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What Exists? No, Really.


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The question is, in scientific terms, what exists and how do we know that it does exist?

 

Let's discuss what exists, and how and why it does.

 

I believe this can be broken down into two categories.

1)What our senses can tell us exists

2)What reasoning, mathematics, and experimental data can tell us

 

 

Starting with #1, one way we can prove things exist is through our sensory capabilities. If we can see it (sight), touch it (spacial awareness), smell it (scent), feel it (texture touch), hear it (sound), taste it, then we can know that it exists. Why? I think if it can affect us, then it exists.

 

 

The other is when we exclude all our sensory methods. How then can we test and define that something exists?

 

One could say, we know something exists if it has the ability to affect other things that exist. Say what? :cheer:

 

Let's try this again. What exists is, that which can have an effect on that which can have an effect on those things that produce effects on other things that have effects on others. :naughty:

 

If I try to describe the universe when excluding the awareness produced by senses, that is, to exclude the consciousness, I end up with trying to explain that which is not absolute. For example, Let's say I know an object exists because it can have an effect on another object. This lets us know it exists but it does not define how. Or, I know light exists because it has an effect on an atom. But why do I know that atom exists? Because it produces energy?

 

Do we have nothing absolute to fall back on as to be positive? Even if we had a fundamental particle, in what way can we prove that it exists without falling into the trap of producing more questions?

 

 

The problem is, when something = something it is, duplicating the obvious. 1 = 1, which is to say 1 = 1, did I flip the numbers around? it is impossible to tell, and the whole of the equation simply means 1.

 

 

This takes me to a final query, When studying the physics of the universe, what are we studying? Things seperate of our senses or things produced by our senses?

 

Is there a field of study that truly excludes our senses? I believe this could be quantum mechanics (quantum material), and that may be why we can not understand it, that is, it behaves in ways that our senses disagree with.

 

This topic may jump around a little but let's discuss what exists, and

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I was not sure if I should reply to this thread or not, because it has proven to be such a hard issue to communicate clearly enough. It's far too easy to misinterpret what is being said, and I see a l

The question is, in scientific terms, what exists and how do we know that it does exist?   Let's discuss what exists, and how and why it does.   I believe this can be broken down into two categories.

Immanuel Kant said (and I agree): Without them we would have no link to the natural world and knowledge of it would be impossible. Of course, this does not mean we need to observe each and every th

The question is, in scientific terms, what exists and how do we know that it does exist?

 

[...]

 

1)What our senses can tell us exists

2)What reasoning, mathematics, and experimental data can tell us

Immanuel Kant said (and I agree):

All our knowledge begins with the senses

Without them we would have no link to the natural world and knowledge of it would be impossible. Of course, this does not mean we need to observe each and every thing that we reason exists. The rest of Kant’s quote:

All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.

This indicates to me that a person’s ability to reason allows them to deduce the existence of something they may have never personally experienced.

Starting with #1, one way we can prove things exist is through our sensory capabilities. If we can see it (sight), touch it (spacial awareness), smell it (scent), feel it (texture touch), hear it (sound), taste it, then we can know that it exists. Why? I think if it can affect us, then it exists.

Some forms of empiricism go as far as to claim that we can have no knowledge of the existence of objects outside ourselves—that we can’t know these objects in and of themselves. All our knowledge and understanding is of sensory perception, and that perception is all that we can prove. They say we can’t truly know an object, we can only know our perception of such an object.

 

For example, if we see and feel a raindrop then it is not the properties of the raindrop we are proving, but only the properties of our sight and touch which create a mental representation separate from whatever a raindrop really may or may not be. This is known as Phenomenalism or Subjective Idealism of which George Berkeley was a famous proponent.

 

I do not personally subscribe to this philosophy.

 

The other is when we exclude all our sensory methods. How then can we test and define that something exists?

 

One could say, we know something exists if it has the ability to affect other things that exist. Say what? :)

 

If I try to describe the universe when excluding the awareness produced by senses, that is, to exclude the consciousness, I end up with trying to explain that which is not absolute.

 

To completely “exclude all our sensory methods” or “exclude the awareness produced by senses” would make any determination about material existence impossible. Some things are not *directly* observable by the 5 human senses. A good example is radio waves. They are, as you say, found to exist by their effects—but, this doesn’t mean our senses are being excluded in the process. As with the case of radio waves, we are using our ears to listen to the radio to determine the waves exist.

 

For example, Let's say I know an object exists because it can have an effect on another object. This lets us know it exists but it does not define how. Or, I know light exists because it has an effect on an atom. But why do I know that atom exists? Because it produces energy?

 

Do we have nothing absolute to fall back on as to be positive? Even if we had a fundamental particle, in what way can we prove that it exists without falling into the trap of producing more questions?

 

The problem is, when something = something it is, duplicating the obvious. 1 = 1, which is to say 1 = 1, did I flip the numbers around? it is impossible to tell, and the whole of the equation simply means 1.

 

It is a conundrum, I agree. Nothing can be seen or said to exist in isolation and nothing can be seen or said to exist apart from observation. Philosophers might say that the one “absolute to fall back on” that you’re looking for is expressed by René Descartes in 1637: “Cogito, ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am)”.

But I have convinced myself that there is absolutely nothing in the world, no sky, no earth, no minds, no bodies. Does it now follow that I too do not exist? No. If I convinced myself of something [or thought anything at all] then I certainly existed. But there is a deceiver of supreme power and cunning who is deliberately and constantly deceiving me. In that case I too undoubtedly exist, if he is deceiving me; and let him deceive me as much as he can, he will never bring it about that I am nothing so long as I think that I am something. So, after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that the proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind.

 

-Descartes,

To put this in modern parlance, think of being in the Matrix (a computer simulation where everything that looks real is actually a simulated deception), nothing that such a person observes can be proved to actually exist in the common understanding of the word 'exist'. The only absolute that such a person can prove is their own existence. If the person can question their own existence, or the existence of anything else, then they must exist.

This takes me to a final query, When studying the physics of the universe, what are we studying? Things seperate of our senses or things produced by our senses?

 

Is there a field of study that truly excludes our senses? I believe this could be quantum mechanics (quantum material), and that may be why we can not understand it, that is, it behaves in ways that our senses disagree with.

 

It is possible (and even very probable) that physics describes the universe as it would be without human observation. But, I can’t think how this could be proved. Ultimately, testing the laws of physics is done with human observations—so, it’s impossible to take ourselves completely out of the equation.

 

I believe this would be true with quantum mechanics as well. The state of a quantum mechanical system which can be measured is called an observable. It is only through measuring and observing that we can infer the existence of anything quantum mechanical.

 

~modest

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Immanuel Kant said (and I agree)

Originally Posted by Kant

All our knowledge begins with the senses

I do not agree with Kant here. I think it is logically true that knowledge cannot begin with the senses. To say one "knows" implies that first must be a 'thing' to know. Knowledge must begin with some'thing' that exists (let us call it an ontological element--this thing that exists) that senses can perceive that are given to consciousness to process as knowledge. In other words, existence takes priority over consciousness. Kant is the grand master of the flawed philosophic position in history of philosophy of the primacy of consciousness over existence.

 

I like this statement much better than Kant's

.."every mental phenomenon includes something as object within itself"

 

My answer to the OP question--"what exists", is that "existence exists". This is known as an axiomatic concept--it does not require 'proof'--it is the basis of all philosophic 'proof'. The relationship between what exists (metaphysics) and how to know what exists (epistemology) derives from realization that consciousness not only functions to identify what exists external to it, consciousness itself exists--it is a faculty with a specific identity.

 

Consciousness has a job within living things, just as stomach and spleen and liver and heart etc.

Consciousness is not metaphysically active, it does not create what enters into it, it transforms in the same way stomach takes food molecules that pass though it and transforms them, or the heart takes blood that flows through it and provides energy to it. Consciousness is epistemologically active--it processes things that exists that flow into it via the senses and uses these ontological elements to form concepts. So, we can say stomach transforms matter, heart transforms energy, consciousness transforms information--simplistic but it gets the point across.

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For a thing to “exist”, which means perceived, it has to be assembled by consciousness in space time.

 

Consciousness is difficult to define but its primary tenant is that it exist as a point in space and time.

 

This point creates divisions, dualities, cycles and relationships.

 

Without the starting point observer in space time there are no divisions dualities, cycles and relationships.

 

Therefore outside of an observer is all time, all space at once.... infinity.

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This more or less agrees with much of the above, but I point you in the direction of Alfred Korzybski, famous Polish-American philosopher, and originator of "General Semantics".

 

Basically, he said that we do not and cannot have direct access to the objects of Reality (whetever they may be). Our minds have direct access only to the electrical/chemical signals from our senses. Our minds use that information to construct a simulacrum of the external Reality. We conduct our very lives inside the sim-Reality we construct. And as we on-goingly live and learn, we on-goingly construct our sim_Reality.

 

The success of our lives depends in an obvious way upon the high degree of correlation between real-Reality and sim-Reality.

 

Given the fact that the first proto-sim-Realities were being constructed prior to the Cambrian Explosion, we can make an Evolutionary argument that the degree of correlation is indeed very high, but only within the superposition of all sensory domains. In other words, our sim-Reality is near perfect to the extent of that which we can see, hear, smell, taste, feel, and kiness*. So, our sim-Reality works almost perfectly for baseballs traveling at 50 mph, but doesn't work at all for protons traveling at 50% of the speed of light.

 

*kiness, v. (kin-ess') = made-up word intended to reflect our ability to sense physical kinesthetic properties such as force, mass, weight, accelleration, speed, tension, body position, limb placement, etc.

 

Korzybski called our sim-Reality "the Map", and the real-Reality "the Territory". He coined the famous phrase "The Map is not the Territory" which became one of the core philosophical principals buttressing General Semantics. To make a long story short, the Map is constructed of temporal sequences of sensory memories/images, and of semantic structures.

 

That the Territory "exists" cannot be refuted. Walk off a cliff or drive your car into a tree. The consequences are quite real, both in the Map and the Territory. You might even speak of the Territory as "existence" itself. Existence exists. Self-evident axiom.

 

That the Map "exists" cannot be refuted. The Map is, in a very real sense, the Mind. I have one. Do you? :)

 

What can we KNOW of the Territory (real-Reality)? Damn near anything. Everything if you give us time enough. It's just a matter of devising the right experiments, that will generate the right data, that can be absorbed by our senses, which will enhance the correlation of our Maps. So, we can UNDERSTAND parts of the Territory that we can never experience or even sense. But that knowledge and understanding will be constructed of semantic structures. We cannot access Reality directly.

 

You were born into your Map. You will live your entire life in your Map. The only reality you will ever know is your Map. You will die when your Map fragments and fades.

 

So it behooves you to build the very best and the most accurate and complete Map that you possibly can.

 

Stop wasting your time jacking off with numerology, astrology, alien abductions, past-life regressions, Bigfoot, and right-wing conspiracy theories.

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This more or less agrees with much of the above, but I point you in the direction of Alfred Korzybski, famous Polish-American philosopher, and originator of "General Semantics".....

 

Really great post Pyro, the best explanation of reality I have ever read (except for the part about aliens, get with the program dude! And everyone knows those damn right wing conspirators are ruining the world, or left wing or west wing.) :) anyway, I really learned something here, thanks.

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Thanks everybody! :hyper: I'm glad you found that interesting if not enlightening.

 

The NOR (Nature of Reality) is a fascinating subject and has been discussed since the Dawn of Recorded History. Unfortunately, the attempt to combine discussions of NOR with theology brought progress pretty much to its knees for 1,000 years. Then DeCartes started the conversation again, and that eventually led us to Kant and Korzybski.

 

The NOR cannot be addressed without first discriminating the Human Mind, the organ that is attempting to understand the NOR. In fact, the Mind and the NOR have a kind of background/foreground relationship with each other. It's an Escher sort of thing, really.

 

DeCartes actually pointed us in the wrong direction by suggesting that the Mind was separate from Body. But at least he got us moving. Mind is indeed an aspect of Body, or at least the brain within the Body, making the Mind a subset of the NOR. Infinite regression, anyone? :)

 

The bottom line (from Korzybski's POV) is that the Mind does not observe the WOT (World Out There). It does not interact with Absolute Reality. The Mind is sequestered deep within a living blob of pink Jello, sealed inside a rock hard shell of bone. Nothing, but nothing gets to the Mind -- except for a very few neurological channels. And they do not carry substance or images. They carry data. Light hammers the retina, a jackhammer hammers the ear, a hammer hammer hammers the thumb. Cells react by sending unintelligible electrical signals.

 

Unintelligible to all except the brain. We haven't a clue what the code is.

 

The brain does not interpret this data. Surprised? There is no "interpreter" in the brain. The data is dumped (in real time) into a bubbling cauldron of signals and memories and cellular chemistry. That's from an "external" POV. But from the Mind's POV, what is happening is that experiences with the WOT are being recreated in the Map. Added to the Map. Experienced within the Map by the point of consciousness, the "I" within the Map, which is itself just another item within the Map.

 

All animal brains have stored temporal sequences of sensory memories/images. But only humans (??) also build a Map out of semantic structures. These are the "Lego Blocks" of the Mind and of the Map. Think of them as symbols, or even proto-symbols. They are at their most primitive just electro-chemical patterns. But they code. Not for sensations or emotions, but for relationships -- purported relationships -- among the purported "things" that make up the WOT, the Territory. And these codes are usable in a way vaguely analogous to the letters of our alphabet. Alone, they mean little. Arranged in the proper way, and they tell you that the object you are about to sit on is a "piece of furniture" -- also a "sofa" -- also "the sofa your mother bought on her first anniversary in Lansing, Michagan" -- also "the sofa that aunt Harriette is sitting on".

 

Don't think of semantic structures as just words. They are languaging. No. They are Languaging, the very atoms out of which Language (in all its forms) is derived. The human brain learned how to take hard-wired memories, with a one-to-one correspondence with some event, break them loose from their moorings, and use them like Guttenberg used movable type. It takes many, many of these atomic structures to make a "word", linking that word to sequences of tongue movements, certain marks we make on paper, linking it to past events, to concepts and ideas, to other words used in similar ways, or in similar circumstances -- an infinite spider-web of linkages extending all the way to the event horizon of our Mind. And these webs connect events and concepts to form something new and wonderful: Meanings.

 

From Korzybski's POV, the Mind is a Meaning Generator.

 

And at any given time, our Mind (from yet another POV) sits like an million-legged spider on a million such crisscrossing spider-webs (all made of semantic structures) where each leg keeps track of the Mind's "place" on that particular web.

 

From its own POV, the Mind is merely experiencing Reality. The WOT. The Territory. You're sitting on the sofa next to aunt Harriette, who still remembers the crush you had on her when you were fourteen.

 

Sound like the Matrix? It's no accident. The Kowalski Brothers read Korzybski.

 

It is the Matrix. It is the Mind. It is the Map. It is all constructed of temporal sequences of sensory memories/images, and of semantic structures. The sofa is a semantic structure. So is aunt Harriette. So is that memory of you spying on her in the bathtub when you were fourteen. So is the sunshine coming through the window. So is your entire life and all you hold most precious.

 

It is a simulacrum. A fantastic, dizzying, real-as-real reconstruction of the WOT, the Territory. There is nothing to be alarmed at. There is nothing wrong with this. It is how the brain works. You do not "have" a Map -- the Map "has" you. You live in the Map.

 

The only danger, as Korzybski warns us again and again, is constructing a Map that does not correspond adequately with the Territory. If you believe the cliff edge is half a mile in front of you when it is only one step past that hedge of prairie grass in front of you, then you have a real problem. If you are a Victorian lady of 17 who has been seduced, the resulting horror and guilt may lead you to suicide or a nunnery. Because you have "Meanings" that demand no less. If you are a 19th Century Samoan lady of 17 who has been seduced, you're probably running to brag to your parents and younger siblings. Different "Meanings". Different webs of semantic structures. Different Maps to live in.

 

Who says words make no difference. They make ALL the difference. The Territory may supply us the physical events that generate the sensory inputs to our brain. But our Mind gives those inputs Meaning at every level: the instantive experiential level, the associative level, the labeling level, the significance assignment level, the Meaning level. All done with semantic structures.

 

"What do I care for your pain and suffering? Pain is just input data from the senses. Learn to control your inputs, and you will become master of the output." Chairman Chiang, Alpha Centauri

 

"Take an algorithm of arbitrary complexity. Feed it sense data. Take the output, square it, and feed it back into the algorithm, along with another set of sense data. What do you have? The basic operating principal of the human mind." Acadamecian Zakharov, Alpha Centauri

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Thanks everybody! :hyper: I'm glad you found that interesting if not enlightening.

 

The NOR (Nature of Reality) is a fascinating subject and has been discussed since the Dawn of Recorded History. Unfortunately, the attempt to combine discussions of NOR with theology brought progress pretty much to its knees for 1,000 years. Then DeCartes started the conversation again, and that eventually led us to Kant and Korzybski...

 

Uh huh, tell me more about your Aunt Harriet and your self at 14..... another great post, I honestly never made the connection between the "matrix" and what we experience but it does make sense.

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Thanks everybody! :hyper:

 

"Take an algorithm of arbitrary complexity. Feed it sense data. Take the output, square it, and feed it back into the algorithm, along with another set of sense data. What do you have? The basic operating principal of the human mind." Acadamecian Zakharov, Alpha Centauri

 

As does the code of DNA strand in the more ancient cyclical algorithms of evolution.

These chaotic systems all in fact deal with chotic self-organization "arbitrary complexity" and provide us a unifying view of the universe at different levels of organization from morphology to the unconscious mind to the conscious self to societies.

 

"Autopoieses " developed by (Mantarana; Varela,) States that an organism can be defined as a cycle of relationships unified into a circle of self creation, that contains component parts, which make parts, that in turn make those parts, in a recursive cycle of self-making.

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That pretty much sums the whole shebang up.

Way to go, T-Bird.

The Universe may, in some arcane and esoteric way, be an infinitely recursive set of these self-organizing chaotic cycles. Wheels within wheels. Mortal at any specific cycle, but over all the cycles of cycles, immortal and autoregenerating.

 

:-/

 

Nah!!! Do I look like a Hindu???

Besides, it makes too much sense. :hyper:

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... Experienced within the Map by the point of consciousness, the "I" within the Map, which is itself just another item within the Map...
You have made excellent posts on the topic. Clearly as you indicate the Territory is existence itself and it would seem that the OP question is thus answered. But I have a question about relationship of the Map and Consciousness.

 

You indicate that Consciousness also exists as a thing within the mind, same as elements of the Territory exist as things outside the mind. So I wonder, is it possible that the Unconsciousness is the Map but is not a thing that exists--it does all the things you mention that occur within the Map. Thus is it possible that the Consciousness as a thing that exists is 'outside' the Map, in the same way the ontological elements of the Territory are things that exist outside the Map ?

 

In other words, in the same way ontological elements of Territory interact with senses, which then send quantum data signals to the Map about the ontological elements (here I think of how hydrogen has a unique spectral signal--the three colored lines), is it possible that the Map (as the unconscious) is nothing more than the sum total of these quantum data signals as information and are then given to something outside of this matrix of information--namely the Consciousness, a thing that exists within the mind having identity separate from the Map ? What the Consciousness then does with these quantum data is what it evolved to do--to form concepts to increase probability of survival. Thus it is not the Map (the Unconsciousness) that provides interpretation of electo-chemical signals, it is the Consciousness (which is outside the Map) that provides interpretation, which leads to explanation, which leads to knowledge. I would view simple forms of living things as functioning only at the Map level of organization--at the level of action-reaction of that which is perceived by an Uncounscious mind--by a data matrix lacking power of interpretation.

 

Thus, is it possible the 'Mind' uses the Map (the Unconsciousness signal matrix) to create a mirror reality (concepts) of the Territory that is out-there (what we can call a veiled reality) that exists outside the Map but within the mind (within the Consciousness) ? If true then two different Territories must exist and this brings a second layer of meaning to the statement 'the Map is not the Territory'. Not only would the Map of Unconsciousness not be the Territory of existence out-there (outside the mind), it also would not be the Territory of existence within Consciousness (within the mind). I wonder if Korzybski addresses this logical possibility ?

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... is it possible that the Consciousness is a thing that exists is 'outside' the Map, in the same way the ontological elements of the Territory are things that exist outside the Map ?...
[EDIT] I am reversing the use of "exists" and "is real" in order for them to be consistent with the statement that "The Territory exists" and "existence exists". [/EDIT]

 

Okay, what Korzybski (and I) was trying to do was make sense of the world, in the simplest possible way with the fewest assumptions. He assumed there was no mystic solution, no supernatural solution. Your explanation is quite complicated and gives definitions to Map and Territory that Korzybski did not intend.

...In other words, in the same way ontological elements of Territory interact with senses, which then send ...data signals to the Map about the ontological elements... is it possible that the Map ... is nothing more than the sum total of these ...data signals as information and are then given to something outside of this matrix of information--namely the Consciousness, a thing that exists within the mind having identity separate from the Map ?......then two different Territories must exist...
See? All these extra layers and entities are not necessary. Additionally, I haven't said much about the Mind, except to say that it occurs within the brain -- as dynamic patterns -- that from one POV are electro-chemical signals, and from another POV is a self-organizing semantic structure.

 

"Quantum" doesn't come into this at all.

 

Again, from Korzybski, there is just ONE reality. He calls it the Territory. What the human brain does is to build a replica, a simulacrum of the Territory. This replica is constructed of memories and semantic structures (think of Lego structures, only the Lego blocks are "words"). This replica of reality, he calls the Map. Ideally, the Map should match the Territory, point for point. But it doesn't and it can't. The brain is just not big enough to to model the whole world, not even the parts we can see. But for our purposes, we can say that the Map corresponds to the Territory pretty damn well.

 

If you start putting Consciousness (self-awareness) outside the Map, then you might as well put it physically outside the brain. This leads nowhere. DeCartes made the same mistake. The Mind, all parts of the Mind, are physically in the brain, and therefore, they MUST be part of the Map. The very concept of "I", aware of itself, is not a physical object, not even an invisible physical object. The "I" in our Minds is a logical construct, a semantic construct. And the individual Lego blocks, are the atomic elements of Languaging itself. And Languaging is the concept and process of storing, retrieving, communicating, evaluating, and assigning meaning to Information. The Mind, the "I", is built out of Languaging.

 

So, we don't have to get supernatural here, or propose multiple Territories or multiple Maps.

 

We don't have to bring in the Id, the Conscious, the Subconscious, or intelligence. These are all just made-up words attempting to give labels to different aspects of the Mind.

 

Finally, we can speak of "exists" versus "is real". Let's define "exists" as the fundemental property of anything that has mass, physical size, energy, form or substance. Everything that exists is also real. But there are things which are "real" which do not exist.

 

The Territory is real and it exists. The Map is real, but it does not exist. Just as the letters "book" are NOT really a book, so is any simulacrum constructed entirely out of logical/semantic Lego blocks NOT the thing that is simulated. But the simulacrum is very real [we interact with it!!!], and it can be compared to the existence it simulates.

 

The Mind, imprisoned within the skull, is totally cut off from all contact with the Territory. The Mind only has access to the Map. This is where the Mind occurs, lives, loves, laughs, has sex, learns to read and write, wonders at the stars in the sky, goes to work every day, surfs the Internet, understands gravity and how to make cornbread, and carries on deep involved discussions about the Nature of Reality. Your entire subjective world is the Map. And you are an element of that Map. You are real.

 

Does that make more sense?

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Great replies thus far!

 

I will hopefully reply soon with some of my own input. So far I have not come across much that has not already occurred to me, and by that I mean, some questions I have, have yet to be explained or answered at a level that satisfies me.

 

I think there is some underlying connections between the Decartes' and Korzybski's philisophical basics. I will get to that.

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Does that make more sense?
Yes, your comments make sense, but the question is, are they an accurate representation of the relationship of the Mind and Map to the Territory ? It would appear that Korzybski places the Mind within the Map, I take the opposite view. I hold the Map to be within the Mind. My reason is because Korzybski gives a very specific and limited function to the Map--e.g., to form a 'replica of the Territory', and it is not logical that a thing that performs a more general function (the Mind) should be a part of a thing that performs a specific function (the Map). But there is another logical reason why Korzybski's view cannot hold, for as you say,
The Map exists, but it is not real.
thus it is not possible for a thing that is real (the Mind) to be within a thing that is not real (the Map). So, I conclude that the Map has a limited function of information transformation and thus is not real and this process is within a larger entity, the Mind, that is real.

 

The Mind is not a simple place, and it is now documented experimentally that there is a difference between the Unconscious and Conscious aspects of the Mind--they are two different identities with completely different functions. For example, it is known that perception is first filtered by the Unconscious aspect of the Mind, and there is ~ 500 ms delay until the information passes to the Conscious aspect of the Mind, which is where concepts are formed. This type of delay makes sense, because it is the role of the Consciousness to integrate ALL of the sensory inputs to form concepts, and it takes the Unconscious some time to get all the information together to form the replica. So the flow of infromation is from (1) ontological elements (Territory) ---> (2) senses ----> (3) Unconsciousness (the Mapping simulation process to form replica) ---> ~500 ms delay---> (4) Consciousness (the process of taking the replica to form concepts).

 

Here is one short review of relevant research:

Freud: he wasn’t all wrong - The National Newspaper

 

The Map process (the "making the replica of reality" ) can be thought of as being within a larger room, and the room is the Mind. So, the Mind has an area off to the side where the process 'make a replica simulation of reality' exists (what Korzybski calls the Map making area). But on the other side of the room is the area where the process 'regulate the beat of the heart' exists, and so on with more processes than we know. Where Korzybski appears to error is that he assumes that the all the functions of the Mind are related to Mapping, to forming simulations of existence, but this clearly is not so, the Mind is much more complex, it has many functions not related to simulation.

 

If you start putting Consciousness (self-awareness) outside the Map, then you might as well put it physically outside the brain
In my view Consciousness is within the brain, or at least within groups of neurons. All I am saying is that Korzybski has a much too simplistic view of the relationship of Map and Consciousness to Mind.

 

In summary, I find that the Consciousness is NOT within the Map, it is within the Mind, off to the side, and these are completely different things indeed, for two are real (Mind and Consciousness) and the other not (Map).

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