KARL JASPERS FORUM
Commentary 10 (to R 10, Beamish; also to C51 to TA92 by Silliman)
TIME AND REALITY
by Herbert FJ Müller
19 December 2008, posted 27 December 2008
Time is a cargo.
Experience is primary and flows. The counting (to transform the flow of experience into a structure called ‘time’) is done by humans within experience. You can carry that time with you like a wrist-watch, but it can be translated into other people’s time.
Reality has three orthogonal dimensions, which are mind-independent.
Dimensions, scalars, vectors, and numbers generally, are human instruments, tool-structures used to handle experience (if it is reliable, the result may be called ‘reality’ in an as-if fashion after structuring). They are and remain human-mind instruments, and therefore not mind-independent (i.e., they are not ontic = metaphysical). Everything one can think about, including what you call mind-edges, includes subjects. Temporal concepts are quantified by counting (measuring), by one or many minds. Scientific consensus concerns tools, methods, procedures, operations of and by people, not metaphysics.
If they were mind-independent you would know nothing about them, nor would anyone else. I have never seen an explanation by those who advocate the existence of mind-independent realities for how structures that are not in the mind can get into (be received by, as you say) the mind. Not even Plato claimed that they can; indeed he denied it explicitly. They could not BECOME what you call mind-dependent; the reason is that the so-called onta are speculative extrapolations from human gestalt-formations, and START and always REMAIN as such within the mind. If you postulate mind-independence of entities, you do that within your mind. This does not imply ‘solipsism’, contrary to for instance M. Silliman’s recent claim in C51 to TA92; it just means that there are no thoughts without people who have them.
What one can say is that ‘three dimensions’ are a useful mental tool-set to deal with the extension aspect of experience, as one can find out by using them; that has nothing to do with metaphysics.
Herbert FJ Müller
e-mail <herbert.muller (at) mcgill.ca>