FRIHOSTFORUMSSEARCHFAQTOSBLOGSCOMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


Reality(s)?





Vidollo
My Sociology teacher brought up the idea of the social construction of reality the other day in class. It brings up the concept of that their either is no objective reality, and that instead each person carries his/her own reality with them and embues everything they interact with with meaning based upon their own reality, or that while there is an objective reality, no one is capable of seeing it clearly, and instead has a 'lens' through which they view/interpret the world. Or is it that everyone actually does see reality clearly and interacts with it directly? What do you all think?
sarapicoazul
Your sociology teacher is absolutely right! Each person carries his/her own reality and that reality is only an approximation of the objective reality. Objective reality is just a theorectical concept. No one can see through others' eyes. We must interpret reality and our interpretation sometimes differs from others. Still there is one colective/social reality we all agree upon.
Vidollo
How does a collective/social reality that we all agree on differ from an objective reality? And how can we all agree on it if none of us can see through someone else's eyes?
sarapicoazul
Vidollo wrote:
How does a collective/social reality that we all agree on differ from an objective reality? And how can we all agree on it if none of us can see through someone else's eyes?


I don't have all the answers but as fas as i know objective reality is just a theoretical concept. A kind of reality independent of our single views. It is just there. Collective/social reality is a social construction, the result of our social interaction and that's why we all agree on it.
eznet
I too believe in the social construct model. If we had no ears, would we define things as we currently do? Likely. If we had no eyes, certainly our means to define "reality" would be far from what it is now. There is a medium, where the majority of perceptions agree on a standard of sorts but this is far from absolute. We can perceive only a very small percentage of the information that is floating around out there through our senses (and even our scientific equipment - which, in itself, paints a reality far from ours).

Energy; that is the extent of real. Objective reality? Energy and only energy; and that’s only if you stay within the constraints of our accepted standard model of physics, but really the possibilities are endless. Outside of energy, more specifically dealing with our perception and interpretation of it, the defining lines break down.

This existence is a curious one, that is certain.
Rico
Quote:
or that while there is an objective reality, no one is capable of seeing it clearly, and instead has a 'lens' through which they view/interpret the world.


If you believe in an objective reality it’s a good idea to consider the laws that govern such a reality. The reason there’s so much misunderstanding with each other is because the way reality is being interpreted is influenced be each persons “lens”. That’s why learning and communication is so vital.
eznet
Rico wrote:
If you believe in an objective reality it’s a good idea to consider the laws that govern such a reality. The reason there’s so much misunderstanding with each other is because the way reality is being interpreted is influenced be each persons “lens”. That’s why learning and communication is so vital.

In reality, I do not know what I believe. I believe that I do not know enough to even begin to suggest that I understand anything about the absolute reality of things. I think there is what is, and then there is what we perceive. I do not know if we will ever truly see what is, for all that it is; I can only hope that we will continue to strive to. It is kind of like never being able to absolutely know the quantum state of something or not being able to know an electrons exact speed or position; when we observe something, it changes simply as a result of being observed.

Sometimes I cannot help but wonder if all definition, all of what we consider to be defining characteristics and attributes are merely arbitrary creations of humans. That within the frameworks that we have established with governing rules and mathematics, these things are real, but when taken out of their framework they are not so definitive (if that makes sense at all). Kind of goes to the concept of “its not what you say but how you say it”. Things are as we have made them to be, through our quest to define and understand, but much like a violin is a fiddle when taken from the orchestra to the bluegrass band, things are only what they are within the arbitrary constraints in which we have placed them.

Since cognition gave birth to the initial questions of our evolutionary forefathers we have been seeking out to establish a standard of understanding, so that we may learn and teach others and ourselves based on this standard. But in this quest, we have made and changed the rules. There was no key presented to us so that we may decode the nature of reality as we discover it but instead we are making the key, as we have always done, as we go.
Rico
eznet wrote:

In reality, I do not know what I believe. I believe that I do not know enough to even begin to suggest that I understand anything about the absolute reality of things. I think there is what is, and then there is what we perceive. I do not know if we will ever truly see what is, for all that it is; I can only hope that we will continue to strive to. It is kind of like never being able to absolutely know the quantum state of something or not being able to know an electrons exact speed or position; when we observe something, it changes simply as a result of being observed.


Things are not that complicated. You identify the principals that govern the universe, and then you build values based on them (according to your perception [the dodgy part]). Do you need to understand the molecular structure of water for it to quench your thirst?

eznet wrote:

Sometimes I cannot help but wonder if all definition, all of what we consider to be defining characteristics and attributes are merely arbitrary creations of humans. That within the frameworks that we have established with governing rules and mathematics, these things are real, but when taken out of their framework they are not so definitive (if that makes sense at all). Kind of goes to the concept of “its not what you say but how you say it”. Things are as we have made them to be, through our quest to define and understand, but much like a violin is a fiddle when taken from the orchestra to the bluegrass band, things are only what they are within the arbitrary constraints in which we have placed them.


Again philosophy is fun, but don’t get yourself into knots about the astounding potential you have in your imagination. Use it pro-actively to address issues that you know will bear fruit in the long run.

eznet wrote:

Since cognition gave birth to the initial questions of our evolutionary forefathers we have been seeking out to establish a standard of understanding, so that we may learn and teach others and ourselves based on this standard. But in this quest, we have made and changed the rules. There was no key presented to us so that we may decode the nature of reality as we discover it but instead we are making the key, as we have always done, as we go.


The key has been there all along, it’s the knowledge of knowing what is good and what is evil.
VFisa
just imagine the matrix idea..)) Mad
Indi
eznet wrote:
In reality, I do not know what I believe. I believe that I do not know enough to even begin to suggest that I understand anything about the absolute reality of things. I think there is what is, and then there is what we perceive. I do not know if we will ever truly see what is, for all that it is; I can only hope that we will continue to strive to. It is kind of like never being able to absolutely know the quantum state of something or not being able to know an electrons exact speed or position; when we observe something, it changes simply as a result of being observed.

Sometimes I cannot help but wonder if all definition, all of what we consider to be defining characteristics and attributes are merely arbitrary creations of humans. That within the frameworks that we have established with governing rules and mathematics, these things are real, but when taken out of their framework they are not so definitive (if that makes sense at all). Kind of goes to the concept of “its not what you say but how you say it”. Things are as we have made them to be, through our quest to define and understand, but much like a violin is a fiddle when taken from the orchestra to the bluegrass band, things are only what they are within the arbitrary constraints in which we have placed them.

Science does not require the existence of an objective reality. Although it generally assumes that one exists, it is not a requirement.

More importantly, it is also not presumed that we are capable of observing an objective reality (if one exists) without any subjective impression superimposed on our observations. Or to put it another way, science understands and concedes the fact that there may not be an objective reality, and if there is we may not be able to observe it directly but rather observe it only through our "lens".

Instead of speaking about "objective" reality, science philosophers talk about "intersubjective" reality. In other words, there may not be an objective reality, or if there is we may not be able to observe it, but we can speak about things that we all observe in similarly as if they were an objective reality. We can use common observations to draft a pseudo-objective reality, and that's what science is based on. Note that if there really is an objective reality, and if we really are capable of observing it, then the pseudo-objective reality and real objective reality will be the same thing.

So how do we determine when we're observing things similarly? We use the reality we're observing - whether it's real or simply our subjective interpretation of it - to measure itself. If we want to know that a block is 10 m, we take an object that we have defined to be 10 m and compare its length to the block's. All of our experience across billions of humans over generations back to the dawn of human awareness has shown us that anyone that observes the comparison will observe it identically, insofar as we can tell. If I look at the two objects and see they are the same length, everyone who is able to observe the comparison will agree. Now, are they really the same length? Does either object even really exist? *shrug* Doesn't really matter. We know beyond any reasonable doubt that every human capable of observing it will agree about the observation. It may not be "real", but it is an experience that is shared unchanged between observers - that is, it is intersubjective. The fact is, if reality is actually different, it doesn't really matter because we cannot observe that difference, so it has no bearing on us. Essentially, science admits that we're using subjective reality, but insists only on accepting those observations that are constant throughout everyone's subjective realities - whether they actually represent any objective reality or not is functionally irrelevant.

So, no, it's not quite the same thing as indeterminacy. While it is true that you can never know what is objectively real, the fact is that you rarely have any reason to care. The car bearing down on you may not actually be an objectively real object, but you're about to get your intersubjective ass flattened nonetheless. What really matters to you 99.999% of the time is not what is really "real", but what is "real" to you.
Bikerman
Indi wrote:

........
So, no, it's not quite the same thing as indeterminacy. While it is true that you can never know what is objectively real, the fact is that you rarely have any reason to care. The car bearing down on you may not actually be an objectively real object, but you're about to get your intersubjective *** flattened nonetheless. What really matters to you 99.999% of the time is not what is really "real", but what is "real" to you.


A couple of interesting addendums.

Here's an interesting little 'proof' I came across a long time ago which, whilst certainly not a rigorous proof, is a nice take on the problem.
1) Quick 'proof' of objective reality.
Proposed definition of 'objective reality' : that which remains 'true' regardless of belief.

Question - is there such a thing as 'objective reality'

The relativist would say no and the objective realist would say yes.
Therefore, ask the meta-question ':
'is there an answer to the question'?
Both sides agree that the answer is yes.
This answer is therefore an objective reality because it exists regardless of belief and therefore the answer to the original question is Yes.
:)

A slightly more serious look at the issue is taken by followers of Objectivism, largely developed by Ayn Rand.

Rand defines 'reason' as '
Quote:
the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses."


Reason performs this function using concepts, and the validity of reason rests on the validity of concepts. If concepts refer to facts, then knowledge has a base in reality, and one can define objective principles to guide man's process of cognition. If concepts are cut off from reality, then so is all human knowledge, and man is helplessly blind.

This is the "problem of universals," on which Western philosophy has foundered. and is a different way of stating the problem we face here with objective reality.

Rand shows a link between concepts and reality in her philosophy and, therefore, does away with this central problem. To simplify her work one could say that in order to form a concept, one isolates two or more similar concretes from the rest of one's perceptual field. One then further integrates them into a single mental unit, symbolized by a word.
A concept includes, or more correctly, subsumes, an unlimited number of instances, namely the concretes one isolated, and all others (past, present, and future) which are similar to them.

Now the senses, concepts, logic are the elements of man's rational faculty in terms of start (senses), form (concepts) and method (logic).
For something to "follow reason", therefore, means: base knowledge on observation; form concepts according to the relationships among concretes; and use concepts according to the rules of logic (ultimately, the Law of Identity).

Since each of these elements is based on objective reality, as a measurable entity, the conclusions reached by a process of reason are themselves objective.

I've probably oversimplified that too much but I think that captures the basics of Objectivism..

Regards
Chris
Related topics
Tv and the reallity shows
World's First 3D Display Revealed
My Poem Collection Post 1 : ~~Waiting For You~~
Does reality suck?
science vs. religion
UFOs, ghosts and other paranormal stuff
Would you like a "Reality TV" board here
Aliens - Myth or reality?
Immersive Virtual Reality
Nick & Aaron Carter Reality Show
Reality Shows
Mathematics and reality
Dream and Reality
RC aircraft + onboard camera + virtual reality
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Lifestyle and News -> Philosophy and Religion

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.