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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 19 May 2007 12:13:55 -0400
Message-id: <464F2243.9020600@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ken,    (01)

I mostly agree with your comments, but I just wanted to add
a few clarifications:    (02)

 > "Lebenswelt" is the set of mental models to which I've been
 > referring - and thus is distinguished from the reality in the
 > way I think John means.    (03)

Husserl was using the word 'Lebenswelt' for the perceived world,
which is based on one's percepts, which could be considered part
of one's mental models.  But I'd hesitate to identify them by
placing the word 'is' between 'Lebenswelt' and 'mental models'.    (04)

For two related German words, I'd suggest the title of an important
book by Jakob Johann von Uexküll, which was published in 1909:    (05)

    _Umwelt und Innenwelt der Tiere_    (06)

The word 'Umwelt' is the usual German word for 'environment',
but Uexküll used it in a sense that is sometimes translated as
'subjective universe' of humans and animals (Tiere, in German).    (07)

The word 'Innenwelt', literally 'inner world', would probably
be a better equivalent for "the set of mental models".  That
would enable a three-way distinction:    (08)

  1. The world as it actually is (i.e., reality).    (09)

  2. The world as perceived by any individual of any species
     (his, her, or its Lebenswelt or Umwelt).    (010)

  3. The world as modeled by any individual (the Innenwelt).    (011)

 > Rather than saying "scientifically God does not exist ...", I'd
 > rather say that consideration of God is outside the realm of science.    (012)

I have two quibbles about that discussion:    (013)

  1. If you ask people who either believe in God or don't believe
     in God how they define the word 'God', you won't find any two
     who give exactly the same answer -- and usually the answers
     they give are so wildly different that it's almost impossible
     to find much, if any similarity.  (If you think the discussions
     about reality are confused, they are crystal clear in comparison
     to whatever definitions you'll find for the word 'God'.)    (014)

  2. Given any definition whatever, I would hesitate to say that it
     is impossible to find any scientific evidence for or against
     the existence of anything matching such a description.  And some
     definitions are so vague (e.g., Einstein's) that it's almost
     impossible to deny that whatever they might refer to exists.    (015)

John    (016)

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