"We ought to take middle reality as realest because it is what our senses lead us to focus on." But don't they reveal generalities first?
Last time, I argued that intellectual and perceptual maturity attunes us to middle reality -- if we judge the middle in terms of parts and wholes. The better we see and understand things, the more we realize that reality is in the middle. If, however, we judge the middle according to originals and copies, we do become better at seeing [...]
You'd expect organisms that survive to be attuned to reality, and most attuned to what is most real. We're attuned to things that are on the middle level of reality. So . . .
When I say reality is realest in the middle, what do I mean? Well, let me explain. No, please let me explain. This is so important to me. Pleeeeease
Imitating Aristotle leads us to conclude that reality is in the middle. And we should imitate Aristotle. Down with reductionism and its opposite!
Idea: Reductionism is incompatible with one form of generalism, but not the other. Reductionists believe reality is at the bottom. You don't really exist. You are just your parts, behaving and interacting in the various ways they do. In contrast, generalists think reality is at the top. But there are two versions of this belief. One version says wholes are primary. [...]
Idea: There are good reasons for believing that the more original a thing is, the realer it is. Let's call reality-is-at-the-top-ism in general, "generalism." The type of generalism we examined last time is what I called "unificationism." But there's another version. "Originalism" will be my name for the idea that a thing derives its reality from its [...]
There's a mix of reasons for believing that larger, more inclusive things are realer. Some of them seem perfectly reasonable. Others are questionable.
Idea: There are four good reasons for being a reductionist. At the cellular, molecular, or quantum level, you don't exist. But it's those lower levels of reality that are most real. The higher levels are just manifestations of their parts -- of how things at the lower levels behave and interact. This theory is called "reductionism." Reductionism's Theme Song Why believe [...]
It does, and everyone (from Plato and Aristotle to you) agrees. In this post, we explore the various ways of dividing reality into different levels.
There is a huge fight going on about where reality is, and no one realizes it. Except me. And tons of other people. Option 1: Reality is at the bottom Many people think only the smallest things are really real. If they're physicists, they're particle physicists. If they're biologists, they're molecular biologists. They think everything else -- human actions, human [...]
Idea: The number of things in the world goes down when you make new things. When you smash a vase -- as you regularly do, I'm sure -- the vase ceases to exist. It's gone. There is one fewer thing (one fewer entity or substance) in the world. But that's not all. The total number of things in [...]
I've received two rejection letters this summer for papers. I sent the first paper right out again, because the rejection from the APA's new journal provided only two sentences of comment from one reviewer, and those two sentences showed the reviewer hadn't even read the article. I won't be sending anything to that journal again. [...]
Some Not-Well-Developed Thoughts: Whether wholes are more fundamental than their parts, or parts more fundamental than their wholes, is an important question. The terminology of "fundamental particles" decides the question in favor of parts. It reinforces the idea that the proper way to think of reality is from the bottom up, rather than from the [...]