Re: virus:Other Reality

Reed Konsler (
Thu, 9 May 1996 18:14:00 -0400

Bill Godby said: (Thu May9, 11:02am):
How in the world do you speak of the existence of something that doesn't
apparently exist? Isn't existence scientifically defined by observation? It
interesting that you say this since it demonstrates the problem with
inference and knowledge. Once it was thought that all Geese were white
because all Geese ever seen were white, however when Australia was
discovered so were black Geese, demonstrating that yes we have a problem
with inference. We don't know that x doesn't exist because we haven't seen
it, but I agree with Hume that this scepticism isn't very useful regarding
action, rather our actions must be guided by what we know today, not
precluding that tomorrow it may change. The scepticism is useful in
recognizing the character of human knowledge.

Yes Yes YES!

Maybe I haven't been very clear, but from the beginning of both the "Definition
of Belief" and the "Other Reality" arguments the first line of Bill's statement
is almost exactly what I've meant. All arguments about existence must, to be
rational, be based on observation. That is what I mean't about the "primacy"
of observation.

I think Bill also points out the core of the disagreement David and I have been
having in this context in the rest of the paragraph. I too, sign on with Hume
(hard to find better company).