Is philosophy worth bothering with?

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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#981  Postby archibald » Jan 30, 2017 12:56 am

Tracer Tong wrote:I think he makes some passing remarks. He's more focused (at least in the part of the book that deals with the problem of evil) on Mackie's logical problem of evil. His refutation was generally seen as successful, including by Mackie himself.


Of course he's more interested in that. It's an easier target. That's exactly why I think it's dodging.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#982  Postby Macdoc » Jan 30, 2017 1:56 am

Thanks - appreciated ...my second major was Eastern philo and some of the questions of perception example...when do three smaall black rocks and a corn cob become a doll remind me all the time of the malleable nature of how we view what "is".

Some of the two black bodies thought experiments intrigue me even in pondering something so simple as what use is a map if you don't know where you are ( ie no point of reference ).

I guess I want a Carl Sagan for the philo crowd.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#983  Postby Tracer Tong » Jan 30, 2017 2:19 am

archibald wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:I think he makes some passing remarks. He's more focused (at least in the part of the book that deals with the problem of evil) on Mackie's logical problem of evil. His refutation was generally seen as successful, including by Mackie himself.


Of course he's more interested in that. It's an easier target. That's exactly why I think it's dodging.


But I don't know on what grounds you think he's 'dodging'. It seems an odd conclusion to draw.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#984  Postby archibald » Jan 30, 2017 1:34 pm

Well there you go then. It appears you think it's an odd conclusion. Perhaps you're dodging something too. Who knows? ;)
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#985  Postby archibald » Jan 30, 2017 1:35 pm

Macdoc wrote:Thanks - appreciated ...my second major was Eastern philo and some of the questions of perception example...when do three smaall black rocks and a corn cob become a doll remind me all the time of the malleable nature of how we view what "is".

Some of the two black bodies thought experiments intrigue me even in pondering something so simple as what use is a map if you don't know where you are ( ie no point of reference ).

I guess I want a Carl Sagan for the philo crowd.


I like it. Maybe later I'll get to comment further.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#986  Postby Tracer Tong » Jan 30, 2017 1:52 pm

archibald wrote:Well there you go then. It appears you think it's an odd conclusion. Perhaps you're dodging something too. Who knows? ;)


:think:
Die Alten sind weder die Juden, noch die Christen, noch die Engländer der Poesie. Sie sind nicht ein willkürlich auserwähltes Kunstvolk Gottes; noch haben sie den alleinseligmachenden Schönheitsglauben; noch besitzen sie ein Dichtungsmonopol.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#987  Postby VazScep » Jan 30, 2017 5:56 pm

Doesn't Plantinga argue that natural suffering could be the work of demons, and that God allows them to cause this suffering in order to guarantee the demons' free will?

I'm not saying that Plantinga believes this. He just needs a consistent story to refute the logical problem of evil. It doesn't have to be a compelling story (or a remotely good one). This is such a trivial task though, that it strikes me as quite puerile to dedicate any time to it. I hope I'm being unfair to Plantinga here.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#988  Postby archibald » Jan 30, 2017 7:10 pm

VazScep wrote:Doesn't Plantinga argue that natural suffering could be the work of demons, and that God allows them to cause this suffering in order to guarantee the demons' free will?

I'm not saying that Plantinga believes this. He just needs a consistent story to refute the logical problem of evil. It doesn't have to be a compelling story (or a remotely good one). This is such a trivial task though, that it strikes me as quite puerile to dedicate any time to it. I hope I'm being unfair to Plantinga here.


If that's true the he has addressed it and is not a dodger. Just a woo-monger.

I think the sentence “Though I remove logical contradictions through creative defences and have not plausibility, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal" might apply here.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#989  Postby archibald » Jan 30, 2017 10:04 pm

Macdoc wrote:The modern equivalent of debating angels on pins.....fascinating in the sweeping erudition and signifying fuck all.


Indeed. Ditto for your wish for philosophy to try to be more relevant.

Macdoc wrote:..my second major was Eastern philo....


I do sometimes think that the 'western' default of harking back to the Greeks is overplayed. :)

Macdoc wrote:and some of the questions of perception example...when do three smaall black rocks and a corn cob become a doll remind me all the time of the malleable nature of how we view what "is".


I'm lost. Lack of familiarity.

Macdoc wrote:Some of the two black bodies thought experiments intrigue me even in pondering something so simple as what use is a map if you don't know where you are ( ie no point of reference ).


Ditto.

Macdoc wrote:I guess I want a Carl Sagan for the philo crowd.


There was a guy on another forum who used to incessantly put the boot in psychology, very much like philosophy gets the boot incessantly put into it here (including by me at times). He used to say that psychology hasn't had its Newton yet. :)
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#990  Postby Macdoc » Jan 30, 2017 10:49 pm

Hehe....

Macdoc wrote:
and some of the questions of perception example...when do three smaall black rocks and a corn cob become a doll remind me all the time of the malleable nature of how we view what "is".


I'm lost. Lack of familiarity.


Unless you are familiar with Upanishads you would be...
The parable was
You have a corncob
You stick a small black rock into it....
It's then a corncob with a black rock
You stick a second small black rock near the first
It's a corncob with two black rocks near each other.
You put a third black rock below and equidistant from the others...so a sort of trangle....

a what point does it become a doll.....?

Image

very simple....right on the money.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#991  Postby archibald » Feb 01, 2017 10:15 pm

Thanks.

That seems like a variation on some of the sorts of things that western philosohy asked too. I suppose psychologists would have some useful answers. I suppose it's not entirely unlike when does the shape of a cloud which resembles a figure or an animal stop resembling one as it slowly morphs or disperses. I sometime stare at clouds while this is happening. :)

What I found most interesting about your post was the hope that philosophy could become more relevant, rather than mostly going around Ivory towers in ever-decreasing esoteric circles getting nowhere on irrelevant issues.

I wonder, is this latter generally a 'western' thing. Is the situation similar in the 'east'' or is philosophy there more relevant to everyday life?

I do not know much about 'eastern' philosophy, but my general impression is that it is a bit more concerned with questions like 'how best to live' rather than 'how do we define the word 'best'' and 'how do we define the word 'how', etc....
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#992  Postby SpeedOfSound » Feb 01, 2017 10:32 pm

My concern is with philosophy of the mind AND/OR category theory. The latter being mathematics that uses a bit of philosophy in some applications. The former is about what we think IS the mind and all of the ways in which we can be wrong about that. While an attempt to be right may well lead to some recipes for the science most of PhilOfMind is about erasing the mistakes of cultural and biological bias. This enables us to cut the shit and get to the science. That is a bitter pill. The idea that we need philosophy to erase volumes of bad philosophy but there you have it. The shit will never quit churning around in the toilet bowl of the media and common mystique until we we philosophically remedy this shit by finding the final flush.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#993  Postby Macdoc » Feb 01, 2017 11:28 pm

I do not know much about 'eastern' philosophy, but my general impression is that it is a bit more concerned with questions like 'how best to live' rather than 'how do we define the word 'best'' and 'how do we define the word 'how', etc....


hard to generalize as there are many "schools". Nicel smorgasbord to pick useful bits from.:D

I found it fascinating that a 4,000 year text ( Upanishads )could give me useful insights all my life ....especially the relationship with the self and the larger universe as being a single phenomena was and is a guiding principle.
That they were pondering these large issues without too much cloud of superstition and religious claptrap is a connection over time.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#994  Postby archibald » Feb 02, 2017 10:17 am

This is probably a huge generalisation, in fact there's no probably about it, but it strikes me that 'western' philosophy is very keen on 'rationality'. The idea (axiom? goal?) that there is such a thing as a rational agent for example, seems to permeate.

It does not seem to me that this permeates 'eastern' philosophy so much.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#995  Postby tuco » Feb 02, 2017 8:41 pm

Whatever happened to the public intellectual?

Philosophy used to be a staple of television and the newspapers. Not any longer. So where did all the philosophers go?

The Oxford philosopher Derek Parfit died on New Year’s Day. He was one of the leading thinkers of his generation, yet his death was not widely reported outside the obituary pages of the broadsheets. The contrast with the response to John Berger’s death the following day is striking. Soon after Berger died, a number of pieces appeared on the Guardian and New Statesman websites, and there were tributes on the BBC’s News at Ten, Newsnight and Today programmes.

Parfit was an outstanding philosopher. However, few people outside academic philosophy could name one of his books. Perhaps more telling, how many could name any British academic philosopher?

It has not always been like this. The reaction could hardly have been more different when another leading Oxford philosopher, Isaiah Berlin, died in November 1997. BBC2 showed two hour-long programmes about him on consecutive days, and Radio 3 broadcast a two-and-a-half-hour tribute the following month. Berlin’s death was reported on the front page of the New York Times and memorial services were held in three countries. In less than two decades something fundamental has changed. Has academic philosophy lost its place in mainstream British culture? If so, who is to blame? Is it the fault of academic philosophers themselves, or the media, or are there other changes going on in British culture?


http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/boo ... tellectual
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#996  Postby Paul1 » Feb 24, 2017 1:54 am

Wow, 50 pages later...

My conclusion after 9 months is yes, if for nothing other than it forces you not to be certain of everything you hold to be true, and thus forces you to keep an open mind. Or does it?
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#997  Postby Macdoc » Feb 24, 2017 4:56 am

It may unfortunately leave the wishful mind open to philobabble as we too often see here.
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#998  Postby tuco » Mar 30, 2017 7:41 pm

Let me slap it here:

HOW FRENCH “INTELLECTUALS” RUINED THE WEST: POSTMODERNISM AND ITS IMPACT, EXPLAINED

Postmodernism presents a threat not only to liberal democracy but to modernity itself. That may sound like a bold or even hyperbolic claim, but the reality is that the cluster of ideas and values at the root of postmodernism have broken the bounds of academia and gained great cultural power in western society. The irrational and identitarian “symptoms” of postmodernism are easily recognizable and much criticized, but the ethos underlying them is not well understood. This is partly because postmodernists rarely explain themselves clearly and partly because of the inherent contradictions and inconsistencies of a way of thought which denies a stable reality or reliable knowledge to exist. However, there are consistent ideas at the root of postmodernism and understanding them is essential if we intend to counter them. They underlie the problems we see today in Social Justice Activism, undermine the credibility of the Left and threaten to return us to an irrational and tribal “pre-modern” culture.


[snip]

The dangers of postmodernism are not limited to pockets of society which center around academia and Social Justice, however. Relativist ideas, sensitivity to language and focus on identity over humanity or individuality have gained dominance in wider society. It is much easier to say what you feel than rigorously examine the evidence. The freedom to “interpret” reality according to one’s own values feeds into the very human tendency towards confirmation bias and motivated reasoning.

It has become commonplace to note that the far-Right is now using identity politics and epistemic relativism in a very similar way to the postmodern-Left. Of course, elements of the far-Right have always been divisive on the grounds of race, gender and sexuality and prone to irrational and anti-science views but postmodernism has produced a culture more widely receptive to this. Kenan Malik describes this shift,

“When I suggested earlier that the idea of ‘alternative facts’ draws upon ‘a set of concepts that in recent decades have been used by radicals’, I was not suggesting that Kellyanne Conway, or Steve Bannon, still less Donald Trump, have been reading up on Foucault or Baudrillard… It is rather that sections of academia and of the left have in recent decades helped create a culture in which relativized views of facts and knowledge seem untroubling, and hence made it easier for the reactionary right not just to re-appropriate but also to promote reactionary ideas.”[12]


[snip]

https://areomagazine.com/2017/03/27/how ... explained/
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#999  Postby tuco » Mar 30, 2017 8:43 pm

“Man” is positive and ‘woman’ negative. “Occident” is positive and “Orient” negative. He insisted that “We are not dealing with the peaceful co-existence of a vis-a-vis, but rather with a violent hierarchy. One of the two terms governs the other (axiologically, logically, etc.), or has the upper hand. To deconstruct the opposition, first of all, is to overturn the hierarchy at a given moment.


What else to add?
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Re: Is philosophy worth bothering with?

#1000  Postby Spinozasgalt » Mar 30, 2017 11:21 pm

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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