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Against Altruism

 
 
John Jones
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Sep, 2005 04:06 am
Merry Andrew wrote:
spendius wrote:
Merry Andrew(?) wrote-

Quote:



Philosophy cannot be either vile or good, no more than mathematics or chemistry or astronomy. The only difference between philosophy and those other disciplines is that philosophy is not subject to rigorous scientific proofs. Much of it is necessarily subjective, expressing the philosopher's personal beliefs, cloaked all too often in what amounts to sophistry. Often times modern philosophers are admired -- and quoted ad nauseam -- because of their glibness, or their articulateness, rather than the substance of their utterances. Anyone who can say, honestly, that he agrees with the ravings of Neitzsche is probably just as certifyable as Friedrich himself was toward the end of his life. We read him for the prose, not the content.




Quote:
The only difference between philosophy and those other disciplines is that philosophy is not subject to rigorous scientific proofs. Much of it is necessarily subjective


oo-er. A mishap.
...I'm going to hide in a cupboard now and wait for it to go.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Sep, 2005 07:13 am
JJ-

MA is imagining that philosophy is the practice of those who have officially been designated philosophers in one way or another and to whom his description may well apply in some cases and possibly even in most cases. One could easily castigate the sobriquet "journalist" by focussing on that style of journalism which is flogging gear or a political agenda.

Something that is not subject to rigorous scientific proof is hardly philosophy.To call something not subject to rigorous scientific proof philosophy and then conclude that philosophy is not a science because it's dealing with matters not subject to rigorous scientific proof seems somewhat untoward to me.
0 Replies
 
yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Sep, 2005 10:47 am
spendius, unless I completely misunderstand the thrust of many of JJ's posts, you have it backwards. In his view, it's science that lacks a rigorous foundation. Either way, I expect JJ will presently appear and clarify the situtation.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Sep, 2005 11:51 am
spendius wrote:
JJ-

Something that is not subject to rigorous scientific proof is hardly philosophy.
.


I assume, then, that you do not consider Plato, Kant, Schopenhauer, Sartre et al. as philosophers, nor their doctrines as 'philosophy'. How on earth (or anywhere else, come to that) does one subject personal ethical or metaphysical opinions to rigorous scientific proof? Logical argument is not scientific proof.
0 Replies
 
John Jones
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Sep, 2005 12:30 pm
Merry Andrew wrote:
spendius wrote:
JJ-

Something that is not subject to rigorous scientific proof is hardly philosophy.
.


I assume, then, that you do not consider Plato, Kant, Schopenhauer, Sartre et al. as philosophers, nor their doctrines as 'philosophy'. How on earth (or anywhere else, come to that) does one subject personal ethical or metaphysical opinions to rigorous scientific proof? Logical argument is not scientific proof.


I never thought that philosophy was about opinions. No doubt there are shared ideas of what things are 'really' like, but I never thought that philosophy was particularly concerned with pursuing the notion of what things are 'really' like, but more concerned with clarification of ideas. Proof is established through the clear presentation of ideas. There are limits to proof itself, however, and these are not found 'scientifically'.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Sep, 2005 01:22 pm
Merry Andrew wrote-

Quote:
I assume, then, that you do not consider Plato, Kant, Schopenhauer, Sartre et al. as philosophers, nor their doctrines as 'philosophy'.


That's about the size of it I'm afraid.These men,and many others,all have different ideas and thus they all have wrong ideas unless just one of them has it right.Would you care to suggest which one that might be.I'm not very familiar with their works but I know enough about Plato's dabblings with mystery religions to suggest he was pushing a boat out from a port we wouldn't recognise or possibly can't even imagine.Sartre seemed to state the obvious and old Schoppy I thought a bit too bitter.One thing seems clear though and it is that none of them could really envisage a society like ours is in 2005 and therefore at a loss as to its inner meanings and the directions it is moving in.
They may well simply have provided the powerful of their day with justifications for their actions.

I would prefer to see modern philosophy as a sort of consensus emerging out of a vast scientific field and presided over by elected politicians advised by experts.One might call it the logic of events pursued on the "what works" principle.The disadvantage of that is that nobody can grasp it and for people who feel the need to grasp things,which I don't,it can be hard to take.

As Bob Dylan said-

"I can't provide for you no easy answers
Who are you that I should have to lie."
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Sep, 2005 01:53 pm
Well, no wonder we seem to be disagreeing, Spendius. Obviously, we are using two quite separate and distinct definitions of 'philosophy.' I'm still not quite sure what the word means to you, but it obviously means something other than what it means to me.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Sep, 2005 01:55 pm
yitwail-

I'm generally in JJ's camp.But I recognise that we have to go forward with some mental equipment.
When he says-

Quote:
There are limits to proof itself, however, and these are not found 'scientifically'


I can't see what we are going to go forward with with that.There are no non-scientific proofs that I know of and when such things were used in the past they weren't very edifying to say the least and hardly comfortable.The day of the amateur has gone.

The scientific proofs,questionable though they might be,seem to me the only ones we have.

I'll offer a simple example.

What would a society look like that withdrew narcotic use and would it be powerful.I did a definition of the word "kinnikinic" on the Balderdash game which might suggest better what I mean.Absence of narcotics might cause a dearth of creativity.Just something to ponder.Remember the "smoke filled rooms".
0 Replies
 
John Jones
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Sep, 2005 01:56 pm
spendius wrote:
JJ-

MA is imagining that philosophy is the practice of those who have officially been designated philosophers in one way or another and to whom his description may well apply in some cases and possibly even in most cases. One could easily castigate the sobriquet "journalist" by focussing on that style of journalism which is flogging gear or a political agenda.

Something that is not subject to rigorous scientific proof is hardly philosophy.To call something not subject to rigorous scientific proof philosophy and then conclude that philosophy is not a science because it's dealing with matters not subject to rigorous scientific proof seems somewhat untoward to me.


The philsophy of mathematics is not a mathematical investigation. The philosophy of science is not a scientific investigation. We are not going to analyse the North Sea to understand the reason why we set its boundaries as we did.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Sep, 2005 02:01 pm
John Jones wrote:

The philsophy of mathematics is not a mathematical investigation. The philosophy of science is not a scientific investigation. We are not going to analyse the North Sea to understand the reason why we set its boundaries as we did.

Now, that is a statement I can agree with.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Sep, 2005 02:27 pm
Where we set those boundaries is where we set them.It's a circular two-step.A line on a map doesn't represent a boundary between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean because there is no boundary.

And the greek mathematicians didn't pursue certain mathematical investigations out of fear of discovering things they didn't wish to discover.Philosophy could try to deal with that fear.
We are having similar problems with biology.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Sep, 2005 08:31 am
For a more informative discussion of the concept of altruism (at least until it got sidetracked by a discussion of non-dualism), click here.
0 Replies
 
John Jones
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Sep, 2005 12:14 pm
joefromchicago wrote:
For a more informative discussion of the concept of altruism (at least until it got sidetracked by a discussion of non-dualism), click here.

I introduced quite a few points never looked at there.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Sep, 2005 05:24 pm
Joe-

We had skirted around what "informative" means a page or two back.Give us your idea will you?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Sep, 2005 08:27 am
spendius wrote:
Joe-

We had skirted around what "informative" means a page or two back.Give us your idea will you?

Informative: capable of conveying information.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Sep, 2005 10:56 am
I'm sorry Joe-

I thought you had used it to mean conveying information that was new rather than any information.
0 Replies
 
 

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