Friday, April 27, 2018

Dennett on the manifest/scientific images

Continuing the last post, in Chapter 11 of FBBB Dennett said the following on the manifest image when critics claim it is only an illusion:

"In fact, it’s a version of what I have said about the manifest image of each species: a user-illusion brilliantly designed by evolution to fit the needs of its users. My version differs only in being willing and eager to endorse these ontologies as ways of carving up reality, not mere fictions but different versions of what actually exists: real patterns."

So our manifest image interprets actually existing reality to accommodate our needs. Of course it does. That such interpretation cannot be an identical representation of the totality of reality is a moot point. It also undermines Dennett's other statement elsewhere* that the scientific image is an objective representation of said reality.
Which of course reminds me of Lakoff et al's work on metaphor, except that they expose the fallacy of an underlying reality that we could know as it is in itself through so-called objective science.

* Chapter 14: The manifest image is "helpful metaphorical renderings of the underlying reality uncovered in the scientific image."

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