- One their own, the theories and laws cannot even cause anything, let alone create it.
- Wittgenstein’s statement that the “deception of modernism” is the idea that the laws of nature explain the world to us, when all they do is describe structural regularities.
- The aspect of epistemology at issue here is perception. Philosophers seek to understand the actual process that is going on when we perceive something in the external world; and even at this primary level there is already an difference of opinion. At one extreme in the debate stand Naïve, or Direct, Realism. It asserts that, under normal conditions, we have direct perception of the external world. I see a tree, for instance, and I perceive its existence and its qualities simply by looking directly at it, touching it, smelling it even.
At the other extreme in the debate stands the Representative Theory of Perception (RTP). It asserts that we never perceive a tree, or anything else, directly. When we look at a tree, what happens is that our minds receive certain subjective impressions or representations of the tree; and it is these subjective representations—called sense-data—that we directly and most immediately perceive, not the objective tree itself. And it is on these sense-data that we depend for our knowledge of the tree.
- You cannot recognize something as abnormal if you do not know what is normal.
This was actually well appreciated long ago.