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Tuesday January 21, 2003

Dammit, they're making me think!

Today in one of my classes we talked about the early Greek philosophers and their relevence in today's world of psychology. Our discussions are great --the room is perfect for it (squishy sofas line the narrow room and we sit in a circle) and the other students have interesting ideas ('cept the one girl who just rambles on and off the subject).

I had a little trouble with today's talk. The topic was subjective reality and the relativity of truth. This is the belief that there is not one truth but many, and anything can be true so long as someone believes it. This is what the Sophists of ancient Greece believed and taught --that believing something makes it right or wrong, and that objectivity has no place. The whole time this discussion was going on, I kep thinking subjective reality just seems like such an oxymoron. If it's subjective, how can it be real? Absolute truth --isn't that redundant? Isn't truth, by definition, absolute? If not, how is it true?

Yeesh. My brain hurts. I'm so used to neuroscience and classes like that --cold hard facts about the brain... neurotransmitters and the prefrontal cortex, all that jazz. I wasn't expecting to get so philosophical, but I can't keep from thinking about it.

Is there really such a thing as subjective reality? I don't know. Afterwards I had one-on-one with one of my friends in the class, and we talked about truth and reality. I'm wondering whether I should have focused so much on the biology and physiology of my major and neglected the philosophy. I should go out and get The Republic.