Saturday, October 31, 2009

Epistemology: A Poem



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(image: Rene Descartes)
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Epistemology: A Poem

I never needed to prove whether an exterior
world existed. It proved itself to me, casually.
I get hungry, e.g., and the exterior world has
food, for which you work in the world. When
you work all day for minimum wage, or more,
the world exists. Could it all be an illusion?

Actually, no. And even if philosophers can't
disprove the illusion, that's their problem,
and they'll react to a fire-alarm and otherwise
live in the world, which contains their
arguments in exteriorish books and computers,
so as they say, let's get real. But could we

simply be brains in vats? I'm guessing no
because that's too many vats and too much
vat-maintenance, and besides, even if all this
were a vat-trick, we'd live as if it weren't,
digging in dirt and pondering vat-riddles,
so as they say, let's get real. This It

we experience mixes the real, our illusions,
and realillusion. If you don't think the
exterior world exists, good for you! I hope
your non-existent exterior world includes
farmers, fire-fighters, dentists, door-hangers,
masons, and . . . magicians, of course.


Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
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