Intuition is Anthropocentric

Some important threads on giving serious consideration to anthropocentric views of physics, rather than simply being dismissive of  “fine tuning” arguments and the like. [Previous posts, Goldilocks, Island links … etc.]

Saw these quotes in the preface to Thomas Metzinger’s “The Ego Tunnel – The Science of Mind and the Myth of the Self

“Any theory that makes progress is bound to be initially counter-intuitive.”
– Dan Dennett


“Wittgenstein greeted me with a question: “Why do people say that it was natural to think that the sun went round the earth?” I replied: “I suppose, because it looked (*) as if the sun went round the earth.” “Well,” he asked “what would it have looked like if it had looked as if the earth turned on its axis?”
– Elizabeth Anscombe

Clearly we see our current position as the centre of our world model – me, my planet, my solar system, my galaxy, my universe … (As I said once before this is what Ptolemaic and Copernican views have in common. “We” are at its centre.)

Our view from nowhere, is a lways a nowhere seen relative to where we are. Meta is the word – again.If I wanted to get there, I wouldn’t start from here. What we know about there is always known from here. [Also that “what’s it like to be” Nagel concept in there.]

PS – I don’t have Metzinger’s book yet, but I see why I recognize him – he was part of the Tucson school of consciousness and co-founder with Chalmers (and Dennett?) of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness.


[Post note: (*) There is a flaw in that Wittgenstein / Anscombe anecdote. It “looked” like that AND it did NOT “feel” like we were in motion on the flattish surface of our world. The two potential “views” are NOT equivalent. Like so many smart-ass wise-crack memes, they are more catchy than true. When it comes to evolution large populations are not necessarily good.]

[Forget about bats, what’s it like to be an Octopus?]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.