Humans are not Zombies

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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#141  Postby Fallible » Oct 06, 2019 6:36 pm

Evolving wrote:
Fallible wrote:That goes to a login page...I always thought the OU looked interesting. I got my degree and MA in the ‘usual’ way, then a level 2, level 3, Level 4 and level 5 in the psychotherapy/counselling area - CPCAB levels there. I can’t be arsed to go any further with that at the moment, at this stage the CPD plus thousands of therapy hours put in is quite enough for me. I’m still intrigued by the OU however. One day, maybe. My sister calls me “the perpetual student”. Bit mean...


I started a degree in the usual way (maths, in Germany), but when my first daughter unexpectedly arrived, I put it on hold, for quite a long time.


Rather cool that you went back to it, I say.
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#142  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 06, 2019 6:41 pm

Thommo wrote:
I don't think any of this is right.

It'll be this (well the version from a few years ago), if you're interested:
http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/qualifications/qd
http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/qualifica ... ce?orig=qd
http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/qualifica ... tails/a333



I'm not seeing 'level 3' anywhere in that.

There are no 'levels' within a degree. It is all one level: an undergraduate degree.
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#143  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 06, 2019 6:43 pm

Evolving wrote:I too have a degree from the OU; mine is a BSc in physics. In the diction of the OU, level 1 is the introductory courses (I did two of those, one in maths and one in experimental science), level 2 is an intermediate undergraduate level (most of my courses were at that level), and level 3 is actual degree level. In my degree I had to do (and pass) four level three courses.



So this is all something specific to OU? Only level 3 is actually degree level, i.e. BA/BSc?

Perplexing. I take it that each level 3 course is approximately equivalent to 1/4 of a degree then, too? That's also confusing because I would guess most typical degree programs see the topics grow increasingly difficult over the 3-4 years.
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#144  Postby Thommo » Oct 06, 2019 7:29 pm

Fallible wrote:
Thommo wrote:Wait, wait, wait. You have a *sister*?

This is a shocking revelation. I demand to know more! Like, did you always have a sister? Or is this a new development? Is she also fallible, or is she infallible (in which case I certainly couldn't argue that you're not a perpetual student)?


Yes, I’ve always had her. She’s 12 years older than me. She’s cleverer than me in all things numerical and extremely organised (was an accountant), got accepted at 4 of the 5 universities she applied to but decided to get married instead. She’s a carrot top and I have a nephew who is 33 and a great niece who is 3. She’s definitely fallible, but less so than me. Is that sufficient to slake you, kind sir?


Perfect, thanks! :thumbup:
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#145  Postby Evolving » Oct 06, 2019 7:58 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
Evolving wrote:I too have a degree from the OU; mine is a BSc in physics. In the diction of the OU, level 1 is the introductory courses (I did two of those, one in maths and one in experimental science), level 2 is an intermediate undergraduate level (most of my courses were at that level), and level 3 is actual degree level. In my degree I had to do (and pass) four level three courses.



So this is all something specific to OU? Only level 3 is actually degree level, i.e. BA/BSc?

Perplexing. I take it that each level 3 course is approximately equivalent to 1/4 of a degree then, too? That's also confusing because I would guess most typical degree programs see the topics grow increasingly difficult over the 3-4 years.


They do. Level 3 is more difficult than Level 2, and there was some gradation within level 2 as well. I had to do four level 3 modules, two of which I mentioned (quantum physics and electromagnetism), and I had to assemble a large number of credits at level 2 first.
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#146  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 06, 2019 8:05 pm

Evolving wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
Evolving wrote:I too have a degree from the OU; mine is a BSc in physics. In the diction of the OU, level 1 is the introductory courses (I did two of those, one in maths and one in experimental science), level 2 is an intermediate undergraduate level (most of my courses were at that level), and level 3 is actual degree level. In my degree I had to do (and pass) four level three courses.



So this is all something specific to OU? Only level 3 is actually degree level, i.e. BA/BSc?

Perplexing. I take it that each level 3 course is approximately equivalent to 1/4 of a degree then, too? That's also confusing because I would guess most typical degree programs see the topics grow increasingly difficult over the 3-4 years.


They do. Level 3 is more difficult than Level 2, and there was some gradation within level 2 as well. I had to do four level 3 modules, two of which I mentioned (quantum physics and electromagnetism), and I had to assemble a large number of credits at level 2 first.



This sounds more complicated to figure out all the numbers than Dungeons and Dragons. :lol:

So a level 3 course is not actually 1/4 of a degree level, because you also need to factor in required level 2 courses which are equivalent perhaps to 1st or 2nd year courses in the undergraduate degree syllabus? Essentially, you have to take X number of level 1, X number of level 2, and then 4 level 3 courses?

Sounds like you might need a degree just to take a degree there! :grin:

But that does make more sense now, and my apologies for erroneously implying that Jamest only took equivalent to A-level courses; rather it's just that he only appears to have the knowledge expected at A-level.
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#147  Postby OlivierK » Oct 06, 2019 10:01 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
Evolving wrote:I too have a degree from the OU; mine is a BSc in physics. In the diction of the OU, level 1 is the introductory courses (I did two of those, one in maths and one in experimental science), level 2 is an intermediate undergraduate level (most of my courses were at that level), and level 3 is actual degree level. In my degree I had to do (and pass) four level three courses.



So this is all something specific to OU? Only level 3 is actually degree level, i.e. BA/BSc?

Perplexing. I take it that each level 3 course is approximately equivalent to 1/4 of a degree then, too? That's also confusing because I would guess most typical degree programs see the topics grow increasingly difficult over the 3-4 years.

It looks like you may be overthinking this. My undergraduate degree (BSc at Sydney, many years ago now) took three years, and consisted of first year subjects (worth 6 "units"), second year subjects (8 units), and third year subjects (12 units). There were requirements to take a certain number of each to reach 70 units, but the usual method was to take 4 first year subjects in your first year (24 units), in second year drop one subject and take continuing second year courses in the other three (24 units), and drop another subject and take 2 third year courses in your third year (24 units = 72 units). It sounds like James' claimed levels might simply correspond to what we called first, second and third year courses.

That said, an essay about how humans weren't p-zombies because chocolate factories seems like something that would have been appropriate for Philosophy I, not Philosophy III, and would have been the sort of Philosophy I essay that got a reasonable but not great mark simply by being of roughly the right form, and containing something resembling philosophical argument. Freshers got considerable leeway in the production of pseudo-philosophical arguments, as the view seemed to be that this was, to an extent, simply to be expected from 18-year-olds fresh out of high school. If you can't write wankerish, pseudo-intellectual philosophical essays in first-year uni, then when can you? Deprived of that opportunity, you'd have to find some internet forum with a philosophy section, or something!
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#148  Postby Thommo » Oct 06, 2019 10:17 pm

Last week, when this thread was new, I did actually do a spot of refresher reading, and then read a few new things as well. One of the articles I read, which I think probably compares and contrasts interestingly with this thread was this:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/ful ... phil.12210
However, this thesis has been threatened by Kripkean a posteriori necessities. Kripke argues in Naming and Necessity that identity statements like “water is H2O” are necessarily true but only knowable a posteriori. However, we seem to be able to conceive that water is not H2O. If conceivability entails possibility, we have to accept that it is possible that water is not H2O. Thus, if Kripke is right, then CP fails.

To deal with this kind of counterexamples, Chalmers distinguishes two intensions (i.e., propositions) of a statement. According to Chalmers, any statement is associated with two propositions, or intensions in Chalmers’ terminology, that is, a primary intension and a secondary intension. The primary intension of a statement is acquired by considering any possible world as actual; the secondary intension of a statement is acquired by considering any possible world as counterfactual.

Take the statement “water is not H2O” as an example. Let the term “watery stuff” be the reference‐fixing description of “water.” If we consider any possible world as actual, then anything that is watery stuff in that world is water, even if the watery stuff has a chemical structure different from that of H2O. We thus acquire the primary intension of this statement, that is, “watery stuff is not H2O.” In addition, the term “water” refers to H2O in the actual world. Moreover, given that water is H2O in the actual world, water is H2O in any possible world considered as counterfactual. We can acquire the secondary intension of this statement, that is, “H2O is not H2O.”3

By distinguishing two intensions of a statement, there are two senses for a statement s to be conceivable/possible; s is 1‐conceivable/possible iff its primary intension is conceivable/possible; s is 2‐conceivable/possible iff its secondary intension is conceivable/possible.4 Accordingly, two refined versions of the CP thesis can be formulated:

(CP1) For any statement s, if s is 1‐conceivable, then it is 1‐possible.

(CP2) For any statement s, if s is 2‐conceivable, then it is 2‐possible.


I'd recommend it as for people who are interested in zombie and consciousness arguments.
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#149  Postby jamest » Oct 06, 2019 11:00 pm

Spearthrower wrote:Level 3 qualification...

It's really bemusing. I've worked in and around tertiary education most of my life, and I have never heard of this numerical system, not in the UK or anywhere else.

But James keeps appealing to his qualification...

https://www.distancelearningcollege.co. ... valent-to/

NQF qualification levels can be compared with ‘traditional’ qualifications as follows:

Entry level qualifications are equivalent to studying at Foundation Diploma level.

A Level 1 qualification is equivalent to GCSE grade D-G level.

A Level 2 qualification is equivalent to GCSE grade A*-C level.

A Level 3 qualification is equivalent to A Level.



Now this makes perfect sense in so many ways.

James' Philosophy course was equivalent to A-level. That's the depth of knowledge he possesses from the course. It's not a degree level, it's not any actual expertise, and it's typically studied alongside 2 or 3 other qualifications. As I mentioned in another thread; he has the certainty of limited knowledge more typically found in teenagers, and it just so happens that the majority of us do our A-levels when we're 16-18.

So James is a philosopher in the sense that an 18 year old who studied Biology, Economics and History at A-level is a biologist, economist and historian. That is, none of those things.

I don't know if things have changed since I finished my degree about 5/6 years ago, but to get a degree back then you had to do something like (going off memory here alone) one level-one course, three level-two courses and two level-three courses. I scraped a 1st but I do in fact have a proper degree from the OU. Not a fuckin' A-level. :nono:
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#150  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 07, 2019 2:25 am

OlivierK wrote:
It looks like you may be overthinking this. My undergraduate degree (BSc at Sydney, many years ago now) took three years, and consisted of first year subjects (worth 6 "units"), second year subjects (8 units), and third year subjects (12 units). There were requirements to take a certain number of each to reach 70 units, but the usual method was to take 4 first year subjects in your first year (24 units), in second year drop one subject and take continuing second year courses in the other three (24 units), and drop another subject and take 2 third year courses in your third year (24 units = 72 units). It sounds like James' claimed levels might simply correspond to what we called first, second and third year courses.


That at least makes sense, though.


OlivierK wrote:That said, an essay about how humans weren't p-zombies because chocolate factories seems like something that would have been appropriate for Philosophy I, not Philosophy III, and would have been the sort of Philosophy I essay that got a reasonable but not great mark simply by being of roughly the right form, and containing something resembling philosophical argument. Freshers got considerable leeway in the production of pseudo-philosophical arguments, as the view seemed to be that this was, to an extent, simply to be expected from 18-year-olds fresh out of high school. If you can't write wankerish, pseudo-intellectual philosophical essays in first-year uni, then when can you? Deprived of that opportunity, you'd have to find some internet forum with a philosophy section, or something!


This resembles what I said in another thread. It just has the feeling of fresher level undue certainty, not 3rd year 'dot every i with absolute caution'.
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#151  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 07, 2019 2:29 am

Thommo wrote: One of the articles I read, which I think probably compares and contrasts interestingly with this thread was this:


It looks boring as hell, but at least it reads more appropriately as a serious philosophical essay than certain other aspiring philosophers manage to attain.
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#152  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 07, 2019 2:35 am

jamest wrote: I scraped a 1st but I do in fact have a proper degree from the OU. Not a fuckin' A-level. :nono:



You got a first after writing in a 3rd year course that humans are not zombies because they don't open chocolate factories?
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#153  Postby OlivierK » Oct 07, 2019 3:10 am

Spearthrower wrote:
jamest wrote: I scraped a 1st but I do in fact have a proper degree from the OU. Not a fuckin' A-level. :nono:

You got a first after writing in a 3rd year course that humans are not zombies because they don't open chocolate factories?

Of course not, that would be silly.

James got a first after writing that humans are not zombies because they *do* open chocolate factories.

Try to keep up!
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#154  Postby jamest » Oct 07, 2019 3:25 am

Spearthrower wrote:
jamest wrote: I scraped a 1st but I do in fact have a proper degree from the OU. Not a fuckin' A-level. :nono:



You got a first after writing in a 3rd year course that humans are not zombies because they don't open chocolate factories?

No, I got a first for my average performance throughout 6 courses. The irony is, no surprise, that whomever marked my particular assignment relevant to zombies for that course didn't like my answer/attitude, just like yourself. Iirc, you'd get about 6 or 7 assignments per course, then you'd go to a centre somewhere to take an exam. I had to go to Hove near Brighton.

The main problem with the OU, for me, having no direct communication with tutors and fellow students, is in understanding what is expected of you. Turns out, you have the best chance of getting a first if you parrot out the answers that they want. Certainly, there's no room at that level for innovation. That probably could happen at the postgraduate level, something I didn't pursue, but I'm so far outside of the box that I doubt I could have made any progress there anyway.
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#155  Postby OlivierK » Oct 07, 2019 3:47 am

jamest wrote:No, I got a first for my average performance throughout 6 courses. The irony is, no surprise, that whomever marked my particular assignment relevant to zombies for that course didn't like my answer/attitude, just like yourself.

Colour me shocked.

(And it's "whoever".)

((And you should go educate yourself on what irony is.))
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#156  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 07, 2019 3:48 am

OlivierK wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
jamest wrote: I scraped a 1st but I do in fact have a proper degree from the OU. Not a fuckin' A-level. :nono:

You got a first after writing in a 3rd year course that humans are not zombies because they don't open chocolate factories?

Of course not, that would be silly.

James got a first after writing that humans are not zombies because they *do* open chocolate factories.

Try to keep up!


Sorry, sloppy morning pre-coffee writing. :coffee:
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#157  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 07, 2019 4:01 am

jamest wrote:
The irony is, no surprise, that whomever marked my particular assignment relevant to zombies for that course didn't like my answer/attitude, just like yourself.


How is that irony?

And how is it both ironic and not surprising?

And what has attitude got to do with a submitted essay?


jamest wrote:
The main problem with the OU, for me, having no direct communication with tutors and fellow students, is in understanding what is expected of you. Turns out, you have the best chance of getting a first if you parrot out the answers that they want.


No, that's quite literally exactly opposite of what they expect.

What they expect is for you to show you know your stuff. That gets you a pass grade.

To get a higher grade, you need to produce something novel, and provide compelling support for it.

I had a tutor in primate behavior who hated me in class, who ironically (appropriate use of the word) employed typical primate aggressive body language in response to my arguments about chimpanzees exhibiting culture, yet who gave me near full marks for a paper in which I argued exactly that directly contrary to his own position. Ultimately, the marks are themselves validated by yet further examiners which makes sure your tutors are held to high standards.

That didn't, however, save me from attaining a 0 - yes, no marks at all - on a paper I submitted written in pen because the tutor only accepted typed submissions, and as she was the head of the department there was not much I could do about it.


What you actually missed by having no direct contact with tutors and other students is calibration of your own abilities. I've explained in the past to you why this is such an important factor in studying at higher level. You cannot go through university and pop out the other side so cocksure of yourself unless you are deeply delusional. That is much more typical of the mindset of 18 year olds freshly arrived at university, and it tends to last a couple of weeks.



jamest wrote:Certainly, there's no room at that level for innovation. That probably could happen at the postgraduate level, something I didn't pursue, but I'm so far outside of the box that I doubt I could have made any progress there anyway.


If you're that far out of the box, then you are simply not on track with anything resembling normative knowledge and consequently can't expect to receive acknowledgment of whatever it is you believe by relevant and respected authorities more than capable of analyzing its value. In the sciences, this would be equivalent to pseudoscience: people with pet theories they refuse to alter in deference to evidence. Such people would also complain about how they're expected to parrot stuff, when all it really means is that they don't get to engage on flights of fantasy and expect people to join them. They also build narratives akin to the 'they laughed at Einstein' trope, where they attempt to maintain the illusion that they're geniuses validated by how no one recognizes their genius.

Knowledge is normative. That doesn't mean it's closed and done. It just means there are standards for growing it.
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#158  Postby Spinozasgalt » Oct 07, 2019 4:49 am

jamest wrote:The irony is, no surprise, that whomever marked my particular assignment relevant to zombies for that course didn't like my answer/attitude, just like yourself.

Okay, now this sounds more likely.
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#159  Postby BWE » Oct 07, 2019 4:56 am

jamest wrote:
Thommo wrote:Make a serious philosophical point, and you'll get a serious answer.

For the record that post doesn't contain one. And these parts:
jamest wrote:Wow, people here just want to talk about me, not my philosophy. It's like you become PM or suchlike and all of a sudden instead of your politics everyone just wants to talk about you instead of your politics as a ruse to ignore your politics. Fucking pathetic.

Anyway, the [original] argument is something like this:

...

There are serious points of philosophy to discuss here, yet as always, you act the collective cunt. Yet, when I point this out, it is me who gets punished for accurately pointing out your collective behaviour, leaving my philosophical enquiries of you unanswered, as always, whilst I serve a weeks/month ban.

You 'collectives' really aren't worthy of my time any more, which is why you get so little of it these days.
Best wishes, regardless.

Are just about you, your ego and where you want to tell us to go.

Why are you surprised by my response? I mean, I pop by 3 days/pages later and the bulk of the talk is about me, including by yourself. Wherein those 3 pages do you see any serious attempt to address the issues I present, clarified in my previous post?

My post was a serious response.
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Re: Humans are not Zombies

#160  Postby Thommo » Oct 07, 2019 4:57 am

Spearthrower wrote:
Thommo wrote: One of the articles I read, which I think probably compares and contrasts interestingly with this thread was this:


It looks boring as hell, but at least it reads more appropriately as a serious philosophical essay than certain other aspiring philosophers manage to attain.


I really liked it. Didn't agree with it all by any means, but I thought it was even handed, methodical and addressed both Kripke's and Chalmers's conflicting views on their own terms. :lol:

If it's too dry for your taste, I'd change my recommendation though and say don't read it.
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