MM-Theory - Reality and Perception

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Caves, The Bubbles, Introduction Chamber and Metaphor Chambers Problem Mental Solving Intra-Reality Determinants and Models With The Descriptions Non-Determinants and Other Chamber Minds Metaphor Truth, Fact, and Inter-Reality The Descriptions Physical World Final Remarks on The Descriptive Approach

Denial

The The The Relativity Transience of Hierarchy of of Reality Reality Reality

The Infinite The Nature of Is The Theory Regress Conclusion The Problem Consistent? Problem

Moral Relativism

Reality and Perception
ABSTRACT: The approach taken in this paper is not to argue for or against a particular theory about what's real, but to show how any theory which has as its central tenet that reality is dependent on experience changes the definition of "reality" to such an extent that it becomes possible for two contending theories about what's real not to conflict. This proposition is made with respect, not to MM-Theory in particular, but to a whole class of theories called dependent models of reality or subjectivist theories. A metaphorical model akin to Plato's Cave Allegory is presented to help the reader conceptualize how dependent models portray a reality consisting of several subjective realities. A set of descriptive tools is then provided for how one goes about describing the contents of a given reality. The first tool provided helps one describe how something can exist in a particular state or acquire particular properties without a percipient to know or perceive those states or properties, such as the position of the moon on the opposite side of the planet. Other such tools cover mental models, other people's minds, semi-conscious states such as denial, and the difference between visualization and conceptualization. A second set of descriptive tools is presented which are to be used in describing the relation between realities. The design analogy, which compares perceptions of reality with a design for reality, is offered as a means of understanding how these tools work. The first such tool is to never describe reality as consisting of more than one instance of itself. The second tool is to always specify which reality a proposition is true for, and it is shown that no proposition that fails to do this makes sense. The third tool is to always describe moments when one realizes one's beliefs are wrong as having made a reality transition. The fourth and final rule is to always describe one's own reality as the highest. With these tools, the subjectivist can articulate his/her theory in such a way that no pseudo-paradoxes arise. What is called the infinite regress problem is then

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addressed. This is the problem of positing a subjectivist theory as reality even though such a theory explains itself as having created that reality in virtue of being believed. The solution involves the understanding of what it means for a subjectivist theory to be right given that it adopts a system-of-experiences model of consciousness. Namely, a theory's correctness, under this model, is grounded in its own internal logic. The solution also involves the distinction between a theory's being right and its positing of the things it is about beyond the mind that believes in the theory. The infinite regress problem continues to plague the latter, but as such, it makes no difference to the correctness of the theory. The paper concludes with a look at ways to avoid a radical moral relativism as well as the use to which the tools outlined above can be put to debates concerning all walks of problems from metaphysical and religious ones to political and practical ones.

Introduction
It is assumed that the reader has read the Basic Theory and the Advanced Theory of Mind and Matter. If this is correct, then the reader understands how deeply into the essential notion of reality MM-Theory is entrenched. Let us begin this paper by pointing out how much of an understatement this actually is. This is no mere theory about what reality consists of. Almost all philosophies or religions take positions on what reality consists of - which is to say that they aim to propose what is in reality. For instance, a theist and an atheist might squabble over the existence of the almighty God. The theist takes the position that God is real, and therefore exists in reality. The atheist, on the other hand, believes that God does not exist, and therefore does not exist in reality. MM-Theory, however, takes a position on what reality is. It is constituted in such a way that it redefines the word "reality" itself. It says that reality is ultimately meaning and that meaning is not the sort of thing that exists in reality, like an object, but is the basis for reality. This twist redefines reality in such a way that it takes an entirely different approach to issues about what's true and false, what's correct and incorrect, what's real and what is not. It doesn't take sides on philosophical or religious debates about Truth, at least not in the traditional way. In regards to the dispute over the existence of God, for example, MM-Theory would say that it depends on whose reality we take into consideration. In the theist's reality, God quite naturally exists. In the atheist's, He obviously doesn't. We can talk about reality in this way - that is, as there being "a" reality for one person and "another" reality for a different person - because of precisely how MM-Theory redefines "reality". Crudely speaking, it redefines it as a "multiplicity" - that is, it redefines reality as capable of taking on a multitude of forms, each form constituted by a different set of real entities (and not just as a function of time, but even in a single instant). This idea will become more clear as we proceed through this paper. A couple important caveats we will address very soon are that, 1) even though we might get away with calling reality a "multiplicity", this is not meant to be interpreted as there being many realities coexisting at the same time, and 2) even though we might get away with talking about "a" reality, this is not meant to be interpreted as though reality were an object or thing. It is meant to be interpreted, however, as a reconciliation to the plethora of debates over what's in reality. The theist and atheist mentioned above, for example, cannot reconcile each other's views in this way because of their understanding of the definition of "reality". They, like almost every other person on this planet, understand it to be a domain of sorts of which there can only be one - that is, they view reality as being the One, Absolute, and True realm of existence. In this case, there can only be one set of entities that exists in this realm. So if the theist is right, and there is an all powerful, all knowing God, then the atheist, in virtue of arguing over the same realm of existence, cannot be right in supposing that God doesn't exist. And if the atheist is right, and there is no God, the theist, by the same token, cannot be

Meaning

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right. The view that there is only one absolute reality follows directly from the idea that reality sustains itself independently from perception and experience. So long as this view is shared by a number of people, they will be in agreement about what reality is and will then proceed to debate what is in it. As the reader knows, however, MM-Theory takes the opposite approach, proposing that perception and experience create reality. This obviously calls for a re-thinking of the very definition of reality - dispensing with the absolute or independent definition and adopting one of dependence on perception and experience. By this definition, the theist's view is the basis upon which God exists while the atheist's view is the basis upon which God does not exist. Of course, putting it that way leads to a myriad of questions - or worse, paradoxes! For instance, when we say that the theist's view is the basis upon which God exists and the atheist's view is the basis upon which He doesn't, it sounds as if we're saying that God exists and doesn't exist at the same time. How can this be? I will admit, the view espoused in this paper is of such a radically different sort that it will take a lot of getting used to in order to resolve these kinds of paradoxes. For example, the reason why the above notion sounds paradoxical is because we unconsciously assume the picture being painted is of God existing and not existing in the same realm of existence. We really do have to use a different model to make sense out of this - one in which we imagine two distinct realities. In one reality, God exists, and in the other, He does not. We do this with all the necessary precautions, of course - namely, without taking the coexistence of many realities too literally. How is it meant to be taken if not literally? Well, that is the whole point of this paper. There are many other pseudoparadoxes that emerge from this perplexing view of reality, and this paper will address as many as we can think of. For example, if our beliefs determine what is real, then what do we say about those moments when we are shown to be wrong? Also, how are we to think of the existence of other people's mind? We have no way of perceiving or experiencing the minds of anyone other than ourselves, and so it stands to question how other people's minds can even exist unless independently of our perceptions and experiences. What should be kept in mind throughout is that the great majority of pseudo-paradoxes only appear to be true paradoxes because we are so accustomed to thinking of reality as absolute, independent of perception and experience, and as one and only one. This view is so deeply engrained in us that we often use it unconsciously - and this can result in a lot of unnecessary confusion in the territory that MM-Theory covers.

Definition: Independent vs. Dependent Models of Reality 1) Independent Models of Reality: Theories about reality as having an existence independent from perception, consciousness, or experience. 2) Dependent Models of Reality: Theories about reality as having an existence that depends on perception, consciousness, or experience.
One thing to note - because dependent models should never conflict with the dependent status of reality as they purport it, they will ultimately have to come to terms with why we perceive the world as possessing its own independent ontology. In other words, dependent models need to address the question: what accounts for the virtual independence of the things we perceive if they ultimately depend on perception? MM-Theory, for instance, would say that this is the manifestation of the essence of realness - that is, the essence of realness is the essence of independent existence itself. But then we run into an issue - if the essence of realness endows our experiences with a sense of independent existence, then that which we experience must actually be independent of perception (if not, then the property of independence that they appear to possess has failed to project, and so our theory is flawed in that regard). Our solution to this puzzle is to appeal to the independence of experiences themselves vis-à-vis the self-sustaining power of meaning. That is to say, experiences themselves really do have an independent existence, as meaning needs no reductive account in order to ground its own existence. We know this from the principle of Meaning as a Self-Sustaining Basis. The independence we perceive in that which is experienced is really the true independence of the

Essence of Realness

Projection

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experience itself. The phenomenon of projection reassures us that the experience and that which is experienced are one and the same, and so the independence of the experience via meaning is not independence from perception, as an independent model would have it, but independence period (independence from prior experience is another matter). This is the particular solution that MM-Theory brings to bear on this question. Other dependent models might also find it useful, but it depends on the structure of the theory underlying the model in question. Independent models, on the Meaning as a other hand, require separate accounts for each phenomenon - namely, the phenomenon experienced Self-Sustaining and the phenomenon of experience itself.
Basis

Meaning

MM-Theory is the basis for just one dependent model of reality - there could be any number of other theories. The idealism of George Berkeley comes to mind as a case in point. Examples of an independent model of reality are the views espoused by objectivists and materialists, as well as all of the major western religions. They depict reality as having its own independent existence that would go unchanged should all perception, consciousness, and experience cease to be (although theists might object to this in the case of God's consciousness disappearing). As we said, the latter class of models rarely encounters paradoxes of the sort we will be dealing with in this paper due to how accustomed we are to them (instead, they encounter mind/body paradoxes). Dependent models, however, are unfortunately all too rife with what appear to be paradoxes, and so it is up to us, in that we hold such a position, to reveal how these paradoxes are only virtual. That is, we need to articulate our George Berkeley dependent model in such a way that MM-Theory doesn't come off as fraught with paradoxes. We will do this by answering a set of questions that make just such potential paradoxes evident. These questions will be considered the most troublesome ones for our theory, and so if we address them directly with enough intellectual scruples, we can confidently reassure ourselves that MM-Theory is rigorously coherent. The major questions we will address are as follows:

How can a belief be true and not true at the same time? We gave a crude answer to this already, but it does need elaboration. How can certain things exist when we don't know their states or properties? For example, I don't know how many stars there are in the Milky Way, yet I believe there is a definite number. But how can there be a definite number when I have no way of perceiving or knowing it? And what if we only know something probabilistically, like the rolling of a dice? How is the outcome of rolling it determined if we don't perceive or know the factors that go towards determining it? How can we ever be wrong? It's one thing to declare others wrong because we don't agree with them, but what about cases in which we come to realize the mistakes in our own beliefs? To confess our own mistakes is to declare our own beliefs wrong and having always been wrong. How, then, could they have ever determined reality? Why doesn't reality always accommodate our beliefs and perceptions? What if I believed I could walk on water? Why, then, would I surely drown with every attempt I make? If my beliefs determine reality, then I should be able to walk on water. Why doesn't reality turn out this way? What do we say about the existence of other people's minds in our reality? As we pointed out above, we can't have other people's perceptions and experiences - we can only have our own. So, then, do

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their perceptions and experiences exist or not? If there are many realities, why not just think of the whole set of realities as the reality? In MM-Theory, we call it "Reality" and all other personal realities we call "subjective realities". There is a point to capitalizing the "R" in "Reality". But, then, if we call the entire set of subjective realities "Reality", how is it not a subjective reality itself? It is just another theory after all, another human perspective of what reality is. How could it rise above that status and become the reality?
This is not an exhaustive list, nor is the entirety of this paper devoted solely to answering these questions. Nevertheless, we will consider these the most pressing questions that our new perspective of reality brings forward, and in answering them, we propose that, for the most part, all major pseudo-paradoxes will be resolved. What will be central in our approach to answering these questions is that we will refrain from disputing the contents of reality - that is, we will not argue about what things are real and what aren't. Instead, we will work with a new perspective on the things we perceive or experience as real. For example, if one perceived or believed in X, we will not concern ourselves with whether or not X is real or true, but we will offer a new perspective on what must be said about reality should X be real or true. Obviously, the simplest thing we must say is that reality consists of X. In other words, our approach hinges on the acceptance of what is considered to be real, true, existent, actual, "out there", etc., on the basis of its being perceived or experienced as such. Its realness or truth (or whatever other term comes out of this lingual domain) is sanctioned, and from there we aim to uncovered what the nature of reality must be, given this sanction. Note that we are not sanctioning any one person's perceptions or experiences over another's, but any perceptions or experiences in virtue of their being had period. What would we necessarily have to understand about the nature of reality if all perceptions and experiences were of real things? We've already considered one answer to this question - namely, that reality must be a multiplicity - and we will draw other conclusions like this using the same method. As an analogy to help make this more clear, we might compare the Ptolemaic and Copernican models of the solar system. In either model, someone here on Earth looking up at the sky on a clear night would see exactly the same thing - a blanket of stars that slowly moves from east to west. In the Ptolemaic model, it is the stars themselves that are considered to move, whereas in the Copernican model, it is the Earth that rotates. The observations of the stars, however, remain the same in both cases. This is analogous to the perceptions and experiences under consideration. In

either model - the single reality or multiple reality model - our perceptions and experiences of reality will be exactly the same (save the models themselves, of course, which constitute a cognitive perception of reality). We do not question whether or not one is having them, or whether they feel any different from one model to another. What is different is the perspective we take on how these perceptions and experiences relate to, and more specifically, determine reality. In a similar way, the

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Ptolemaic and Copernican models are different perspectives on how observations of the stars relate or determine what's actually going on in our solar system. In other words, nothing changes vis-à-vis one's perceptions, beliefs, and understandings of what reality consists of. Of course, the Copernican model has certain advantages over the Ptolemaic one. For one thing, the Copernican model offers a much more elegant explanation for the motion of the stars. With the Ptolemaic model, one had to explain the bizarre retrograde motion of some stars - that is, the tendency for some stars to double back for a few months every year and then resume their course from east to west. The Ptolemaic model couldn't explain this very well whereas the Copernican model explains it nicely (see link for explanation ). But there is a subtle difference between the theory behind the model and the mere descriptive elements of the model. The theory behind the Copernican model is that the Sun exerts a powerful gravitational force over the tangentially moving Earth and this keeps the Earth in orbit around it. This is similar to the theory behind our dependent model - namely MM-Theory. With a good enough theory backing it up, one model will offer a lot more explanatory power than another. Nevertheless, the descriptive elements inherent in one model may remain untouched by the explanatory power of another. For example, even though we accept the Copernican model as having more explanatory power, there is nothing wrong with describing the motion of the stars as moving across the sky while the Earth stays still. That is to say, so long as we're clear that this is what it looks like, then there is truth in what we say - of course it looks like the stars are moving across the sky! But it also looks like we're rotating. Without an explanation for what's actually going on, there is no standard by which to choose one description over another, and so either one goes. We can attribute the same kind of descriptive power to either model of reality. We could take the model of an independent reality and say that it looks like there is a difference between reality and our perceptions of it, recounting the numerous times we've been deceived by our senses or believed things which turned out to be false. By the same token, we could take the model of a dependent reality and say that it looks like reality changes every time our perceptions change, recounting those exact same occasions of deceived senses and false beliefs. Of course, we wouldn't emphasize their deceptive or false status - a status they acquire only after reality has changed - but their seeming to be true or feeling so real at the time. If we wanted to take this description one step further and say, not only that reality looks to be changing whenever our perceptions change, but that, in fact, it is changing, then we would need the help of an explanation to justify this statement. We might try this with the Ptolemaic model, attempting to explain retrograde motion. No such successful attempts have been made in recorded history, leading to the abandonment of the model. The same cannot be said, however, about our dependent model - not when we have MM-Theory under our belts. Of course, there will be no rehashing of MM-Theory - that was done in other papers - but with it in the background, we can go ahead with building an elaborate description of reality consistent with a dependent model. Falling back on our explanation, it won't take much, after that, to step away from saying reality looks like it changes when perceptions change, and step towards saying reality does change when perceptions change. Another good analogy is Einstein's Theory of Relativity. One need not understand this theory in full in order to see how the analogy works. It will suffice if one can understand the following scenario. When you walk down the street, you naturally assume it is you moving and not the sidewalk. However, if you take a relativistic perspective on this scenario, you could imagine that it is really the sidewalk moving backwards beneath you (along with the rest of the world). Is it you or the sidewalk that is moving? Of course, the answer is that it depends on which one you take to be fixed. This is an Einstein's Theory excellent analogy for how we're going to think about reality. Like the motion of physical objects, we of Relativity are going to talk about reality using relativistic language. This analogy also shows how, even though we have a choice between two perspectives - either you or the sidewalk is moving - and either of these is a perfectly valid perspective, we can't have it both ways. That is, it can't be both you and the sidewalk moving at the same time (but see aside ). Similarly, we can't have more than one reality Having It Both at a time, but we have several options, each of which are equally valid (this will become more clear later). Einstein's Theory of Relativity is such a useful analogy that it will show up more than once in Ways this paper, and for more than one purpose - that is, it is an excellent analogy for a whole number of things concerning dependent models.

Retrograde Motion

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As there is a difference between a model's descriptive and explanatory power, we will be alternating between describing a dependent model and explaining it. For the most part, this paper focuses on describing such a model, but at various points we will show how MM-Theory ties into the descriptions outlined. We will be sure to be explicit when making such transitions. Furthermore, in being descriptive, there should be a fair degree of dissociation from any explanation - that is, as a description of the way things seem to be, one should expect that such descriptions are open to any number of explanations. MM-Theory is just one out of an indefinite number of potential explanations. This means that the descriptions outlined in this paper could work for an entire class of explanations an entire class of theories. Therefore, unless we need to make exclusive reference to MM-Theory, we will refer to "subjectivist theories" in general, and to those who believe in such theories as "subjectivists". A subjectivist theory is any theory that explains the relation betw een reality and perception or experience as dependent upon each other - that is, its central tenet should be that reality is created or sustained by one's perceptions and experiences of it. Contrasting with subjectivist theories are objectivist theories, subscribed to by, obviously, objectivists. Objectivist theories are those that adopt an independent model, thereby taking the perspective that reality has an absolute and independent existence from perception. Any subjectivist theory, if it aims to be understood coherently, should adopt a descriptive language much like the dependent model delineated in this paper - in fact, we might even say that this model should be adopted as the model for all subjectivist theories, but such a bold statement is surely debatable.

Definition: Subjectivist vs. Objectivist Theories Subjectivist Theories: A class of theories characterized by at least one of their major tenets espousing a dependent model of reality. Objectivist Theories: A class of theories characterized by at least one of their major tenets espousing, or at least agreeing with, an independent model of reality.
In addition to this introduction and the conclusion at the end, this paper is divided into four major sections. The first major section introduces an elaborate visual metaphor that the reader can use as a guide in understanding how to think about the multiplicity of reality. The second major section deals with the internal structure of any reality as dependent models would have them. The third major section deals with the external structure, or the interrelations between realities, as dependent models would have them, and only dependent models can have them. The fourth major section addresses what I have called the "infinite regress problem", which dependent models appear to suffer from. We will then recap everything we have touched on in the conclusion, including a revisit to the questions posed above. We will also say something about moral relativism as that will certainly be a concern for some. As you read through this paper, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, we will be using the word "perception" in the same way as we have been throughout this website. Recall our definition: "the form experiences take, namely realness, upon being projected." What's different about this definition from that used in the ordinary English dialect is that, ordinarily, perception refers to how we interpret the world we sense - that is, it applies to vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell. But because MM-Theory lumps these together with all other experiences, and says of them that they all project their content onto what appears to be an independently existing world, we generalize the definition of "perception" to all experiences. What this has to do with the current paper is just a reminder that we will be using the word "perception" in just this sense - so we might talk about perceiving the Tooth Fairy to exist when we really mean believing in the Tooth Fairy. In this way, we can talk about one's perceptions of reality for anything we might want to consider to exist.

Perception

Projection

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Second, there is ample risk of taking the thing-likeness of several concepts herein too literally. For example, imagining the universe populated by a number of "sub-realities", as we might call them, certainly makes for a model depicting many coexisting realities. As the contents of the ultimate Reality, these "sub-realities" are consequently made out to seem like objects or things in the ultimate Reality. If the reader has read the paper The Inconceivability of Consciousness, then he/she would Reality know that the objectification process is responsible for this. The objectification process takes abstract concepts such as "time", "melody", "charity", "accomplishments", "order", and so on, and molds them into a form suitable for contemplation. Our minds so happen to be built such that we need to think of abstract concepts as "things", like physical objects, in order to contemplate them, and the objectification process does this for us. Of course, most of the time, we aren't fooled by the character The of "thingness" in these concepts. We usually acknowledge that they are not things, but we are Objectification nevertheless capable of carrying on with our contemplations unhindered by their objectified aspects. Process We would do well to keep up this practice when it comes to dependent models. Third, we should keep in mind that the only way we experience reality qua reality - that is, as opposed to experiencing the things in it (even collectively) - is by bringing to mind the concept of reality - and it is quite an abstract concept to say the least. In other words, without the concept of reality, there would be no reality - not for us in any case. Does this pose as a paradox? Does it make sense to suppose there can be all manner of real things but no reality? Well, we ought to be careful in how we phrase this question. Without the concept of reality, there would surely be no reality as its own entity - that is, apart from the myriad things within it. Recall our discussion on the self from the Advanced Theory and of what we said about the manner in which concepts project. Concepts project as essences we said, as definitions, as what things are. We also said that essences can be given real existence by being infused into something that already exists. This is what we do when we look around at our surroundings and recognize them as reality. In that sense, the concept "reality" is like a label we attach to the sum total of real things we experience. Infusing its essence into all real things, reality becomes an entity that rises above the sum of its parts. Each part therein already has its own essence, and thus the addition of another one, although still shared by all the parts, makes for an entity that has its own distinct identity. Rather than a collection of real things, reality becomes the "box", so to speak, in which we find them. But if the concept "reality" were lacking, what would happen to the box? It would dissappear, of course. Without an essence, reality can't be its own thing. This doesn't mean for a second, however, that reality wouldn't exist. It only means that it doesn't have its own essence, its own identity that is, apart from the sum total of things within it. Without the concept "reality", reality is merely reduced to the sum total of its parts - nothing more. It still has an essence, of course, but that essence is simply the collection of essences of all real things it is composed of. Of course, without the concept, one would not recognize this collection as "reality" but that makes no difference to its being reality. We still recognize it as such, even in an imaginary scenario where the subject fails to appreciate "reality", but only because such a concept is indespensible for us. But even if it weren't for us, reality, being the mere sum of its parts, would still exist in virtue of those parts existing.

Projection

Finally, it will be very useful to keep in mind our treatment of the Paradox of Individuality covered in the Advanced Theory, particularly what was said about how reality, or "the world", is ultimately perceived and known, along with how the experience of selfhood stems from that. This will be important in the third major section of this paper where we discuss the relations between realities. It will be important to note how reality qua reality is only experienced once all our non-cognitive The Paradox of experiences are passed into the cognitive database via acknowledgements, and binding occurs between them as a means of creating the overall experience of "the world". In other words, it will be Individuality useful to keep in mind that reality qua reality is a cognitive phenomenon - as opposed to the things in reality (i.e. things based on sensation and other non-cognitive experiences) even when considered collectively - and thus whatever we believe or say about reality is delimited by the boundaries of the cognitive realm of our experiences. This will be key to understanding the relativity of reality. We Acknowledgementswill make this notion more clear as we come to the relevant sections of this paper.

Caves, Bubbles, and Chambers

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Reality

Let's make one point very clear right off the bat. It is a mistake to talk about many realities coexisting at the same time. Even though MM-Theory depicts Reality (note the capital 'R') as consisting of everyone's subjective realities, we cannot rightfully call these subjective realities "reality" in the proper sense. We've already designated that term to Reality itself. That is, we can't refer to anything as "reality" unless it is what we've designated that term to. What this means, however, is that anyone who takes their own subjective reality to be the reality has already assigned that term to their subjective reality. This gives them the right to call it that. Also note what this entails about other subjective realities or any entity outside the subjective reality in question. It entails that they don't even exist that is, to the beholder of the subjective reality in question, everything that is real or could be real exists within the boundaries of his/her subjective reality. Anything beyond it is utterly non-existent. Therefore, the point we want to make right now is that, whatever we consider the reality to be, whether right or wrong, in order to remain consistent in our beliefs and the way we talk about them, we must consider anything that falls outside its borders to be non-existent. So to someone who designates the term "reality" to an independent model such as materialism, for example, no other subjective realities exist beyond his/her material universe. The materialist may believe they persist in other people's heads but only in the form of beliefs, perceptions, and experiences - that is, they only exist as mental entities (or "brain events" as the materialist would sternly insist ) with very little bearing on the real world. If we keep this rule of thumb in mind - that nothing other than what is designated to be "reality" can be reality - then it should be clear why we couldn't have many realities coexisting at the same time. That being said, there is a fair degree of flexibility over what we take reality to be - that is, onto what we designate the term "reality". Any dependent model should allow for the freedom to do this. This website, for example, designates the term "reality" to what we call the "Universal Mind" or simply "Reality". This should be kept in mind when we talk about subjective realities - that is, because we have already designated the term "reality" to the entire set of subjective realities, plus any extraneous experiences the Universal Mind might be having, we cannot apply that same label to any one subjective reality. Instead, we need to think of them as collections of real things whose existence depends on the percipient's awareness of them. In other words, we need to distinguish between "reality" and "real things".

The Universal Mind

Definition: Real Things vs. Reality 1) Real Things: anything that exists in virtue of its being perceived to exist. 2) Reality: the set of all real things.
Note that because of the way we defined "perception" (namely, as any manner of experiencing reality - not just sensory), real things, in incorporating "perception" into the definition, span far beyond the set of physical or tangible things we ordinarily attribute to the word "things". In other words, real things denote abstract concepts like "joy" and "elegance", or emotionally laden attributes such as "goodness" or "badness". Real things denote anything that experiences can project themselves as. The difference between real things and Reality is simply the difference between (respectively) a member

Perception

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of a set and the set itself. As an example of this difference, consider three "wild men" - that is, three men who grew up in the wild and never had contact with the civilized world. Imagine one having lived all his life on the Savannah planes of Africa. Another one has lived all his life in the Red Wood forests of the Rocky Mountains. The third has lived all his life in the cold wilderness of the Baffin Islands. They have never seen each other nor visited each other's worlds - in fact, they have never ventured far beyond the lands they call home. Now, because none of these men have seen any world other than their own, they would, in all likelihood, assume that the rest of the world is just like the environment they see every day. The Savannah man would assume the world is one big African plane, the Red Wood man would assume the world is one big mountain range covered in towering trees, and the man living among ice and snow would assume the world is one big freezer box. Of course, all these men would be wrong, but only in a certain sense. That is, they are wrong in the sense that the world isn't just planes, forest, or snow and ice - the world is all of these and more. But they are right in the sense that the worlds that they know are the real world. More accurately speaking, they are right in assuming the planes, forests, and snow and ice are real things, and as real things, they are right in pointing to them and saying "That is reality". That is to say, it is never a mistake to point to a real thing and say of it that it is reality, so long as you refrain from pointing to everything else and saying of it that it is not reality. In other words, assuming these men don't say of their environments that it is reality and nothing else is, then they are correct in calling it "reality". So real things, even if limited to a small environment or a single subjective reality, still constitute reality if only in part. Therefore, what the beholder of a subjective reality is looking at and believes in is reality in that all real things he/she perceives really do go towards making up Reality. The difference between real things and reality is made clear by this scenario. Everything that is experienced is a real thing. Not everything that is experienced is the totality of reality. The wild men cannot be mistaken in taking the things they perceive to be real things, but they can be mistaken in taking them to be reality. The latter is still conditional, of course, upon whether or not they refer to all that they experience as reality in the exclusive sense. But it is impossible for the real things they refer to not to be part of reality. We see, then, that "reality" is, in a certain sense, a label for which the things labeled can vary greatly. There is no such variability when it comes to the realness of real things - so long as they are experienced, they must be real. But reality is a very broad term which aims to encompass a wide variety of things from the concrete to the abstract, and what exactly is encompassed depends on the individual and his/her perspective on what reality consists of. This can only be true for something of an abstract nature. We pointed this out in the introduction to this paper when we reminded the reader that "reality" is an abstract concept, not a real thing that exists among its contents. We also pointed out, in the Advanced Theory, that the concept of reality is so deeply ingrained in the nature of our psyche, coming with all our acknowledgements, that it is more or less a Acknowledgementsnecessary construct, one we cannot possibly disregard, and one to which all our other thoughts and beliefs are necessarily attached - that is, we necessarily take all our beliefs to be true of reality. We also saw that, as a concept, reality, in its pure form, projects as an essence, and that we infuse the real things we experience with their essences. Therefore, we infuse the set of all real things we experience with its essence, which is namely reality itself. Thus, reality, in the final analysis, is the ultimate essence of all real things we experience, as a set, and a necessary one which, in virtue of our nature, we can't help but to attach, like a label, to this set. But what varies from one person to another, and over which we have some degree of control, are what things we experience as real. So whereas the real things each wild man perceives are unconditionally real, the reality each one perceives is quite conditional, not only upon which man we are considering, but upon what each one has decided to label "reality".

The Chamber Metaphor
The reader might find the above scenario strangely similar to Plato's cave allegory (see link ). I confess, the cave allegory was the inspiration for the above story. I'd like to invent another allegory or rather, a symbolic model - having to do with "chambers" instead of caves. The reader might also find this one to be similar to the bubbles in a sea of paint blobs described in the visualization exercises from the Advanced Theory. Like caves and bubbles, chambers are another construct more or less the same as subjective realities, but more suited to the concepts in this paper. Needless to say,

Plato's Cave Allegory

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we are delving back into the explanatory elements of our dependent model, mapping a world of "chambers" onto the universe as MM-Theory would have it. We do this for the sake of having a model - or a visualization of sorts - that we can work with when sorting out the pseudo-paradoxes we will be facing. Although what it represents has a lot to do with MM-Theory, as a metaphor and a visualization tool, it should be useful across all dependent models. Imagine your subjective reality symbolized by a chamber - that is, a room. You can imagine this chamber as large as you want, complex as you want, and consisting of a wide array of decoratives such as furniture, artwork, items on tables, and so on. These decoratives represent all the real things in your subjective reality. Since a subjective reality consists of anything one perceives and experiences, these real things don't only represent physical objects but all walks of things that are perceived as real, true, independent, "out there", etc. For example, one's belief in an abstract principle such as moral right and wrong would be represented by something in, or at least some aspect of, the chamber. Everyone's subjective reality is a chamber in this scenario, so we should imagine a whole network of chambers all scattered about. Each one houses one person. Each person is like the prisoner in Plato's cave or the wild men living on the planes, forests, and ice lands. Each one knows no other reality than his/her own chamber, and no one can venture beyond his/her chamber. The area between each chamber is filled with "transcendental entities". What this obscure phrase means to convey is that, in the context of MM-Theory, there are extraneous experiences of all sorts that exist between our subjective realities, filling the "empty space", so to speak, and making us all one with the Universal Mind. Whereas each subjective reality corresponds to the activity in human brains, these extraneous experiences correspond to all other physical systems in the universe. These include computers, household appliances, vehicles, rivers and lakes, and all of nature herself. If the reader recalls from the visualization exercises in the Advanced Theory, these experiences are like the paint blobs that exist beyond one's bubble (i.e. they make up no part of the bubble's surface). We also pointed out, in the 3D scenario, how these experiences are best thought of as transcendental - that is, as existing beyond the physical universe that one experiences his/her subjective reality to be. We place them beyond our physical universe because the objects they correspond to exist beyond our brains, which in turn are the objects that our subjective realities correspond to. We call this place they have been relegated to, the place beyond our physical universe, a "transcendental realm". Calling it transcendental conveys more than just an existence beyond our physical universe, but also an existence that is utterly inconceivable to us. The experiences therein are had by a completely foreign mind, one fit for having such experiences. We can imagine these experiences as things residing in and filling up the space between our chambers. Insofar as our scenario goes, we are imagining all these chambers existing beside and among each other. It is difficult to imagine a transcendental realm, and therefore, one would naturally imagine the space between them as literally physical space. This is okay as far as visualizing our model goes, but we need to remember that this region does not represent physical space - it represents a

The Universal Mind

Real Things

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transcendental realm. All metaphors and allegories aside, this is how we ought to imagine the sea of experiences that constitute Reality and that all subjective realities are suspended in. That is, physical space resides within our subjective realities, but beyond them, there is no space. Rather, there are only relations between subjective realities and the extraneous experiences being had by the Universal Mind. These relations suffice, MM-Theory says, to sustain each and every experience, and all subjective realities, in the existence that is Reality. Since some real things can take on transcendental forms, they don't necessarily need space in order to exist. Space, however, as a real thing itself, needs the support of transcendental things, and thus the transcendental realm itself, in order to exist. Space, in our chamber model, exists within each chamber, but the chambers themselves exist on a transcendental landscape. We can visualize this landscape using spatial imagery, but in regards to our understanding of what this represents, it is not space. One important implication this has is that if one is to believe in a transcendental realm - that is, a form of non-physical existence that coexists with the physical universe beyond its boundaries - then one must acknowledge this realm to exist. That is, the transcendental realm itself is real. Therefore, it forms part of what the believer takes to be reality. In other words, reality need not be confined to only the material, physical, or spatial forms of existence. A theist, for example, in believing in a non-material, metaphysical, transcendental God, believes God to exist, and therefore must reside in reality as the theist sees it. God is one of the items in his/her subjective reality. Therefore, by acknowledging the existence of this transcendental region in our chamber model, we must accept that we have taken the entire set of chambers, along with the transcendental region between them, as reality. Effectively, we are saying that reality not only consists of all these chambers with their physical and spatial properties, but it has a transcendental component to it. This is fine as long as we remember what we're calling "reality". How would this change, however, if we took one of the persons residing in a particular chamber and ask, "What does he/she call 'reality'"? For one thing, we would have to disregard the existence of the transcendental realm - there is no such thing within the chamber. The chamber's host may have his/her own ideas and beliefs about transcendental extensions of existence, but it wouldn't be the same transcendental landscape as that between the chambers. Likewise, we would have to disregard the existence of all other chambers. This chamber is reality and reality is the chamber. Nothing else exists. What about the existence of other people? Each person lives in his/her own chamber, and for the person in question, all other people don't exist. But is this really a fair statement to make? After all, if these chambers really do represent reality as we see it, then there must be more than one person residing in each one. We all have friends, families, acquaintances, and even strangers who we see, talk to, and share our lives with every day. Who are these people if not residents of the same chamber, regardless of whom it belongs to? One quick fix to this puzzle is to think of these extra people as zombies or automata. That is, they are simply non-conscious machines that so happen to give off the impression of being alive. We could imagine that billions of such creatures exist in a single chamber (a huge chamber it would be ), and the chamber host would never be the wiser. This is less than satisfying of course, not only because of the loss of social connection we'd feel with this perspective, but because hardly anyone really believes this. The belief that other people really are conscious and alive must play the same role in our chambers as any other belief does - namely, to be the basis upon which the thing believed in is real. We indeed believe that others have minds and so those that live with us in our chambers must also have minds.

P-Zombies

The real solution to this will have to await the next major section where we address the "problem of other minds" as it is known in philosophical circles (see link ). A key point on which this solution will depend is the fact that we conceive of other people's minds in the form of mental models, which is starkly different from the actual form their minds take. For the sake of the chamber model, however, The Problem of let's imagine that other people take a physical form in our chambers and carry with them a non-physical mind. After all, the fact of the matter is, even though most people believe in the Other Minds consciousness of others, they don't see this in the context of a dependent model. Instead, they see other minds as, well, minds - that is, as some kind of non-physical, maybe even spiritual, essence that somehow exists with the body. This is not always the case, of course - there are indeed some who do subscribe to the automata model. But even those who don't subscribe to this model have widely

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varying views - some view the mind as a product of the brain which will cease when we die whereas others equate the mind with the eternal soul which will go on existing after death. Whatever the case may be, the great majority of people hold an independent model, and therefore minds, to them, are things in reality, not the grounds upon which reality comes to be. Therefore, in the chamber model, there is nothing wrong with imagining other people, along with their entire mental life, coexisting with Mental Models the one whose chamber it is. This is not to say that a few caveats aren't warranted. For one, we need to distinguish between other people's minds as real things in a chamber, and the chamber whose existence their minds are the basis for. That is, we need to recognize that even if a given person's mind exists as a real thing in one chamber, it still corresponds to another chamber - one that the person experiences him/herself residing in (the reader might recall the "invisible threads" from the bubble scenario ). This is not problematic per se, so long as we realize that, in recognizing this correspondence, we have switched perspectives again - we have switched what we are labeling "reality" - namely, in order to recognize this correspondence, we have to treat the entire set of chambers, along with the transcendental regions between them, as the reality. If we restrict our label of "reality" to one chamber in particular, we still have the right to posit other people's minds in that chamber, including the host's, but there is no chamber to which those minds correspond, not even for the host's - that is, there is nothing more to the person's mind than the real thing, whatever form it takes (mental, neurological, spiritual, etc.), that it is believed to be. So for every person who exists in a given chamber, save the person whose chamber it is, there is another chamber which this person experiences as his/her reality. There may be exceptions to this, of course - for example, a child who believes in Santa Clause has Santa there in her chamber, but unless there really is a jolly old fat man in red up at the north poll, the Santa in the chamber doesn't correspond to any other chamber. Instead, he might correspond to something else in the outer transcendental landscape or some other person who isn't Santa (such as her parents). By the same token, there may be plenty of chambers for which there is no corresponding person in another chamber (we don't know everyone in the world). Therefore, each person that exists in one chamber, save the person whose chamber it is, acts as a "representative" of the person in the chamber they correspond to. Every action the person native to a particular chamber initiates is mimicked by his/her representatives in every other chamber. Even the objects that decorate each person's chamber have multiple copies of each other in all chambers. They constantly mimic each other's actions as well. Unlike people, however, these objects correspond to entities in the transcendental region outside the chambers. That is, given a particular object, there is no one chamber that houses the "original" one - they are all copies representing something outside all the chambers. It is the same with MM-Theory. The physical objects that we see in our subjective realities correspond The Abstraction to systems of experiences that exist in no of Reality one's subjective reality - no human at least. Whether or not these experiences constitute their own subjective reality depends on if the conscious being they make up recognizes them as "reality" proper, but this is not necessarily the case (see sidenote ). What is the case is that they can have effects on our subjective realities, injecting physical representatives of themselves therein. It is

Real Things

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therefore the same in our chamber model. Entities in the transcendental region have effects on the objects in our chambers in such a way that we can think of them as "representative" of these entities, just as we think of the people therein as "representatives" of other chambers and their hosts. How do people communicate in our world of chambers? Simple. One person in one chamber, by initiating speech, has an immediate effect on the transcendental region surrounding his/her chamber. This effect propagates throughout the local area, affecting other chambers in turn. Inside these other chambers, the effect manifests as vocal sounds coming from the mouth of the "representative" of the person who initiated the speech. We can see how this works according to MM-Theory. In that theory, the act of speaking begins by an idea that yearns to be expressed. This corresponds to brain activity. Then the idea is vocally expressed. This corresponds to activity in the larynx, mouth and tongue. Since these organs are not the brain, the experiences therein are not those found in the human mind that is, as MM-Theory would have it, these organs, in virtue of undergoing activity, will correspond to an experience of some kind. This experience came from the idea originally wanting to be expressed (i.e. they were entailed by, or flowed from, the idea), but now that it has flown beyond the set of experiences recognized as common constituents of the human mind, we have no more epistemic awareness of them, and so we cannot rightfully describe them as "ours". What this means in terms of our subjective reality is that these experiences constitute an existence, or a set of real things, that, although originally from things within our subjective reality, have now taken on a life outside our subjective reality - in a transcendental realm as it were.

Entailment

Flow

Epistemic Awareness

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Figure 1: The parallels between the physics, the experiences, and the chambers of inter-personal speech acts. The process doesn't stop there, of course. After the larynx, mouth and tongue have done their work, sound waves travel through the air, enter the ears of anyone close enough to receive them, get processed in the inner ear structures, get processed by neural structures in the hind- and mid-brain, and finally impinge on the cortical structures of the dorsal temporal lobes. All the while, these physical processes correspond to experiences of one sort or another. They are experiences that continue to be had in the transcendental realm, of course, but as their physical counterparts come closer and closer to becoming cortical processes, the experiences morph more and more into the forms a human can recognize and thus gain epistemic awareness of. We can imagine this happening in our chamber model as the effects the transcendental region has on neighboring chambers - that is, the effect impinges on the chambers, creating the vocal sounds emanating from the mouths of representatives of the original speaker. And what about visual forms of communication such as body or sign language? How does one person's actions in his/her chamber get translated into the actions of his/her representative in other chambers? What about just seeing another person in your chamber? Same way as for speech. That is, their actions, including visual communication, have effects on the transcendental region immediately surrounding their chamber, which in turn have effects on many other chambers in the local vicinity, which in turn have effects on the events within those chambers. In the context of MM-Theory, one's actions, which are essentially movements of the body, correspond to experiences in the transcendental realm outside our physical universe. Photons, or light, are emitted from the body, carrying information about the image of the body at the moment they were emitted. These photons enter the eye of another person whereupon they are transduced into electric signals that head towards the occipital lobe at the hind end of the brain. All the while, the experiences in the transcendental realm that correspond to the original movement of the body morph and transform. The emission of photons from the body marks one abrupt transformation whereupon the experience acquires a different quality. The absorption of these photons by the other person's eye corresponds to another abrupt change in experience quality, as does the signal traveling towards the brain. When it finally reaches the occipital lobe, it goes through its final major transformation whereupon it becomes vision - and more specifically, the sight of a person's bodily movements, the very ones that initiated the whole process.

Figure 2: The physics of visual communication. This process is obviously the same as that for speech, except that instead of sound waves traveling through the air, we have photons traveling through space. Figure 2 shows the physics behind this process. Figure 1, although customized for demonstrating speech, also shows the parallels with experiences and chambers for either visual or auditory communication. The same process can be generalized to all sensations. An experience originates in one's mind, like an event that originates in one's chamber or one's brain. It morphs through transcendental forms beyond one's mind, like the effects propagating through the transcendental realm between the chambers or the physical environment outside one's brain. Finally, it becomes a sensation of one kind or another in someone else's mind, like the resultant events in the recipient chamber or the recipient brain.

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No one's subjective reality extends into the transcendental region. That's what makes it transcendental. It includes real things that no human has epistemic or experiential awareness of. How, then, does one incorporate a transcendental realm into one's subjective reality as is often the case? How, for example, do we, as subscribers to MM-Theory, get to label the entire set of chambers, along with the transcendental region, as "reality"? Well, we don't really. As subjectivists, the best we can do is label our own chamber "reality", but within it, refer to a model of all chambers and the transcendental realm as what's "out there". We will talk more in detail about the relation between the mental model that MM-Theory is and the world it depicts in the fourth major section of this paper. In the chamber model, Mental Models however, we can imagine that everyone's reality is a chamber, and some of us have "maps" of the outer transcendental landscape with all the chambers upon it. We never refer to the chambers themselves or the transcendental landscape - instead, we refer to the map, treating it as the reality. That being said, we do not have to persistently recognize it as a map. Its purpose is to represent the transcendental region outside our chamber with all other chambers therein, and so we will continue to talk about it as such. This, more or less, covers what needs to be said about the chamber model. The standard disclaimers are, of course, implied - namely, that we don't mean to portray our physical universe, or any universe, as rooms in a literal sense, or that each person's universe is separated by a finite distance along a inconceivable landscape, or that the most abstract of beliefs like platonic truths or moral values are literally objects in a room like furniture and china. This is just a model, a visualization tool. The function it serves is to make it easy for the reader to work with the ideas it represents. The ideas, which are meant to be taken literally, can be narrowed down to the following. A chamber represents the universe, or reality, as one person perceives it. Although, in the model, the chamber is spatially finite, the universe it represents is not. The transcendental region represents any kind of existence beyond the subjective reality of the person in question. For that person, this existence is not even existence - it is not real. But this is only for that person. Someone else, who perceives and believes differently, will define a different reality. This is represented by the multitude of chambers, one for each reality perceiving person. We conceive of multiple coexisting chambers in our model because this is how we define our reality - that is, how MM-Theory defines it - and the price we pay is to recognize that each chamber is not a reality unto itself, but a real thing in reality. We recognize this symbolism to mean that the physical universe that we perceive and believe in is not reality, but a real thing, even as infinite and eternal as it may be. What we recognize as reality is the Universal Mind and all its experiences, one of which is the experience of our physical universe - in fact, establishing its existence as a real thing - and others which are also experiences of the same, or at least similar, physical universe, but had by other people. Now, even though we should refrain from calling one subjective reality or chamber "reality" when we've already designated that term to the Universal Mind or to the entire set of chambers with everything between, we will, at times, use the word "reality" somewhat loosely. For instance, we might say "Such-and-such is going on in my reality, but in your reality, this-and-that is going on." We do this for the sake of convenience in speaking. It needs to be remembered, therefore, that this kind of talk should not be interpreted too literally. That is, when we say something like "my reality" or "your reality", we really mean "my subjective reality" or "your subjective reality". At least, this is what we mean when we've already designated the term "reality" for something grander, something that contains both your and my subjective reality. We will talk more about the rules governing how we ought to designate the term "reality" to one subjective reality or another in the third major section of this paper.

Problem Solving With The Chamber Metaphor
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One problem the chamber scenario resolves right from the get go is the problem of conflicting beliefs. For example, if one person believes there is life on other planets while another person doesn't, it may seem paradoxical to say that there is and isn't life on other planets at the same time. But if we use the chamber model to see how this plays out, we see that the extraterrestrial life that the one person believes in is a real thing in his/her chamber, whereas, in the other person's chamber, there is no such life. The lesson we learn from this is that whatever real things one perceives or believes in, he/she is the only one who has perceptual access to those real things, and only he/she can refer to them. Everyone else will perceive and refer to their own real things that exist in their reality. No one can refer to anything outside their own reality. Since many things from one reality to another are identical, an illusion is created whereby it seems that all people are referring to the same real thing. For

example, when I point to the clock and say "look how late it's getting", it would be typical to assume the clock that I'm pointing to is the same clock that I draw your attention to. It is indeed paradoxical to refer to one thing, like the clock, and say of it that it is real and not real at the same time. But it is perfectly valid to refer to one thing, say of it that it is real, refer to another thing, and say of it that it is not real. Using the chamber model, we'd say that I point to the clock in my chamber, but my representative points to the clock in your chamber. The chamber model makes this evidently clear, and so we must recognize the way in which it resolves conflicting beliefs, perceptions, and experiences. Now, this works nicely for particulars - that is, when we refer to a particular real thing and comment on its existence. But what about universals - that is, when we refer to something that must exist or can't exist in a universal sense. In the example above, we considered the existence of alien life on other planets. We showed how it is not a problem for one person to believe in extraterrestrial life and for another person not to. But if we break down the phrase that expresses this belief - that "there is [or isn't] life on other planets" - we find the segment "on other planets" refers to physical objects, rather large ones, in one person's universe. Therefore, we can easily imagine that there might be life on the planets of one person's universe, but not on those of the other person's universe. However, suppose the doubting person's belief was expressed as "there is no extraterrestrial life anywhere" or "there can't be extraterrestrial life - in principle!" That is to say, suppose the scope of the disbelief was universal rather than particular. Can the chamber model handle this situation? It would be like one person in one chamber saying "There are no other people... period!" Obviously, this statement is blatantly wrong. There are as many other people as there are other chambers. Note the problem is not about what we're calling "reality" - that is, the problem is not resolved by treating the one person's chamber as reality, thereby rendering all other people non-existent. The reason it is not resolved this way is because the statement should remain true, as mandated by any subjectivist theory, even when we designate the term "reality" to all chambers and the transcendental region between them. The full solution to this problem will be explicated in the third major section of this paper. For now, let's introduce a principle that will be very important throughout the rest of this paper. This principle might work as a "patch" solution to the above problem, but a much more effective one will be presented two major sections from here.

Subjectivist Theories

Principle: Referential Monopoly

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No conscious being, finding itself in a subjective reality, can make reference to anything, whether physical, abstract, or any other form, beyond its own subjective reality.
What this principle means to convey is that anything we make reference to, anything at all, so long as we believe in it or experience it as real, must occupy a place within our subjective reality. The mere notion of referring to something not within our subjective reality is a contradiction in terms. It would entail that we know, or at least are thinking, of something for which we have no knowledge or thoughts. To know or to think of something places it, in whatever form it so happens to be experienced in, within our subjective reality. This goes for any experience whatsoever - sensory, emotional, cognitive, or anything else. Try as we might, we will never thwart this principle. In fact, let's try it. Let's think about our subjective reality. Let's imagine all the experiences within it and the experiences beyond it - those belonging to other subjective realities or the Universal Mind. In this very act of imagination, we have already referenced experiences beyond our subjective reality. Or have we? Actually, the fact of the matter is, the only reason we referenced these outer experiences is because we believe in them. We are subscribers to MM-Theory, are we not? Therefore, wouldn't our subjective realities include these extra experiences to begin with? Perhaps they wouldn't include their internal qualities (for those are inconceivable) but many things exist within our subjective realities without our knowing their internal qualities (for example, the chemical composition of the gasoline in your car). The latter peculiarity will be addressed in the section Determinants and Non-Determinants below. The bottom line of the above principle is that any attempt to refer beyond one's subjective reality only incorporates that which is referred to into one's subjective reality - often without one's knowing it. This could be used as a quick fix to the above problem - the one about a person in his/her chamber proclaiming that "There are no other people!" If the person cannot refer beyond his/her subjective reality, beyond his/her chamber that is, then he/she really ought to be saying "There are no other people in my chamber" or "There are no other people in my reality". He/she could not possibly have in mind the absence of other people in some region outside his/her chamber. He/she cannot even comprehend such an extension of existence, let alone refer to it. Therefore, he/she must mean, "There are no other people here in this chamber". Well, does the person mean it this way? Do we even have the right to put words in other people's mouths, saying, "You don't mean that, you mean this"? It seems less than convincing that universal statements like "There is no X" - plane and simple - could be reduced to particular statements of the form "There is no X in what I think is reality" without changing the meaning somewhat. Can we justify the claim that statements of the form "There is no X" are equal in meaning to statements of the form "There is no X in my reality"? We will return to this question in the section Inter-Reality Descriptions below.

Intra-Reality Descriptions
The descriptive approach we are taking in this paper can be applied to both dependent and independent models. With independent models, a description of reality, based on what one perceives to be real, is seen as somewhat fruitless. That is, with an independent model, one wants to get at what Dependent and reality is, not what it looks like. Nevertheless, we could go ahead and describe what we see in reality Independent even with an independent model.
Models of Reality

Subjectivist Theories

Of course, with a dependent model, this is the most useful way to get at precisely what is real. But with a dependent model, it stands to question which reality we are describing. Take a subjectivist one who would be using a dependent model - into consideration. He/she could go about describing his/her own reality or those of others whose models of reality are of the independent kind. Either way, the subjectivist would deem the perception of the reality in question to be sufficient in depicting

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exactly what that reality is. Of course, there is another level of complexity if it is the subjectivist's own reality being described. The reason for this is, of course, that the subjectivist perceives reality as a domain that houses a multiplicity of realities. Just as in the chamber model, the subjectivist's reality is the sum of all realities plus anything extraneous. Of course, we've already dealt with the fact that the multitude of realities the subjectivist sees are not true realities - at least, not in the full sense of the word - but it remains a heavy task for the subjectivist to describe his/her reality in terms of other realities. He/she is sure to run into lingual problems and confused semantics - and ultimately, the pseudo-paradoxes we alluded to in the introduction to this paper. A couple terms that would therefore come in handy are "inter-reality descriptions" and "intra-reality descriptions". Intra-reality descriptions are those descriptions that apply to the contents of one reality. They are most useful with independent models, but they can also be used with dependent models. An example would be to describe the night sky as "very starry". This would be a description of the contents (stars) of one reality. Note that it does not matter whether the perceiver of the stars assumes them to be real independently of his/her perception or because of his/her perception - they are still descriptions of what he/she sees as the contents of reality. Inter-reality descriptions, on the other hand, are descriptions applying to the relations between realities. An example, taken from the chamber scenario, would be the relation between the host of one chamber and his/her representatives in all other chambers. When we touched on this, we were describing how the events that occur in one chamber (speech, for example) affect the events that occur in other chambers (the mimicking of speech by the representatives). Obviously, these kinds of descriptions cannot work with an independent model. Therefore, inter-reality descriptions are exclusive to dependent models, and only make sense to those partial to subjectivist brands of theories.

Definition: Intra- vs. Inter-Reality Descriptions 1) Intra-Reality Descriptions: Descriptions of the contents of one reality. 2) Inter-Reality Descriptions: Descriptions of the relations between realities.
We will be dealing with intra-reality descriptions in this section of the paper. If our goal is to resolve the many pseudo-paradoxes that arise from inter-reality descriptions, then this is the most logical course of action. We are better off learning to describe, in as clear a manner as possible, what one perceives in one reality, whether based on a dependent or independent model, before moving on to inter-reality descriptions. One might note that inter-reality descriptions are actually a special kind of intra-reality description anyway. That is, if intra-reality descriptions are defined simply as descriptions of the contents of one reality, then the subjectivist, in describing the contents of his/her reality, is engaging in descriptions of the intra-reality sort. This shouldn't be a cause for confusion though. It just means that there is a bit of overlap between inter- and intra-reality descriptions. The point, however, is that the rules we will learn to use in making intra-reality descriptions will come in handy when we delve into inter-reality descriptions, and so we examine the former first. Before we get started, however, let's introduce a principle that might be considered sage advice. The advice comes as a response to a question the reader might be asking at this point: w hy go to all the trouble of delineating the methods for articulating intra-reality descriptions? It comes quite naturally to most people, after all, does it not? I see a chair in my living room, I describe what I see as "a chair in my living room". I feel ill this afternoon, I describe what I feel as "an ill feeling in my stomach". I have strong feelings for the woman I'm dating, I describe this as "falling in love". What's there to expand on? Well, I wish all such descriptions were as easy as these - and these are indeed easy - but there are other examples that are not so simple. For example, how does one describe the position of the moon when it's on the opposite side of the planet from where one is standing? Without consulting astronomical documents, one has no way of perceiving the moon or knowing where it is. Yet, one still believes the moon to have a definite location somewhere in the opposite hemisphere. What are we to say? Are we to say that the moon has no definite location due to the lack of visual perception of it, or are we to say that it must have a definite location due solely to the belief that it does despite not being able to say what that location is? And what about the existence of other people's minds? As we noted

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above, in the chamber model scenario, this is not a problem for those who hold an independent model, but what about those of us who hold a dependent model? If we truly believe that other people's minds constitute the basis for a whole other reality - one that we must place beyond the boundaries of our own - then how are we to describe our beliefs in them? After all, to describe what we believe is to describe what we perceive in our reality. And what do we say about states of denial? Suppose, for instance, one was feeling miserable, but was in total denial about it, announcing to everyone, and even him/herself, that he/she was exceedingly happy. How would we describe his/her mood - happy or miserable? These are the kinds of questions we will be tackling in this section of the paper, and it would be a great help to us if we kept in mind the sage advice that we will now present as a principle.

Principle: The Transparency of Experiences Experiences are exactly what they feel like. The real things they project themselves as are exactly what we perceive them to be.
This principle can be forgotten easily. There tends to be a difficulty in articulating exactly what our experiences feel like. The main reason for this, or at least one of them, is that we have difficulty keeping an experience, like a thought, in mind while, at the same time, trying to contrive the right words to express it. It's like the familiar conflict between doing something and thinking about it. That is, we often find that performing an action that comes as second nature to us can become stifled when we think too much about it. A dancer, for example, knows the moves and the steps to his/her routine and can perform them without thinking. But if he/she was to suddenly think about it - asking what move comes next, if he/she is stepping in time with the beat, if his/her posture looks right - then we are sure to notice the degradation of his/her performance. The reason being, of course, that the mental energy required to think and worry about this takes away from that required to perform the dance gracefully. The same dynamic of mental energy applies to feeling our experiences and thinking about how to express them in words. That is, when we try to come up with the right words to express them, this takes mental focus away from the actual experience of them. Thus, what we are left with is the attempt to extract words from an experience that isn't even there anymore - or at least, is paid much less attention. What we must do, therefore, is watch out for too much distancing between the experience and the crafting of words to express it. If we find that we are working foremost on inventing complex ways to express something for which we are losing grip on the actual feel, this is a good indication that we are leading ourselves astray. There shouldn't be too much distance between an experience and its expression. A good example of this, one that we saw in The Inconceivability of Consciousness, is Locke's articulation of the concept of infinity. Locke says that we acquire the concept of infinity by contemplating the perpetual addition of quantities onto each other. That is, when we imagine a certain quantity of something, say a stick 2 feet long, and we add another stick, also 2 feet long, to the first, we see that the total length amounts to 4 rather than infinity. If we do this again, we see that it amounts to 6, and then 8, and then 10, and so on and so forth. Locke says that when we notice that this process will go on ad infinitum, always acquiring a finite quantity, we will have conceived of infinity. Locke sums this up by describing our concept of infinity as an "inexhaustible remainder from which we remove all bounds", and it is only after performing this thought experiment that we see this.

John Locke

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We challenged this notion, of course, demonstrating how the concept of infinity (or eternity) had to be understood beforehand in order for one to make the leap from repetitively adding quantities onto each other to apprehending that the entire process was infinite (or eternal). In this paper, we will add the following - that in missing the mark in his attempt to describe the concept of infinity, Locke actually hit the mark squarely if the question concerned what a good example of an infinite process would be. That is, adding quantities onto each other perpetually certainly is a good example of something that would take an eternity to complete, and Locke describes precisely why. But there is clearly a difference between describing an infinite process and the concept of infinity itself. What I would suspect is that Locke spent too much time trying to invent a description of the concept of infinity, or at least how we come to acquire it (sticking to an empirical paradigm) and not enough time merely thinking of infinity itself. So rather than describing infinity, he ended up inadvertently describing something else instead - an infinite process. I also suspect that if he had focused on the concept itself, he would have seen that there are some concepts that cannot be explained by empiricism, which might be why he felt more comfortable fabricating the description he did come up with. The concept of infinity is a very particular one. We would probably fill out a whole book if we listed the entire gamut of concepts that proved descriptively challenging. Therefore, what we will do in this section is offer some descriptive tools, or rules of thumb, that work with the most generalized classes of concepts. We will touch on what it means to believe in something taking a definite state without knowing what that state is (like the location of the moon on the other side of the planet), probability, mental models, other people's minds, denial and other semi-conscious states, and finally the difference between visualization and conceptualization. The reader might recognize the latter from The Inconceivability of Consciousness. In that paper, we focused mainly on proving that there is a difference, and if we described the qualitative differences between them, we did not do so formally. Mental Models In this paper, we will not only formally describe the difference, but outline the rules of thumb for doing so. We will do this for all classes of concepts above. Although this probably isn't an exhaustive list, it should serve as a set of examples for how we adhere to the principle of the transparency of experiences, and thereafter the reader can use this as the most general of guidelines for describing more specific concepts.

Determinants and Non-Determinants
Determinants are what allow real things to have determined states or properties in one's subjective reality. For example, if I see a glass of milk on the table, its determinants might be its color (white), its being mostly full or mostly empty, its location on the table, and so on. Its very existence is also a determinant - that is, we can say that its being there on the table is a state which is determined. All determinants come with values. A determinant's value is what the state or property of the determinant so happens to be. In the case of the glass of milk, its color is a determinant and its value is white. Its fullness is a determinant and its value might be either mostly full or mostly empty. Its position on the table is a determinant, and its value is, say, near the edge. We may think of a determinant as an algebraic variable, like X or Y, and its value as the quantity the variable stands for.

Real Things

Definition: Determinant A state or property that is determined, in virtue of the perception that it is determined, of a real thing.

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Definition: Value In the context of a determinant, its value is what the state or property turns out to be.
Even though a determinant is a state or property, we might talk about an object or entity being a determinant. For example, I might say that my television is a determinant. What I mean by this is that the state of existence of my television is a determinant and its value is "existing". That is, my television is in a state of existence. By the same token, I would say that the Tooth Fairy is also a determinant and her value is "non-existent". That is, the Tooth Fairy is in a state of non-existence. So even things that don't exist can be determinants in that they determine the contents of one's subjective reality just as much as those things that do exist therein. Determinants can be defined or undefined. A defined determinant is one for which the state or property so determined is perceived. An undefined determinant is one for which the state or property so determined is not perceived but is still believed to be determined. If the glass of milk were in front of us, for example, we could say that its being mostly full or mostly empty is a defined determinant. That is, we believe that it is either definitely mostly full or definitely mostly empty, and we can see which of these it is. If, however, we were simply told that a glass of milk was sitting on the table, but we could not see it, then supposing we believe what we are told, its being mostly full or mostly empty is an undefined determinant. Yet, it is a determinant because we still believe it is definitely either or. That is, just because we don't see it, and thus have no knowledge of what the value of its fullness state is, this does not mean its state has no value. The fact that we believe it has a definite value makes it so.

Definition: Defined vs. Undefined Determinants 1) Defined Determinant: a determinant for which its value is perceived. 2) Undefined Determinant: a determinant for which its value is not perceived.
This carries over to the question we posed about the moon - that is, what we would say about the position of the moon in the sky on the other side of the planet. Does it have a position because we believe it does, or does it not because we don't perceive or know it? What we would say is that the moon's position, if we don't perceive or know it, is a undefined determinant. That is, because it is believed to have a definite position, it is a determinant, but because we don't perceive its value, it is undefined. Well, this is all well and good insofar as identifying and categorizing the real things we perceive - we now have some nifty labels - but does this actually describe in what way the moon's position or the properties of the glass of milk can be thought of as real things? That is, does the idea of determinants answer our question about how unperceived things like the moon's position can be determined even though it requires perception for such determination? It doesn't qualify as an answer, but it does qualify as a useful tool for devising an answer. To get the answer, let's revisit an independent model of reality. As we said at the beginning of this section, independent models, although having very little need for a descriptive approach, can be described just as easily and accurately as dependent models. Moreover, from a subjectivist's point of view, describing a reality based on an independent model is sufficient for outlining exactly what that reality consists of. Therefore, it would, in all probability, serve us well to investigate the ways in which an objectivist would describe the position of the moon when he/she can't see it. After all, the objectivist has no trouble understanding how the moon can maintain an exact position independently of anyone's perception. Let's take this understanding and carry it back over to the dependent model and see how it answers our question.

Objectivist Theories

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The objectivist would say that the moon is guaranteed to have a definite position at all times because the laws of nature take care of this. The laws of nature are also determinants (they are believed to exist) and their values are perceived. That is, the objectivist knows the laws that govern the moon's position - namely, Kepler's three laws of motion. The objectivist may not call them "determinants", but we as subjectivists looking into an objectivist's reality will call them "determinants". These laws Kepler's Laws of determine exactly where the moon is at all times. Therefore, the answer to our question, as far as an objectivist is concerned, is that a defined determinant (the laws of nature) maintains the status of the Motion moon's position as a determinant. Does this work with a dependent model? It surely does. Even though the moon's position is not perceived, the laws of nature are (they are believed in). Moreover, they are a defined determinant. It is also believed, furthermore, that these laws are what allow the moon to have a definite position. With a dependent model, this belief is enough to create the laws of nature as real things, and if it is also believed that they maintain the moon's position, this is what they will do as real things. This answers our question. Even though we don't perceive the moon's exact location, we do perceive, and

Projection

therefore project, the necessary mechanism by which the moon's position is determined. The general form this answer takes - a form that works as a tool for answering all questions concerning undefined determinants - is that an undefined determinant remains a determinant due to its dependence on another determinant that is defined. Furthermore, an undefined determinant may rely on a whole series of undefined determinants, but at the end of this series, there must be a defined one. We can extract this series by inquiring into the objectivist's reality - or any reality that captures our interest - asking how the objectivist him/herself would answer the question being posed (in this case, how the moon maintains a definite position). Imbedded in the answer are all the determinants we need along with the order in which they depend on each other.

Principle: Understanding The Determinacy of Undefined Determinants To understand how undefined determinants are determined in one's subjective reality, ask of the subject how he/she accounts for them him/herself. Imbedded in the answer are the determinants on which the one in question depends, as well as the order of their dependence. Assuming the account given is complete, there should be at least one defined determinant on which the others depend.
Note that the relation between determinants is one of logical dependence, not causation. Undefined determinants logically depend on defined ones. The reason why the objectivist believes the moon to have a definite position despite the fact he has no inkling as to what it is is that he believes in Kepler's laws of motion, and it logically follows from the latter that the former is necessarily the case. This is precisely what we want. We want a description of the objectivist's reality in mental terms, in terms of his/her experiences - in this case, in terms of the reasoning behind his/her beliefs. That an undefined determinant should be traceable, directly or indirectly, to a defined one is the general formula that such descriptions take. Insofar as descriptions go, this suffices for the subjectivist. For the objectivist however, this description, at least when put in non-mental terms, also serves as an explanation, just as how the Earth rotating about its axis serves as an explanation for any subscriber of the Copernican model of the solar system, even though such an explanation works just

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as well as a description for any subscriber of the Ptolemaic model. Of course, we might point out that, as an explanation, the Copernican model conflicts with that of the Ptolemaic model, just as the objectivist's explanation for the moon's definite position conflicts with the subjectivist's. The subjectivist doesn't put it in terms of Kepler's laws or independently existing physical objects with definite positions like the moon; rather, the subjectivist puts it in terms of his/her own theory of mind. In the case of MM-Theory in particular, we would account for the moon's definite position in terms of the non-human experiences that correspond to the moon-Earth system. So although at this point, we are only concerned with describing the objectivist's world, therefore making any conflict of explanation inconsequential, we will eventually have to come to terms with this conflict. When it comes to solving conflicts of this kind however - namely, two or more contending explanations - we are contrasting two or more different realities. Needless to say, we need additional tools - namely, inter-reality descriptions - and so we will await the appropriate section to return to this issue. Now, a non-determinant is any state or property that does not have a definite value. For example, the truth of the following sentence cannot be determined:

This sentence is false.
If this sentence is true, then it's false. If it's false, it's true. So which is it? It's neither, of course. Its truth or falsehood cannot be determined. It has no value. Thus, it is a non-determinant. Outcomes that are due to random chance, such as the rolling of dice or who will win the lottery, are also non-determinants. Of course, if one is a stringent determinist, one's subjective reality will never consist of such non-determinants. That is, one has to believe that some things truly are random, not just that their outcomes are unknown and too complex to predict. Even scientists - at least, the great majority of them - believe in the truly random. The field of quantum mechanics is widely accepted as a domain of science that studies the probabilities of random outcomes. So we must make room for non-determinants in our intra-reality descriptions, as there are a great many people who believe in truly random occurrences and other such things whose values cannot be determined.

Determinism

Quantum Mechanics

Definition: Non-Determinants A state or property whose value is not determined, in virtue of the perception that it is not determined.
Needless to say, non-determinants cannot be classified as defined or undefined. These two terms only make sense when the value is thought to be definite. It can be definite and known or perceived, in which case it is defined, or it can be definite and unknown or unperceived, in which case it is undefined. But the very definition of non-determinants is that their values are not definite. They are not set to anything. Therefore, it is meaningless to talk about a defined or undefined non-determinant. For this reason, we will not formally define such terms. Things that are random are referred to as probable. That is, we say that there is a certain probability of some random outcome turning out one way or another. The probability of turning up heads on a coin toss, for example, is 50/50. The probability of a thunderstorm tomorrow, the weatherman says, is 80%. Now these probabilities are not themselves non-determinants. They are determinants, and defined ones moreover. That is, the fact that there is a certain probability is quite determined, and if you know the statistic of this probability - 50/50, 80%, 1 in 4, and the like - then its value is known, making it a defined determinant. Of course, its value might not be known, in which case it would be an undefined determinant. In any case, the probability should not be confused with the non-determinant itself. The non-determinant is the actual outcome of the random event. That is, for example, what side a dice will land on (assuming we believed the rolling of dice was indeed genuinely random). There are six possibilities, and which one it will be is, not only unknown, but undetermined. However, each side has a specific probability and we do know their values - 1 out of 6 for each. So all non-determinants come with a determinant - namely, its probability - which can be

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defined or undefined. And finally, there are non-extants. A non-extant is anything that does not make up any part of one's subjective reality. For the most part, they are things that the percipient is not experiencing in any way whatsoever. For example, the ancient Egyptian god Anubis was well known to the Egyptians, and therefore was a determinant for them, but to a common person in the modern world, he is a non-extant. In most cases, he has never been, nor ever will be, imagined by the common person, let alone considered to exist. An even better example would be an experience that one not only doesn't have, but can't have. For example, music is a non-extant to those born deaf. The intricacies about multivariate calculus are non-extants to monkeys. Non-extants should not be confused with defined determinants for which their value is "non-existent", as in the example of the Tooth Fairy given above. In that example, we pointed out how it is the lack of the Tooth Fairy's existence that is a determinant. This lack of existence does make up part of one's subjective reality in that they would describe their reality as consisting of such a lack. To a child, however, the Tooth Fairy would exist as a determinant whose value is "existing". As with the chamber metaphor, of course, the Tooth Fairy who exists in the child's world is a different entity than the lack thereof in the adult's world. It could be said, therefore, that the Tooth Fairy, although a determinant in the child's world, is a non-extant in relation to the adult's world. That is, although the lack of the Tooth Fairy in the adult's world is a determinant, the existence of the Tooth Fairy in the child's world is a non-extant to the adult.

Anubis

Definition: Non-Extants Anything that does not determine the existence, states, or properties, of the contents of one’s subjective reality.
Obviously, a non-extant is only a useful concept for subjectivists. That is, one can only talk about a non-extant if there are real things that can exist beyond a given subjective reality and only in relation to that subjective reality. This requires that one take the perspective that there are coexisting subjective realities within a larger framework. This is the subjectivist's view. The objectivist might hold a similar view - namely, that there are real things that exist beyond one's perceptions of the world, and these things might even be incomprehensible, but these wouldn't be non-extants. If anything, these would be undefined determinants - the reason being that the objectivist would have already settled the matter on whether these things exist or not. He/she holds that they exist, and therefore are not beyond his/her subjective reality (or just reality, as he/she would see it). Non-extants do exist for the subjectivist as well, but the subjectivist can see the relations they have to other subjective realities (which don't exist for the objectivist) and he/she would depict these relations as ones of non-existence. That is, they don't exist in relation to any subjective reality that doesn't house them, and therefore are non-extants only in relation to those subjective realities. Needless to say, we are getting into inter-reality descriptions, and so we will return to this point in the appropriate section.

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Mental Models and Other Minds
When it comes to understanding the forms mental models take, nothing comes in more handy than the principle of the transparency of experiences. So we must ask ourselves "How do we describe the forms mental models take?" We have answered this question at length in the paper The Inconceivability of Consciousness, and so we need not reiterate it here. We will refresh our memories, however, by running through a brief overview of it. Afterwards, we will apply the concept to the problem of other minds. The problem of other minds is the philosophical problem of how one Mental Models knows that minds other than his/her own exist. This problem takes a slightly different tinge in our theory - namely, as the problem of how we can posit the existence of other people's minds without transgressing the boundaries of our own subjective reality. That is, we seem to be faced with two mutually exclusive options - we can either accept that other people have minds but only as the conventional notion of "minds" would have it (i.e. not as MM-Theory would have it) or we can Transparency of accept that other people's minds constitute their own distinct subjective realities that necessarily Experiences exists beyond our own (in which case we would be in violation of the principle of Referential Monopoly). The aim in this section is to resolve this problem, and we do so with the aid of mental models. At bottom, mental models are cognitive experiences. They are conceptual representations of real things. The current model of the atom is an excellent example. Scientists teach us that the atom consists of three particles: protons, neutrons, and electrons. The protons and neutrons are tightly bound together in a compacted nucleus while the electrons orbit the nucleus at a distance. As novices, we are told that we can imagine these particles as tiny billiard balls (more advanced teachings describe them as point particles or even smeared out regions of probable existence - see sidenote ). If we seek the teachings of Buddhists, we will encounter other mental models. We might be told of a plane of existence called Nirvana that can only be reached by deep meditation and the acquisition of enlightenment. Whether we believe these teachings or not, they are all mental models. The atom is a mental model in virtue of the fact that we are engaged in a visualization of an organized system of particles (balls, points, smeared out regions, or whatever). The actual atom itself may not resemble this mental picture precisely, nor is it necessarily something that our mental pictures can resemble precisely - it may be totally inconceivable. The same applies to Nirvana and enlightenment. But we do make use of these mental pictures and they help to make them conceivable, imperfect as they may be. As we saw in The Inconceivability of Consciousness, this lack of perfect resemblance is typical of mental models. Because of this, we fail to appreciate the true forms that some phenomena take - such as infinity, consciousness, quantum phenomena, etc. - and instead believe in what the mental model presents itself to be. So long as we keep in mind that mental models are representations at best, we avoid being fooled by their pretentious forms. Being aware of this, however, does not make it any easier to conjure up a more accurate portrayal of the phenomena they stand in for. The reason for this is that in our attempts to contrive more accurate portrayals, we are stuck using cognitions. That is, the very act of coming up with a conceptual model for

The Problem of Other Minds

Referential Monopoly

The Shapes of Fundamental Particles

Nirvana

Enlightenment

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something requires the use of ideas. Conceptual models cannot be made from any other experiences. Mental models are a unique artifact of cognition - of thought. Therefore, to answer our question above - how do we describe the forms mental models take? - we must say, at the very least, that they take a cognitive form. More needs to be said about this, of course. We might use an analogy. Suppose a sculptress wished to explain exactly what she was feeling emotionally by using visual experiences. That is, she wanted to replicate the emotion in other people's minds by showing them the emotion. Using her talents as a sculptress, she molds her clay into complex forms, hoping to obtain exactly the form her emotion takes. She settles on one form, but quickly becomes dissatisfied. It only looks like an irregularly shaped rock, not an emotion. So she tries a different form. Again, it fails to match the emotional experience. This time, it only looks like a crumpled up box. She tries a third form, and for the third time she is disappointed. Why can she not mold the clay into the form that her emotion takes? Because an emotion is not a visual experience. Nothing visually apprehended would match the exact form an emotion can take. Our sculptress may create a piece that invokes emotions, but this is only an effect the piece has on the viewer. In exactly the same manner, there are some phenomena whose forms cannot be captured by "molding" our ideas into the different shapes we call mental models. Of course, there are a myriad of things that we can model quite accurately. Most of our sensory experiences are very amenable to cognitive representations. We can imagine many things from ordinary life, such as houses, trees, vehicles, people, shoes, etc. We can also imagine commonplace things that we sense in non-visual ways, such as voices, traffic noises, the smell of good food, the taste of candy, the softness of fluffy pillows, the warmth of fire, etc. The concepts of these are all mental models that so happen to mirror the phenomena they represent quite reliably. We explained this in The Inconceivability of Consciousness by pointing out what purpose visualization and conceptualization evolved to serve. Visualization (and the simulation of at least two other sensory experiences - hearing and touch) evolved to mimic the behavior, in a mental laboratory so to speak, of the physical world. That is, it evolved as an approximation of our visual experiences. Therefore, it had to represent the world as we experience it visually as accurately as it could afford to. At a later point in our evolution, conceptualization emerged and grew beyond visualization. This became important when the need for abstraction emerged. That is, when it became Visualization vs. important for us to understand certain Conceptualization abstract characteristics about the world. The need for this, we hypothesized, came with the advent of civilization, and was a response to the ever growing complexity of the social and political climate. Nevertheless, conceptualization retained its roots in the traditional function that visualization served before it, only now it was modified to simulate, not physical phenomena per se, but the logic of "things" in the most abstract sense. It still recruits the aid of visualization as every concept seems to come with a visual representation of one sort or another, and therefore can still represent visual experiences - and every other sensory experience for that matter quite reliably. So mental models have a sensory component and a conceptual component. The sensory component cannot transcend the sensory form it takes whereas the conceptual component can, and does. But the conceptual component also has its limitations - it cannot transcend its conceptual form - hence its greatest shortcoming. We referred to mental models as taking a cognitive form overall, and we can refer to the conceptual component as taking a conceptual form. We might also say of the sensory component that it takes a sensory form, but this is not to be confused with the form that actual sensations take (there is still a difference). Whether sensory, conceptual, or cognitive in general, none of these capture the complete pool of forms that real things can take. There are things out there - experiences in the subjectivist context whose forms are none of these, not even remotely. These things will never take part in our subjective realities. The mental models we use to represent them, however, always take part in our subjective realities. In fact, the forms they take therein are exactly what we perceive them to be (vis-à-vis the principle of the transparency of experiences). If

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we think that consciousness, for example, is a "ghost in the machine" so to speak, then that's what it is in our subjective reality. If we think it is an emergent property of neural and chemical activity, then that's what it is. It is even an utterly inconceivable phenomenon of which we haven't the faintest inkling, if this is what we think of it. All these models seem rather innocuous when it comes to the problem at hand - the problem of how subjectivists seem to refer to things beyond their subjective realities when subjectivism clearly denies them the right to do so. This is a problem for subjectivists in particular because they put forward a model of consciousness that necessitates its placement outside the boundaries of their subjective realities. With our understanding of mental models, however, this problem, which is none other than the problem of other minds, can be resolved. We first note that we cannot conceive of other people's minds other than as a mental model - a cognitive construct that portrays them as a "thing" in reality. We can rise above any sensory imagery this mental model offers us, acknowledging that other minds cannot take sensory forms, but we can't do the same for the quality of "thingness" their conceptual component exudes. This much is for certain. How, then, do we reconcile the fact that they constitute their own realities? Well, seeing as how the mental model only represents the actual phenomenon, what we as subjectivists conceive of when we think of other people's minds is not the true foundation for a whole other reality distinct from what we take to be reality. What it is the foundation of is a subjective reality which, when all is said and done, is really just a collection of real things in what we call "reality", not a complete reality unto itself. To the subjectivist, this collection exists within his/her own subjective reality as one among all the other real things therein. In other words, we as subjectivists don't believe that other people's minds constitute realities beyond our own. Rather, we believe they constitute subjective realities within our own. But even after having said this, we still find ourselves referring to the "actual phenomena" that our mental models represent. That is, because we acknowledge that our mental models only represent other people's minds, we have imagined, not only the representation, but their minds being represented. One cannot talk about a representation without implicitly acknowledging that something is being represented. This is clearly a violation of the principle of Referential Monopoly. To fully resolve this problem, we must keep two things in mind. 1) Any reference to the "real thing" (i.e. not the mental model) can only be made by substituting another mental model for the one we attempt to refer beyond. That is, if we want to put aside our mental model of other minds in favor of the real thing, we are inevitably going to construct another mental model - maybe the same, maybe different without fully realizing it. In fact, we can do this an indefinite number of times, building up a chain of mental models, each referencing the one posterior to it as the "real thing". Although the one at the end of the series will always seem like the true phenomenon, it can be recognized for the mental model it is just as easily as all its precedents. We will be in no better position to get beyond our mental models than we were at the beginning of the series. Therefore, when it comes down to it, we never really violate the principle of Referential Monopoly. 2) Because other minds constitute their own reality, if we actually could apprehend them in their true form, we would have to dispense with our own subjective reality and enter into the one the mind in question upholds. That is, to behold another mind in its true form is to behold a whole other reality. A mind, after all, is a reality - not a mental model - and as such will not tolerate the coexistence of other realities. In other words, there would be no subjective reality for those minds to exist beyond. The mind in question would constitute its own subjective reality of which we cannot transcend or refer beyond. It would be a different subjective reality than the one we had to start with, but it would still be the only one we can behold. Therefore, we have no opportunity to violate the

Referential Monopoly

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principle of Referential Monopoly in that case either.

Principle: Ontology of Other Minds 1) Within one's subjective reality, other people's minds exist as mental models representing real things. 2) Beyond one's subjective reality, other people's minds exist as perceptions of other realities which are mutually exclusive with one's own, and therefore cannot be experienced except by first dispensing with one's own subjective reality entirely.
Again, we are getting into inter-reality descriptions here, and the rules of discourse have not yet been laid out. So before elaborating on this further, which we surely ought to do, we need to await the section on inter-reality descriptions. In addition, the section on The Infinite Regress Problem below will shed enough light on the subject to make a much more satisfactory solution evident. For now, we will deem the above two points sufficient for answering the question of other minds insofar as intra-reality descriptions are concerned. In short, we believe in other people's minds as mental models, and this renders them fit for inclusion in our own subjective reality (as subjectivists), and since the subjectivist is one who believes in other subjective realities as collections of real things, thereby permitting him/her to include them in what he/she has labeled "reality", other minds still constitute their own subjective reality. If we want to refer to the "actual mind" - not the mental model - we have to accept that the mind in question is its own reality, and will therefore substitute itself in place of our subjective reality. This doesn't make the foreign reality any more conceivable - or at least believable - but at least it offers a way to imagine actually accomplishing a feat such as experiencing another's mind as it truly is. As much as this may solve the problem of other minds - which is the problem of how the subjectivist avoids violating the principle of referential monopoly - it may be at the cost of incurring another problem: we would like to go beyond the infinite regress of mental models. We would like to stop building the chain of mental models, each one inadvertently referring to its successor, and start referring to something outside our minds, something "real". This is an all together different problem from the one the current section concerns itself with - I call it the "infinite regress problem" - and we will return to it in the fourth major section of this paper.

Denial

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A corollary of the principle of the transparency of experience, or perhaps just a different way of stating it, is that if we experience something - anything - then it constitutes a part of our subjective reality. This is obvious when we assume that all experiences, if had, are felt at a conscious level. But what about the unconscious? What about defense mechanisms like repression and denial? Well, if we don't believe in the unconscious, then this question really doesn't stand in our way. But we ought to consider it just in case it does exist - that way, we will be prepared with ways of describing the experience. Freud tells us that the human mind protects the ego - the self that, at the conscious level, we feel we are - from psychological The assaults (i.e. emotional trauma) by using defense mechanisms. Transparency of Examples of defense mechanisms include denial, projection, Experience sublimation, reaction formation, repression, and so on. They are means by which we eradicate or invent beliefs and emotions other than by the rationalist or empiricist method (i.e. by reason and sensory experiences). So, for example, if I am unbearably hurt by a recent break-up in a relationship, I may deny that the relationship is really over, telling myself that she is just upset and will return to me when she comes to her senses. Freud reassured us that the use of defense mechanisms was a normal thing and occurred all the time in healthy Freud individuals. This means that if they are fully functional, defense mechanisms should work quite effectively. One who engages in denial or reaction formation, for instance, should be completely oblivious to the fact that they are doing so. No indication so much as a faint thought or slight emotion should signal the workings of such defense mechanisms. But then there are cases in which the defense mechanisms don't work completely as they should. In such cases, one does retain a slight sense of what feels like thoughts or emotions being repressed or disguised in the conscious mind. We may only experience Defense them in a sort of semi-conscious state, but if we really pay close attention - listening to the voices Mechanisms calling from the nether regions of our minds, so to speak - we can feel them. Seeing as how we can feel them, even if only in a semi-conscious state, what ought we to say about their role in our subjective realities? Needless to say, we are not concerned, in this section, with any mental state or element that is fully unconscious. That sort of phenomenon is not experienced at all, and therefore will play no part in our subjective reality. We needn't say a thing about it. We did say something about it, nonetheless, in the Advanced Theory when we defined epistemic unconsciousness. Mental states or elements that are unconscious might still go on in one's brain - and MM-Theory says they would - but unless we have knowledge of the experience that goes along with such activity, we will have no epistemic awareness Epistemic of it. It will be epistemically unconscious to us. When something is epistemically unconscious, it Unconsciousness plays no part in our subjective reality. In these cases, therefore, the question of how to describe such experiences is a non-issue. The question arises most relevantly when it comes to semi-conscious experiences. We will deal mainly with denial, sometimes using that word interchangeably with "repression". What we say about it may apply equally well to other defense mechanisms, but it is denial that seems to be most pertinent. In the Basic Theory, we split the human mind into three basic categories - sensation, emotion, and cognition - and it is emotion and cognition that defense mechanisms seem to work best on or at all. This means one can defend the ego against either thoughts or feelings. If the defense mechanism brought to the task is something other than denial or repression, then something is done with the thought or feeling other than simply blocking it out of the conscious mind. The only other thing there is to do with it would be to transform it into something else. For example, one may undergo projection (the psychoanalytic kind, not the kind MM-Theory

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defines) in which case certain feelings or desires are projected onto a target other than what they naturally would be projected onto. Someone who hates his boss, for instance, might project that hatred onto the family pet and kick it when he gets home after a bad day at the office. What the defense mechanism of projection does, in this case, is transforms the anger he has for his boss into anger for the pet. Whatever the transformation and whatever the defense mechanism, the matter of how to describe the reality it ends up creating is simple. We describe it in terms of what the emotion or thought is transformed into. When it comes to denial or repression, however, especially the kind that doesn't render the emotion or thought fully unconscious, such descriptions can't be made quite as easily. Let's make something clear to start. Whenever we think about any mental state, ours or someone else's, we are bringing to mind a mental model of that state. That is to say, our thoughts about our mental states come in the form of a cognitive representation of those mental states. It is because of this that we are able to defy the nature of projection that MM-Theory says all experiences undergo, reflecting on our own experiences as purely mental Mental Models entities. Of course, we are not really defying projection. We are simply recognizing a representation of these experiences as taking a mental form. But as such, these are what occupy our conscious mind when we are, as we would say, consciously aware of our mental states. To know Projection about our mental states is to be able to think about them, and to think about them is to bring mental models of them into the spotlight of our conscious mind. Therefore, to be unconscious of our mental states is to block any such mental models out of our minds. This doesn't preclude our

experiencing of such mental states. It seems it should since barring any mental model of them from consciousness would eliminate any possibility of epistemic awareness, and hence remove them from our subjective reality. But consider this. Even though the mental model that represents them is barred, these mental states will still project themselves. And if they project themselves, they will be perceived as real things in the world. When this happens, we may permit mental models that represent these real things. Such mental models need not bear any resemblance whatsoever to the "mental entities" that the real things were prior to projection, and so we can be fully conscious of them. This may be the best way to describe forms of denial in which the experience denied is still present in some form other than "mental", and is therefore not totally unconscious. For example, suppose Sam was depressed, but he denied he felt this way and told himself and others that he was happy. What is happening in his conscious mind is that a mental model of a happy mental state is brought in and

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attributed to himself. What is happening with his actual emotional state is that it is being projected onto the world in some way. Sam might express this as "It's an awful, awful world we live in, but I don't let it get me down. I'm still happy." That is, the misery he feels unconsciously, or semi-consciously, is perceived as a state of the world, not his mind. Consider Judy who, for the third time in a row, had a man she was eyeing stolen from her by her sister Jessica. But Judy doesn't hold a grudge - she's happy for her sister. She'll even tell us "I'm not upset. I mean, many people would be. After all, this is the third time in a row that she's stolen a man from me. And it's not like she didn't know I was attracted to him. I told her over and over again each time. And it's not like she even asked if it was okay. She just jumped right in between us. She has no sensitivity whatsoever! She just thinks for herself, taking whatever she wants from whomever she wants, even her own sister! You know, sometimes I wonder if she does it just to spite me - like she isn't even interested in the guy! She really can be cruel and heartless!... But I'm not upset. I'm happy." Anybody listening to this rant will surely get the impression that Judy is repressing dangerous levels of rage. This rage is projected onto her sister, painting a picture of someone who "has no sensitivity", "thinks of herself", "is cruel and heartless", and so on. That is, the emotion becomes attributes of the person instead of the mental state Judy is feeling. Such attributes can easily come to mind as thoughts, but no thought depicting these as her own emotions will enter Judy's mind. Let's suppose Sam was not only in denial, but an optimist. Therefore, he wouldn't say such cynical things about the world like how awful it is. If we're still talking about semi-conscious experiences, then the emotion he feels would still have to be projected in a form he perceives. Perhaps, then, Sam might say, "The world is a wonderful place, and I am so elated to be in it. But I must say, there are some vicious people in the world who would turn it all on its head if they had their way. Thank goodness they are far and few between." Basically, Sam is projecting his misery onto the "vicious people" of the world instead of the world itself. Perhaps Sam would say "The world is usually a wonderful place, and I am grateful for that, but today has really been one unholy day. It's just my bad luck, I suppose." Instead of the world or anybody in it, Sam projects his misery onto the day he has been having. He also seems to attribute it to his bad luck, which must mean he's been through some perilous events. Some of his misery would therefore be projected onto these events too. In any case, his misery, or any emotion, will be projected onto something or other. If it is being felt, but denied, it will have to find something in the world to be projected on. He will recognize that instead of his emotion, and insofar as his subjective reality is concerned, he would be right. If his emotion was so repressed that it could not be projected onto anything, it would have to be completely unconscious, in which case it has no place in his subjective reality. Now, is it possible that Sam or Judy could be wrong? After all, they say that they are happy, but the fact is they are miserable and just won't admit it. Well, we need to be careful with our choice of words. What do we mean by "miserable"? This word refers to an emotion, and the mental model that goes along with it is one of an emotional state of mind. We, as observers of Sam and Judy, do not feel their emotion, and so we rely on the mental models that we label with words like "miserable" or "angry" or "happy" to depict their emotional states. If it is true that they are miserable, it is only because it is our mental models that are projected onto them. Sam and Judy, however, do not project any such mental models onto themselves. For them, it is not true that they are miserable. Instead, the truth is that Sam's world is a miserable place and Judy's sister is a miserably cruel person. In other words, what decides whether a person is miserable or excited or content or in any other emotional state is the mental model that is brought to bear on him/her. The emotion itself will not be experienced as an emotion - that is, not as something mental - but as attributes or states of the world or something in the world. So if Sam's misery is projected onto the world and Judy's resentment is projected onto her sister, there is no emotion left for them to be wrong about. That is, they can freely believe they are happy without contradiction. So there is no misery for Sam or Judy to be wrong about. But are they right about being happy? That is, can they legitimately tell themselves they are happy even though there is no happy mood in their minds? This question can be answered by the very same token as that posed in the previous paragraph. That is, if we consider what it is that makes one happy, sad, afraid, elated, and so on, from someone else's point of view, we see that it is a mental model again. That is, one must use a cognitive representation of someone else's emotional state in order to be aware of it. And in the context of a dependent model, this makes it so. The same is true for someone reflecting on their own emotional state. If they bring to mind a mental model of a mood which they take to be descriptive of what they truly feel, then it doesn't matter if they actually are feeling it or not, this makes it so. We needn't worry

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about whether the actual emotion is present or not because, if it is, then the true form in which it exists is in its projected form, and this is not a "mental" form at all - it is a state or attribute of the world or something therein. The mental model justifies its own validity - there is no need to measure it up against the thing it represents.

Principle: The Projection of Semi-Conscious Emotional States In semi-conscious emotional states, such as denial or repression, the emotion is recognized only in its projected form - namely, as attributes of the world or something therein - and not as something mental. A mental model of a different emotional state may stand in for the denied or repressed one, and the percipient, in believing in this mental model, renders it valid and descriptive of his/her subjective reality.
Now, before we leave this section with the impression that there are no such things as emotions in mental terms, let's put this very question on the table. We've said that emotions, in their truest form, are what they appear to be when projected - namely, attributes or states of the world or things therein. What MM-Theory does not say is that these things are by no means mental. They indeed are, as they feel like they are, and as they always have been. But when we say of Sam's or Judy's denial of their emotional state that there is no such emotion for them to be wrong about, we only mean this in the context in which their mental models make sense - that is, the emotional states that their mental models would depict, whether permitted into consciousness or denied, aren't quite accurate. We've been over this before, and we know that mental models of any mental state or element are always going to be off somewhat, and we know why - because mind, in its true form, is something that mental models can't capture. What MM-Theory says about emotions, and other mental states, is that they are something - a "substance" for lack of a better word - that are both perception and the thing perceived, both real and mental. To deny feeling an emotion, in the case of the semi-conscious experience, is not to deny the existence of the emotion as it truly is, but to deny the mental model of it. Since MM-Theory does this anyway - that is, with respect to the conventional model of mental things - we say that Sam and Judy don't possess such mental entities as these. They possess something slightly different, something that is better described as what it projects itself to be. We continue to call this an emotion, and we insist that emotions still feel exactly as they always have, but that when we think about them, we'll never really hit the nail squarely on the head.

Truth, Fact, And The Physical World
Another topic that was covered in The Inconceivability of Consciousness was the difference between visualization and conceptualization. We title this section "Truth, Fact, And The Physical World" because it is the same difference that exists between truth or fact and the world of physical objects. We will argue, in this section, that the best intra-reality descriptions of visualization are akin to those we would give our sensory experiences, and thus the world of physical objects, and the best of conceptualization are truths or facts. Obviously, there are still some distinctions that have to be made between sensory experiences and the sort of visualization that goes on mentally, and we will be primarily concerned with these. Although we will be talking primarily about visualization, we note Visualization vs. now that what we say applies equally to all sensations and their mentally simulated counterparts. We Conceptualization will be less concerned with the distinctions between conceptualization and truth or fact (foremost because we don't recognize any), but we will be centrally concerned with the distinction between truth and fact and the manner in which we posit truths and facts in the outer world. More specifically, we will point out the difference between something being true and something being "out there".

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Essence of Realness

Projection

What's the difference between our sensory experiences and the type of visualization that goes on in our heads? Three key differences come to mind. 1) Sensory experiences are a lot more vivid than visualization. Sensory experiences are so opaque that there's no mistaking them when they are present. It can take effort, on the other hand, to produce a clear picture of a mental image as we often need silence and closed eyelids. 2) We have very little control over what we sense whereas we have full control over what we visualize. When I look at a red balloon, for example, the only color I can see upon it is red. I cannot choose to see it as yellow or blue. If I was visualizing this balloon, however, I could switch from red to yellow to blue to green or whatever color I like. 3) We experience the sensory world as existing in an outer spatial medium whereas the things we visualize are experienced in an inner mental world. In the Basic Theory, we even went so far as to say that visualization (or fantasy) was the basis upon which we recognize our own minds. What we meant by this is that to visualize something is to simulate sensory experiences in a mental medium that we know to be imaginary. We also noted that, in this context, the mental doesn't lack the essence of realness, but lacks the form of realness that actual sensory experiences assume. That is, when we visualize something, we experience it as being not in the outer world of physical objects. Rather, our minds seem to have evolved to produce this experience of "mental things" which contrast with the outer world. They feel unreal in the sense that they contrast so starkly with the vivid outer world of physical objects that we can't make go away (unlike visualization). But they do feel real in the sense that, when we have them, we know they are there in our minds. The latter is the proper way of describing their projected form vis-à-vis intra-reality descriptions. They are the foundation upon which all our mind-talk rests - at least, mind-talk according to the conventional notion of "mind". That being said, we can use our mental imagery to envision what we believe to actually exist in the physical world. For example, I am currently sitting in my living room, which is one floor directly above my garage. In my garage is my car. I know that my car is directly below me right now, and if I look down, I can visualize my car through the floor. I superimpose, in a manner of speaking, my visualized car over top my actual car (this is especially true if I can visualize in 3D - peering right passed my living room floor). The sense I get from this exercise is a little more than seeing merely an unreal mental image. The sense I get is that what I am visualizing is actually there. So the questions that arise are: does this call for a different intra-reality description? And is this or is this not a different kind of experience? Well, insofar as visualization stands, we can say this most certainly is not a different kind of experience. We are using the same mental faculty to envision things like my car as we do to envision things like a flying rhinoceros in a pink too-too. The difference in the case of my car is that it is accompanied by an additional experience - knowledge. More specifically, knowledge that what I'm visualizing is actually there. I know that my car is in my garage exactly as I'm picturing it in the exact spot where I'm picturing it. If I wanted to imagine that a chimpanzee was sitting in the driver's seat ready to take it out for a spin, I could do this too, and it would appear just as vividly as the image of my car. But it would not leave me with the same impression because, unlike my car, I know there to be no chimpanzee. I'd have to concede that this is purely a piece of fiction, and should be described just as any other unfounded visualization I spin. So what makes the visualization of things like my car - that is, things which really do exist in the form we visualize them - feel more real than unreal is not to be found in the experience of visualization itself. It is to be found in the accompanying knowledge that what I'm visualizing is an accurate depiction of what actually exists. So when we consider knowledge apart from visualization, we enter into the domain of facts and truths. Visualization always helps by providing an experience similar to sensation so we may imagine what it would be like to actually sense the thing we know about. Nevertheless, visualization alone is experienced as nothing more than a mental simulation. And without it, knowledge alone is experienced as nothing more than fact or truth. If I choose not to visualize my car, or at least ignore the visualization, I still take it to be a fact that it is in my garage. Now when we consider facts and truths apart from the world of physical objects that our

Projection

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senses perceive and our visualizations simulate, we enter into a domain of reality that is quite detached and unlike that of physical objects. We might call it the world of pure abstraction or metaphysics. Materialists and other non-Platonists recoil at the thought of regarding such things as a domain of reality - they prefer the description of the unreal as these are no more than fabrications of our intellect. There is some truth to this - namely, that they are not real as objects in the physical domain are real - but we as subjectivists regard them as having the same power of projection as any other experience. We recognize that they maintain the impression of independence from the observer just as any other real thing - that is, facts are facts and truths are truths whether we believe them or not, are informed of them or not, or understand them or not. I regard my car's existence in my garage as a fact, for example, even if I had mistakenly assumed my wife had taken it out to go shopping. It is this independence from perception, or at least the impression of such, that measures facts and truths up with all other real things and all other domains of reality. There may be some difficulty in seeing the essence of facts and truths in this way. It can be difficult to tear one's mind away from the visualizations that persistently come with our comprehension of facts and truths - visualizations that, quite relentlessly, seem to place the fact or truth in the domain of physical objects. When I talk about the fact that my car is in my garage, for example, I have trouble dismissing the impression I get from this experience - the impression that what I'm perceiving is actually there in my garage as all the physical objects around me are here in this room (this is a good example of where the principle of the transparency of experience comes in handy - the difficulty I am having is due to my attempt to visualize a fact without paying attention to the visual aspect of it). To get around this problem, let's consider something more abstract. Consider the following truth: If A is greater than B, and B is greater than C, A must be greater than C. Anyone who has even a scintilla of logical sense will see that this is a true statement, and is therefore a truth. Furthermore, due to its abstraction, we are not fooled by any visual image that might come to mind when we think it. There surely might be some - I imagine the letters A, B, and C in white bold font before a red background with the greater than symbol between them. I don't know why this particular imagery pops up - the mind is funny that way - but The Transparency of that's what I see. Others may imagine something different like the letter A being bigger than the letter B that in turn would Experience be bigger than the letter C. Whatever the image, we know very well that there are no such entities anywhere in the physical world. A's, B's, and C's don't physically exist by nature. Nonetheless, we cannot deny that A being greater than C is a logical consequence of its being greater than B and B's being greater than C. We understand this to be true on its own - that is, independently of our knowing it. It is much easier to see the abstract essence of truth and fact with this example because it is so much more obvious that we ought to ignore the visual features that come with it. When we do so, we clearly see what it means for something to be true (or factual). It is an abstraction whose sole domain of existence must be separate from the physical domain. With this perspective in mind, we come to realize that truth and fact cannot exist except by way of conceptualization. We've argued more than once that conceptualization transcends the physical aspects of visualization, and so it must be responsible for our grasping of abstract truths like A being greater than C. We've been attributing this to knowledge, however, and so it stands to ask how knowledge and conceptualization differ. There is a subtle difference. Knowledge (or belief) is composed of concepts. Take, for example, the knowledge that the world is round. That knowledge makes use of the concepts "world" and "roundness". So long as we understand what the world is, and what its being round means, we have a firm grasp of those concepts. It's a small difference between the grasping of these concepts and the belief/knowledge that the world is round - that difference being

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that we have this knowledge when we recognize the relation between the concepts "world" and "roundness" as holding true of reality (and that relation being denoted by "is" in the statement "the world is round"). So whereas concepts project as essences (as explained earlier), belief/knowledge projects as truth/fact about those essences, and insofar as those essences can be attributed to things in the outer world, the latter truths/facts are about those things. Yet, there is always a way of translating the conception of something into knowledge. That is to say, even if we don't take a stance on the truth or falsehood of a statement whose meaning we can easily conceive, we can always say that we know what the statement means. To conceive of it is to know its meaning. But this sort of knowledge bears a different relation to the conception in question than the knowledge of its truth or falsehood. Take the statement "the world is round" again. The knowledge of what this statement means is a stance being taken on the truth or falsehood of the slightly different statement "'the world is round' means that the world is spherically shaped." If we know what a round world is, we would deem this statement true. If we didn't know what a round world is, we wouldn't know what stance to take. In other words, knowing what a statement means is not the same as knowing whether that statement is true or false. The relation between knowing what a statement means and whether it is true or false is the same relation as between conceptualization and knowledge of that conceptualization's truth or falsehood. When we consider the realm of the purely abstract - namely, the domain of truths and facts - we not only see that they exist there, but we see that there is a flurry of interplay between them. We typically call this "logic" - that is, when we bring to mind two or more facts or truths, there is a tendency for them to logically entail another fact or truth. The classic example of the Socrates syllogism is a case in point: fact/truth 1: All men are mortal; fact/truth 2: Socrates is a man; fact/truth 3: Socrates is mortal. This is basic logic. This may seem trivial, but it is important to note. It would not be uncommon for one to mistakenly describe his/her beliefs as something he/she takes to be "out there" in the same sense as physical objects are out there. For example, if one believed in God, he/she might describe reality as containing God either physically or transcendentally. But really, if he/she stood back and thought about the basis for this belief, he/she might realize it is the logic upon which he/she believes in God that he/she perceives as real, not the reification of God Himself. That is, supposing for example that one took the cosmological argument for God's existence to be reason enough to believe. This argument states that there has to be a first cause for there to be anything The at all - that is, you can't have a universe unless there Cosmological was an initial, and divine, cause to bring it about, Arguments for and this we can call "God". Now, without being too God's Existence critical about the fortitude of this argument, we can say that this person's belief in God is grounded in this argument, and therefore is a logical conclusion he/she draws from it. And when it comes to logical conclusions, like Socrates being mortal, what we experience to be independent of our awareness is the logic of the argument itself, not the object, if any, that is deduced in the conclusion. That is, what seems to exist on its own, for a theist, is first and foremost that God's existence logically follows from arguments like the cosmological one. God Himself existing on His own is secondary. We should always keep this in mind, stepping back once in a while, and ask ourselves what we are really perceiving when it comes to beliefs - and hence what we take to be true and factual - the object of the belief or the logic that underlies it? To make the distinction between these two answers even more evident, let's consider an argument whose logic is undeniably valid, but whose content is utterly absurd. Premise 1: All grass is green; Premise 2: All men are grass; Conclusion: All men are green (we saw this argument before - in The Basic Theory). The very suggestion that all men are grass is absolutely absurd, I'm sure the reader will agree, but if we considered just such a case in which it were true, then all men would have to be green. The logic holds without question. It holds even in the face of completely absurd premises. But unless one is mad, there is no way for this argument to create such a determinant as green men in one's reality. Nevertheless, one should see that the logical structure of this argument is indeed valid. One should see that it is valid independently of his/her perception of such. That is, one should see it

Determinant

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as being a valid argument regardless of whether anybody was even conscious to behold its validity. So here we have an excellent example. Green men are not projected, but the logic of the argument is. This demonstrates the difference between perceiving a belief as a consequence of logic and perceiving it as a "thing" in some form - physical or metaphysical - in the outer world.

Principle: The Projection of Truth There are two ways in which belief and knowledge can be projected: 1) As a "thing" in the external world: the object of the belief or knowledge, such as God, is perceived to have some physical or non-physical form in the world "out there". 2) As a logical necessity: the argument supporting the belief or knowledge, such as the cosmological one, is perceived to hold unconditionally and independently.
Of course, after all is said and done at the level of pure logic, we usually bring the conclusion back into more concrete realms. Even though a theist might have a rational argument sustaining his/her belief, he/she will still take that extra step and posit God to be a thing in reality. This is not necessarily a fallacy or a trick of ill conceived mental models (although this could be the case). In many cases, this is simply our thought processes doing what they were designed to do. For example, when trying to figure out what we can afford to buy with the amount of money we have, we temporarily withdraw from the concrete world and focus on mathematical calculations. These calculations involve logic - albeit applied to numbers instead of propositions - and they lead to a conclusion - namely, what we can afford to buy - that we have every reason to perceive as applying to the concrete world. The way this works, obviously, is that whatever the ontological status of the premises, this status is carried through to the conclusion. In the example above, the premises are 1) we have X amount of dollars, and 2) the goods cost $A, $B, $C... Since these premises are about money and goods - two tangible things - then anything we conclude about them, like what we can afford, is also about tangible things. If we consider the cosmological argument, the premises are 1) all things that exist must have either a physical or a transcendental cause, and 2) the universe exists. When we conclude that the universe must have had a first cause, and we label it "God", this conclusion implies that God is either physical or transcendental. Either way, He exists "out there". Because the conclusion depicts God in this way, we are inevitably led to perceive God to have this kind of ontological status - we perceive Him as "out there". It is nonetheless important to note that the ontological status of the object the conclusion refers to comes after the logic that establishes that conclusion. That is, we must realize, in describing our beliefs and how they depict reality, when to describe them as logical necessities and when to describe them as physical or metaphysical objects with an existence akin to physical objects. Furthermore, what we are arguing here is that the logical necessity of beliefs takes primacy over their reification. That is, they must be logically deduced before their existence in an outer world, whatever form that might take, can be posited. This point will be brought up again in the fourth major section below. It will be necessary to make this distinction in order to resolve a problem that we will address in that section. But before we deal with that, let's take a look at a few inter-reality descriptions.

Inter-Reality Descriptions
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Meaning

The descriptive approach we are using is very powerful when it comes to dependent models. It allows one to describe what he/she experiences reality to be as a means of explaining or knowing what reality actually is. In fact, one way to understand MM-Theory is to realize that it ultimately leads to the conclusion that reality is, at base, nothing but pure description. What do we mean by this? Let's review what the theory says about the meaning inherent in our experiences. It says that it is the ultimate basis upon which existence rests, and for anything that exists, what it is dependent on is the essential qualitative character of the experience of it. The theory goes on to say that this essential quality, in virtue of being experienced through-and-through, needs no reductive account in order to be explained. That is, all that is needed to account for its existence is there in the experience - there is nothing "behind the scenes", so to speak, upholding its existence. This is markedly unlike physical phenomena. Physical phenomena may be perceived, but what gives them the form we see them in - that is, what sustains their existence in the form they take - is fully out of sight. The atoms that make up a spoon, for example, are not seen and cannot be seen by the naked eye, unlike the spoon itself. We must go about discovering the atoms by some means (usually, the scientific method), and even then we can only infer their existence. In other words, in order for us to understand the structure and essential nature of the spoon, and thus what makes it the spoon we perceive it to be, we need to find or invent an explanation. But experiences seem to explain themselves - they reveal their own basis for existence - and what we find when we investigate this basis, MM-Theory tells us, is that it all comes down to meaning. Not only that, but we find that meaning gives way to further meaning - it is a dynamic process - and so it could be said that this is a process of description. That is to say, experience, or meaning, describes itself in an ongoing process of unfolding and ever more elaborate descriptions. Of course, we are creatures of language, and language is very limited. How does one describe what the sight of blue is to a colorblind person? How does one describe the experience of sound to someone who is deaf from birth? How do we describe what love feels like? How do we describe fear? The great majority of experiences cannot be reduced to a set of easily translatable properties. But if one could replicate a given experience in someone else's mind with perfect precision, we could say that he/she is describing the experience to this person. If this were possible, why should it be any less of a description? The act of describing is not limited to language. Any way at all that one finds to expose another to the full and exact set of properties, structure, and essence of something, ensuring that such exposure results in the fullest apprehension of the thing so exposed, is a valid form of description. This is what our senses and our minds do for us - they describe reality to us. Thinking of it this way, we might say that reality is, at base, pure description. We don't mean to say that it is the weaving of fantasy - these very descriptions are also the basis for an authentic ontology, but it is the description that is primary, and only once described (to a percipient in the form of an experience) does it take root as a real thing. Percipients make reality out of descriptions - they either receive them or invent them in their own minds. There is no better way to articulate a dependent model than this. Dependent models say that experiences and perceptions, in virtue of describing a certain configuration of reality, will be reality for the percipient receiving that description. Independent models, on the other hand, say the opposite: there must be an ontology first, and only then can we go ahead with a description of it.

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If reality is descriptive at base, this makes a whole slew of analogies available for a more lucid understanding. For example, we could say that reality is like a story. A story describes a world with characters and events different from the real world. It describes an alternate reality. Of course, it does not come across as the experience or perception of that reality, so it obviously falls short of establish an ontology for itself. When we read or listen to a story, we know full well that it is pure fantasy, and so the only real thing we could possibly perceive is that it is being told or that it has been written. Suppose, however, that we told the story to a group of children, and with their imaginations as free and fertile as they typically are, we had them believe that the story was all true. It may be chock full of pixies, unicorns, ogres, and other mythical creatures, the likes of which no adult would believe in, but if we are convincing enough, the children just may buy into it. If they do, then by the standards of a dependent model, we have created a reality for them by the power of description. We might say the same thing of movies. Naturally, we don't believe what we see on the big screen, but we could suppose we found someone who had been living in a cave all his life, and therefore is utterly unaccustomed to the artifacts of civilized life such as movies. If we brought him to the movies without preparing him for what he was about to see, he might be taken to believe that the images on the screen were real things and real events. They would constitute a genuine part of reality for him. These examples show two things: 1) the power of description to create reality (given a dependent model, of course), and 2) that even when they don't create reality, as in the case of adults listening to a fairy tale, they still describe a reality - an alternate one. The latter point brings to mind another analogy - the idea of blue prints. That is, when a description of reality fails to create reality for us, such as the rantings of a paranoid schizophrenic, we might still think of this description as the "blue prints" for a reality. In architecture, blue prints are merely a model or a design for what will later become a real building. Before this, the building does not exist, but the blue prints allow us to foresee everything that the building will be. In fact, it is possible that the building will never be built, yet the blue prints still describe the concept of it - they describe its dimensions, its rooms, its plumbing, its electrical infrastructure, and so on. In general, they define what the build is. So if one was to say, "The Royal View Estates building is 12 stories high" - supposing that's what we named it - he/she could actually be right or wrong - even if the building doesn't exist. There is already a description laid down which serves as the very definition of what the Royal View Estates building is - and thus, it is determined precisely how many stories it has. In fact, there could be more than one design. We could say that, according to design A, Royal View Estates has 12 stories, but according to design B, it has only 10. It is exactly the same way for different perceptions of reality. Whether it actually is reality or not, these perceptions are descriptions that define a reality for which statements about it can be right or wrong.

Principle: The Design Analogy Our perceptions and experiences of reality are like a design in that they describe and define what reality is.
All subjective realities are designs. Like stories, we don't have to believe they're real (although MM-Theory says they are), only that they are the only thing we've got. Thus, when we refer to reality, we are always referring to the design we, in part, are given, and in part, create. The sensory component is the part we're given - it comes pre-built, so to speak - but it comes in such a way that it leaves much to the imagination. That is to say, it comes incomplete. We are given the material objects of the physical world, but these come with a sense that we are not seeing everything, that there must be more - this "more" isn't necessarily non-physical, but nothing in our experience tells us this hence, the tendency for the human imagination to entertain the metaphysical. The function of our cognitive faculties is to fill in the rest - to complete the design. For this, we need to define the

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boundaries of reality - we need to decide what is real and what isn't, what can be real and what can't. Of course, we have a choice. We can choose, as many do, to remain agnostic about what more there is to reality, or whether its boundaries can be so easily defined. When we do decide to define the boundaries, we get reality designs such as materialism - which says that the "more" that's out there is just more material stuff. We get reality designs such as the western religions - which say that the "more" consists, not only of more material stuff, but a metaphysical extension to existence that we call "Heaven" and "Hell" - but nothing more than this. The important points to take from this are, first, that the concept "reality" - of which we spoke near the end of the Introduction to this paper - is attributed, not only to the world of sensation (the part of the design that is given), but to the whole completed design, the creation for which we are partly responsible, and second, that it can rightly be called a design in virtue of its being, at base, pure description. The design analogy will be of the utmost importance for understanding inter-reality descriptions. All subjective realities are to be understood as "designs" for reality. Therefore, when we talk about a given subjective reality being a reality, we mean a design - that is, a potential form reality could take - that the subject takes to be the correct one. This applies no less to our own model of reality namely, the model depicted by MM-Theory - as we, throughout this entire website, are also describing reality. Yet these descriptions are more than just "blue prints" but the actual edifice itself. That is to say, our experiences don't only describe a design for reality, they tell us this is reality. When we get descriptions of this sort - that is, descriptions telling us what's actually real - these are called "definitions". That is, when our experiences describe reality to us, they define reality. It is by defining reality that these descriptions also take an ontological status. This still works with the design analogy - a design for a building also serves to define the building. Better yet, we could also say that the building itself is its own design. Why should a design be ink on paper? Why could it not be brick, mortar, and other such building materials? What we are saying is that, by the standards of a dependent model, its being a design (which is a description) is more fundamental than its being a building (which is an ontology). There's no reason it can't be both at the same time. But therein lies the baskets full of paradoxes. How can more than one design, especially ones that are mutually exclusive, both be reality at the same time? How can we claim our design for reality to be the correct one while all others are wrong if they all define reality and thereby earn, each on its own terms, a full ontology? This is the section where the most pressing of paradoxes, especially the one just pointed out, are dealt with - and we will do it with the design analogy. When we go with one design of reality over another - that is, when we consider one chamber to be reality over another - we are not doing this haphazardly. We are doing this because we are considering how one person in one chamber describes reality. Accepting that description, we then draw inferences concerning what else must be said about reality - that everything in the chamber is a real thing and nothing outside the chamber exists. This is a perfect example of what we meant in the introduction to this paper - that is, when we said that we would be more concerned about the descriptive elements of our model than the explanatory ones. We are not interested, for the moment, in why the person perceives reality to be the chamber he/she finds him/herself in. Concerning the person whose reality we are describing, we assume it is an independent model he/she holds, and therefore the description warrants, first and foremost, that we treat everything outside the chamber as non-existent. We then proceed to describe his/her reality based on the contents within the chamber. That much should be clear by now. What if, however, we were to assume a dependent model of reality? First of all, we would have to designate the term "reality" to all chambers and everything between. We saw at the end of the section Caves, Bubbles, and Chambers how this might yield problems when it comes to statements of a universal sort, such as "There are no other people." We can take the liberty of assigning the term "reality" to whatever we want, but we cannot take the liberty of changing the meaning of these statements. Therefore, the statement "there are no other people" must maintain the same meaning independently of whether it's one chamber or the whole set of chambers and everything between them. When we broaden the label "reality" to all chambers and everything between them, this statement simply becomes wrong. What we will do in this section is establish a set of rules for understanding the meaning statements take in a dependent model. They will help us resolve the above problem plus many others. These rules will also be useful as a lingual tool - that is, they should be thought of by those subscribing to any subjectivist theory as a guide for how to speak coherently in the context of their dependent model. In other words, if these rules are followed, we should be able to avoid expressing what would

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otherwise come off as paradoxical. In fact, we will see that some of these rules are actually already applied by objectivists, but unknowingly. The only difference with dependent models is that they need to be made explicit, and this is not something we are used to. As an example of these rules, we might consider the one already mentioned above - namely, the rule about not positing more than one coexisting reality at the same time. We posit this rule because one could never consistently describe reality as containing more than one version of itself. Reality should be understood to mean all that exists, and so nothing outside reality can exist, nor can anything within reality that doesn't exhaust the entirety of reality itself be reality in full. This rule does not concern so much what reality actual is, but how to be consistent in treating a chosen set of real things as reality. So an independent model, by definition, never allows for more than one reality regardless of what it consists of, whereas a dependent model posits no more than one "grand" reality and any "sub-reality" therein is not a genuine reality but a collection of real things. Therefore, the first rule we will formally define is this one.

Rule: Only One Reality 1) Never speak of reality as coexisting with any other reality at the same time. 2) Corollary: given a reality R, never speak of "sub-realities" in R as they cannot be genuine realities. Instead, speak of them as sets of real things.

The Relativity of Reality
If we adopt a dependent model, then there is the potential for ambiguity. For example, if I say "There are unicorns", you, as a subjectivist, are likely to reply "In whose reality?" You would be right to ask this. This question should be asked any time statements of the form "There is X" or "Event Y happened" or "Smith likes Z" (and so on) are uttered without specifying for which reality they hold true. Alternately, we could remember to make this specification clear every time we utter such statements. If we did that, the above statements would become "There is X in my reality", "Event Y happened in the world we believe in", and "Smith likes Z in the universe depicted by such-and-such story". In other words, we need to learn to speak relativisticly about reality. A general formula for speaking relativisticly could be expressed as "X relative to reality R" where X is an arbitrary statement and R is the reality for which X is true. So if X were "the world is carried on the back of a giant elephant standing on an enormous tortoise" then a good candidate for R would be "the reality of ancient Hindu myth". We shall call this extension of statements - that is, the appendage "relative to reality R" - a "reality qualifier".

Definition: Reality Qualifier A phrase appended to any statement X such that the reality for which X holds true is specified. Rule: Use Reality Qualifiers For any statement X, one should always append a reality qualifier R.

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Note that this rule does not imply that we are positing the coexistence of several realities. Rather, it implies that what we are considering reality to be can be ambiguous. It is not clear which design we are dealing with. This rule clears up this ambiguity. If we didn't apply this rule, the ambiguity would render the statement meaningless, at least in the context of a dependent model. It would be akin to

stating how fast your new Mustang goes by saying "It goes 300 km!" Anyone listening to this will almost certainly ask "300 km per what? Hour? Minute? Day?" Without this crucial information, the statement "It goes 300 km" is incomplete and therefore meaningless. By exactly the same token, statements made without a reality qualifier, in the context of a dependent model, are incomplete and meaningless. I'm sure this rule fills the reader with a sense of intolerable burden. We're sure to foul up on this rule at least a few times. Do we really expect adherence to this rule for every single statement we ever make? Lucky for us, the answer is no. For the most part, we can assume a "default" reality. That is, we can assume that when I utter a statement such as "It's raining today" I really mean "It's raining today relative to the reality I'm assuming we share." The "reality I'm assuming we share" is almost always the default reality we all implicitly refer to for every statement we make. We do not need to make it explicit. The common, immediate, physical, vivid, here-and-now, every day world we are constantly engaged in ever day of our lives and always taking for granted, is, for all intents and purposes, the default reality that we implicitly refer to with every statement we make. So the rule is quite readily and habitually followed, however implicitly that might be. Of course, if we bring in the chamber model, it might be hard to argue that we ever refer to the same reality. If we each reside in separate chambers, and each chamber is a personal reality that none of us can refer beyond, then we are always referring to different realities. This is where the design analogy comes in handy. Although we may all be living in different subjective realities, insofar as they have roughly the same in content, they are the same design. It would be much like having multiple copies of the same design for a building. Each person may have a different sheet of paper in front of him/her, but insofar as they are copies, they are the same design. Of course, not everything about our subjective realities is the same. Our beliefs in particular differ greatly. But so long as these differences are irrelevant to the statement in question, we may still talk as if we are referring to the same design elements - that is, those components of our realities we share in common. Take the theist and the atheist, for example. If the theist says, "It's raining outside", he/she may be referring to his/her own reality (his/her own chamber) while the atheist, in hearing this statement, assumes the reference is to his/her own reality. Nevertheless, it is, in all likelihood, raining in both realities. Therefore, the fact that it's raining outside is a common design element that is shared by both designs and can be treated as a single element. Of course, theological statements could be made - such as "There is a God" or "There is no God" - in which case it would matter which reality is being referenced. But in this case, each interlocutor, noticing the disagreement, should recognize this as the cue to start specifying a reality (although it might take subjectivist eavesdroppers to advise them in this regard ). The use of an implicit default reality brings to light a very interesting intimation. It suggests that everyone, subjectivist or not, always makes use of implicit reality qualifiers of a default kind. Who would argue with the proposition that a true statement X necessarily entails that X is true in reality? If you, as an objectivist, tell me "I'm going to the Christmas party", and I asked "Do you mean to say the party in reality?", you would reply "Well... yes... in reality." You might wonder if I forgot to take my meds that day, but you certainly wouldn't say "no". The difference, then, between a subjectivist and an objectivist is that the latter, in assuming one ultimate and independent reality, has no use for any

The Design Analogy

Subjective Realities

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reality qualifier save the default one. The subjectivist, on the other hand, finds use in a wide variety of reality qualifiers. Because the objectivist has no use for anything other than the default reality qualifier, the qualifier is always implicit, and therefore may never be taken into consideration. That is, he/she not only uses it implicitly, but unconsciously - he/she never thinks of it. When one is an objectivist, why would there ever be a need to? There can only be one reality for which statements hold true, and thus the use of reality qualifiers is not only redundant, but it can be thrown out of the vocabulary all together. Once you become a subjectivist, however, the reality qualifier needs to be pulled out from the vocabulary waste bin, and put back into practice. It now matters which reality statements apply to. We already caught a glimpse of this in the Advanced Theory when we briefly looked at how acknowledgements eventually lead to our perception of "the world". This gives us the concept "reality" which gets attributed, not only to those experiences being acknowledged, but to anything that transpires afterwards within the cognitive database. The latter is nothing but our thoughts and beliefs that is, anything with propositional content. What we are saying here is more or less the same thing that any statement we make, which is an expression of our beliefs, pertains to whatever we have attributed our concept "reality" to. The matter of this attribution is so fundamental and integral to our Acknowledgementspsychology that no belief could be held without it pertaining to reality as we conceive it. To put this another way, taking any arbitrary belief X from any human mind and translating it into words would yield "X is true of reality". That is to say, no belief can possibly be held without an implicit reality qualifier. This reality qualifier is innate and indispensable to our psychology. What we also get, with the subjectivist view, are personal realities such that we can say, "X exists in my reality, but not your reality." Can we say of this that it is also implicit in the context of independent models? That is, if I asked "Do you mean to say that you're going to the party in your reality?", would you still say "yes, in my reality", or would you be more inclined to say "No, not in my reality, just in reality. What do you even mean by 'my' reality?" In other words, does putting the reality qualifier in a possessive tense actually change the meaning of the statement? Well, first of all, the use of possessive terms is not meant to convey ownership. No one owns a reality. Rather, it is used as one means, out of many, to specify a reality. The important thing is to make clear which reality statements apply to. If we wanted to avoid the use of possessive terms, we could say "this reality" or "the reality I perceive to exist". If we use these phrases, it would serve the same function, unlike if ownership had to be emphasized. Secondly, even an independent model can make sense out of phrases like "my reality" or "your reality". It is really no different than saying "my country" or "our planet". As we said, the point is not to emphasize ownership - no one owns their country or planet - but we can still call it "ours" in order to make reference to it. It serves to single it out from all other referents of its kind that is, we can say "our country", for example, as a means of singling it out from all other countries, thereby making it clear which country is being specified. The same way of talking can be used to refer to reality - even if there is only one and it exists independently of perception and experience. That is, if we can say things like, "Candy is sweet in reality" then we can say "Candy is sweet in our reality". Both phrases explicitly specify the one independent reality that objectivists believe in - the latter specifies it with possessive terminology whereas the former specifies it without. So even though my question to you about attending the Christmas party in your reality may have confused you, it is only due to the fact that I inadvertently conveyed a notion of either ownership or that "your" reality is somehow different from the reality. But if you understand that I only meant to specify its occurring in the one independent reality that we all share and believe in, then you see that my choice of possessive wording makes no difference - it

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can be interpreted in exactly the same way as my non-possessive wording. Now that we see the equivalence in meaning between statements like "X is real" and "X is real in my reality", we should reconsider a couple problems we left behind earlier in this paper. One concerned a person in a given chamber who believes that "no other people exist". We left off asking whether it made sense to equate this statement with the statement "No other people exist in my reality." We now see that the latter statement only makes the reality qualifier explicit whereas the former leaves it implicit. That is, because both statements are made in reference to what the person takes to be reality, the former statement really does mean the same thing as the latter statement. The difference is not one of meaning, but of different ways of speaking. More specifically, the person, in taking an objectivist position, finds no use for the reality qualifier and so doesn't express it. But in the end, the person does mean "in his/her reality". The other problem we left behind earlier concerned the conflicting explanations for the moon's definite position despite the fact that one fails to know or see what it is. As we pointed out, the objectivist might appeal to Kepler's laws of motion and the independent existence of the physical object we call "the moon". The subjectivist, on the other hand, might appeal to MM-Theory and account for the moon's definite position in terms of the non-human experiences corresponding to the moon-Earth system. Both explanations are true, of course, in the context of their own realities. The objectivist's explanation is true of his/her reality. The subjectivist's is true of his/her reality. To say that either one is true without a reality qualifier is, according to a dependent model of reality, incomplete and meaningless. We can also show the equivalence between this rule and the principle of Referential Monopoly. In the context of an independent model, all statements are made with an implicit reality qualifier. This means that no statement, if Referential thought to be true, can Monopoly be made in reference to anything beyond the one and only independent reality. Since this one and only independent reality constitutes the subjective reality of its believer, no reference can be made by this believer beyond his/her subjective reality. In the context of a dependent model, on the other hand, the reality qualifier should be made explicit unless a default reality can be assumed. In either case, these realities are not Mental Models to be taken as the reality but as collections of real things. For the subjectivist, they are represented in his/her subjective reality in the form of mental models (or chambers if you like) that constitute real things. If any one of them is used as the reality qualifier, then anything being referred to therein is still within the boundaries of the subjectivist's reality. If the reality qualifier is the subjectivist's own reality (i.e. the entire set of "sub-realities") then the argument is the same as for the independent model. That is, he/she is referring to something within his/her own subjective reality and cannot refer beyond it. Given the two rules delineated thus far, we can handle some typical objections a believer in the independent model might have in store. For instance, suppose someone said, "I don't believe in multiple realities"? Let's put aside the technicalities of whether something is reality proper or a collection of real things. In other words, let's interpret this statement as a disbelief in what the chamber model symbolizes. We have to grant him/her the truth of this statement, for if he/she really believes it, then, according to a dependent model, it must be true. How can we make sense out of this? Well, let's apply the rules. We first rephrase the statement with the appropriate reality qualifier. This gives us "I don't Only One Reality believe in multiple realities in my reality." Remember, one Rule can never refer beyond his/her own reality. Then, in accepting that we're now talking about this person's reality, we recognize, in accordance with the Only One Reality rule, that no other realities coexist with it nor do any

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"sub-realities" exist within it. For all intents and purposes, it is existence. In this case, the statement would have to be correct. If this person's reality is the reality, defined exactly as he/she perceives it to be, then there cannot be multiple realities - there can only be this one reality. This does not conflict with the subjectivist's view because the subjectivist's view holds for a completely different reality - that is, the subjectivist, in expressing his/her views, would have to employ a different reality qualifier just for those views to be correct. It would be like referring to two different designs - according to one design, there is only one reality, but according to another, there are many (though not full realities according to the proper sense). There is no contradiction as long as we remember to append "according to such-and-such design" to the end of the statements we make. What if someone says, "I don't believe in any realities beyond mine?" This sounds like the person is indeed positing a "beyond" that coexists with his/her reality. But as we know, this only incorporates such a beyond into one's own reality, thereby extending the scope of his/her reality. It may still be beyond one's physical universe, but the physical universe should be understood only as a domain of existence and not necessarily as all of reality itself. It therefore makes sense to phrase the above statement as "I don't believe in any reality beyond mine in my reality". The first utterance of "reality" in that statement refers only to a domain such as the physical universe, or perhaps a metaphysical one that coincides with the physical, and the second utterance refers to all of reality itself - the physical, the metaphysical, and all other domains. Now that we understand it this way, we can see that it is simply a different way of phrasing the statement in the previous paragraph - namely, that "I don't believe in multiple realities". Therefore, the same reasoning can be invoked to show how this objection is met. What about statements that refer to reality itself? That is, what about statements such as "X is reality"? Can we justify this by appending a reality qualifier to it, making it "X is reality in reality X" or is this circular reasoning? It certainly sounds circular, but if we keep the design analogy in mind, we realize it's actually a tautology. That is, it's no different than saying "X is the case if X is the case". It has to be true, unconditionally! We see this with the design analogy when we imagine referring to a design, saying "This is Royal View Estates according to this design". The qualifier "according to this design" makes it clear that the design referred to defines Royal View Estates, and so our statement is necessarily true. In other words, the qualifier "according to this design" makes any statement describing what is demonstrable in the design, including what it is a design of, a tautology in that the design makes it true. Therefore, appending a reality qualifier to any statement about reality itself is just as valid as it is for any other statement. Let's consider something more challenging. Suppose someone says, "I believe X absolutely!" That is, this person is proposing that the truth or realness of X is not relative - it doesn't depend, for its truth or realness, on any particular reality. To address this challenge, I'd like to take a moment to analyze the meaning of the word "absolute". What I propose is that the word "absolute" is not an antonym of "relative" but a special kind of relativity. Let me demonstrate this by showing how this is even true of Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Einstein's theory, in its more simple articulations, says that there is no such thing as absolute motion. Something similar is being said, in this paper, about the relation between a thing's existence and reality. But rather than discard the word "absolute" from our vocabulary, it would be better to characterize it as a special form of relativity. We can do the same for Einstein's theory. When we wish to speak of the absolute motion of a physical object, we can understand this to mean movement relative to a fixed coordinate system. That is, we can imagine that there is a three dimensional cartesian coordinate system that permeates all space and extends infinitely in all three dimensions. If we consider this coordinate system to be fixed, then we could talk about the motion of any objects therein

Cartesian Coordinate System

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to be moving relative to it. So we see that these objects can be said to move absolutely, but this means the same as moving relative to the fixed coordinate system. In other words, absolute motion is a type of relative motion - relative to the fixed coordinate system. By exactly the same reasoning, we can speak of the absolute existence or truth of a statement or real thing X, knowing that this is equivalent to speaking of the relative existence or truth of X to what is taken to be the one independent, absolute, or "fixed" reality. This is not an equivocation. We would not be changing the meaning of the statement "I believe X absolutely". Before the advent of Einstein's theory, there were many debates over the question of relative versus absolute motion, but even the absolutists understood that absolute motion made no sense unless one assumed space to be fixed - or at least, that space could be represented by a fixed coordinate system. In the same way, anyone who believes in an independent model, and therefore is inclined to agree with certain absolute statements, should recognize that these statements only hold true if there is a reality in which they can hold true. This one independent reality is like the fixed coordinate system. Therefore, it is perfectly valid to rephrase any absolute statement, such as "X is true absolutely", as "X is true relative to the one independent reality". Once the statement is rephrased in that form, the rest is done as it was with the above examples. How do we handle this statement: "I believe reality exists independently of perception and experience"? Well, the person who expresses this statement has brought in additional concepts namely, "perception" and "experience" - so a word on these is in order. This person must have a different idea in mind of what perceptions and experiences are. As subjectivists, we maintain that perceptions and experiences create reality, and are, in fact, one and the same. This means we must have a special conception of what perception and experiences are. MM-Theory, for example, states that all experiences carry the essence of realness within them, and this makes them one with the reality they generate. Essence of In other words, when one who holds an independent model Realness talks about "perceptions" and "experiences", he/she has something completely different in mind than what a subjectivist would have in mind. We expanded on this in the previous section where we looked at mental models and how they determine the contents of one's reality. Based on that, it is enough to say that one who holds an independent model has a much different concept in mind of what perceptions and experiences are - most likely one of the more conventional models such as an ethereal product of the brain, or an eternal soul, or even just neural and chemical activity in Mental Models the brain. In any case, the perceptions and experiences referred to in the above statement are not the kinds of things that a reality, on the whole, could ever depend on. They are real things, but as such they depend, for their existence, on reality rather than visa-versa. Having said that, we could rephrase the statement as "I believe reality exists independently from perception and experience in my reality", but it should be obvious at this point that the perceptions and experiences this person speaks of only make sense in a reality such as his/hers. That is, by recognizing the type of perceptions and experiences he/she is talking about, they are obviously things in his/her reality, and therefore it is needless to say that a statement referring to them finds its proper context in his/her reality. Nevertheless, we could rephrase it this way and carry on with our argument in exactly the same way as we did with the precedent ones. In all the above challenges, our approach stuck to a particular pattern. We first took the statement, analyzed exactly what it meant, understood it in the context of a dependent model, rephrased it according to the rules, and found that its scope really doesn't expand beyond the reality (or the chamber) it takes to be the reality. We will not push on with potential challenges like the above statements, but instead proclaim that this method can be generalized to all such challenging statements. The use of reality qualifiers may leave the reader wondering "It's all well and good to specify a possible design for reality when making statements, but what ultimately is reality proper such that we don't have to make such specifications?" The entire point of a dependent model is that there is no

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ultimate reality. All designs are equally valid. This does not mean that there is no reality any more than Einstein's relativizing of motion meant that there is no motion. Motion still exists, but it is now seen as necessarily relative. Take two objects moving away from each other, for example. By looking at them, you must perceive motion, but which object is moving is a matter of perspective, each one equally valid. Furthermore, whichever perspective one chooses, it can't be any other perspectives at the same time. In the same way, there is still a reality - there must be - but it is only reality relative to a percipient who experiences it as reality. The reality described by MM-Theory is no more ultimate than any other, which is why we declared this paper to be somewhat independent from the theory. Unlike in all other papers in this website, we are not choosing one design over another. We are comparing and contrasting dependent and independent models regardless of the theory underlying them. The rules we are presenting in this paper, such as the use of reality qualifiers, should be applicable to, and usable by, any dependent model worth its salt. But to fully appreciate the coherency of dependent models, we will need other rules, and so we now carry on with this task.

The Transience of Reality
Why are we sometimes wrong? How is it that we can go on for years, upholding a particular belief, and then one day have a life altering experience after which we adopt a set of utterly different beliefs? Almost all children, for example, believe in the Easter bunny. But at a certain age, they find out one way or another, that the Easter bunny is really just their parents. This is explained easily by an independent model - their beliefs, before becoming informed, were simply mistaken. But with a dependent model, we have to say that their beliefs, before and after becoming informed, are true. How can the Easter bunny be real at one time, but not real at a later time? Well, we might say that reality changes as a function of time - that is, the Easter bunny can be real for a while, but then at some point, ceases to be real. The problem with this is that the child, upon learning that the Easter bunny is not real, also learns that the Easter bunny never was real. In other words, it is false to say that the Easter bunny was real for a while, because as far as the child is concerned, there was no Easter bunny ever. This is how he/she sees reality now, and so we have to grant him/her the truth of this view. A better way to describe this situation is to say that the child "migrates" from one reality to another. That is, he/she makes a transition from a reality in which the Easter bunny exists to one in which he doesn't. Furthermore, the reality that the child migrates to - the one with no Easter bunny - never did and

never will contain an Easter bunny. In other words, every reality comes with its own future and past. If we look to the past of the reality that the child migrated from - the one with an Easter bunny - we will see the Easter bunny. If we look to its future, we will still see the Easter bunny. This is consistent with the child's views at the time. The child not only believed in the Easter bunny, but believed him to

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have always existed and to have a continued existence into the future. However, if we look to the future and past of the reality the child migrated to, we will see no Easter bunny whatsoever. This, again, is consistent with the child's view now - the child not only disbelieves in the Easter bunny, but believes he never did and never will exist.

Definition: Reality Transitions A reality transition is what occurs when one goes through a change in how he/she perceives reality in such a manner as to make the new perception incompatible, within a single design for reality, with the old.
Of course, the child doesn't think of it this way. The child has an innate understanding of reality consistent with an independent model. When he/she looks to the past, he/she sees only a mistaken belief - that is, he/she sees that he/she once believed in the Easter bunny but was wrong. When one looks to the past, there is no other past for which this can be done except the one, and only one, belonging to the reality he/she finds him/herself in. An entity whose existence depended on one's belief, even if it is now marked "mistaken", exists in another reality, and one does not look to that reality by looking to the past of the current reality.

Principle: The Transience of Reality 1) When one's beliefs are convincingly shown to be wrong, this amounts to a transition from a reality in which the belief holds true to one in which the belief does not hold true. 2) Every reality comes with its own future and past.
And the rule that accompanies this principle:

Rule: Think Reality Transitions Rather than speak about a past belief as mistaken, say that you have made a transition from a reality in which the belief is true to one in which it is false.
To say that reality is transient may sound all well and good as a principle and a rule, but how does this play out in the chamber model? For that matter, how does it play out in MM-Theory? What does it mean to go through a "transition of realities" under these paradigms? In order to answer these questions, let's take a minute to think about what it means for a future and past to exist in a subjective reality. Even though we are constantly moving through time, from the past into the future, the idea that there is a past and a future entails that we perceive a past and a future - that is, the only means by which a subjective reality can have a past and future is if it is experienced in some way. More specifically, the past and future are experienced as knowledge and memory, or more generally, cognition. That is, we know there is a future and a past - we foresee the future and remember the past. These appear to be cognitions that we can't do without - that is, it seems impossible to be ignorant of a future and a past - but they are cognitions nevertheless.

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Projection

Real Things

Consequently, they project themselves and become real things in our subjective realities. Now, this notion - that they are real things - gives us a perspective on the future and past by which we can see them as existing, in a manner of speaking, in the present. It's not that we see future and past events as occurring in the present, but that reality contains a future and past now. It is this perspective, a perspective that we can all appreciate, that allows us to say things like "there is a past" or "there is a future" (as opposed to "there was a past" or "there will be a future"). If a future and past exist now, then we ought to think of them as real things that exist among all other real things in our subjective realities, and thus our chambers as well. We can think of all future and past events as real things existing within them. If the reader likes, he/she can imagine the future and past to be sections of the chamber wherein these events exist, or perhaps containers of some sort with these events inside. Even though the future, past, and all events therein are not literally things, as physical objects are, we have to recall that the definition of "real things" is not limited to physical objects, and that the chamber model is just a metaphor. What it symbolizes is the fact that any reality will have a future and past at all times. If we really push this perspective, we could describe future and past events as existing now but in a state different from "occurring". What do we mean by this? When we take the perception of a future event, predicting it or expecting it, we perceive it now, but not as actually occurring - rather, we see it as "yet to come". That is, we could think of the event as real in the present, due to the fact that we perceive it in the present, but the state in which we perceive it is a "yet-to-come" state. We could say something similar about past events. We could say that they take a "came-to-pass" state.

Definition: Yet-To-Come vs. Came-To-Pass States 1) Yet-To-Come State: the state future events are perceived to take (as opposed to the state of "occurring" that present events are perceived to take). 2) Came-To-Pass State: the state past events are perceived to take (as opposed to the state of "occurring" that present events are perceived to take).
What a "transition" means, insofar as chambers are concerned, is the following. Take the child who believes in the Easter bunny. Let's say it's a little girl. In her chamber, there is an Easter bunny in the present, in the future, and in the past. Upon learning that the Easter bunny doesn't exist, she is instantly teleported to a new chamber. The new chamber does not contain an Easter bunny in either of the present, future, or past. In fact, the chamber itself didn't exist until she migrated to it. That is, upon learning that the Easter bunny doesn't exist, the chamber spontaneously popped into existence. Meanwhile, the chamber she departed from ceased to exist in the same instant, taking with it its past, future, and the poor Easter bunny. Because the future and past are real things that exist in one's chamber, we can imagine that the past spontaneously comes into existence with the new chamber. That is, upon coming into existence, the chamber generates its own past such that the little girl can look back into it and see her mistaken beliefs.

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Why is this the best way to think about transitions? Why not imagine that the past and future simply change in one chamber? If past and future events are just classes of things that coexist in the chamber, what's wrong with imagining that some of these things disappear and new ones take their place? To understand why this can't be, we need to step away from the chamber model and understand what a "transition" means in term of subjective realities. The subjective reality of the little girl who believes in the Easter bunny goes through a change. It ceases to be a subjective reality containing the Easter bunny and becomes one without it. What happens to its future and past? They too cease to be futures and pasts containing the Easter bunny. Now, because this process occurs in the same brain before and after the transition, it must occur in the same subjective reality. Therefore, it only seems fitting that it ought to be represented by one chamber with a dynamic future and past. What's the problem? The problem with this is that the transition takes place on the same timeline as the past and future events in question. That is, when the child moves into the future, she approaches both the moment of transition and next Easter when the Easter bunny will pay her a visit. She will reach the moment of transition first whereupon the more distant future event, the visit from the Easter bunny, will cease to be a future event. Likewise, all past visits from the Easter bunny will cease to have been, her parents'

visits replacing them. Therefore, when we look into her past, we not only fail to find an Easter bunny, but we fail to find that she ever was in a reality in which there was an Easter bunny. That is, we fail to recognize that a transition ever took place. This is not a problem for the little girl since reality transitions are not how she experiences these kinds of changes, but it is difficult for us, as subjectivists examining her subjective reality from the outside, to come to terms with whether or not there actually was a transition. On the one hand, we recognize the past as a set of real things in the present (in came-to-pass states) finding no Easter bunny among them, but on the other hand, we're still picturing certain events, like transitions, occurring through time in the conventional sense (that is, not as real things in the present of her reality). By the conventional notion of the past, we do find the Easter bunny in her subjective reality (before the transition), and so we get a conflict of past events. Therefore, the best way to understand this is to consider any change in future or past events as constituting a change in realities, not just a change in the contents of its past and future. If one migrates from one reality to another, each coming with its own future and past, there is no possibility of conflict. Furthermore, both the owner of the chamber and we as subjectivists have a firm grasp of which past and future to be looking into for events. But why destroy the departed chamber and spontaneously create the destination one? Simply put, because that's how it works with subjective realities. That is, when one discards an erroneous belief for a sound one, he/she does not leave a subjective reality behind - as if it continues to exist "out there" somewhere. Rather, it ceases to be the subjective reality it once was and becomes a different one. The one it becomes never existed "out there" either - at least, not before the moment of transition. It "popped" into existence, so to speak. And when it did, a new past was perceived by its beholder, thereby spontaneously creating it along with the subjective reality itself. This is an excellent opportunity to make use of reality qualifiers. To be clear on whether or not the Easter bunny exists, we need to specify which reality this is true for. We'd say that the Easter bunny exists in the reality the little girl used to believe in, but not in the one she currently believes in. We don't mean to imply that the Easter bunny maintains a perpetual existence somewhere "out there", but that, as a design, there is the idea of a reality in which the Easter bunny exists, and in that reality, the Easter bunny does exist. According to the design analogy, realities don't get created or destroyed by transitions. Although we said they would in the chamber model, the chamber model is a better metaphor for subjective realities in that subjective realities do get destroyed and created by

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transitions. But reality as a design is simply a definition for a given reality. Take the cousin of the design analogy: the movie. A movie has a beginning and an end. As engrossed in the movie as we might become, taking every moment as a real event, we are brought back to the real world when the credits roll. But what ends - the movie or the reality the movie depicts? Take Star Wars for example. When Star Wars ends, does the world we were temporarily suspended in end - the world of light sabers, Death Stars, and the all powerful force - or did the movie end - a series of colorful blotches of light projected on a screen? Supposedly, the heroes - Luke, Han, and Leia - go on with their lives. They live happily ever after, as the saying goes. This is supposed to be what happens to them after we see the credits. This is what goes into constituting their world as an ongoing reality. This is what George Lucas wants us to believe - more, what he declares to happen! Therefore, we have every right, given a particular reality, to make claims about the future events that are expected to happen in that reality even if we end up experiencing something to the contrary. That is, even if, from our perspective, such future events turn out not to happen, we can still say that given a reality defined as one in which those future events do indeed happen, they will happen - in that reality.

The Hierarchy of Reality
What causes a transition? It could not be the fact that we are wrong in our beliefs - that is, under a dependent model, all beliefs are true, and therefore cannot be wrong. Suppose, for example, that I believed I could walk on water. If I truly believe this, then in my reality, I can walk on water. But if this is true, then my venturing out onto the water should result in every inch of my body remaining dry as a bone save the souls of my feet. Yet, this is not what happens. No matter how much conviction I invest in this belief, I am sure to be submerged totally under water. What could cause this if it goes against the very makeup of my reality? This would indeed pass as a transition of realities, but this is not a cause. This only describes what happens. The question is why did a transition occur? The tricky thing about transitions is that, at the instant of transition, one is between realities so to speak. Therefore, if there is to be a cause for a transition, it is not clear which reality it is to be found in. If it cannot be found in the departed reality, we might want to look at the destination one. Take dreaming, for example. What wakes us up from our dreams? Most of the time, it's our alarm clocks. The alarm clock can be said to cause the transition from the dream reality to the waking reality. But as we see, it is an object in the destination reality. From a first person perspective, transitions are usually caused (but not necessarily always) by some event in the destination reality. After all, we can only legitimately say that a transition occurred once we've arrived in the destination reality. At that time, the destination reality is, for all intents and purposes, the reality, and therefore any cause we wish to surmise, if it is to be real, must exist therein. Of course, in the destination reality, nothing caused a transition per se. With the example of the alarm clock, what was in fact caused was your waking from a dream. In the destination reality, this dream is just a dream, not a reality from which you made a transition. To talk about the alarm clock causing a transition in the proper sense, we need to recruit the resources of the subjectivist theory behind the dependent model, and we will show how MM-Theory works this out shortly. Remember, we are taking a descriptive approach, and so it suffices simply to describe such changes in our perceptions of reality as "transitions". As far as causes go, this falls into the department of explanations. In fact, they are synonymous - that is, to ask, "what is the cause?" is to ask "what is the explanation?" Needless to say, we can think of the alarm clock as the cause of the transition in a crude way, but in this sense, a better word than "cause" might be "correspondence" - that is, the alarm clock corresponds to the transition and its proper cause. As for what exactly this proper cause is - well each subjectivist for him/herself.

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Overall, what this shows us is that some realities have power over others. In the dream example, the waking world has a myriad of ways to obliterate the dream world - the alarm clock is one of them as are sudden bright lights, changes in temperature, the smell of buttered toast, and so on. Nothing in the dream world, however, can have the same obliterating effect on the waking world. We sometimes affect the waking world in our dreams by way of sleep walking or sleep talking, but this hardly counts as such an all encompassing alteration that we are forced to think of it as a completely different reality upon waking up. This tendency for some realities to preempt others tells us that some realities take precedence over others. Therefore, the relation between realities is really a hierarchical one the more powerful realities taking a higher seat than the less powerful ones.

Principle: The Hierarchical Structure of Reality The relation between realities is a hierarchical one whereby more powerful realities are capable of preempting less powerful ones.

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We will call the power with which a reality can preempt other realities "gravity". We can even think of it in terms of planetary gravity where planets represent realities and their gravitational force represents how capable a reality is at being one's reality. Studies have shown that it is much easier to persuade a person to believe a particular argument if that person has only superficial opinions on the matter as opposed to deeply entrenched and long held convictions (see links ). That is, supposing we wanted to persuade two left-wing individuals to adopt a more right-wing ideology, it would be much easier to persuade the leftist who had not thought much on the matter either on left-wing or right-wing terms than it would be the leftist who had very strong opinions and had thought about the matter thoroughly over a long period of time. Putting this in terms of gravity, we would say that our right-wing reality, in which private ownership of businesses and liberal policies are among the highest of values, exerts a much stronger gravitational force over the first leftist than the second. In Affectiveterms of the planetary metaphor, we might Cognitive think of the first leftist as orbiting his/her Consistency and planet quite remotely such that any nearby Thought-Induced planet with a strong enough gravitational Attitude field can easily pull him/her away from Polarization his/her home planet. The second leftist, on the other hand, is firmly anchored to the [PDF] ground, the gravity of his planet securing him/her there much more tenaciously. Therefore, it is next to impossible to yank him/her away from his/her home planet.
AffectiveCognitive Consistency, Attitudes, Conformity, and Behavior [PDF]

Definition: Gravity The degree of power one reality has to initiate transitions from another reality to itself.
The varying degrees of gravity realities can have answers our original question - about why we can expect one to sink even though he/she may believe he/she can walk on water. They sink because the reality their beliefs uphold has a rather weak gravitational force while the reality that physics upholds exerts a much more powerful force. In other words, the reality of physics takes precedence over his/her reality (and, for the most part, over everyone's). When one attempts to walk on water, the reality of physics takes hold and a major transition occurs. He/she is yanked from his/her rather weak reality and into a stronger one in which there is no possibility of walking on water whatsoever. Once he/she arrives in the latter reality, he/she can find the "cause" of the transition therein - namely, first hand experiences with the laws of physics.

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Although the reality of physics usually takes precedence over realities built on human belief systems, the gravity of an arbitrary reality will not be the same for each and every individual. It really depends on the idiosyncrasies of the reality the gravitational influence is being exerted on. For example, suppose a paranoid schizophrenic was frightened by the sight of black cars driving down the street, thinking that they were the secret police after him. The black car, in this case, is a trigger for the delusional reality to exert a very strong gravitational force upon him. But any one else who sees this black car will not be affected one iota - it will exert zero gravitational force. Another point that's noteworthy is that even though one reality might exert more gravity over another, the transition that results from this will not necessarily be a one time incident. That is, it is not uncommon for one who is persuaded to, or even forced into, a different perception of reality, to waver back and forth between both realities. For example, I may be persuaded by a anti-abortion group that I frequently encounter to believe that abortion is wrong. But after dabbling with this view for a few days, I may feel uncomfortable giving up my older pro-choice views, thinking that I'm betraying my own values. I might then revert to my pro-choice position. But even this might only last a short while, after which time I am again persuaded by the anti-abortion group I find myself ever more frequently involved in. I will most likely settle eventually on one side of the issue or the other, but which side this is can be quite unpredictable. Whichever side it turns out to be, it is a good indication that this side, at least for me, exerts the more powerful gravitational influence. Moreover, a reality's gravity can be strengthened or weakened by events that go on within that reality. For example, I can choose to take consciousness altering drugs whereby I would temporarily suspend my usual reality and enter a world of psychedelic and magical happenings. This will only last a while, however, after which time the chemicals in my brain - chemicals that constitute the factor controlling the transitions back in the sober reality - will wear off. I will be subjugated, once again, by the gravity of my sober reality. The act of taking drugs, therefore, weakens the gravity of one's usual reality, but also wears off allowing this gravity to rekindle itself. This also demonstrates how more powerful realities don't always destroy less powerful ones - they can be made to create them. In these cases, the cause of the transition is not to be found in the destination reality. However, it is still caused by the more powerful reality, or at least a reality that was more powerful initially. How do we account for gravity? What is it about a reality that instills it with a more powerful gravitational force? This is another way of asking, "What causes a transition?" Therefore, to answer this question, let's see what MM-Theory would say. It would say, first of all, that transitions from one reality to another are due to the sudden emergence of experiences that entail other experiences constitutive of the destination reality. For example, when our alarm clocks wake us from our dreams, the sound of the alarm is a sudden experience that emerges in our reality. But it entails other experiences that don't fit well with the dream reality - experiences such as "I'm here in my bed" or "It's 6 am" or "I've got to get up for work". These realizations only hold true in the waking reality, and so if one is having them, he/she must have just made a transition to the waking reality. What MM-Theory would say, therefore, about realities with stronger gravity, is that the initial experiences that lead one into them must have a much higher likelihood of entailing experiences from that reality rather than visa-versa. That is, supposing we had two sets of experiences - one from the reality with more gravity and the other from that with less gravity - the initial experiences that instigate the transition will be more likely to entail experiences from the set belonging to the reality with more gravity. Furthermore, once the transition is made, the experiences one has - that is, the experiences that constitute the reality with more gravity - are highly likely to continue entailing other experiences from this reality. In other words, the stronger the gravity of a given reality, the more likely any experience from that reality will entail other experiences from that same reality.

Entailment

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The Universal Mind

We say that it is likely, but not guaranteed. It is always possible for experiences from a given reality to entail other experiences that can only exist as part of a different reality. The best example of this is when one, who believes in something, suddenly has an epiphany by which he/she realizes his/her beliefs are wrong and a different set of beliefs are correct. However, most of the time, transitions are initiated by extraneous experiences intruding on one's reality. The example of the alarm clock is a case in point. The sudden emergence of the loud rings of the alarm clock is not entailed by any experience from the dream reality. Instead, they are entailed by experiences elsewhere in the Universal Mind (corresponding to the alarm clock itself), thereby introducing themselves into one's reality unannounced. This actually happens all the time without resulting in reality transitions. We are constantly bombarded by sensory information in the everyday world we take to be reality. These experiences, by the very nature of sensation, are intrusions. They will always have the potential to bring us through reality transitions, such as when scientific experiments prove a long held theory to be wrong, but generally, they do not constitute different realities, or even samples of different realities, in and of themselves. For the most part, they are simply the common elements that make up our everyday reality. There is no reason to assume, therefore, that sudden intrusions like this can't happen even in the dream world. In other words, there is no need to explain how the sudden inundation of sounds from one's alarm clock, and the subsequent inundation of stimulation from all of the other senses, can be experienced in the dream world. The sound of the alarm clock may have physiologically triggered the other senses to wake up - that is, in the waking reality - but as far as our experiences in the dream reality are concerned, they are each independent intrusions unto themselves. Insofar as they intrude on our dream reality, we have not yet made a reality transition. We make the transition only when such intrusions lead to the realization that one is no longer in the dream reality but the waking one instead - and such a realization is quite inevitable when we are so overwhelmingly flooded with the usual sensory stimulation of the waking world, making for a very powerful reality indeed. Upon entering a reality with more gravity, one will view that reality as the reality - which means that the reality he/she just left behind will be viewed as "unreal". This is easy to appreciate. When we wake from a dream, we look back on the dream as totally unreal. We still remember having the experience, and so we don't deny that we perceived the dream world, but we generally don't regard the things perceived therein as really having been there. Same goes for mistaken beliefs, insights acquired while under the influence of drugs, temporary episodes of delusion, and any other basis for a reality. One thing we might say, therefore, about the reality with stronger gravity is that, once entered, it is taken to be a "higher" reality. That is, it is a reality that is "more real" than the one left behind. In fact, in the majority of cases, it is the difference between simply being real and being unreal. Take dreaming again - when we wake from a dream, we see the dream as "less real" and the world we have woken up to as "more real", and in fact, the dream world is fully unreal and the waking world fully real. This is what we mean when we talk about a reality being "higher".

Definition: Higher vs. Lower Realities 1) Higher Reality: A reality that is more convincingly real than another reality. 2) Lower Reality: A reality that is less convincingly real than another reality.
Keep in mind that there is a difference between something being convincing and someone being convinced. There are many cases of individuals being shown highly convincing evidence without being swayed in the least - and not always for good reason but out of willful ignorance. In the context of our planetary metaphor, we would express this point as follows. There is a difference between a planet exerting a powerful gravitational pull and things being anchored onto that planet because of that pull. An astronaut on the moon is securely anchored there even though the Earth, which is not too far away by astronomical standards, exerts a gravitational pull several times more powerful. It was even possible for that astronaut to start out on Earth and pull away in a rocket ship despite how tenaciously the Earth kept its grip on him. Furthermore, the astronaut can travel back and forth between the moon and the Earth as many times as he likes, just like the example of my wavering between the anti-abortion and pro-choice positions. So we should not expect that because a particular reality is a

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high one, it is bound to draw people irrevocably into it. And even if they are drawn to it, we should not expect that they would never stray from it for a lower one. The scientific enterprise has made much use of those experiences that are most convincingly real over the passed four to five hundred years. What the central philosophy behind modern science is based on is just this. It seeks out those experiences that are most convincingly real and for the greatest amount of time. Empiricism is adopted as the guide in seeking out these experiences. Empiricism guides us towards sensory experiences, and says of them that they are the most accurate and vivid reflections of the real world, if nothing else is. What makes this philosophy so appealing is the fact that our sensory experiences are indeed very convincing, and after having one, we can remember it all the days of our lives. Therefore, the scientific method is a very powerful tool for building a reliable reality because it is a technology rooted in seeking out rich sources of gravity, which might be called "gateways" to a higher reality. Of course, this only proves that empirical reality is higher than reality based on reason and belief, but is it the highest? That is, is there no more convincing reality than the one science has constructed, and is still constructing? Well, as we said before, the gravitational power of a given reality will always vary from individual to individual, but let's suppose the individual in question is swayed foremost by scientific evidence. Is it possible for this individual to be given a set of experiences such that a new reality is revealed to him/her that brings him/her out of the scientific one for a sufficiently long period of time? If it is, then these experiences would have to be quite unique indeed. After all, for someone who is persuaded most by scientific evidence, no other experience from the human mind (philosophical beliefs, emotional influence, listening to the words of others, etc.) would be quite as effective. However, in principle at the very least, there is always the possibility of having experiences that lead one out of the reality he/she finds most convincing. There is no a priori reason to claim any one reality in particular to be the highest. As convincing as empirical evidence is, we must remember that science is ultimately based on philosophy. Empiricism is a philosophy. It postulates that anything experienced via the senses must be real. Note the difference between this and our assertion that sensory experiences are highly convincing. The latter asserts only that sensory experiences have a very strong effect on securing us to a particular material reality. The former, on the other hand, takes the next step and asserts that the reality revealed by the senses is the reality whether we're convinced of it or not (taking the independent model to heart). The latter does not deny the former per se, but it need not support it either. The latter permits sensory experiences to ground us to a particular material reality, but insofar as our more abstract thoughts on the matter are concerned, it regards this as a matter of philosophy. Therefore, for those whose beliefs rely more on a philosophical orientation, scientific evidence may not hold sway nearly as much. For instance, one could assume that all life is just a dream, and so any scientific evidence supporting any claim is being dreamt up just as much as any other experience. Someone may hold tenaciously to a religious view that flies in the face of scientific evidence, trusting that God reconciles such enigmatic anomalies, and such reconciliations will one day, perhaps in the afterlife, be revealed to the believer (I call this the "God-works-in-mysterious-ways" defense). A third example is one that doesn't resist scientific evidence at all. It is MM-Theory itself. Empiricism, although not exclusively a materialistic philosophy, opens the door to strict materialism, which is unquestionably in contrast to MM-Theory. However, it does not contrast with our theory in a mutually exclusive manner, but in a manner of scope. That is, our theory is capable of, and in fact must, incorporate materialism, along with every other philosophy, into the body of the Universal Mind. That is, far from rejecting materialism, it finds its proper place as a subjective reality among all other subjective realities. This enlightens us a bit more about the nature of higher realities. Although MM-Theory, or any subjectivist theory for that matter, can only rightfully be called a "higher" reality for those who, after deliberating over several alternative possibilities, find it most convincing, it will undoubtedly be

Empiricism

The Universal Mind

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dismissed as wasteful drivel by those of other persuasions. Nevertheless, if it does pass as a higher reality for some, we note now that it doesn't do so at the expense of other realities - at least, not in a totally annihilistic sense. Rather, it modifies them from an authentic and full reality to a set of real things, among many other such sets, in the universe of all real things whose existence is sustained by their being perceived. What this means, in other words, is that a higher reality need not obliterate a lower reality outright - it may consume it while preserving its function of sustaining the reality of the things therein. An animal like a dog or a cat, for example, will perceive its physical surroundings as real things, but have no comprehension of higher, more abstract, concepts such as the beauty of musical symphonies or the wonders of cosmological theories and discoveries. We as humans, on the other hand, have a great appreciation for these things, which, by obvious standards, places us in a higher reality compared to the dog or cat. Nonetheless, we don't reject the physical reality the dog and cat perceive. Instead, we take it into our reality, classify it as a set of real things, and reserve the label "reality" for something inclusive of these but much greater. Now, what is the rule that comes out of this? Well, if we are to be consistent with the other rules, it must be that one cannot presuppose a higher reality than the one he/she currently resides in. That is, whatever reality is for a given person, that reality is the highest of any he/she can suppose. The very suggestion, if believed, that there is a reality higher than the one currently taken to be the reality would put one in that higher reality, thereby making it the reality. To believe in it is for it to be real, and thus part of one's reality.

Rule: No Reality Higher Than Yours Never speak of a reality higher than your own. Think of the reality you currently reside in as the highest reality there is at present.
In other words, when thinking about the hierarchy that is reality, one must always place him/herself at the top of the hierarchy. This is always idiosyncratic, of course, for some realities will be higher for some people but not others. If one ever postulates realities higher up than his/hers, he/she grants those realities their own genuine existence and is therefore immediately transferred up the hierarchy to the topmost level.

The Infinite Regress Problem
The essence of realness that exists in all experiences may create a reality out of our perceptions, but we nevertheless retain the ability to reflect on them as purely mental entities. When we do this, a glaring contrast becomes evident between those mental entities and the real world. For example, if I look out my window at the mountains, I think that what I'm seeing are in fact the mountains. But I am also capable of reflecting on this experience as just a visual perception. When I do this, however, my mind immediately resurrects the real mountains in place of the ones that suddenly became only a visual perception - at least, it resurrects them as an idea. That is, I may recognize my sight of the mountains as a visual experience, but I cannot help but to suppose that there must be real mountains The Essence of out there - otherwise, what gives rise to my perception of them? Of course, as subjectivists, we don't Realness have to substitute our vision of the mountains with yet more mountains, identical in attributes and essence, but with whatever our subjectivist theories posit (in the case of MM-Theory, more experiences). Now, we may feel comfortable with this, but the clever thinker should realize that if one pursues this line of thought, an infinite

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regress awaits. Why is this? Take our supposition that there must be real mountains out there. The only way I can suppose this is if I conjure up the idea of mountains. But this is an idea, and therefore just as predisposed to the treatment I gave my visual experience - that is, it is just as much a mental entity as my experience of sight. Therefore, the same thing could be said about my idea of mountains - namely, that they are just in my head, and beyond them, somewhere and somehow, are the real mountains. Yet, again, to suppose this is to conjure up but another idea. We could go on and on like this ad infinitum, and this gives rise to an infinite regress.

So far, we have not regarded this as a pressing problem. We recognize that even though the objects we sense are real in virtue of their being projected, there must nevertheless be other experiences elsewhere in the Universal Mind that give rise to them. We called this the Correspondence Rule. We also noted, in The Inconceivability of Consciousness, that these other experiences are represented in our minds as mental models, and short of being full apprehensions of the experiences themselves, The Universal they are really just conceptual approximations of them. No doubt, when the reader hears this, he/she Mind envisions the mental models juxtaposed with the actual experiences they represent, and this is an example of the infinite regress in its first iteration. We settled the matter, however, by denouncing any intention to actually capture the true form of these experiences merely by toying with our feeble ideas, declaring the concept of an "experience" to be just a representation. In fact, all of MM-Theory must be regarded in this light. Nevertheless, this light still makes the idea of what's "out there" contrast so conspicuously with the real "out there". That is, if our entire theory is just a mental model, then there The Correspondence must be a real world that it is a mental model of. This certainly doesn't reveal any logical inconsistencies in our theory, but it does spark the infinite regress - that tendency to want to get at the Rule "real" stuff.
Projection

Mental Models

Referential Monopoly

The infinite regress will be initiated whenever we talk about our theory as a mental model, a subjective reality, a design, or anything of that likeness. And our theory is all of these things. Is this a problem? Not when the central tenet of the theory says that everything is fundamentally mental anyway - but when we also take into consideration that the theory is trying to make claims about the true nature of the universe and about what's ultimately real, we do run into problems. The reason is that to claim any sort of truth or knowledge of reality is to assume we have risen above the curtains of perception and fog of experience and seen the world for what it really is. This is the light MM-Theory has been presented in. But by its very own precepts, it too must be nothing more than a foggy conglomeration of experiences and perceptions projected onto a curtain. We come to grips with this when we call it a mental model or a subjective reality. It is at those moments when we suddenly realize that to get at the truth, to get at what the world really is, we have to brush the mental model aside, and attempt to refer to the actual universe that it represents. We are always doomed to fail, of course, in accordance with the principle of referential monopoly - hence, the infinite regress. Our theory, although a fine design for reality, and infusing itself with an ontology, is nevertheless self-annihilating when its own precepts are applied to itself. This is a problem that needs to be addressed, and this is the section to address it. What makes for an infinite regress? An infinite regress is what happens when we attempt to solve a problem, and the solution works for the particular instance of the problem in question, but recreates the problem in another instance, level, iteration, or generally some other context. This process repeats itself ad infinitum, perpetually bringing up the same question for every new context that the problem is passed onto. Infinite regresses are a sure sign of flawed reasoning because any solution one brings forward should never recreate the same problem it means to resolve. A good example is the account the religious give for the origin of the universe. God created it all, they say. But then the question that immediately arises from this is: From whence did God originate? That is, the problem of origins is solved for the universe, but in the same stroke, it is recreated for God. A symmetrical infinite regress can be seen on the scientific side of the same question. The scientific answer to the question of how the universe originated is that it started with the Big Bang. But then the all too common question rears

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its head: From whence did the Big Bang originate? The fact of the matter is, the very question of the origin of the universe is plagued by an infinite regress waiting to append itself to any answer one can offer. It certainly is an excellent example of infinite regress problems if ever there was one. Any answer to the question of "From whence did X originate?" is going to be just as subject to the same line of questioning as X itself was. So you can't solve an infinite regress by taking one more step in the process. You have to solve it by starting with an entirely different solution at the beginning. But are all infinite regresses problematic? Could we have an infinite series of ideas which don't repeat because it's a problem that keeps cropping up, but for some other reason? For example, suppose we were to ask "Where do babies come from?" The answer is: from its parents. But then the next question arises: Where did its parents come from? And again, for its grandparents, and again for its great-grandparents. Does this infinite regress result from a problem in our answer to the original question? Is it even an infinite regress? Well, insofar as we treat it as a genuine infinite regress, we might get away with saying no - that there is no problem in the original answer - because, for one thing, we know that we will eventually get an answer that doesn't perpetuate the same line of questions - we will get to the first human being before which were only earlier versions of the primate species we evolved from. But for another thing, the answer may come as dissatisfying since the same line of questioning can be directed at these earlier primates - and for that matter, at any species along our branch in the tree of evolution, and indeed at any origin of any event in the universe that can be found along the chain of cause and effect starting from ourselves back as early as the Big Bang - and, as we've seen, the infinite regress wouldn't stop there. This latter point can be addressed by getting clear how we want to define the problem. Are we looking for an origin that can be accounted for without appealing to a prior cause, or are we looking for some particular origin that accounts well enough for the phenomenon in question (in this case, babies) despite whether or not its origin is left unaccounted for? Most of the time, questions of origins are of the latter variety, and so even though an infinite regress can be shown to follow from the answers given, it isn't really a problem for the purpose of the question. But when the question turns on absolute origins, such as how the universe began or what created God, the infinite regress that comes out of it ought to worry us since it indicates that the answers given don't effectively give us an origin that is, in fact, absolute. The question that faces us now is: of what variety is the infinite regress that plagues MM-Theory? Is it innocuous in that our theory can get by while brushing it aside as irrelevant, like brushing aside the infinite regress that stems from the question of where babies come from, or is it fatal in that it indicates a profound flaw in our theory, like the flaw that answers to questions of the universe's origin suffer? At first blush, it might seem as though the infinite regress under consideration is indeed fatal, for how can we make any claims about the world beyond our minds, which is precisely what MM-Theory does, when those claims and their referents are found, in the final analysis, to be inside our minds? Putting the problem this way, it does sound daunting. But what I intend to show is that the very terms of the problem can be altered in such a way that it becomes more akin to the innocuous variety much like the question of where babies come from. I even intend to go so far as to show that it's not a problem unique to dependent models like ours. In other words, although it may seem like the problem arises because of the dependent character of our model, it really is a lot deeper than that. It is a problem with anything that is a theory or idea in general. To see this, we only need to appeal to the example above about seeing mountains. In that example, we saw how the infinite regress can be ignited even with an independent model. That is, you don't have to be a subjectivist to recognize a difference between your sight or idea of the mountains and the mountains themselves, and that you're never going to get beyond the mere idea of the mountains. Anything that can be recognized as an idea, perception, experience, or anything mental, can potentially succumb to this. Nevertheless, some things do need to be sorted out in our theory, and any dependent model, so that the dual character of reality depicted by such models - that duality being the real/mental dichotomy - does not confound the problem. More particularly, we will reduce the problem to one of seeking perfect knowledge of things that are essentially unknowable, and known to be so.

The Nature of The Problem

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The infinite regress problem will arise whenever a dependent model moves way from the windowto-reality model of consciousness and towards the system-of-experiences model without making adjustments to how it is articulated (see sidenote ). In other words, with any theory, whether based on a dependent or independent model, we tend to express it as though it was a mirror image of reality itself - that is, we express it as though our awareness of it came through the featureless "window" we imagine our consciousness to be. But if the window model is what the theory argues against, this means that we need to change the way we articulate it. For example, the theory that the world is round, when expressed in the context of the window model of consciousness, is expressed as "The world is round." The proper way to articulate this in the context of the system model, on the other The Windowhand, would be to say something like "The idea of the world being round makes sense, and works to-Reality vs. well with our observations." For a theory to be true Systemaccording to the of-Experiences window model Models of means that the theory Consciousness is a manifestation of what's really out there. It means something entirely different for a theory to be true according to the system model. Distinguishing There's nothing dreadfully wrong with using the conventional Between The manner of speaking (the window model) when it comes to dependent models or system models of Models consciousness, but we note now that such habits are what lead to the confusion that manifests in the infinite regress. For consciousness to be a system of experiences, and for that system to project itself as a reality (as dependent models declare), means that one is always going to be able to reflect on reality, whatever it is perceived to be, and recognize it as a system of experiences which can be brushed aside in an attempt to apprehend the "real" reality. So if the window model would define a theory's being right to mean that it matches up perfectly with what's, in fact, out there, how does the system model define being right? Before we answer this, we ought to point out that, even with dependent models, there is a difference between what a theory is and what it's about. This is obvious when it comes to independent models. Take the theory of evolution for example. What the theory is is an idea - a mental construct about how life came to be on this planet. What it's about, however, is not mental at all - it's about those very life forms it explains. This is no less true of dependent models. MM-Theory, for example, is a theory we have constructed in our minds - it is a cognitive model - but the Universal Mind and the plethora of experiences therein are what it's about, and these are not the mental construct we recognize as the theory. Nevertheless, as a dependent model, our theory also says that reality is created from our experiences, which include beliefs like the very theory itself. In other words, it sounds as though the theory implies that the universe it is about is created because we believe in the theory. Well, we certainly don't want it to lead to this - otherwise, we'll have to resort to saying "yes, our theory creates the reality it describes, but behind it is the real Universal Mind, and our theory serves as a perfect match of it in the sense of the window model notion of a theory's being right." What we will do to ensure that we don't have to put it this way is to, first of all, show what it means for a theory to be correct according to a system model, and secondly, show that the distinction between what a theory is and what it's about can still be made. We will then show that what end ups suffering from the infinite regress is not the theory itself, but what the theory is about.

The Universal Mind

So how does the system model define being right? Well, when it is based on a dependent model, it accounts for a theory's correctness by appealing to the theory's own internal justifications. That is, it's something within the theory itself - within the cognitive experience. In MM-Theory, we called this the essence of realness, but we can be more general than that, articulating the correctness of a given theory in terms of all dependent models, and in terms that make sense to anyone regardless of the The Essence of model they subscribe to, or whether they understand MM-Theory or not. With a system model, the correctness of a theory depends on two things: 1) whether it makes logical sense or not, and 2) Realness whether it agrees with empirical evidence or not. Let's look at each one of these separately.

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Projection

What it means for a theory to make logical sense is that we see the relations between the ideas that make up the theory as binding together in terms of their meaning and entailment. In other words, the ideas project themselves in the same way we noted in the section Truth, Fact, And The Physical World above. In that section, we made the distinction between projecting beliefs in the same manner as we do physical objects - namely, "out there" - and projecting them as logical conclusions that entail from an argument or some form of reasoning. In the latter case, it's not so much the contents of the ideas which are projected, but why one logically entails another - that is, it is their logical necessity that we experience as real or independent. This is the proper way, in a system model, to understand a theory's correctness. We have to ask, "Does it make logical sense?"

Now, there is also the matter of empirical evidence - the second criterion for a theory's correctness in a system model. No matter how certain we may be of a theory, or how sensical the supporting arguments for it seem, at the end of the day, empirical evidence will have the final word. It will either confirm our beliefs or destroy them (of course, there are some who persist with their beliefs no matter what ). So being able to predict empirical experience is a strong indication of a theory's correctness. This is the current scientific view. That is, the consensus among scientists now-a-days is that a theory's predictive power is the best way to understand its correctness. It might seem counterintuitive, but the way the philosophy of science is currently headed is more and more inline Richard Dawkins with a system model of consciousness than a window model. More and more leading scientists are emphasizing the model generating function of the mind rather than its reality perceiving function. Richard Dawkins argues this very clearly in his talk Queerer Than We Suppose: The strangeness of science:

What we see of the real world is not the unvarnished world, but a model of the world, regulated and adjusted by sense data, but constructed so it's useful for dealing with the real world. The nature of the model depends on the kind of animal we are. A flying animal needs a different kind of model from a walking, climbing, or swimming animal. A monkey's brain must have software capable of simulating a three dimensional world of branches and trunks. A mole's software, for constructing models of its world, will be customized for underground use. A water strider's brain doesn't need 3D software at all since it lives on the surface of the pond in an Edwin Abbot flatland.
Of course, science doesn't sanction every whimsical model the mind is capable of generating as correct. It just recognizes that models are what theories ultimately are. Their predictive power remains the deciding factor in establishing their correctness or flawedness. If the theory that happens to be most successful at this game also makes logical sense, that's a welcome bonus. With a dependent model, however, both are equally valid. Empirical experience still carries trumping power for the most part, but this says more about the effect it has on belief rooted solely in theory rather than what a dependent model necessarily claims. Obviously, our theory is very much on the extreme end of the scale of philosophical abstraction. It is hardly scientific. The keen scientific thinker is sure to point this out, undoubtedly emphasizing its unfalsifiability. This is all right. A theory doesn't need to be falsifiable to be a good philosophical theory. All it needs is a firm basis in rationality and reason. It should be pointed out, however, that as it is untestable, our theory depends exclusively on its logical merit for its justifications. Something should be said, therefore, about what this implies insofar as its relation to the "real" world is

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concerned. That is, if a theory is correct because it makes logical sense, then what does that tell us, in the absence of empirical evidence, about its ability to match or mirror or capture the contents of the world beyond our perceptions? Well, as a mental model, we know for sure that it doesn't match the "outer" world. In fact, MM-Theory in particular, with its proposal that experiences come in a myriad of forms, not just those familiar to humans, is most likely nothing remotely like what's in the outer world. Do mental models at least mimic what's out there? That is, are the dynamics or the processes that go on "in here" somewhat similar to what goes on "out there"? We know from neurology that, although neurons and neurotransmitters are very different in structure from the things in the outer world they aim to model, the activity and the algorithms they undergo probably mirror the activity of phenomena in the outer world to a certain degree. Therefore, the same could be said about the relation between our ideas and the experiences they aim to model. But without being able to verify this by actually exposing ourselves to these experiences, it's impossible to tell. So one might be left asking, "If we can't test our theory empirically, and we can't even conceive of the experiences our ideas aim to model, how can we ever know if our ideas are correct?" The answer, of course, is that it doesn't matter at all. To ask this sort of question is to still hold onto the window model of consciousness, requiring that one's theory take an identical form in the mind as the phenomena in the real world it refers to. Let's put this another way. To accept the system model over the window model is to acknowledge the difference between a thing and one's knowledge of that thing, not only in that they are two distinct entities, but that they are totally unlike in structure. One's knowledge of a flower, say, is nothing like the flower itself. The former is a mental entity, the latter a physical one. Therefore, there is inevitably going to be a great degree of mismatch between them. This doesn't make the knowledge of the flower wrong. The same can be said for beliefs, ideas, theories, and everything else from the class of cognitive experiences. The idea that everything in the universe is physical and behaves according to the laws of physics, for example, is not wrong just because the universe is fundamentally different in structure from the structure of such knowledge. In fact, such knowledge gives no insight into exactly what the specific contents of the universe are. For example, it tells us nothing about whether there is life in neighboring galaxies - it just tells us that if there is life, it will be physical and adhere to physical laws. Exactly the same can be said about MM-Theory. It posits that the universe is comprised of other experiences even though this sheds no light on what these experiences feel like. In fact, the theory hinges on this fact as The Inconceivability of Consciousness makes clear. This is the case for any system model of consciousness. Having valid knowledge of the world external to it has nothing to do with the similitude between them. On the other hand, we do insist that whatever we believe and claim to know, it is imperative that it match up with our empirical experiences - or at least, that such empirical experiences don't falsify it. What is this all about? First, keep in mind that this sort of "matching" between belief and empirical experience is not the kind of match we have in mind. Even if an empirical experience confirms one's belief, there is still a very clear distinction between the structure of an empirical experience and a belief. The former is sensory, the latter cognitive. The requirement we are obliged to meet has nothing to do with matching - not in this sense, at least. It has to do with the fact that such empirical experiences entail their own knowledge. I see traffic on the road, I know there is traffic. It is this knowledge that puts demands on our belief that they conform to its terms. Only contending knowledge can decide whether the knowledge contended against is right or wrong, and the human mind so happens to be built such that if the knowledge in question is derived from empirical experience, it has the final say. This is an important point. The standard by which a belief can be judged as right or wrong is only by comparison to another belief. If the belief in X is right, the belief in not-X must be wrong. As an analogy to this, consider a high school history exam consisting of true/false questions. Suppose question #3 was "Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo in 1815?" You make your choice: true. After the exam, you go to check the answer key that is made

Entailment

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available. You expect to see either "true" or "false" for question #3, knowing well that either one of these will determine whether you got the answer right or wrong. But suppose there was an administration mix up. Someone supplied the wrong answers on the key. Instead of the answers to the history exam, someone mistakenly supplied the answers to the math exam. So when you look up the answer for question #3, you find '24'. The question this analogy leaves us with is, does '24' entail that Napoleon did or didn't lose the battle of Waterloo in 1815? Can such a statement be judged right or wrong based on something that is neither "true" nor "false"? It surely cannot. Therefore, why should something which is not even conceivable, let alone verifiable, determine the correctness or falsehood of a theory. A theory is a cognitive phenomenon, and the things it is about are not. This mismatch makes any comparison of the two, like that between a true/false answer and a numerical one, fruitless. It is only if the thing which the theory is about can entail contending knowledge that it is useful towards this end, for in that case, the knowledge yielded is fit for comparison and a meaningful judgment can be made. In fact, there are even scientific models, not just philosophical ones like ours, for which no empirical experience can pass as an authentic match in any sense of the word. A perfect example of this is the model of the atom. It used to be thought that the particles that make up atoms - protons, neutrons, and electrons - are tiny little balls much like those in a billiard game. Sometimes they'd be referred to as "point particles" in that one was justified in imagining them as taking up no more space than a single point. Either way, they were thought to behave no differently from everyday solid objects. But quantum mechanics changed all that. Now, particles are thought to behave in a completely different manner. This behavior is so different from what became known as classical mechanics that it taxes the human intellect to this day. That is, so far, we have not been able to invent a model that accurately portrays what's going on down at the level of protons, neutrons, electrons, and all other fundamental particles, either through visualization or conceptualization. For example, particles are now known to exist in states called "superposition". Sometimes this is defined as existing in more than one place at the same time. For example, the famous "double-slit experiment" shows that a single electron, when fired at a wall with two slits in it, will pass through both slits at the same time. Although one could

Quantum Mechanics

Classical Mechanics

Superposition

The Double-Slit Experiment

think of superposition in this way, the most accurate way of defining it is in probabilistic terms. That is, we really should say that a particle in superposition has equal probabilities of being measured in one location as another (and even then, the probability isn't always equal). For example, if we tried to measure which slit the electron passed through, there is just as much a chance that it will be found in one slit as in the other. Once measured, however, it will definitely have passed through only one of the slits. If we don't try to measure it, the experiment shows, it will be as if it traveled through both The slits. Technically, we can't say for certain whether it actually did travel through both slits or not Inconceivability because we have no way of measuring states of superposition (measuring them results in such states of Superposition "collapsing" into regular positions). This is suggestive that not even the more-than-one-placeat-a-time model is quite right since, if that was all there was to it, it would be measurable at all such locations simultaneously. Instead, the best model scientists have to offer is that superposition is a state of probable locations - that is, the electron really has no definite location(s), whether that be one or many, but a range of probabilities of being located in one place or another. For all intents and

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purposes, therefore, superposition states are quite unimaginable. Yet, that doesn't make the concept of superposition wrong. We can still rightfully say that the electron is in a state of superposition. It may not necessarily match the true structure of the electron and its state, but as long as it reliably represents such states, then it is a good model. In other words, it doesn't matter if our models of fundamental particles and their behavior are mirror reflections of what really exists in the outer world; we judge the correctness of such models based on how well it accounts for what little empirical observations we can make and how easily it can be digested by our intellect relative to other models. Should our mental models have no empirical evidence in support of it, we are obviously left wanting of this particular standard by which to judge it right or wrong (for it is the preferred standard), but like the comparison of a true/false answer to a numerical one, this says nothing of the sort that the model is wrong - at least, so long as we adopt a dependent model of reality. Furthermore, it is not as though we are left wanting of any standard should empirical verification be out of the question, for then we have the option of falling back on the model's own internal consistency. As much as empirical evidence has the potential effect of fortifying our beliefs, the internal consistency of the logical structure of our beliefs also has this effect, and as far as dependent models should be concerned, either one, if not both, is an acceptable standard for a theory's correctness. One must allow for mental models to serve a representative function. This must be incorporated into the model itself. For example, if we insisted that states of superposition had to be exactly what our limited imaginations visualized them to be, we would be pitifully wrong. MM-Theory is safe in this regard as we pointed out in The Inconceivability of Consciousness. In that paper, the concession we made was that our entire theory was just a mental model, but it still holds true in terms of its representative function. Now, we make another concession. We admit that our theory is not right in the sense that it matches what's "out there" in its true form, but that its logical structure is valid. This is not such a bad concession to make since, as we've seen, the correctness of anything which is a theory or belief, whether based on a dependent or independent model, or in accordance with a window or system model of consciousness, really should be understood in this way anyway. What we're offering with our theory is a new design for reality, one that, we claim, is much more powerful in explaining the fundamental fabric of the universe and existence in general. A design doesn't have to be the thing it represents for it to be correct - a building is obviously different from blue prints on paper. The design simply defines what the building is. In the same way, our theory defines a reality. We don't need to be fully exposed to the experiences our theory posits in the Universal Mind for it to be correct in this sense; we just have to have a mental model representing these experiences, one whose logical derivation is free from internal contradiction. So if the correctness of a theory is grounded in its logical structure, then what does it mean for the theory to create reality? As we pointed out above, dependent models seem to have the problem of creating the reality that they aim to propose. But we get a slightly more refined understanding of what this means when we consider the system model's take on a theory's correctness. It says, not that the theory creates its own reality outright, but that it creates the logical soundness of what it's proposing. In fact, one could say that it is one and the same as its logical soundness. This should be trivially obvious anyway, whether to an objectivist or a subjectivist. If logic is a property of thought and the way it unfolds in one's mind, then to create a theory from thought is also to create the logical "glue" that binds it all together. We also said that we could still mark out a distinction between what a theory is and what it is about, and with this new understanding of correctness, it's easy to see how. What a theory is is a set of ideas and their logical relations to each other, ultimately culminating in a set of logically deduced conclusions. What a theory is about, on the other hand, is something that is projected after the fact. That is, it is what we end up perceiving in the world, on a cognitive level, given that our theory is correct. This was also mentioned in the above section Truth, Fact, And The Physical World - it is the other way in which beliefs can be projected. That is, it is the positing of the object of our beliefs in an outer world. So even in a dependent model, this distinction can be made. The latter form of projection is less something that can be characterized as "right" or "wrong", and more an attempt to perceive the world according to our beliefs. Take atomic theory, for example - the theory that all matter is made of atoms. One may

The Universal Mind

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come to this conclusion by way of scientific evidence and reason, but when one looks at a chair or a pair of spectacles and visualizes the atoms within it, he/she is adapting his/her perception of the world in accordance with this conclusion (similarly to how I visualized my car through the floor of my house). This is done after having settled the matter of whether the conclusion is right or wrong. It is a way of coming to grips with the state of the world, crafting the proper perceptions, under the condition that one's conclusions are correct. It is not what makes them correct, it is a consequence of it. It is important to realize this because, as we will now show, it is this form of projection that inherits all the problems of the infinite regress. That being the case, it follows that the infinite regress is not a consequence of anything to do with the logical merit of our theory. The positing of the objects of our theories still amounts to the creation of reality according to a dependent model. In fact, it is what creates the "out there" of our theories. Foremost, it recruits our visualization faculties in order to picture the entities it purports to exist in the world - the atoms we envision, as mentioned above, are a good example. But an "out there" need not strictly be visual or physical or spatial, albeit we will always succumb to simulating it with visual imagery. MM-Theory, for example, does not mean to say that the non-human experiences that are "out there" are floating around in space or are separated from us by some physical distance. It just means to say that they are not part of the human mind (you might almost want to think of it in terms of set theory). We mean "out there" in a much more abstract sense. Nevertheless, it is still the positing of the existence of such experiences, and so the objection that our positing of them is just a mental act - that is, we create the "out there" of their existence - still results in the infinite regress. We are a little more out of the woods at this point, however, because this kind of objection cannot be taken as a criticism of the logic of our theory. That was left behind when we moved into the realm of the "out there". That is, it is more a criticism of the positing of the objects that our theory is about rather than what our theory is. It essentially points out that the things our theory is about cannot really be "out there" - they are "in here". But when it comes to the theory itself, this is inconsequential - a correct theory is correct regardless of whether it's in the head or not (and, obviously, there's no other place it could be than in the head). If one thinks about this, it becomes obvious that this sort of criticism can be leveled against any idea or mental imagery, like the projection of atoms onto objects in the world, revealing them for the mental structures they ultimately are. This, undoubtedly, has a lot to do with our visualization habits, the shortcoming of mental models, and the simple fact that they will always be a product of our minds - a product of a creature who can only conjure up cognitions in order to feel as though it has a window-like awareness of the real world. To put this in simpler terms, we might imagine the following scenario. Smith puts forward the argument "All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal." Jones, the skeptic, objects. "You may have drawn the conclusion that Socrates is mortal, but do you realize that this is just an idea in your head? It is not a fact about the real world." If Smith was having difficulty dismissing the window model of consciousness, he might be inclined to say, "Yes, it is true that my conclusion is just an idea in my head, but beyond that idea, somewhere in the real world, is the man Socrates himself, and it is a fact, whether we know it or not, that he is mortal." On the other hand, if Smith had no problem keeping a system model of consciousness in mind, he might be more inclined to say, "Yes, it is true that my conclusion is just an idea in my head. So what? It's still valid." So having said all that, are we in a better position to deal with the infinite regress problem? We are in a better position, but it obviously doesn't put a stop to it. In fact, it makes it more noticeable. That is, by depicting our theory as a mental model whose truth is rooted in its internal logic, we are almost begging that it be juxtaposed with the "real" universe of which it is a representation. The up side to this is that the infinite regress cannot be traced back to a fault with the theory - at least, not in the sense that we mean for our theory to be interpreted according to a window model of consciousness. By accepting the model likeness of our theory, and its truth being grounded in its own logical structure, we avoid the inconsistency of demanding that our theory be taken in the context of the traditional window model while at the same time replacing that model with a system one. So then why does the infinite regress persist? As we noted already, the infinite regress will persist anytime a theory, belief, idea, and the like, is recognized as a mental entity. It will persist because these

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cognitive experiences, as with any experience, want to be taken as though they were windows through which we see an independent reality. That is the nature of the beast. So when we deny them this by casting them in a mental light, a sudden instinct within us kicks in, demanding that they be replaced by the true form of whatever it is that they represent. In other words, we want to be aware of reality, not just feel our experiences. This may be unique to humans, but it is only humans (as far as we know) who build constructs of "mental things" - that is, we, unlike other animals, understand the concept of something being "mental" as opposed to real. We are also unique in that we want to understand the real world, to know it. We abhor the idea of not knowing. So when an experience gets relegated to the category of mental things, we feel a void in our knowledge of reality, and the urge arises to replace it with bona fide knowledge whose only adequate description would be as the window model would have it. This is not a problem with the logic of our theories, be they whatever they are, it is something much deeper and intrinsic to human nature. It is the incessant need we all have to know reality. We started out this section with a promise, not to rid ourselves of the infinite regress, but to change the terms of the problem. This is how we've done it. We have cleared up the problem of which model to describe our theory under (window vs. system), and what remains is a problem of knowledge.

Principle: Solution to The Infinite Regress Problem The infinite regress problem can be resolved as follows: 1) Even with dependent models of reality, there is a difference between what a theory is and what it is about. 2) Given a system-of-experiences model of consciousness, what a theory is is a system of ideas whose correctness depends on its own inherent standards. What it is about is something that is posited, after it has been deemed correct, in a domain of reality we typically call "out there".
Standards, Not Logic

3) Because a theory's correctness depends on its own inherent standards that do not change by recognizing the theory to be a cognitive experience, the infinite regress makes no difference to the theory's correctness. It continues to make a difference to the manner in which we posit what the theory is about namely, phenomena in the domain we call "out there". 4) The infinite regress problem cannot be resolved for what the theory is about, but so long as the theory's inherent standards do not mandate that the form in which we posit what it is about in the domain we call "out there" be taken

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literally or as the correct form, the theory can still be said to be correct.
Notice that this solution could work for the problem of other minds as well. The problem of other minds is essentially an infinite regress problem, and for exactly the same reasons. That is, we'd like to believe that other people have minds of their own, but because the only form in which their minds could exist in our subjective realities is as mental models, there is the tendency to want to push the mental model aside in order to apprehend the "real" minds of others. We pointed out that one way to get around this was, given another person's mind, to somehow acquire a perception of reality that was utterly indistinguishable from how that person's mind projects itself - the only catch being that such perceptions would have to replace our own completely. The solution we are currently toying with adds that our belief in the minds of others need not be faulty if we ground such beliefs in some kind of rational basis such that it is the logic of such a rational that upholds its correctness. The infinite regress then applies only to the manner in which we posit the minds of others in an outer world of sorts. When it comes to theories of reality, this problem cannot be solved because our mental models are inadequate for capturing the true form of the real world (in the context of MM-Theory, we cannot have non-human experiences - we can only model them with our thoughts). When it comes to other minds, however - human minds in any case - this is less of a hindrance. The suggestion that we acquire a perception of reality identical to that of someone else, although highly impractical, is possible in principle because such perceptions are human perceptions, and therefore within the reach of any one person's experiential capacity.

Is The Theory Consistent?
So it seems we have a solution; but let's not wrap this up too hastily. We have established that so long as the theory is consistent internally, the infinite regress problem is no problem at all - but is it consistent internally? Well, it seems like an odd question to ask - what theorist questions the consistency of his theory after having already argued for it consistently? - but the problem at hand namely, the infinite regress problem - just may be revealing to us a point of inconsistency. If this is true, then it does no good to argue that the infinite regress problem doesn't plague our theory on account if its being internally consistent. But we can be assured that no such inconsistency exists, as we will now see. The so called inconsistency becomes apparent when we contrast these two statements - which are central to MM-Theory:

1) The Universal Mind consists of all human minds and all non-human experiences between and outside them. 2) No conscious being, finding itself in a subjective reality, can make reference to anything, whether physical, abstract, or any other form, beyond its own subjective reality.
You might recognize the second statement as the Principle of Referential Monopoly. Essentially, it states that in uttering statement 1), we have made reference to something which, despite what statement 1) claims, is not really outside our minds. That is to say, if we are claiming that there are indeed experiences beyond our minds, then we are referring to them, implying they actually reside within our minds. From this point, the infinite regress ensues. It certainly seems, then, that two of the most central tenets of MM-Theory conflict - that's a major inconsistency, and a major problem. In other words, the whole reason why there's an infinite regress problem is because there's an inconsistency.

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But we can show that this inconsistency is only illusory. If we can show that, then we can fall back on our earlier solution - that so long as the theory is consistent internally, the infinite regress problem is no problem at all. How is the inconsistency illusory? It is illusory in virtue of the fact that the "mind" of statement 1) has a different referent than the "mind" (or "subjective reality") of statement 2). That is to say, insofar as each statement talks about human minds, they are referring to different things. In order to see this, I will have to introduce two terms: the self-in-the-model and the self-presentingthe-model. What are the meanings of these terms? And what is the model? Well, the model simply is the universe that MM-Theory depicts. It is the entire set of all experiences, including human ones. It is a model of the universe as MM-Theory has it. In this model, we have human minds. They exist among the totality of experiences. They constitute selves, human selves. They are the selves-in-the-model. But as a model, the universe as MM-Theory has it must be presented by someone - yours truly. I am a self. I am the self-presenting-the-model, as is anyone else who presents it. The self-presenting-the-model is not in the model - the model is in it, along with the self-in-the-model (see aside ). This is the key to resolving the apparent inconsistency. When statement 1) refers to the human minds that are among all other experiences in the Universal Mind, it is referring to the self-inthe-model. When statement 2) refers to the human minds (or subjective realities) that all things we refer to are contained in, it is referring to the self-presenting-the-model (insofar as the model in question resides therein). Seeing as how the self-presenting-the-model is not even an element in the model, then the two utterances of "mind" cannot possibly refer to the same thing. Thus, there is no conflict - no inconsistency.

Two Selves vs. Two Models

Definition: Self-In-The-Model vs. Self-PresentingThe-Model 1) Self-In-The-Model: Concerning any model of reality, the self-in-the-model is the element in the model representing one's self and the role played thereby. 2) Self-Presenting-The-Model: Concerning any model of reality, the self-presenting-the-model

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is the self in whose mind the model resides, and who is thereby able to present it. Principle: The Self-In-The-Model and Self-Presenting-The-Model Distinction Concerning any model of reality, when we refer to elements of the model outside the mind, the mind in question is a self-in-the-model, and when we refer to the model itself inside the mind, the mind in question is a self-presenting-the-model.
The reader should note that the "mind" referred to in statement 2) should be interpreted as the self-presenting-the-model only insofar as it seems to contradict statement 1). That is to say, one could interpret it as a self-in-the-model insofar as it refers only to those subjective realities (or selves) implicit in the model already (that is, MM-Theory comes quite obviously and trivially with the whole gamut of subjective realities, human minds, and selves that the model purports to exist in the Universal Mind). But this goes without mentioning the important caveat that nowhere among these subjective realities are our subjective realities - that is, insofar as "our" connotes selves-presentingthe-model. In other words, insofar as statement 2) refers only to the subjective realities already implied as part of the model, it doesn't contradict statement 1), for none of selves in those subjective realities ever refer beyond their own minds. But if we find that statement 2) contradicts statement 1), this can only be in virtue of interpreting it as referring to ourselves - that is, as selves-presentingthe-model - and thus we would be advised to heed the foregoing solution in cases like this. Yet, even bearing this solution in mind, one can see how the infinite regress begins. In failing to distinguish between the self-in-the-model and the self-presenting-the-model, we are compelled to take all those experiences, which, when confronted with statement 1), we suppose to be outside the mind, and put them right back into the mind when confronted with statement 2). We then proceed to posit that the "real" experiences are out there beyond them. But in drawing the distinction between the self-in-the-model and the self-presenting-the-model, we wipe out any apparent inconsistency, and when that is gone, and we understand what it means to be "right" according to a system model of consciousness, we can satisfy ourselves with a consistent model without worrying about matching it up part-for-part with entities in the "real" world as a window model of consciousness would implore us to.

Kant and The Thing-In-Itself

Conclusion
Hopefully, the reader can now more easily answer the questions we posed in the introduction to this paper. Realistically speaking, however, the ideas in this paper will probably take some getting used to before such questions can be answered with more fluidity (even I get confused sometimes ). One must not only remember the answers to the specific questions above, but all variants of them as well as novel and doubly challenging ones. Nonetheless, we end this paper with confidence that the tools and new perspectives provided herein are enough to take on any such challenge. Just to be sure, however, let's supply the answers to the aforementioned questions. Our first question was:

How can a belief be true and not true at the same time?

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Reality Qualifier

Simple. We need to apply the appropriate reality qualifiers. A belief is not just true or not true. It is true relative to reality R1. It is false relative to reality R2. To say that a belief is true or false, without specifying for which reality it is true or false, is as incomplete and meaningless as specifying the speed of your new car as "300 km".

How can certain things exist when we don't know their states or properties? For example, I don't know how many stars there are in the Milky Way, yet I believe there is a definite number. But how can there be a definite number when I have no way of perceiving or knowing it? And what if we only know something probabilistically, like the rolling of a dice? How is the outcome of rolling it determined if we don't perceive or know the factors that go towards determining it?

To answer this, we need some intra-reality tools. Specifically, we need to identify which things are determinants and which are non-determinants. As for the number of stars in the Milky Way, this Intra-Reality would be an undefined determinant. That is, it is the belief that a definite number of stars exist, and Descriptions therefore a determinant, but it is undefined in that this number is unknown. It can be traced back to a defined determinant, such as the belief that for any finite set of physical objects to exist as discrete units, like the stars, there must be a definite number of them. This determinant necessitates that the number of stars in the Milky Way also be a determinant, albeit an undefined one. That is how there Determinants can be a specific number of stars without one actually perceiving how many. As for probabilities like the rolling of dice, it depends on whether such outcomes are determinants or non-determinants. If one believes very much in the deterministic nature of the world such that the rolling of dice has a determined outcomes, then it is an undefined determinant, in which case we answer this question in Non-Determinants the same way we did for the number of stars in the Milky Way. If one truly believes that the rolling of dice is a random event, then the outcome is a non-determinant, in which case there is no question to answer. If it really is probabilistic, then nothing is predetermined. Whatever the outcome of the dice roll, it happens on the spot with no prior cause to guide it. Defined vs.
Undefined Determinants

How can we ever be wrong? It's one thing to declare others wrong because we don't agree with them, but what about cases in which we come to realize the mistakes in our own beliefs? To confess our own mistakes is to declare our own beliefs wrong and having always been wrong. How, then, could they have ever determined reality?
They determined reality because they determined a different reality. We can be wrong by going through reality transitions. The mistaken belief is still true for the reality one leaves behind, always was true and will always be. As for the reality we enter into, this belief is a mistake, always was and always will be. The opposing belief that takes its place is true, always has been and always will be.

Reality Transitions

Why doesn't reality always accommodate our beliefs and perceptions? What if I believed I could walk on water? Why, then, would I surely drown with every attempt I make? If my beliefs determine reality, then I should be able to walk on water. Why doesn't reality turn out this way?
Because the reality in which the laws of physics hold true is a much stronger reality than one in which you can walk on water. The former reality has more gravity and therefore more readily pulls us out of other realities with less gravity.
Gravity

What do we say about the existence of other people's minds in our reality? As we pointed out above, we can't have other people's perceptions and experiences - we can only have our own. So, then, do their perceptions and

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experiences exist or not?
Other people's minds do exist in our reality, but as mental models. These mental models do correspond to their minds in their true forms, but the true forms they take are whole realities unto themselves, realities that can't be experienced simultaneously with one's own. Therefore, if one wanted to apprehend another's reality, they would have to completely dispense with theirs. On the other hand, we can logically conclude that other people's minds exist without being inconsistent. If logic leads us to this conclusion, we may still have trouble rising above the mental status of the Mental Models mental model, but if this mental model is supported by the logic we traced, we have every right to conclude with it anyway. Dependent models that invest in a system model of consciousness give us this right in virtue of the way they redefine a theory's correctness.

If there are many realities, why not just think of the whole set of realities as the reality? In MM-Theory, we call it "Reality" and all other personal realities we call "subjective realities". There is a point to capitalizing the "R" in "Reality". But, then, if we call the entire set of subjective realities "Reality", how is it not a subjective reality itself? It is just another theory after all, another human perspective of what reality is. How could it rise above that status and become the reality?
The first part of this question - why not call the whole set of realities the reality - has an easy answer. We do call it the reality, but only because we are subjectivists or subscribers to MM-Theory. That is, we have chosen the entire set of subjective realities, along with everything between, and assigned the term "reality" to it. The second part of the question - how is this not a subjective reality itself - relates to the infinite regress problem. To recognize that our theory is just another subjective reality bears no consequence to its internal logical merit. Since we are going with a system model of consciousness, we mean for our theory to be taken as a model that makes sense or whose logical soundness is convincing and intellectually satisfying - not that it mirrors the way reality actually is. Yet, we are still inclined to posit the objects of our theory - that is, the things our theory is about - in a realm we call "out there". This indeed is just a part of our subjective reality, and therefore not really "out there" (and hence, giving rise to the infinite regress), but this doesn't make our theory wrong - it just means that we have no adequate way of positing reality in its true form in an existence which is somehow beyond our subjective reality. It is easy to get confused when there is a whole smorgasbord of realities to keep sorted. Although this paper set out to clear up a lot of the confusion surrounding this, it may have in fact created more confusion. This was anticipated. The hope is that if there is any confusion still lingering, it is of a different sort. More specifically, it is hoped that the confusion is not over the pseudo-paradoxes that the above questions seem to revolve around, but over the unfamiliarity and complexity of this new way of thinking about reality. We have presented a set of conceptual and lingual tools the subjectivist can use to sort out the aforementioned pseudo-paradoxes, and this should resolve any sort of confusion, but it may still be confusing how and when to use these tools. This is a matter of practice and getting use to. It is not a matter of any logical inconsistencies. The reader may benefit from reading this paper a few times over, and over time, he/she should find that this confusion will fade and a clearer picture of how dependent models work will emerge.

Moral Relativism
There's no denying that dependent models are a form of relativism. Does it open the door to moral relativism? This is something we ought to touch on before closing the chapter on dependent models. If the reader has followed me this far, either he/she finds the ideas herein appealing or is very tolerant of them. This says nothing, however, on his/her opinions about moral relativism. Many object to the idea that what's morally right for me may not be morally right for you, because if that were the case, anyone could get away with anything, defending their actions with their own customized moral justifications. Therefore, I'd like to reserve a small section in the conclusion to address this. Although we will not be able to uphold an absolutist view of morality, I'd like to show how the ideas inherent

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in this paper don't have to give way to a radically relativistic moral view. First of all, let me just say that it is a misconception that moral relativism is a license to impose one's morality on everyone else. Yet, so many people worry that if moral relativism is upheld, this is what it will be used for - as if it is always someone else's morality that will take precedence over one's own. At the very least, moral relativism means that one's own morality deserves just as much of a defense as anyone else's. Why should anyone play by the terms of someone else's perspective when their own perspective is so much more of a reality to them. So if one's moral values are being trampled over, there is no reason to excuse the offender by appeal to their moral values. One has just as much right to defend their own values. In fact, if it is to be consistent, this is exactly what moral relativism should have at heart. In the end, there really shouldn't be any difference, in a practical sense, between moral relativism and an absolutist view of morality. If one takes an absolutist stance, he/she will defend his/her moral values on the grounds that those values are unconditionally correct not just correct for him/herself, but for everyone including the offender. If one takes a relativistic stance, on the other hand, one will (or at least, can) defend his/her moral values on the grounds that those values are conditionally correct, and that those conditions - namely, that the values in question are his/her values - are met. The fact of the matter is, this condition will always be met, and so there is no practical difference between how absolutist morality and relativistic morality play out. Secondly, just because two people may not share the same moral perspective does not mean that their values are not subject to debate. Someone who thinks it's always wrong to steal, no matter what the circumstances, can be persuaded to consider it okay in special cases such as when one's family is starving and one must resort to stealing food that's too expensive. If such a person can be convinced in this way, we would call this a reality transition. That is, the person went from a reality in which it is always immoral to steal to one in which it is okay under special circumstances. So again, the moral position taken by one person doesn't have to be unconditionally sanctioned by all who would otherwise oppose such a position. The reality in which such moral positions hold true can be overpowered by another reality by strong rhetoric, cogent reasoning, appeal to sympathy or emotions, or by any other means whatsoever.

Reality Transition

But the real challenge for moral relativism given by this paper is the idea of higher and lower realities. This makes it clear that, although in one sense we say that all realities are equally real, in another sense we say that some realities are more real than others. The only sense in which we can Higher vs. Lower say that every reality is equally real is that reality is whatever a given percipient experiences it to be, and that this principle is equally true for all percipients. But it isn't quite true for the amount of Realities gravity we find across realities. Gravity is not something that is experienced as a real thing, as though it were one of the contents of a given reality. Rather, it is what we call the tendency of one reality to remain reality for a given percipient in the face of other contending realities. They contend on the grounds that the most convincingly real experiences get to constitute reality for the given Gravity percipient. We call the more convincing realities "higher" and the less convincing ones "lower". Therefore, the relation between gravity and higher/lower realities is that the higher a reality for a given percipient, the more gravity it has for that percipient. What this means, overall, is that some realities do take precedence over others, and when it comes to morality, some moral views, in virtue of constituting a reality, will take precedence over others.
Real Things

In this age of global awareness, more and more people are beginning to realize the utmost importance of basic human rights. What is a human right? It is a recognition of the unconditional moral worth of a human being simply because he/she is human. That is, it does not stop at national, ethnic, or religious borders. It does not apply to an exclusive group or class of people. Such rights include the right to life, the right to satiate hunger and thirst, the right to citizenship, the right to choose one's citizenship, the right to voice one's views, the right to abstain from pain and degradation, and so on. Might we say, then, that human rights are an example of a "higher" system of moral values? That is, should we say that these values are indeed morally binding in reality, would this reality, then, be a higher one than any reality depicted by a worldview - political, philosophical, religious, or whathaveyou - ascribing moral precepts exclusively to a particular group or class of people, or held exclusively by a particular group or class of people? After all, how much more universal could the aforementioned rights be compared to the sin of eating pork, or having not been baptized, or having no socially recognized worth as a homeless person?

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Well, let's consider these questions more seriously. Let's consider them in the light of higher and lower realities? Are universal human rights a legitimate example of a higher reality than one in which the only moral precepts one should keep in mind are not universal? Well, there is nothing about universal human rights as a principle that makes them higher. They're just ideas, after all. All else being equal, a given percipient might just as likely be convinced of universal human rights as he/she would be of any other set of moral values. What we have to look at are the reasons why someone would believe in universal human rights over other moral beliefs. We might begin by noting the growing outcry against human rights violations heard around the world. More and more of the world's citizens are realizing that religious, ethnic, and ideological differences pail in comparison to the import of the basic worth of human beings and the horror of its desecration. But this is just contingent. No one can say whether this trend will continue to grow or fade in the next 20, 10, or even just a few years. Opinions and attitudes change. So we cannot judge how convincing universal human rights are as a moral perspective based on how many people agree with it. There has to be something inherently unwavering about it, something that one could hold onto with more tenaciousness than one could with any other moral theory. Let's take a few examples into consideration. Consider murder. Murder is an excellent example of a violation of the universal human right to life. Now compare this to the Jewish imperative to keep the Sabbath day holy. If one was raised Jewish, this moral imperative might seem intuitive, but not everyone is raised Jewish. In fact, there are many around the world who are only vaguely familiar with Judaism, and might not even know what the Sabbath day is. How are they to be convinced of its sacredness? The wrongness of murder, however, is something almost everyone feels one way or another. It doesn't matter how they are raised or what culture they belong to - the atrocity of murder is something we all have a sense for. It is not an unfair assumption by any stretch of the imagination to say that we have an inborn instinct to abhor murder. This is not to say that this instinct cannot be overcome - such as in the case of soldiers at war or crime fighters taking down dangerous criminals but it surely runs much deeper than a belief like the holiness of the Sabbath. Neither is this to say that all humans have a disdain for murder - there are murderers, after all - but these represent the exceptions to the rule. Overall, we can reasonably say that those moral values that would qualify as universal human rights are those that we all have a deeply visceral and nearly immutable intuition for. And if we have a deeply visceral and nearly immutable intuition for these rights, this is a good sign that it is hardwired into the brain. It is hard to imagine how a society could function well or at all if the need to respect the basic human rights of others was not automatically recognized. They would be extremely hard lessons to learn - even harder to understand the importance of teaching them. For this reason, we will conclude that universal human rights are more convincing than other forms of morality. Of course, to say this, we have to mean for this to be taken in a certain context. We don't always recognize the moral sanctity of these rights in our abstract thoughts and beliefs, but the power with which they enforce themselves on an instinctual level when we are faced with the choice of either upholding or violating them makes them most convincing indeed. We feel the wrongness or rightness of such acts in the emotions that come alive in those moments. For example, suppose Tom, a self-serving hedonist, firmly believed that the only moral rule to be followed was self-gratification and concerned himself with nothing but his own interests. On any other day, Tom wouldn't give the slightest damn about the lives of others, but on this day, he comes across a horrible accident - a car has hit a tree. All the evidence points to the fact that it must have occurred in the absence of any witnesses - Tom concludes that he must be the first - and upon peering inside, he finds the driver and a passenger, a man and a woman, dead in their seats, and in the back, a badly injure baby who barely has the strength to cry. It would take time out of Tom's busy schedule, and effort on his part, to take the baby and rush it to the nearest hospital. It certainly wouldn't be self-serving. Yet, something within his soul beckons for him to do just that. It is this moment of which I speak. It is in this moment, and moments like this, with people like Tom or otherwise, that the universal human right to life is felt most profoundly and trumps all other moral positions one might take on a more intellectual or cognitive level. But on this intellectual or cognitive level, we can quite easily deny, in the absence of any contending emotional sway, the universality of human rights. On a strict materialist/Darwinian account, one could argue that there is no greater morality than the survival of the fittest - if that is even morality at all. This certainly is a challenging contention because, with a scientific theory in its background, it is hard

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to denounce as rubbish. Well, our goal is not so much to defend the sanctity of universal human rights (although, in my humble opinion, that would be ideal) against all other moral theories, but to show how there are reliable grounds upon which to characterize it as a higher reality than other moral theories. I think we have done so by comparing them to other, more exclusive and particular, moral stances such as those pertaining only to a specific religious outlook or group of people, but this does not mean that universal human rights constitute the highest moral reality there is. Indeed, we pointed out above that there is no a priori reason to assume any reality is the highest. No matter how high a reality, there is always the possibility of contending realities equal or greater in gravitational potency. The idea of survival of the fittest is, arguably, an example of one of these. It is indeed a very convincing view, but it is grounded in something very different from the idea of universal human rights - namely, scientific evidence and explanatory power. Another contender might be the utilitarian philosophy of morality. This theory says that we know right and wrong by the experience of pain and

pleasure. This view, like that of survival of the fittest, is just as universal as human rights since it applies, not only to humans, but to all sentient beings. So our point is made - there are some moral philosophies which can rightfully be deemed higher than others, and so the kind of moral relativism that dependent models condone is not one in which each and every morality is equal in justification and truth, but one in which there are many, each with a chance for recognition as true and justified, but some with a better chance than others.

Final Remarks On The Descriptive Approach
The difference between reality and perception has been known since the time of the ancient Greeks and probably before. Even then, ample instances existed by which this difference could be demonstrated. The way sticks in water appear to be bent is a good example. Everyone in the world and back through the ages has had dreams - this serves as the perfect example if nothing else does. People have been known to hallucinate or go ranting on about their delusional beliefs. Even being wrong is evidence enough of the rift between reality and perception when the error of one's belief, at the time, seems so convincing as to be virtually infallible. It is always more intuitive to assume that these mistakes and deceptions are not reflections of a changing and inconsistent reality, but that reality maintains itself in a static or constant state regardless of its apparent flux. The stick in the water that appears to be bent is assumed to be straight despite its appearance. It is much more intelligible to assume this than it is to assume the stick is indeed bent when submerged underwater and straightens itself only when it is lifted above the water. There may be any number of reasons for this: the need for parsimony, the need to understand, the need to perceive the world in a constant and stable way, or maybe it is an assumption hardwired into our brains. Whatever it is, it will conduce much more readily to independent models. The consequence of this is the invention of a model of mind as something distinct from, but tuned into, reality. Thus, dualism ensues along with all its philosophical quandaries. Starting with this assumption, we proceed to build all our sciences, religions, philosophies, and so on around it. We are still carrying on with this tradition today. In religion, for example, we believe in a God who has an external and independent existence to us and who resides in a metaphysical plane of

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existence, perhaps parallel to the physical one, both of which are just as external and independent of us as is God Himself. We think of our sciences in much the same way. We believe in an external and independent spacetime continuum in which all natural phenomena take place. We believe that all the scientific discoveries that come down to us through the ages are real in the same non-perceptual, non-mental way. What if, however, we didn't start out this way? What if our ancestors of the ancient world went with the assumption that all perception was always accurate and that there was no need to distinguish between perception and reality? What if all of civilization then on built its sciences, religions, philosophies, and so on around this view? Where would we be now? Would we have been able to carry on with this assumption and built for ourselves a perspective of the world that sorted itself out intellectually, practically, and spiritually, such that, on the whole, we felt we had an understanding of reality that satisfied at least as much, if not more, as our current independent model does? The central thesis of this paper proposes that we would. It presents the possibility that dependent models could fair at least as well as independent models, given a good enough theory to play the explanatory role. It doesn't present dependent models as the right models and independent models as wrong - rather, it shows that dependent models are a viable alternative that work just as well. The approach we've taken that allows us to say this is the descriptive approach. Centrally, we've pointed out how, when one looks at the world, or experiences it in any way at all, he/she has two equally valid ways of interpreting it: as a set of perceptions and experiences whose realness is rooted in how they feel, or as a set of existing things whose realness is root in themselves and not our perceptions and experiences of them. Either interpretation is just as valid as the other because, on a descriptive account, they both capture exactly what reality seems to be. It is as if reality is an independently existing thing, while at the same time, it is as if reality depends for its existence on our experiencing it. We provided an analogy to help make this more clear. We said it was comparable to the Copernican and Ptolemaic models of the universe. When one looks up at the stars and notices the path across the sky they travel, one could interpret this as though they were all revolving around the Earth or as though it was the Earth that was rotating about its axis. As far as description goes, either of these work. Going with a dependent model, we then continued applying the descriptive approach to the dynamics of perception in order to yield rules for the dynamics of reality itself. For example, if reality depends on perception, and if different people have different perceptions of reality, then it is as if there are a multitude of realities. It is important to use the phrase "as if", not only because it keeps us inline with our intention to describe rather than explain, but because it is all too easy, given that there are several ways of perceiving reality, to misconceive reality as a "thing" of which there can be many. This is why such descriptions need to be refined with other principles such as the design analogy. The design analogy reminds us that realities are, at base, descriptions, even definitions, and not "things". This helps us to understand what exact we are referring to when we talk about "a" reality. It is the bridge between a subjectivist's theory of reality and the descriptions of reality (any reality) he/she might give while adhering to a set of lingual rules as a guide for making sense. When the subjectivist moves from talking about his/her own theory, as if it were the ultimate truth, to talking about alternate theories, using these rules and lingual tools, he/she makes use of the design analogy. In other words, the theory a subjectivist has in mind is one reality in and of itself - it is one design - and so to speak of "many realities", the subjectivist has to temporarily put aside his/her theory, and talk about other designs. It is okay to put this in terms of a "multiplicity" of realities, but once in this context, the subjectivist needs to realize he/she is no longer talking about what actually exists, as his/her theory would, but about hypothetical designs for existence. So these "realities" aren't like objects coexisting in one "super-reality", but a set of ideas, models, perceptions, or descriptions of reality of which his/her theory is but one.

The Design Analogy

Coming to grips with this, the subjectivist can go on with his/her descriptive approach and describe all independent models (or designs) of reality using the intra-reality description tools outlined above. He/she may also compare and contrast different realities using the inter-reality description Intra- vs. Inter- tools. The latter tools are the rules outlined above, and they too are derived from the descriptive Reality approach just like the one about it being "as if" there are a multitude of realities. For example, the Descriptions, Only One Reality rule describes the way reality appears to a given beholder. It is as if the reality the Reality beholder perceives is the only one and everything beyond it is non-existent. The use of reality Qualifiers, qualifiers is also a way of describing dependent models. This is actual a glorified version of the

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Reality Transitions, and Higher vs. Lower Realities

"multiple realities" description, so to speak, with the additional point that nothing can exist or be true unless it comes under the purview of a particular reality (so one must inquire as to which reality that so happens to be). Going through changes in perception or belief end up being described as reality transitions, most of which lead to higher realities, but on occasion, to lower ones as well - at least, it is as if this is what was happening.

Only One Reality Rule

Real Things

The use of the "as if" wording is not to say that these descriptions aren't what is happening, but it is not to say that they are what's happening either. Rather, it is to take an independent stance of what really is happening. The subjectivist's theory plays the role of explaining what's actually happening instead, as do all other theories of reality. When we take an independent stance, we are left only with descriptive tools, and so the "as if" wording is used because it is all we have. The advantage this gives dependent models is that descriptions of what seems to be happening in reality can be brought back into the explanatory realm with very little modification. The only modification is that the design analogy should be put aside. We are no longer talking about mere designs at that point we have settled on a particular design, namely the subjectivist's own, and designated the title "reality" to it. All other realities must now be taken to be collections of real things (or what we call "subjective realities") that makeup parts of the subjectivist's reality. They can still be thought of as designs, but they have lost all chance of being selected as the "correct" design. Other than that, however, what seemed to be happening at the descriptive level is what's happening at the explanatory level. People still see their subjective realities as the only one, they still mean for their statements to be taken relative to their subjective realities, they still make transitions from an old subjective reality to a new one every time they change their perceptions, they still see their subjective realities as the highest in virtue of its being most convincingly real for them at the time, and so on. This is what makes the descriptive approach so powerful with dependent models. As we pointed out above, when it comes to dependent models, ontology depends on description - on "as if"s - and so description is more basic to reality than ontology. All of this helps the subjectivist to think clearly about his/her own theory and to explain what would otherwise come across as a Pandora's box full of paradoxes. The subjectivist needs to understand how basic the descriptive approach is to his/her own theory - how it is better to describe what seems to be the nature of reality if it is defined by perception. He/she needs to understand that to think in terms of how reality actually does work, independently of how we perceive it, is to revert back to an independent model, and this is the primary condition under which all pseudo-paradoxes crop up. If the subjectivist understands this, and understands the design analogy of reality that the descriptive approach leads to, then all he/she needs to do is apply the inter-reality description rules and he/she will sail smoothly ahead, passed the pseudo-paradoxes and into clear waters. Yet the usefulness of the descriptive approach transcends the needs of the subjectivist. It can serve more purposes than the subjectivist's struggle to prove that he/she is making sense after all. Getting back to moral relativism, it has the potential to, if not resolve social and political conflicts, bring us a step closer to dealing with them in diplomatic ways. With a dependent model in mind, one has far less inclination to impose one's views on another in virtue of his/her not taking his/her views in an absolute or independent sense. One can accept that another's view is valid for that person. This is not to say that dependent models never disagree with independent models, or even each other on specific points, but having the set of tools which come with the descriptive approach, one can make a choice: he/she can either argue about his/her dependent model being the correct one, or he/she can apply the tools to show how, within the context of the interlocutor's own reality, a context which he/she cannot

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disagree with, he/she is correct. For example, suppose a subjectivist was engaged in a debate with a materialist. The subjectivist has a choice with how to proceed. He/she could say, "No, materialist, the world is not exclusively matter, it is mental", or he/she could say, "Yes, you're right, the world is exclusively matter - your world." The materialist couldn't use the same approach towards the subjectivist because, to him/her, the subjectivist's "world" isn't anything more than a mistaken belief it is hardly a reality unto itself. The same approach could be used in debates of any kind, whether that's metaphysical, epistemic, or moral. It provides an opportunity to keep the peace between disagreeing parties. Of course, one must not only be willing to use this approach, but it must work well with the views of reality one already has in mind. If one were a religious fundamentalist with a radically strict devotion to this view, there wouldn't be any doubt that he/she would reject the very notion of using a descriptive approach or a dependent model. To do so would amount to an outright lie about his/her own beliefs. Even if one was willing to go this route, once each person's reality had been laid out on the table, there would still be the need to decide which one was the better or more valid view. For this reason, this approach is best put into the hands of those whose primary aspiration is to bring peace between warring factions. It is most promising for those who, while maintaining a certain level of devotion to his/her own views, is willing to put those views aside for the sake of peace. What this approach offers is a way in which one can do this without actually "giving up" his/her views. That is, because this approach is best understood as taking an independent stance of any theory about what reality actually is, one does not have to treat the other person's views as the right views. One just has to accept that another will see reality in a certain way, and temporarily accepting that such a perception indeed exists, even if it's not one's own, explore its contents and merit in partnership with that person. In turn, one could express his/her own reality in similar terms - that is, one need only communicate what reality seems to be according to his/her own perceptions. Both collaborators must cooperate by being aware that it is a descriptive approach they are using and refrain from reverting to an ontological fight over whose reality is the reality. In short, with these tools, the subjectivist can agree with his/her contender without compromising his/her own views. This approach doesn't promise that after such deliberations, all participants will come out having resolved all their differences. As we said above, these debates are rarely ever satisfied unless one faction has established his/her own views as being the correct ones, especially if the matter at hand is a life and death issue. They all may agree that one thing may be true in one person's reality but not in another's, but this does no good if the required solution is of a more practical sort. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is a good example - this is a war over land. Both parties may agree that in the Israeli view of reality, they are owed that land, and in the Palestinian reality, they are not. But in the end, one group of people will get that land and the other will lose it. No amount of debating will result in the creation of two realities, one in which the Israelis get to keep their land and the other in which the Palestinians also get to keep it. So it is true that this approach has its limits. Nevertheless, what this approach offers is an arena which is much more conducive to reason and peaceful debate. Independent models are much less conducive to this, primarily because they emphasize how only one view of reality can be correct, and so the question any debate ends up attempting to answer is who's right and who's wrong. With dependent models, debates follow a different course. The question becomes: what is so-and-so's view? An openness to exploration and inquiry into other people's views is fostered. The result of this is the same result as any atmosphere that encourages the use of reason and self expression over defensiveness and slander. Disagreeing parties begin to understand each other better and see the reasoning behind each other's views. Every now and then, in fact, such enlightenment can change one's perspective unexpectedly. Resorting to "I'm right, you're wrong" tactics will never do this - not for one's self or one's contender. There is a lesson to be learnt from this - namely, that it is often better to be interested in another person's views than to insist that your own views are correct at the expense of all others. This is true regardless of whether one takes an independent model or a dependent one to heart, but it is especially true with dependent models. Those who uphold dependent models are far less likely to be interested in other people's views for the sake of tearing them down because they're wrong. Rather, there is a tendency for those who subscribe to dependent models to be interested in other people's views because they provide an opportunity to explore "other worlds" so to speak. There is so much to learn from the vast array of perspectives on reality that one will find across different people. When one's concern for which reality is the correct one takes a back seat, one becomes much more fascinated by

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other people's views for this reason. This may not be what contending parties have in mind when they gather for debate, but if their approach is along the lines of the descriptive one, then this is certainly what will happen. They will explore other views and perspectives on reality, and will come out of it with food for thought - food that can bring both parties through reality transitions and consequently into agreement with each other. They only need to be willing to let this happen. Quantum Mechanics
Caves, The Bubbles, Introduction Chamber and Metaphor Chambers Problem Mental Solving Intra-Reality Determinants and Models With The Descriptions Non-Determinants and Other Chamber Minds Metaphor Truth, Fact, and Inter-Reality The Descriptions Physical World Final Remarks on The Descriptive Approach

Denial

The The The Relativity Transience of Hierarchy of of Reality Reality Reality

The Infinite The Nature of Is The Theory Regress Conclusion The Problem Consistent? Problem

Moral Relativism

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Appendix
Having It Both Ways Of course, there is a sense in which you could have it both ways, saying both the sidewalk and you are moving at the same time, but not without changing the speeds at which you and the sidewalk move. That is to say, supposing you were walking at 10 km an hour. You could say it was you walking at 10 km an hour or the sidewalk moving back at 10 km an hour, but not both you and the sidewalk moving at 10 km an hour each. You could, however, say you were walking at 5 km an hour forward and the sidewalk at 5 km an hour backward, but the rate of separation between you and the sidewalk must remain constant. The Abstraction of Reality There is no doubt that a conscious being of some kind perceives real things in virtue of its experiences being projected, but this does not mean that such a being will perceive those things as constituting a reality. We see how this point is grounded when we recall what we said in the introduction to this paper - namely, that "reality" is an abstract concept, and the things within it (the "out there" realm) are a collection of real things. To drive this point home, consider a non-human animal such as a dog or cat. We can assume that a dog will perceive the concrete objects of the world in the same way as humans. It will perceive trees, rocks, grass, rivers and lakes, the sky and the clouds within it, and it will feel the air, hear the chirping of birds, sense cold and hot, smell all sorts of odors, taste either the repugnance or tastiness of food, and so on. But all of these are perceived as real things, not reality proper. To perceive reality proper, a being must be capable of abstracting the notion of "reality" from the entire set of all real things it perceives. As far as we know, this is unique to humans. This is not to say that the dog or other non-human animals don't perceive reality, but that they don't recognize it as such. It would be similar to how the dog in our example perceived Venus. When it looks at the brightest star in the sky, it perceives Venus. But it is only we humans who recognize it as such. As far as the dog is concerned, it is only a bright twinkly thing-a-ma-jig in the sky. Nevertheless, what the dog sees and what we see is indeed the same thing, but it is only us who are capable of supplementing this perception with an abstract idea. And so it is with the abstract idea of "reality". The Shapes of Fundamental Particles When we hear the words "point particles" uttered by physicists, they mean to convey, on the one hand, the idea of a particle whose size is no greater than a

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geometrical point - with no extension in any spatial dimension - and on the other hand, the idea that the internal structure or size of such particles is irrelevant. The former is meant to be taken simply as a working model whereas the latter expresses what physicists literally believe. Therefore, although we may imagine point particles as geometric points, what we know of them is only that their form and size are inconsequential to current theory and practice, or that they are literally formless (i.e. they have no inherent structure). If a physicist ever talks about particles as "smeared out regions of probable existence", he/she is getting at quantum mechanical models. Quantum mechanics says that particles exist, more often than not, in states called "superposition". Superposition states are states whereby a particle has no definite position in space. Instead, there is said to be a region in space wherein the particle has a greater chance of being found than outside. Superposition is said to be inherent to the particle's position itself - that is, the particle has no definite position before it is measured - and not a shortcoming of our measuring devices. So we will often hear its position being described as being at all points within this region at the same time. For example, when it comes to the position of an electron around an atom's nucleus, we often hear the description of an "electron cloud". This means to convey the form of the "smeared out region of probable existence" that takes on many shapes local to the nucleus. One could still imagine the electron as a geometrical point, but that says more about its structure whereas the smeared out region says more about its position. Distinguishing Between The Models Is it possible to have a system-of-experiences model of consciousness without a dependent model of reality? To be perfectly sure, these two models do not propose exactly the same thing, and one could conceivably have one without the other. To see how, let's look at exactly what each one purports at its core. A dependent model states that the contents and the essence of reality depend for their existence on experience, and in fact are one with experience. A system model states that the primary function of consciousness is not to be aware of reality, but to maintain a system of experiences that feel like reality. Now, one might hold a system model without subscribing to a dependent model if one took an anti-realist position. That is, if one took these experiences as having no inherent ontological standing (i.e. they're illusions), then one could dismiss a dependent model. In fact, as an anti-realist, it would not be enough to suppose one's experiences weren't real - one couldn't even assume that there was a real world beyond them. To suppose such a thing would be inconsistent as it would constitute a faint echo of the window model - that is, to suppose that there must be a real world, even if it were completely obscured by experiences, would be to

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assume one knows about that real world, and such knowledge could only be upheld if one took it to be a form of pure awareness as the window model would have it, not an experience as the system model would have it. But when it comes to dependent models, realism is necessary. Dependent models state that experiences are the real things they appear to be, and they are just as real as they seem to be. Therefore, one could hold onto a system model without doing the same for a dependent model. It doesn't seem to work the other way around, however - if one should hold a dependent model, one necessarily holds a system model as well The Inconceivability of Superposition The following thought experiment demonstrates how states of superposition, when conceived of as objects existing in more than one place at a time, are indeed impossible to imagine correctly. Imagine an electron in two places at the same time. Keep in mind that this electron is actually one electron occupying two places simultaneously - not two electrons that are simply identical in all their features. Now imagine poking one with a pin such that it starts to move (like in the animation below ). We can certainly imagine that one of them moves whereas the other doesn't. This is proof that we are not imagining it correctly. If we really understood what it means for the two apparent electrons to be one and the same, it should not even be possible to imagine this. Why is this? Well, if they are the same, everything that happens to one should necessarily happen to the other. If you poke one with a pin and it moves, the other should move as well in exactly the same direction with exactly the same momentum. Note that it's not enough simply to enforce this in our thought experiment by consistently visualizing their behavior as synchronized. Why not? Because if they really are the same electron, we should conceive of it as necessary - that is, we should not even be able to imagine one doing something without the other mimicking. But the fact that we can, even if we understand this to be erroneous, shows that we haven't got it right. We don't truly get the concept - we can't get the concept. Thus, states of superposition really are inconceivable.

Standards, Not Logic

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The "internal standards" we refer to in this principle, with respect to MMTheory, are, of course, its own logical coherence. But we ought to use the word "standards" when it comes to beliefs in general, which is what this principle is really getting at. The reason for this is because we tend to believe things for more reasons than just simple logic. We believe things by faith, by intuition, by inspiration, by the teaching of others, and so on. Given a dependent model, these are the things that support beliefs of all kinds. So long as the recognition of these beliefs as mental things doesn't affect the integrity of its internal standards, the infinite regress is not a problem for their correctness. Of course, these internal standards may not be sufficient for the theory to be correct, even if they do avoid the infinite regress problem, for they could still be wrong for other reasons. A belief based on faith, for example, may be logically incoherent even though faith alone may be enough to sustain the belief in the beholder's mind. So although correctness does (or should) depend on logical coherence, all that is needed to avoid the infinite regress is the fortitude of a theory's internal standards whatever they may be. That being said, I would like to point out the difference between a theory's "logical coherence" and its "deductive thoroughness" - at least, I would like to clear up my meaning. When I say that MM-Theory, or any theory, is "logically coherent", I only mean that it is free from internal contradiction. It takes a lot more than freedom from internal contradiction, however, to meet the standard of "deductive thoroughness", which denotes that the entire argument on which the theory in question rests is absolutely deductive, from initial premises to final conclusions, and so one must be persuaded by it should he/she accept the truth of the premises. I don't quite hold MM-Theory up to this standard. For me, it is enough that it merely avoids internal contradiction, for that to me is what is meant by "coherence" and "consistency". Should I ever find more deductive arguments to bolster MM-Theory in the future, I would deem them more powerful criteria for judging the theory "correct", much like more empirical evidence makes for a more "correct" theory in science, but I hardly regard the matter as all-or-nothing - that is, that the theory is either immaculately deductive through-and-through or worth nothing - and so I allow for plenty of gray area between the two extremes. Two Selves vs. Two Models

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Although the selfpresenting-the-model is not in the model being presented, it may nevertheless take part in a different model - a greater model - one in which it is a self-in-the-model. After all, when statement 2) makes reference to "subjective realities", it can only be referring to something in our model of the universe as MMTheory has it. We have defined subjective realities as regions in the Universal Mind after all. Therefore, because the subjective realities referred to typically constitute human minds, they are selves-in-a-model. Nonetheless, insofar as they contain models, they are also selves-presenting-the-model, where the model in question is that which they contain. Thus, a self-presenting-the-model may also be a self-in-the-model, but in that case it is the models being referred to that are different. Kant and The Thing-In-Itself The astute reader may realize that this distinction - between the self-in-the-model and the self-presenting-the-model - works as a solution to the problem raised by most antagonists to Kant's metaphysics. The problem is that Kant seems to have worked himself tightly between a rock and a hard place. He claims that there exists, in the full ontological sense of the word, unknowable and inconceivable things-in-themselves, yet in that very breath, professes to have such knowledge and conception. This, of course, appears contradictory - unless we apply the distinction between the self-in-the-model and the self-presenting-the-model as we did for the virtual inconsistency in MM-Theory. We would say that the one who has no knowledge or conception of the thing-in-itself is the self-in-themodel, and the one who does (namely Kant himself) is the self-presenting-themodel. For the latter, the thing-in-itself is simply an element in a cognitive model, certainly conceivable and arguably knowable. It exists in the mind of the self-presenting-the-model as no more than an idea. To the self-in-the-model, however, it is forever beyond conception and unattainable by knowledge. This should not be taken as a contradiction because the 'minds' to whom the thing-initself is either knowable or not, either conceivable or not, are two different things - one is an element in a model, the other an agent presenting the model. Of course, this only works as a solution to the Kantian problem if we take Kant's entire metaphysics to be merely a model, made available to the public for anyone

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who wishes to entertain it. Taken as an official stance on truth, however - that is, as an attempt to picture reality as it is independently of any mind and its manner of apprehending it (as a window model of consciousness would have it) - it will be burdened with the very poignant and debilitating error that those critics of Kant have long pressed against him. He would indeed be guilty of contradiction. Therefore, Kant and any like-minded metaphysicist (such as us) struggling with this infamous dilemma can evade such criticism by employing the solution considered here - however much the cost of abandoning a window model of consciousness may weigh in on him or her - especially where that cost is felt most profoundly - namely, on the very theory urging such abandonment

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