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Are Philosophers lost in the clouds?

 
 
Fido
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 02:46 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

failures art wrote:

Don't worry Wandel, you aren't bugging me. Your posts are some of my favorite. I guess I view that process as simply being more internal to science itself wandel. Philosophy is good, but I lack the patience for endless philosophizing in armchairs.

What I'm annoyed by is the endless arguments on certainty. It is Loki's wager. Discussions go nowhere and false stalemates are forged. Forget good ideas and bad ideas, we can philosophize anything to mean just about anything. We can neutralize the exceptional ideas, and elevate the mediocre ones.

For your amusement.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3eTsNEgmL8[/youtube]
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But the discussions do go somewhere, but whether you understand them and can follow them, is quite another thing. But you cannot infer that because you cannot understand them or follow them, that they go nowhere. In fact they do go somewhere, They have a long history beginning with Plato, and culminating in Descartes. (Of course, you also have to know something about the history of philosophy). And, it is clear to me that even if there is certainty of the kind Descartes was hankering after, certainty is not a necessary condition of knowing. Which allows for fallibilist knowledge, which is in accord with our intuition that science, which is fallibilistic, afford us knowledge. If it were true that knowledge implies certainty, then then that would imply that science cannot afford us knowledge. And that would be, I hope you can see, a significant development. And, indeed, some writers like Kuhn and his followers, have argued (in effect) that since knowledge implies certainty, and science cannot give us certainty, that science does not give us knowledge. An argument that has led to a kind of postmodern view of the nature of knowledge and science too. But this postmodern view is, I think I can show, based on a the faulty argument I just expounded, but did not, of course, espouse. So, your professed weariness with discussions about certainty stems from an ignorance of what lies behind these discussions. An issue which is quite significant. It reminds me of how everyone disparages the medieval discussion of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, which is thought to be a paradigm of philosophical futility. But this shows but a surface understanding of the real issue which lay behind the question about the angels, which was quite philosophically significant, and was concerned with the important relation between the notions of existence and individuation. It is easy to disparage and be weary of what you don't understand. Nothing easier. What is difficult is to look under the surface to see what is really going on. But that takes a moment's thought, and, as the poet A. E. Houseman once wrote in a letter: "But thought is difficult, and a moment is a long time".

Never is a long time too, Kenn; and I never thought I would thank you for a post, or say: Great Job, to you... And now I have...
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 02:50 pm
@failures art,
failures art wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
But the discussions do go somewhere, but whether you understand them and can follow them, is quite another thing. But you cannot infer that because you cannot understand them or follow them, that they go nowhere.

Save your fingers the strain, next time just type: "I know something you don't."

Going "somewhere" and getting to where we need to go are not the same, and while I enjoy a country drive as much as the next guy, perhaps they aren't the best exercises for a trip to the grocery store. Especially when people at home are waiting for you to return.

Who said I can't follow them? I'm simply frustrated with them. Let philosophy come natural, not forced. Let it be a part of what we do, not what we do. If it isn't obvious, I too philosophize things. I am unapologetic about my utilitarian and materialistic view of the universe. I'm no stranger to criticism on these things, and I do not require absolute certainty either. It is not as if these views go unchallenged.

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You have to reach the accelerator before you can learn to drive... Going nowhere gets you nowhere just as fast as going somewhere... Learn to go, and then learn to brake and steer... Learn to work your middle finger too... Commuication is what we are in it for... It is essential to any frm of relationship...
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 02:59 pm
@Fido,
This is an excellent argument to nominate philosophy as the primary exercise for something theoretical that exists outside of our current understanding (what if's). Certainly, we would want to know how a car is properly operated prior to letting ANYONE drive it. However, once we have people driving cars, the understanding of the operation of an automobile changes. We begin to question the the position of the pedals, the angle of the steering wheel. Certainly ergonomics is a philosophical exercise, but it's a part of what we do.

Ask yourself: Could you philosophize the most optimal ergonomic configuration before or after operating a vehicle?

I say, let things be natural. Not being able to reach the peddles might mean that your legs are too short or it could mean that the peddles were placed in a poor location. We learn about the peddles when we sit in the vehicle. The person who has actively engaged the peddles has a better ability to philosophy on their location than the person who has not.

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The value of doing should not be down-played
kennethamy
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 03:18 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:

failures art wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
But the discussions do go somewhere, but whether you understand them and can follow them, is quite another thing. But you cannot infer that because you cannot understand them or follow them, that they go nowhere.

Save your fingers the strain, next time just type: "I know something you don't."

Going "somewhere" and getting to where we need to go are not the same, and while I enjoy a country drive as much as the next guy, perhaps they aren't the best exercises for a trip to the grocery store. Especially when people at home are waiting for you to return.

Who said I can't follow them? I'm simply frustrated with them. Let philosophy come natural, not forced. Let it be a part of what we do, not what we do. If it isn't obvious, I too philosophize things. I am unapologetic about my utilitarian and materialistic view of the universe. I'm no stranger to criticism on these things, and I do not require absolute certainty either. It is not as if these views go unchallenged.

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You have to reach the accelerator before you can learn to drive... Going nowhere gets you nowhere just as fast as going somewhere... Learn to go, and then learn to brake and steer... Learn to work your middle finger too... Commuication is what we are in it for... It is essential to any frm of relationship...


I say you cannot follow them, and my reason is that you give no indication of being able to follow them. You do not give any indication of understanding what does knowledge imply certainty is asking, or why the question is important. Although I have given what I believe to be a clear explanation of both. In no place have you even addressed anything I have said about either of these issues, but rather simply made a blanket dismissal of them as something that does not seem to you to be of any importance. I compared your attitude with the that of those who dismiss the question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, because both attitudes are engendered by only a surface understanding of what is at issue. Of course, the deeper problem may be that you are just not interested in philosophy, but only in what you think to be philosophy. And that is still another problem.
salima
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 06:55 pm
@failures art,
failures art wrote:

This is an excellent argument to nominate philosophy as the primary exercise for something theoretical that exists outside of our current understanding (what if's). Certainly, we would want to know how a car is properly operated prior to letting ANYONE drive it. However, once we have people driving cars, the understanding of the operation of an automobile changes. We begin to question the the position of the pedals, the angle of the steering wheel. Certainly ergonomics is a philosophical exercise, but it's a part of what we do.

Ask yourself: Could you philosophize the most optimal ergonomic configuration before or after operating a vehicle?

I say, let things be natural. Not being able to reach the peddles might mean that your legs are too short or it could mean that the peddles were placed in a poor location. We learn about the peddles when we sit in the vehicle. The person who has actively engaged the peddles has a better ability to philosophy on their location than the person who has not.

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The value of doing should not be down-played



i dont feel that philosophy aims to down-play doing. thinking and doing are both necessary, and not necessarily in that sequence-either one can be first or second or simultaneous if possible.

some people are able to think well, some do well, and some can actually do both. let whoever can, do or think what they are able.

no one has suggested that a person's life should be made up of only pondering questions that they are not able to act upon...that is day dreaming and if an entire life is spent on that, there was no life lived at all. it is for some a pleasant exercise in expanding the mind, for some an escape, for some an amusement...those who indulge in it are not necessarily spending every moment on it.

philosophy is not going away...it will remain as long as people are able to ask the question 'why?'...science and philosophy can work together and serve to enhance man's understanding of his predicament.
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 07:12 pm
... its also worthwhile to note that while we can go through our everyday lives thinking and doing, without occasionally stepping back and considering the mental processes within ourselves (that lead us to do this, that, think or act this way or that), you're pretty much just stumbling through in a hit-and-miss scenario. The minute you do, you're into your own philosophy.

It's only with the passage of some time, coupled with some serious introspection, that your own motives step into the light of conscious realization; thereby enabling a life (yes, a real life) that is more of your own conscious control.

How this can't be seen as enhancing - in a very real way - the human condition, I just don't get.
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 07:50 pm
@salima,
I don't disagree. I'm not trying to burn down the house of philosophy, I'm simply saying that it's limits.

Philosophy is the only practice I've seen to assault empiricism. It is in this case that I feel the "doing" is down-played.

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north
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 08:07 pm

philosophy is about questions and/or questioning reality , knowledge and certainty , exploring the field of inquiry

remember a PHD , is a degree in philosophy of a certain ology

and the goal is knowledge and therefore certainty , which leads to a greater understandings and therefore a better chance at our survival , Human survival
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 08:25 pm
@failures art,
It might be because it has the luxury of not being necessarily bogged down by empiricism. Both a good and bad thing I think. Allows one to extend possibilities, yet has the added burden of not being falsifiable.
north
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 08:45 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

It might be because it has the luxury of not being necessarily bogged down by empiricism. Both a good and bad thing I think. Allows one to extend possibilities, yet has the added burden of not being falsifiable.


yet though philosophy must be accept empirical evidence and the reasoning which follows from it

without doing so, leaves philosophy behind , especially in the sciences

for it is Nature which dictates whether any idea or thought by anybody is in the end true or not
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 09:13 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:

... its also worthwhile to note that while we can go through our everyday lives thinking and doing, without occasionally stepping back and considering the mental processes within ourselves (that lead us to do this, that, think or act this way or that), you're pretty much just stumbling through in a hit-and-miss scenario. The minute you do, you're into your own philosophy.

It's only with the passage of some time, coupled with some serious introspection, that your own motives step into the light of conscious realization; thereby enabling a life (yes, a real life) that is more of your own conscious control.

How this can't be seen as enhancing - in a very real way - the human condition, I just don't get.
It is not only the considered life we should each try to live, but one that is less reactive and more active, one where we do not feel the prisoner of circumstances beyond our control, and more like a mouse dodging cats and traps and dead end turns... Life can be a dynamic relationship with will always the difference between success and failure, life and death, happiness and misery... I am not suggesting anyone should court disaster, play russian roulette, or dance with nitro... I am saying that our forms which are meant to ensure our survival often suffocate the life out of us, make life too tame to be endured, and rust the natural edge off us... We all need less form and more relationship... We need to enter our affairs as we would a dual; engage, trade, bargain, anticipate, act, and relate... Human beings develop a lot of formal behavior simply to avoid the stress of real encounters, but then they are left with the form telling them what to think and how to behave... Consider yourself equal to what life demands, and go formless...
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 09:21 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

It might be because it has the luxury of not being necessarily bogged down by empiricism.

A luxury indeed!

A luxury over time starts to feel like entitlement.
Perhaps that is why I've hit some nerves in here...

GoshisDead wrote:

Both a good and bad thing I think. Allows one to extend possibilities, yet has the added burden of not being falsifiable.

I'm reminded of a Tim Minchin joke:

Q: Do you know what they call alternative medicine that works?
A: Medicine.


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Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 09:28 pm
@north,
north wrote:


philosophy is about questions and/or questioning reality , knowledge and certainty , exploring the field of inquiry

remember a PHD , is a degree in philosophy of a certain ology

and the goal is knowledge and therefore certainty , which leads to a greater understandings and therefore a better chance at our survival , Human survival


I can't see where certainty is anywhere the goal of philosophy... Certainty is a summo (sp )wrestler against a hornet... You don't want that, and if you do there is religion, or some ideology... Instead, people should be nimble in the minds and bodies, ready for all that life throws at them, taking an answer only so long as a better answer is not available... Only if one believes that knowledge is an absolute will they ever accept certainty in themselves or others... Otherwise, philosophy is a dynamic process where even the process is questioned... If all you need is an answer, you have all the answers you need... Think of it as an assembly line where sometimes the old die, and are carted off, but no one stops production... Certainty builds cathedrals and the megalithic structures of government that are too big to get out of their own way... That is not what we want... Forget about forever, and look for answers that get you through the night...
north
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 09:35 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:

north wrote:


philosophy is about questions and/or questioning reality , knowledge and certainty , exploring the field of inquiry

remember a PHD , is a degree in philosophy of a certain ology

and the goal is knowledge and therefore certainty , which leads to a greater understandings and therefore a better chance at our survival , Human survival


I can't see where certainty is anywhere the goal of philosophy... Certainty is a summo (sp )wrestler against a hornet... You don't want that, and if you do there is religion, or some ideology... Instead, people should be nimble in the minds and bodies, ready for all that life throws at them, taking an answer only so long as a better answer is not available... Only if one believes that knowledge is an absolute will they ever accept certainty in themselves or others... Otherwise, philosophy is a dynamic process where even the process is questioned... If all you need is an answer, you have all the answers you need... Think of it as an assembly line where sometimes the old die, and are carted off, but no one stops production... Certainty builds cathedrals and the megalithic structures of government that are too big to get out of their own way... That is not what we want... Forget about forever, and look for answers that get you through the night...


philosophy has the goal of truth , and truth is about , certainty
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 09:40 pm
@north,
north wrote:

GoshisDead wrote:

It might be because it has the luxury of not being necessarily bogged down by empiricism. Both a good and bad thing I think. Allows one to extend possibilities, yet has the added burden of not being falsifiable.


yet though philosophy must be accept empirical evidence and the reasoning which follows from it

without doing so, leaves philosophy behind , especially in the sciences

for it is Nature which dictates whether any idea or thought by anybody is in the end true or not


What you say is true of physics, that what is natural teaches logic.... When it comes to moral reality there is no such logic.... What is true is that people build their social forms out of their moral forms of understanding; and that social forms that cannot be changed have often, in history, killed the very people they were designed to help... We think, for example, that our constitution is perfect even while it supports injustice, makes us miserable, and threatens our existence... Our feeling, our moral understanding prevents our changing our society; so our society may well self destruct, and we can say it is natural, but who wants to see nature played out in that fashion... We have to realize that there is a logic to moral reality, but it is not the logic of physical reality, and what was said of life is true of the logic of moral reality generally, that: It tests first, and teaches after... We have examples enough to learn by, but the hard business of learning lies before us with the threat of destruction hanging over us... That fact reveals the purpose of philosophy as we know it...
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 09:43 pm
@north,
north wrote:

Fido wrote:

north wrote:


philosophy is about questions and/or questioning reality , knowledge and certainty , exploring the field of inquiry

remember a PHD , is a degree in philosophy of a certain ology

and the goal is knowledge and therefore certainty , which leads to a greater understandings and therefore a better chance at our survival , Human survival


I can't see where certainty is anywhere the goal of philosophy... Certainty is a summo (sp )wrestler against a hornet... You don't want that, and if you do there is religion, or some ideology... Instead, people should be nimble in the minds and bodies, ready for all that life throws at them, taking an answer only so long as a better answer is not available... Only if one believes that knowledge is an absolute will they ever accept certainty in themselves or others... Otherwise, philosophy is a dynamic process where even the process is questioned... If all you need is an answer, you have all the answers you need... Think of it as an assembly line where sometimes the old die, and are carted off, but no one stops production... Certainty builds cathedrals and the megalithic structures of government that are too big to get out of their own way... That is not what we want... Forget about forever, and look for answers that get you through the night...


philosophy has the goal of truth , and truth is about , certainty

Truth is about survival, and it does not matter how certain people feel, because if they do not have truth, they will not survive...Think of how many people were certain that the Titanic would never sink, or that Rome would never fall...
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 09:51 pm
@Fido,
I agree with you about the constitution. We think it's the greatest, but obviously it is imperfect. The fact that we can understand that it is imperfect, even if we can't create a perfect constitution, means that we can evaluate such thing that is a constitution.

I'd suggest evaluating it by its own stated goals. I think we do this without being told, and I think that's why we can find near consensus that it is not perfect.

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north
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 09:57 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:

north wrote:

GoshisDead wrote:

It might be because it has the luxury of not being necessarily bogged down by empiricism. Both a good and bad thing I think. Allows one to extend possibilities, yet has the added burden of not being falsifiable.


yet though philosophy must be accept empirical evidence and the reasoning which follows from it

without doing so, leaves philosophy behind , especially in the sciences

for it is Nature which dictates whether any idea or thought by anybody is in the end true or not


Quote:
What you say is true of physics, that what is natural teaches logic.... When it comes to moral reality there is no such logic....


actually there is

the logic ( I don't like logic much , I perfer Reason , since reason is the essence of logic )

for me , moral reality , is about what helps the psychological health and therefore survival of Humanity


Quote:
What is true is that people build their social forms out of their moral forms of understanding; and that social forms that cannot be changed have often, in history, killed the very people they were designed to help... We think, for example, that our constitution is perfect even while it supports injustice, makes us miserable, and threatens our existence... Our feeling, our moral understanding prevents our changing our society; so our society may well self destruct, and we can say it is natural, but who wants to see nature played out in that fashion... We have to realize that there is a logic to moral reality, but it is not the logic of physical reality, and what was said of life is true of the logic of moral reality generally, that: It tests first, and teaches after... We have examples enough to learn by, but the hard business of learning lies before us with the threat of destruction hanging over us... That fact reveals the purpose of philosophy as we know it...


Our attitude towards ourselves is vastly immature

0 Replies
 
onanismo1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 11:52 pm
Philosophy as I conceive it is the science of science, or rather the most fundamental form of thinking. Rorty described the more radical philosophers as "world-disclosers." One might also say game-changers.

Philosophy doesn't seek certainty,necessarily , but rather asks what certainty is , or how one could find certainty, and perhaps whether certainty should be a goal in the first place. It's my opinion that philosophy is always still being born, and I agree with so-n-so who said "philosophy buries its gravediggers."
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2010 12:40 am
@failures art,
failures art wrote:

A luxury over time starts to feel like entitlement.


Yes philosophers are a bunch of overpriviledged rich kids running around wasting away their heglian trust funds of dialectic using vast bank accounts full of idealism to buy themselves out of hit and runs on those poor discriminated empiricists.

And yes I agree luxury does breed entitlement.
0 Replies
 
 

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