virus: SM

Reed Konsler (
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 13:32:43 -0400 (EDT)

>Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 10:08:29 -0600
>From: David McFadzean <>

>>What do you mean by "exist"? How do you determine the existence of something?
>>Our observations of the universe imply that it had a history prior to the
>>arrival of homo-sapiens. What was the skin color of a T-Rex? Purple?
>The question of how someone would know about the existence of something is
>epistemological and therefore orthogonal to the question of whether something
>exists. To confuse the two is a well-known logical fallacy.

It depends on your tradition, doesn't it? Derrida laughs at your feeble attempt
to separate the signified from the signifier. We are having a philosophical
conversation. You want to begin of logical positivist turf. I'm postmodern
Let's negotiate.

Tell me why it is a fallacy to conflate existence with knowledge of existence.
Use Shrodinger's Cat as an example. ;-)

>The color of the skin of a T-Rex can theoretically be determined by finding
>out what wave lengths of light it reflected and figuring out how someone with
>normal vision would perceive that light. If that information is irretrievably
>lost it does not mean that the T-Rex had colorless skin.

The color of T-Rex is IMPLIED by all these things. You are making things
difficult by confating levels of ontology. The color implied by T-Rex's skin
is known in a different (not less reliable) way than the color of the apple you
ate a week ago. The color of the apple made use of your eye. The color of
T-Rex makes use of your theories about wavelength, chemistry, light, etc.
to construct and illusion of what the color would have looked like if you
could have seen it.

>>existence of this supposed material outside of perception. "Reality" is
>>derived from
>>perception, not the reverse. If you like, the two are inextricably
>>intertwined. While
>No, only *subjective* reality is derived from the perception. Dropping the
>only adds to the confusion..

How does one prove the existince of a reality outside of perception? You're
beginning to sound like a mystic.

>>I am willing to call such a viewpoint "subjective" I'm not certian why
>>you insist on
>>equating "subjective" and "inconsistent". In fact, I'm not sure what you
>>find so
>>distasteful about "subjective".
>You are the one that said subjective reality is inconsistent:
>"Is Implied Reality consistent?
>Certianly not between different people. Implied Reality is subjective and
>different people have different and incommesurate Implied Realities."

There is no reality which is consistent in that sense, the adjective
has nothing to do with it. That is my assertion.

>>What is wrong with subjectivity, anyway?
>Absolutely nothing. It is all I ever experience! :) I am just trying to keep
>the discussion focussed on the original topic which is objective reality.

Do you mean objective as in:

Identical for all observers using the same definitions.

I don't accept that such a thing exists. I'm particulary worried about words
like "identical" and "same". The concept of "definitions" and from whence
they are derived (and if two people can ever agree on them) is also puzzling.


Reed Konsler