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 The arguement for Solipsism

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PostSubject: The arguement for Solipsism   Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:08 am

What do people here think about Solipsism?

Does anyone here oppose Solipsism?

Many people discuss there being problems for Solipsism being a active part of reality especially those who oppose it.

What problems persist for Solipsism? I've seen the critiques of solipsism but none of them seem very convincing to me.


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Solipsism (Latin: solus, alone + ipse, self) is the philosophical idea that "My mind is the only thing that I know exists." Solipsism is an epistemological or ontological position that knowledge of anything outside the mind is unjustified. The external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist. In the history of philosophy, solipsism has served as a skeptical hypothesis.


Denial of materialist existence, in itself, is not enough to be a solipsist. Possibly the most controversial feature of the solipsistic world view is denial of existence of other minds. We seemingly can never directly know another's mental state. Qualia, or personal experience, are private and infallible. Another person's experience can be known only by analogy.

Philosophers try to build knowledge on more than an inference or analogy. The failure of Descartes's epistemological enterprise brought to popularity the idea that all certain knowledge may end at "I think therefore I am" (cogito ergo sum).[1]

The theory of solipsism also merits close examination because it relates to three widely held philosophical presuppositions, which are themselves fundamental and wide-ranging in importance. These are that:

My most certain knowledge is the content of my own mind — my thoughts, experiences, affects, etc.
There is no conceptual or logically necessary link between mental and physical — between, say, the occurrence of certain conscious experience or mental states and the 'possession' and behavioral dispositions of a 'body' of a particular kind (see the Brain in a vat);
The experience of a given person is necessarily private to that person.
Solipsism is not a single concept but instead refers to several world views whose common element is some form of denial of the existence of a universe independent from the mind of the agent.


Epistemological solipsism is the variety of idealism according to which only the directly accessible mental contents of the solipsistic philosopher can be known.



Methodological solipsism is the epistemological thesis that the individual self and its states are the sole possible or proper starting point for philosophical construction (Wood, 295). The methodological solipsist does not intend to conclude that one of the stronger forms of solipsism is true, but rather believes that all other truths must be founded on indisputable facts about his own consciousness. A skeptical turn along these lines is cartesian skepticism.


To discuss consequences clearly, an alternative is required: solipsism as opposed to what? Solipsism is opposed to all forms of realism and many forms of idealism (insofar as they claim that there is something outside the idealist's mind, which is itself another mind, or mental in nature). Realism in a minimal sense, that there is an external universe is most likely not observationally distinct from solipsism. The objections to solipsism therefore have a theoretical rather than an empirical thrust.

One consequence that is inherent to solipsism is an atomic individualist view of the world and nature. If only I matter, then other people, animals, environments only matter insofar as they impact myself. This may be an antisocial philosophy. Language and other social media are taken for granted as self conceived and inherent. Maintenance of these social tools is not required, the individual need only exist, not interact with the world. Sincere solipsists are unlikely to be persuaded by such considerations; believing society to be non-existent, there is no question of being "anti social" for them.



Solipsism is the position that only perception exists. The question of plausibility depends, of course, on the philosophical groundwork one chooses to use as a starting point. Historically, Western philosophical systems have been somewhat at odds with Eastern modes of thought, and solipsism as formulated in the context of many Eastern philosophies is not seen as problematic by its practitioners (see the section Eastern Philosophies, below).

A general (Western) discussion stemming from, for example, an objectivist philosophical groundwork, can be viewed as considering whether an idea stands up to common sense or arguments of reasonableness, and is free from obvious internal logical contradictions. Solipsism is suspect on at least two grounds, in this case.

Can one's perception, within one's mind exist without an external something to exist in, such as a biological brain?
Does one consider all of perceptual reality as part of one's faculty of being, such as high math, music composition and other creative work which one can not consciously re-produce?
An objection could be termed a corollary to the two above. It asks a question about the functioning of one's personal perceptions. The solipsist cannot deny the fact that he thinks, thus going through reasoning processes about his perceptions. His consciousness is not just perceptions; it's also thinking about them. How is this possible without some mental machinery which can perform such thinking? But if such mental machinery exists independent and apart from his perceptions, this also contradicts the "perceptions only" premise. Otherwise a solipsist can define his consciousness to contain perception and thinking processes together.
Note, however, that there is a potential refutation to the thesis that 'perception' requires 'thinking.' If the solipsist were merely being created instantaneously from moment to moment with all memory intact and updated, he would only think he is 'thinking' — i.e., have a perception of thinking. In fact, no operation or activity has truly taken place from percept to percept (think of how the 'still' frames of a moving picture film strip blend into the appearance of motion) — only the passage of time. But such a refutation is very vulnerable to the objection based on language (e.g. the private language argument). A solipsist who declares that he is not really thinking cannot hold that he is really speaking.

A subjective argument for the implausibility of solipsism is that it goes against the commonly observed tendency for sane adult humans in the western world to interpret the world as external and existing independent of themselves. This attitude, not always held by children, is listed by developmental psychologists as one of the signs of the maturing mind. The principle is deeply held, and well integrated with human languages and other thought processes. However, that humans think this way, even if they must think this way, does not prove something true.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism



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Epistemological solipsism is the variety of idealism according to which only the directly accessible mental contents of the solipsistic philosopher can be known. The existence of an external world is regarded as an unresolvable question, or an unnecessary hypothesis rather than actually false.

Epistemological solipsists claim that realism begs the question: assuming there is a universe that is independent of the agent's mind, the agent can only ever know of this universe through its senses. How is the existence of the independent universe to be scientifically studied? If a person sets up a camera to photograph the moon when they are not looking at it, then at best they determine that there is an image of the moon in the camera when they eventually look at it. Logically, this does not assure that the moon itself (or even the camera) existed at the time the photograph is supposed to have been taken. To establish that it is an image of an independent moon requires many other assumptions that amount to begging the question.

Realists wonder, in response, how solipsists know, without begging the question themselves, that reality is known only indirectly through the senses.

This relates to Kantian transcendental aspects of the world, in which a new factor can be included, once it is clear that the current axioms neither support or refute it. The continuum hypothesis and the axiom of choice, are examples of possible transcendental decision points. Solipsism in its weak form is characterized by the repeated decision to not take transcendental steps, a logical minimalism. In its strong form, the denial of the existence of an argument for the existence of an independent universe may be justified in principle in an empirical manner. Whether the non existence of a proof means that non existence of the entity is a transcendental choice.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemological_solipsism



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In epistemology and the philosophy of mind, methodological solipsism has at least two distinct definitions:

Methodological solipsism is the epistemological thesis that the individual self and its states are the sole possible or proper starting point for philosophical construction (Wood, 295). A skeptical turn along these lines is Cartesian skepticism.
Methodological solipsism is the thesis that the mental properties or mental states of an organism can be individuated exclusively on the basis of that state or property's relations with other internal states of the organism itself, without any reference to the society or the physical world in which the organism is embedded.
The second definition was promoted by Jerry Fodor (1981). He later went on to distinguish this thesis from another that he called methodological individualism. Fodor's motivation for introducing these concepts into the philosophical (and now psychological) lexicon was the need to defend some sort of internalist conception of the mental from the problems posed by the famous "Twin Earth" thought experiment of Hilary Putnam. Very briefly, the question is whether it is possible for two people, one living in the actual world where water is H2O and the other living in some possible world (Twin Earth) where water has all the same qualities of our water but is actually composed of XYZ, to have the same beliefs (or other propositional attitudes) about water. The externalist says that this is not possible, while the internalist insists that it is.

Fodor defines methodological solipsism as the extreme position that states that the content of someone's beliefs about, say, water has absolutely nothing to do with the substance water in the outside world, nor with the commonly accepted definition of the society in which that person lives. Everything is determined internally. Moreover, the only thing that other people have to go on in ascribing beliefs to someone else are the internal states of his or her physical brain.

In contrast, Fodor defines methodological individualism as the view that mental states have a semantically evaluable character—that is, they are relational states. The relation that provides semantic meaning can be a relation with the external world or with one's culture and, so long as the relation produces some change in the causal power of a mental state, it can be considered as a partial determinant of that state.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methodological_solipsism
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:28 pm

The Fool wrote:
What do people here think about Solipsism?
I think one can have a consistent position as a solipsist. I don't think it is interesting as a philosophy except as a kind of puzzle. Aspberger's raised to an ideology.

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Does anyone here oppose Solipsism?
In a sense. I mean if someone asserts that I am only a perception, batch of perceptions in their mind, I suppose I oppose the idea by not believing it. I don't think I would waste time trying to change such a person's mind. I suppose I could hit them and yell 'why do you keep perceiving this, what is wrong with your mind?'
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What problems persist for Solipsism? I've seen the critiques of solipsism but none of them seem very convincing to me.
Are you asking for other minds to make convincing arguments that they exist?
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 pm

creasy wrote:
In a sense. I mean if someone asserts that I am only a perception, batch of perceptions in their mind, I suppose I oppose the idea by not believing it. I don't think I would waste time trying to change such a person's mind. I suppose I could hit them and yell 'why do you keep perceiving this, what is wrong with your mind?'
That's right; the solipsist essentially has no reference or claim to self-responsibility and thus, can be accused of having no self-responsibility.

It makes for the perfect slave-mentality. You may hit the person and it's their fault, by their very own definition. Therefore, they have no way to either justify or not that the person hitting them should stop.

Essentially, the solipsist is hitting himself...
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:36 pm

Of course if the solipsist were much bigger than me - and I would guess that some large bullies are solipsists, de facto or otherwise - I might not confront the issue and not that way. But I wouldn't have much patience for his complaints.

The epistemological solipsist is trickier. In fact it seems like a lot of neuroscientists would be neo-solipsists, since they would argue that we do not experience outer reality but rather a virtual recreation in our minds. It seems to me there is an issue of infinite regress. At least that's where I would start picking at their position.
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:53 pm

creasy wrote:
Of course if the solipsist were much bigger than me - and I would guess that some large bullies are solipsists, de facto or otherwise - I might not confront the issue and not that way. But I wouldn't have much patience for his complaints.

The epistemological solipsist is trickier. In fact it seems like a lot of neuroscientists would be neo-solipsists, since they would argue that we do not experience outer reality but rather a virtual recreation in our minds. It seems to me there is an issue of infinite regress. At least that's where I would start picking at their position.
That's exactly the way I see it; what is left to argue?

Mostly, solipsists are defined by their selfishness and unwillingness to help another person or thing under any circumstance.

Luckily for all of us, however, actions speak louder than words. Morality reasserts itself as the catharsis between human interactions.
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:12 am

Solipsism is rooted in the misunderstanding of perception. Exactly how do our senses work? hmmmm lets think about this briefly. The solipsist claims that we only "see" the world given to us by our senses, which to a solipsist, means a "mental image." But I ask the simple question: how can one perceive a mental image? The answer? One cannot perceive a mental image, period, for what organs of perception would perceive a mental image? ughhh....none. There is no extramundane eyeball resting in the Cartesian theater is there? cyclops

Like wise, having "qualia" as a justified defense for such a position isn't very convincing, because qualia has its problems as well. Qualia, as we all know, is a "qualitative feel." Seeing red, hence, is a qualia, according to proponents. However I find this hardly thought through. Does it "feel" like anything to see red? If you asked someone "how does it feel to see a table," I am sure they will be quite confused at what you were asking them. Its very arguable whether or not such things equated to qualia have such a "qualitative feel" at all. Qualia confuses perception with sensation, and umbrellas the two as one "feeling." hmmm? So if solipsism is going to use qualia as a basis, then I see the house of Idealism crashing down this very moment....no wonder it already did during its very construction. lol!
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:46 pm

myhypocricy wrote:
Solipsism is rooted in the misunderstanding of perception. Exactly how do our senses work? hmmmm lets think about this briefly. The solipsist claims that we only "see" the world given to us by our senses, which to a solipsist, means a "mental image." But I ask the simple question: how can one perceive a mental image? The answer? One cannot perceive a mental image, period, for what organs of perception would perceive a mental image? ughhh....none. There is no extramundane eyeball resting in the Cartesian theater is there? cyclops

Like wise, having "qualia" as a justified defense for such a position isn't very convincing, because qualia has its problems as well. Qualia, as we all know, is a "qualitative feel." Seeing red, hence, is a qualia, according to proponents. However I find this hardly thought through. Does it "feel" like anything to see red? If you asked someone "how does it feel to see a table," I am sure they will be quite confused at what you were asking them. Its very arguable whether or not such things equated to qualia have such a "qualitative feel" at all. Qualia confuses perception with sensation, and umbrellas the two as one "feeling." hmmm? So if solipsism is going to use qualia as a basis, then I see the house of Idealism crashing down this very moment....no wonder it already did during its very construction. lol!


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for what organs of perception would perceive a mental image?

The brain would. This is where I side with neurology and neurology itself in many ways supports solipsism.

What do you think about the strives they have made in neurology?


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Cognitive psychologists and (later) cognitive neuroscientists have empirically tested some of the philosophical questions related to whether and how the human brain uses mental imagery in cognition.

One related theory of the mind that was examined in these experiments was the "brain as serial computer" philosophical metaphor of the 70s. Psychologist Zenon Pylyshyn theorized that the human mind processes mental images by decomposing them into an underlying mathematical proposition. Roger Shepard and Jacqueline Metzler (1971) challenged that view by presenting subjects with 2D line drawings of groups of 3D block "objects" and asking them to determine whether that "object" was the same as a second figure, some of which were rotations of the first "object". Shepard and Metzler proposed that if we decomposed and then mentally re-imaged the objects into basic mathematical propositions, as the then-dominant view of cognition "as a serial digital computer" (Gardner 1987) assumed, then it would be expected that the time it took to determine whether the object was the same or not would be independent of how much the object was rotated. Shepard and Metzler found the opposite; a linear relationship between the degree of rotation in the mental imagery task and the time it took participants to reach their answer.

This mental rotation finding implied that the human mind — and the human brain — maintains and manipulates mental images as topographic and topological wholes, an implication that was quickly put to test by psychologists. Kosslyn and colleagues (1995; see also 1994) showed in a series of neuroimaging experiments that the mental image of objects like the letter "F" are mapped, maintained and rotated as an image-like whole in areas of the human visual cortex. Moreover, Kosslyn's work showed that there were considerable similarities between the neural mappings for imagined stimuli and perceived stimuli. The authors of these studies concluded that while the neural processes they studied rely on mathematical and computational underpinnings, the brain also seems optimized to handle the sort of mathematics that constantly computes a series of topologically-based images rather than calculating a mathematical model of an object.

Recent studies in neurology and neuropsychology on mental imagery have further questioned the "mind as serial computer" theory, arguing instead that human mental imagery is both visually and motorically embodied (see motor imagery). For example, several studies provided evidence that people are slower at rotating line drawings of objects such as hands in directions incompatible with the joints of the human body (Parsons 1987; 2003), and that patients with painful injured arms are slower at mentally rotating line drawings of the hand from the side of the injured arm (Schwoebel et al. 2001).

Some psychologists, including Stephen Kosslyn, have argued that such results occur because of interference in the brain between distinct systems in the brain that process the visual and motoric mental imagery. Subsequent neuroimaging studies (Kosslyn et al. 2001) showed that the interference between the motoric and visual imagery system could be induced by having participants physically handle actual 3D blocks glued together to form objects similar to those depicted in the line-drawings. However, Amorim et al. (2006) have recently showed that when a cylindrical "head" was added to Shepard and Metzler's line drawings of 3D block figures, participants were quicker and more accurate at solving mental rotation problems. They argue that motoric embodiment is not just "interference" that inhibits visual mental imagery, but is capable of facilitating mental imagery.

These and numerous related studies have led to a relative consensus within cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience and philosophy on the neural status of mental images. Researchers generally agree that while there is no homunculus inside the head viewing these mental images, our brains do form and maintain mental images as image-like wholes (Rohrer 2006). The problem of exactly how these images are stored and manipulated within the human brain, particularly within language and communication, remains a fertile area of study.

One of the longest running research topics on the mental image has been the fact that people report large individual differences in the vividness of their images. Special questionnaires have been developed to assess such differences, including the Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire (VVIQ) developed by David Marks. Laboratory studies have suggested that the subjectively reported variations in imagery vividness are associated with different neural states within the brain and also different cognitive competences such as the ability to accurately recall information presented in pictures (Marks, 1973). Rodway, Gillies and Schepman (2006) used a novel long-term change detection task to determine whether participants with low and high vividness scores on the VVIQ2 showed any performance differences. Rodway et al. (2006) found that high vividness participants were significantly more accurate at detecting salient changes to pictures compared to low vividness participants. This replicated an earlier study by Gur and Hilgard (1975).

Recent studies have found that individual differences in VVIQ scores can be used to predict changes in a person's brain while visualizing different activities. Cui et al. (2007) used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the association between early visual cortex activity relative to the whole brain while participants visualised themselves or another person bench pressing or stair climbing. Reported image vividness correlates significantly with the relative fMRI signal in the visual cortex. Thus individual differences in the vividness of visual imagery can be measured objectively.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_image#How_mental_images_form_in_the_brain
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:21 pm

Well if a solipsist were to commit suicide, they would be a super villain. Ha.

Anyway, the entire position is useless. For one thing, you can't really be certain of the knowledge in your own mind because people are often wrong, even in their perception of experience and choices of emotion.

Another thing is simply that even if you could create a great enough logical case to convince yourself and others that you are correct, you would have led yourself and them to a useless conclusion. Because nothing other than objective reality chooses to avail itself to us, the only useful thing to do is assume it exists. There is no argument for Solipsism that can make the conversation interesting.

When all experience we are capable of contradicts that position, it is safe to assume it is incorrect.
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:57 pm

The Fool,
The brain does not perceive mental images... Thank you however for your little rundown of cognitive science, as it is my current degree, but it was unnecessary. The problems I raise are not entirely empirical. They are semantically problematic. The brain perceives objects, not mental images. If it did, that would mean that there are mental images floating around in space and a brain perceives them. On Another note...brains do not perceive anything at all. This is called the mereological fallacy in neuroscience: attributing characteristics to the brain that are only characteristics of the human itself. For example, brains do not see...humans do. If a brain did not have a body, unconnected to any organs of perception...how would it perceive? Brains do no such things. Cognitively speaking, it is baseless.
So still, I would not agree...the brain does not perceive mental images...nor do we, because there are no "mental images" to perceive in the first place...because there are after all no pictures in the brain.
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:16 pm

And that is where modern-day language falls apart and neuroscientists must cede ground to linguists...
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:44 pm

Unreasonable wrote:
And that is where modern-day language falls apart and neuroscientists must cede ground to linguists...
very much agreed to afro
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:24 pm

myhypocricy wrote:
The Fool,
The brain does not perceive mental images... Thank you however for your little rundown of cognitive science, as it is my current degree, but it was unnecessary. The problems I raise are not entirely empirical. They are semantically problematic. The brain perceives objects, not mental images. If it did, that would mean that there are mental images floating around in space and a brain perceives them. On Another note...brains do not perceive anything at all. This is called the mereological fallacy in neuroscience: attributing characteristics to the brain that are only characteristics of the human itself. For example, brains do not see...humans do. If a brain did not have a body, unconnected to any organs of perception...how would it perceive? Brains do no such things. Cognitively speaking, it is baseless.
So still, I would not agree...the brain does not perceive mental images...nor do we, because there are no "mental images" to perceive in the first place...because there are after all no pictures in the brain.
The whole mental images idea at the very least must include something that staves off infinite regress, so I am generally in agreement with what seeing is not. On the other hand perceiving is so active, constructive, creative - involving guesswork, insertion of blanks from memory, pattern bias and so on - that to say we are perceiving objects also seems problematic to me.
This is a rather well written book that challenges that notion very well...
http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=10257

I wonder also why we must separte the sense organs out from 'the brain'. Why are the eyes not a part of the brain? The idea of the real self being the brain that uses sense organs like tools seems arbritrary to me and misleading
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:19 am

creasy wrote:

The whole mental images idea at the very least must include something that staves off infinite regress, so I am generally in agreement with what seeing is not. On the other hand perceiving is so active, constructive, creative - involving guesswork, insertion of blanks from memory, pattern bias and so on - that to say we are perceiving objects also seems problematic to me.

I wonder also why we must separte the sense organs out from 'the brain'. Why are the eyes not a part of the brain? The idea of the real self being the brain that uses sense organs like tools seems arbritrary to me and misleading

I agree with you...perception is a creative process but “creative” must be used cautiously. It does not necessarily mean unrestrained and boundless. Perception is a “constructive” process as you mentioned, but it is limited by neurological structure and function. After all, the unreliability of perception is another issue all together and can hardly be extended as support for solipsism. Just because perception is a “creative” process does not mean that the end result is anything but innaccurate. We tend to assume that editing and processing creates something entirely contrary to originals, but for all we know, the active process may very well be giving us exactly what is in effect reality. Activity doesn't mean innaccuracy or unreliability.

The Fool quoted an excerpt from wikipedia (not the best source, but it will do) about mental images. However, we do not perceive mental images, we imagine them. We imagine twisting and turning mental letters or numbers;we do not preceive them.

As for your final point...I agree 100%. The idea that “the real self” is ann entity of sorts that “uses sense organs like tools” is very misleading and even misguided. Any theory that implies a homunculus needs to be critically examined or we may suffer conceptually and lead to no where.


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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:22 am

Under what circumstances does the brain or perceptions of the brain become "unreliable"?
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:31 am

Unreasonable wrote:
Under what circumstances does the brain or perceptions of the brain become "unreliable"?

...eyewitness testimony.
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:28 am

...whose eyes?
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:04 am

I'm really not quite sure what you wish me to say...give you an example of a time when someone saw what wasn't really there, or perceieve something that wasn't there...not quite sure. But it is wondered whether perception is cognitively closed or not, that is, whether perception may or may not be affected by other cognitive processes. Eye witness testimony is unreliable because of our memory, not necessarily our perception...but whether memory in some orwellian/ stalinesque occurance is considered part of perception is debated.

Note that I said active and "creative" perceptual processes does not necessarily mean the end reslut is innaccurate. Active editing in succh processes does not mean our perceptions are necessarily unreliable.
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:29 am

myhypocricy wrote:
The Fool,
The brain does not perceive mental images... Thank you however for your little rundown of cognitive science, as it is my current degree, but it was unnecessary. The problems I raise are not entirely empirical. They are semantically problematic. The brain perceives objects, not mental images. If it did, that would mean that there are mental images floating around in space and a brain perceives them. On Another note...brains do not perceive anything at all. This is called the mereological fallacy in neuroscience: attributing characteristics to the brain that are only characteristics of the human itself. For example, brains do not see...humans do. If a brain did not have a body, unconnected to any organs of perception...how would it perceive? Brains do no such things. Cognitively speaking, it is baseless.
So still, I would not agree...the brain does not perceive mental images...nor do we, because there are no "mental images" to perceive in the first place...because there are after all no pictures in the brain.

I was under the impression that the brain is the prime source of movement and perceivement not to mention the tower of control when it comes to all the other bodily organs of a human being.

One couldn't be human without a brain so I don't follow your reasoning.

Besides the brain is a interface what it sees through the cortex of the eyes it interprets into images not that there are images that float around inside it but rather it generates images itself through visual interpretation.

Quote :
However, we do not perceive mental images, we imagine them. We imagine twisting and turning mental letters or numbers;we do not preceive them.

Imagination is the handmaiden of all solipsism.

Being itself is nothing without imagination and imagination with all it's subjectivism can be anything to whatever an individual perceives. ( That's solipsism.)


Last edited by The Fool on Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:11 pm

myhypocricy wrote:
I'm really not quite sure what you wish me to say...
That is the linguistic move! I want you to say purely what you will!

This is not about my influence over you; it is about your influence over me.


myhypocricy wrote:
give you an example of a time when someone saw what wasn't really there, or perceieve something that wasn't there...not quite sure. But it is wondered whether perception is cognitively closed or not, that is, whether perception may or may not be affected by other cognitive processes. Eye witness testimony is unreliable because of our memory, not necessarily our perception...but whether memory in some orwellian/ stalinesque occurance is considered part of perception is debated.
You disassociate "memory" with "real-time".

The brain also has the capacity to reenact "real-time" if a man's ability to abstract things is well-enough to imagine reality as if it were actual, again and again and again. This is what the brain does anyway. This is how 'perception' works. The brain receives information, one-way-or-another, and then it physically-attempts to utilize that information (Utilitarianism) in a way that ensures that the biological organism it is associated with (the Body) survives. Thus, to then say that perceptions are false, don't exist, or can be interpreted incorrectly all nullify the biological and definitive purpose of the brain, which is purely to perceive. To perceive 'what' though, nobody seems to be sure...

Then, we come to "eye-witness testimony". Who is able to account for what they see? -- a philosopher, or a bum picked-up off the street???

What is the difference?


myhypocricy wrote:
Note that I said active and "creative" perceptual processes does not necessarily mean the end reslut is innaccurate. Active editing in succh processes does not mean our perceptions are necessarily unreliable.
I agree entirely.
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:52 pm

[quote="myhypocricy"][font=Times New Roman]

Quote :
I agree with you...perception is a creative process but “creative” must be used cautiously. It does not necessarily mean unrestrained and boundless. Perception is a “constructive” process as you mentioned, but it is limited by neurological structure and function.
Notice that you focused on the perceiver and not the objects of perception.

Quote :
After all, the unreliability of perception is another issue all together and can hardly be extended as support for solipsism.

I wasn't particularly supporting solipsism, though I could see how the line I was taking might head that way. If you look earlier in the thread you can see a slap dash post or two on my problems with solipsism. And also I was not really emphasizing perceptions unreliability, but rather that much of it is not some sort of naked noting of objects - let alone any distortions given the limits of the sense organs.

Quote :
Just because perception is a “creative” process does not mean that the end result is anything but innaccurate. We tend to assume that editing and processing creates something entirely contrary to originals, but for all we know, the active process may very well be giving us exactly what is in effect reality.
The key phrase is 'for all we know', since we cannot even imagine what reality without a perceiver is. But again, something that works well may not, in fact, actually have a great deal of contact, moment to moment, with reality. Especially what we, the conscious I perceives. Qualia, for example. We perceive something that makes us to some degree effective, but that does not mean we are experiencing reality any more than someone on a military sub is experiencing a whale when he notices a blip on his screen and tells the captain not to worry.
Quote :

The Fool quoted an excerpt from wikipedia (not the best source, but it will do) about mental images. However, we do not perceive mental images, we imagine them. We imagine twisting and turning mental letters or numbers;we do not preceive them.
And you choice of the verb 'imagine' fits with the point I am making. What is perception and what is imagination?
Quote :

As for your final point...I agree 100%. The idea that “the real self” is ann entity of sorts that “uses sense organs like tools” is very misleading and even misguided. Any theory that implies a homunculus needs to be critically examined or we may suffer conceptually and lead to no where.
Oh...good.
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:56 pm

creasy wrote:


We perceive something that makes us to some degree effective, but that does not mean we are experiencing reality any more than someone on a military sub is experiencing a whale when he notices a blip on his screen and tells the captain not to worry.

Yes...likewise it does not mean we are not experiencing reality. I would however take the bold stance of saying it is reality. I heard somoene tout that all perception is illusion, and we do not perceieve reality. I asked him a simple question: what consequences are there for living in an illusion? WHat shall we do with such an idea that we all live in an illusion? He didn't answer. Perhaps I am unfounded since I was most likely speaking with an idiot, but I concluded that it is meaningless to say we do not experience reality. If we experience but a shadow, or an illusion of reality, and it is impossible to perceieve such a noumenal world at all, then the illusion is the reality. The base of all judgement is the reality we experience, not the reality we can never know...that is assuming there is even such a reality at all.

I'm not attributing this line of thinking to you, but through my experience, people tend to fall easily in love with ideas like: "Oh, we can never know that which we know because knowledge is in the known but reality is really in the unknown." blah blah blah. As if they know where reality lies even when they state true reality is unknowable! Its like trying to know God, who by definition is transcendent, and unknowable. We fall into paradox.

I believe we are experiencing reality...because if we are not experiencing reality, then what are we experiencing? Question
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:16 am

So moving back to solipsism…
Instead of giving us a rundown of what solipsism is, since anyone in a philosophy forum should already know that, can you, The Fool, give us an argument for solipsism, specifically. A valid one would be preferred.

If this is too difficult or you merely do not wish to give one, could you perhaps give us a working definition of perception and what perception implies…
Or…a brief working definition of your take on solipsism.
Or...
Explain the empirical evidence in neurology as you have claimed that somehow supports solipsism, and refer us to such current (within the last 5 years) books/essays that establish this possibility.
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PostSubject: Re: The arguement for Solipsism   Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:11 pm

Quote :
The Fool, give us an argument for solipsism, specifically. A valid one would be preferred.

If this is too difficult or you merely do not wish to give one, could you perhaps give us a working definition of perception and what perception implies…
Or…a brief working definition of your take on solipsism.
Or...
Explain the empirical evidence in neurology as you have claimed that somehow supports solipsism, and refer us to such current (within the last 5 years) books/essays that establish this possibility.

Give me til tomorrow morning. I'll see what I can do then. I got to go hit the gym now. Basketball
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