Human Participation in Reality

Let’s start by saying that:

Participation is by way of the 4 levels of cognition both speculative and practical.

Knowing is a participative process not a copy process.

Reality equals the World of Immediacy, World Mediated by Meaning and the World Constituted of Meaning.

Meaning Connects the Knower to the Known.

I’ll pose the following questions to get us started I know others will come.

  1. What is Knowing?
  2. What is the interaction between the knower and the known?
  3. What is Reality"
  4. How do we humans participate in Reality?

There is no reality or knowledge. There is only a system composed of two blocks: a mind and an external reality. Mind interacts through sense orgrans with external reality, organizes the information and creates purpose and meaniing. What is totally arbitrary is the structure of the mind and the sense organs. A differently organized mind with different sense organs will interact with external reality completely differently and will therefore exist and live in a different universe. I really don’t think that there is any real substance to the “external reality” only the way our mind organizes this reality creates reality. We will discover all this when we start to directly and physically manipulate our neural circuits, memory systems and emotion systems through neurosurgery.

But this “different universe” is still of the mind: a perceptive, subjective reality. It is the outcome of the interactions between, on one hand, the sense organs and the perceptive/cognitive processes within the perceiving entity, and on the other hand, an objective reality, out there, independent of the perceiving entities.

So different entities perceive and live in different universes, but this is entirely due to the subjective reality of these entities themselves and not due to there not being a objective reality. And the evidence to support this notion is that different entities, as long as they have the same perceiving faculties, can agree on a thing they both perceived as external to them.

So a fly may see a green thing, and all flies see it as green, but you may see it as red, and all humans see it as red. Admittedly we do not know whether the thing is really red or green, but that does not matter as much as the certainty that there is thing out there; and that as long as we do not have to talk to flies, calling it green, by definition or convention, is enough for us to interact with that “green” thing, and with each other about the “green” thing.

Living with out reality or knowledge is living within the World of Immediacy (made up of objects immediately present to awareness WITHOUT any meaning mediating that existence to the subject) such as an infant lives. How is this world known? Reflective awareness makes us realize that there is something more than what one already knows. There is something which exists but, of itself, does not have any meaning, yet can recieve a meaning (a potential) and that existence will determine whether the meaning for it is true or not.

As the infant learns to speak it moves into the larger world a World Mediated by Meaning. “The essence of that world” according to Richard McBrien, "past, present, and future, the possible, the probable and the actual for the the probable and the actual for the reality of the world mediated by meaning is far more complex” It includes the immediate experience but also goes far beyond it. “For the world mediated by meaning is not just given,” insists Bernard Lonergan. “Over and above what is given there is the universe that is intended by questions, that is organized by intelligence, that is described by language (and) that is enriched by tradition. It is an enormous world beyond the comprehension of the nursery. But is also an insecure world, for besides fact there is fiction, besides truth there is error, beside science there is myth, besides honesty there is deceit”. The move form one world to the next is a life changing experience much likened to the move of Plato’s prisoners, in the Allegory of the Cave, from the cave composed of dark images to the universe of light. The change is virtually the beginning of a new life for the subject. It alters the self-conscious and opens it to a whole new world of meaning.

This is a matter of dispute for the difference between the world of immediacy and the world mediated by meaning is a source of critical problems for philosophers. The world mediated by meaning is for the naive realist just an idea. For the idealist is the only world we know intelligently and rationally, and it is not real but it is ideal. For the critical realest it is the world we know intelligently and rationally and it is not ideal but it is real. The world of immediacy is just a fragment of the real world. All adults know what consciousness is in the first sense of knowledge, that knowledge is exactly the same as experience. The problem is the second, that knowledge is not just experience but also understanding and judgment. The problem is to try to understand and judge what one has experienced. Internal experience is not just of sensible experience. We also have experience of our own understanding and judgment. So we have the huge problem of how we can try to understand and judge our own presence to ourselves.

One’s ‘horizon’ can now be called ones knowledge and one’s expierences called ones conscience, that which forms the basis for future judgements of new understanding. That awareness which can be called knowledge should be viewed as having gone through at least the first three levels of cognition.

Yes, nameta9, there is a reality. It is the interaction between an object and a knowing subject. There cannot be one without the other so the knowing subject is as much a part of the object as the object itself. So… all knowing subjects, considering they create the object, give it meaning, must influence it in a way too so that reality is very subjective.

Does this mean that you have your reality and I have mine? Yes and no. You have your perceptions and I have mine. but reality exists on the 4th level of cognition and must be a universally accepted truth. (Ref. Dr. S.I. Hayakawa and his images of primitive villages).

I guess I mostly agree. What is really the point is that this theory when applied to the event of engineering and manipulating our own brains, and minds and sense organs (memory circuits, neural circuits, cpu implants) in the future will bring us to construct totally new universes. There is no limit especially since the “subject” is also part of the “object” …

Grasshopper, you can not bring memory circuits, neural circuits, cpu implants into it. The are simple data storage devices and as such have no insight, no Ah-Ha, as such they can not be a knower. That is at this time. Who knows what they’ll be able to do in the future. Download your Spirit maybe??

If you modify the mind and brain you modify the universe perceived by it. In this sense there is no limit to what is possible. I don’t know how far off this is, but many philosophical problems like “subject object” etc will become the dominant problems.