Apples and Oranges
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25-04-2012, 10:39 PM
RE: Apples and Oranges
(25-04-2012 10:32 PM)wtfbbq Wrote:  
(25-04-2012 10:18 PM)nach_in Wrote:  personal or subjective experience as I'm using it here, is an individual perception of reality that cannot be demonstrated by experimentation or caused in others with the same characteristics. Have you ever wondered if others see the colours the same as you? like if what is yellow for you I see it as you see blue? that can't be demonstrated or caused in others, that's your subjective experience of colours, I'm not sure if that's clear though Tongue
Ah. Would this also apply to something like... say, touch? Would my sensation of smooth/rough and solid/squishy also fall under this then?
probably yes, I'm no expert though, psychologists define this thing as "qualia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia it's more of a philosophical discussion and it doesn't hold too much relevance for everyday life, if I say to you "hand me that yellow marker" even if you see it blue you'll understand because we use the same word to define possibly different perceptions. But for some experiences is important, i.e. religious experiences

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25-04-2012, 10:44 PM
RE: Apples and Oranges
(25-04-2012 10:39 PM)nach_in Wrote:  probably yes, I'm no expert though, psychologists define this thing as "qualia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia it's more of a philosophical discussion and it doesn't hold too much relevance for everyday life, if I say to you "hand me that yellow marker" even if you see it blue you'll understand because we use the same word to define possibly different perceptions. But for some experiences is important, i.e. religious experiences
Seems like it fits. Lets assume it is for now and see where this takes us!
So what about say, a tree. When I lean against a tree and look at the tree, I have all sorts of subjective personal experience that result in the image of a tree in my mind. Wouldn't this total tree that I experience also be subjective?
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25-04-2012, 11:13 PM
RE: Apples and Oranges
(25-04-2012 10:44 PM)wtfbbq Wrote:  
(25-04-2012 10:39 PM)nach_in Wrote:  probably yes, I'm no expert though, psychologists define this thing as "qualia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia it's more of a philosophical discussion and it doesn't hold too much relevance for everyday life, if I say to you "hand me that yellow marker" even if you see it blue you'll understand because we use the same word to define possibly different perceptions. But for some experiences is important, i.e. religious experiences
Seems like it fits. Lets assume it is for now and see where this takes us!
So what about say, a tree. When I lean against a tree and look at the tree, I have all sorts of subjective personal experience that result in the image of a tree in my mind. Wouldn't this total tree that I experience also be subjective?
OH! you enter the dangerous swamps of gnoseology or epistemology, but to keep it as simple as possible, yes the total experience you have of the tree is subjective, but, you can prove by experimentation that the tree always causes the same experience for you and everyone else in a persistent and unchanging way, and that can be defined by a cause-effect relation with the components of the tree (colours, sounds, etc.) and that's what we call an objective fact. If we want, we can doubt the existence of everything, even other people, so we can never be absolutely sure of anything. But is the existence and persistence of reality that we define as an axiomatic truth to live, therefore, if something is not persistent and cannot be demonstrated by the scientific method (the best we have so far) we dismiss it as just a mental illusion, which is an experience after all, but not as part of reality.

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25-04-2012, 11:26 PM
RE: Apples and Oranges
(25-04-2012 11:13 PM)nach_in Wrote:  OH! you enter the dangerous swamps of gnoseology or epistemology, but to keep it as simple as possible, yes the total experience you have of the tree is subjective, but, you can prove by experimentation that the tree always causes the same experience for you and everyone else in a persistent and unchanging way, and that can be defined by a cause-effect relation with the components of the tree (colours, sounds, etc.) and that's what we call an objective fact. If we want, we can doubt the existence of everything, even other people, so we can never be absolutely sure of anything. But is the existence and persistence of reality that we define as an axiomatic truth to live, therefore, if something is not persistent and cannot be demonstrated by the scientific method (the best we have so far) we dismiss it as just a mental illusion, which is an experience after all, but not as part of reality.
Well, if I really wish to understand what's going on here, a little danger had better not sway me. I think you went a bit fast here, so lets try to slow down maybe. When you say that that by experimentation we find the tree always causes the same experience for me and everyone else, how is this different than saying that such and such a wavelength causes someone to experience such and such a color?
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26-04-2012, 12:43 AM
RE: Apples and Oranges
(25-04-2012 11:26 PM)wtfbbq Wrote:  
(25-04-2012 11:13 PM)nach_in Wrote:  OH! you enter the dangerous swamps of gnoseology or epistemology, but to keep it as simple as possible, yes the total experience you have of the tree is subjective, but, you can prove by experimentation that the tree always causes the same experience for you and everyone else in a persistent and unchanging way, and that can be defined by a cause-effect relation with the components of the tree (colours, sounds, etc.) and that's what we call an objective fact. If we want, we can doubt the existence of everything, even other people, so we can never be absolutely sure of anything. But is the existence and persistence of reality that we define as an axiomatic truth to live, therefore, if something is not persistent and cannot be demonstrated by the scientific method (the best we have so far) we dismiss it as just a mental illusion, which is an experience after all, but not as part of reality.
Well, if I really wish to understand what's going on here, a little danger had better not sway me. I think you went a bit fast here, so lets try to slow down maybe. When you say that that by experimentation we find the tree always causes the same experience for me and everyone else, how is this different than saying that such and such a wavelength causes someone to experience such and such a color?
colours cannot be described, I dare you to try to put in words how the colour red is, and you wont be able to do it, nobody can, that's why to learn colours we watch things that are that colour and attach a word to it. We can see that the same wavelength causes the same (or at least very similar) reactions in our brains, but we cannot know if the way the brain interprets that reaction is the same for everyone, it's impossible to answer, maybe if I could read your mind and see what and how you see I'll be surprised to notice that what you identify as blue is what I identify as red. Maybe an image is better for this:

[Image: solarizar.jpg]

Imagine I see things like in the bottom left corner of this image, if you could see how I see you would say that is green and violet and the image is wrong, but I would say no, the image is brown and beige and if I saw as you see I would say the same as you, that the image is green and violet, but because our brains understand the colours different we attach the same words to different colours, and because colours has this property of being undefinable we cannot never tell if we perceive the same colours even though we see the same wavelength.
It's a mindfuck Tongue

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26-04-2012, 12:51 AM
RE: Apples and Oranges
(26-04-2012 12:43 AM)nach_in Wrote:  colours cannot be described, I dare you to try to put in words how the colour red is, and you wont be able to do it, nobody can, that's why to learn colours we watch things that are that colour and attach a word to it. We can see that the same wavelength causes the same (or at least very similar) reactions in our brains, but we cannot know if the way the brain interprets that reaction is the same for everyone, it's impossible to answer, maybe if I could read your mind and see what and how you see I'll be surprised to notice that what you identify as blue is what I identify as red.
I think that's reasonable. But it still seems we might be able to expand this to everything else.

Consider shapes, say, a triangle. What is it to experience a triangle? well, it has three vertices and I can draw one and you can say, yeah, that's a triangle. But suppose there's someone that whenever he sees a triangle experiences that which we experience as a square; something with four vertices. But since when he draws it and talks about it, it seems to be a triangle to us, we are able to have meaningful conversation without it ever coming to light that the other experiences what we experience when seeing a square.

Isn't this the same as the color argument? With color, say, green, if experiences green as I experience red, he'll still pick a green marker when we describe green things regardless of how it's experienced.
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26-04-2012, 01:04 AM
RE: Apples and Oranges
(26-04-2012 12:51 AM)wtfbbq Wrote:  
(26-04-2012 12:43 AM)nach_in Wrote:  colours cannot be described, I dare you to try to put in words how the colour red is, and you wont be able to do it, nobody can, that's why to learn colours we watch things that are that colour and attach a word to it. We can see that the same wavelength causes the same (or at least very similar) reactions in our brains, but we cannot know if the way the brain interprets that reaction is the same for everyone, it's impossible to answer, maybe if I could read your mind and see what and how you see I'll be surprised to notice that what you identify as blue is what I identify as red.
I think that's reasonable. But it still seems we might be able to expand this to everything else.

Consider shapes, say, a triangle. What is it to experience a triangle? well, it has three vertices and I can draw one and you can say, yeah, that's a triangle. But suppose there's someone that whenever he sees a triangle experiences that which we experience as a square; something with four vertices. But since when he draws it and talks about it, it seems to be a triangle to us, we are able to have meaningful conversation without it ever coming to light that the other experiences what we experience when seeing a square.

Isn't this the same as the color argument? With color, say, green, if experiences green as I experience red, he'll still pick a green marker when we describe green things regardless of how it's experienced.
this can be extrapolated to a lot of things, but shapes are complicated, when we describe a shape it has a quantifiable amount of angles in your example, so it would be hard for someone else to perceive a square as a triangle without having problems, because he would have an extra angle, something like this happens to dyslexic people, they perceive letters different than the others, but because shapes can be defined and described unlike colours and other perceptions (they have a name but I can't recall it right now) when they try to interact with other people through this shapes (talk about them or otherwise) they get into trouble, because their experience is not in line with objective reality, they have a distorted perception of things that are testable (count the angles) colour perception can't be tested except in the case of absence of perception like the case of colour blindness, they see two different colours as the same (grey and the colour they can't perceive).

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26-04-2012, 01:15 AM
RE: Apples and Oranges
Okay I do understand where you're going with this. We cannot see what they see so how do we know what they saw they did actually see when we didn't see what they saw.
BUT, if you say you saw a rainbow colored unicorn yesterday on the way to work I can be 100% guaranteed that you are full of crap. a) because we know for certain that unicorns don't exists and b) everybody knows unicorns are white.
See what I'm saying?
And no "but you don't know for sure he didn't see a unicorn because you didn't see what he saw", because I don't need too. He was either high as a kite (most likely situation) or he was full of crap. And because we know there is no such thing as a rainbow colored unicorn we can safely lock him away in a foam covered room.

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26-04-2012, 01:19 AM
RE: Apples and Oranges
(26-04-2012 01:15 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  Okay I do understand where you're going with this. We cannot see what they see so how do we know what they saw they did actually see when we didn't see what they saw.
BUT, if you say you saw a rainbow colored unicorn yesterday on the way to work I can be 100% guaranteed that you are full of crap. a) because we know for certain that unicorns don't exists and b) everybody knows unicorns are white.
See what I'm saying?
And no "but you don't know for sure he didn't see a unicorn because you didn't see what he saw", because I don't need too. He was either high as a kite (most likely situation) or he was full of crap. And because we know there is no such thing as a rainbow colored unicorn we can safely lock him away in a foam covered room.
Actually we can't know if he saw it or not, he may have, but as general experience tells us that unicorns don't exist we can safely assume he didn't and if he insist, is fair for us to demand evidence, if he fails to give enough and convincing evidence of what he saw, then we can conclude his claim is false and then proceed to lock him up Tongue

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26-04-2012, 01:27 AM
RE: Apples and Oranges
(26-04-2012 01:19 AM)nach_in Wrote:  
(26-04-2012 01:15 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  Okay I do understand where you're going with this. We cannot see what they see so how do we know what they saw they did actually see when we didn't see what they saw.
BUT, if you say you saw a rainbow colored unicorn yesterday on the way to work I can be 100% guaranteed that you are full of crap. a) because we know for certain that unicorns don't exists and b) everybody knows unicorns are white.
See what I'm saying?
And no "but you don't know for sure he didn't see a unicorn because you didn't see what he saw", because I don't need too. He was either high as a kite (most likely situation) or he was full of crap. And because we know there is no such thing as a rainbow colored unicorn we can safely lock him away in a foam covered room.
Actually we can't know if he saw it or not, he may have, but as general experience tells us that unicorns don't exist we can safely assume he didn't and if he insist, is fair for us to demand evidence, if he fails to give enough and convincing evidence of what he saw, then we can conclude his claim is false and then proceed to lock him up Tongue
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