The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

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Terrapin Station
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

Post by Terrapin Station »

popeye1945 wrote: May 11th, 2021, 7:36 am After viewing this post, I think I understand you better. When you state that a steering wheel and a bumper are not a "whole" car, what you are saying is that you think the "self" is a whole -- or it should be. If you see the "self" as a whole that identifies with a specific body, what you are describing is a "soul".

That could come off looking like an illusion as "self" does not work that way. Self is more a perspective than it is an identity, so the steering wheel is a "whole" steering wheel and the bumper is a "whole" bumper and the car is a "whole" car. The square inch of metal that makes up part of the bumper is a whole square inch of metal. Many people believe that the Universe is a whole and therefore has a self -- I can't doubt it. quote

Hi Gee,

Greater than the sum of its parts, but my thought is the spectrum of perception in order to know ultimate reality you must perceive what you do not, indeed what you cannot. Perception is reaction, the senses are limitations as well as enablers and apparent reality is a biological readout that does not perceive/react to the totality/the sum of its parts. The apparent reality is a biological expression of its reactions. Experience is always real and true to the experiencer but is an illusion to ultimate reality, so in some sense, the experiencer is one with its totality of reactions incomplete. You state the self is more a perspective than an identity, I would say experience is everything the self then is its perception/reaction to its environment which is true to itself but is itself illusion, it is a biological reaction, it is the self, it is an illusion that lives within its own illusion.
What does "ultimate reality" even refer to, exactly?

At any rate, accurately knowing some of reality is enough. Even if it's just a steering wheel.
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

Post by popeye1945 »

Hi Terrapin,
Ultimate reality is the realm of potential, elementary particles and such, According to scientists it is a place of no things, energy and the such, and by no means apparent.
Apparent reality is enough for most people, indeed most people are oblivious to what is not apparent, but then if not for acceptions we would still be living in caves.
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

Post by Nick_A »

Some women can't take the truth. Here I am flirting with this woman so decided to impress her with my philosophic brilliance. I told her that she was nothing but a highly functional illusion. Talk about dirty looks.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

Post by LuckyR »

Nick_A wrote: May 11th, 2021, 9:50 pm Some women can't take the truth. Here I am flirting with this woman so decided to impress her with my philosophic brilliance. I told her that she was nothing but a highly functional illusion. Talk about dirty looks.
Sounds like you get plenty of action.
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

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popeye1945 wrote:Ultimate reality is the realm of potential, elementary particles and such, According to scientists it is a place of no things, energy and the such, and by no means apparent.
To communicate my thoughts effectively I think it helps me to read back what I've written to try to work out, from the point of view of a reader who isn't in my head, whether it's saying anything coherent.

The above quoted two sentences (separated by the comma before "According") propose the existence of a realm called "Ultimate reality". Inside that realm it proposes that these things exist: "potential", "elementary particles", "no things", "energy" and "such" (i.e. other things similar to the things already listed). Was that your intended meaning?

If so, to have a chance of being understood, I think you'd have to start unpacking what you mean by those various words. For example, what would this mean: "There is a realm called Ultimate reality and it contains potential" and how does it fit with this: "There is a realm called Ultimate reality and it contains no things"?
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

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To start with, you could perhaps explain what you mean by the word "potential" and the sense in which a "realm" can be a realm of it. First of all, if you were to say "X is the realm of Y" would that be equivalent to saying something like "Y is an existent and it exists inside a realm called X"?

If so, you could explain how, in your view of the world, with your usage of the word "potential", a potential can be said to exist. Some people, in fact, would point out that their particular ontology holds that potentials aren't viewed as existents in the same way that, say, matter is. What do you think of that as an ontological position? Do you think it's meaningful to think of potentials as existing in the same way that matter and its inter-relations might be said to exist?
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

Post by popeye1945 »

Hi Steve,
Well, I am no physicist but potential would mean to me the ground from which a probablity wave arises, or how things in apparent reality manifest. I am not at all sure that when they talk about the collapse of a probablity wave into a particle/matter that it is in fact reality or whether it is just real for the conscious subject, even the term source to my thinking would do for the term potential. Elementary particals would be the building blocks of matter just as amino acids are the building block of proteins, they are part of this great cosmic soup if you will and they are discovering more and more of them. Like I said I am no physicist, but as far as inter-relations go these things can change into one another, if you want me to describe the realm of that which is not manifest even science presently isn't up to that.
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

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popeye1945 wrote:Well, I am no physicist but potential would mean to me the ground from which a probablity wave arises, or how things in apparent reality manifest.
I think it's best to avoid immediately throwing together some technical language from a particular area of relatively advanced physics. A lot of people do that. I think it's best to start by considering what the word "potential" means in a more general context. It means the capacity for something to happen in the future. That (as I understand it) is the reason why some people would dispute that potential should be classed as an existent in the same way that actual things are. They would say that it's incoherent to talk about the capacity for something to happen in the future as an existent. But that's another debate, to be had once the concept of potential has been properly grasped.

So, take potential and kinetic energy. (From high school physics. No need to dive straight into quantum mechanics). Kinetic energy means stuff moving. Potential energy is so-called because it can be seen as the potential for stuff to move at some point in the future. A stationary rock on top of a pointy hill has the potential to move later even though it isn't moving now. So it has potential energy.

I think it's best to be clear about this way that the concept of potential is used before going on to much more advanced usages which work by analogy with the simple usages. And before doing that, we'd have to consider why we think that rock has the potential to move, and get into considerations of the ontological status of things like forces and fields.
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

Post by Terrapin Station »

popeye1945 wrote: May 11th, 2021, 1:50 pm Hi Terrapin,
Ultimate reality is the realm of potential, elementary particles and such,
Okay, but it seems very arbitrary to me to consider that "ultimate" versus some other spatiotemporal frame of reference.
According to scientists it is a place of no things,
??? That would be in error even if it were something commonly said.
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

Post by popeye1945 »

Take it up with the scientists, I am just quoting the quantum reality as they have stated it.
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

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popeye1945 wrote: May 12th, 2021, 9:43 am Take it up with the scientists, I am just quoting the quantum reality as they have stated it.
I doubt you're going to find a single credible scientist who describes quantum reality the way you have. That's why suspicion has been directed your way.
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

Post by popeye1945 »

What is it you have a problem with, that there is such a thing as Ultimate reality? Is your problem the said ultimate reality is a place of no things?
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

Post by Fanman »

That is an excellent post, Steve. I think that what you say about potential is right. Perhaps at every level of existence.
Theists believe, agnostics ponder, atheists compute. A little bit of each should get us the right answer.
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

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Fanman wrote:That is an excellent post, Steve. I think that what you say about potential is right. Perhaps at every level of existence.
Thanks Fanman. I think potential, defined in the most general way, is a pretty straightforward concept. As I touched on in those posts, I think the point where it gets interesting in the context of the philosophy of physics is when considering ontological positions like materialism/physicalism. That's when we have to consider whether we think of potential things as real things. Some materialists (I've discussed this previously with Terrapin Station for example) don't buy the idea of potential things as real things. So they'd see kinetic energy as real, because it's about the relative movement of matter, and they regard matter and its relations as ontologically real. But they wouldn't see potential energy as real. I'd disagree with them.
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Re: The Self as a Highly Functional Illusion

Post by Faustus5 »

popeye1945 wrote: May 12th, 2021, 10:50 am What is it you have a problem with, that there is such a thing as Ultimate reality? Is your problem the said ultimate reality is a place of no things?
It is a meaningless, ill-defined concept for starters. Scientists don't use that kind of language in their actual work.
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