Another way to express the ideas of the previous posts is Korzybski‘s:
the map is not the territory
Realists’ argument is that reality is a map of itself.
But reality simply does not work as a map.
To avoid boring my readers with all the things you can do with a map but not with reality, i’ll rephrase this. Reality is not an image of itself. Reality simply is.
As we are part of it, we are in constant contact with reality. But we never have contact with any essence of reality. And this means that we can’t have an complete (or correct) idea of reality as a whole.
That is not to say we can’t have knowledge, or that every knowledge is unreliable. But every knowledge is partial and it’s reliability is always limited.
As we, in fact, experience in our daily lives.
When one, for example, compares a given theory to results obtained in an experiment, it is just a comparison from sense to sense, not from sense to reality. Or in other words, from map to map.
There exists an territory, and there are maps that fit better to it, but no map is the territory. The quality of a map is a measure of cartography, not of truth. The quality of a map is a technique, a trick, not a property of the map itself, and certainly not a property of the territory.
No map is a property of the territory. In other words, no knowledge is a property of reality. It simply cannot be.
It obviously cannot be, by the way.
To assume that the territory is a map of itself, or that reality is an image of itself, is assuming we can apply logic operations to reality. A == ~~A, but we can’t make ~Reality. We cannot XOR reality. We can only XOR things that are inside our minds.
Our minds, by the way, are part of reality. A part of reality cannot contain the whole of reality. That just won’t do. Isn’t it obvious?
No system can be completely self-managing. A system can refer to itself, but the part that refers to itself will be outside the referring. Infinite recursion simply does not exist.
Maybe you noticed that the last paragraphs have descended into complete mumbo-jumbo. Justifications of truth are constantly leading us to the use of the most obtuse jargon. I wish we could stop this habit.
Truth is just expired.