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Causality can cause confusion

 
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 07:59 am
coberst,

You clearly have little idea what "learning" or "knowledge" implies at this level. There are NO philosophical "facts" ...there are ONLY "opinions" which have been forged through historical debate which continues to evolve. Every philosophical (and pseudo-scientific) author which you cite is a product of his zeitgeisst. What matters here is therefore not a high school synopsis of X's views or even a college synopsis of how such views evolved, but how you can expand on such views by critically showing whether they impact on your personal experiences. It is only by moving the debate forward that you can claim to have "learned" anything at all and that is what you signally fail to do.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 04:45 pm
Fresco, your advice to Coberst is good; I hope he takes it. In him I see a smart guy with intellectual values and an intellectual identity. Those are the essentials for a future bona fide intellectual. As such, I welcome his kibbitzing, as well as that of many of the smart young participants in A2K. Any instructor of an undergraduate university course would welcome his/their "second-hand" behavior; it keeps the classroom discussion moving. Your advice applies, I think, more to the graduate classroom where first-hand intellectual contributions are required.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 05:59 pm
coberst wrote:
fresco wrote:
IMO The issue on this thread..."causality" IS a signficant philosophical issue but it is raised by coberst's latest bit of reading... NOT HIM ! Consequently, as with many other issues he raises second hand, coberst has no eqipment to handle it himself. Coberst is an intellectual kibbitzer, not a participant.


I think that opinions are OK for chatting about. But for serious matters we must rely on educated opinion or better still upon good judgment.

Tradeing opinions with fellows is an interesting way to spend the time but on occassion adults must give way to an intellectual attempt to solve world problems. Such activity does not lend it self to empty exchanges of opinion.

As they say opinions are a dime-a-dozen. In order to engage on an adult level about serious matters one needs to have learned some bits of knowledge. Better still is if the adult has understood some of these things learned.


Knowledge is good coberst. It's an important part of life. However too much knowledge and not enough reality can actually breed arrogance. I believe the point of this forum is much more than just "trading opinions". We can all learn from each other and maybe even change our thinking on things if we can actually listen to and hear what someone else is saying, rather than thinking we are the end all source of knowledge on something and everyone should just listen to us. That too is part of "engaging on an adult level about serious matters."
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coberst
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 01:02 am
"Rather, it may be said that the two people are making something in common, i.e., creating something new together." Dialogical reasoning together is an act of creation, of mutual understanding, of meaning.

Dialogic can happen only if both individuals wish to reason together in truth, in coherence, without prejudice, and without trying to influence each other.
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 03:02 am
coberst, you just did it again! Are you able to have a conversation that actually includes your own thoughts? What do YOU think coberst? Come on. Just throw it out there. It isn't so bad once you do it. Sure... there will be people that disagree and don't like what you say sometimes. But at least it won't appear that you're hiding behind what everyone else thinks anymore.
0 Replies
 
coberst
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 06:54 am
Treya wrote:
coberst, you just did it again! Are you able to have a conversation that actually includes your own thoughts? What do YOU think coberst? Come on. Just throw it out there. It isn't so bad once you do it. Sure... there will be people that disagree and don't like what you say sometimes. But at least it won't appear that you're hiding behind what everyone else thinks anymore.


Exchanging empty opinions is often interesting and entertaining but as we all know opinions are a dime a dozen. Attempting to exchange well considered opinions grounded in knowledge is a useful means for advancing our understanding of our self and the world we live in.

I am not hideing behind what everyone else thinks I am basing my responses in accordance to what the best thinkers in history have concluded as being valuable. Seldom do I hide behind what anyone but the best thinkers think. It seems more likely that everyone else is hiding behind the opinions of one another.
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 07:54 am
coberst,

You cite David Bohm (one of my "good guys") but not for his significant views on "thought" or "causality". Instead you brandish his "scientific credentials" like some toastmaster reading from a card and put him forward as an expert on "dialogue" because he wrote a book with that word in its title despite the fact that its focus was the study of collective consciousness and spirituality. This is like citing Richard Feynman as an expert on bongo playing (which he similarly "did" on occasion). If you really want know about dialogue read Halliday (et al) on "discourse analysis" or Eric Berne on "transactional analysis".

JLN,

You may not be aware that coberst claims to be a mature student diverted from engineering (I think).
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 08:05 am
fresco wrote:
IMO The issue on this thread..."causality" IS a signficant philosophical issue but it is raised by coberst's latest bit of reading... NOT HIM ! Consequently, as with many other issues he raises second hand, coberst has no eqipment to handle it himself. Coberst is an intellectual kibbitzer, not a participant.

There is always the possibility that a coberst post will generate an interesting philosophical discussion, despite the fact that coberst is in no way competent to participate in such a discussion. Such posts (rare though they be) are akin to what scientists would refer to as "fruitful errors." Causation is certainly a worthy topic of discussion, and if it takes one of coberst's predictably inane posts to get the ball rolling, then so be it.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 08:22 am
Joe,

You are correct of course, and we have acknowledged coberst's quantitative contributions to "topic title generation". Unfortunately his titles tend to come wrapped in some specific lengthy textual references such that general debate is curtailed.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 08:31 am
fresco wrote:
Joe,

You are correct of course, and we have acknowledged coberst's quantitative contributions to "topic title generation". Unfortunately his titles tend to come wrapped in some specific lengthy textual references such that general debate is curtailed.

I think it's best to look past the specifics of coberst's posts and focus instead on the general problem that s/he raises. For instance, I would be interested in learning your thoughts on this typically convoluted statement:
    Cause is a determining factor in a situation. A prototypical causation is when a force is applied to something thereby moving it. Causes are temporally prior. Causes are sources of events. Cause is the agent of event. We conceptualize causes in terms of locations and in terms of objects. Motion in space is fundamental to all creatures and this is our source of much of our experiential knowledge. Cause is force and causation is forced movement.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 09:02 am
Joe,

My attitude to "cause" is informed by my understanding of the similar limitations of Newtonian physics, namely "cause" is a useful concept in limited conditions. It allows us to "predict and control" with respect to our everyday experiences of "physical reality". Problems arise when "causality" is applied by extrapolation to "human behaviour" or complex (non-linear)systems.

Such extrapolations are rife. For example, the entire subject matter of what we call "history" may indeed be "bunk" when we take a critical look at those high school essay favourites like "What were the causes of the First World War". Here I remember dutifully regurgitating the "points" that my teacher had drilled into us and received the expected A grade in return....only to find out to my amusement 20 years later that "the logistics of German railways" or even "the influence of the cosmic Gunhas" were "missing from the fuller picture".

I have expressed similar resrvations recently about the simplistic bandwagon of our time "saving the planet". There is NO scientific consensus as to the "causes" of global warming, nor of the significance of man's contribution to it. Here perhaps we see the futile arrogance of our urge to "control" a complex system.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 11:30 am
fresco wrote:
Joe,

My attitude to "cause" is informed by my understanding of the similar limitations of Newtonian physics, namely "cause" is a useful concept in limited conditions. It allows us to "predict and control" with respect to our everyday experiences of "physical reality". Problems arise when "causality" is applied by extrapolation to "human behaviour" or complex (non-linear)systems.

Surprisingly enough, I agree.

fresco wrote:
Such extrapolations are rife. For example, the entire subject matter of what we call "history" may indeed be "bunk" when we take a critical look at those high school essay favourites like "What were the causes of the First World War". Here I remember dutifully regurgitating the "points" that my teacher had drilled into us and received the expected A grade in return....only to find out to my amusement 20 years later that "the logistics of German railways" or even "the influence of the cosmic Gunhas" were "missing from the fuller picture".

True, large-scale events often have multiple causes. Historians will often deal with such complexity by differentiating between systemic or remote causes and immediate or proximate causes. Thus, one can answer the question "what caused the Titanic to sink?" by citing the collision with the iceberg (an immediate cause) or the ship's faulty design (remote cause). Which of these is the "real" cause is more a question of perspective than of causation.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 11:50 am
Since this is a Coberst thread, and it won't matter anyway, i will come to the defense of Harlan and Wolfe shipyards. Titanic was well designed, but it sank because they didn't observe water-tight security. The watertight doors of the decks below the water line had been left open so as not to slow down the Steward's crew, and no one took any steps to seal them off after the ship struck the iceberg. Ironically, her sister ship, Britannic, sank off the Greek coast in the Great War for exactly the same reason, and despite improvements in hull design. Crew found it inconvenient to close the water tight doors on the lower decks as they went about their duties, and when Britannic was torpedoed, she sank because watertight security was not being observered, and the crew did not react in time. Olympic, yet another sister ship to these two (and the first one built), suffered a collision with HMS Hawke at sea which ripped a hole in her hull 34 feet long. But water tight security was properly observed on Olympic, and she made it back to port.

Violet Jessup was a stewardess on Olympic when it collided with HMS Hawke, she was a stewardess on Titantic when it danced with the iceberg, and she was a nurse on Britannic when it was torpedoed--and she survived all three incidents.

All of that may be boring to you, but it's a hell of a lot more interesting than anything Coberst ever posted.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 12:34 pm
I am relying on my memory here (an increasingly unreliable guide), so I might very well be wrong, but I believe that the Titanic's watertight doors were shut. The water did not flow into the undamaged compartments through the doors, but rather overflowed the tops of the flooded compartments, which were not sealed at the top. That was an acceptable design when one or two of the compartments flooded -- the water wouldn't rise above the water line, which would be below the top level of the compartments. But when several compartments flooded near the bow of the ship, the weight of the water caused the ship to sink at the bow, and water then flowed over the tops of the compartments, much like filling an icecube tray.

Had the watertight doors been open, then the bow and stern would have sunk more or less at the same rate, as the water would have first flowed laterally through all of the compartments. From all accounts, however, the ship sank bow-first, which suggests that only the compartments at the bow of the ship filled with water. That indicates that the watertight doors were closed, and that the water flooded the undamaged compartments when the damaged ones overflowed.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 12:50 pm
However, Olympic did not sink in the same situation, and with two watertight compartments fully flooded. I don't deny what you say about flooding above the decks above the waterline, but i had read that in both the cases of Titanic and Britannic, the water rose to decks above the waterline, but below watertight security, but that the watertight doors in that area had been left open by crew members interested only in their own convenience of movement.

I, too, am relying on memory about that subject, but at all events, it beats hell of out talking to Coberst.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 02:20 pm
Setanta wrote:
However, Olympic did not sink in the same situation, and with two watertight compartments fully flooded.

The ships were designed so that they could remain afloat with (if I recall correctly) up to four watertight compartments flooded. The Titanic, unfortunately, had six compartments that flooded, and all of them were in the bow section.

Setanta wrote:
I don't deny what you say about flooding above the decks above the waterline, but i had read that in both the cases of Titanic and Britannic, the water rose to decks above the waterline, but below watertight security, but that the watertight doors in that area had been left open by crew members interested only in their own convenience of movement.

The watertight doors were controlled from the bridge, so even if the crew members left them open the doors would still have been closed. The Britannic's doors were either damaged by the explosion or malfunctioned, so they didn't close properly. Also, the portholes were left open, so when the ship listed, water pored into the portholes. Thus the damage to one compartment led to the sinking of the Britannic while the Olympic didn't sink even when two of its compartments flooded.

Setanta wrote:
I, too, am relying on memory about that subject, but at all events, it beats hell of out talking to Coberst.

I view all of coberst's threads as an opportunity to talk about anything else. Nice fez you got there, Set.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 02:23 pm
Thanks, Boss . . . i've had a lot of compliments on my new chapeau . . . except for My Sweetiepie, who freaked out because i never wear hats . . .
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 04:15 pm
coberst wrote:
Treya wrote:
coberst, you just did it again! Are you able to have a conversation that actually includes your own thoughts? What do YOU think coberst? Come on. Just throw it out there. It isn't so bad once you do it. Sure... there will be people that disagree and don't like what you say sometimes. But at least it won't appear that you're hiding behind what everyone else thinks anymore.


Exchanging empty opinions is often interesting and entertaining but as we all know opinions are a dime a dozen. Attempting to exchange well considered opinions grounded in knowledge is a useful means for advancing our understanding of our self and the world we live in.

I am not hideing behind what everyone else thinks I am basing my responses in accordance to what the best thinkers in history have concluded as being valuable. Seldom do I hide behind what anyone but the best thinkers think. It seems more likely that everyone else is hiding behind the opinions of one another.


So why is it you are so convinced that opinions are empty? As if there is no knowledge behind an opinion? How do YOU think someone forms an opinion? There has to be a source, eh? Maybe it's not knowledge you agree with the "source" of, but who cares?

You say you aren't hiding? What do you think it is then to base YOUR "opinion" (whether you choose to call it that or not) on what someone else thinks? Can't you see that's what you are doing? You are afraid to think for yourself. To come up with your own ideas or to state them. You are hiding coberst. Come out and play with us. We won't bite! :wink:
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Apr, 2007 12:09 am
Two points.

1. I note tht discussions of "causality" for the Titanic have ended up focused on the "physical" i.e. the "potentally controllable" in order to attempt to avert further disasters.

2. Any "human factors" e.g. the lack of lifeboats have resulted in what might be said to be "overkill" like the somewhat ridiculous ritual of cruise passengers being obliged to perform "lifeboat drill" immediately on embarkation. I can't remember this ever having been subsequently praised as a " life saver".
0 Replies
 
coberst
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Apr, 2007 05:21 am
Treya wrote:
coberst wrote:
Treya wrote:
coberst, you just did it again! Are you able to have a conversation that actually includes your own thoughts? What do YOU think coberst? Come on. Just throw it out there. It isn't so bad once you do it. Sure... there will be people that disagree and don't like what you say sometimes. But at least it won't appear that you're hiding behind what everyone else thinks anymore.


Exchanging empty opinions is often interesting and entertaining but as we all know opinions are a dime a dozen. Attempting to exchange well considered opinions grounded in knowledge is a useful means for advancing our understanding of our self and the world we live in.

I am not hideing behind what everyone else thinks I am basing my responses in accordance to what the best thinkers in history have concluded as being valuable. Seldom do I hide behind what anyone but the best thinkers think. It seems more likely that everyone else is hiding behind the opinions of one another.


So why is it you are so convinced that opinions are empty? As if there is no knowledge behind an opinion? How do YOU think someone forms an opinion? There has to be a source, eh? Maybe it's not knowledge you agree with the "source" of, but who cares?

You say you aren't hiding? What do you think it is then to base YOUR "opinion" (whether you choose to call it that or not) on what someone else thinks? Can't you see that's what you are doing? You are afraid to think for yourself. To come up with your own ideas or to state them. You are hiding coberst. Come out and play with us. We won't bite! :wink:


I am too old to enjoy mud wrestling.
0 Replies
 
 

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