The Reality in which you find your self is truly simple.
If you find that hard to believe, that is because you have been schooled in the incorrect way of thinking, called "Philosophy", which began in ancient Athens and persists to this day, notably in its Analytic form and its Continental form.
People who seriously think about Reality have unwittingly been brain-washed for a couple of thousand years by the still accumulating incorrect philosophy we still call “Philosophy” and (consequently!) by the more recent incorrect physics we call “Physics”.
Nature is another name you might use for Reality. Those are only words, after all, of the particular language, English, that you and I have in common. Other languages have different words.
The aim of this essay is to convince a reader like you that the one and only Reality in which you find your self (and me likewise) admits one and only one correct account in English. This claim rests inescapably upon the outrageous claim, just made, that those with a wrong account of Reality have been brain-washed — not only you but by now, in the twenty-twenties, many/most individuals on Planet Earth, including those experts/priests who are most confident that they understand “the world”.
To begin with the basics of the correct story I will tell, let us first agree something simple and easy to agree about. The Reality in which I find myself is the same as yours but your view of it is different from mine. Of course! This is the localness that Newton, and Einstein, both geniuses, firmly believed Reality must have. The mistake they shared was the idea that the Universe they saw “out there” is Reality. They successfully, but differently, viewed a cannon ball, or the moon, as an “object” whose movements are independent of observers. This was hubris, plain and simple. Each of those geniuses believed that his invented story of such movements correctly accounted for the motion of objects right across the Universe “out there”. Not to be mistaken, I need to say that I am not denying the evidence we have in wonderfully detailed photographs of distant stars and galaxies. But those documents have very little to do with your Reality or mine.
Both those very different ways of thinking about motion are examples of the objectivism I oppose in this essay. Plainly those two objectivist theories cannot both be correct. We have been told and accepted that Einstein’s story is correct. But, as a matter of fact, both Newton and Einstein are/were wrong.
To begin to see the simple truths that you alone are able to see about Reality, you must resolutely decide to think for your self. In particular you must ignore the bad thinking which has prevailed in the West, as we call it, since Aristotle and his disciples began the unresolved and unresolvable disagreement with his teacher Plato that the men who call themselves "Philosophers" (and, lately, a few women too) still argue about.
For over two millennia, that bad thinking, building upon bad thinking, recursively developed into the global calamity for Humanity that we call Western Civilisation, with the greed and lies and violence that “Civilisation” generates and relies upon.
In the pages of this short essay, I will briefly outline how we made this mess and how we are able to clean it up. I do not ask you to believe me, only to think for your self.
Strict Empiricism is my name for the genuinely individual philosophy — the way of thinking — which should replace the group-think called “Philosophy”. It is a method for an individual like you to explain better to yourself and to others what you observe, what you think and what you do. To better understand the Reality in which you find yourself you must suppress the faith most people have been taught to have in "experts". You must THINK FOR YOUR SELF.
Your stories of Reality may then be shared with the stories of others who speak the same language. With good will, those shared stories may be open to improvement.
Strict Empiricism asks you to
• trust your eyes and your ears. There is no option: what you see is what you see and what you hear is what you hear. Ditto for your other senses.
• remember that your stories of what you see and hear are shaped by instincts, shared with others near to you, that have been generated by the long evolution that has allowed the survival and apparent prosperity of the animal species Homo Sapiens to which you belong.
• realise that your view of what happens is (immensely) complicated by the fact that much of what you hear and see is the talk, spoken and written, of others. Be sceptical, prima facie, of what others tell you, but, with caution, trust the trustworthy.
• when you tell others what you believe, speak coherently and tell the truth.
That might sound like a religious message but it simply invokes the empirical fact that an individual human being like you, or like me, may choose to tell the truth or choose to lie and then is able to know/experience both his/her own truth-telling and his / her own lying. This is just the way that Reality discloses itself to individuals like you or me.
I hope that by the end of this essay you will agree with me that there is one and only one Reality of which the English language (like other languages) offers one and only one correct account. That account is inescapably elaborate because what an individual is able to understand about Reality is inescapably restricted to that individual.
The “Philosophy” and the “Physics” of today stand in the way of such a simple account of Reality; on the contrary, they encourage the many disagreements people enjoy.
In the subjectivist philosophy presented in this essay, what an individual, say you, chooses to do is local to you and only you. When/if you are subject to an EEG scan, I think that you may/should reasonably accept that this inadequate external record of the firings of neurons in your brain is evidence for others of the thinking you and only you experience at the place and in the time for you of the scan. That EEG scan is a trace of electrical activity in your head, but it cannot be decoded. There is meaning, but you are the one and only individual who knows your own thoughts.
To think subjectively is to return to the compelling, correct story of Reality that was available to thinkers in ancient Athens before that innocent philosophy was pre-empted by Aristotle and his colleagues with the incorrect bad story they called “Philosophy”.
[Here, for the first time, we meet the connective / (pronounced “stroke”) which quietly plays a role in what follows. You, the reader of this essay, may read A / B, either as A or as B; I, the writer, don’t care which. So, in that “his/her”, above I make no assumption whatever about the gender of the individual referred to. When some one like me writes “white / black” he / she is indicating his / her neutrality between two terms which tend to be strongly polarising in everyday usage.
On this page, as elsewhere in this essay, I make heavy use of scare "quotes", another rhetorical device, to mark terms whose broadly accepted meanings I question.]