Reply to one of my comment in Ask a Philosopher:
Andre, You wrote, “when “proto scientists” first understood that there was an “objective” reality outside of us which we could use and manipulate for our benefit.
What do you consider to be this “objective reality” ? Kant’s thing in itself?
For me, “objective reality” is the reality in itself (noumena) coming in contact with the neurons of our brains through our senses, which our conscious mind observes as “appearances” of reality, as phenomena. That is the best we can do. But still, this reality is “objective” to us since it represents “objects” present in space and time.
Consciousness here is “[a phenomenon arising] from the interaction of physical and cognitive processes in the brain.” (Daniel Dennett) So, the only things we are “conscious of” are the “physical processes” happening in our brains, the “appearances” of reality, which we perceive as “ourselves” (our “cognitive processes,” which are unique for each individual but with some similarities). These same processes also occurred in the mind of “animals*,” but since none of them has conceptualized space and time, they react instinctively to the things in themselves that their brains encounter.
*Similar for all animals of the same species but with some differences in each individuals.
While replying to your comment, I came in contact with the “binding problem,” which my theory, De evolutionibus res naturas, easily explain by exposing how our brain transmits sound to our consciousness. It goes like this:
Let’s say, for example, that we are in a concert hall listening to an orchestra rendering Beethoven’s Symphony No 9. What is delivered by the orchestra is not sound but organized motion produced by instruments activated by the energy present in the musicians. Here, “energy” and “motion” are important notions because this is what, to answer your question, the “objective reality” is made off: Energy and Motion, as in E=mc².
Here we can say beyond the iota of a doubt that if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, THERE IS NO SOUND BUT ONLY MOTIONS, which are chaotic in this case. Thus the “CRACK-BANG” we hear when we are in proximity.
Here too, in our example of the orchestra playing Beethoven, the waves that come to us in the hall are not “sound waves,” but atmospheric waves, which our inner ears transform into electrical and chemical signals transmitted by the auditory nerve to the auditory cortex. Where each neuron is activated (motion) by specific signals altogether organized in mathematical patterns. Patterns which our consciousness perceives as the symphony once present in Beethoven’s mind…
Animals, not being “self-conscious,” are thus not confronted with this binding problem. If the signals they receive from the outside world is significant to them, they react instinctively as they have in their evolution; if these signals are not significant for them, they don’t respond.* This is why animals are defined by the environment in which they live, while we define ours. Animals react to their environment using the somatic resources that evolution has given them, we transform ours using the “exosomatic” tools that our power of imagination allows us to produce.
*That is why there are so many road kills. At night, when animals cross a road they stop still in the middle of it, I believe, hypnotized by the bright lights that they have never seen before, and which they will never see again…
My theory also explains in evolutionary terms Kant’s” transcendental idealism.” For Kant, the notions (space and time) necessary to understand our sensibility are present “a priori” in our brain. For me, aware as I am of evolution and not being a professional philosopher, what we first “transcended” when entering the Savannah was our animal nature, the information present in our genes. It is then that the many first “proto-scientists” understood, on many occasions while becoming Homo, that there were “objects” out there that we could use to defend ourselves against the danger of the Savannah. It is then that, for the first time, the notions of space and time became fundamental for our understanding. I have a hypothesis: The Security-Stick Hypothesis, synthesizing the Climate and Savannah hypotheses, which shows why and how this could have happened by “Chance and Necessity” (Jacques Monod). It is then that nurture became essential to our nature because it is these notions of space and time that we still now unconsciously transmit to our progenitor while raising them. Feral children never ‘objectify” reality, not having lived in a post-partum “social womb” where the mind of human beings is conceived…
That is why we need to be right and why all of science is wrong at the moment because the essence of human nature is still founded on notions of space and time that quantum mechanics has shown us to be wrong:
“There are few ideas that, like our notion of time, shape our thinking about literally everything, with major implications for physics and beyond — from climate change to the economic crisis.” Lee Smolin, Time Reborn.
At first and for many millions of years after, the notions of space and time were not conscious but inherent in our understanding. It is only 30,000 years ago, while we were representing on cave walls objects that we had perceived somewhere else, that we first intuit, unconsciously again, that “space” existed as the background of our reality. (Our forebears were surely as amazed when looking at these paintings as we are now going to the cinema.) And it is only 15,000 later that we unconsciously intuited time while understanding that what we planted in one season could be harvest in a later one. And it is only with the birth of science that these notions essential to our understanding became objective concepts to us.
In passing, we can speculate that space was first recognized by males while time by females. Males were painting deep in caves images of their hunts, which had already happened somewhere else in space. And females perceived the passage of time later while noticing the growth of their offspring and the appearance of harvestable vegetation where they had buried seeds in an earlier season. Evidence of these suppositions could be seen today in men reluctant to ask for directions and in women never forgetting…
This is not as well organized as it would be if I were a specialist addressing other specialists. But I am not. I am an outsider, a generalist of science, an anthropologist of knowledge, who developed through his life while visiting many specialized domains in 7 colleges and universities, a Theory of Everything based on an original conception of time affecting human knowledge in its entirety.
“A macroscope is to the infinitely complex, what a telescope is to the infinitely great, and a microscope, to the infinitely small.” Joel de Rosnay, Le macroscope (1979)
PS I am 75 years young man, going on 20. I still have much to do but not much time to do it. This is not a good sign for humanity since I own many crucial answers but do not have much time to present them to specialists and professional philosophers who tend to see me as a quack…
My second general BA was undertaken intentionally to find out as a generalist what is wrong with specialists that they cannot use the knowledge that they have to solve the problems created by progress. This, after having read Buckminster Fuller’s saying that:
“…of course, our failures are a consequence of many factors, but possibly one of the most important is the fact that society operates on the theory that specialization is the key to success, not realizing that specialization precludes comprehensive thinking,” (Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth),
and after being secured in this way of thinking by Konrad by Konrad Lorentz’s saying that:
“Specialists, by knowing ever more and more about less and less, will finish knowing everything about nothing” (Behind the Mirror).