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Chessmaster
April 3rd, 2008, 09:36 AM
And if so, what level are you, and what is your field / interests?

Myself, PhD student (Evolution of Moral Cognition).

Interests: Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Psychology, Meta-ethics, Moral Psych, Philosophy of Science (also have a degree in Chemistry), Epistemology...and all of the above naturalised. ;)

Helios1276
April 3rd, 2008, 11:39 AM
I'm merely a lowly undergrad, taking it with a couple of other subjects: English, Sociology...but I like to think i approach everything as a philosopher ..some calling it procrastination lol

billgoldberg
April 3rd, 2008, 11:40 AM
No, but I took some classes in college before I flunked out.

But it still intrigues me.

Tomatz
April 3rd, 2008, 11:42 AM
...

mrgnash
April 3rd, 2008, 01:05 PM
I majored in philosophy and religious studies. My own sympathies lie mostly with liberal/enlightenment philosophers, like John Stuart Mill, as well as feminist philosophers. Ultimately, my studies in philosophy lead me back to my first love: psychology, which I am not pursuing at the post-graduate level.

Chessmaster
April 3rd, 2008, 01:17 PM
John Stuart Mill is very cool. Way way ahead of his time.

odiseo77
April 3rd, 2008, 01:51 PM
Not exactly a philosopher here, but I studied literature at the university and have a degree in it. Although I like literature, nowadays I'm more interested in technical things, specially linux (weird mix :)).

During my years in the university I had to read some philosophy and some psychology, but I never got very in deep. About my preferences, I liked Michel Foucault when I read him (though he's very complex and hard to understand, in my opinion) and I also read some writings by Walter Benjamin which I liked, but I prefer literature and literary-philosophic writings like Edgar Allan Poe's Eureka or the writings by Jorge Luis Borges, etc.

JohnSearle
April 3rd, 2008, 01:51 PM
I have my BA in Philosophy, and I am currently in the process of doing another BA in Political Science to pass the time. I'm thinking I might try to mesh them together into some form of masters degree later on... Always found political philosophy interesting.

Other than that, my interests are in the cognitive philosophy area... personality, emotion, and most especially AI (hence my nick).

- John

Chessmaster
April 3rd, 2008, 01:59 PM
I have my BA in Philosophy, and I am currently in the process of doing another BA in Political Science to pass the time. I'm thinking I might try to mesh them together into some form of masters degree later on... Always found political philosophy interesting.

Other than that, my interests are in the cognitive philosophy area... personality, emotion, and most especially AI (hence my nick).

- John

John Searle ay. Are you a fan of the Chinese room? I consider myself a functionalist so I find teaching that stuff in tutorials a great argument starter.

Philosophy of AI stuff is very cool I am reading a lot of Andy Clark at the moment. Like Dennett as well, even though I don't necessarily agree with him, I like the way the man thinks. All very cool stuff.

Black Mage
April 3rd, 2008, 02:08 PM
If you think about thinking, are you on some level a philosopher?

Chessmaster
April 3rd, 2008, 02:25 PM
If you think about thinking, are you on some level a philosopher?

Yep. On some level. What level, depends on what you are thinking I suspect.

JohnSearle
April 3rd, 2008, 02:32 PM
John Searle ay. Are you a fan of the Chinese room? I consider myself a functionalist so I find teaching that stuff in tutorials a great argument starter.

Philosophy of AI stuff is very cool I am reading a lot of Andy Clark at the moment. Like Dennett as well, even though I don't necessarily agree with him, I like the way the man thinks. All very cool stuff.

I'm not really in agreement with his argument, but it was the first challenging argument I ran into in that field, I recall. It is somewhat a hallmark for me, which is probably why I took on his name... that, and I respect the guy.

- John

fwojciec
April 3rd, 2008, 02:40 PM
Let's not confuse scholars of philosophy with philosophers :P
Scholars, as Nietzsche aptly describes it, merely "knit the socks of the Spirit"...
I'm a grad student in political theory, by the way.

Kleist
April 3rd, 2008, 02:48 PM
For a while, I was interested in philosophy. But after trying to read Kant I gave up. I love the Russian and French literature of the XIX century. I think, Dostoevsky, for example, is a great philosopher and entertaining too.
But lately, I'm into science. I read the likes of Richard Dawkins, C. Sagan, Penrose, Hawkins, etc. And Christopher Hitchens too. I'm anti-theist, by the way. :)

ezphilosophy
April 3rd, 2008, 03:24 PM
Dennett's "Where am I?" in philosophy 101 is what got me interested in the subject where I eventually got a B.S. majoring in Philosophy.

Loved that essay.

I was/am also a big fan of Plato's "The Republic".

EdThaSlayer
April 3rd, 2008, 03:30 PM
I like to philosophize about why humans are in a constant state of chaos and like to predict the future based on the events occuring today. :D
I'm not a scholar though, but I have to say the world is an interesting place. :)

Dragonbite
April 3rd, 2008, 09:04 PM
I like hashing out ideas and theories, but I don't think that equates to Philosophy at the level you are intersted in.

jgrabham
April 3rd, 2008, 09:09 PM
I like hashing out ideas and theories, but I don't think that equates to Philosophy at the level you are intersted in.

Ditto, but i'm a huge fan of Ayn Rand, and very interested in objectivism.

IsawSp4rks
April 3rd, 2008, 09:10 PM
Yep. On some level. What level, depends on what you are thinking I suspect.

Wouldn't it be rather how you're thinking than what?

Chessmaster
April 4th, 2008, 12:34 PM
Wouldn't it be rather how you're thinking than what?

I assumed that when he said "Thinking about thinking" that was suggesting how he was thinking, i.e. a meta-analysis of thinking. I thought that "what" is important because if you are thinking complete and utter nonsensical rubbish, then I am not sure if you would want to class it as philosophy. Although, there is loads of nonsensical rubbish in philosophy of course.

True, "how" one thinks is a hallmark of philosophy but surely content is also important. Although there are so many debates about the methodology of philosophy now days (is philosophy limited to conceptual analysis? is experimental philosophy real philosophy? etc) that I am not sure how one would cash out "how" to do philosophy.

mrgnash
April 4th, 2008, 01:00 PM
I assumed that when he said "Thinking about thinking" that was suggesting how he was thinking, i.e. a meta-analysis of thinking. I thought that "what" is important because if you are thinking complete and utter nonsensical rubbish, then I am not sure if you would want to class it as philosophy. Although, there is loads of nonsensical rubbish in philosophy of course.

True, "how" one thinks is a hallmark of philosophy but surely content is also important. Although there are so many debates about the methodology of philosophy now days (is philosophy limited to conceptual analysis? is experimental philosophy real philosophy? etc) that I am not sure how one would cash out "how" to do philosophy.

This is just my take on it, but I tend to think that whether or not you are doing philosophy depends on the type of questions that you are asking/contemplating. What is the good life? How do we know what we know? What do we basis our moral codes upon? Are just some of the questions I would class as belonging to the realm of philosophy. If you are attempting to answer those questions, even if not at a particularly advanced or sophisticated level, then you are engaged in philosophy.

Chessmaster
April 4th, 2008, 01:24 PM
This is just my take on it, but I tend to think that whether or not you are doing philosophy depends on the type of questions that you are asking/contemplating. What is the good life? How do we know what we know? What do we basis our moral codes upon? Are just some of the questions I would class as belonging to the realm of philosophy. If you are attempting to answer those questions, even if not at a particularly advanced or sophisticated level, then you are engaged in philosophy.

Nice post. I guess it also includes lots of non-philosophy subjects as well, but the more the merrier - especially seeing as most disciplines originated in early philosophy and broke away as they became more specialised there are definitely connections. And the boundaries between disciplines themselves are becoming less robust and there is loads of 'leakage' between them.

mrgnash
April 4th, 2008, 01:30 PM
Nice post. I guess it also includes lots of non-philosophy subjects as well, but the more the merrier - especially seeing as most disciplines originated in early philosophy and broke away as they became more specialised there are definitely connections. And the boundaries between disciplines themselves are becoming less robust and there is loads of 'leakage' between them.

Precisely. There is still a good deal of philosophy in psychology, particularly psychoanalysis, and that is why it was a very natural progression for me, and I know that for many others the move from philosophy to psychology, or vice versa, is not only a natural one, but one that tends to be very enriching. Besides, a lot of psych. and philosophy units include a lot of the same thinkers and subject matter (Freud, Descartes, Locke, Socrates, etc.) But I'm getting off track now. The point is, philosophy is everywhere :)

ZarathustraDK
April 4th, 2008, 02:43 PM
Getting my bachelor this summer (I hope) with major in philosophy and Multimedia as a supplementary course. Going for the whole interdisciplinary perspective. It was quite a change to be seated in front of a computer and told "learn java" for me hehe :)

Though, late in the night, I mess around with Descartes and all the other 'you're gonna go crazy if you believe it' philosophies.

areteichi
April 4th, 2008, 03:42 PM
I'm not really in agreement with his argument, but it was the first challenging argument I ran into in that field, I recall. It is somewhat a hallmark for me, which is probably why I took on his name... that, and I respect the guy.

- John

Speaking of John Searle, I'm taking a class from him on Philosophy of Language right now. I'm an undergrad planning on pursuing a grad degree after finishing up my BA in phil next month.

Searle's lectures aren't like any other philosophy courses in that they are pretty entertaining at times but I don't know if I can say anything positive about his character traits.

And to add my naive opinion on JS Mill, I don't see how consequentialist theory of ethics is supposed to capture our moral intuitions in regards to the intention/motive behind the actions. In other words, any moral theory if it claims to be a theory should be deontological, though I do find Nietzsche and his extra-moral notion fascinating as well.

Chessmaster
April 5th, 2008, 12:38 AM
And to add my naive opinion on JS Mill, I don't see how consequentialist theory of ethics is supposed to capture our moral intuitions in regards to the intention/motive behind the actions. In other words, any moral theory if it claims to be a theory should be deontological, though I do find Nietzsche and his extra-moral notion fascinating as well.

Interestingly, in the US most ethicists are deontologists. In Australasia (and to some extent the UK) most philosophers would call themselves some form of consequentialist. (I am not saying in either case all, but the majority) Why? Not sure if it is a wider cultural thing or perhaps an institutional thing.

As for how it captures ones intuitions, for me consequentialism it is (in most cases) intuitive and captures my pre-philosophical intuitions (I just don't see how one can relegate consequences in their ethical reasoning). As a utilitarian, maximising say happiness / pleasure / preferences (depending on how you cash it out) and minimising the opposite captures my intuitions about motives - for me anyhow. Should we kill to one to save the five. Yes we should.

I actually find Kantian style deontology to be counter intuitive.

But, anyway. I suspect that the problem with ethical intuitions is that as everyday ethical beings we operate by a hodgepodge of different ethical folk theories, some deontological, some consequentialist, and sometimes some form of virtue ethics. Hence, in different intuitions appeal to different theories.

Should we kill one to say 100,000. Yes. Hence consequentialism sounds right.

Should we kill the lonesome stranger to placate a town. No. Here some form of deontology sounds right.

I always find ethical intuition pumping very suspect myself.

areteichi
April 5th, 2008, 07:02 AM
> Chessmaster

Going off topic a bit, but what do you think about the essay by Bernard Williams, "The Human Prejudice"?

I actually found it quite illuminating in that it tried to give an account for a possible viewpoint from which we can quite justifiably discuss ethics (though some moves he makes may be problematic). For many of the reactionaries to the Enlightenment period seemed to have annihilated what appeared to have been the objective ground for ethics. (e.g. Nietzsche, Freud, Marx)

linuxbeatswin
April 5th, 2008, 07:15 AM
I teach. I have to think on my feet and make sure my kids are actually learning something instead of memorizing crap. Does that count toward actual thinking? :)

Chessmaster
April 6th, 2008, 06:00 AM
> Chessmaster

Going off topic a bit, but what do you think about the essay by Bernard Williams, "The Human Prejudice"?

I actually found it quite illuminating in that it tried to give an account for a possible viewpoint from which we can quite justifiably discuss ethics (though some moves he makes may be problematic). For many of the reactionaries to the Enlightenment period seemed to have annihilated what appeared to have been the objective ground for ethics. (e.g. Nietzsche, Freud, Marx)

I haven't read it. I will endeavour to over the next few days (if I can get hold of a copy) and let you know what I think.

Bubba64
April 6th, 2008, 08:46 AM
I am a Psychology major, and have studied Depth Psychology for about 15 years from a comfortable chair. Carl Jung uses a lot of philosophers abstractions in his writing, and so do many others. This is a good way of looking at various subjects from an abstract point of view, as well as existential. I realize that not all philosophers are from these general schools but looking from the outside rather from within is generally helpful.

swoll1980
April 6th, 2008, 08:58 AM
I believe that a star is an explosion that became frozen in time(well not frozen but slowed to an almost complete stop) due to the extreme forces evolved if Einsteins theory is correct then speed and gravity can alter time I believe the super nova occurs when the explosion catches up with the rest of the universe if my theory is correct than our solar system has already been destroyed and we're just waiting for the blast to catch up with us. Is that philosophical enough?

Bubba64
April 6th, 2008, 09:05 AM
I believe that a star is an explosion that became frozen in time(well not frozen but slowed to an almost complete stop) due to the extreme forces evolved if Einsteins theory is correct then speed and gravity can alter time I believe the super nova occurs when the explosion catches up with the rest of the universe if my theory is correct than our solar system has already been destroyed and we're just waiting for the blast to catch up with us. Is that philosophical enough?

What about the random nature of the Quantum field which does not quite coalesce with Newtonian gravity and the theories of Albert Einstein completely. like I really know what I am talking about.

swoll1980
April 6th, 2008, 09:23 AM
What about the random nature of the Quantum field which does not quite coalesce with Newtonian gravity and the theories of Albert Einstein completely. like I really know what I am talking about.

string theory explains it all

Bubba64
April 6th, 2008, 09:36 PM
string theory explains it all

Well, but M theory is the answer to the multiple string theory's,
Here is a link To Info on Ed Witten.
http://www.superstringtheory.com/people/witten.html

Bubba64
April 6th, 2008, 11:47 PM
I am curious as to any opinions regarding the Archetypal influence on Philosophy looking from the point of Carl Jung's idea of the Collective Unconscious. I include this Wikipedia link to the very simple definition of the Collective Unconscious, I think though that the comment that Jung changed to Objective Psyche is incorrect though, as per many discussions with a Jungian therapist, who is also a Clinical Psychologist.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_unconscious
This Idea is also addressed by LÚvy-BrŘhl in the idea of participation mystique.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucien_L%C3%A9vy-Bruhl

Orcaporka
April 7th, 2008, 01:13 AM
Not exactly philosopher but I am a big fan of political sociology. My particular interest lies with the early Frankfurt school (Adorno, Horkeimer etc). Their pessismism about modernity seems completely in synch with my perspective on life.

handy
April 7th, 2008, 02:22 AM
Motivated by extremely profound personal experiences I have been interested in metaphysics for over 30 years.

One can discuss interesting topics & experiences in multiple ways, though there is no substitute for experience.

I am very fond of Carl Jung's work regarding the areas of the collective, synchronicity, archetypes & dreams. I consider much of Jung's work in these areas to fit hand in glove with metaphysical philosophy.

As opposed to a formal education on the topics at hand, which would be far more substantial & complete, I am self educated, a circumstance which has allowed me the freedom to follow my own course, as, when & how I see fit, for better & worse. ;-)

Bubba64
April 7th, 2008, 02:39 AM
Motivated by extremely profound personal experiences I have been interested in metaphysics for over 30 years.

One can discuss interesting topics & experiences in multiple ways, though there is no substitute for experience.

I am very fond of Carl Jung's work regarding the areas of the collective, synchronicity, archetypes & dreams. I consider much of Jung's work in these areas to fit hand in glove with metaphysical philosophy.

As opposed to a formal education on the topics at hand, which would be far more substantial & complete, I am self educated, a circumstance which has allowed me the freedom to follow my own course, as, when & how I see fit, for better & worse. ;-)

Thanks for your response. A lot of people put the construct of Jung in a Metaphysical context, personally I think this is due to wanting a resolution to questions which fit within our own proclivities, with the help of Archetypal influence. In his book The Answer to Job Jung suggests that we have made Higher Powers in our own images rather than being the product of. Eric Neumann in his book Art and the Creative Unconscious suggests that the Higher Power images are tied to the same Archetypes that produce art. Who knows really it is a matter of what works for you, I am glad that you are a reader of Jung at the least. And please will the original Thread starter let me know if they feel that by asking questions or responding that I have hijacked their thread, that is not my intention and will be glad to follow your wants.

Snodgrass
April 7th, 2008, 03:54 AM
I teach philosophy. The posts here about Searle and deontology/consequentialism interest me. I like to write my stuff using Emacs and Latex. :)

Tyler H
April 7th, 2008, 04:05 AM
For anyone looking for a great introduction to philosophy and the application of quantum mechanics to philosophy at an easy to understand level, check out David Darling's "Equations of Eternity". When I took my philosophy and logic classes almost every bit of the material taught I had previously read about in Darling's work.

handy
April 7th, 2008, 05:16 AM
Thanks for your response. A lot of people put the construct of Jung in a Metaphysical context, personally I think this is due to wanting a resolution to questions which fit within our own proclivities,

There exist a variety of motivations & modalities for attempting to satisfy these motivations regarding (in this case) the pursuit of understanding in the realms that we call philosophy & psychology.

Some may attempt to operate entirely from an objective intelligence, on what ever particular dimension(s) of existence that they are interested in. Be it from genuine personal interest, the joy of learning, for funds, the respect of others, influence or whatever blend of feedback from their external world does it for them.

Some may be motivated by a desire to assist someone they love, or humanity when & where they can.

Others (this is the group I fit into) may be motivated by personal internal experiences that their society/culture did not prepare them for in any way shape or form. So, their pursuit & use of these modalities of understanding life, is guided by how well they find it relates to the personal experiences that motivated them. i.e. That which they personally desire to understand.



In his book The Answer to Job Jung suggests that we have made Higher Powers in our own images rather than being the product of.

Historically there is a great deal of truth in the Jung's statement. It is certainly very obviously the case with the Christian, & many other religions.

Humanity is developing more advanced ways to relate to higher powers. As is essential to our future in my view. I also think that there have been many exceptions both culturally & individually throughout human history to Jung's statement.



Eric Neumann in his book Art and the Creative Unconscious suggests that the Higher Power images are tied to the same Archetypes that produce art.

The collective paradigms of human tribes, cultures & societies is a common denominator created by general levels of day to day experience of the people, the education & sensitivities of the people to their environments, their metaphysical consciousness, whether the people as a group are focussed outwardly (as modern technologically advanced societies are) or inwardly (as the Tibetan people are).

My definition of the group paradigm is that it is an intermediary between the group of people & the collective unconscious of those people, which extends into the ever more encompassing higher levels of consciousness, all of which humanity is mostly unconscious of. :lolflag:

I would think that Eric Neumann's statement is historically very likely both true & false. Though I really am shooting in the dark with that one, not having read his book.



Who knows really it is a matter of what works for you,

Well, some people do know. But it is not talked about very much, because it doesn't really do much for anybody. Our group paradigms are changing, as they do the art will express changes, eventually the education system will express these changes, & on it goes.

Perhaps one day universities will be teaching people practices that enable them to experience knowledge directly from the collective consciousness, & training them to be able to access varying levels of consciousness at will. This may be expanded into telepathic group work where the group mind may travel to other parts of existence, or creatively assist & enhance the homeostasis of life the universe & everything where & when required.

Humanities understanding of themselves is on the whole infantile. So much of the world has been hijacked by greed, so our spiritual development has been somewhat impeded in exchange for consuming technological wonders.

We'll get over it. :lolflag:



I am glad that you are a reader of Jung at the least.

I have barely read any Jung in nearly two decades now. Though I hold the man in the highest regard. He was capable of such clear perception.

Having read a great deal of works by others on esoteric philosophy, theosophy, meditation from many schools of Eastern religion, I found Jung to be one of the incredibly important builders of the bridge (which is definitely still under construction) of understanding between the East & the West. (I know those terms can be argued about, but lets not?)



And please will the original Thread starter let me know if they feel that by asking questions or responding that I have hijacked their thread, that is not my intention and will be glad to follow your wants.

I can't imagine that you or I have offended the OP in anyway. :-) If anything I expect to have amused him. ;-)

|2A|N
April 7th, 2008, 05:34 AM
Since we are on a topic of philosophy here is one of mine!


Existence

I have come across this question more than once and have pondered this many times before about what it is that makes us, well... us. We all have reason for life, we are here for reason not just "A Reason" but some of you may be asking for what? What exactly is a reason of life? I believe "Existence" is the word of reason for life in general terms but do you agree with it!? You don't have to because we all don't share the same reasoning of life but we can all relate to it. Some believe in different gods while others believe in a higher power and this is OK, but is this "A Reason" or just another reason!? I believe we exist for a greater cause and without reason to hide existence with. We create reason but we don't need reason to do something good for someone else do we!? So why should we put a reason on life itself!? Why cant we just accept reason for what it is and not what its worth? Anyone can put a price on reason, but you cant put a price on existence itself. Let us share life with existence first and then express our reasoning later because without accepting existence first there would be no reasoning of life to begin with. I myself believe in god and a higher power greater than myself through existence not through reasoning.

Shawn Plaugher

areteichi
April 7th, 2008, 07:16 AM
I believe that a star is an explosion that became frozen in time(well not frozen but slowed to an almost complete stop) due to the extreme forces evolved if Einsteins theory is correct then speed and gravity can alter time I believe the super nova occurs when the explosion catches up with the rest of the universe if my theory is correct than our solar system has already been destroyed and we're just waiting for the blast to catch up with us. Is that philosophical enough?

Science gives us answers to the question of how the world works. And I respect science in the results it shows, but nothing more. It doesn't answer the question of why the world works the way it does nor does it answer anything humane.
I am critical of science as much as all other things and I deviate from the common view in this respect. For science does not tell us e.g. why a sculptor carves a beautiful statue merely from physical/physiological/biological explanations. One needs to take into account the artistic talent, employed techniques, theme, etc. in order to fully answer the question. Nor does it tell us how we ought to act merely from understanding science. To say that e.g. this medicine will cure more people in a shorter time at less cost is regarded as facts, but you have to make a value judgment to say that something is better. (to cure more people in a shorter time and costing less are good things)

As I understand, most people today tend to conflate things about the world as being essentially identical to what science shows. But that misses the point because we are not always faced with a scientific question.
To answer the question "why does the Earth go around the Sun" by saying 'it is because the Earth goes around the Sun' begs the question. (even if one includes gravitational forces since that only tells us 'how')

I think this will all be clear if we consider what Heidegger has to say about being. Science only tells us things as things (present-at-hand). But many things we talk about are not just about things taken as things. If a foreigner comes to the U.S. and asks "what is this thing (a fork)?" apparently because he is not familiar with it, you don't answer him by saying "Oh it is a metal blob with four points on one end" but you would say something like this "It is a thing with which we eat food in this culture. You can stick the end with sharp tips into your food and eat with it by using the blob part as a handle." This is the way of understanding being as an equipment (readiness-to-hand).

So no, you're not doing philosophy for simply stating scientific facts. (or very little)

MountainX
April 7th, 2008, 07:29 AM
No mention of the great philosophers from the East? I didn't read every single post, but I read a lot of them and all I saw was Western philosophy. There is a lot more out there than this.

swoll1980
April 7th, 2008, 07:42 AM
who's stating facts? space time isn't a fact neither is my idea of a frozen explosion. for that reason they are not science, but rather philosophy for me to ask why rather than how is silly for the reason that nature is just a random series of events. There is no why. Inevitably all the whys end up being hows. Why did he win the lottery instead of I? He played the right number. See how my why became a how. In order for there to be a why the object in question has to have some kind of thought process. Since a planet rotating around a star has no thoughts or feelings there is no reason why it does anything. Only a how. Why did that guy play the lottery? Because he thought he could win. He thinks there for he is. And since he is, all my whys remain whys.

areteichi
April 7th, 2008, 08:02 AM
who's stating facts? space time isn't a fact neither is my idea of a frozen explosion. for that reason they are not science, but rather philosophy for me to ask why rather than how is silly for the reason that nature is just a random series of events. There is no why. Inevitably all the whys end up being hows. Why did he win the lottery instead of I? He played the right number. See how my why became a how. In order for there to be a why the object in question has to have some kind of thought process. Since a planet rotating around a star has no thoughts or feelings there is no reason why it does anything. Only a how. Why did that guy play the lottery? Because he thought he could win. He thinks there for he is. And since he is, all my whys remain whys.

You seemed to have missed most of my points. The reason why your 'whys' turn into 'hows' is because you're only accepting facts.

Why did someone win the game of poker? Because he was lucky/good player/had a good day/etc.
How did someone win the game of poker? By playing the game and winning it according to its rules. By having the right cards.

These are two distinct questions.

ADDED: it doesn't matter whether you call them facts or beliefs or whatever. what you take for granted is what I am calling a 'fact" and that is what is conflating the questions. Again, philosophy isn't merely about such realist approaches.

swoll1980
April 7th, 2008, 08:15 AM
You seemed to have missed most of my points. The reason why your 'whys' turn into 'hows' is because you're only accepting facts.

Why did someone win the game of poker? Because he was lucky/good player/had a good day/etc.
How did someone win the game of poker? By playing the game and winning it according to its rules. By having the right cards as you put it.

These are two distinct questions.

ADDED: it doesn't matter whether you call them facts or beliefs or whatever. what you take for granted is what I am calling a 'fact" and that is what is conflating the questions. Again, philosophy isn't merely about such realist approaches.

you have missed my points

your question why did he win? Became a how. "He was lucky". The fact that he was lucky is how he won not why he won. Since the Question evolved only a random series of events(the right cards the right strategy)and there were no thoughts or emotions involved. The answer to your why question became a how. Once again him being lucky isn't why he won it's how he won

handy
April 7th, 2008, 08:24 AM
No mention of the great philosophers from the East? I didn't read every single post, but I read a lot of them and all I saw was Western philosophy. There is a lot more out there than this.

I most certainly made mention of the East & in post 41.

handy
April 7th, 2008, 08:32 AM
who's stating facts? space time isn't a fact neither is my idea of a frozen explosion. for that reason they are not science, but rather philosophy for me to ask why rather than how is silly for the reason that nature is just a random series of events. There is no why. Inevitably all the whys end up being hows. Why did he win the lottery instead of I? He played the right number. See how my why became a how. In order for there to be a why the object in question has to have some kind of thought process. Since a planet rotating around a star has no thoughts or feelings there is no reason why it does anything. Only a how. Why did that guy play the lottery? Because he thought he could win. He thinks there for he is. And since he is, all my whys remain whys.

Starting or finishing the above statement with an imho, would have made it a lot more acceptable. :)


Knowing if our planet, solar system or this universe has consciousness is thus far beyond the current scientific ability of man.

Therefore it remains a question currently unanswerable by the natural sciences.

Personal opinions we can have, even personal experiences we can have on the topic. But they do not conform to the scientific method & are not acceptable by science as proof.

swoll1980
April 7th, 2008, 08:51 AM
Starting or finishing the above statement with an imho, would have made it a lot more acceptable. :)


Knowing if our planet, solar system or this universe has consciousness is thus far beyond the current scientific ability of man.

Therefore it remains a question currently unanswerable by the natural sciences.

Personal opinions we can have, even personal experiences we can have on the topic. But they do not conform to the scientific method & are not acceptable by science as proof.

Are you saying that in your opinion the earth does or could have consciousness
thought. No taking the easy way out either I want a strait answer.

Chessmaster
April 7th, 2008, 09:21 AM
No mention of the great philosophers from the East? I didn't read every single post, but I read a lot of them and all I saw was Western philosophy. There is a lot more out there than this.

Usually only comment on those that I know about, and I am sure others do too. I come from the Western tradition so naturally that is where my knowledge base is. I also suspect that most people on here have mainly encounted western philosophy due to mainly western teaching at their universities / schools etc. Or even what is available at their local book shop.

I am sure if we asked the same question in say India, or at least on a forum with mainly non-western participants, it would be the other way round.

handy
April 7th, 2008, 09:27 AM
Are you saying that in your opinion the earth does or could have consciousness
thought. No taking the easy way out either I want a strait answer.

Yes.

swoll1980
April 7th, 2008, 09:58 AM
Yes.

this is where reality starts to get fuzzy. I'm not going to say your wrong, but in this world that your proposing your computer could look through your photos when you go to sleep and wonder what could of been. Your microwave could get upset when it burns a bag of popcorn. Maybe I'm not really talking to you maybe I'm just a dream that the child version of myself is having or perhaps the old dieing version of me is having perhaps I'm not even a human, but someones dog having a dream about what it would be like to be human or I am but a single thought in the brain
of some superior being maybe my thoughts are not even my own but are like radio
waves being transmitted into my brain. What are Thoughts? Are they something
we do, or what we are? Is that philosophical enough?

handy
April 7th, 2008, 10:30 AM
this is where reality starts to get fuzzy. I'm not going to say your wrong, but in this world that your proposing your computer could look through your photos when you go to sleep and wonder what could of been. Your microwave could get upset when it burns a bag of popcorn.

:lolflag: I deny that the above was my proposition, but I am glad that I played a part in the inspiration of them in you! Those thoughts have never entered my head before just reading them here.



Maybe I'm not really talking to you maybe I'm just a dream that the child version of myself is having or perhaps the old dieing version of me is having perhaps I'm not even a human, but someones dog having a dream about what it would be like to be human or I am but a single thought in the brain
of some superior being maybe my thoughts are not even my own but are like radio
waves being transmitted into my brain. What are Thoughts? Are they something
we do, or what we are? Is that philosophical enough?

Yep, I can run with the second part of your post.

Consciousness, by definition! By who's definition? Is to me the most interesting subject to ponder. As it may very well be the source of all that exists in the relative universe as well as wherever else consciousness may penetrate.

I consider that it is possible that you may be near very profound truth when you start talking about dreams, & being in someone else's dream.

swoll1980
April 7th, 2008, 07:53 PM
I often think about things such as these, but usually keep them to my self. The computer and
the microwave was a first for me as well

DoctorMO
April 7th, 2008, 09:14 PM
I'm a NEP (Non-Educated Philosopher), I seek insight, ideas, connections, thoughts and concepts in order to discern a sense of the truth that may guide my being.


I consider that it is possible that you may be near very profound truth when you start talking about dreams, & being in someone else's dream.

The outer or meta reality question is a useful tool that allows us to look upon ourselves without life context. Yet I can't ever think of it as anything more than an intricately designed mirror with which to look at our selves. Much like pure fantasy, sci-fi and other mental abstractions.

Most of philosophy is looking and deciding and understanding what we are, who we are, what we are here for, what we want to be here for and what might be the answers other people have come up with.

Everything else gets spun out.

areteichi
April 8th, 2008, 01:17 AM
What I find most fascinating about philosophy is the fact that it is the discipline without (or very little) a presupposition. One only needs to have faith in his reason (which we don't really call faith). All other subjects bore me in this regard.

handy
April 8th, 2008, 04:39 AM
The outer or meta reality question is a useful tool that allows us to look upon ourselves without life context. Yet I can't ever think of it as anything more than an intricately designed mirror with which to look at our selves. Much like pure fantasy, sci-fi and other mental abstractions.

Most of philosophy is looking and deciding and understanding what we are, who we are, what we are here for, what we want to be here for and what might be the answers other people have come up with.

Everything else gets spun out.

I find (so called) Western philosophy on the whole to be limited to an intellectual pursuit, as opposed to Eastern philosophies which often incorporate practices that are intended to alter the adherents conscious awareness thus promoting personal spiritual education & growth, from inside.

Many of the Eastern philosophies offer practical techniques for furthering understanding through personal inner experience, usually involving breath & the senses, these paths have been well worn by aspirants, with the techniques having been refined & in use for many thousands of years.

handy
April 9th, 2008, 06:19 AM
Looks like I killed another one... :lolflag:

Bubba64
April 9th, 2008, 07:01 AM
Looks like I killed another one... :lolflag:

I would reply but my big floppy clown shoes are at the dry cleaners.