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Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Jack Park <jack.park@xxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Kathryn Blackmond Laskey <klaskey@xxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 10:46:09 -0400
Message-id: <p0611040fc25bab95e890@[]>
Jack,    (01)

>  >  > However, there is a strong argument for acting as if the realist
>>>   ontology is correct.  For example, it behooves me to believe that if
>>>   I jump out of a 22-story building, I'm going to go splat and that
>>>   will be the end of me.  I think it's dangerous to believe that my
>>>   going splat is some kind of social construction.  Similarly for many
>>>   other actionable consequences of the realist view.
>>If I may ask: how did you come to that belief?    (02)

I came to the belief about buildings via generalizing from concrete 
experiences about other dangerous activities.  Those experiences in 
many cases did *not* involve interactions with other people.  For 
example, there has been more than one time when I burned myself by 
spilling boiling water on myself and no one else was around.  As 
another example, when I was a teenager, I took a turn at too high a 
speed, smashed a car against a lamp post and broke off my two front 
teeth.  There was no one with me at the time -- in fact, it was the 
first time I ever had driven alone, having just received my license. 
I would have died if I had not had my seat belt buckled, and I would 
still have intact front teeth if my shoulder harness had been 
fastened.    (03)

Do you really believe that my burns and my broken-off front teeth are 
social constructions?  Do you really believe the deaths of people who 
don't buckle their seat belts are social constructions?    (04)

I will wager you don't behave as if you do!    (05)

>Did you not pass through
>  >some form of constructivism on the way?    (06)

My drivers ed instructor told us we should buckle our seat belts. 
When I was a kid, my dad wouldn't drive out of the driveway unless 
all of us had our belts fastened. I will grant you that the notion 
had been placed in my mind prior to my accident that not having my 
seat belt buckled could cause me harm.  Do you really think this 
justifies the belief that deaths due to unbuckled seat belts are 
social constructions?  What exactly have you been smoking?    (07)

At age two, daughter had no notions about boiling liquids planted in 
her mind. She spilled boiling hot soup all over her body, causing 
excruciating pain and necessitating a trip to the emergency room.  At 
the age of seventeen, she still has scars on her body and terrible 
memories of that day.  Do you really think that traumatic experience 
was a social construction?  I don't think you will find yourself a 
popular person among parents who love their children if you say you 
do.    (08)

>It's clearly an act of social
>>constructivism to actually jump out of the building and observe your
>>going splat    (09)

OK, I change my example.  If boiling hot soup spills on a 
two-year-old, she will experience agony.  That is NOT a social 
construction. It happened to my daughter when she was two, and it was 
one of the worst experiences of both our lives.  It happened in 
reality.  The real reality that actually exists.  If you call it a 
social construction, you are just plain wrong.    (010)

Kathy    (011)

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