The Will to Knowledge

on fundamental matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and ethics.

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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#141  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 19, 2017 8:03 am

VazScep wrote:I'm wondering if this sort of dissection could be made with just about every philosophy text in the canon, leaving the reader consigning it to the bin after the first chapter. Maybe that's a good thing. I recall lbob saying that modern philosophy had given up the old ways of building grand worldviews, and is now presumably just about trying to circumscribe small analytical problems, the sort which I'd guess appeal more to the nitpickers.


Yes, that's also possible, but you have to keep in mind the possibility that what you're witnessing here (from jamest) is 'cargo cult philosophy', or 'cargo cult worldview'. I'm not entirely sure why anyone would want to pursue this, but consider this simulation of an educated person...
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: The Will to Knowledge

#142  Postby VazScep » Jun 19, 2017 10:53 am

Cito di Pense wrote:Yes, that's also possible, but you have to keep in mind the possibility that what you're witnessing here (from jamest) is 'cargo cult philosophy', or 'cargo cult worldview'. I'm not entirely sure why anyone would want to pursue this, but consider this simulation of an educated person...
Even if I were to grant that he has the education, so do lots of philosophers whose writings don't interest me. There's a handful for whom I will muster the suspension of disbelief and follow where they beckon: "stick with me here...you're gonna like where I take this". With jamest, I've just moved right along. He's a theist, right? Well, I've got no nostalgia for theism, having never been religious, and I've zero interest in taking it up.

I'd suggest that goes for most of ratskep threads, where the average theist wibbler gets viciously dog-piled at the first opportunity. This isn't ratskep's problem. It's jamest's problem for doing the shittiest market research I've ever seen.

On my mention of the philosophical canon, an easy point to make here is that it's at least a canon. If you want to be researching texts in the humanities, then it's pretty good to have a bunch of set texts that everyone else has been reading and writing about for hundreds of years. Maybe you can work together another story about how this philosophy anticipated that one. You'll at least find plenty of material to fill out an extensive bibliography.

Maybe if jamest got himself published and got a decent smattering of favourable reviews from philosophers, I'd give his book a punt. I fear, however, that I'd be nitpicking along with Thommo. Again, I doubt I'm interested in where jamest wants to take us, and as the nitpickers always aptly demonstrate, there's never enough logic to force a nitpicker to take up any philosophy. If you want that sort of thing, go learn maths or programming.
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#143  Postby ElDiablo » Jun 19, 2017 12:32 pm

Thommo wrote:

Whether your goal is grand or small though, you do actually have to create and debug that code. The OP certainly hasn't tried that, there's not actually an argument there, let alone an argument that has had all the kinks, flaws and gaps worked out. It's not even a specification for an argument, more a sort of vague aspiration or hope. "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if two short paragraphs of assertion based on faulty empirical evidence could prove this same metaphysical shit I've been shoveling for decades now?".


The bolded part is an excellent summary.
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#144  Postby DavidMcC » Jun 23, 2017 1:59 pm

Thommo wrote:...
3) As far as the ordinary desire to learn goes there is a perfectly rational and well developed area of study that accounts for it without multiplication of entities - the theory of evolution. No challenge has been made to this. No actual obstacle for curiosity as an evolved trait has been suggested, let alone substantiated.

Sorry to "nit-pick", but there are obviously evolutionary limits to curiosity, because too much of it tends to get you killed (like the cat).
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#145  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 23, 2017 2:28 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Thommo wrote:...
3) As far as the ordinary desire to learn goes there is a perfectly rational and well developed area of study that accounts for it without multiplication of entities - the theory of evolution. No challenge has been made to this. No actual obstacle for curiosity as an evolved trait has been suggested, let alone substantiated.

Sorry to "nit-pick", but there are obviously evolutionary limits to curiosity, because too much of it tends to get you killed (like the cat).

I don't think his statement was that there were no evolutionary limits to curiosity, rather there's no reason to think that curiosity isn't an evolved trait.

But to take your point, evolution doesn't work on the scale of the individual. You can see it clearly with insects, who will do all sorts of suicidal things, exhausting options. Their numbers and persistence allow them to be successful: evolution doesn't necessarily have a problem with death. For sure, creatures working on longer timescales will tend to be more cautious about dying, but fatal curiosity can still produce results in the long run.
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#146  Postby DavidMcC » Jun 23, 2017 3:31 pm

SafeAsMilk wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Thommo wrote:...
3) As far as the ordinary desire to learn goes there is a perfectly rational and well developed area of study that accounts for it without multiplication of entities - the theory of evolution. No challenge has been made to this. No actual obstacle for curiosity as an evolved trait has been suggested, let alone substantiated.

Sorry to "nit-pick", but there are obviously evolutionary limits to curiosity, because too much of it tends to get you killed (like the cat).

I don't think his statement was that there were no evolutionary limits to curiosity, rather there's no reason to think that curiosity isn't an evolved trait.

That is not what he said, but, it misses the point to talk about limits to curiosity in the abstract, ie, without reference to the species concerned.
But to take your point, evolution doesn't work on the scale of the individual. You can see it clearly with insects, who will do all sorts of suicidal things, exhausting options. Their numbers and persistence allow them to be successful: evolution doesn't necessarily have a problem with death. For sure, creatures working on longer timescales will tend to be more cautious about dying, but fatal curiosity can still produce results in the long run.

Reference to curiosity as an evolved trait are misleading without reference to the breeding strategy of the species concerned.
"Fatal curiosity" may produce results "in the long run", but that would not impress the parents of the dead off-spring, when they are of the type that produces few of them, and spend a lot of time caring for them.

EDIT: I am well aware that evolution doesn't work on the scale of the individual, and that, for most insect species, life is cheap. This is partly because they are anyhow mainly near the bottom of the food chain.
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#147  Postby DavidMcC » Jun 23, 2017 3:43 pm

... Back to Thommo's bald statement that "no actual obstacle to curiosity ... has been suggested". That is strange, given that, for some species, there are such obstacles, even though there aren't for others.
I think the problem lies in the vagueness of his claim, allowing you to defend it by picking whatever species suits.
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#148  Postby Thommo » Jun 23, 2017 5:03 pm

SafeAsMilk wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Thommo wrote:...
3) As far as the ordinary desire to learn goes there is a perfectly rational and well developed area of study that accounts for it without multiplication of entities - the theory of evolution. No challenge has been made to this. No actual obstacle for curiosity as an evolved trait has been suggested, let alone substantiated.

Sorry to "nit-pick", but there are obviously evolutionary limits to curiosity, because too much of it tends to get you killed (like the cat).

I don't think his statement was that there were no evolutionary limits to curiosity, rather there's no reason to think that curiosity isn't an evolved trait.

But to take your point, evolution doesn't work on the scale of the individual. You can see it clearly with insects, who will do all sorts of suicidal things, exhausting options. Their numbers and persistence allow them to be successful: evolution doesn't necessarily have a problem with death. For sure, creatures working on longer timescales will tend to be more cautious about dying, but fatal curiosity can still produce results in the long run.


Good luck. :thumbup:
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#149  Postby DavidMcC » Jun 23, 2017 5:35 pm

Thommo wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Thommo wrote:...
3) As far as the ordinary desire to learn goes there is a perfectly rational and well developed area of study that accounts for it without multiplication of entities - the theory of evolution. No challenge has been made to this. No actual obstacle for curiosity as an evolved trait has been suggested, let alone substantiated.

Sorry to "nit-pick", but there are obviously evolutionary limits to curiosity, because too much of it tends to get you killed (like the cat).

I don't think his statement was that there were no evolutionary limits to curiosity, rather there's no reason to think that curiosity isn't an evolved trait.

But to take your point, evolution doesn't work on the scale of the individual. You can see it clearly with insects, who will do all sorts of suicidal things, exhausting options. Their numbers and persistence allow them to be successful: evolution doesn't necessarily have a problem with death. For sure, creatures working on longer timescales will tend to be more cautious about dying, but fatal curiosity can still produce results in the long run.


Good luck. :thumbup:

Yeah. He's going to need a bit of luck if there are no limits (evolutionary or otherwise) to his curiosity.
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#150  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 23, 2017 5:52 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Thommo wrote:...
3) As far as the ordinary desire to learn goes there is a perfectly rational and well developed area of study that accounts for it without multiplication of entities - the theory of evolution. No challenge has been made to this. No actual obstacle for curiosity as an evolved trait has been suggested, let alone substantiated.

Sorry to "nit-pick", but there are obviously evolutionary limits to curiosity, because too much of it tends to get you killed (like the cat).

I don't think his statement was that there were no evolutionary limits to curiosity, rather there's no reason to think that curiosity isn't an evolved trait.

That is not what he said,

I think you will find if you read the highlighted text carefully, it is what he said. The phrase isn't "No actual obstacle for curosity", it's "No actual obstacle for curiosity as an evolved trait".

but, it misses the point to talk about limits to curiosity in the abstract, ie, without reference to the species concerned.

I did reference the species concerned, and used an example of a species with a shorter timescale to make it more clearly observable.

But to take your point, evolution doesn't work on the scale of the individual. You can see it clearly with insects, who will do all sorts of suicidal things, exhausting options. Their numbers and persistence allow them to be successful: evolution doesn't necessarily have a problem with death. For sure, creatures working on longer timescales will tend to be more cautious about dying, but fatal curiosity can still produce results in the long run.

Reference to curiosity as an evolved trait are misleading without reference to the breeding strategy of the species concerned.
"Fatal curiosity" may produce results "in the long run", but that would not impress the parents of the dead off-spring, when they are of the type that produces few of them, and spend a lot of time caring for them.

EDIT: I am well aware that evolution doesn't work on the scale of the individual, and that, for most insect species, life is cheap. This is partly because they are anyhow mainly near the bottom of the food chain.

Where they are in the food chain or how the parents feel about their children dying is completely irrelevant to the point being made. Insects were just a clear example of how death is not a hard wall for evolution. Just because one species may lean more towards the fear of death than fatal curiosity doesn't mean that fatal curiosity cannot be an effective strategy for that species.
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#151  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 23, 2017 5:53 pm

Thommo wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Thommo wrote:...
3) As far as the ordinary desire to learn goes there is a perfectly rational and well developed area of study that accounts for it without multiplication of entities - the theory of evolution. No challenge has been made to this. No actual obstacle for curiosity as an evolved trait has been suggested, let alone substantiated.

Sorry to "nit-pick", but there are obviously evolutionary limits to curiosity, because too much of it tends to get you killed (like the cat).

I don't think his statement was that there were no evolutionary limits to curiosity, rather there's no reason to think that curiosity isn't an evolved trait.

But to take your point, evolution doesn't work on the scale of the individual. You can see it clearly with insects, who will do all sorts of suicidal things, exhausting options. Their numbers and persistence allow them to be successful: evolution doesn't necessarily have a problem with death. For sure, creatures working on longer timescales will tend to be more cautious about dying, but fatal curiosity can still produce results in the long run.


Good luck. :thumbup:

Waste of time, I know.
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#152  Postby DavidMcC » Jun 23, 2017 8:02 pm

SafeAsMilk wrote:...
Where they are in the food chain or how the parents feel about their children dying is completely irrelevant to the point being made. Insects were just a clear example of how death is not a hard wall for evolution. Just because one species may lean more towards the fear of death than fatal curiosity doesn't mean that fatal curiosity cannot be an effective strategy for that species.

The "point being made" was so unclear as to be meaningless, and, once again, you are reintepreting things to suit yourself. :roll:
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#153  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 23, 2017 8:44 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:...
Where they are in the food chain or how the parents feel about their children dying is completely irrelevant to the point being made. Insects were just a clear example of how death is not a hard wall for evolution. Just because one species may lean more towards the fear of death than fatal curiosity doesn't mean that fatal curiosity cannot be an effective strategy for that species.

The "point being made" was so unclear as to be meaningless,

I'm not sure how "evolution doesn't necessarily have a problem with death" could be any more straightforward.

and, once again, you are reintepreting things to suit yourself. :roll:

I'm sorry you can't deal with the fact that you misread or misinterpreted Thommo's post.
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#154  Postby jamest » Jun 23, 2017 10:36 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Thommo wrote:...
3) As far as the ordinary desire to learn goes there is a perfectly rational and well developed area of study that accounts for it without multiplication of entities - the theory of evolution. No challenge has been made to this. No actual obstacle for curiosity as an evolved trait has been suggested, let alone substantiated.

Sorry to "nit-pick", but there are obviously evolutionary limits to curiosity, because too much of it tends to get you killed (like the cat).

This thread isn't about cats. It's about us, whatever we are, but what is sure is that our curiosity [as a whole] extends to ALL facets of existence... many of which transcend the need to survive as physical beings on planet Earth.
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#155  Postby Thommo » Jun 23, 2017 11:03 pm

Our ability to inhale gases extends beyond the oxygen we need to breath to survive. Our ability to see allows us to read comic books. Our ability to manipulate objects allows us to pick up beer cans. Our ability to respond with fear to avoid dangerous stimuli applies to zombie horror movies. These also are not facts of particular significance.

Although why you'd waste time trying to worry about the details of empirical facts when we all know you will go back to saying that they cannot undermine a metaphysical argument like the one you're trying to undermine is an open question.
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#156  Postby jamest » Jun 24, 2017 12:01 am

Thommo wrote:Our ability to inhale gases extends beyond the oxygen we need to breath to survive. Our ability to see allows us to read comic books. Our ability to manipulate objects allows us to pick up beer cans. Our ability to respond with fear to avoid dangerous stimuli applies to zombie horror movies. These also are not facts of particular significance.

Although why you'd waste time trying to worry about the details of empirical facts when we all know you will go back to saying that they cannot undermine a metaphysical argument like the one you're trying to undermine is an open question.

Siphon the negativity and I might be arsed. Otherwise, all the best. I can't be arsed any more. Best wishes to you and yours.
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#157  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 24, 2017 5:24 am

jamest wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Thommo wrote:...
3) As far as the ordinary desire to learn goes there is a perfectly rational and well developed area of study that accounts for it without multiplication of entities - the theory of evolution. No challenge has been made to this. No actual obstacle for curiosity as an evolved trait has been suggested, let alone substantiated.

Sorry to "nit-pick", but there are obviously evolutionary limits to curiosity, because too much of it tends to get you killed (like the cat).

This thread isn't about cats. It's about us, whatever we are, but what is sure is that our curiosity [as a whole] extends to ALL facets of existence... many of which transcend the need to survive as physical beings on planet Earth.


This is still the classic religious pitch, albeit whittled down to the single word 'transcend'. Since all you've ever done to expose the transcendent is to say the word 'transcendent', you should now have a clue about the main reason your pitch is not being taken seriously. If there is something transcendent, the stilted and incompetent simulation of 'logic' you are playing at isn't exposing anything except your incompetence at logic. Sadly for you, logical argument begins with and proceeds from what can be seen to be or not to be the case. You've never begun your supposedly logical excursions by offering an empirical observation, because your whole project is to discredit that project. That means you're left beginning every foray with a hypothetical I'm not disposed to accept, and that means you're left with nothing but the complaint that no one will accept your hypothetical to see where it leads. If you want me to tag along, give me a reason for taking the first step, besides getting outside the box. You haven't shown there is one.

But OK, let's assume there is one. Why get outside of it? To transcend! Circular argument is circular. If you don't understand at this point how the classic religious pitch is tossing a wiffleball to anyone with enough experience of logic to recognize a circular argument, you never will.
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: The Will to Knowledge

#158  Postby DavidMcC » Jun 24, 2017 2:01 pm

jamest wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Thommo wrote:...
3) As far as the ordinary desire to learn goes there is a perfectly rational and well developed area of study that accounts for it without multiplication of entities - the theory of evolution. No challenge has been made to this. No actual obstacle for curiosity as an evolved trait has been suggested, let alone substantiated.

Sorry to "nit-pick", but there are obviously evolutionary limits to curiosity, because too much of it tends to get you killed (like the cat).

This thread isn't about cats. It's about us, whatever we are, but what is sure is that our curiosity [as a whole] extends to ALL facets of existence... many of which transcend the need to survive as physical beings on planet Earth.

You don't seem to understand what a simile is! You don't have to be a cat to be "like" a cat, and , in terms of curiosity, most mammals (aside, perhaps from rodents) are basically similar, mainly because it can help them find new food supplies (at the risk of putting the curious individual in danger).
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#159  Postby DavidMcC » Jun 24, 2017 3:38 pm

A tangential point here is that, AFAIK, there is no evidence that insects even have any curiosity. All they have is command instincts, such as (in thecase of ants) "follow the pheromone trail" and attack enemy ants, etc.
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Re: The Will to Knowledge

#160  Postby Thommo » Jun 24, 2017 8:06 pm

jamest wrote:
Thommo wrote:Our ability to inhale gases extends beyond the oxygen we need to breath to survive. Our ability to see allows us to read comic books. Our ability to manipulate objects allows us to pick up beer cans. Our ability to respond with fear to avoid dangerous stimuli applies to zombie horror movies. These also are not facts of particular significance.

Although why you'd waste time trying to worry about the details of empirical facts when we all know you will go back to saying that they cannot undermine a metaphysical argument like the one you're trying to undermine is an open question.

Siphon the negativity and I might be arsed. Otherwise, all the best. I can't be arsed any more. Best wishes to you and yours.


Quality tone policing from someone who regularly tells other posters to stick it up their arse and gets warned for gratuitous personal attacks.

Let's be honest, the real reason you ditch your threads is because you can't defend them.

Best wishes to you and yours.
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