Saturday, 21 March 2009

Objects and appearance/Mind and reality

If we separate the object (the 'thing in itself') from its appearance ('in our senses') then we have created the problem of how the object and its appearance are related. One solution might be to remove the separation. Without this the object and the way it appears to us are identical (aspects of the same), and so the realms of the ideal and the real are merged (aspects of the same).

One could point out that there are many cases where the mind departs from reality (dreams, hallucinations, misperceptions, etc.), and that these cases strongly suggest a disparity between the appearance and the objectivity of the world. In such cases, though, the subject concerned is still having a real experience, i.e. the world as it appears to them at that time is veridical. But their understanding of that experience (say, a dream) at a later point may in retrospect change when compared to the norm.

This is in essence no different from misapprehensions, such as the person who thinks it is Friday and then realises it is actually Saturday. At the time it was in force the experience of it being Friday was entirely real. It only appears as unreal in comparison with a subsequent understanding. Likewise, our dreams appear unreal on waking, but utterly real while being dreamed.