Physicalism, Dissonance

I look at an apple and experience it in two ways. In one case I experience the apple as a united sensual experience, and in another case the apple itself dissolves once sight of apple and taste of apple are stripped from it as independent. The object apple feels like something hypothetical. Yet, physical entities have always been the most concrete and ‘real’ thing!

Now, I could simply remove the dissonance by accepting things in a common way—which is to accept that before experience there are physical things with properties, some of which we know and some of which are yet to be discovered. And why not accept this?—after all, everyone loves the “mysteries of the universe.”

Here I use common to suppose a world for a populous of minds to share. Contrast this to the word popular which for me is also a terminological word, yet belongs to a less burdened language and simply recognizes that which occurs often in language. In as much is this is how I understand these words, the language of the popular does not carry along with it the same suppositions as the common, that is, of other minds or a common world.

While this appeal feels modest enough, I cannot help but feel an arrogance behind it. I mean, I do not wish to refute any fan of the sciences on “the things we know for certain”. Only I understand that he can’t possibly mean as much as he thinks he does. That is, a scientific fact only has meaning within a certain scientific understanding. And I can’t pretend that his understanding is the understanding which holds the possibility to explain everything. Simply think on the many scientific meanings of love for example. (See lecture “What?”—“I Mean Love”.)

Tonight I will accept the dissonance, if that is the consequence. I prefer to suffer with it, rather than permit myself the arrogance which accompanies factual discourse.