## Relationship between our perception of things and reality (and what is reality anyway?)

• 9k
Trees aren't absolute. Ok.

:brow:
• 9k

Everyone's perception...

Spell this out. Clearly it's not "what is perceived". So...

You're equivocating the term "perception". Clear that up, and it will help.
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In the OP, you say "what is perceived" and "what exists".

To put it another way, What is perceived is not what is actually perceived but only what is perceived to be perceived. but not even that, it is only what is perceived to be perceived to be perceived. But not even that...
This must be nonsense.
Perception does not separate you from the world, it joins you to it. Like your skin.
• 314

How can you say that these calculations are "pre-rational".
Pre-rational here means these calculations occur before rational thought.
This would mean that there is a way of calculating which is not rational.
Dr. Nim (the board game/canonically famous, genius, and simple mechanical computer) performs calculations, but does not employ rational thought.

Rational thoughts are about things; that's what Dr. Nim isn't doing. Dr. Nim has no idea what those marbles are about, or even that it is processing marbles. But Dr. Nim is performing calculations.
Plainly and simply, without that judgement, there is no such scenario.
This is a confused and ambiguous statement. We have an intension (judgment) A; with an extant extension (scenario) B. If you're saying that A's extension (B) would not exist without the formation of the intension A, then it's an absurdity. If you're saying that we cannot have an A referring to an extension B without the formation of the intension A, then it's a vacuous irrelevancy.

This same intension/extension confusion is really the missed point of the thing you replied to... just because I use natural reason to describe a thing does not mean that the thing I described is employing natural reason.
But if you agree that recognition requires such a comparison, how do you think this act of comparison is not an act of "natural reason"?
Why do you think it entails natural reasoning? All a comparison requires is a calculation. We can compare variable states on a computer using a comparison operator... computers are (at least generally) incapable of natural language; they calculate, but do not reason.

ETA: Let me backtrack, because you keep trying to push some point you're making (but only by conflating things) and keep missing the same one. Let's go back here:
Suppose a creature sees something as an object of food
...so here I say, back up. Why are we talking about this creature seeing things like "objects of food", when mechanically speaking, such a creature would be seeing "a bunch of stimulated cones on a retina"? Once you're talking about objects of food it is impossible for you to have not gone through calculations requisite to identify what parts of those stimulated cones correlate to edges of objects, what parts are part of the same object and what parts are part of different objects, what shapes the objects are, what colors (if applicable), and so on.

There's some reason why you're starting at objects, and not stimulated cones. What is that reason?
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This thread is prima facie proof of many inherently inadequate notions of thought and belief(mind) at work.
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I have a pain in my foot. My foot is in the world. Pain is in the world.

Where have I gone wrong?

Perhaps the problems you're attempting to discuss are the result of the language you're using to discuss things...

That's what I'm seeing overall.
• 17
Where have I gone wrong?

I don't think pain is "in your foot," to begin with.

I might be wrong, but it feels to me like you're really trying to find something wrong in my questions at all costs. That's fine, don't get me wrong. Criticism is important.

I'll try and explain my reasoning in the simplest terms, as it's easier to spot fallacies when everything is laid out in a simple way.

Every organism's perception is different. Not all the living beings have the same set of senses, not every being interprets stimuli the same way, and even among species that share some senses, they aren't "set up" the same way. They vary in the range of perceivable "values," and how strong the perception is. Our sight is "stronger" than our "smell." I hope it's clear what I mean here.

So, since the way every being perceives reality differently, it appears to me that reality can't be traced down to being exactly equal to one's perception. It has to be something different, independent of any one's perception. Add to that the fact that anything we'll ever experience is a byproduct of our perception, because we think and feel through processing external data captured by our sensory organs.

So (1) reality is independent of our perception, (2) we all perceive things differently, (3) therefore any one's individual perception can't be flawless because it's clear from (1)-(2) that if a given individual's perception was perfect, then what's perceived by that individual is equal to reality. But even assuming that one individual perceives reality 100% flawlessly, then everyone else's still is flawed because it's different.

As a consequence to (3), perception doesn't seem to be reliable model of representation of reality. All we know is perception is flawed (it necessarily lacks something, or we would perceive infinite things at a given time), so what guarantee do we have that reality isn't entirely different than the small piece of it we can grasp?

We can only see x% of the photon wavelengths (colors) and only hear y% of the sound frequencies. Do you agree that the world would feel a lot different if we cold see and hear everything? Yet it actually IS like that, even if we're constantly missing a big chunk of it.
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What's perceived is consciousness with view of the simulate verse(s).

Perception is a data from eye and Let's say, world, and experience from consciousness and another experience from energy in that consciousness. We don't stop.
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I'm left wondering what on earth you think counts as "flawless" perception... or "flawed" for that matter.

:worry:
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I don't think pain is "in your foot," to begin with.

That's odd.

When you accidentally kick something with your little toe... are you saying that the pain is not in your toe?
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it's not. The nerves in your foot signal to your brain that a body part is being damaged, your CNS processes the signal, and you experience pain. Your brain "maps" it to your foot, because the reason we feel pain to being with is to warn you of something going wrong and it wouldn't be very useful if we felt pain without being able to tell where the issue is, but it's your brain that's experiencing the pain. Your foot can't "feel" anything
• 17
there are multiple instances in which we can't trust our perception, from optical illusions to all the scenarios I mentioned in my previous posts. If you fail to see how our perception isn't flawless and doesn't account for everything there actually going on, I'm afraid that's on you. Once again, the tone I'm inferring from your posts isn't that of someone that wants to constructively discuss. Do you just want to argue?

I think that you and I can drop it here. Let's agree to disagree.
• 9k
Let me know when you're capable of not taking everything personally.

Sigh.

Stick out your foot. I'll hit it with a hammer, and bet you whatever amount you like that you will not grab your brain as a means for soothing the pain in your foot.

It's absurd. Why on earth would you agree that it makes sense to talk like that? All I'm getting at here is that many of the problems you're talking about result from the way you're talking... the terminological choices; the framework; the conceptual scheme; etc.

It's not about you... personally. Don't take it that way.
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Cool
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https://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/how-pain-works.aspx
I guess everyone is making things up on the net, and pain exists locally as some weird ghost that inhabits a single body part. That's just a source but feel free to open and read every other result of the search "how pain works."

I bet you any amount that you can get your foot hammered 22 times, and you won't feel much pain without a brain, as well.

You aren't making much sense here and you're fixating on a small detail out of a 500+ word thread.

I'm not taking anything personally by the way. I'm actually amused by the fact that you are straight up making up facts just for the sake of arguing with me about the minutia rather than actually tackling the big picture.
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What do you think that I'm making up?

That when you kick something hard with your foot that the pain is in your foot?

I think that you're arguing with your own imagination in some respects. For instance, I've never denied the need for a central nervous system, or a brain, in order to feel pain in your foot... or, if you prefer... at the damage site.
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The big picture, I'm figuring, is human perception...

Yes?

I've already addressed problems with the language you've used to discuss it. You've yet to have given those replies their just due.
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For instance, I've never denied the need for a central nervous system, or a brain, in order to feel pain in your foot... or, if you prefer... at the damage site.

I have stated that the signaling of pain takes place at the damage site, and the pain is later processed and thus experienced in the brain. I stand by my statement. The fact that we perceive pain in the foot doesn't contradict what I say. Until you disprove what I said with a checked source that claims pain physically resides in the local site rather than inside the brain, I will stand by my statement.
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I've already addressed the problem with the language you've used to discuss it. You've yet to have given those replies their just due.

You're correct as the fact that I've missed a lot of posts. I am not home and browsing on my phone is difficult, so it's easy to miss answers. As soon as I get home I will read everything that I left behind and answer in detail.
• 9k
It's the oddest thing. If you do not believe that foot pain in is your foot simply because the rest of the nervous system is not, then there's not much more I can do. I appealed to your common sense.

What hurts when you kick something hard with your foot?

Not your brain. Your foot. I do not understand how anyone could believe otherwise.
• 17
a body part can't FEEL anything by itself. The very reasons why we can feel things on our body is because our brain maps the feelings to the correct body part. That doesn't go for pain only. Even just touch. A body part by itself can't feel anything, because feel is produced in the brain and mapped onto the body so we can recognize where the signaling originates from. This is like, biology 101? I am not making anything up. It's the way things are.

And please, don't employ such logical fallacies as appealing to common sense to make me sound like a fool. I am waiting for you to disprove what I claimed by providing me with evidence that pain "exists" somewhere but in our brain, regardless of where we feel it.
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I'll also give you a concrete example of how our sense of touch operates: there is a known phenomenon which manifests if you twist your tongue upside down.

When your tongue is twisted, touching the left side of it feels like the other side is being touched, and vice versa.

I will link a better source later, but for an explanation of the phenomenon:

If touch was processed locally and existed within the affected body part, things like this wouldn't be possible.

Instead, stuff like this happens because the brain isn't perfect and doesn't always map things accurately. In this case, due to the way nerves are arranged in the tongue, the brain mistakes their location when the tongue is twisted and incorrectly maps the feeling.

There is also such a thing as the minimal distance for which two objects can be told apart when they're touching the skin. Like a minimal touch resolution. That happens because of density of nerve endings inside the skin, and if our feeling of being touched originated in and of itself, inside the part that's being touched rather than the brain, this likely wouldn't happen either.
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Technically speakingi the term infinite is immeasurable by definition. So your point is valid in the since that the expanse in which we can enhance or perception is infinite. That being said I like to think that perception is bound by universal laws much like how solid matter can never travel at the speed of light.This comment is in response to earlier comments. Also cool topic.
• 7.7k
I think what InPitzotl is referring to is the rational calculations that take place 'below' the level of language.

Sure, but the point is that such calculations are still "rational", so it is wrong to portray them as "pre-rational".

Dr. Nim (the board game/canonically famous, genius, and simple mechanical computer) performs calculations, but does not employ rational thought.

The computer proceeds according to the algorithms by which it is programed, it does not calculate.

But Dr. Nim is performing calculations.

No, Dr. Nim is a computer acting in the way it is programed to. It is not performing "calculations" unless you change the meaning of "calculation" to include things in that category which are not reasoning. But that only defeats the purpose.

We have an intension (judgment) A; with an extant extension (scenario) B.
The reason is

I'm sorry, but no matter how hard I try, I cannot understand this statement. Can you explain? You are calling a judgement an intension, and then you say that this intension has an extension. How could an intension have an extension? That's nonsense, because the intension and the extension are distinct aspects of a thing, so the intension cannot have extension.

..so here I say, back up. Why are we talking about this creature seeing things like "objects of food", when mechanically speaking, such a creature would be seeing "a bunch of stimulated cones on a retina"? Once you're talking about objects of food it is impossible for you to have not gone through calculations requisite to identify what parts of those stimulated cones correlate to edges of objects, what parts are part of the same object and what parts are part of different objects, what shapes the objects are, what colors (if applicable), and so on.

Right, this was exactly my point. Maybe we actually agree.

There's some reason why you're starting at objects, and not stimulated cones. What is that reason?

The reason is that I was replying to Samuele's op in which it was proposed that the meaning of "perceiving" be restricted to sensing. So I was starting with what we perceive, while you want to start with what we sense. The fact that we are so far apart demonstrates the fault in restricting "perceiving" to "sensing".

When you accidentally kick something with your little toe... are you saying that the pain is not in your toe?

How can you accidentally kick something when kicking is an intentional action?
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The computer proceeds according to the algorithms by which it is programed, it does not calculate.
Dr. Nim performs calculations in this sense; it employs a deliberate process that transforms inputs into outputs. But it's not programmed; a program is a set of instructions for a computer to follow, but Dr. Nim has no instruction set.
I'm sorry, but no matter how hard I try, I cannot understand this statement. Can you explain?
Consider "the letter A on your keyboard"; for now, that literal phrase. That is a sign. When you read this sign on the screen, you formulate an intension... the idea of what this phrase means. There is a thing to which that idea refers... and that thing is an extension; that is the actual key. What's nice about this example is that there are spatial metaphors that help you keep these things straight... the sign is on your screen. The intension is in your head. The extension is under your left pinky.

So let's go back to that confused thing you said earlier. The example was, I saw a rock rolling down the hill. That is indeed a judgment; which I'm explaining by the phrase (sign), "a rock rolling down the hill", which you read on your screen. The judgment is an intension; it is something I do in my head. But the intension is about an extension... which is the thing rolling down the hill.

Now let's rewind even earlier. You talked about sensing sound. Then I said, it's not really sound we're sensing in that sense of the word "sense"... and gave an analysis of the ear organs. Then your confused criticism was:
as soon as we try to say "what" we're sensing, we're not talking strictly about the sensation any more, but we're referring to some logical conclusion, some reasoning as to "what" the sensation is.
...and that's the confusion. You're confusing what's under your left pinky with what's being done in the head; what's rolling down the hill with what's happening in the head. The phrase "try to say" means to attempt to formulate a sign; a thing on your screen. "'what' we're sensing" refers to an intension. The conclusion you're reaching, that this implies we're "not talking strictly about sensation any more, but we're referring to some logical conclusion" conflates intension with extension. Intensions are about extensions; that's how this works. Using reasoning is something you do with intensions. The only way that talking about something makes the extension a logical conclusion is if the thing you are talking about is the making of logical conclusions. Merely using logic to reach a conclusion doesn't magically change what you're talking about into the making of logical conclusions, but that's precisely what I'm reading that you said here.
Right, this was exactly my point. Maybe we actually agree.
Possibly; my best assessment of your criticisms against me is that you're just failing to grasp what I'm saying... up to now it feels more like a definitions fight. But I think my point is really important for someone trying to take a subjective point of view, because from that point of view, there's a huge difference between the things you can access introspectively, and the things you cannot. And there's a lot of stuff going on in your mind before we even get to that arena where your introspective view actually tells you something. The stuff that happens with your signals on your optic nerves that leads up to your percept (aka, "perception")... that's outside of the introspective field. The kinds of things you can reflect on and talk about (aka, natural reasoning)... that's inside.
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a body part can't FEEL anything by itself.

I've never claimed that it could.
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If touch was processed locally and existed within the affected body part,

Again. Not my claim.
• 7.7k
Dr. Nim performs calculations in this sense; it employs a deliberate process that transforms inputs into outputs. But it's not programmed; a program is a set of instructions for a computer to follow, but Dr. Nim has no instruction set.

To reiterate, you have just redefined "calculation" such that it may not necessarily be an act of reason. But the act of "calculating" which a computer does, is nowhere near to being similar to the act of "calculating" that occurs in a living being's act of perception, so the redefining is pointless.

Consider "the letter A on your keyboard"; for now, that literal phrase. That is a sign. When you read this sign on the screen, you formulate an intension... the idea of what this phrase means. There is a thing to which that idea refers... and that thing is an extension; that is the actual key.

You try to portray me as "confused", but this passage clearly indicates that it is you who is confused. There is a sign, with an associated idea, and that is what you call "intension", the idea. The idea relates directly to the sign, and the sign only. if a person applies the idea toward possible "things" which may fulfill the criteria of the idea, this is the extension of the idea, the application. But you misrepresent this application with "a thing to which the idea refers". There is no such thing, only possible things.

The phrase "try to say" means to attempt to formulate a sign; a thing on your screen. "'what' we're sensing" refers to an intension.

See your confusion? The attempt to formulate a sign, is an application of the idea, an attempt to find "possible things" (signs) which fufill the criteria of the idea. Therefore it is an extension, not an intension as you say.

Using reasoning is something you do with intensions.

This is false. Reasoning is carried out with the symbols (extensions), it is not carried out with the ideas (intensions) themselves. That is where you are getting confused. You think that because it is going on in the mind, it must be intensional, but in reality both intension and extension are mental acts. So you are not separating them properly. Forming an idea is intensional, while applying the idea is extensional. So reasoning is extensional.

And there's a lot of stuff going on in your mind before we even get to that arena where your introspective view actually tells you something.

All I am saying is that this "stuff going on in your mind" is better represented as a type of "reasoning" (though it may not be conscious reasoning), than it is represented as "sensing". So we are working from opposite approaches. You start from sensing, and want to include this "stuff going on" as part of the act of sensing. I start from thinking and reasoning, and want to include this "stuff going on" as part of the reasoning. Perhaps we'd be best off to compromise, and conclude that it is neither sensing nor reasoning.
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But the act of "calculating" which a computer does, is nowhere near to being similar to the act of "calculating" that occurs in a living being's act of perception, so the redefining is pointless.
You do realize that before "computer" was a type of machine, it was a job description, don't you? Calculation is just a more abstract term than you're making it out to be; both Dr. Nim and myself can calculate. Computation, equally so... both the thing your keyboard is connected to, and an employee, can compute. But, yes, mechanical computers calculate in a drastically different way than we do.
The idea relates directly to the sign, and the sign only.
...quick side note; it's quite a bit messier than this. Signs quite often, in practice, underspecify intensions (and often, only indirectly convey them); real language use tends to invoke a lot of context.
But you misrepresent this application with "a thing to which the idea refers". There is no such thing, only possible things.
This critique is incoherent to me. Are you saying, there's no key under your pinky, only a possible key under your pinky?
See your confusion? The attempt to formulate a sign, is an application of the idea, an attempt to find "possible things" (signs) which fufill the criteria of the idea. Therefore it is an extension, not an intension as you say.
Huh? What are you talking about? When I convey ideas to you in the forum, I formulate signs by typing. That generates signs on my screen, and eventually generates the same signs on your screen. The signs I type are an attempt to get you to form the same idea. I'm at a total loss what you're talking about when you say I am "finding" the signs, or that they are "fulfilling the criteria of the idea".

If you're trying to convince me that you're not confused, but I am, then you're off to a bad start.
This is false. Reasoning is carried out with the symbols (extensions),
That doesn't work:
Extension (semantics) the extension of a concept, idea, or sign consists of the things to which it applies ... So the extension of the word "dog" is the set of all (past, present and future) dogs in the world: the set includes Fido, Rover, Lassie, Rex, and so on — Wikipedia
...when describing world objects, the extensions are those world objects. When you reason about world objects, those world objects are not symbols, and you don't reason "with" them (I suppose you could; if we want to call that reason... if, say, I'm making use of a calculator, I'm reasoning "with" a calculator, but I suspect this isn't what you mean). You reason with your ideas about those world objects. (Now that can be comprehensions, but it's never going to be an extension, so long as you're talking about world objects).
Forming an idea is intensional, while applying the idea is extensional.
I've no problems with this.
All I am saying is that this "stuff going on in your mind" is better represented as a type of "reasoning" (though it may not be conscious reasoning), than it is represented as "sensing".
Well... except that makes the term "sensing" a not so tidy concept.
Perhaps we'd be best off to compromise, and conclude that it is neither sensing nor reasoning.
How is that different than what's already on the table... just calling it some other thing, like, "perception"?
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