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Help Me, Captain Philosophy! [Aug. 16th, 2006|04:51 pm]
I took a relatively interesting philosophy quiz (here) that characterizes me as a metaphysical Realist, an epistemological Subjectivist, and an ethical Utilitarian.

The corresponding viewpoints aren't a horrible match -- they're better than the subcategories listed under the polar opposite "Reductionist/Absolutist/Relativist" type, but still, there were a bunch of questions where none of the answers really fit what I believe. There are lots of these questions to which my answer is really mu -- either the question is ill-posed, or there's not enough context to give a proper answer.

So, not that I actually expect anybody on my flist can answer the question, but: Can you help me find a label for my philosophical outlook?

In a nutshell, here's what I think. There are two kinds of thing in the world: physical things, and informational things. A rock is physical; a 30-60-90 triangle is informational. Your mind is software (informational) that runs on the hardware of your body (physical). Part of your mind is a model of the objective physical universe; this model is imperfect, being fed by your imperfect perceptions of the universe, but there's an isomorphism between model and reality.

Here's the part that seems to be unconventional: I've come to believe that statements about physical things are qualitatively different than statements about informational things. In particular, boolean truth is applicable only to purely informational propositions. Statement about physical things evaluate to what I'll call "floating-point truth".

So what is that? Property dualism? Fuzzy-logic Aristotelianism? Any ideas?

[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2006-08-17 05:36 am (UTC)
I don't think it's Platonic Realism, because while we've got a similar distinction, Plato's Allegory of the Cave is just wack.

The General Semantics thing is interesting, but it looks like the founder went overboard with his ideas...
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[User Picture]From: da_lj
2006-08-20 01:02 pm (UTC)
Plato's Allegory of the Cave is just wack

Really? I think it works, as allegory.

Guess I'll defer to ng_nighthawk's better epistemological investigations and add a *shriug* :)

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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2006-08-20 01:40 pm (UTC)
It's the idea that form is primary, and the physical universe is just a bad copy of some perfect abstract form. That's a totally goofy idea.
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[User Picture]From: da_lj
2006-08-20 03:57 pm (UTC)
In itself, yes.

Personally, I like a nice balance between Platonic Realism and General Semantics; on the one hand, the form is primary and more pure than the percieved world, on the other, the form cannot accurately and totally describe the real.

Yay, self-contradictory mental models.
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