• Baden
    8.9k
    I've included one of the runner ups from last time, three more suggested previously, and two new options.
    1. What do you want to read in December? (17 votes)
        "Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives" by Philippa Foot
        29%
        "Concepts and Objects" by Ray Brassier
        35%
        "Merely Cultural" by Judith Butler
        24%
        "The Physics and Metaphysics of Biosemiotics" by H. H. Pattee
        12%
        "How to Define Consciousness: And how Not to Define Consciousness" by Max Velmans
          0%
        "Freedom and Resentment" by Peter Strawson
          0%
  • Baden
    8.9k
    Hopefully something for everyone there.
  • Michael
    8.2k
    There's certainly a theme that seems rather popular among us here.
  • Moliere
    1.7k
    I also obtained permission from Sally Markowitz to make a .pdf of her paper which argues in favor of abortion with respect to feminist values -- something which I find interesting because most discussions of abortion focus on the morality of the act, but she defers said discussion on the basis of her political orientation, saying that the moral discussion can't take place until this wider issue is addressed. (Reversing the hierarchy of values, in the popular sense).
  • shmik
    207
    Just finished exams on Thursday so looking forward to getting involved in this conversation now that I have more time.

    I read Foot's paper a month ago, it's a very easy read. I have a horrible memory so this summary may leave out some of the ideas.
    Foot takes aim at the hypothetical/categorical imperative dichotomy. She argues that just because something is not a hypothetical imperative (HI) does not imply is a categorical imperative (CI). The example she uses is that of a club rule or etiquette. These aren't HI because we don't have a goal we are trying to achieve when we keep them, they also aren't CI as it's not irrational to break the rules.
    After this she argues that since it's not always irrational to break moral rules either, they too are not CI.

    Anyway I voted for Brassier, sounds interesting.
  • StreetlightX
    4.4k
    Ooo, that Foot article (which I voted for), reminds me of another that might make for good reading the month after: G. E. M. Anscombe's Modern Moral Philosophy. Wanted to read both for a long time now.
  • Pneumenon
    374
    "Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives" by Philippa Foot
    (Nope. Looked at some summaries and skimmed the actual paper. Not very exciting. Looks like typical Pragmatist sleight-of-hand)

    "Merely Cultural" by Judith Butler
    (Nope. Fuck Judith Butler and everyone who looks like her.)

    "The Physics and Metaphysics of Biosemiotics" by H. H. Pattee
    (Nope. Too trendy, and seems to have "Hofstadter Disease.")

    "Concepts and Objects" by Ray Brassier
    (Yes! This is some good stuff. Accessible to people from different schools, fundamental, relatively short, and focused on big-picture issues. Gets my vote.)

    "How to Define Consciousness: And how Not to Define Consciousness" by Max Velmans
    (Nope. Good observations that are well articulated, but too narrow to be fecund enough for discussion.)

    "Freedom and Resentment" by Peter Strawson
    (Fascinating, but I think the Brassier paper beats it.)
  • StreetlightX
    4.4k
    (Nope. Fuck Judith Butler and everyone who looks like her.)Pneumenon

    Would you say this about a man? :-|
  • Pneumenon
    374
    Would you say this about a man?StreetlightX

    Given Butler's epicene appearance, "Fuck Judith Butler and everyone who looks like her" would seem to include a lot of men in the first place.
  • The Great Whatever
    2.2k
    Keep fighting the good fight everyone.
  • Baden
    8.9k
    @StreetlightX - It reminds of a video I saw of Judith Butler talking where she mentioned she regularly gets insults thrown at her about her appearance. Gratuitous and unpleasant. Not worthy of further comment.
  • Pneumenon
    374
    I'd get a lot of insults thrown at me about my appearance, too, if I looked like the Crypt Keeper.
  • bert1
    329
    She looks OK to me.
  • Pneumenon
    374
    I actually have no idea what she looks like. But her philosophy is so vapid that I can't think of anything else to say about her. "Epicene" and "Crypt Keeper" were shots in the dark - I just kind of assume she looks like an old prune. Like Bertrand Russel, but less class.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.9k


    Your performance is noted. I'm interested to see what show the body in its environment puts on tomorrow night.
  • Pneumenon
    374
    Don't you mean "Your trans-phenomenological intersubjective consensus-reality-impacting physical re-structuring of your standpoint has been critically absorbed by your surrogate linguistic community."?
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.9k


    Partly. That more or less works as a convoluted description of the interaction between our experiences and community, to create a particular culture and an individual's ideas and reactions to the world.

    I like to be more succinct and direct when addressing erroneous claims of vapidness though. It helps people get over the idea that Butler's arguments are nothing more than a random collection of fancy words doing nothing more than trying to sound important.
  • StreetlightX
    4.4k
    Butler's recent works are actually incredibly accessable. But one would have to, y'know, read Butler to know that.
  • Pneumenon
    374
    I am open to the idea that bullshit artists can reform. Not my job to give them a second chance, though.
  • StreetlightX
    4.4k
    Not asking, Pneu, Butler's clearly a lost cause for you. But I don't think it was a mere accident that you went straight for a comment about her appearance. Make of it what you will, it's not something I really want to discuss.
  • Pneumenon
    374
    But I don't think it was a mere accident that you went straight for a comment about her appearance.StreetlightX

    I was feeling ornery.
  • Pneumenon
    374
    Aaah, who am I kidding? I'm secretly a white supremacist Nazi KKK Grand Imperial Wizard Patriarch Racist King of Oppression, and I HATE ALL FEMALE PHILOSOPHERS.
  • Moliere
    1.7k
    What work of hers in particular did you find to be on the level of bullshit artistry?
  • Janus
    8.7k
    (Nope. Too trendy, and seems to have "Hofstadter Disease.")Pneumenon

    Presuming you are referring to Douglas Hofstadter, what is his "Disease" and what are the symptoms of it that you, by implication, are suggesting that he manifests?
  • Phil
    19
    Simple, Hofstadter is a good writer but all of his work seems to be pop. sci. kind of work. It's accessible but usually very shallow. Like most of Pinker's popular work.
  • Janus
    8.7k


    Even if this were an acceptable characterization of Hofstadter's work, from the little I have seen of Pattee's work, it is certainly not; so it seems likely that Pneumenon was referring to something else, unless you are an alternate identity of his/hers?
  • Phil
    19
    I am not Pneumenon, I was merely speculating on what he may mean by the Hofstdter's disease comment. Personally, I do find his work mostly pop. sci. Its a good read, and I have learned from it but it isn't as technical as I would like it to be. The same goes for Pinker, in my opinion and for some of Dennett's work as well. Informative, but light on real explicit content. Just my two cents...
  • Janus
    8.7k


    Yeah, I've never read Hofstadter, but I was away in the country for all of last week and picked up a cheap secondhand copy of I Am A Strange Loop at a market. I began reading it, and have found nothing revelatory or remarkably original in it so far, but have found it to be, as you say, well enough written and accessible to be an enjoyable diversion insofar as it offers a kind of reading 'holiday', very, very easy compared to most of the philosophical work I have read and plan to read.

    Anyway I still cannot see much of a tie-in with Pattee's work.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    859
    I was so hoping that Peirce's How to Make our Ideas Clear might somehow be chosen, even though it wasn't included among the options, as a kind of deadening surprise. Or an essay by Vidal or Mencken, just for fun. But no.

    As for Judith Butler, she looks precisely like a gender theorist should look. It was explained to me recently what a non-binary is. There, now I've used "non-binary" in a sentence. Living the dream of pertinence in the year 2015.
  • Pneumenon
    374
    As for Judith Butler, she looks precisely like a gender theorist should look. It was explained to me recently what a non-binary is. There, now I've used "non-binary" in a sentence. Living the dream of pertinence in the year 2015.Ciceronianus the White

    Hey, now. The under-representation of women in philosophy means that you have to take Judith Butler seriously. Accusing me of a non-sequitur here makes you sexist.
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