This maybe relates to some of Ormond's points.Steve3007 wrote:Greta:Why different arbiters?I see two arbiters - one for society and one for the individual ...
Objective: Facial beauty defined by regularity of features.
Subjective: Beauty dependent on peccadilloes of taste.
Objective: The elected officials of your local government are more important than your child.
Subjective: Your child is hugely more important to you.
Objective: Eating suitable portions of broccoli promotes good health.
Subjective: Some may dislike broccoli enough for the stress of eating it to outweigh the health benefits.
A popular claim in the last decade is Dan Dennett's and others' (including Buddhists) that consciousness does not actually exist, being just an illusion caused by the mechanisms of the body. Let's say they are right and that what we know today turns out to pretty well be all there is. So the great mysteries turn out to be just observer effects. Our consciousness does not exist, being a consequence of processing energy.
Even if this is true objectively, it is in direct conflict with our subjective experience. So two arbiters.
Yes, but importantly many great discoveries have been sparked by either intuition or mathematics. So our "vertical thinking" progress follows the intuitive and mathematical "lateral leaps".
If we cannot observe something via current technology, does that disprove the thing's existence, or could it be that our research methodology is limited? We can't be sure.Steve3007 wrote:Yes, indeed. It's often difficult, or perhaps impossible, to analyse how these leaps of intuition come about. But once they've been made, they're tested by observation. (In science, if not in mathematics.)
We "see" subatomic particles informationally rather than the usual physical means. I've read that it's not even meaningful to talk about seeing electrons because they are smaller than photons. Still, the process of constructing an image from an electron's charge information (to give us a fuzzy spot) is close enough to our brains interpreting visual data for me to let this one go, although qualitatively the difference between such abstracted "seeing" and the brain's and eye's dynamic feedback loop would be approximately the difference between seeing an object and a picture of an object.Steve3007 wrote:I would argue that we do see those subatomic particles in just the same sense that we see anything else. You are arguing that we only see the effects that they have on other things. But that's how we see everything. I only "see" the computer screen in front of me because of the effect that I assume it's having on my optic nerve. Or rather, I assume that those electro-chemical signals in my optic nerve were caused by the firing of rods and cones in my retina that was in turn caused by photons of light hitting them. They hit them in that particular way because (I assume) they've previously bounced off an object. All very indirect. Do I see the object, the photons, the rod and cone firings or the electro-chemical signals? All of these? None of these?
So I concede that senses necessarily must be involved in our inquiries, no matter how abstruse and abstracted the means of getting to use them.