Is philosophy worth bothering with?

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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#41  Postby Thommo » Aug 07, 2016 11:43 pm

SpeedOfSound wrote:Notice that few discussions around here gather a post count unless jamest or the likes of him enter the fray. Why do think that is?


Because the more obviously stupid something is, the more confident more people feel about being able to point out some or all of the flaws in it.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#42  Postby jamest » Aug 07, 2016 11:49 pm

Calilasseia wrote:
jamest wrote:Yeah, let's not bother with philosophy


As I've repeatedly stated in the past, if by 'philosophy' one means assertionist navel gazing, then we don't need to bother with that.

Well, I don't know what you mean by naval gazing, but I will always agree that assertions [of truth] (assumptions) are useless in philosophy.

On the other hand, the proper business of philosophy, namely working out which questions are apposite to ask, is a different matter.

I don't really know what you mean by this, either, since it seems to me that one could not reasonably suggest which questions are apposite to ask unless one had already formed or assumed a basis upon which to make such suggestions.

jamest wrote:because we already know that science explains everything, even though it doesn't;


I'll refer you to Dara O'Braian:

"Of course science doesn't know everything, because if it did, it would stop!"

The point is that only a complete narrative by science could possibly render philosophy obsolete, because only at the point of completion can it be proved that the assumption that every phenomena is essentially physical and has a completely physical explanation... is correct.

jamest wrote:and we already know that 'reality' is material, even though we don't;


Correction: we know that every observable entity and phenomenon thus far encountered has a material basis.

The point I've been arguing for years is that the experience of X is not X itself, such that the experience of X does not necessarily have a material basis... unlike X itself (if such a thing exists). The bottom-line is that we don't know if any [experienced] thing (not least the experiencer) has a material basis, since it is a mere assumption that the experience of X is ultimately generated by matter itself (X). This is the fundamental point of metaphysics, one which cannot simply be swept under the rug. Not reasonably, anyway.

As the peer reviewed literature will tell you if you read it.

I'm not interested in peer reviewed literature, since the peers in question are ones which share your same bias. I am here arguing the point on its own merits.

Whether there actually exists any 'non-material' entities or phenomena, is a non-trivial question, not least because 'non-material' has yet to be properly and rigorously defined. How one defines this is a good example of those questions that is apposite to ask I referred to above.

Again, the point is that the substance of the experience of X [and the experiencer] is that which is in doubt. It is one thing to define the experience of a thing as a material object [X]... and another thing altogether to claim that material objects X exist independently of the experience of them; for if they don't, then what is the ontological significance of defining [an experience of] X as a material object? The answer is that there is no ontological significance to such a descriptive scheme, any more so than reporting observable phenomena as 'immaterial' would be significant in the same vein.

The bottom-line is that observed/experienced objects are not necessarily a reflection of 'reality'. I think that the assumption that they are is utterly unwarranted and therefore naive. Philosophers should not allow themselves the luxury of such slack thinking.

jamest wrote:Even the question pertaining to the thread's title is requiring of a philosophical answer


Hmm, another of those assertions whose truth-value isn't as trivially obvious as you might think. Because, for one, as those other disciplines philosophy launched, and which subsequently acquired independent life,

Any subject which is borne of reason cannot ever exist independently of that reason, nor then abandon reason in its own progression.

have taught us so well, it is possible for answers to be provided to questions previously thought to be solely the remit of philosophy, by activities outside that sphere. See: cosmology.

The philosophy which led to natural science dictates the answers which natural science can provide. Science was, is, and always will be accountable to reason. Further, the ontological significance of those answers was, is, and always will be accountable to reason. Though, of huge significance, the ontological significance of the answers provided by science have absolutely nothing to do with those purely engaged in doing science.

The exposed limitations of science are there for anybody who cares to see them. Unfortunately, few seem to make that effort. Even very smart fellows such as yourself. It's a crying shame, but the next paradigm shift will not come until these limitations are thoroughly understood and accepted by the philosophical establishment as a whole, which does include those who describe themselves as scientists. This may take hundreds of years, but it is an inevitable outcome, since everything I've said above is thoroughly true.

I'll have to leave it at that, as I'm tired.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#43  Postby SpeedOfSound » Aug 08, 2016 12:17 am

Thommo wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:Notice that few discussions around here gather a post count unless jamest or the likes of him enter the fray. Why do think that is?


Because the more obviously stupid something is, the more confident more people feel about being able to point out some or all of the flaws in it.


I think it's because it often pisses us off or threatens us. I am threatened by faulty god-based thinking. It freaks me out that people hold ridiculous opinions. Now I come from a country where freedom of religion is a big deal. Not sure if I am in the right country to be truthful. Now I have considered concentration camps but that whole business is a little unpopular. So. What I want to do is take all the christians and all the muslims and put them on a tropical paradise like island with only one rule. May the best man win. Then film a reality show there.

The other issue with me is that I am never certain of why I hold the views I do. I find radically different opinions catalyze the crystallization of those opinions I rationally need to retain. I have shed a few as well. The process of arguing these things is good for me.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#44  Postby Thommo » Aug 08, 2016 12:24 am

Believe me when I say that I don't think that "jamest or the likes of him" is threatening to most people. You can find 30 page physics threads that blow up over a few pages, or thousands of pages of 9/11 bullshit or hundreds of pages of expanding earth nonsense.

It definitely isn't about being threatened - in fact if you look a lot of the responses in those threads comes from people who feel confident of their physics, engineering or geology. They think they know enough to expose how fucking silly the things being posted are. They like it because it's not an intellectual threat.

Case in point: http://www.rationalskepticism.org/physi ... 52888.html

People post because they think they might just be able to sort out the misunderstandings. Of course what ends up happening is that the people asking questions just don't want to understand and it becomes a sort of mindless back and forth until that message sinks home.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#45  Postby Bernoulli » Aug 08, 2016 12:40 am

Well JamesT is right when he criticises the poster who said: "Correction: we know that every observable entity and phenomenon thus far encountered has a material basis." That's only true if "material" is defined as "that which we observe".
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#46  Postby surreptitious57 » Aug 08, 2016 1:07 am

jamest wrote:
I am not interested in peer reviewed literature since the peers in question are ones which share your same bias

What a ridiculous thing to say given that the purpose of peer review is to actually expose and eliminate bias
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#47  Postby Tero » Aug 08, 2016 2:09 am

No.

Neither is religion.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#48  Postby igorfrankensteen » Aug 08, 2016 2:47 am

VazScep wrote:
igorfrankensteen wrote: Only to the degree that a foundation is worth bothering with, when building a house.
In most of philosophy, digging out the foundation just means bursting a sewer pipe.


There is a difference between Philosophy, and Philosophies. What I'm seeing a lot of here, is people ragging on the wide variety of things that various individuals call "philosophies," but many of which don't really qualify.

Rather the same as the difference between what many people think the word "theory" means: you know, how lots of annoying dilettantes say "Relativity and Evolution are only THEORIES, after all, just vague amusing notions someone had, and tossed off one day."

Understanding all manner of PHILOSOPHIES, probably doesn't much matter to most people, unless they have to pass an exam on the details.

But saying that this means that the discipline and CONCEPT of Philosophy, in all it's central importance to human understanding and perception of it's own existence, is something to be tossed off as annoying drivel, shows a rather dramatic desire to be obtuse by design.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#49  Postby Cito di Pense » Aug 08, 2016 6:17 am

igorfrankensteen wrote:Philosophy, in all it's central importance to human understanding and perception of it's own existence


What understanding? Philosophy as understanding and perception of (our) existence is all over the map. You can even begin with bullshit like "to perceive is to understand" (or vice versa) and if you write enough about that, you've got some philosophy on your hands. Other people call this, specifically, "navel gazing".
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#50  Postby Cito di Pense » Aug 08, 2016 6:20 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
jamest wrote:
I am not interested in peer reviewed literature since the peers in question are ones which share your same bias

What a ridiculous thing to say given that the purpose of peer review is to actually expose and eliminate bias


In the more reputable disciplines, however, it is to expose and eliminate mistakes. The day I see a journal entitled, "Progress in Philosophy", that isn't just somebody's opinion about what entails 'progress', I'll swallow my own head.

In case you want to argue 'progress', we could start by recognising some questions that have simply been marked 'answered'. But isn't that the whole ball of wax in a thread like this? Those are some of the questions you know it was worthwhile to have asked.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#51  Postby Cito di Pense » Aug 08, 2016 6:43 am

Tracer Tong wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:
jamest wrote:Yeah, let's not bother with philosophy


As I've repeatedly stated in the past, if by 'philosophy' one means assertionist navel gazing, then we don't need to bother with that.


I'm interested in what philosophy you think amounts to this. Do you have any books or articles in mind that are particularly good examples?


Ah, so you think there's no philosophy that amounts to 'assertionist navel gazing'. You see, it's easier than rolling off a fucking log simply to challenge the statement that came before yours.

The question "Is philosophy worth bothering with?" does, in some clear sense, call for a response in terms of listing some philosophy that someone considers worth bothering with, which project is not as easy as rolling off a fucking log.

Immanuel Kant wrote a short essay back in the day, which hundreds of thousands of humanities undergraduates have been implored by their tutors to read and respond to in some way. In it, Kant writes, "Sapere aude!" With the rise of the internet, we get the full range of what people do when they think they know something, many of them with a fine degree in philosophy under their belts or wherever they keep it. Thommo cited a recent example taking place right here at RatSkep, but didn't have to look long and hard.

It was like hearing the dude in the cave, wondering what was outside, and trying to work it out just by thinking about it.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#52  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Aug 08, 2016 7:51 am

Weaver wrote:Philosophy is worth bothering with if you want to get into discussions with other philosophers or about philosophy.

As a method of learning anything - no, it's fucking useless as hell, right up there with religion as a method of determining "truth" and discerning "reality" (for which it has its own special meanings not accessible except through philosophy - evidencing a huge part of the problem.)


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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#53  Postby VazScep » Aug 08, 2016 9:26 am

igorfrankensteen wrote:There is a difference between Philosophy, and Philosophies.
Great. I'm just playing with your "foundation" metaphor. Are we building a house here? Where'd we leave the plans?

We neglected to get into the specifics of just what the OP might want out of philosophy. He might benefit from reading philosophy if he enjoys chatting with his friend and wants to be able to contribute more and debate when those chats turn to philosophy.

There was a specific question about the nature of existence, but then Paul1 says that he's only interested in maths and testable and calculable stuff, so philosophy probably isn't worth bothering with. So it might be better to just change the topic of the chats when Paul1 no longer finds them interesting.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#54  Postby SpeedOfSound » Aug 08, 2016 9:33 am

Thommo wrote:Believe me when I say that I don't think that "jamest or the likes of him" is threatening to most people. You can find 30 page physics threads that blow up over a few pages, or thousands of pages of 9/11 bullshit or hundreds of pages of expanding earth nonsense.

It definitely isn't about being threatened - in fact if you look a lot of the responses in those threads comes from people who feel confident of their physics, engineering or geology. They think they know enough to expose how fucking silly the things being posted are. They like it because it's not an intellectual threat.

Case in point: http://www.rationalskepticism.org/physi ... 52888.html

People post because they think they might just be able to sort out the misunderstandings. Of course what ends up happening is that the people asking questions just don't want to understand and it becomes a sort of mindless back and forth until that message sinks home.


Heh. I thought jamest would be the one to misread what I meant about being threatened. No. No one feels that their beliefs are threatened by the likes of them. It's our lives and future that are being threatened.

It's okay though I understand that most of us don't yet get what I am talking about. Which is another threat. :)
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#55  Postby Spinozasgalt » Aug 08, 2016 9:35 am

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When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight, roll up the joint.
Or don't. Just follow your arrow wherever it points.

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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#56  Postby Tracer Tong » Aug 08, 2016 1:16 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:
jamest wrote:Yeah, let's not bother with philosophy


As I've repeatedly stated in the past, if by 'philosophy' one means assertionist navel gazing, then we don't need to bother with that.


I'm interested in what philosophy you think amounts to this. Do you have any books or articles in mind that are particularly good examples?


Ah, so you think there's no philosophy that amounts to 'assertionist navel gazing'.


Ah, so you think cheese is lovely.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#57  Postby laklak » Aug 08, 2016 2:04 pm

MOST cheese is lovely. Limburger is pretty vile, smells like cat shit. Sort of like some philosophies.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#58  Postby VazScep » Aug 08, 2016 2:08 pm

Continental cheese is better than anglophone cheese.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#59  Postby Tracer Tong » Aug 08, 2016 2:17 pm

VazScep wrote:Continental cheese is better than anglophone cheese.


Anglophone cheese? My cheddar's not so much of a conversationalist.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#60  Postby Fallible » Aug 08, 2016 2:40 pm

I think I'll go to the London Tower with the seagulls, I'd never heard of it before. I'd only heard of the Tower of London with the ravens.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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