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Big Philosophy is Dead
Posted: 20 July 2015 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Ok, so if, as you say “Nietzschean philosophy openly wants the world, including man, to be the will to power and nothing besides.”, then this justifies doing absolutely anything.  What I would choose is to limit the power of those who would do things that are destructive of humanity.  So we’re back in the same “dream” with the snake eating it’s tail as in your logo.  So it seems to me that it is an ultimately useless conclusion, except for suggesting that these are the parameters of our universe.  Yeah, okay, there are parameters.  Just like there is no such thing as libertarian free will.  Regardless, the dream goes on.

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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: 20 July 2015 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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“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. I”

A confusion of the scientific method with what the method actually accomplishes. Lots of other confusion here too, but far too boring to address it.

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Posted: 20 July 2015 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Sauwelios - 19 July 2015 04:56 PM
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.

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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.

Or the line was supposed to be funny.

Lois

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Posted: 20 July 2015 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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TimB - 20 July 2015 05:13 AM

Ok, so if, as you say “Nietzschean philosophy openly wants the world, including man, to be the will to power and nothing besides.”, then this justifies doing absolutely anything.

Exactly, it justifies absolutely anything—and not just in the neutral sense, as in “nothing is unjust”, but in the positive sense: everything is just. (Though if we are to keep the laughers on our side, we should say: “It is just to consider things just, and unjust to consider things unjust.” For there is also such a thing as being too just…)

What I would choose is to limit the power of those who would do things that are destructive of humanity.

I agree insofar as “humanity” refers to the human in its highest reach. But the preservation thereof is precisely the effect of Nietzsche’s teaching: the overcoming of our human-alltoohumanism by a human-superhumanism. As I wrote recently:

Actually, it is for the sake of a certain part of human nature that other parts of human nature are being conquered. In fact, it was also that part, and not the whole of human nature, for whose sake the conquest of non-human nature was promoted in the first place. It is what Nietzsche would call the human, all too human part or the herd animal part. In other words, the ‘humanist’ part.

Now a humanism worthy of the name could of course not be concerned solely with a part of human nature, but would have to be concerned with the whole of human nature, including its beast of prey part. Any ‘humanism’ that seeks to conquer part of human nature for the sake of another part is by that token already transhumanism. A humanism worthy of the name must be a superhumanism, in the Nietzschean sense: concerning itself with the full human being, including its terrifying and questionable aspects.

It is precisely our “humanism” which is most destructive of humanity—destructive of its natural high points. But to actively combat that movement would itself be an initiative to conquer human nature: for the herd animal part is as essential a part of human nature as the beast of prey part is; and its only natural for the former to wish to abolish the latter.

So we’re back in the same “dream” with the snake eating it’s tail as in your logo.  So it seems to me that it is an ultimately useless conclusion, except for suggesting that these are the parameters of our universe.  Yeah, okay, there are parameters.  Just like there is no such thing as libertarian free will.  Regardless, the dream goes on.

And we Nietzscheans want the dream to go on. Nietzsche’s teaching is the teaching of the eternal recurrence of the world as will to power. This is an ideal. The opposite ideal is to wake up from it—from the nightmare—, to a world of universal peace and equality. And modern technology just might make that happen…

“Sometimes I ask students if any real restraints, limits set by something like nature or gods, exist to curb scientific experimentation. Can science, for example, make men immortal or transform them into eagles? Most students deny that anything is intrinsically impossible. They acknowledge that some things probably will not happen tomorrow and even in a century, but, in principle, nothing prevents anything imaginable from happening at any time. Like good liberal democrats, these same students usually cling to a groundless faith that science’s uncurbed experimentation ought to be used for liberal democratic goals—to promote freedom rather than slavery, peace rather than war. As if that made any difference in the nihilist world revealed by science!” (Neumann, ibid.)

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Lausten - 20 July 2015 09:32 AM

“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. I”

A confusion of the scientific method with what the method actually accomplishes. Lots of other confusion here too, but far too boring to address it.

I think that distinction is precisely the one Neumann makes here. Thus he says, in the same essay:

“Heidegger’s ‘Age of the World-View’ rightly notes that ‘world view’ understood scientifically ‘does not mean a view of the world, but the world understood as a view (or picture). Existence as a whole is now understood in such a way that it only exists in the first place insofar as it is produced by man who perceives or produces it (durch den vorstellend-herstellenden Menschen) ... Wherever existence is not interpreted in this way, the world cannot become a view or picture; there cannot be a world view.’ Heidegger rightly insists that a previously unscientific world-view does not change into a scientific one, but this very thing, ‘that the world itself becomes a view’ is the essence of science. In this regard, Nietzsche claims that, for science there are no facts, only interpretations or methods—methods of experience, points of view. There is nothing inherently rigorous or mathematical in scientific method which, rightly understood as it rarely is, means nothing more than nihilist experience, any way (or method) of experiencing—whether it be that of a tiger, an infant or an Einstein. Science is the realization that reality is nothing but mere experience, methods of perceiving or thinking. This ‘definition’ of science, like all theories or thoughts, is no more than another empty experience or method.” (Neumann, ibid.)

Did you know that Heidegger gave a lecture course in which he attempted to have himself and his audience “seized” by the “fundamental mood” of boredom (The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics)? This was, according to him, necessary to con-ceive fundamentally of metaphysics.

Science can never get beyond phenomena; there is no more accurate view of phenomena, just other phenomena. As soon as you hold that what you see when you look at a looking glass is a more accurate view of what you see when you take it away, you’re no longer thinking scientifically, in terms of phenomena; you’re thinking in terms of noumena—metaphysically.

[ Edited: 20 July 2015 07:16 PM by Sauwelios ]
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Posted: 21 July 2015 12:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Just keep dreaming of the Übermensch, may your guru Nietzsche be with you.

Nietzsche has given many worthwhile insights, but taking his overall body of work too literally is another ‘metaphysical perspective’, a big philosophy in its own.

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The light is on, but there is nobody at home.

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Posted: 21 July 2015 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Sauwelios - 20 July 2015 07:08 PM

...Now a humanism worthy of the name could of course not be concerned solely with a part of human nature, but would have to be concerned with the whole of human nature, including its beast of prey part. Any ‘humanism’ that seeks to conquer part of human nature for the sake of another part is by that token already transhumanism. A humanism worthy of the name must be a superhumanism, in the Nietzschean sense: concerning itself with the full human being, including its terrifying and questionable aspects.

It is precisely our “humanism” which is most destructive of humanity—destructive of its natural high points. But to actively combat that movement would itself be an initiative to conquer human nature: for the herd animal part is as essential a part of human nature as the beast of prey part is; and its only natural for the former to wish to abolish the latter…


In the context of our current world, overpopulated and consisting mostly of what you refer to as the herd, the “beast of prey” part of human nature is rather dysfunctional.  We don’t need to hunt other creatures in order to survive and thrive.  So I think that suppressing “the beast of prey” is not a particular matter to be opposed to.  It is a part of our DNA and even if suppressed extraordinarily, it will arise (and still, dysfunctionally, does) as context demands.

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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: 21 July 2015 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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CuthbertJ - 07 July 2015 10:48 AM

Big Philosophy is Dead.

Maybe.  But, if you’ve studied philosophy, you might enjoy this comic:

http://existentialcomics.com/

A favorite:

http://existentialcomics.com/comic/23

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“All right, then, I’ll GO to hell.” - Huck Finn

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Posted: 21 July 2015 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Stellar - 21 July 2015 12:39 PM
CuthbertJ - 07 July 2015 10:48 AM

Big Philosophy is Dead.

Maybe.  But, if you’ve studied philosophy, you might enjoy this comic:

http://existentialcomics.com/

 

Good one.  Maybe the first rule of philosophy club should be that no one is to talk about philosophy.

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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: 21 July 2015 08:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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TimB - 21 July 2015 12:25 PM
Sauwelios - 20 July 2015 07:08 PM

...Now a humanism worthy of the name could of course not be concerned solely with a part of human nature, but would have to be concerned with the whole of human nature, including its beast of prey part. Any ‘humanism’ that seeks to conquer part of human nature for the sake of another part is by that token already transhumanism. A humanism worthy of the name must be a superhumanism, in the Nietzschean sense: concerning itself with the full human being, including its terrifying and questionable aspects.

It is precisely our “humanism” which is most destructive of humanity—destructive of its natural high points. But to actively combat that movement would itself be an initiative to conquer human nature: for the herd animal part is as essential a part of human nature as the beast of prey part is; and its only natural for the former to wish to abolish the latter…


In the context of our current world, overpopulated and consisting mostly of what you refer to as the herd, the “beast of prey” part of human nature is rather dysfunctional.  We don’t need to hunt other creatures in order to survive and thrive.

Who said anything about hunting other creatures? From what you say about our current world, it’s rather an obvious conclusion that the beasts of prey among men should thin out the herd a bit… Or would that also be “dysfunctional”?

So I think that suppressing “the beast of prey” is not a particular matter to be opposed to.  It is a part of our DNA and even if suppressed extraordinarily, it will arise (and still, dysfunctionally, does) as context demands.

You fail to address the threat of transhumanism. And I think the suppression of the beast of prey part is the most sensible thing to be opposed to (which is not to say that it’s completely sensible). For the natural high points of humanity, the great philosophers, fully partake of it.

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Posted: 22 July 2015 04:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Sauwelios - 21 July 2015 08:07 PM

You fail to address the threat of transhumanism. And I think the suppression of the beast of prey part is the most sensible thing to be opposed to (which is not to say that it’s completely sensible). For the natural high points of humanity, the great philosophers, fully partake of it.

Maybe because it is not a threat. You make it a threat by your convoluted definitions. First you say nothing is unjust, then you value this “beast of prey” thing over others. Justice can be defined with logic and reason, you don’t seem to care much for that.  What you’ve done is lower us to fighting it out instead of looking for how to cooperatively improve each other. No thanks.

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Posted: 22 July 2015 07:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Sauwelios - 21 July 2015 08:07 PM
TimB - 21 July 2015 12:25 PM
Sauwelios - 20 July 2015 07:08 PM

...Now a humanism worthy of the name could of course not be concerned solely with a part of human nature, but would have to be concerned with the whole of human nature, including its beast of prey part. Any ‘humanism’ that seeks to conquer part of human nature for the sake of another part is by that token already transhumanism. A humanism worthy of the name must be a superhumanism, in the Nietzschean sense: concerning itself with the full human being, including its terrifying and questionable aspects.

It is precisely our “humanism” which is most destructive of humanity—destructive of its natural high points. But to actively combat that movement would itself be an initiative to conquer human nature: for the herd animal part is as essential a part of human nature as the beast of prey part is; and its only natural for the former to wish to abolish the latter…


In the context of our current world, overpopulated and consisting mostly of what you refer to as the herd, the “beast of prey” part of human nature is rather dysfunctional.  We don’t need to hunt other creatures in order to survive and thrive.

Who said anything about hunting other creatures? From what you say about our current world, it’s rather an obvious conclusion that the beasts of prey among men should thin out the herd a bit… Or would that also be “dysfunctional”?

So I think that suppressing “the beast of prey” is not a particular matter to be opposed to.  It is a part of our DNA and even if suppressed extraordinarily, it will arise (and still, dysfunctionally, does) as context demands.

You fail to address the threat of transhumanism. And I think the suppression of the beast of prey part is the most sensible thing to be opposed to (which is not to say that it’s completely sensible). For the natural high points of humanity, the great philosophers, fully partake of it.

The threat(?) of trans-humanism?  Are humans going to genetically modify themselves to, in a fashion, somehow completely lose their more base animalistic instincts?  Or are we going to replace ourselves with benign (or otherwise) self sentient robots? 

Uh, I guess it’s possible, (especially in science fiction) but throughout our history the evidence has been, and continues to be, that what will, actually, most likely, happen is that humans will continue to have a tremendous capacity for acting inhumanely to other humans. 

As far as culling the herd, it should not be necessary for some humans to kill other humans to address over-population, although, no doubt, humans will continue to kill other humans throughout the foreseeable future.

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