Symbolic Existence

There is a disjunctive feeling (or disappointment) in the rectification of our subjective inner worlds with that of the objective outside. We perceive structures and events in a way incongruous with external fact from which the inner world is based. The objective/subjective disjunct leads to a feeling of disconnection, or unreality, since the external world feels as if it ought to live up to our inner models and conceptions. In a sense, the real world isn’t real enough.

This, like many other epistemic problems, is a problem with abstraction. Perceptively our inner mapping is more real to us than its external basis.

This problem is a matter of ideals. The world exists as structure in the mind, as the basis for action or thought. The model is where we actually live. The model can never reflect the external accurately. The model (existence henceforth) is symbolic (quasi-linguistic). Symbolic existence is naturalistic, arising through evolutionary necessity, and is thus, in a sense, pragmatic. They arise and are structured by events that seem important.

This idea of modeling, Is largely of matter of a convenient metaphor, it is a purely physical process based on neurology and cognitive precepts. Symbolic existence, in the sense I’m using it, is nothing more than a collection of perceptions (immediate, or from memory) connected with perceived logical connections. Symbolic structures are largely utilitarian in that each model is created in order to facilitate interactions in the world. Meaning existence is structured in a way to fit our purpose of interaction. The world is intention.

The implications of this is that objective knowledge is impossible, since all we can have knowledge of is of structured phenomenological events. This can, though, come close to the actual objectivity of the world, within a certain purpose, but not in the general sense of the term objectivity. The different purpose informed worlds are subject to Wittgensteinian language-games, in that using inappropriate models (or worlds in the sense of Goodman) for problems lead to confusion of simple concepts or nonexistent problems.

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