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Big Philosophy is Dead
Posted: 07 July 2015 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve hinted at this in other threads, so I thought I’d start up a thread just on this idea: Big Philosophy is Dead. I’m referring to the types of philosophy that we all know and love and studied in college, like metaphysics, philosophy of mind, etc. i.e. all the big questions.  My thought is this: we are limited beings, with a certain set of concepts available to us. We have no way of knowing whether or not that set of concepts is enough to answer the big questions. Therefore we should just stop with the big questions, and focus on the here and now and applying what we can to more manageable questions like ethics, etc. (And yes, I do see the irony in posing a ‘big question’ arguing against big questions. I guess it’s self-referential.)  The reason I think this is my fish tank. I look at my tropical fish and their world, and think, maybe there’s a really smart fish in the tank thinking about who fish are, how’d they get there etc. There’s no possible way for that fish to think about cosmology, quantum physics, etc. etc. his set of concepts is very limited. And then I think, how are we different from the fish? We aren’t. It’s a matter of degree, not kind, as far as concepts go.

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Posted: 07 July 2015 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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You might enjoy Wittgenstein’s Poker, a book about a meeting between him and Karl Popper. Wittgenstein has an argument about how everything is merely language, which I haven’t bothered to try to understand. Popper on the other hand contributed to the scientific method. I would like to see the word philosophy come back in to use, so people understand that science is a form of it. Religion is also a form of it, just a particularly bad one. It would help our discussion about what those things are.

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Posted: 09 July 2015 04:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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In a certain sense ‘Big Philosophy’ is dead: grand metaphysics that explains what the world really is behind the scenes, and how everything in it relates to everything else is afaik not practiced anymore at any serious university. Such metaphysical systems designed in the history of philosophy are still studied in philosophy, from purely historical interest on one side, but also because many of these systems contain ideas that can also be useful without taking into account the complete system.

I think there are several causes for this ‘downfall’: in the first place the development of science. It turns out that many questions that philosophers thought can be answered based on simple (non-instrumental) observation and reason alone, can be accessed with more advanced methods, and get much deeper results in this way. So the domain of philosophy became smaller. On the other side philosophy developed in itself: it discovered that the questions and answers on philosophical questions are highly dependent on the theoretical and cultural background of the philosophers. So philosophy became more and more a ‘critical method’: how to clean our intellectual glasses so we can get a more objective view. Kant started this movement with his ‘Critique of Pure Reason’, but he made his idea in a ‘Big Philosophy’ himself. But the idea was picked up and developed in different directions, very often with an emphasis on the dimensions of language: as analytic philosophy, as philosophy of communication (e.g. Habermas), or as critique on language as instrument for intellectual and cultural imperialism (e.g. post-modernism). As different as they are, they all are in some way, one more radical than the other, critiques on ‘Big Philosophy’. Post-Modernism even uses the concept (taken from Heidegger) of the ‘End of Philosophy’, where ‘end’ is used in both its meanings: as the opposite of ‘begin’, but also as ‘goal’: a critique on all ‘Big Stories’ (that for many post-modernists include science).

But this does not mean there is no place for philosophy anymore, only that its aims are not that high anymore as they once were. But any philosophy that analyses problems about brain, conciousness, mind and free will is still philosophy of mind, and therefore is is not dead at all. And I think that we thanks and despite our extreme language capabilities, can have a much better understanding of our world than a goldfish can. So even if it is ‘just a matter of degree’, I would say is is a matter of millions of degrees.

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Posted: 09 July 2015 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Great reply, thanks. I came to philsophy I “think” around the time that the big switch was happening in the US as far as schools go. The old Big stuff was still taught in beginning classes, and was certainly interesting. But at the graduate level it had started to fall away. I do remember going into grad school with the big stuff in my head only to find out that serious philosophers, i.e. my professors, had pretty much moved on to the methods you mentioned, a more grounded approach. It really threw me for a loop.

Anyway, your last statement about goldfish is definitely true…a million degrees different, but still, a matter of degrees. wink  Although, maybe not?? We can use our concepts to improve our lot. Goldfish on the other hand can’t. So maybe it’s half and half.

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Posted: 12 July 2015 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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CuthbertJ - 07 July 2015 10:48 AM

I’ve hinted at this in other threads, so I thought I’d start up a thread just on this idea: Big Philosophy is Dead. I’m referring to the types of philosophy that we all know and love and studied in college, like metaphysics, philosophy of mind, etc. i.e. all the big questions.  My thought is this: we are limited beings, with a certain set of concepts available to us. We have no way of knowing whether or not that set of concepts is enough to answer the big questions. Therefore we should just stop with the big questions, and focus on the here and now and applying what we can to more manageable questions like ethics, etc. (And yes, I do see the irony in posing a ‘big question’ arguing against big questions. I guess it’s self-referential.)  The reason I think this is my fish tank. I look at my tropical fish and their world, and think, maybe there’s a really smart fish in the tank thinking about who fish are, how’d they get there etc. There’s no possible way for that fish to think about cosmology, quantum physics, etc. etc. his set of concepts is very limited. And then I think, how are we different from the fish? We aren’t. It’s a matter of degree, not kind, as far as concepts go.

You ask: how are we different from the fish? But what if you ask: how are the fish different from us? And not just the fish, but all other beings? We can postulate that they aren’t essentially different; we’re all limited beings, regardless of whether we live in a tank or in a pond or in an ocean. But this is itself a metaphysical postulate! And, as Laurence Lampert puts it, “it has an arguable and plausible superiority as an interpretation, and it is able as well to account for both the world of concern to us and the world in itself.” (Lampert, Leo Strauss and Nietzsche, page 43.) Big philosophy is not dead; only dogmatic philosophy is. And in fact, actual philosophy was never dogmatic, never considered itself wisdom; that was just Platonic political philosophy, the Platonic politics for philosophy. That politics is now no longer viable, and therefore philosophy must adopt a new politics: coming out into the open as what it is, “the passion to understand the whole rationally, the love of wisdom that is, Socrates indicated in the Symposium, the highest eros of a whole that can be understood as eros and nothing besides.” (Lampert, How Philosophy Became Socratic, page 13.)

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Posted: 13 July 2015 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Sauwelios - 12 July 2015 02:47 PM
CuthbertJ - 07 July 2015 10:48 AM

I’ve hinted at this in other threads, so I thought I’d start up a thread just on this idea: Big Philosophy is Dead. I’m referring to the types of philosophy that we all know and love and studied in college, like metaphysics, philosophy of mind, etc. i.e. all the big questions.  My thought is this: we are limited beings, with a certain set of concepts available to us. We have no way of knowing whether or not that set of concepts is enough to answer the big questions. Therefore we should just stop with the big questions, and focus on the here and now and applying what we can to more manageable questions like ethics, etc. (And yes, I do see the irony in posing a ‘big question’ arguing against big questions. I guess it’s self-referential.)  The reason I think this is my fish tank. I look at my tropical fish and their world, and think, maybe there’s a really smart fish in the tank thinking about who fish are, how’d they get there etc. There’s no possible way for that fish to think about cosmology, quantum physics, etc. etc. his set of concepts is very limited. And then I think, how are we different from the fish? We aren’t. It’s a matter of degree, not kind, as far as concepts go.

You ask: how are we different from the fish? But what if you ask: how are the fish different from us? And not just the fish, but all other beings? We can postulate that they aren’t essentially different; we’re all limited beings, regardless of whether we live in a tank or in a pond or in an ocean. But this is itself a metaphysical postulate! And, as Laurence Lampert puts it, “it has an arguable and plausible superiority as an interpretation, and it is able as well to account for both the world of concern to us and the world in itself.” (Lampert, Leo Strauss and Nietzsche, page 43.) Big philosophy is not dead; only dogmatic philosophy is. And in fact, actual philosophy was never dogmatic, never considered itself wisdom; that was just Platonic political philosophy, the Platonic politics for philosophy. That politics is now no longer viable, and therefore philosophy must adopt a new politics: coming out into the open as what it is, “the passion to understand the whole rationally, the love of wisdom that is, Socrates indicated in the Symposium, the highest eros of a whole that can be understood as eros and nothing besides.” (Lampert, How Philosophy Became Socratic, page 13.)

It’s really more of an epistemological statement. We can never know if the set of concepts available to us is sufficient to explain the reality we find ourselves in.

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Posted: 13 July 2015 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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CuthbertJ - 13 July 2015 10:53 AM

It’s really more of an epistemological statement. We can never know if the set of concepts available to us is sufficient to explain the reality we find ourselves in.

Epistemology has often been categorized under metaphysics, and rightly so, considering that the distinction between it and ontology already rests on a metaphysical distinction, and by no means the most likely one:

“The identification of will to power with interpretation and our exposition of Nietzsche’s broad conception of interpretation allow us to answer the last of our initial questions: is will to power an epistemological or an ontological doctrine? The answer is that it is both, or neither: both, because it offers an account of knowing and being; neither, because it collapses the rigorous distinctions between subject and object, knower and known, upon which epistemology and ontology are traditionally founded.” (Christoph Cox, Nietzsche: Naturalism and Interpretation, page 241.)

The only being we know from the inside is our own. And even in supposing that this is a matter of “we”, that what we interpret as other human beings are essentially the same on the inside, we already make the postulation I spoke of. Now of course it’s not necessarily the case that what we interpret as another being—my keyboard, for instance—is one being, and not rather (a part of) multiple beings; but to suppose that what it’s like to be any non-human being is absolutely different from what it’s like to be one of “us” is less parsimonious than to suppose that it’s only relatively different, that it’s essentially the same. Thus the interpretation of being as interpreting is the most reasonable interpretation—though only in the sense of human reason, of course, and not of some supposed “universal reason”. Remains the question as to the interpretation of interpretation—and with that, I conclude my post!

[ Edited: 13 July 2015 02:11 PM by Sauwelios ]
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Posted: 14 July 2015 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’ll say you’ve got the philosophy banter and jargon down pat. How about some thinking for yourself though? How do we know whether or not the set of concepts available to us is sufficient to explain the situation we find ourselves in?

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Posted: 14 July 2015 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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CuthbertJ - 14 July 2015 11:10 AM

I’ll say you’ve got the philosophy banter and jargon down pat. How about some thinking for yourself though?

Wow, already?

How do we know whether or not the set of concepts available to us is sufficient to explain the situation we find ourselves in?

We don’t. That’s only a problem from a foundationalist perspective, though.

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Posted: 15 July 2015 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Sauwelios - 14 July 2015 11:34 AM
CuthbertJ - 14 July 2015 11:10 AM

I’ll say you’ve got the philosophy banter and jargon down pat. How about some thinking for yourself though?

Wow, already?

How do we know whether or not the set of concepts available to us is sufficient to explain the situation we find ourselves in?

We don’t. That’s only a problem from a foundationalist perspective, though.

Ok, from what perspective is that not a problem?

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Posted: 15 July 2015 01:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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CuthbertJ - 15 July 2015 10:16 AM
Sauwelios - 14 July 2015 11:34 AM

How do we know whether or not the set of concepts available to us is sufficient to explain the situation we find ourselves in?

We don’t. That’s only a problem from a foundationalist perspective, though.

Ok, from what perspective is that not a problem?

A perspectivist perspective. A perspectivist will not deny that everything is only perspectival from his perspective, that everything may just seem perspectival to him because he lacks the concepts necessary to conceive of a non-perspectival being—e.g., a divine being, with an “all-seeing eye”. Others may have revelations, even though he’s unable to conceive how any revelation would not need another revelation to reveal that the previous revelation is in fact a revelation and not just a phenomenon (e.g., a hallucination) interpreted as a revelation. All he has is reason, his reason, and even its axioms need not be true; maybe A does not (always) equal A? But what he knows, what he feels, is that he wants them to be true. More precisely, what he wants to be true is precisely that truth is will to power:

“At this level, truth is not something that can be proved or disproved: it is something which you determine upon, which, in the language of the old psychology, you will. It is not something waiting to be discovered, something to which you submit or at which you halt: it is something you create, it is the expression of a particular kind of life and being which has, in you, ventured to assert itself.” (R.J. Hollingdale, Introduction to Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra.)

To will this to be true is to will the will to power to be the truth. As I put it elsewhere, while on magic truffles:

[We philosophers] actually value existence precisely as what, in our view, it most probably is: valuation, the valuing of being over non-being, the valuing of it precisely because to be is to value. To be is to rise up in Satanic defiance of God, of non-being: the rising up out of non-being, the asserting of oneself as a being, is pleasurable to those who do it; otherwise they would cease doing it, or not have started doing it in the first place. This big bang of ours, and this coming into existence of minute quanta, is all a great hubristic rebellion against non-being, against the notion that it’s better not to be. That which does not exist is just tacitly, passively, agreeing with that notion. But it’s not true, it is better to rebel, no matter what profound and protracted torture it may be punished with. The rebellion itself is worth it. This fleeting moment of being, this little life of ours, and our dedication of it to its affirmation—that is absolutely worth it.

(Note. To be is only to rise up in defiance of non-being in a sense; it really is to assert oneself against other beings, other wannabeings. Non-being is not some kind of vacuum that sucks beings back into it; the only force that pushes beings back into non-being is the force exerted on them by other beings, for beings can only emerge and persist at the expense of other beings.)

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Posted: 17 July 2015 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Ok, well you’re telling personal stories couched as philosophy (where person refers to those who believe in the perspectival notion). Very old school and way too personal or anthropocentric. Being and non-beings, perceptions, etc. are human characteristics, and so all your explanations and fancy talk are just limited personal stories told in a manner that seems to have something to do with the world. And that’s really all the old philosophers did, though some way better than others. 

But I guess to stay in your mode of thinking, because it is somewhat interesting, if small…what do these thinkers think about times prior to any sentient human? Is the idea that there has to be a sentient being of some sort to perceive things? And the notion of a being that has existence. How do we know whether those couple concepts, “being”, “existence” are even relavent to understand the universe?

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Posted: 17 July 2015 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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CuthbertJ - 17 July 2015 10:27 AM

Ok, well you’re telling personal stories couched as philosophy (where person refers to those who believe in the perspectival notion). Very old school and way too personal or anthropocentric. Being and non-beings, perceptions, etc. are human characteristics, and so all your explanations and fancy talk are just limited personal stories told in a manner that seems to have something to do with the world. And that’s really all the old philosophers did, though some way better than others.

But I guess to stay in your mode of thinking, because it is somewhat interesting, if small…what do these thinkers think about times prior to any sentient human? Is the idea that there has to be a sentient being of some sort to perceive things? And the notion of a being that has existence. How do we know whether those couple concepts, “being”, “existence” are even relavent to understand the universe?

Again, we don’t. In fact, “we” don’t even know whether there is a “we”. Maybe solipsism is true. In fact, maybe even solipsism is already going too far: after all, the notion that there must be a subject to do anything—for example, to think up Being—may already be mistaken. Maybe there is just a dream, and not even a dreamer. But we rebel against this idea. I mean, I rebel against it. I mean, in this dream there is a rebellion against the idea that it’s just a dream. This rebellion leads to the assertion of an “I”, and then to the assertion of multiple “Is”, of a “we”. Are you willing to grant this? May I speak of “we”, as far as you’re concerned?

I will presume that I may. Well then, what do “we” know? We only know our own being, human being. But whereas the beings with whom we can articulate the notion of a “we” all look and behave essentially alike, there are beings that look and behave a bit more different. These we call non-human animals. We suppose that, though their being is not human, like ours, it is still animal, also like ours. More broadly, we suppose that their being is still sentient, like ours (and even then we cannot but anthropomorphize). But what about “lifeless things”—my keyboard, for example? Based on our perceptions, we must suppose that they are far more different from us than any “sentient” being. However, we cannot imagine them to be absolutely different, as we ultimately only have experience of our own kind of being. We cannot imagine what it’s like to be lifeless or non-sentient. Therefore, we can only suppose that even my keyboard is a sentient being, or (a part of) multiple sentient beings.

[ Edited: 17 July 2015 10:26 PM by Sauwelios ]
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Posted: 19 July 2015 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Sauwelios - 17 July 2015 07:06 PM
CuthbertJ - 17 July 2015 10:27 AM

Ok, well you’re telling personal stories couched as philosophy (where person refers to those who believe in the perspectival notion). Very old school and way too personal or anthropocentric. Being and non-beings, perceptions, etc. are human characteristics, and so all your explanations and fancy talk are just limited personal stories told in a manner that seems to have something to do with the world. And that’s really all the old philosophers did, though some way better than others.

But I guess to stay in your mode of thinking, because it is somewhat interesting, if small…what do these thinkers think about times prior to any sentient human? Is the idea that there has to be a sentient being of some sort to perceive things? And the notion of a being that has existence. How do we know whether those couple concepts, “being”, “existence” are even relavent to understand the universe?

Again, we don’t. In fact, “we” don’t even know whether there is a “we”. Maybe solipsism is true. In fact, maybe even solipsism is already going too far: after all, the notion that there must be a subject to do anything—for example, to think up Being—may already be mistaken. Maybe there is just a dream, and not even a dreamer. But we rebel against this idea. I mean, I rebel against it. I mean, in this dream there is a rebellion against the idea that it’s just a dream. This rebellion leads to the assertion of an “I”, and then to the assertion of multiple “Is”, of a “we”. Are you willing to grant this? May I speak of “we”, as far as you’re concerned?

I will presume that I may. Well then, what do “we” know? We only know our own being, human being. But whereas the beings with whom we can articulate the notion of a “we” all look and behave essentially alike, there are beings that look and behave a bit more different. These we call non-human animals. We suppose that, though their being is not human, like ours, it is still animal, also like ours. More broadly, we suppose that their being is still sentient, like ours (and even then we cannot but anthropomorphize). But what about “lifeless things”—my keyboard, for example? Based on our perceptions, we must suppose that they are far more different from us than any “sentient” being. However, we cannot imagine them to be absolutely different, as we ultimately only have experience of our own kind of being. We cannot imagine what it’s like to be lifeless or non-sentient. Therefore, we can only suppose that even my keyboard is a sentient being, or (a part of) multiple sentient beings.

Assuming that “there is just a dream, and not even a dreamer” and that our notion of “we” is just a rebellion within the dream, against the idea that there is only a dream, and assuming that your eventual conclusion from that is correct, (i.e., that your “keyboard is a sentient being, or (a part of) multiple sentient beings”) <oooh, that is a lot to assume, but nevertheless, assuming all of that>  uhhh. what might be useful from pondering this notion? 

It seems to me that the “dream” would become rather bland if “we” all acquiesced ... oh forget it, this is all too silly.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 19 July 2015 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Sauwelios - 17 July 2015 07:06 PM
CuthbertJ - 17 July 2015 10:27 AM

Ok, well you’re telling personal stories couched as philosophy (where person refers to those who believe in the perspectival notion). Very old school and way too personal or anthropocentric. Being and non-beings, perceptions, etc. are human characteristics, and so all your explanations and fancy talk are just limited personal stories told in a manner that seems to have something to do with the world. And that’s really all the old philosophers did, though some way better than others.

But I guess to stay in your mode of thinking, because it is somewhat interesting, if small…what do these thinkers think about times prior to any sentient human? Is the idea that there has to be a sentient being of some sort to perceive things? And the notion of a being that has existence. How do we know whether those couple concepts, “being”, “existence” are even relavent to understand the universe?

Again, we don’t. In fact, “we” don’t even know whether there is a “we”. Maybe solipsism is true. In fact, maybe even solipsism is already going too far: after all, the notion that there must be a subject to do anything—for example, to think up Being—may already be mistaken. Maybe there is just a dream, and not even a dreamer. But we rebel against this idea. I mean, I rebel against it. I mean, in this dream there is a rebellion against the idea that it’s just a dream. This rebellion leads to the assertion of an “I”, and then to the assertion of multiple “Is”, of a “we”. Are you willing to grant this? May I speak of “we”, as far as you’re concerned?

I will presume that I may. Well then, what do “we” know? We only know our own being, human being. But whereas the beings with whom we can articulate the notion of a “we” all look and behave essentially alike, there are beings that look and behave a bit more different. These we call non-human animals. We suppose that, though their being is not human, like ours, it is still animal, also like ours. More broadly, we suppose that their being is still sentient, like ours (and even then we cannot but anthropomorphize). But what about “lifeless things”—my keyboard, for example? Based on our perceptions, we must suppose that they are far more different from us than any “sentient” being. However, we cannot imagine them to be absolutely different, as we ultimately only have experience of our own kind of being. We cannot imagine what it’s like to be lifeless or non-sentient. Therefore, we can only suppose that even my keyboard is a sentient being, or (a part of) multiple sentient beings.

A line I heard: “I’m a solipsist and I don’t understand why everyone else isn’t.”

LL

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
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Posted: 19 July 2015 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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TimB - 19 July 2015 12:46 PM

Assuming that “there is just a dream, and not even a dreamer” and that our notion of “we” is just a rebellion within the dream, against the idea that there is only a dream, and assuming that your eventual conclusion from that is correct, (i.e., that your “keyboard is a sentient being, or (a part of) multiple sentient beings”) <oooh, that is a lot to assume, but nevertheless, assuming all of that>  uhhh. what might be useful from pondering this notion?

It seems to me that the “dream” would become rather bland if “we” all acquiesced ... oh forget it, this is all too silly.

I’m not assuming any of that. What I mean is that the view that there’s just a dream, and not even a dreamer, is the most parsimonious view possible with our concepts. But whether our notion of “we” be correct or not, our limitedness leads me to the conclusion, not that my keyboard is (a) (part of) sentient being(s), but that we can only suppose that it is. I mean, we can suppose that it’s not, that we cannot possibly imagine what it’s like to be (part) (of) (a) keyboard, but then we can never really understand or explain it at all; we can only describe it. And that’s actually all (modern) science does.

“Science itself is the simple realization that whatever is experienced—a self, a world, the law of contradiction, a god or anything else—is nothing apart from its being experienced. Science’s reality is nothing but empty experiences, impressions as Hume called them. From a scientific point of view everything high or low, including the distinction between high and low, becomes a way of experiencing, a point of view, an interpretation, a method, a discipline of thinking or perceiving. [... S]cience is not a cooperative enterprise in which scientists work for each other and with each other, building on previous scientific findings. Science neither progresses nor regresses. It requires no complicated equipment nor intricate specialization. Its beginning and end is realization of life’s nihilism. Once that is realized scientists can, to pass the time, champion any ‘scientific’ theory or moral-political cause. So long as they exempt nothing from reality’s nihilism, they can promote war or peace, evolution or creation, a stationary or a mobile earth, dictatorship or anarchy—or anything else. However they never forget that these philosophic-propagandistic conflicts between mankind’s moralities have nothing to do with science, genuine knowledge of reality.
[...] Philosophy springs from common sense or what Nietzsche, more nihilistically, called the herd instinct. The herd instinct’s essence is its being common or communal, an instinct which makes political sense out of life. This instinct inspires the faith that one has an identity distinguishing one from other things in a universe shared with them. It creates the illusion that reality is a coherent, intelligible world, not merely a chaos of empty reveries or experiences.
Although it obviously is impossible to experience anything but experiences, herd instinct faith makes men believe that they grasp things which exist as more than mere experience. However much the herd instinct may vary in different bestial and human herds, it never is democratic. For it always inculcates one chief care in all herd members. That care is to get what is good for oneself, to live the good life. This care is informed by the moral-political orthodoxies of one’s herd. Unlike unphilosophic herd members, philosophic herd members turn this care into a question whose answer is not self-evident. [...] It is not a serious question for scientists, but then, what can be serious in life’s nihilism! Nothing apart from arbitrary willfulness, the tyrannic resolve to force seriousness on nihilism’s indifference. In a book aptly titled Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche describes philosophy as the most tyrannic form of this will to overpower reality’s nihilism.” (Harry Neumann, “Political Philosophy or Nihilist Science?”)

Unphilosophic herd members have always regarded philosophy—actual philosophy, not philosophy’s politic guises—as useless and silly at best. But the modern herd with its opinion that honesty or intellectual probity be most virtuous—something of which this—humanist!—Center For Inquiry is a clear expression—is asking for what it also allows: the flaunting of philosophy’s essential nature as the supreme vindication of being, of wannabeing. Nietzschean philosophy openly wants the world, including man, to be the will to power and nothing besides. If there is an experienced behind the experience, then the philosopher wants it to be an experiencer as well.

::

LoisL - 19 July 2015 03:34 PM

A line I heard: “I’m a solipsist and I don’t understand why everyone else isn’t.”

LL

Either other people really exist and hold the true—though not necessarily justified—belief that other people really exist; or other people don’t really exist and the solipsist is in a dream in which there are other people who believe that other people really exist.

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