December 03, 2013


Stumble Upon referred the article "10 Mind-Blowing Theories That Will Change Your Perception of theWorld."  The following paragraph was part of #10, a definition of a philosophical theory called phenomenalism.

"... Phenomenalist philosophers believe that objects only exist as a phenomenon of consciousness. So, your laptop is only here while you are aware of [it], and believe in its existence, but when you turn away from it, it ceases to exist until you or someone else interacts with it. There is no existence without perception. This is the root of phenomenalism."

Is that not cool?  Those scientists must have gotten some really good acid in the '60's because that is some deep stuff!

Philosophy excites me. Nothing I enjoy more than a conversation or book about philosophy! A new-to-me theory is like a fine wine or really good bourbon; you check the clarity, look for the "legs", taste and body. I couldn't restrain myself. I needed to test it myself. (No, if my best friend jumped off a cliff I wouldn't try it too and I resent the question) Luckily, I just happen to have a laptop available to test this theory.

The keyboard on my Toshiba laptop stopped functioning two months ago. Not all of it, only the a, e, n, space and enter! I tired quickly of using the screen keyboard, tapping away, one letter at a time. So the laptop has been sitting on the hearth for two months...not the same exact spot, but within an inch of the space I abandoned it to. I assure you I have had no perceptions of it for those two months.

I discovered Phenomenalism today while sitting at the PC in my bedroom.  Jumping with joy and excitement,  I closed my eyes and swore to all that is holy that I did not believe in the Toshiba.

"I don't believe. I don't believe. I don't believe." I so didn't believe it existed that I almost forgot what it was that didn't exist!  (previous line best read when not consuming alcoholic beverages).

Rising from the chair, I tip-toed down the hall, not wanting to scare anything not existing into existence! I stopped right at the corner of the family room. The house was as quiet as a  meadow in the country when snow is gently falling.

Slowly, barely moving, I peeked around the edge of the wall. The couch was there. I was clearly aware of my perceptions of the recliner, followed by table and lamp, finally there was the "Dad" chair...I believe in them ( I don't know if they were there when I was down the hall in my bedroom but they had popped back into existence just in time to be perceived). The brown pillow and fluffy blanket were on the arm of the dad chair. Moving my eyes slowly to the left, I spotted the fireplace screen, the bricks....and.....the Toshiba, right there where I put it two months ago!

My experiment was not a complete waste of time though! I discovered that I have a profound belief  in dust! Who knew?

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