This guy is not seeing a real pipe, nor a painting of one. What he sees is at most two images of perception (one for each eye); perhaps only an image of mental representation. The physical painting, as well as the rest of reality external to mind, can never truly be seen, by him or by us.
The only reason we read is that we have yet to find a better way to consume composed thought. Text-to-speech-technology is still uselessly poor. But how will it be when we finally get there? What will we use our eyes for? Will we move about in the world? Speaking for myself, I don’t think so. But I would like to find something useful to do for my eyes. Maybe I can look at some kind of visual material relevant to what I’m being read?
The best possible solution would be to have a virtual world at one’s disposal, to explore a simulation of reality, full of images and organized information on almost everything. And there should be available a tool for quickly and intuitively taking visual notes (using maps, graphs, diagrams etc. – as close as possible to the language of one’s thought). I think it is realistic enough to hope for this. The way from thought to product will in any case be extremely shortened – a tendency that I think will asymptotically continue, with the limit point being a situation where thought and manifest expression (in virtual reality) are completely unified.
Discovered Ernst von Glasersfeld and his radical constructivism a few days ago. I don’t think I agree this much with anyone, living or dead. The discovery came almost too late. I will have to thoroughly rework my thesis plan.
Also found a good way to visualize the position, be it called radical constructivism or empirical fictionalism:
This is obviously paradoxical, but is not meant to be purely provocative. It very accurately depicts what I believe, and leads attention directly to the heart of the matter I need to resolve for whoever I want to thoroughly convince.
Maybe I can put a prettied-up version of it in a prominent place in the thesis, like in the introduction. Use it to introduce the problems I’ll be devoting half the essay to resolving.