Philosophy

Mar 19, 2009
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In all aspects of life, questions arise that are of a fundamental kind. They can be the most abstract, but they – sometimes at the same time – can be the most lively and decisive questions. This is a thread for those question that want to know what the **** is the meaning of this mess that we call life, a thing, information, will, good and evil, consensus, the universe, a scientific fact, a question, politics and so forth. And most important of all: what are we supposed to do with all of that? On what basis are we going to make our decisions, which we are forced to make, whatever path our life will take us. And what does it mean that we are forced to decide at all? That there is one matter in life we cannot ingnore or just not do.

Weather it is politics, faith, economics, our daily life or science, at the end of it all, we can’t get around asking ourselves philosophical questions. Following discussions here in the General board, I thought it might be good to have a place to discuss them. In the “Prophet Muhammad insulted by a film, so we claim the right to kill you?“ for example arose the question about the limitations of science. Which in itself is a philosophical one, as no biologist, physicist, chemist and so on can ever biologically, physically or due to chemical analysis encounter this question. What would they put under their instruments and look at?

I belive the topics for this thread will pose themselves. That is why I started it. There is no special question that I’d like to throw into discussion for a beginning, but I very much though it would be a good Idea to have a place to discuss such matters independently, as they usually exceed the boundaries of the topics in which they are mentioned on this board.
 
Feb 4, 2012
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"Man can indeed do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wants" -- Arthur Schopenhauer
 
Jun 16, 2009
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What do people think about the philosophy that in order for people to truly know and feel happiness, they must feel sadness to be able to differentiate between these two emotions?

Interesting thread btw.
 
Rechtschreibfehler said:
In all aspects of life, questions arise that are of a fundamental kind. They can be the most abstract, but they – sometimes at the same time – can be the most lively and decisive questions. This is a thread for those question that want to know what the **** is the meaning of this mess that we call life, a thing, information, will, good and evil, consensus, the universe, a scientific fact, a question, politics and so forth. And most important of all: what are we supposed to do with all of that? On what basis are we going to make our decisions, which we are forced to make, whatever path our life will take us. And what does it mean that we are forced to decide at all? That there is one matter in life we cannot ingnore or just not do.

Weather it is politics, faith, economics, our daily life or science, at the end of it all, we can’t get around asking ourselves philosophical questions. Following discussions here in the General board, I thought it might be good to have a place to discuss them. In the “Prophet Muhammad insulted by a film, so we claim the right to kill you?“ for example arose the question about the limitations of science. Which in itself is a philosophical one, as no biologist, physicist, chemist and so on can ever biologically, physically or due to chemical analysis encounter this question. What would they put under their instruments and look at?

I belive the topics for this thread will pose themselves. That is why I started it. There is no special question that I’d like to throw into discussion for a beginning, but I very much though it would be a good Idea to have a place to discuss such matters independently, as they usually exceed the boundaries of the topics in which they are mentioned on this board.
Hey Rechtschreibfehler, you have a Rechtschreibfehler.

:D :D :D
 
"I started to get interested in philosophy when I was a kid. I heard about Descartes' Cogito, ergo sum and even though I couldn't articulate my reasons then, I immediately knew that was just terribly, terribly wrong." Daniel Dennett, philosopher.
 
Feb 4, 2012
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Descender said:
"I started to get interested in philosophy when I was a kid. I heard about Descartes' Cogito, ergo sum and even though I couldn't articulate my reasons then, I immediately knew that was just terribly, terribly wrong." Daniel Dennett, philosopher.
Dennett's a genious. He posits there is no such thing as a 'soul' or non- material entity 'running the show'. Rather, consciousness is entirely the result of physical processes occurng in the brain as the organism (us) responds to cues in its environment, which gives rise to the illusion of an independent 'self' exsisting.
 
Apr 8, 2010
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Pazuzu said:
Dennett's a genious. He posits there is no such thing as a 'soul' or non- material entity 'running the show'. Rather, consciousness is entirely the result of physical processes occurng in the brain as the organism (us) responds to cues in its environment
So everything is deterministic?
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I think we might have had a thread on Zizeck before?

Here's an easy intro:

http://lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?id=897&fulltext=1

Other interesting writers in no particular order: Peter Sloterdijk, John Searle, Derrida, Heidegger, Lacan, Immanuel Kant, Bruno Latour, Rorty, Karl Marx, Nietzsche, Erasmus, Wittgenstein, Herder, Hegel, Gaddamer, Edmund Burke, David Hume, Levinas, Althuser, Walter Benjamin.

If you are really interested in reading up, or getting into reading philosophy, this is a useful website:

http://plato.stanford.edu/
 
Apr 8, 2010
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Descender said:
No. That doesn't follow from what Dennett says.

He explains it very well here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41orN2hT8X4&
But if everything that happens in our brains is just reactions to stimuli then where is the free will?
It's like the brain is then a flow chart with no boxes with more than one exit-arrow.
And then the human brain acts in a deterministic (even if infinitely complex) way.
And if that is true for humans the same could be argued for any other object. And then the world is deterministic.

At which point in the argument do you disagree?
 
Jun 16, 2009
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I would like to believe I have free will, I somewhat do and I find it hard to believe that we are simply reactionary and are controlled or programmed, but who knows?
 
Oct 25, 2010
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When I teach Introduction to Philo courses I find it best to begin with the fairly clear stuff...so much of Philosophy entails a very good working knowledge of the history and many of the heavy hitters both overwrite and assume the reader knows the background he is reacting to...a beginner reading Heidegger's Being and Time or Hegel's Phenomenolgy of Spirit is pretty pointless...likewise, no point in reading Lacan without a very thorough background in Freud.

A typical intro course reading list would look as follows:

Augustine: Confessions
Rousseau: Conversations of a Solitary Walker
Marx: The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
Nietzsche: Twilight of the Idols
Freud: Group Psychology and analysis of the Ego; The future of an Illusion

you get those under your belt with a decent understanding, and maybe toss in some Hume depending on where you are at and it's a good start...
 
Jul 10, 2010
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kielbasa said:
A rock thinketh not, yet it is. Le fail, monsieur Descartes.
Descender said:
"I started to get interested in philosophy when I was a kid. I heard about Descartes' Cogito, ergo sum and even though I couldn't articulate my reasons then, I immediately knew that was just terribly, terribly wrong." Daniel Dennett, philosopher.
Pazuzu said:
Dennett's a genious. He posits there is no such thing as a 'soul' or non- material entity 'running the show'. Rather, consciousness is entirely the result of physical processes occurng in the brain as the organism (us) responds to cues in its environment, which gives rise to the illusion of an independent 'self' exsisting.
Wow. Somebody, or somebodies plural, have got Descartes simply wrong. They didn't read it - or they completely bolloxed the interpretational understanding. Descartes faces the simple question - how do I know that what my senses tell me is real? He determines that he can not, but this is the only game he has going - so he has to go with it!

"Am I dreaming? Or is this reality?" If you can't tell the difference, then what's the point? If your senses tell you that it is sunrise on a warm summer day, and your experiences validate that, what else can you go on?

You have to make an assumption somewhere, and Descartes simply chose to believe what his senses told him. Since he could ultimately "know" no other world, this seems mighty sensible to me.
 
Oct 25, 2010
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auscyclefan94 said:
You don't think Religion and it's influences on Philosophy are important?

:D:D
not in a philo thread I didnt start where a guy states not to read philo and says all the answers lie in the bible...start a bible thread then...the Church always relied on Philosophy to back up some of it's ridiculous ideas...not the other way round...
 
Oct 25, 2010
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hiero2 said:
Wow. Somebody, or somebodies plural, have got Descartes simply wrong. They didn't read it - or they completely bolloxed the interpretational understanding. Descartes faces the simple question - how do I know that what my senses tell me is real? He determines that he can not, but this is the only game he has going - so he has to go with it!

"Am I dreaming? Or is this reality?" If you can't tell the difference, then what's the point? If your senses tell you that it is sunrise on a warm summer day, and your experiences validate that, what else can you go on?

You have to make an assumption somewhere, and Descartes simply chose to believe what his senses told him. Since he could ultimately "know" no other world, this seems mighty sensible to me.
true enough...it's why Descartes was important...you can't really get Hume without Descartes...neither can you understand any of the whole inane mind/body dualism arguments that have been going on for about 300 years...you can't get logical positivism without Descartes or brush past the surface via Wittgenstein...Descartes is just basic...and simple...Descartes crashed of course when he went with the old failed theologic sleight of hand "if I have an idea of God...he must exist"...this was done to satisfy the Church because the Church tended to kill people who were too reasonable back then...
 

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