What Simulations Teach Us About Ordinary Objects

Arthur C. Schwaninger 1
  • 1 University of Zurich, , Zurich, Switzerland


Under the label of scientific metaphysics, many naturalist metaphysicians are moving away from a priori conceptual analysis and instead seek scientific explanations that will help bring forward a unified understanding of the world. This paper first reviews how our classical assumptions about ordinary objects fail to be true in light of quantum mechanics. The paper then explores how our experiences of ordinary objects arise by reflecting on how our neural system operates algorithmically. Contemporary models and simulations in computational neuroscience are shown to provide a theoretical framework that does not conflict with existing fundamental physical theories, and nonetheless helps us make sense of the manifest image. It is argued that we must largely explain how the manifest image arises in algorithmic terms, so that we can pursue a metaphysics about ordinary objects that is scientifically well founded.

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