Many philosophers have tackled the question of reality and perception that people have of their surroundings. In most cases, philosophers such as Emmanuel Kant and David Hume have argued on the metaphysical nature of reality and how different people perceive things differently depending on the interpretation of their electrical impulses as registered in their minds. David Chalmers is the latest contributor to the debate of metaphysical hypothesis and matrix hypothesis and how the two can be interpreted in human’s daily life. In view of the metaphysical hypothesis, Chalmers argues that conventional beliefs are hypothetically right provided the metaphysical hypothesis is not skeptical in nature. The same is true with matrix hypothesis, which then implies that metaphysical hypothesis must be equivalent to matrix hypothesis. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate Chalmers’ conclusion with regard to metaphysical and matrix hypothesis. The paper also offers an explanation of the intertwinement of metaphysical hypothesis with matrix hypothesis and how skeptical hypothesis is excluded from the two theories (Irwin, 18).
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In what Chalmers calls envatment of mind, it can be proved through hypothetical analysis that being envatted is not a skeptical hypothesis because it highlights the fundamental nature of reality. It is agreeable that physics is mostly concerned with microscopic processes, which highlight the fundamental macroscopic reality, thus allowing metaphysics to explore the nature of reality. In essence, a metaphysical hypothesis deals with three fundamental factors, that is, that of creation of the world, the nature of the human minds, and the idea concerning reality. Consequently, it is plausible to think that matrix hypothesis is itself equivalent to metaphysical hypothesis because it explores the same factors as the metaphysics hypothesis. These factors include the nature of mind, the creation of reality, and the fundamental realities about physics (Bostrom, 248).
After establishing the correlation between metaphysics hypothesis and matrix hypothesis, the next important thing is to consider how each one excludes the skepticism in the perception about reality, creation of nature, and fundamental about physics. It is arguable that, in reality, skepticism cannot be excluded from the three elements given that their explicit is hidden within the hypothesis that highlights them. An analysis of the elements will thus help in revealing the exclusion of skeptical hypothesis. It also explains how regardless of the truism in metaphysical and matrix hypothesis, the reality of ordinary beliefs about nature and things in our surroundings remains true. In this case, Chalmers' presupposition on the linkage between the metaphysical and matrix hypotheses is hinged on the premise that acceptance of either of the two should precipitate an automatic acceptance of the remaining. In other words, the two are not mutually exclusive, and their meaning and definition are tied to each other. Metaphorically, the two hypotheses imply each other, and thus one is compelled to accept both as true (Chalmers, 1).
My take for Chalmers advancement of the first premise is based on the fact that metaphysical hypothesis expounds on the three fundamental elements of which human understanding of physics and metaphysical world are built on. Thus, the hypothesis of metaphysics cannot be skeptical insofar as it deals with an explanation of elements that they precipitate the human understanding of the nature. It can be conceived in the mind-body hypothesis that has always established a relationship between cognitive systems receiving the inputs from the natural computational processes within the environment and subsequently sending the output to the same computational processes in almost unconscious manner. It thus necessitates the existence of the physical space and time. This is true regardless of whether this is the reality in the human minds that are the playground for these metaphysical processes of presupposition (Grau, 21).
The creation hypothesis comprises a part of the general metaphysical hypothesis pointing to the simulation of the environment in which the human mind is envatted. This establishes the linkage between the matrix hypothesis and the metaphysical hypothesis insofar as envatment of the human mind in creation hypothesis is concerned. The skepticism in metaphysical or matrix hypothesis does not hold because the two are supported by similar elements. The two can point to analogous physical hypotheses which explain the physical nature of the environment and tries to explain why and how things appear in that manner. Consequently, metaphysical and matrix hypotheses are tied together by virtue of their having the same playground even though their approaches to the same ground is from the opposing directions. This is the reason as to why most ordinary beliefs with regard to reality will remain true whether metaphysical or matrix hypothesis holds true or not. This is implies that the truth or falsehood of either metaphysical or matrix hypothesis is offset by the holding of truth or falsehood in the other hypothesis (Chalmers, 1).
In my view, Chalmers advancement of the principle that metaphysical hypothesis is equivalent to matrix hypothesis is informed by the nature of elements that the two hypotheses are build on. The only difference is the creation processes; in which one is natural while the other is artificial. However, the linkage in the two hypotheses is established and reinforced by the fundamental factors which are under investigation in the two approaches. Nevertheless, one can doubt the equivalence of metaphysical and matrix hypotheses on the ground of the fundamental underlying nature only. This is because one approach is natural while the other is simulated or artificial. Based on the fact that the two approaches do not originate in the same direction, it is safer not to assume that because the same seems to be dealing with the same factors in their exposition of the human mind, then the two must be the similar. The other doubt may arise from the fact that there is the difficulty in deciding whether the two are polar opposites as suggested in their doubting. It is only until and unless metaphysical hypothesis is polar opposite of matrix hypothesis that it will be possible to cancel out the skepticism in the premise under investigation. Without this principle, then is implausible to conceive of reality holding true regardless of whether the underlying hypothesis is true or not. This will subsequently mean that ordinary beliefs can only be true as long as metaphysical or matrix hypotheses are true (Grau, 40).
In light of the reasons for accepting that metaphysical hypothesis is equivalent to matrix hypothesis, Chalmers has advanced several reasons. One is the nature of fundamental elements which are dealt with by the two hypotheses. This nature makes one to conclude that ordinary beliefs in a setting are true whether the overlying hypothesis is true or not. The other reason is that metaphysical and matrix hypothesis are directly opposite of each other and therefore, they must cancel out the inherent weaknesses in the other, thus leaving the ordinary beliefs at the center unchanged. However, the difficulty is encountered when it is not possible to prove the direct opposite of metaphysical and matrix hypotheses. This is the reason why I cannot accept the premise that metaphysical hypothesis is not only similar to matrix hypothesis but that the two are equivalent in nature. The artificial and natural approaches should and could make a huge difference in the final understanding of the most ordinary beliefs which might make others to be false.
Chalmers argument on the applicability of metaphysical hypothesis to the understanding of ordinary beliefs is depended on the truth in the matrix hypothesis. This is not self evident from the three principles that forms the pillar of his argument. The equivalence relationship between metaphysical and matrix hypotheses is thus taken to imply that ordinary beliefs which are found in nature or in artificial environment can be understood just as such without necessarily inferring from the hypothesis that leads to such beliefs. According to my view such conclusion on the fundamentals of physics and the creation of nature should not be acceptable because they do not meet the plausibility occurring in a natural environment. That is, it is not always regular to find two opposing hypotheses existing in nature and where this has occurred; the ordinary beliefs have not always turned out to be true. This is the reason why testing of the three principals that Chalmers outlines as forming the basis of the understanding of metaphysics and matrix hypothesis do not hold as long as the equivalence factor remains in place. Arguably, metaphysics should not always be equivalent to matrix; otherwise there will be no need for differentiating between the two. In other words, it is like arguing that metaphysics hypothesis is equivalent to matrix hypothesis in which case there is no point of trying to make the distinction in the first place, since there is no distinction to make (Irwin, 35).
The philosophical understanding of metaphysical and matrix hypotheses as argued by Chalmers raises a number of key questions especially when the issue of equivalence is used as the linking factor between the two. It is arguable that metaphysical hypothesis which derives its elements from the fundamentals of physics and the natural setting can be the same as matrix hypothesis which derives its elements from the fundamental of physics and the artificial processes. As perceived by Chalmers, the equivalence precipitates the holding of ordinary beliefs to be true whether the underlying principle is true or not. This is also informed by the fact that there is no difference between metaphysical hypothesis and matrix hypothesis. It therefore means that the falsehood in either of the two is nullified with the truth in the other. This assumption is wrongly conceived on two grounds; that of equivalence which dictates that nature of the two hypotheses must be the same and, two, a total disregard to the fact that polar opposites rarely do occur in the nature to warranty such certainty. In view of the inherent challenges, it can be concluded that metaphysical hypothesis is not same as matrix hypothesis. As such, it is plausible to conclude that metaphysical and metaphysical hypothesis cannot be the same and thus the truth in ordinary beliefs is not always correct. In other words, the two are not mutually exclusive and their meaning and definition are tied to each other. Metaphorically, the two hypotheses imply each other and thus one is compelled to accept both as true.