RE: virus: Re: Social Metaphysics

Richard Brodie (
Tue, 30 Sep 1997 14:47:25 -0700

On Tuesday, September 30, 1997 11:32 AM, David McFadzean
[] wrote:
> So the fact that "Richard Brodie lives in Seattle" is a true statement
> nothing to do with the fact that you live in Seattle? Interesting.

Perfect example. It has everything to do with the "fact" that I live in
Seattle. That is, it is dependent on the definition of Seattle, the
definition of "Richard Brodie", the definition of "lives in", and so on.
These are not inherent properties of reality, but rather memes. Reality has
no "truth" to it, it just is. Truth is a property of a statement. You
cannot make any statement about reality without approximating reality,
because REAL reality is too big and complex and ever-changing to describe.
This is why Whitehead points out that all "truths" are really half-truths.

> >> It is possible that true isosemantic statements could be contradictory
> >> if objective reality was in fact derived from the mental, e.g. if the
> >> world is a reflection of the mind of God, or if objective reality is
> >> socially-constructed, e.g. the world is brought into existence by
> >> conscious observers, and does not exist otherwise.
> >
> >Is there anyone here who asserts that? What are you talking about?
> You claimed my conjecture was a tautology and I am demonstrating that
> it is not because it is falsifiable, and therefore it is not
> necessarily true. What did you mean by tautology?

The problem I have with your counterexample is essentially what Eva pointed
out, that wrapped up in the distinction-meme "objective reality" would seem
to be the notion of self-consistency, so that hypothesizing the
inconsistency of objective reality is nonsensical. As Prof. Tim suggests,
you simply have faith that there is an underlying consistent physical
reality. This can never be proved, but it sure feels obvious. And
discussing it seems fairly pointless.

Richard Brodie
Author, VIRUS OF THE MIND: The New Science of the Meme
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