Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Discuss …

… Do Ideas Create Realities? | The American Conservative. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

If I’m reading him accurately — and his prose is fairly academic — Hinson says that there are three ways to look at a “testimony” of an individual experience: 1) what actually happened; 2) what the person who experienced it believes happened; and 3) what the person hearing the testimony believes happened. There’s no way to be sure about the first in the list, of course, and Hinson believes (and I think this is inarguable) that the person who witnesses an event can only approximate what happened. That experience is mediated through the witness’s own finitude; he will interpret his experience in large part based on how it resonates with what he knows, or thinks he knows, already. But that doesn’t mean something objectively real didn’t happen to him – that is, this doesn’t mean he had a hallucination.

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