• Michael
    8.2k
    For me it's a carry over from critique of indirect realism. When I talk about my cat, Jack, I'm not talking about a model-of-Jack that sits in my head; I'm talking about that cat. When you talk about Jack, you are talking about the cat, not your model-of-Jack. So we both manage to be talking about the very same thing - Jack; and not two seperate things, our distinct models-of-Jack.Banno

    I'm talking to you, not to words on my screen, but our conversation is via words on our screens. Your talk of "I talk about cats, not about models-of-cats" doesn't seem to address the philosophical point made by indirect realism at all. It's just a word game that conflates our ordinary way of talking with a deeper analysis of perception and epistemology.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.5k
    That communication is more effective in person. I suppose that is the obvious conclusion here?Wallows

    :confused:
    Uhh... Go back and read that question again. Your answer is for a different question that I did not ask.

    What is it about your tone and body language that is relevant to the point you're trying to make in any post, that doesn't get picked up by the reader?Harry Hindu
    What information is in your tone or behavior, that is relevant to your posts on this topic, that I am missing? If you're not making yourself clear and you know what information is missing to make yourself clear, then why aren't you including that information via words? If I held these beliefs that you do - that 90%+ information is lost when communicating on philosophy forums - I wouldn't waste my time trying to communicate with others on a philosophy forum. You avoided that question to: What percentage would you consider it a waste of time to communicate via written words on a forum? How is it that stories in books get interpreted similarly by different individuals if written text is missing 93% of it's relevant information? Answer the questions and be specific.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.5k
    For me it's a carry over from critique of indirect realism. When I talk about my cat, Jack, I'm not talking about a model-of-Jack that sits in my head; I'm talking about that cat. When you talk about Jack, you are talking about the cat, not your model-of-Jack. So we both manage to be talking about the very same thing - Jack; and not two seperate things, our distinct models-of-Jack.Banno
    If this were the case, then there would never be a case where someone doesn't know what they are talking about - meaning their model is inaccurate and they are pointing to the model, not the thing. We can inform them they are wrong because someone else has the correct model thanks to the proper observations. Observation is how the model gets updated with more accurate information, or else the model is full of imaginary information. Effects, which are the observations, are about their causes, like Jack's existence interacting with light in the environment, which then enters your eyes. Notice how the model of the cat, Jack includes information about light in the environment too. Turn out the lights and your model of Jack the cat changes.
  • bongo fury
    162
    and the suspension of disbelief is further entrenched by more or less conscious attempts to ground the pointing fantasy as a matter of fact.bongo fury

    I'm talking to you, not to words on my screen, but our conversation is via words on our screens.Michael

    And the via is relevant how? As grounding the pointing fantasy in physics?

    Edit: also, talking to isn't talking about.
  • Michael
    8.2k
    And the via is relevant how?bongo fury

    It's relevant when we consider that the historical disagreement between the direct and indirect realist was one of epistemology. To what extent do our experiences provide us with information about the external world?

    So what information do the words I see on the screen tell me about Banno? What information do the colours and shapes I see tell me about the chair?

    Although Banno is causally responsible for the words I see on the screen, they're not him, and so reading them doesn't really tell me that much about him. The words I read are an intermediary. But despite that, it's still correct to say that when I read and respond to them I'm talking to him, not to the words on the screen. It's much the same if indirect realism is the case for seeing a chair. Even if the chair is causally responsible for the colours and shapes I see, they're not the same thing. But despite that, it's still correct to say that when I see them I'm seeing the chair.

    The main point I'm trying to get across is that being an indirect realist about perception doesn't entail arguing that we don't see chairs, just as being an "indirect realist" about talking over the internet doesn't entail arguing that you and I don't talk to each other. Even if we argue for an indirect connection between ourselves and some other thing/person, it doesn't then follow that we can't appropriately say that we see/talk to this other thing/person.

    I see chairs and trees; the same chairs and trees that you see. But given how perception works we are right to wonder how much of what we see is true of the external world and how much is a product of observation. In the case of things like colours I would argue that they're a product of observation. The redness I see is just "in my head" and not the same thing as a surface that reflects light at a certain wavelength, and there's nothing in principle problematic with the inverted spectrum hypothesis – and if you and I see different things (even very different things) when looking at the same thing then what can we say about what that thing is like when neither of us is looking at it? Can we say anything, or is it unknowable, à la Kant's noumena?
  • Marchesk
    3k
    The redness I see is just "in my head" and not the same thing as a surface that reflects light at a certain wavelength.Michael

    It almost has to be that way. I guess the color realist would argue that human brains are recreating colors out there in the world, but I'm not sure this always works out with the colors we see versus reflective surfaces and lighting conditions.

    Also, because the color we see is because of a small part of the EM spectrum, raising a question as to whether colors are associated with the rest of it, and if not, why not? If our eyes could detect radio rays, would we see some color range coming through the table and all around us? Is visible light special because if reflects off molecular surfaces?
  • bongo fury
    162


    So which, if not all, of

    • talking about
    • talking to
    • seeing

    are we talking about?
  • Banno
    6.5k
    Proper names do not refer in virtue of a description of the thing to which they refer. Kripke, possible world semantics and all that stuff.
  • Banno
    6.5k
    Your talk of "I talk about cats, not about models-of-cats" doesn't seem to address the philosophical point made by indirect realism at all.Michael

    And yet you all but repeat it , here:
  • Michael
    8.2k
    I don't repeat it. I explain how that even though when I talk to you I do so by reading words on a screen and writing on a keyboard, it's still the case that I talk to you, not to words on a screen or to my keyboard. We communicate indirectly, but nonetheless it's to each other that we talk. And with indirect realism we perceive cats indirectly, but it's nonetheless cats that we perceive.

    This is why this account of the "directness" of direct realism fails to address the epistemological questions that gave rise to the distinction between direct (naïve) and indirect realism in the first place. Does perception show us the objective nature of the world? The naïve view is that it does; that the qualities of experience (e.g. redness, roundness, etc.) are objective properties of things, and the indirect view is that it doesn't; that these qualities are mental phenomena, albeit causally covariant with these objective properties (e.g. redness being a response to stimulation by a particular kind of light), and so we don't really know what the world is like when we're not looking.

    But this other account of direct realism - that is concerned with what counts as the object of perception – doesn't help answer this question, as it can be the case both that external world things are the objects of perception and that the qualities of experience aren't objective properties of these things, and so indirect realism is compatible with this (non-naïve?) direct realism.
  • jorndoe
    735
    Isn't the philosophical verbiage (meandering) a bit misleading here?
    Perception depends on the perceived either way.

    oczns6a1whrabwfr.jpg
  • Banno
    6.5k
    This discussion continues here.
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