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Idealism vs Materialism; Intuition

Rational_Thinker9119
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7/28/2015 1:34:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Basically, if Materialism is true, then light hits your eyes, interacts with your brain, and constructs a mental image of stars when you look at the sky. This means that if Materialism is true, then the stars you actually experience are within your real skull that you can never directly experience, and your real skull is beyond the stars you experience. Your skull existing beyond the stars is certainly counter-intuitive. The reality you experience is sort of a hallucination in your skull that you merely hope corresponds to the outside non-mental reality if Materialism is true. However, if Idealism is true, then the stars you experience are actually beyond your skull. The reality you actually experience (not the non-mental reality Materialists simply try to infer exists) only being inside your head certainly seems less intuitive, no? It seems as if the stars I experience exist outside my real skull. If Materialism is true, then the reality I experience is just a mental movie constructed by my brain. My real skull exists beyond everything I experience, supposedly.

"The problem is that our culture has played a game of steal-and-switch: Most people tend to think of idealism as entailing that reality is inside our heads, while believing materialism to say that the world we experience is outside of ourselves. Well, it's exactly the other way around! It is materialism that states that the world we experience is... entirely within our heads, stars and all. And it is idealism that states that the world is not inside our heads. How it came to pass that our culture could reverse the logic of the situation so dramatically baffles me." - Bernardo Kastrup
kp98
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7/28/2015 3:16:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I don't think you will find many materialists who would quibble over our experience of reality being entirely mental.

As I read it, the quote seems to mix-up reality and our experience of reality... I'd say 99.9% of idealists and materialists are in firm agreement that our experience of reality is mental.

As a materialist I am of the opinion that if I see a star it is because there is a 'material' star 'out there' to be seen(*). I may not know exactly what 'material' is - or even what 'out there' means - I think those are the questions science is there to find answers for. But I would be most surprised if science ever reveals that stars aren't anything at all - they were only in my imagination all the time.

(*Obviously I can hallucinate and dream, but it is my opinion that I do not hallucinate all the time.)
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/28/2015 4:01:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/28/2015 3:16:58 AM, kp98 wrote:
I don't think you will find many materialists who would quibble over our experience of reality being entirely mental.

I quibble over the reason to believe in the non-mental reality in the first place. It is a huge assumption that there exists a world outside consciousness. One I don't find much justification in believing in.


As I read it, the quote seems to mix-up reality and our experience of reality... I'd say 99.9% of idealists and materialists are in firm agreement that our experience of reality is mental

Bernardo is well aware that materialists believe that the "real" stars are out there somewhere, but that's a huge assumption and violates intuition and Occam's Razor. It certainly seems as if what I directly experience is what is. The idea that my real skull is beyond the stars I actually directly experience seems absurd..


As a materialist I am of the opinion that if I see a star it is because there is a 'material' star 'out there' to be seen(*).

There is no reason to believe that though. The idea that the real stars actually exist beyond what you experience is a wild assumption and is just added fat to a model of reality in my opinion. Why believe in the mental AND non-mental when the mental suffices?

I may not know exactly what 'material' is - or even what 'out there' means - I think those are the questions science is there to find answers for. But I would be most surprised if science ever reveals that stars aren't anything at all - they were only in my imagination all the time.

Every scientific discovery still resides within experience itself, just like the stars we experience. The idea that there exists a material reality seems unnecessary to me, when everything can be explained within the framework of mentality..


(*Obviously I can hallucinate and dream, but it is my opinion that I do not hallucinate all the time.)

I like this quote:

"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality." - John Lennon

Just how the naturalist claims that the burden of proof is on the supernaturalist as they try to add to reality when the natural world suffices. I say the burden of proof is on the non-mentalist as they try to add to reality when a mental world suffices.
n7
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7/28/2015 5:48:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/28/2015 1:34:48 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Basically, if Materialism is true, then light hits your eyes, interacts with your brain, and constructs a mental image of stars when you look at the sky. This means that if Materialism is true, then the stars you actually experience are within your real skull that you can never directly experience, and your real skull is beyond the stars you experience. Your skull existing beyond the stars is certainly counter-intuitive. The reality you experience is sort of a hallucination in your skull that you merely hope corresponds to the outside non-mental reality if Materialism is true. However, if Idealism is true, then the stars you experience are actually beyond your skull. The reality you actually experience (not the non-mental reality Materialists simply try to infer exists) only being inside your head certainly seems less intuitive, no? It seems as if the stars I experience exist outside my real skull. If Materialism is true, then the reality I experience is just a mental movie constructed by my brain. My real skull exists beyond everything I experience, supposedly.

"The problem is that our culture has played a game of steal-and-switch: Most people tend to think of idealism as entailing that reality is inside our heads, while believing materialism to say that the world we experience is outside of ourselves. Well, it's exactly the other way around! It is materialism that states that the world we experience is... entirely within our heads, stars and all. And it is idealism that states that the world is not inside our heads. How it came to pass that our culture could reverse the logic of the situation so dramatically baffles me." - Bernardo Kastrup

How does giving a causal account of perception entail representationalism?


"From the fact that I can give a causal account of how it comes about that I see the real world, it doesn"t follow that I don"t see the real world [. . . ] There is no inconsistency between asserting, on the one hand, "I directly perceive a tree," and asserting, on the other, "There is a sequence of physical and neurobiological events that produce in me the experience I describe as "seeing the tree"
- John Searle

Furthermore, if a causal account of perception does entail it, and you are arguing it's counter-intuitive , then aren't you either denying that there is something wrong with neuroscience or intuition.

To be technical, this isn't really intuition. Intuition is something that can be understood immediately without conscious reasoning, whereas this needs to be formed into an actual argument.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
n7
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7/28/2015 6:12:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Also, how aren't you contradicting idealism? You seem to be arguing for direct realism, claiming the stars exist apart from your experiences. But idealism says stars don't ontologically exist, there is no star apart from its experience.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/28/2015 6:29:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/28/2015 5:48:04 PM, n7 wrote:
At 7/28/2015 1:34:48 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Basically, if Materialism is true, then light hits your eyes, interacts with your brain, and constructs a mental image of stars when you look at the sky. This means that if Materialism is true, then the stars you actually experience are within your real skull that you can never directly experience, and your real skull is beyond the stars you experience. Your skull existing beyond the stars is certainly counter-intuitive. The reality you experience is sort of a hallucination in your skull that you merely hope corresponds to the outside non-mental reality if Materialism is true. However, if Idealism is true, then the stars you experience are actually beyond your skull. The reality you actually experience (not the non-mental reality Materialists simply try to infer exists) only being inside your head certainly seems less intuitive, no? It seems as if the stars I experience exist outside my real skull. If Materialism is true, then the reality I experience is just a mental movie constructed by my brain. My real skull exists beyond everything I experience, supposedly.

"The problem is that our culture has played a game of steal-and-switch: Most people tend to think of idealism as entailing that reality is inside our heads, while believing materialism to say that the world we experience is outside of ourselves. Well, it's exactly the other way around! It is materialism that states that the world we experience is... entirely within our heads, stars and all. And it is idealism that states that the world is not inside our heads. How it came to pass that our culture could reverse the logic of the situation so dramatically baffles me." - Bernardo Kastrup

How does giving a causal account of perception entail representationalism?


"From the fact that I can give a causal account of how it comes about that I see the real world, it doesn"t follow that I don"t see the real world [. . . ] There is no inconsistency between asserting, on the one hand, "I directly perceive a tree," and asserting, on the other, "There is a sequence of physical and neurobiological events that produce in me the experience I describe as "seeing the tree"
- John Searle

There is 0 evidence of a material reality so how could it be that we directly perceive one? All we know are our experiences. Your brain creates your experiences and mental image of an apple if Materialism is true. You are locked inside your head. The best argument against the idea that we directly perceive material objects is the fact that we can even entertain Solipsism, Idealism, The Matrix, Brain in vats... If we truly directly experienced material objects directly then we would know those types of ideas couldn't be true (as we directly experience the material). The fact we can even entertain these possibilities is exactly because we don't experience the material directly.


Furthermore, if a causal account of perception does entail it, and you are arguing it's counter-intuitive , then aren't you either denying that there is something wrong with neuroscience or intuition.

I don't see how.


To be technical, this isn't really intuition. Intuition is something that can be understood immediately without conscious reasoning, whereas this needs to be formed into an actual argument.

So your real skull existing beyond the stars you experience isn't counter-intuitive?
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/28/2015 6:35:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/28/2015 6:12:31 PM, n7 wrote:
Also, how aren't you contradicting idealism? You seem to be arguing for direct realism, claiming the stars exist apart from your experiences. But idealism says stars don't ontologically exist, there is no star apart from its experience.

Just because something exists outside the aspect of mind we identify ourselves with, that doesn't mean they exist outside of mind. Take a dream for example... You don't identify yourself with a chair in your dream, you identify yourself with the localized point in the dream controlling your body. So we have a flow of subject experience, and objects like chairs and stars exist beyond the aspect of that flow that we identify ourselves, but the objects don't exist apart from the flow of subjective experience as a whole.

So while the stars exist beyond "me" (the aspect of mind we identify ourselves with), that doesn't mean they exist beyond mind itself. Hopefully that clears it up.
n7
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7/28/2015 7:10:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/28/2015 6:29:27 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/28/2015 5:48:04 PM, n7 wrote:
At 7/28/2015 1:34:48 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Basically, if Materialism is true, then light hits your eyes, interacts with your brain, and constructs a mental image of stars when you look at the sky. This means that if Materialism is true, then the stars you actually experience are within your real skull that you can never directly experience, and your real skull is beyond the stars you experience. Your skull existing beyond the stars is certainly counter-intuitive. The reality you experience is sort of a hallucination in your skull that you merely hope corresponds to the outside non-mental reality if Materialism is true. However, if Idealism is true, then the stars you experience are actually beyond your skull. The reality you actually experience (not the non-mental reality Materialists simply try to infer exists) only being inside your head certainly seems less intuitive, no? It seems as if the stars I experience exist outside my real skull. If Materialism is true, then the reality I experience is just a mental movie constructed by my brain. My real skull exists beyond everything I experience, supposedly.

"The problem is that our culture has played a game of steal-and-switch: Most people tend to think of idealism as entailing that reality is inside our heads, while believing materialism to say that the world we experience is outside of ourselves. Well, it's exactly the other way around! It is materialism that states that the world we experience is... entirely within our heads, stars and all. And it is idealism that states that the world is not inside our heads. How it came to pass that our culture could reverse the logic of the situation so dramatically baffles me." - Bernardo Kastrup

How does giving a causal account of perception entail representationalism?


"From the fact that I can give a causal account of how it comes about that I see the real world, it doesn"t follow that I don"t see the real world [. . . ] There is no inconsistency between asserting, on the one hand, "I directly perceive a tree," and asserting, on the other, "There is a sequence of physical and neurobiological events that produce in me the experience I describe as "seeing the tree"
- John Searle

There is 0 evidence of a material reality so how could it be that we directly perceive one? All we know are our experiences. Your brain creates your experiences and mental image of an apple if Materialism is true. You are locked inside your head. The best argument against the idea that we directly perceive material objects is the fact that we can even entertain Solipsism, Idealism, The Matrix, Brain in vats... If we truly directly experienced material objects directly then we would know those types of ideas couldn't be true (as we directly experience the material). The fact we can even entertain these possibilities is exactly because we don't experience the material directly.

You haven't really responded to my argument. I asked how does a physical causal account of perception entails representationalism (the view that you are locked in your head) and you went onto attack direct realism in general. I'm not trying to defend direct realism in general, just against the causal argument.

Furthermore, if a causal account of perception does entail it, and you are arguing it's counter-intuitive , then aren't you either denying that there is something wrong with neuroscience or intuition.

I don't see how.

Since if a causal account entails representationalism and if representationalism is counter-intuitive, then it follows that the neuroscience of the causal account is false (something wrong with neuroscience), or is true and intuition cannot be used in this argument (something wrong with intuition).

To be technical, this isn't really intuition. Intuition is something that can be understood immediately without conscious reasoning, whereas this needs to be formed into an actual argument.

So your real skull existing beyond the stars you experience isn't counter-intuitive?

The claim that materialism entails such a view needs to be established with argument. That's what I mean by this argument not being one of intuition.

Also, I'm not 100% sure how representationalism isn't intuitive. I accepted it for a long time because I believed it was the only intuitive way to explain hallucinations and perspective.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
n7
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7/28/2015 7:10:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/28/2015 6:35:27 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/28/2015 6:12:31 PM, n7 wrote:
Also, how aren't you contradicting idealism? You seem to be arguing for direct realism, claiming the stars exist apart from your experiences. But idealism says stars don't ontologically exist, there is no star apart from its experience.

Just because something exists outside the aspect of mind we identify ourselves with, that doesn't mean they exist outside of mind. Take a dream for example... You don't identify yourself with a chair in your dream, you identify yourself with the localized point in the dream controlling your body. So we have a flow of subject experience, and objects like chairs and stars exist beyond the aspect of that flow that we identify ourselves, but the objects don't exist apart from the flow of subjective experience as a whole.

So while the stars exist beyond "me" (the aspect of mind we identify ourselves with), that doesn't mean they exist beyond mind itself. Hopefully that clears it up.

But wouldn't the star be identical to some experience? Furthermore, how can it be said that you are directly perceiving a star, if you think stars don't ontologically exist?
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
kp98
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7/28/2015 7:16:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I quibble over the reason to believe in the non-mental reality in the first place.

If you check my profile you will discover I am nearly 60. I may not know for sure that realism is a better bet than idealism, but after many years I have learned it is impossible to argue with a determined idealist. So I won't try to dispute that idealism is quite possibly true. The reason I don't care to argue the point is that even if idealism is true, it makes no difference to anything - we still have to act, believe and reason as if realism is true.

As I see it, the fact we can only ever perceive things through our consciousness - i.e. via 'mentality' - there may well be nothing other than our percepetion. But even if that is true it doesn't lead to anything interesting - it's a dead end.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/29/2015 3:26:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/28/2015 7:10:39 PM, n7 wrote:
At 7/28/2015 6:29:27 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/28/2015 5:48:04 PM, n7 wrote:
At 7/28/2015 1:34:48 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Basically, if Materialism is true, then light hits your eyes, interacts with your brain, and constructs a mental image of stars when you look at the sky. This means that if Materialism is true, then the stars you actually experience are within your real skull that you can never directly experience, and your real skull is beyond the stars you experience. Your skull existing beyond the stars is certainly counter-intuitive. The reality you experience is sort of a hallucination in your skull that you merely hope corresponds to the outside non-mental reality if Materialism is true. However, if Idealism is true, then the stars you experience are actually beyond your skull. The reality you actually experience (not the non-mental reality Materialists simply try to infer exists) only being inside your head certainly seems less intuitive, no? It seems as if the stars I experience exist outside my real skull. If Materialism is true, then the reality I experience is just a mental movie constructed by my brain. My real skull exists beyond everything I experience, supposedly.

"The problem is that our culture has played a game of steal-and-switch: Most people tend to think of idealism as entailing that reality is inside our heads, while believing materialism to say that the world we experience is outside of ourselves. Well, it's exactly the other way around! It is materialism that states that the world we experience is... entirely within our heads, stars and all. And it is idealism that states that the world is not inside our heads. How it came to pass that our culture could reverse the logic of the situation so dramatically baffles me." - Bernardo Kastrup

How does giving a causal account of perception entail representationalism?


"From the fact that I can give a causal account of how it comes about that I see the real world, it doesn"t follow that I don"t see the real world [. . . ] There is no inconsistency between asserting, on the one hand, "I directly perceive a tree," and asserting, on the other, "There is a sequence of physical and neurobiological events that produce in me the experience I describe as "seeing the tree"
- John Searle

There is 0 evidence of a material reality so how could it be that we directly perceive one? All we know are our experiences. Your brain creates your experiences and mental image of an apple if Materialism is true. You are locked inside your head. The best argument against the idea that we directly perceive material objects is the fact that we can even entertain Solipsism, Idealism, The Matrix, Brain in vats... If we truly directly experienced material objects directly then we would know those types of ideas couldn't be true (as we directly experience the material). The fact we can even entertain these possibilities is exactly because we don't experience the material directly.

You haven't really responded to my argument. I asked how does a physical causal account of perception entails representationalism (the view that you are locked in your head) and you went onto attack direct realism in general. I'm not trying to defend direct realism in general, just against the causal argument.

I don't see how any version of Materialism could not be representational.


Furthermore, if a causal account of perception does entail it, and you are arguing it's counter-intuitive , then aren't you either denying that there is something wrong with neuroscience or intuition.

I don't see how.

Since if a causal account entails representationalism and if representationalism is counter-intuitive, then it follows that the neuroscience of the causal account is false (something wrong with neuroscience), or is true and intuition cannot be used in this argument (something wrong with intuition).

There is nothing wrong with neuroscientific data itself, just the inferences people make off of it (brain states cause mental states for example).


To be technical, this isn't really intuition. Intuition is something that can be understood immediately without conscious reasoning, whereas this needs to be formed into an actual argument.

So your real skull existing beyond the stars you experience isn't counter-intuitive?

The claim that materialism entails such a view needs to be established with argument. That's what I mean by this argument not being one of intuition.

It follows from representationalism. I can't see any other way Materialism could possibly be true, as we clearly don't directly experience any material objects.

Also, I'm not 100% sure how representationalism isn't intuitive. I accepted it for a long time because I believed it was the only intuitive way to explain hallucinations and perspective.

Well, I suppose intuition may be relative in the first place (what's intuitive to one may not be to another). This concession on my behalf may be negate the point of this thread. Either way, I was only trying to point out that it seems more intuitive that what we directly experience is beyond our skulls. However, if representationalism is true, then your "real" skull is beyond the shapes and colors of the stars you experience. That seems counter-intuitive... At least to me.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/29/2015 3:31:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/28/2015 7:10:42 PM, n7 wrote:
At 7/28/2015 6:35:27 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/28/2015 6:12:31 PM, n7 wrote:
Also, how aren't you contradicting idealism? You seem to be arguing for direct realism, claiming the stars exist apart from your experiences. But idealism says stars don't ontologically exist, there is no star apart from its experience.

Just because something exists outside the aspect of mind we identify ourselves with, that doesn't mean they exist outside of mind. Take a dream for example... You don't identify yourself with a chair in your dream, you identify yourself with the localized point in the dream controlling your body. So we have a flow of subject experience, and objects like chairs and stars exist beyond the aspect of that flow that we identify ourselves, but the objects don't exist apart from the flow of subjective experience as a whole.

So while the stars exist beyond "me" (the aspect of mind we identify ourselves with), that doesn't mean they exist beyond mind itself. Hopefully that clears it up.

But wouldn't the star be identical to some experience?

Or the contents of an experience.

Furthermore, how can it be said that you are directly perceiving a star, if you think stars don't ontologically exist?

I don't think a non-mental star exists beyond our consciousness, but what we perceive as a star within conscious does ontoloigcally exist.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/29/2015 3:33:50 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/28/2015 7:16:06 PM, kp98 wrote:
I quibble over the reason to believe in the non-mental reality in the first place.

If you check my profile you will discover I am nearly 60. I may not know for sure that realism is a better bet than idealism, but after many years I have learned it is impossible to argue with a determined idealist. So I won't try to dispute that idealism is quite possibly true. The reason I don't care to argue the point is that even if idealism is true, it makes no difference to anything - we still have to act, believe and reason as if realism is true.

I don't think we act like Idealism is true or Realism. How we act is consistent with both ontologies.


As I see it, the fact we can only ever perceive things through our consciousness - i.e. via 'mentality' - there may well be nothing other than our percepetion. But even if that is true it doesn't lead to anything interesting - it's a dead end.

No more of a dead end than Realism. It also leads to the possibility of an afterlife, and creates a more Occam's Razor friendly account of reality.