Types of Reality Main site is H3
There are two basic types of reality. Objective reality, such as a mountain or pencil and subjective
reality such as the nature of a relationship between two humans. These realities are quite different.
Relatively simple items can be dealt with as objective reality and equations may be written for the
trajectory of a missile. Subjective reality is so complex that exact equations cannot be written and
heuristic methods of analysis are usually employed. Most of reality is properly placed on a spectrum
between objective and subjective reality. This often leads to confusion.
Take a tectonic plate, for example. It exists whether we humans like it or not. It is part of objective
reality. On the other hand, if we look at the US Constitution, it gets its real existence from the fact
that many people think that they believe in it. I say “think” because most of these people have not
read it and do not understand it fully. Nevertheless they will support the institutions of government
that have been passed down historically and which are founded in one way or another on this
Constitution. The Constitution is a set of words whose existence is in the world of subjective
human verbal reality.
For further discussion see: SEARLE, JOHN R. The Construction of Social Reality.
Here is the beginning of chapter 1:
I highly recommend that you read the whole book.
Unlike most humans, he has noted that "the agents in question are typically unconscious of the rules."
All of these problems apply to robots, especially social androids designed specifically to interact
socially with humans.
Along the same line of thought, you will notice that sometimes when humans cannot do something,
we (most humans and certain robots) eventually change the definition of the term. Let me provide
an example. Can humans fly? The answer was no for most of history. During that past period of
time, some humans attempted to attach wings to their arms and jump off of cliffs in an attempt to
show that humans can fly. What they were really asking in their mental model was "can humans
fly if they first attach wings to their arms?" The Wright brothers redefined the term "human flight"
to mean; "Can humans invent and build a machine that can fly and be strong enough to carry a
human as the pilot?" Almost everybody changed their definition of "human flight" to mean what
had really been "manned flight," where the human not only dawns wings but dawns a whole
mechanical bird. The distinction is made along the spectrum of objective to subjective reality.
The term "human flight" becomes redefined by society as news events unfold.
It is important to understand this principle before defending your current definition of anything.
An example of this is the currently accepted human definition of life and why there are so many
problems with it.
Comparison of identity groups, people and robots.
"This book is about a problem that has puzzled me for a long time: there are portions of the real
world, objective facts in the world, that are only facts by human agreement. In a sense there are
things that exist only because we believe them to exist. I am thinking of things like money, property,
governments, and marriages. Yet many facts regarding these things are "objective" facts in the sense
that they are not a matter of your or my preferences, evaluations, or moral attitudes. I am thinking of
such facts as that I am a citizen of the United States, that the piece of paper in my pocket is a five
dollar bill, that my younger sister got married on December 14, that I own a piece of property in
Berkeley, and that the New York Giants won the 1991 superbowl. These contrast with such facts as
that Mount Everest has snow and ice near the summit or that hydrogen atoms have one electron,
which are facts totally independent of any human opinions. Years ago I baptized some of the facts
dependent on human agreement as "institutional facts," in contrast to noninstitutional, or "brute,"
facts." Institutional facts are so called because they require human institutions for their existence. In
order that this piece of paper should be a five dollar bill, for example, there has to be the human
institution of money. Brute facts require no human institutions for their existence. Of course, in
order to state a brute fact we require the institution of language, but the fact stated needs to be
distinguished from the statement of it."