I, realist

I am a philosophical realist.

The physical reality, to me, exists independently regardless of whether it is perceived or not by me or anyone else.

The evidence is that things, firstly, do not simply disappear if it is not perceived. The back of my MacBook I am typing this on is there even though I am not seeing it. This extends to everything else, the underside of the table, outside, beyond the driveway, over the hill, behind the cloud. Secondly, before I came into existence the world existed. My parents were there to bring me into the world. And their world was a continuation of mine. Go back again further enough and there would been a time when no one existed to perceive the world. It makes sense that it existed even without being perceived. Thirdly, there will be a time in the universe when everything that perceives will pass away, and the physical world will continue to exist. There is no reason why it should disappear.

This kind of thinking places us into a mode of humility. We are not special, no more or less special than anything else. But to think we are better than other things because we see this is part of the complacency of being human. It is the exact same “place” where the humility comes from. But we must learn to struggle with that, knowing we will never fully be free from this view as a collective and as an individual, if there are such things to begin with.

9 thoughts on “I, realist

  1. landzek

    Since I take you as a philosopher, I cannot help but ask: is this a belief of yours?

    I have a different notion of what a realist is, or what reality is or what realism is.

    Care to elaborate?

    Reply
    1. signature103 Post author

      You can call this a formulation of mine, considering the definitions and beliefs out there.

      Take the definitions from this page:
      https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/realism/

      Realism is firstly linked to “ethics, aesthetics, causation, modality, science, mathematics, semantics” of which all must come from a question of perception.

      I do not think this is where we should start, but rather question what perception is. True, we cannot have knowledge of the reality without perception. But are we adding something more to reality with knowledge and perception?

      Here, I would say no. I would argue that knowledge and perception do not exist in reality, but is a product of the processes of reality.

      My question is, what is your notion of reality? Please elaborate, also.

      Reply
      1. landzek

        “I would argue that knowledge and perception do not exist in reality, but is a product of the processes of reality.”

        I do not call myself a realist. But I understand what the position generally tries to get at.

        Yours in an Interesting description. I can agree with that distinction you make.

        I think, though, that the way I use the term ‘reality’, Because knowledge and perception are processes of reality, they are real.

        I suppose that I make a particular distinction in order to convey a certain meaning through making the distinction, rather than the distinction implying a definition of how things are necessarily. If that makes sense.

        So I say: it’s all real. Including the distinctions we might make within it.

        In a way, it is similar to the notions of true and false. Because something always true it’s truly true, while also something that is false is truly false. By the simple standards of what we mean by true and false, this must be the case.
        There is no truth that is false which out it being truly false. Or a falsity that is true, likewise.

        To me this shows less an absolute limitation of knowledge as a truly true and not false, than it shows how knowledge is able to limit itself to define itself for the purposes of having a common arena in which to have its forms.

      2. signature103 Post author

        Whether knowledge and perception have a reality is a sticking point which I am working through. This is going with definitions of time and space different than to the standard including Kant’s. I see space and time not as a priori but as something which can only be defined by perception of objects.

        1. Space is inferred from the relationship of objects.
        2. Time is inferred from the interaction of objects in space.

      3. landzek

        If there is something in which or by which knowledge , et al, and reality are here for us to consider in separation and involvement, What would you call it?

        Existence? What term do you use? The universe?

      4. signature103 Post author

        I generally use “reality”, “physical reality”, “the world” interchangeably to mean “the entirety of objects, space and time. Sometimes I use “object/space-time” as a long hand description to differentiate my view from the other views.

      5. landzek

        What term do you use to include thought and perception with objects and physical reality ? Is there a term which speaks to ‘the whole’?

      6. signature103 Post author

        Ahhh. This is where we start to have differences.

        If you are asking me whether I believe thoughts and perceptions exist I will say they exist as “processes”, as *what objects do* but not objects.

        I have a couple of posts scheduled to discuss this over the next few days that touch upon this subject.

      7. landzek

        Cool. But I’m really just asking how you refer to ‘all’. What do you call that which is the brain, say, and the thought? Or maybe, where do the ‘perception’ and the ‘object’ coexist? I’m not asking about how they interact, I suppose I am asking what do you call that where both ‘arrive’ ? That ‘place’ where both ‘come up’?

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