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Going Back to College
Posted: 10 July 2009 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Jules - 10 July 2009 08:05 AM

Picturing the disappointed kids, eager to learn the secrets of the universe. Maybe eventually we’ll learn that the universe is rolling down a reaaaally big plank…  wink

It’s turtles all the way down.  wink

Oh wait, that’s what’s holding up the Earth.

Yeah, I’ll go for the really big plank. That could explain why the universe is accelerating.

[ Edited: 10 July 2009 10:32 AM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 10 July 2009 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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fotobits - 10 July 2009 10:30 AM
Jules - 10 July 2009 08:05 AM

Picturing the disappointed kids, eager to learn the secrets of the universe. Maybe eventually we’ll learn that the universe is rolling down a reaaaally big plank…  wink

It’s turtles all the way down.  wink

Oh wait, that’s what’s holding up the Earth.

Yeah, I’ll go for the really big plank. That could explain why the universe is accelerating.

Aren’t there elephants, too? Were they on the turtles or under them? Hey, we could petition the government to have the “discworld theory” taught alongside creationism in science class. Equal time for all theories, creationists say, right?  LOL

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 10 July 2009 02:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Jules - 10 July 2009 11:25 AM
fotobits - 10 July 2009 10:30 AM
Jules - 10 July 2009 08:05 AM

Picturing the disappointed kids, eager to learn the secrets of the universe. Maybe eventually we’ll learn that the universe is rolling down a reaaaally big plank…  wink

It’s turtles all the way down.  wink

Oh wait, that’s what’s holding up the Earth.

Yeah, I’ll go for the really big plank. That could explain why the universe is accelerating.

Aren’t there elephants, too? Were they on the turtles or under them? Hey, we could petition the government to have the “discworld theory” taught alongside creationism in science class. Equal time for all theories, creationists say, right?  LOL

....placed there, of course, by his noodlyness, the FSM!

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 10 July 2009 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Rah ha ha ha men, Asanta.

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I saw a happy rainbow recently.

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Posted: 10 July 2009 06:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Go for it fotobits. You may be 62 when you get your PhD, but if you don’t try you’ll still be 62 some day wishing you had. Best of luck.

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For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

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Posted: 05 August 2009 05:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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One small step for a returning college student.

Took my CLEP test for English Comp today. Scored a 75 out of 80 possible points on the multiple choice portion. It will take two to three weeks to get my score on the essay, but I’m confident I did just as well on that part. This means, if I read the “What the CLEP Score Means” handout correctly, that I just placed out of both semesters of Freshman Comp. Six hours of English out of the way in one afternoon.

I might go for an Associate Degree in English. I’m already halfway there on the major’s requirement.

As for an advanced degree, one of my best friends suggested I go for a PhD in Philosophy. His exact words were “With your writing skills you can bulls**t your way to a PhD in Philosophy.”

No offense, Doug, but I think he is right. I’ve often been told I’m full of BS.  LOL

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Posted: 05 August 2009 07:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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fotobits - 05 August 2009 05:00 PM

As for an advanced degree, one of my best friends suggested I go for a PhD in Philosophy. His exact words were “With your writing skills you can bulls**t your way to a PhD in Philosophy.”

No offense, Doug, but I think he is right. I’ve often been told I’m full of BS.  LOL

LOL

To be fair, although there is an enormous amount of BS in philosophy, the best folks avoid it like the plague.

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Posted: 05 August 2009 07:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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dougsmith - 05 August 2009 07:00 PM

LOL

To be fair, although there is an enormous amount of BS in philosophy, the best folks avoid it like the plague.

Avoid the BS or the philosophy?

Seriously, philosophy is on my short of list of studies because I find it interesting. I would most likely concentrate on the philosophy of science, with some philosophy of religion thrown in because I went through the whole evangelical Christian trip when I was younger. I’ve been to the dark side, and regained my sanity.

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Posted: 05 August 2009 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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fotobits - 05 August 2009 07:13 PM

Avoid the BS or the philosophy?

LOL

Avoid the BS. There is a huge temptation to say stuff because you can get away with it, or because it is new or controversial, rather than because it is the most concise way to understand the phenomena.

fotobits - 05 August 2009 07:13 PM

Seriously, philosophy is on my short of list of studies because I find it interesting. I would most likely concentrate on the philosophy of science, with some philosophy of religion thrown in because I went through the whole evangelical Christian trip when I was younger. I’ve been to the dark side, and regained my sanity.

Sounds good. That’s sort of where I concentrated, along with philosophy of mind and a little metaphysics.

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Posted: 05 August 2009 07:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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When I started college back in 1982 I had an English professor who thought he was a philosopher. He was giving a lesson in Existentialism one day, and challenged the class to prove anything exists outside our minds. This was probably an urban legend long before 1982, but one of my classmates volunteered to break the professor’s jaw, which is exactly what I was thinking. That class turned me off philosophy for a long time. Now that I’m starting to actually study philosophy I realize the English prof was way out of his area of expertise, and had no business trying to give us a lesson in Existentialism. Or maybe Existentialism is all BS. I’m still a fence-sitter on Metaphysics.

I’m a materialist. If it doesn’t move a meter it is irrelevant.

I am ticklish. I cannot tickle myself. Therefore you exist.

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Posted: 06 August 2009 04:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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fotobits - 05 August 2009 07:27 PM

When I started college back in 1982 I had an English professor who thought he was a philosopher. He was giving a lesson in Existentialism one day, and challenged the class to prove anything exists outside our minds. This was probably an urban legend long before 1982, but one of my classmates volunteered to break the professor’s jaw, which is exactly what I was thinking. That class turned me off philosophy for a long time. Now that I’m starting to actually study philosophy I realize the English prof was way out of his area of expertise, and had no business trying to give us a lesson in Existentialism.

Well, Berkleyan idealism (the notion that the only things that exist are minds) has a somewhat illustrious history in empiricist thought. Indeed, if you read much of Hume as I do, there is really not a lot to distinguish him from Berkeley except the rhetoric.

The main problem for Berkeleyan idealism is to get my experiences and yours to match up, given that there is no independent world out there to do the matching. Bishop Berkeley did it with God, who he believed basically stood in for the external world.

fotobits - 05 August 2009 07:27 PM

I’m still a fence-sitter on Metaphysics.

I’m a materialist. If it doesn’t move a meter it is irrelevant.

I am ticklish. I cannot tickle myself. Therefore you exist.

Right. But then you are not a fence-sitter on metaphysics, since those are all metaphysical conclusions.

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Posted: 06 August 2009 04:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Then I am most likely confusing the popular definition of Metaphysics with the Philosophical definition. After doing just a few seconds of research, I see there are two main branches in Metaphysics. There is the thinking that what exists is beyond experience (Plato), and the belief that objective reality constitutes the truth (Kant, Hume). I’m definitely in the latter camp.

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Posted: 06 August 2009 05:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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fotobits - 06 August 2009 04:44 AM

Then I am most likely confusing the popular definition of Metaphysics with the Philosophical definition. After doing just a few seconds of research, I see there are two main branches in Metaphysics. There is the thinking that what exists is beyond experience (Plato), and the belief that objective reality constitutes the truth (Kant, Hume). I’m definitely in the latter camp.

Your metaphysics is basically how you see the structure of reality.

I don’t know that I would split metaphysics up that way, or in any binary system. There are perhaps as many metaphysical systems as there are philosophers.

And I don’t even know that those are very fair descriptions of Plato’s, Kant’s or Hume’s systems. Plato’s forms could not be experienced through the senses, but could be understood through reason. That sort of understanding is a sort of experience as direct as any other, at least for him, and it is objective in that both you and I intuit the same form when, e.g., we reason about “the good”.

Meanwhile for Kant and Hume, it seems that their notions of objective reality were simply one’s experiences ... which are not “objective” at all in the relevant sense—they are not sharable. This makes it difficult to see how either of them really do get beyond idealism or even solipsism.

So there are a lot of complexities here. But the basic issue is that everyone, every system, has a metaphysics, either explicit or implicit, so long as it is clear about its presuppositions. (And every system must have presuppositions).

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Posted: 06 August 2009 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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So, are the any philosophers taught in college who are not full of obvious BS? Anyone who looks around and says “Only the things we can measure matter. All else is irrelevant at best, a useless waste of time in the middle, or a dangerous belief system at worst.”?

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Posted: 06 August 2009 06:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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fotobits - 06 August 2009 05:33 PM

So, are the any philosophers taught in college who are not full of obvious BS? Anyone who looks around and says “Only the things we can measure matter. All else is irrelevant at best, a useless waste of time in the middle, or a dangerous belief system at worst.”?

Hmm ... the problem with that view, though, is that the act of measuring something has its own preconceptions.

That said, there are plenty of naturalist philosophers around; they don’t actually agree with one another, but they do agree on the primacy of the scientific method, etc. People like Colin McGinn, Daniel Dennett, Jerry Fodor, Fred Dretske; even metaphysicians like David Lewis are basically naturalists, even though they concern themselves with the ontology of things that are not measurable. (E.g., the metaphysics of causation, modality, etc.)

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