strongly. Had you instead chosen a different door, that same door would also be able to exploit the law of the complement. So shouldn’t it just neutralise back to 50:50?
  • PoeticUniverse
    A needle in a haystackMichael McMahon

    Back to your OP on that all is mind. The conceptualized mysteries ever baffle, not being able to be found in any haystack; they are led to, if your all-mind proposal is so, by Consciousness's fragmentation of the Whole that can be seen straight out by Awareness (the objectless kind). So, the smaller reality, r, would be the multiplicity formed by consciousness making distinctions, while the larger, real Reality would be the Unity.

    To show mind to be all you might want to show that there is no real substance, 'Something', but still note that there cannot be 'Nothing', leaving mind as all.

    For example, point 'particles' claimed by Physicists have no size/dimension, so then they cannot be substance. Look for more such cases.
  • Michael McMahon
    The idea of gravity arising as a passive result of perpetual motion may not actually be too outlandish. The extremely fine-tuned orbits may initially seem too much of a coincidence. But the perimeter of an ellipse is actually arbitrary according to the video below.

  • Michael McMahon
    “A luminous object is one that produces light. A non-luminous object is one that reflects light.”
    - nbed website

    If we assume “all is mind”, then a corollary is that luminous objects are also part of a person’s mind. Do we ever directly see an incident ray of light? Might we be only seeing the reflected colour of light? For example; when we glance at a yellow street light, is that yellow glow a result of the real light or simply the after-effects of that light? Is the amber colour merely a secondary consequence of the heated bulb and wires or it’s interaction with any surrounding fog?

    “There’s no dispute over the constancy of the speed of light when measured over a round trip. But what of its speed over a one-way trip?”

    If light exists in our own visual system, then logically we cannot ever sentiently get ahead of it in order to measure the elapsed time for a one-way trip.

    “It’s not like superdeterminism somehow prevents an experimentalist from turning a knob. Rather, it’s that the detectors’ states aren’t independent of the system one tries to measure. There just isn’t any state the experimentalist could twiddle their knob to which would prevent a correlation.”
    - backreaction website

    We must rely on our own vision to read a light detector. The detector in turn probably depends on electronics and the quantum properties of light to track that very light beam. So even if we tried to circumvent the problem by using a tactile language like Braille to measure the results, it could still wind up being a bit circular.

    “Most physicists of the time believed that light traveled through what they called the "luminiferous ether." In 1887, two American scientists, Albert Michelson and Edward Morley, built a device known as an interferometer, which they hoped would enable them to prove the existence of the ether.”
    - amnh website

    If the invisible luminiferous aether were so dense, wouldn’t there also be problems with light refraction as it entered Earth’s atmosphere? Would the light just be reflected straight back to the sun as happens in snell’s window? Or was the ether meant to also suffuse the air at ground level? I suppose reflection has the same result as a 180 degree refraction. Conceptually speaking, how does a massless particle know where the mass is located in order for it to be reflected? It’s on a par with asking how the sense of sight can be explained in terms of the sense of touch. Without one having a synesthetic sense, there doesn’t appear to be a visceral explanation.

    “When light is incident upon a medium of lesser index of refraction, the ray is bent away from the normal, so the exit angle is greater than the incident angle. Such reflection is commonly called "internal reflection".”
    - hyperphysics website

    “The properties of light and water, and the refractive index of water leads to an interesting effect known as Snell's window. You will see a large circle of light, too large for most lenses, if you look up on a sunny day.”
    - uwphotographyguide website

    Synaesthesia: “a condition in which someone experiences things through their senses in an unusual way, for example by experiencing a colour as a sound, or a number as a position in space”

    Just as an aside, the speaker’s last question ponders the dilemma of how space is connected to time!
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