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Re: [ontolog-forum] objective truth and reality

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 1 May 2007 12:33:18 -0500
Message-id: <055DEE6A-AAC2-433A-99EE-29767ECA71A0@xxxxxxxx>
On May 1, 2007, at 3:21 AM, paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
> ...
> 1.sensorial perception - we know the world through our physical  
> senses and intellect, which are subjective
> ...
> My theory  (I need to learn how to put together a theorem) is that  
> reality does not exist objectively (following the first argument  
> above)    (01)

There is no argument above, just a premise, which you are using to  
justify the conclusion that "reality does not exist objectively".   
The conclusion obviously does not follow from that premise.  Your  
*perceptions* are of course subjective; the *things perceived* are  
not (though of course what we believe and what we say about the  
things we perceive might well be colored by our subjective perceptions).    (02)

> 1. people jumping from the building, are very likely to splat, but  
> this is not always true
> There are known events when people survived, even a parachuter from  
> 10000 feet in freefall    (03)

That is hardly the point.  The point is that physical facts about the  
world are not determined by our beliefs and desires.  It is of course  
possible that the world might not behave in ways that we have grown  
to expect.    (04)

> How does realism explain that?    (05)

Anomalous physical events have no implications whatever for realism  
(though I suspect all of the events on the page you site are  
completely consistent with existing science).  Indeed, realism per se  
is not incompatible with the possibility of both miracles and events  
with no explanation, though most realists will simply chalk anomalous  
events up to limitations or errors in our current physical theories.   
Metaphysical realism is (roughly) the view that there exists an  
external world (not necessarily entirely physical) whose nature and  
existence have nothing whatever to do with our perceptions, beliefs,  
or anything else that is going on in our heads.  Its philosophical  
sidekick, epistemological realism, is the view that this external  
world is (to some nontrivial extent) knowable by us.  Most realists  
hew to both doctrines.  Note that the realist needn't (and indeed  
shouldn't) deny that there are "facts" to which we make some sort of  
conceptual contribution -- notably, "social" facts involving human  
concepts like "president" and "marriage" whose factuality depend on  
shared agreements and conventions.  It is only to acknowledge that a  
large number of facts -- in particular, those found in logic,  
mathematics and the physical sciences -- are determined by a reality  
that exists completely independently of us, and will continue doing  
so long after we have exterminated ourselves.    (06)

Chris Menzel    (07)

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