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Thread: Reality and the existence of abstraction

  1. #1
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    Reality and the existence of abstraction

    This is a big problem I'm trying to come to terms with on a daily basis. Does abstraction actually exist independently or is it just a human-construct that provides some basis of reasoning?
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    Re: Reality and the existence of abstraction

    Quote Originally Posted by PilgrimsPath View Post
    This is a big problem I'm trying to come to terms with on a daily basis. Does abstraction actually exist independently or is it just a human-construct that provides some basis of reasoning?
    I took an undergraduate degree in philosophy as well as advanced courses. Your question was and is my main research interest. I suggest that you read THE NUMBER SENSE: How The Mind Creates Mathematics by Stanislas Dehaene. The author is a distinguished brain scientist who lectures at the University of Paris & the University of Oregon.
    I think that brain science will ultimately answer most questions in epistemology.

    Here is one , of many, lectures from the University of Texas on your question. The whole course is available on line.
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    Re: Reality and the existence of abstraction

    I'm grateful I've bumped into an equal. I will look into your suggested resources. Ultimately, I'm fascinated with philosophy of mind hence epistemology.

    Now, in my opinion, the existence of abstraction must be conceived in our consciousness.

    "Leibniz remarked that if we could construct a machine that could think and feel, and blow it up to the size of a mill and thus be able to examine its working parts as thoroughly as we pleased, we would still not find consciousness."
    Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy

    With the above quote in mind and my belief that abstraction is a by-product of consciousness; I honestly feel that abstraction will always exist but can only be experienced by mind. So in essence, in my view, it's mind-dependent.
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    Re: Reality and the existence of abstraction

    the statement by Leibniz is only true if there are no quantum processes involved in consciousness.

    There probably are.
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    Re: Reality and the existence of abstraction

    Quote Originally Posted by PilgrimsPath View Post
    "Leibniz remarked that if we could construct a machine that could think and feel, and blow it up to the size of a mill and thus be able to examine its working parts as thoroughly as we pleased, we would still not find consciousness." Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy?
    Leibniz was writing in the seventeenth century. He is firmly in the idealist Continental tradition. In the last three hundred plus years, we have learned so much more about the brain. If you read the book I point out, then you will see that in fact imaging do in fact locate consciousness. It is a function of our brain. Moreover, we are our brains. That is why a brain dead corpse is not a person. As the saying goes: "When you are dead, you do not know that you are dead; the same can be said if you are stupid".
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