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Is it an acceptable idea that each individual carries their own model of reality in their mind?

Is there a name for the model that each individual uses to perceive reality? Is there a name for the sphere of reality that can be perceived by each individual to construct their mental sphere of reality?

Finally, is there a theory/theories that work with individual realities rather than a universal one that is constrained by universal rules?

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    It's bizarre that your question was down-voted. It asks about an aspect that is important in my own field. – prash Sep 1 '13 at 9:51
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    @prash : Vote up or down is nothing to do with the question but the perception that is reflected on the mind of the voters of it :)! What is your field? – Arjang Sep 1 '13 at 15:11
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    Computational linguistics. Beliefs are an aspect of semantics. – prash Sep 1 '13 at 21:08
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    I may be wrong but isn't that related to the duality between Object and Subject ? – Boris E. Feb 28 '17 at 23:45
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Is it an acceptable idea that each individual carries their own model of reality in their mind?

Certainly! To some extent, everyone does. How many people have you come across who believe that their spouse or parent is the best in the world? Or even something as concrete as "I believe I sent you the email last week".

Is there a name for the model that each individual uses to perceive the reality? Is there a name for the sphere of reality that can be perceived by each individual to construct their mental sphere of reality?

I don't know of a name for this, but there are conventions that some people use when talking about knowledge and belief. This paper by Tojo gives a whirlwind tour of the various aspects of it. In particular, section 4.2 talks about knowledge and belief.

Finally is there a theory/theories that work with individual realities rather than a universal one that is constrained by universal rules?

The Wikipedia pages for Epistemic modal logic and Doxastic logic are a good place to start.

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    Interesting paper (the one by Tojo). Reading the paper, am I to understand the double bracket notation to be evaluation? I saw this when reading "Counterfactuals", but before that I've only seen the value function V(). – Kevin Holmes Sep 1 '13 at 18:25
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    @KevinHolmes: The [[ ]] notation talks about the interpretation of an expression in some world. It is an evaluation, but "evaluation" is not the term that I'm used to. – prash Sep 2 '13 at 9:22
  • would the "Phaneron" be acceptable? – Arjang Oct 12 '14 at 12:19
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Please see "A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans" with a theory of meaning by Jakob Von Uexkull. He coined the terms Umwelt and Umgebung. The Umwelt is the particular reality or constructed model of the world that we call our particular existence, the Umgebung is the bigger or more general reality. Your "Umwelt" would be your particular model of reality and the theorhetical implication is that your reality has a sense of completeness to it.

For example most people have genes that code for three color differentiators, but some people have four and can discern additional hues of color. If you have 3 genes that code for average color perception do you have a sense that something is missing from your model of reality? The people that are born with congenital blindness do not ask what it is to have sight, so there is an important theoretical issue to explore with your question, since each constructed reality has a sense of completeness. A constructed reality appears to be perceptually closed and an Umwelt that defines a perimeter of perceptive possibility that cannot conceive of additional degrees of freedom of perception. Within the degrees of perceptive freedom there is a spacious variation of possible perceptions, but limited by the basic information type being perceived.

Conscious realities seem to be individually constructed of the informational degrees of freedom provided by the sense organs. Additional degrees of freedom are available in the Umgebung, human sight for example is only about 1 trillionth of the EM spectrum and among humans there is significant variation.

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Perhaps you are looking for something as simple as a "worldview" or "Weltanschauung"

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A good word for that is "umwelt", in german. It means more or less "the world each one lives in", but has a lot of variations and nuances.

I've seen sometimes in philosophy the word "world" meaning a similar idea of the "personal world" in contrast with "reality" for the "shared reality".

A more specific one is "linguistic world", if you consider something like Heidegger's "language is the house of being"

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The word that you are looking for is the "phaneron". See Wikipedia, "Phaneron":

The phaneron (Greek φανερός [phaneros] "visible, manifest") is the subject matter of phenomenology, or of what Charles Sanders Peirce later called phaneroscopy.

  • Welcome to Philosophy.SE. Could you share some more context, explain a bit more? – user2953 Feb 28 '17 at 21:45
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You're looking for Solipsism: The idea that only your own mind exists and that everything outside of it cannot be proved to exist.

UPDATE: as pointed out by my friend below, it is not actually Solipsism, but the more general idea of Subjectivism (not to be confused with ethical subjectivism), of which Solipsism is an extreme example. According to Wikipedia:

Subjectivism is the philosophical tenet that "our own mental activity is the only unquestionable fact of our experience".] The success of this position is historically attributed to Descartes and his methodic doubt. Subjectivism accords primacy to subjective experience as fundamental of all measure and law.[citation needed] In extreme forms like Solipsism, it may hold that the nature and existence of every object depends solely on someone's subjective awareness of it. One may consider the qualified empiricism of George Berkeley in this context, given his reliance on God as the prime mover of human perception.

  • +1 for Solipsism. Existence or non existence of the things that the mind perceives is not important for me, just that if they did indeed exist what would the collection that the mind is aware of them be called. – Arjang Sep 1 '13 at 15:10
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    The OP talks about multiple realities or models, doesn't sound like solipsism. – obelia Sep 1 '13 at 17:34
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    Good point. I guess I'd call it MMORPG Solipsism until I can find a better name for it. – Captain Kenpachi Sep 1 '13 at 17:44
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    It's not solipsism at all. The OP talks about each person carrying a model of reality. Solipsism would entail that each person carries reality itself, that the model is reality. There really should be a term for what the OP is asking for. I would suggest "world" if it can be distinguished from the objective universe. The world would be subjective and relative to each individual with any degree of consciousness...even most animals. – Kevin Holmes Sep 2 '13 at 2:22
  • Updated my answer. – Captain Kenpachi Sep 2 '13 at 9:30

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