Many Copenhagen Sub-Universes (II)

Ânderson Q.
3 min readJul 12, 2022
Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash

After reviewing a series of concepts, principles, and theories in the first part of this article, let’s begin drawing some conclusions.

The first part of the article starts by addressing the Epistemological Problems of Perception for two main reasons. First, I will reject (for this discussion, at least) the notion that all things exist solely within our minds — i.e., rejecting Metaphysical Solipsism. Instead, we will assume that, despite many illusions and hallucinations, most of what we collectively believe is real is, in fact, real. Thus, the external-world exists as a shared space where most of us can experience external-world-events and external-world-elements similarly.

Second, while rejecting the extreme view, we cannot ignore that perception is undeniably crucial in shaping reality — perhaps even more so than previously thought, as we will discuss further. Hence, I’m not disregarding the topic entirely.

Therefore, there’s an external-world where external-world-elements exist, and external-world-events happen — let’s call this set shared-external-reality. Generally, people can experience this shared-external-reality similarly, if not equally.

#1 A shared-external-reality exists, where external-world-elements exist and external-world-events happen.

Moreover, I will also reject (for this discussion, at least) the Simulation Theory. Thus, our shared-external-reality is not part of a computer simulation.

#2 We’re not in a computer simulation.

However, although we’re in a shared external-reality, each person builds their own interpretation of this reality based on their different emotional and active lives, under the perspective of different sub-universes. Let’s call these different interpretations of personal-realities. Therefore, even when multiple people experience the same piece of shared-external-reality, they might end up with different interpretations of it, i.e. they construct different personal-realities. In other words, different states are built based on a single supposedly absolute state.

We can say our personal-reality is nothing but a story — a narrative — our perception tells us about the shared-external-reality. This narrative relies on our beliefs and disbeliefs and eventually includes patches that only exist within our minds — personal-reality-only-elements and personal-reality-only-events.

#3 Each person constructs their own personal-reality(ies).

Of course, there’s nothing new so far regarding the coexistence of a shared external reality (the supposedly paramount reality) and personal realities (variations of the external reality based on our personal interpretations and, on occasion, repainted at will by our minds). As mentioned before, such parallel realities are well-accepted under philosophical and psychological viewpoints and discussed in many different disciplines.

However, from any individual’s point of view, only a single reality may exist. Even when we are aware of such multiple realities, our brains can’t help but process everything — at least to a certain extent — with some level of solipsism. After all, as David Foster Wallace mentioned during his famous commencement speech:

“Here is just one example of the total wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of: everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute centre of the universe; the realest, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely think about this sort of natural, basic self-centredness because it’s so socially repulsive. But it’s pretty much the same for all of us. It is our default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. Think about it: there is no experience you have had that you are not the absolute centre of. The world as you experience it is there in front of YOU or behind YOU, to the left or right of YOU, on YOUR TV or YOUR monitor. And so on. Other people’s thoughts and feelings have to be communicated to you somehow, but your own are so immediate, urgent, real. Therefore, a personal-reality is, ultimately, the only reality.”

In sum, the act of thinking delineates reality — ref. Epistemological Solipsism, Sub-Universes, False Memories, constructed and simplified History, etc. — and one can only accept one’s reality — ref. Phenomenalism.

#4 Each person can only process one personal-reality at a time, despite being aware of the concept of multiple realities.

Next: Many Copenhagen Sub-Universes (III) [WIP]