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Challenging Objectivity and the Object-Concept Duality

> “Existence and objecthood is not dependent or relative to an observer at all. Period. These concepts are OBJECTIVE (i.e. observer independent)”

We can’t know that scientifically since all we can know is through observation and inferences based on observation. Objecthood is a concept based on body relations and extensions thereof. Obviously there are phenomena which are independent of human observation, but that does not at all preclude the possibility that their objective seeming nature is not predicated on more general, non-human sense interactions.

>”Something is an object if it has SHAPE.Something exists if it has PHYSICAL PRESENCE (i.e. shape + location).”

This is not as cut and dried as it might seem also. If water evaporates, does it have a shape? If it does, we would have to say that it only does on a molecular level, which requires instruments to detect. Is an emotion any different? The shape of love could similarly be described by neurochemical molecular shapes on that microcosmic level. What then is the difference, other than the neurotranmsitters are located in the neurons and the water vapor is located in the air.

>”We don’t prove objecthood or existence. We assume it to explain a theory.”

Then the theory can only pertain to a universe in which existence is objective. We don’t know of any universe like that.

>”For instance, a shadow puppet or a flame may appear to have shape based on the illusory “boundary” we perceived formed by differences in light intensity, but a contrast in colors or in light is not an object.”

All boundaries may be objectively ‘illusory’. It all depends on what scale you are measuring whatever you think is a boundary. We infer solidity through a consensus of senses – tactile and visual mainly. Electron microscopes reveal smoothly shaped surfaces to be porous or irregular. Telescopes reveal distant smudges of light to be billions of separate stars. Shape is relative.


>”Shape is the only property of objects that is observer-independent. That’s why “that which has shape” is the only rational definition of the term.”

Not necessarily. Shape could just as easily be a low level perceptual consensus. The content of that perception represents ‘that which seems to be observer-dependent’.

MM >”Science is all about objects. We understand that ALL phenomena is the result of surface to surface contact between objects.”

Yes, science has been all about objects, but if we don’t progress beyond that then science will stagnate and become less relevant to our increasing understanding. Surface to surface contact is not really useful in explaining planetary orbits or something like communication. Surfaces themselves are conceptual, its just that our visual and tactile senses are inherently the most objectifying.

The weakness of the object-concept dualism is the same as any other dualism. How does one relate to the other? Take a clear concept like…Communism. If you want to explain the sudden changes in the behavior of populations in the history of Russia or China – the weapons deployed…lots of objects objectively banging around and bodies changing their shapes into mutilated cadavers – how do you do it?

I have proposed a better model. The conjugate to public objects is not concepts but private experiences. It is feeling, not ideas which allow us to take the intellectual experience of “Communism” and turn them into neurochemical signals which contract the voluntary muscle-objects of our body. Concepts don’t do anything by themselves, they are figures of our understanding.

It is sensation/feeling which sucks the ‘experiential entropy‘ out of public worlds (spatially-diffracted sense phenomena, aka quantitatively realized qualia, aka bodies) into private significance (low experiential entropy, reconstituted sensory-motive phenomena: qualia). Participation or motive (misconceived of as “energy” in non-humans and “will” in animals) does the same thing as perception in the opposite direction: it projects private experience outward, re-diffracting qualia through space public conditions.

I know how that sounds, but it actually does make sense if you care to understand it. Another problem with defining objects as phenomena with shape is that we can dream of things with shapes, but they are less like objects than shadows. Why? Because when we wake up, the dream is reconsidered from a higher experiential entropy framework – a more real realism which exposes the lower experiential entropy of the dream realism.

The dream is private experience, the shadow is a more public experience. A rainbow is a more public experience too, but it only has a shape if you look at it from the right angle. A rock is much more public. Ants interact with it as we expect we would if we were that size. It is still not an ‘object’ from an absolute perspective. At the atomic level there is no rock. There is no ‘collection’ of atoms as there is nothing to collect them in a coherent sense experience. Atoms don’t see a rock, they don’t touch a rock – the rock has no shape therefore without other rock sized objects with which to interact.

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  1. May 15, 2013 at 2:08 pm

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