3 of 4
3
Critique My Philosophy of Life? (Repost)
Posted: 04 January 2014 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3349
Joined  2007-11-21
citizenschallenge.pm - 04 January 2014 05:22 PM
Philosofer123 - 29 November 2013 10:45 AM

Over the past few years, I have formulated my philosophy of life, a 13-page document that may be found at the following link:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Byh6JnTg3RMecHhxV0pYeklqV0U/edit?usp=sharing

I have found the entire exercise to be very beneficial personally, and I hope that you will benefit from reading the document.

I am posting my philosophy to solicit feedback so that it may be improved.  I welcome any constructive criticism that you may have.

Enjoy!

I’ll admit I clicked the link with my cynical specs on - but dang, that’s an interesting project you undertook and from my simpleton perspective you did an excellent job of covering the bases.  It helps that most of the… the… value judgements perhaps… in any event, I found much to agree with and nothing that made my eyes roll.

Great job.  And keep on keep’n on   grin

Do you think his statement of beliefs makes it appear that he thinks libertarian free will (the kind advocated by Robert Kane, whom he cites) is impossible?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 January 2014 10:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4404
Joined  2010-08-15
Bryan - 04 January 2014 06:21 PM

Do you think his statement of beliefs makes it appear that he thinks libertarian free will (the kind advocated by Robert Kane, whom he cites) is impossible?

Oh lordie, you asking me?   LOL

First, I don’t know enough about Kane’s ideas, to dare.
Second, I got too much cynicism, if not contempt, for what little libertarian notions I’m familiar with - and particularly the truly crazy things people say under the libertarian mantle, to take on that argument.

As for Philosofer123, I was simply saying I thought what he wrote made sense and he did a pretty nice job of organizing it.

 Signature 

We need each other, to keep ourselves honest

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 January 2014 10:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3349
Joined  2007-11-21
citizenschallenge.pm - 04 January 2014 10:28 PM
Bryan - 04 January 2014 06:21 PM

Do you think his statement of beliefs makes it appear that he thinks libertarian free will (the kind advocated by Robert Kane, whom he cites) is impossible?

Oh lordie, you asking me?   LOL

Well, yes I’m asking you!  grin

First, I don’t know enough about Kane’s ideas, to dare.

It seems to me that one need not know anything specific about Kane’s ideas on libertarian free will to offer a judgment on whether one has argued that his ideas should be classed as impossible.  If, for example, I write that “Kane’s conception of free will is impossible” then it should be clear to pretty much anybody that I think Kane’s model is impossible even if they don’t know of Kane or his ideas.

Second, I got too much cynicism, if not contempt, for what little libertarian notions I’m familiar with - and particularly the truly crazy things people say under the libertarian mantle, to take on that argument.

Well, it’s a complicated argument so I don’t blame you for not getting into it.  But this is more an issue of interpreting English.

As for Philosofer123, I was simply saying I thought what he wrote made sense and he did a pretty nice job of organizing it.

I’m a little disappointed his fellow skeptics aren’t giving him a tougher time.  Some of you are moral realists, and relatively few (from what I can tell) buy into an essentialyl hedonistic ethics.  If his arguments are that good then you should agree with him.  If they aren’t so good then you should criticize them, in my opinion.  Where’s the passion that ignites free will discussions (for example) between atheists of opposing views?  wink

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 January 2014 04:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6199
Joined  2006-12-20

Hi Bryan,

It’s been a while since we spoke about this. I’m posting because I think I might have a little to add and some improvement on definitions.

Luck and Libertarian Free will.

The first thing is to see what the problem with determinism is for what I’ll call Libertarian free will and then the problem will allow me to define what Libertarian free will is, since it’s what we would have to be able to do to overcome the problem.

The problem is one of luck, I’ll say what that means:

If circumstances beyond my control had been appropriately different I would have made different choices for better or worse.
I could not have made different choices without circumstances beyond my control having been appropriately different.

Since what libertarian free will is supposed to do is overcome this problem I can now define it:

Libertarian free will is that I could have done otherwise without circumstances beyond my control having been appropriately different.

I believe Robert Kane did start out trying to overcome the problem with determinism I’ve discussed. If he’s defined free will differently I’d say he hasn’t managed to overcome the problem and so has gained no more freedom or responsibility than determinism has to offer.

Galen Strawson’s argument is against us having freedom and responsibility over and above that which determinism has to offer and that is impossible since Libertarian free will is impossible by my definitiion and that is what it would take.


Stephen

[ Edited: 05 January 2014 04:12 AM by StephenLawrence ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 January 2014 05:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4581
Joined  2007-08-31

When this thread becomes a free will thread again (‘hijacked’ in Philosofer123’s words), Philosofer123 can start his next repost…

I would suggest that if somebody wants to discuss free will he can react in one of the existing free will threads or in the first ‘Critique My Philosophy of Life’-thread, and just post a link to his/hers posting here and the other way round. Or maybe an administrator can move this part of the discussion (beginning with Bryan’s first post) to the other thread started by Philosofer123? Then the context is still clear.

After Philosofer123’s first complaint and reposting about ‘hijacking his thread’, I find it not very decent to do this again in here.

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 January 2014 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4404
Joined  2010-08-15

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Byh6JnTg3RMecHhxV0pYeklqV0U/edit
Philosofer123
page 9
o Negative visualization

 This is the practice of visualizing things going wrong, which should eliminate shock

when they do go wrong

 To eliminate fear and anxiety, one may ask oneself, “What is the worst thing that

can happen?” with respect to a particular situation. Often, this worst-case scenario

is not very harmful in the overall context of one’s life.

 If the worst-case outcome would not itself necessarily disturb one’s mind,

then the anticipation of that outcome should not disturb one’s mind. And

the more disciplined one’s mind, the less likely that the worst-case outcome

would disturb one’s mind.

 As a bonus, negative visualization may lead one to better appreciate the positive

aspects of one’s current situation

Given my background I have a more pragmatic approach to these things - as opposed to keeping it within the bounds of cerebral philosophical musing.

For instance when I think of “Negative visualization”
If you are always expecting the worst out of a situation, then there is a good chance a situation will have negative out comes.
But, to ignore negative potentials, and hope that wishful thinking and happy manifestations will carry the day - can set up failure.

Negative visualization is also an excellent way to stay safe.

On the road when I’ve been in a close call, or seen one, or seen telltale skid marks - I do dwell on what may have happened,
that in turn makes me that much safer and alert a driver - than if I just went through my driving days never thinking of the real dangers that surround that act.

On my various jobs, where I put myself in harms way - a healthy sense of ‘negative visualization’ forces me to think about what I’m about to undertake and in turn to take the time to follow safe practices and use the proper safety gear and go about my job in a deliberate thoughtful manner.  Particularly since I’ve moved past regular full-time full-crew construction projects to semi-retired Handyman and small construction projects and it’s not uncommon for me to be working alone with no one around to save me should a serious accident happen.

==============

Philosofer123

Existential skepticism

 Existential skepticism is the view that it is highly implausible that life has inherent meaning, purpose

or value

 I believe that existential skepticism follows from the combination of atheism, afterlife skepticism,

free will impossibilism and moral skepticism

o According to this combination of views and modern science, life is a randomly generated,

contingent and nonmoral phenomenon that is devoid of free will and destined for

annihilation in a blink of the cosmic eye, at both the individual level and the aggregate level.

As such, it is difficult to imagine what kind of inherent meaning, purpose or value that life

could possibly have.

 However, one’s life may still have subjective meaning, purpose and/or value, and one may still

subjectively value the lives of others

I can’t do the philosophy thing too well - though I do a lot of personal philosophizing. 
In my world the above all adds up to one sentence I realized long ago:
“Your life means as much or as little as you yourself want it to mean.”

oh no did I just allow this to circle right back to “free will” - and I was trying so hard to get away from that…. 
  sick

 Signature 

We need each other, to keep ourselves honest

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 January 2014 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3349
Joined  2007-11-21

StephenLawrence, GdB

I’ve been addressing free will in the context of Phil’s document, since his reliance on Strawson’s regress argument leaves him using a straw man to neutralize the role of negative emotions in his life.  My questions recently have centered on Phil’s denial that he implies that he rules out LFW across the board, and his subsequent claim that his reasoning for neutralizing negative emotions is rational based on Strawson’s argument (without addressing the straw man nature of same).

It’s improper to suggest that my posts addressing the issue of free will in this thread are instances of hijacking.  Indeed, Phil hasn’t suggested as much.  Rather, he simply insists that my critique has failed while not offering a coherent support for his claim.


Stephen
wrote:

It’s been a while since we spoke about this. I’m posting because I think I might have a little to add and some improvement on definitions.

Meaning no offense, Stephen, but my experience with you is that your rhetorical imprecision nearly always ends up serving as a wall blocking effective communications.

The problem is one of luck, I’ll say what that means:

If circumstances beyond my control had been appropriately different I would have made different choices for better or worse.
I could not have made different choices without circumstances beyond my control having been appropriately different.

Since what libertarian free will is supposed to do is overcome this problem I can now define it:

Libertarian free will is that I could have done otherwise without circumstances beyond my control having been appropriately different.

That’s a statement of indeterminism, not free will (at least not without quite a bit more description).  The issue here is Strawson’s insistence that Kane’s “ultimate responsibility” needs an infinite regress to work.  But Strawson does not bother to argue that Kane’s “ultimate responsibility” is the same as the concept Kane argues can lead to “ultimate responsibility”:  “self-forming actions.”  If self-forming actions are different from actions exhibiting ultimate responsibility, then Strawson’s argument does not refute Kane’s position.

http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/ultimate_responsibility.html

To the best of my interpretive ability, Stephen, you do not correctly describe the situation between Kane and Strawson.

Stephen, GdB, I invite both of you to look at Phil’s statement of beliefs and offer your opinions on whether he appears to claim that LFW is impossible.  Yet the regress argument he borrows from Strawson assumes things about self-forming actions that Kane does not assert.  Strawson effectively conflates the two (ultimate responsibility and self-forming actions) by insisting that that an agent must self-forming actions in an infinite regress to have ultimate responsibility.  That doesn’t track with Kane’s reasoning.


“Kane, a libertarian, responds to Strawson by saying that we are causes of ourselves.  Although we cannot choose our birthplace or families, we can always choose to be different.  An alternative view is that we can be responsible for actions that we are not ultimately responsible for.  It is sufficient that we merely shape ourselves or have reasons for actions to make us morally responsible.”

http://philosophywithlouise.blogspot.com/2011/04/moral-responsibility-and-its-skeptics.html

[ Edited: 05 January 2014 11:55 AM by Bryan ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 January 2014 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  54
Joined  2013-11-23
citizenschallenge.pm - 04 January 2014 05:22 PM
Philosofer123 - 29 November 2013 10:45 AM

Over the past few years, I have formulated my philosophy of life, a 13-page document that may be found at the following link:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Byh6JnTg3RMecHhxV0pYeklqV0U/edit?usp=sharing

I have found the entire exercise to be very beneficial personally, and I hope that you will benefit from reading the document.

I am posting my philosophy to solicit feedback so that it may be improved.  I welcome any constructive criticism that you may have.

Enjoy!

I’ll admit I clicked the link with my cynical specs on - but dang, that’s an interesting project you undertook and from my simpleton perspective you did an excellent job of covering the bases.  It helps that most of the… the… value judgements perhaps… in any event, I found much to agree with and nothing that made my eyes roll.

Great job.  And keep on keep’n on   grin

Thanks, citizenschallenge!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 January 2014 02:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6199
Joined  2006-12-20
Bryan - 05 January 2014 11:47 AM

  The issue here is Strawson’s insistence that Kane’s “ultimate responsibility” needs an infinite regress to work.

Or if it doesn’t it doesn’t overcome the problem of luck which was the motivation for it in the first place.

I’ll leave it there.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 January 2014 03:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4581
Joined  2007-08-31
Bryan - 05 January 2014 11:47 AM

It’s improper to suggest that my posts addressing the issue of free will in this thread are instances of hijacking.  Indeed, Phil hasn’t suggested as much.

At the moment it becomes a discussion between only between others than Philosofer123, it becomes just another free will thread. I recognise why Philosofer123 does not like it, and I would suggest to use his other thread to continue the discussion. The word ‘hijacking’ was used by Philosofer123 in his OP of this thread. Of course you are free not to respect his wish.

Edit: So you can find a small reaction here.

[ Edited: 06 January 2014 04:28 AM by GdB ]
 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 January 2014 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3349
Joined  2007-11-21
GdB - 06 January 2014 03:47 AM
Bryan - 05 January 2014 11:47 AM

It’s improper to suggest that my posts addressing the issue of free will in this thread are instances of hijacking.  Indeed, Phil hasn’t suggested as much.

At the moment it becomes a discussion between only between others than Philosofer123, it becomes just another free will thread.

That doesn’t follow.  As I’ve already pointed out (a futile gesture, in your case), my arguments here about free will touch directly on the foundation for Phil’s treatment of negative emotions.  All this means is that Phil has bowed out of the discussion he invited.

I recognise why Philosofer123 does not like it, and I would suggest to use his other thread to continue the discussion.

I’ve replied to you in that other thread.  At the same time, I’ll continue to gently press my critique of Phil’s paper here.  Phil not liking it doesn’t mean it’s off-topic.

The word ‘hijacking’ was used by Philosofer123 in his OP of this thread. Of course you are free not to respect his wish.

There you go again.  It’s almost as though you formed your opinion without reading the thread.  So tell me the truth, did you read this thread before deciding you had moral high ground sufficient to criticize me?  And if you did, do you have better evidence than Phil doesn’t like it to suggest that I’m derailing the thread? 

I’m concentrating my words on Phil’s statement when not responding to asides such as yours, GdB.  The evidence will bear me out.  Have a look if you get the chance.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 January 2014 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1927
Joined  2007-10-28
StephenLawrence - 06 January 2014 02:17 AM

Or if it doesn’t it doesn’t overcome the problem of luck which was the motivation for it in the first place.

Not necessarily so.

From http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/dfwVariousKane.html

You may find all this interesting and yet still find it hard to shake the intuition that if choices are undetermined, they must happen merely by chance—and so must be “random,” “capricious,” “uncontrolled,” “irrational,” and all the other things usually charged. Such intuitions are deeply ingrained. But if we are ever going to understand free will, I think will have to break old habits of thought that support such intuitions and learn to think in new ways. The first step in doing this is to question the intuitive connection in most people’s minds between “indeterminism’s being involved in something” and “its happening merely as a matter of chance or luck.” “Chance” and “luck” are terms of ordinary language that carry the connotation of “its being out of my control.” So using them already begs certain questions, whereas “indeterminism” is a technical term that merely precludes deterministic causation, though not causation altogether. Indeterminism is consistent with nondeterministic or probabilistic causation, where the outcome is not inevitable. It is therefore a mistake (alas, one of the most common in debates about free will) to assume that “undetermined” means “uncaused.”

Bold added by me.

So, the problem of luck is a pseudo problem due to begging the question.

 Signature 

I am, therefore I think.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2014 07:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6199
Joined  2006-12-20

I’ve replied on a free will thread Kkwan

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 January 2014 08:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1486
Joined  2009-10-21

(oops, put this in the wrong thread. this being the “right” one)

  I see no “joy” in reaching for goals, but there can be joy in achieving them. 

Not sure what I can do explain that one. I’ve had some tremendous failures in my life, but I’ve been honest about what I was doing, fair in how I dealt with others and celebrated along the way. The joy came from that, not the final result.

  Where do I mention “balance” in a way that would be inconsistent with living in the present?

You don’t specifically. I would have to tally up how much you focus on “living in the present” vs making trade-offs and working toward long term goals. I could be misreading your overal intentions. You make general statements about “the trade-off between present and future” p. 12, but I think you make more specific statements when considering avoiding a long term goal, like politics or children.

  Lausten - 17 January 2014 10:38 AM
 

The overemphasis can be seen in how you apply that. You handled grief and being offended, but I can be insulted by something that is an affront to my sense of what is right. I am offended by a degradation of the environment that will affect life.

      Then you clearly disagree with moral skepticism (see page 3 of the document).  So, where do my arguments for moral skepticism go wrong?

I’m not sure that I do disagree. You say natural selection partially explains moral variability. Natural selection would promote a clean environment because a non-clean one would select out its inhabitants. Even attempts to send your non-cleanness downstream are likely to come back and bite you. I can feel this at a morally intutitive level and provide a reasoned explanation for it.

I guess it’s how you look at where reasoning arises. I see motivation as coming from somewhere less defined, from thoughts that I have little control over, then my so-called higher functioning brain kicks in and chooses what to empower and what to discard.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 August 2014 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  54
Joined  2013-11-23

The link in the OP is now inactive. My philosophy is now available at:

http://philosofer123.wordpress.com

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 4
3