What exists and what is perceived to exist

What exists,  let us call it X.  Then X is whatever it is,  but what  any apparatus of cognition (for example, a human mind) will cognize it to be, will also depend on that apparatus  of cognition.  No apparatus of cognition sees  what is actually existing as it really is but only from its own unique perspective and limitations.  Because all apparatuses  are more or less different from one another to different degrees (they can be similar but can never be the same),  so X will be cognized differently by different cognizers; and  no one will know what X is . That is the relation of all cognizers to what is actually existing or happening.

The crucial point here is to remember that whatever is actually existing  is  X and not a table, a chair, an  atom or a molecule etc. because a chair or molecule etc. is what results after the cognitive activity of  that particular cognizer  from his own unique perspective which is different in  varying  degrees from the perspectives  of all other cognizers  in the universe.

The reason why human beings in everyday life seem to have similar views of tables, chairs and mountains etc. is that because their cognitive apparatuses are similar enough to each other to reach at a working consensus.  This may not be so between different  species  or between proto humans, humans and post humans  or between humans and some other unknown kinds of life in the universe.

Anything which anyone can know is relative to him and from his unique perspective.  All knowing is perspectival and  anything which humans know is known only from human perspective.   The universe which human scientists know is human universe and not what actually exists or is actually happening.

So the huge mistake in common thinking  is this:   When someone perceives  “a chair”,  he (the knower, perceiver or cognizer etc.) jumps to the conclusion that what exists there is a chair and that the chair has an absolute existence of its own independently of him  and that he is a mere spectator of the scene and has no part in making the scene.

Your thoughts?

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52 responses to “What exists and what is perceived to exist

  1. Lane

    Good post. It made me think of the issue of social constructs. I often hear people say, “ugh, so and so is just a social construct,” and then just stop there as if they’ve made their point and no further discussion is required. They’re never wrong about the fact that such and such is a social construct, but… what isn’t? The vast majority of objects and ideas that we interact with day to day are social constructs, and for the remainder, the language we use to talk and even think about it is all socially constructed. A chair is a social construct, as is the fact that we conceive of them as a single object called “chair.” You could argue that a more objective perspective on the chair is as a collection of atoms and molecules, but while atoms and molecules themselves are not social constructs, the fact that we classify and name them as such most certainly is a social construct.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Lane for your intelligent comment. I agree with your comment but would like one clarification: You are saying that a chair is a social construct but an atom itself is not. Would you also say that a mountain itself is a social construct? Or would you say that a mountain itself is not a social construct?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Lane

        I would say a mountain is not a social construct, because it does not fulfill two criteria. It did not require humans to make it, and it would exist independent of society. That is the definition of a social construct; something that humans made and that exists because of a human society. It’s a thing constructed by society. We talk about social constructs in terms of ideas instead of objects so often that some people don’t realize man-made objects are also social constructs, but they are. Walls, clothes, silverware, cars, newspapers, monuments, money… all social constructs.

        However, just because the piles of dirt and stone that we call “mountains” are not social constructs, there are still socially constructed aspects to mountains. We give some of them names like Everest, St Helens and Kilimanjaro. Names are social constructions. Others simply get numbers, because they exist far away from us and are considered less important. The idea of importance is a social construct, as is the distinction between a name and a number. We make maps and take photos and make pretty pictures of mountains, and use them as symbols in our literature, all of which are social constructions. If you’ve seen the film The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, you know that there is an arbitrary measurement that Western geologists chose to determine the difference between a mountain and a hill. Therefore, while the mountain itself isn’t a social construction, the fact that we give it that word and not another is a social construction.

        Hopefully all that makes sense. Glad you liked my original comment!

        Liked by 3 people

    • Lane’s idea of social constructs is interesting, thanks. I agree that our reality is shaped by our experiences. Sometimes people say “social construct” seeming to imply that something is not real. But as the Thomas theorem says, “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_theorem Essentially, if we experience something as real, and experiences shape our reality, then a social construct – shaped by our experience – is real. It just is not immutable. My understanding is that social constructs – like gender, hierarchies, and social conventions – are in flux and can be changed or dissolved according to human action or perception. Thoughts?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Madeleine, welcome to my blog and thank you for your comment.

        To reply to your comment:- I suppose that it will depend upon what one means by real. At present I tend to think of real as that which exists independently of all human perception and thought, i.e. that which will still be there if all humans disappear at this moment. ( Nature, as perceived and conceived by humans will also disappear with the disappearance of humans).

        Best wishes

        OR

        Liked by 1 person

    • I could not figure out how to post a reply on the first post but I think the notion of “cognitive apparatus” is a foggy one. How do we know those things exist? If nothing exists then a cognitive apparatus does not exist either, nor does a causal relationship between such an apparatus and an experience.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hello ericlinuskaplan, Thanks for your comment and welcome to the blog.

        I take it that you are commenting on “What exists and what is perceived to exist” post.

        By “cognitive apparatus” I just mean what ever or who ever is doing the cognizing.

        I completely agree with you that if nothing exists then a cognitive apparatus does not exist either nor a causal relation between such an apparatus and an experience.

        But I do not say that nothing exists, I say that what exists is not cognized by any cognizer as what it is but as something else due to the perspectival limitations and distortions of the cognizer.

        Or may be I am missing something here. Your objections and criticism are welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My point is that you believe you know quite a lot — that there is such a thing as a cognizer, that the cognizer affects reality, that similar cognizers affect reality in similar ways, that our experience of a chair is a result of an interaction between a cognizer and an external reality. How do you know any of that? If you know those things why are they the sort of things you can know but things about chairs and salt and oceans are feelings are not the sort of thing that you believe you can know? Is there such a sharp line between the two kinds of knowledge?

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      • Hi ericlinuskaplan,

        There seems to be some misunderstandings here. I will attempt to clarify each point only one at a time.

        You wrote, “My point is that you believe you know quite a lot — that there is such a thing as a cognizer”

        My answer is:- Right now at this moment, while you are reading this reply, some cognizing is happening, so what so ever or who so ever is doing this cognizing is the cognizer or apparatus of cognition in this case.

        So, there is such a thing as an apparatus of cognition or a cognizer as I wrote in my post. ” What exists and what is perceived to exist” .

        I hope it is clear.

        Liked by 1 person

      • not really! how do you know cognizing needs a cognizer? rain does not need a rainer.

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      • ericlinuskaplan,

        Are you saying that in my example above, the cognizing was not done by any apparatus of cognition?
        Then please describe exactly how the cognizing happened.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the clarification Lane. Yes, it does make sense. Good that you put the mountain in with atom and not with chair for the purpose of your classification.

    I would like to ask you if you think that the first paragraph of this post is true or untrue? And why?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, OR –
      Your website looks like a great place to carry on a philosophical conversation. I’m pleased to be here and pleased also that you have discovered my blog.

      I think your first paragraph is pretty much on the mark, being essentially a summary of Kant’s basic insight in the Critique of Pure Reason, viz. we do not have knowledge of things as they are in themselves (noumena) but only as we experience them. That is, through the structures of our perceptual and conceptual “apparatuses,” as you call them. It is also true that each of us perceives and understands things from a unique perspective, similar to but never exactly the same as anyone else’s. As you put it:

      “Because all apparatuses are more or less different from one another to different degrees (they can be similar but can never be the same), so X will be cognized differently by different cognizers; and actually no one will know what X is in itself.”

      It’s worth noting that our understandings, expressed in a shared symbolic language, are often similar enough as to be practically indistinguishable. As you indicate, there are different degrees of similarity in different persons’ conceptualizing, and hence different degrees of mutual understanding (including no mutual understanding at all). But sometimes the understandings between/among people seem so similar as to look like a kind of miracle. We see this most dramatically in mathematics, where symbols, axioms, and algorithms are defined with such clarity and precision that mathematicians usually know exactly what one another mean when they are discussing a theorem or working out a problem. Less precision in everyday life, I suppose, but enough to get a taxi driver to take you to the right destination or a pharmacist to prepare exactly the right prescription. Still pretty remarkable.

      I would add that “no one will know what X is in itself,” not because we all have different perspectives, but rather because we cannot get free of our perspectives to see what X is in itself, standing alone, independent of observation, which by its nature is always partial and ‘infected’ by various subjective elements.

      Best regards.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hello Charles Marxer,

        Welcome to Logic and Mysticism C.M! It is such a pleasant surprise to see you here. Thank you very much for your great comment. I agree with all what you have written here.

        Best wishes,
        O.R.

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  3. I think you’ll enjoy the podcast I did talking about subjectivity/perspectivism. You can view it here: http://mattdrake.podbean.com/e/pim053-subjectivity-and-empathy/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Frederick

    This remarkable provides a quantum understanding of the nature of Reality. And how everything we see “out there” is in fact a brain and nervous system fabricated projection, which prevents us from seeing Reality as It IS prior to point of view.
    http://www.dabase.org/Reality_Itself_Is_Not_In_The_Middle.htm

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stefan Morlock

    Observers can only perceive reality to the degree that their intelligence, intrinsic senses, extrinsic technologies and their personal and/or social limitations will allow.
    Having said that, a specific white, plastic, patio chair would look so much the same to each and every “casual and/or non-enhanced” observer that trying to convince them, and/or prove to them, that it is and/or that it could be something else would be very difficult if not impossible.
    Furthermore, even enhanced observers, who have additional perceptions and/or information about the chair, like a factory worker who has been involved in the process of making the chair from start to finish and/or a scientist who has examined it at the molecular and/or subatomic level, would still perceive the same basic colour, shape, and/or size of the chair sitting in front of them as virtually every observer who is not in their position would.
    Does this mean that observers at every level of scrutiny are accurately perceiving “the chair” as it really is…? Using “Occam’s razor,” I would say that “the chair” in question “is” what we perceive it to be within the context of our potential and/or actual perception of reality and that if it is not then we are not presently and/or we may never be in the position to know otherwise…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Stefan, Thanks for your comment. If you read my post slowly and carefully a few times, you will find that the answer to your objections is already there.
    All the best.

    Like

    • Stefan Morlock

      My first paragraph is in agreement with your first paragraph and the first two lines of your fourth paragraph. I did not comment on the rest of your fourth paragraph because therein you stated that, “The universe which human scientists know is human universe and not what actually exists or is actually happening,” and I did not and cannot accept your stated position that human scientists “know” anything about the universe we are a part of and I also did not and cannot accept that it is a “human universe.” Scientists have many conjectures and/or theories about the universe and at best they are only based on inductive and/or deductive reasoning and/or the scientific method and as I stated in my first paragraph, an observer’s perception of reality, which obviously includes a scientist’s, is limited to what, “their intelligence, intrinsic senses, extrinsic technologies, and their personal and/or social limitations will allow,” so it goes without saying that their conjectures and/or theories about the universe are likely not, “what actually exists or is actually happening.”

      My second paragraph and third paragraphs are in agreement with most of your third paragraph although I was referring to “human beings” as “observers” and not to, “other unknown kinds of life in the universe,” because although I have some understanding of my own species I have none at all about “extraterrestrial life” so there is no reason for me to speculate about whether “it” exists and/or if “it” exists what “it” may or may not perceive as reality.

      Continued…

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      • Stefan Morlock

        My final paragraph asks whether or not, “observers at every level of scrutiny are accurately perceiving “the chair” as it really is,” and “using Occam’s razor” I concluded that “it” is what we perceive “it” to be at every level of scrutiny BUT only within the context of our potential and/or actual perception of reality at every level of scrutiny and if “it” is not, then I go on to say that we are not presently and/or we may never be in the position to know otherwise, (unless of course we continually subject “the chair” to higher levels of scrutiny as they become available to us until such time as we reach the absolute level of perception and finally see “the chair” as it really is, which I think most likely will never happen.) In other words, using only our sight and touch we, as a species, would perceive “the chair” as “it” is based on that level of scrutiny and as such in that context our perception of reality would be valid but if we subjected “the chair” to greater scrutiny, like very-high magnification for example, our perception of “the chair” would change commensurately because we would have new and/or additional information and thus our perceptions of “the chair” would continue to change as we subjected “it” to greater levels of scrutiny and beyond that if “it” is not what we perceive “it” to be at every level of scrutiny then we are not presently and/or we may never be in the position to know otherwise.

        Continued…

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  7. Sterling Lynch

    An important idea that is usefully reiterated.

    However, I think one should be cautious about using language like “actually existing as it really is.” You may not intend it, but this kind of language tends to imply that the universe-beyond-how-it-is-perceived is somehow more actual or real than a perceived universe. A universe without entities to perceive it isn’t any more actual or less actual than one which includes those entities. Similarly, our perceptions are as actual as whatever exists independently of them. All the beauty of the universe is in the eye of the beholder, but it isn’t any less actual.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Stefan Morlock

      Your final paragraph is problematic to say the least. Observers are not jumping to a conclusion when they perceive “the chair” as a chair. They are making an observation based on their sensory perceptions and as such they are not wrong because they can see “it” and/or touch “it” to confirm their perceptions and everyone around them will likely perceive “it” the same way. There is no reason for observers to scrutinize “the chair” further but they certainly could if they wanted to and their perceptions of “it” would change relative to the degree of scrutiny they subjected “it” to. An observer would be right to perceive that “the chair” exists independently on some level and/or to some degree because an observer could test that perception by burning “the chair” to ashes and not be reduced to ashes as well and could then walk away and forget all about “the chair” but an observer would be wrong to perceive “the chair” exists independently on an absolute level just as an observer would be wrong to perceive that causality does not apply to all matter and/or energy in the universe and/or that all things are not connected on some level and/or to some degree. Likewise, even though on some level and/or to some degree an observer could perceive itself to be a spectator because that perception could be tested and proven as previously stated, on an absolute level that perception would not be true because the level of scrutiny would be at the highest level and therefore the perception would be equal to it, which means that an observer would know to a certainty that nothing exists independently.

      What reality is and/or is not is absolutely dependent on having absolute perception and by extension without it an observer will always be limited to a relative perception of whatever they observe…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks Stefan for your detailed sharing of your views.

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  9. Hello Sterling Lynch, Thank you for your comment.

    Like

  10. I thought I would return the favour by checking out your blog.
    I found this post interesting and thought provoking. I’m curious to know what your spirituality is like? (e.g. What you believe, etc.).

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  11. Thank you David for your nice comment. Welcome to my blog.

    Please read my post:-

    https://logicandmysticism.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/can-there-be-an-object-without-any-subject-and-why/

    There you can find about my approach. If you have a question, feel free to ask me.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi We are already acquainted through Q&A in my own blog. I just read this, and all comments on this, post plus ‘Logic and Mysticism’ (there is an excellent book by F.Schuon titled ‘Logic and Transcendence’). I found all of the above to be quite reasonable and unexceptionable (good that you are not a physicalist – who is? – though you may be an empiricist basically).To put it in a few words, personally I am more interested in paradoxes than in the law of non-contradiction, valid as this is in its own field of application; more in the Kantian unknowable thing-in-itself than in the human cognitive faculties and their limitations (when centred in the individual who sees him or herself as a separate being – observer or cognizer). Fichte extended the content and understanding of the former (noumenon) naming it Consciousness (right move!), though he restricted it to the human collectivity in its moral and social aspects. Greetings, A. M.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Greetings A.M. and welcome to my blog. Thank you very much for your nice comment and interest in the blog. I look forward to our further communications and explorations. O.R.

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  14. Wow, this is very interesting! As I was reading I started remembering a friend telling me about something like this that she learned in class one day; I hate I’ve forgotten what she said.
    Anyway, correct me if I’m wrong, what you’re saying (in the most simple terms I can think of) is that according to Kant, as humans, everything we’re looking at – or think we’re looking at – isn’t REALLY what we’re seeing? We just think it’s what we’re seeing because we only have our human perspective and knowledge to call on?

    Liked by 1 person

    • No. There is no reason to doubt the reality of your ordinary experiences of seeing, hearing, tasting, etc. There is nothing more certain in your life than your own immediate experience.* When you see an apple hanging from a branch, your seeing-an-apple-shaped-object hanging from the branch is reality. Notice the hyphens I placed in the above phrase. They are to highlight the fact that what’s real in the situation is not just the apple. People often forget their own role in manifesting reality. What’s happening in the situation is an event that has (at least) two essential components: you doing the seeing and the apple being seen. Without you, no seeing-the-apple. Without the apple, no seeing-the-apple. Finally – and this is the key point – without you-seeing-the-apple, there is no apple.

      This seems absurd, but think about it. The only apple you will ever know about is the one you are seeing. Any other apple that supposedly exists “out there” independently of your perception is an inference. There may be a real apple, but if there is you can’t know anything about it. The only apple you can know anything about is the one you are seeing. It’s an experienced apple, and the only kind of apple you will ever know anything about will be an experienced apple, not any so-called real apple.

      So far we have phenomenalism. Kant didn’t like this empiricist metaphysics, so he argued that experience is not just phenomenal; it has structure: objects appear in space and time; they are related; there’s cause and effect; possibility and necessity, etc. But these concepts can’t be perceived; they can only be thought, so he argued that his 12 a priori categories are actually fixed structures of the human mind. They are not derived from experience; they make experience possible.

      Subsequent developments have proven Kant was wrong about the fixity of the categories we use to interpret experience, but his core idea that, as one thinker put it, “we don’t experience things as they are but rather as we are” (or words to that effect), has endured.

      This account of neo-Kantian epistemology is undoubtedly sketchy and deficient in a number of ways, but I hope it is helpful in some degree.

      * Of course, sometimes we are wrong about what we are experiencing, e.g. hallucinations, but that is not an error of perception but rather of interpretation. When Macbeth saw a dagger before him, he really saw a dagger. His mistake was in thinking it was an actual dagger he could grab out of the air.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Welcome to my blog C.M.Knox and thank you for your excellent comment. I am very glad that you find these ideas interesting. I do too and that is why I made this blog.

    Yes, the general idea is as you describe it, more or less. Please do read my other post which further explains this idea and also why I think what I do think. :-

    https://logicandmysticism.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/can-there-be-an-object-without-any-subject-and-why/

    O.R.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. dailynegativity

    Great post. So we can say, I think, with some level of certainty, that phenomena like color, taste, smell, etc. (what Locke referred to as Secondary Qualities) cannot exist outside of minds. So then I wonder, what about perceptions Themselves? Do they exist? This goes back to something like a Cartesian style of doubting. What can we know the existence of with absolute certainty? Descartes of course, concluded that we can reasonably believe that the ‘I’ must at least exist. He famously argued, ‘Cogito Ergo Sum’ (I think, therefore I am). That is, in Thinking, he must at least exist to do the thinking. There have been objections to this, but I think it’s a good starting point.
    But I think, for all intents and purposes, we can say that subjective feelings and perceptions do exist. Therefore, we can speak Objectively about these Subjective experiences. This is obviously a much longer discussion, but you’ve offered a very nice introduction here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you dailynegativity for your excellent comment and welcome to Logic and Mysticism. I am glad to read your comment.

      I think that perceptions exist only in the mind of the perceiver . But X of course exists independently of the perceiver and the perception.

      You wrote,” we can say that subjective feelings and perceptions do exist. ”

      My answer,” Certainly subjective feelings and perceptions exist, but these exist(or better word is ‘happen’) only in the mind of that subject. All feelings and perceptions are subjective, there is no such thing as an objective perception or feeling.

      For example: When you and another four people look out of a window of your house and all of you five people agree that there is a tree there, then these are five different subjective perceptions and the agreement does not make it objective perception but only inter subjective perception. All these five perceptions will not be identical or the same but only very similar. Similar enough to seem as if it were the same.

      Your questions and objections are welcome.

      Truth springs from argument among friends!

      Best wishes,
      OR

      Liked by 1 person

      • dailynegativity

        I think we need to be careful when using the words, ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’. So if I feel cold, that is an Objective fact about my personal, Subjective state. It’s a fact about me that is true even if you’re not me. Therefore, our subjective feelings and perceptions are in a sense objectively true. Sorry, don’t know if you were disputing that point – just wanted to clarify.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi dailynegativity,

    You wrote, ” Therefore, our subjective feelings and perceptions are in a sense objectively true.”

    I would put it like this:-

    If James feels that there is a big worm in his stomach,

    then certainly it is an objective fact that James feels that there is a big worm in his stomach.

    But it may or may not be an objective fact that there is a big worm in his stomach.
    ——————

    I hope it is clear, But I will be glad to have your further objections and criticism. May be I am missing something. Tell me what you think.

    Truth springs from argument among friends!

    Liked by 1 person

    • dailynegativity

      Absolutely, in the same way that while I feel that there is an external world, there may not be. The feeling however, is an objectively real, subjective phenomenon. Still, the reliability of our feelings and perceptions for acquiring knowledge, is, as you suggest, another matter entirely.

      Like

      • Yes, right, seems that you understand the general idea! It is a good feeling to find that one is able to communicate an idea to someone at least to some degree.

        It will be interesting to work out that what are the implications of this understanding.

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  18. This is what Kant and Schopenhauer have to say about this, and the evolutionary philosophers like Bernhard Rensch.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. I’m glad to find your blog. This post as well as all the erudite comments make for fine reading and contemplation. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Here is the issue that is troubling me with your post. If you know something about the world you can make explanations about world-mind interaction and tell stories about what causes it, because you can look at different cases. You can look at animals that dont cognize very well, ones that cognize well and things that don’t cognize at all, and come up with a theory about how this happens, why in some cases it happens and in others it does not. But, on the other hand, if you do not know anything about the world you have no basis for such a comparison, hence no basis for such a theory, hence no way to assign meanings to terms about how mind-world interaction (or cognition) can occur. Your theory is self-refuting. If we truly did not know anything about the world we would have no basis for invoking a cognitive apparatus or a causal connection between the cognitive apparatus and cognition. Put another way; you asked how I explain how cognition comes about. How could you explain how cognition comes about if you do not believe you know anything about the world?

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  21. Thank you for your criticism ericlinuskaplan.

    Please point out to me that where in my post, What exists and what is perceived to exist, have I said that I do not know anything.

    -OR-

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    • Well you said

      i)” no one will know what X is” .

      You’re someone therefore you don’t know what x is.

      It is true you also claim to know some things, namely:

      ii)You know that the human cognitive apparatus influences what you and everybody believes, and that molecules, chairs etc. don’t actually exist, they are just how things seem to humans.

      However I have been arguing you are wrong to assert that because (i) and (ii) are inconsistent.

      To put it a slightly different way — is (ii) true or is it just true from the human perspective. If it is true then it contradicts (i). However if it is just true from a human perspective then you do not know that (i) is true. You might believe it, but it is hard to see how you could have an argument for it.

      Like

  22. You wrote,”Well you said
    i)” no one will know what X is” .
    You’re someone therefore you don’t know what x is.
    It is true you also claim to know some things, namely:”

    So, in my post I did not say that I do not know anything as I wrote that I do know something. So. you were wrong about it.

    You are right in saying that I am saying that I, like everyone else, do not know what X is in itself.

    About the rest of your comment:

    As I have explained in the post, All what anybody,including of course myself, can understand. think or know is always only from his own point of view. There is no such thing as a view from nowhere.

    So, when I say that no one will know what X is in itself, this is also from my point of view. I also say that:
    it is true that A is A and I also say that A is not non A and I also say that it is not necessary to know what anything is to know that it is what it is. Where is the inconsistency in saying all these things?

    Like

  23. Bobby

    Kant was one of the most brilliant minds of all time. Indeed, he perceived correctly, what we now know to be true because of modern cognitive science and studies,, to wit, brains are wired differently and this accounts for our differences. We literally think and perceive, in minor ways it is true, because we do it with different apparatuses. We are hard wired differently and yet, that wiring changes subtly for most of us!!.

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  24. Thanks for your comment Bobby.

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  25. Hello, ontologicalrealist! Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog. I like this post, and it refined my thinking on what I wrote over there too. Rereading it, here are a couple of things that strike me (please forgive anything foolish, confusing, or confused here!):

    You write, “The reason why human beings in everyday life seem to have similar views of tables, chairs and mountains etc. is that because their cognitive apparatuses are similar enough to each other to reach at a working consensus.” I think that’s not enough to explain the similar views–you’re leaving unstated the assumption that X is somehow or other acting on those different cognitive apparatuses in the same, or in a similar, way. This leads me down an interesting rabbit hole: my immediate conclusion is that X has certain qualities that remain the same from cognizer to cognizer, but what even are these ‘qualities,’ since we can’t define them in any way independent of our impressions? I guess predictable interactions between a cognizer and X?

    Also, I don’t quite understand how you dare talk about cognizers’ being similar to one another when you don’t dare talk about X–because isn’t every cognizer X to every other (putative) cognizer? That is, we can’t know each other any more directly or truly than we can know tables and mountains. And yet, our impression (probably in part illusion) that we DO know each other may be even deeper and more important to us than our feeling that we know the inanimate.

    Finally–do you have any recommended reading on these topics? I am curious about them, and though I devote the majority of my time to other stuff, I might find my way into reading more philosophy at some point and would love suggestions..

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  26. Thank you megmoseman for your comment containing such thoughtful and stimulating questions. I will reply in detail later. I like your intelligent questions and your spirit of honest inquiry.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Hi, megmoseman, You wrote:

    “you’re leaving unstated the assumption that X is somehow or other acting on those different cognitive apparatuses in the same, or in a similar, way. This leads me down an interesting rabbit hole: my immediate conclusion is that X has certain qualities that remain the same from cognizer to cognizer, but what even are these ‘qualities,’ since we can’t define them in any way independent of our impressions? I guess predictable interactions between a cognizer and X? ”

    This is a very important and fundamental point in this philosophy which you have raised. Most of the people do not understand this. So let us be very clear about it before proceeding further.

    When a subject perceives anything (X), he does not perceive what is actually there but only that part or aspect of X which his cognitive faculties can grasp and not what actually X is.

    A thought experiment:

    There is a white paper on which no. 7423 is written. 7 is written in blue, 4 in yellow, 2 in red and 3 in green. Now imagine a subject who can only see what is written in red. So this subject when asked to tell what no. is written on the paper, will reply 2. Now if we consider no.7423 as what is really there (X), and no. 2 as what is perceived by this subject to be there, then would you say that the subject is having the actual perception of X? Is perceiving 7423 as 2 an actual perception of 7423?

    I hope that I have been able to clarify this point somewhat. Please tell me if this makes sense to you. Feel free to raise objections and ask questions about it.

    About your question about recommended reading on this subject, I can only say that I myself found the book “Philosophy of Schopenhauer” by Bryan Magee helpful. Just read the first three or four chapters.
    These first chapters are not explaining Schopenhauer’s philosophy but only laying the foundations which I found helpful.

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  28. saleh

    Hello my friend.
    When talking about the physical world, that’s all humans agree that exists in a certain shape or form. for example tables,mountains or atoms, and they have their own way of examining it and making sure that exist according to their own perception. I don’t think it would matter that much to them, if they call it reality or whatever. let’s agree to call it x for example. as long as they have their own way of reproducing the same results to confirm their perception of it and they can build on their knowledge and make predictions from their examination that holds true to their perception, and doesn’t contradict with what they call law of physics (laws of what they call and perceive as nature). this means that they can manipulate what they perceive and they can deal with it and make some sort of progress and advancement in the manipulation of the physical world. I guess my point is, as long as humans perceive the physical world in the same way over thousands of years, it doesn’t matter weather this is true reality or not. because this is their world and their own reality and they have to live with it, and the way they are dealing with it will have an impact in their own existance (e.g. producing fire, medicine,firearms..etc).what difference does it make to call it true reality or not?
     However if we’re going to talk about abstract concepts and ideas, maybe the concept of what is reality would be more relevant, since it doese not exist in physical manner, and it’s difficult to apply methods to help reach the same conclusion.

    Saleh – the guy from Starbucks

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  29. Hi Saleh,

    Thanks for your thought, I will reply to this in a few days.

    OR

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  30. Hello Saleh,
    you wrote,”However if we’re going to talk about abstract concepts and ideas, maybe the concept of what is reality would be more relevant”

    Reality is that which exists independently of perceptions of all perceivers.

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