On Fri, May 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM, Michael Brunnbauer <brunni@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Thu, May 24, 2012 at 10:39:18AM +0100, Matthew West wrote:
> 1) can a "state of affairs in the world" exists without one's perception of it?
> MW: Of course, unless you do not believe in evolution. Otherwise the world did not exist before humans/life because there was no one to perceive it. Reality (facts) is not perception, reality is what perception is of.
The notion of a state of affairs that exists without perception or measurement
(realism) can become problematic. It has been proven experimentally that our
world cannot be described by a theory that is realistic and local - where
"local" means that effects cannot spread faster than the speed of light.
Sure, sure, but all that follows is that a realist stance can be problematic in contexts where relativistic or quantum effects are relevant — i.e., contexts involving involving things that are very small (like subatomic small), very large (like cosmic scale large), or very fast (like approaching light speed fast). In most contexts where ontologies are usefully employed, relativistic and quantum effects are irrelevant and a realistic stance — i.e., the assumption that the portion of reality we are interested in exists determinately and independently of any perceivers — is entirely unproblematic.