• ghost
    109
    The great philosophers are considered great philosophers for a reason. What we do here cannot be compared.Janus

    Well generally I agree. But I'm interested in 'anonymous meme forges.' I learn from others on this site. The informality and anonymity offers new possibilities. Academics probably can't get away with much slang or profanity in the middle of high-grade jargon. Think about Zizek. That's a big part of his charm, the fusion of high and low.

    * A sad little story. On my own I came up with 'by any memes necessary.' I thought now that's a zinger. Then I googled it to see if it had been thought of already and of course it had. Tears of a clown. Ours is a world of 'soy boys' and 'power donuts.' I say embrace the times, assimilate.
  • ghost
    109
    But it is still someone's interpretation of the world and other people's reaction to that interpretation. What makes it philosophy proper is how it relates itself to previous known philosophers, and how subsequent philosophers reference it for their own work.schopenhauer1

    Well said. Rorty thinks of philosophy as a genre of creative writing. We philosophers have a taste for theory over novels. We may read novels, but I bet most of us like this kind of language. We just tell it like it is.
  • Joshs
    716
    Its interesting that so far in this discussion of the relative worth of philosophers no complaint has been made of a similar difficulty in deciding the value of scientific theories.Why is that? Because it goes without saying that a validated empirical result is self-evidently true? Kuhn would argue that determining philosophic worth should be no more or less difficult than determining the 'truth' of sicnetifc approaches. In both cases, we adopt a theoretical description because it is pragmatically useful in interacting with our world. Rorty, in likening philosophy to literature, failed to point out how our understanding of literature has also succumbed to a deconstructive turn, Its not a question of choosing one over the other, science over philosophy or literature over philosophy, but to see how each is embedded in the other.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k

    I think Rorty is right. But where would philosophy be without the extreme minutia mongering of all forms of logic? The logicians and philosophers of math (and maybe some types of science) would scoff at the notion of being thrown in with the creative writing folks.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k

    I guess I have the same response to you as ghost:
    But where would philosophy be without the extreme minutia mongering of all forms of logic? The logicians and philosophers of math (and maybe some types of science) would scoff at the notion of being thrown in with the creative writing folks.
  • Joshs
    716
    These are approaoches to philosophy I can think of off the top of my head that have freed themselves from enslavement to logic:hermeneutics, phenomenology, social constructionism, post structuralism, deconstruction. Literature, science philosophy. None has precedence or priority over the other. They are more closely related than most think , and that is why they evolve in parallel within cultural eras, and it is possible to talk about classical or enlightenment or modernist philosophy, science and literature. Each is a different style of presenting a worldlview, a variation on a larger thematics within each epoche that unites all these modes of ideation
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k
    themselves from enslavement to logicJoshs

    The problem is, logic has as its backing, things like technology. For example, boolean logic is the basis for how electrical signals get turned into logical gates that allow information to calculate and be stored. This is the basis of a computer. Computers use millions of instances of logic. Logic is also behind many of the physical events that can be predicted and harnessed for technological use. Looks like certain forms of logic start to point to a kind of realism, or at least a usefulness that can't be ignored. Then we get the typical debates of realism and social constructivism, yadayada.
  • ghost
    109

    Well I love philosophy. We can call science, philosophy, religion, etc. various forms of coping or flourishing. My point would be that as individuals we have more fear and trembling when it comes to religion or philosophy, in this culture at least where they are private matters.

    I reject scientism. I don't care about science as some source of grand truth. It's persuasive primarily in terms of its worldly power and its reliable prophecy. I guess we both want to tell the truth. Well I focus on what I'd choose as the fundamentals. Mortals in a familiar world together, talking and using tools. I love that part of Heidegger. He's a poet of 'the world' as the people intend it that word. Try to imagine how someone like me might want to assimilate him, as a powerful anti-theorist, pointing out how much metaphysicians betray the way it really usually is in their obsession with certainty, for the spiderwebs of systems. So I don't like when this stuff becomes its own massive spiderweb, even if I believe the spiders are talking sense like earnest existential mathematicians (and I do.)

    Because it goes without saying that a validated empirical result is self-evidently true?Joshs

    The air conditioner that kicks on when I need it and cools the room is more like it. Philosophy of science is fascinating. Maybe it helps some people. But I need and most of us need the air conditioner. All of this stuff is entangled. I get that. All distinctions are useful lies. Reality is one. That holism-idealism is true in an important sense. I can grasp the speculative truth or some version of it.

    ts not a question of choosing one over the other, science over philosophy or literature over philosophy, but to see how each is embedded in the other.Joshs

    I agree. I understand. But that's not the only thing worth doing. Our ignorance is a vast ocean. But then the question cannot be asked, so the riddle does not exist. Still, we all row our individual boats here or there with our own little torches, calling out what little we see of ultimate things. Or calling out the poetry that has delighted and seduced us.

    As far as ultimate stories go, I think I prefer myths. The longwinded conceptual tales of ultimate reality are a little dry for my taste.
  • StreetlightX
    3.9k
    Yes yes everyone's read M&V. But it doesn't take the sting out of the tail of Levinas' critique.
  • Joshs
    716
    Yes yes everyone's read M&V. But it doesn't take the sting out of the tail of Levinas' critique.StreetlightX

    It depends on how you read M&V. You could interpret it as saying that Heidegger is not a utilitarian means-ends kind of guy, but Levinas is forced to construe him that way because of his own inclination to absolutize difference., So its not that Dasein is never hungry, but that enjoyment and suffering, and all other being-affected-by-the-world, matters to me becasue mattering belongs to a continuity of mattering, not as a means to an end(or as an end in itself) but as a means to a means to a means ad infinitum.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k

    Can you explain the practical implications of the difference between Heidegger's "mattering" and Levinas' "end in itself"?
  • Joshs
    716
    Looks like certain forms of logic start to point to a kind of realism, or at least a usefulness that can't be ignored. Then we get the typical debates of realism and social constructivism, yadayada.schopenhauer1

    Indeed, their usefulness cannot be ignored. Even Heidegger has a healthy dose of respect for the power of logic. All he's saying, really, is that he thinks it would be helpful to yet again, but from a bit more radical perspective that is neither subjective nor objective but a peculiar 'not yet' of either, reexamine the way we understand the genesis of logic in our thinking. We can then look back at all these wonderful things that logic allows us to do, and see more penetrating what it is that is really at the heart of its so-called precision. One day, maybe a century from now, all those devices which depend such languages as boolean logic, will be producible via a completely different operating language, that may appear at first blush to be devoid of the requirements of logic(non-contradiction, etc). In other words, I envision a kind of technological langauge that is not itself 'logical' , but that nevertheless underlies all logics.It will allow us to continue to produce logical machines if we wish, as well as machines which do much more useful and interesting things via this new language, including the kinds of things that we now lump into the amorphous category of subjectvism, irrationality and affect-feeling-emotion..

    Most vague, I know.
  • Joshs
    716
    Can you explain the practical implications of the difference between Heidegger's "mattering" and Levinas' "end in itself"?schopenhauer1

    Levinas says we enjoy (or suffer) things for their own sake, not because they are means to an end.
    In this sense, they clearly matter to us. But as ends in themselves, the way they matter is different than it is for Heidegger. How so? For Heidegger, having something matter to me, caring about it, having concern for it, its having significance for and affecting me; these are absolutely primordial for my experience of all aspects of the world as a Dasein. there is nothing I can encounter that does not have significance for me in relation to some ongoing concern. But the way in which I encounter beings, objects , people, is such that they always appear within an implicit nexus, a rich integrated context of a totality of relevance. So I am always immersed in and involved in a particular sort of experiencing in which everything that I am engaged with emerges out of that background totality of relevance. I type these words with a given purpose in mind which is always shift its sense, then I am distracted from my writing by my phone. But even in being distracted, the larger background context of relevance isnt broken. The possibility of my phone ringing was implied by that context.

    Even the most surprising events emerge out of a larger context of relevance so that I can only be surprised by those things that at some leveI I anticipated. What does this imply about mattering for its own sake via an ongoing nexus of mattering? Heidegger, given his way of seeing contextual significance as an endless flowing continuity, would say that the enjoyment of things in themselves must also imply an anticipating beyond those things also, toward further modifications of enjoyment or suffering. But not as Levinas seems to accuse him of, as making hunger and enjoyment matter only becasue there is some overarching utility in mind. The contextual nexus is not over arching for Heidegger, it is more temporally unfolding. What I am affected by this moment totally engages me, in itself, for what it is in itself, not becasue of some overarching scheme.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k
    But not as Levinas seems to accuse him of, as making hunger and enjoyment matter only becasue there is some overarching utility in mind.Joshs
    I'd have to agree with them both here, but in different contexts. Heidegger gets right the overarching picture- we are a striving animal (pace Schopenhauer). We are mainly deprived in the departments relating to survival, comfort, and entertain-related needs at almost all waking hours (at least for most socially-normalized humans).

    However, Levinas has a point too, in that amidst our deprivation, we have the capacity for what I call, absolute "goods" (they are good in and of themselves). I can think of 7 categories at least of experiences that are absolutely good in and of themselves that being: relationships, physical pleasure, aesthetic pleasure, accomplishment, esteem, learning, and flow states.

    Of course, overall are these goods worth the costs? I don't think so. We are always deprived in some way, and that is universal/structural (pace Heidegger?/Schopenhauer). We also have many varying contingent negatives that affect our individual lives (in various different contingent ways depending on the individual). To be born, is to give someone debt- even in the most material wealthy, well-adjusted, contingently-low suffering individual. To force challenges of the individual, to give them the need for need, and to provide them opportunities to be prey of contingent harms, and then have to avoid/overcome/navigate them is not good. Hence, in the final outcome, the best ethic is to realize the situation (see the pessimistic aesthetic) and rebel against the existence (antinatalist).
  • Janus
    7.9k
    A few of them, like Lee Smolen, will take it upon themselves to wax explicitly philosophical, as he has done concerning the need to incorporate temporality into physics. His argument is that the current generation of physicists is anparticularly non-philosophical generation unlike that of Einstein, Bohr and Heisenberg, and physics has suffered as a result. Their leaving time out of physics as as a central organizing principle has held back their ability to tie together a number of loose ends in cosmological understanding.Joshs

    According to at least a few of the more philosophically minded physicists of recent times, Rovelli, Greene, Wheeler and De Witt, for example, time is a kind of illusion. The equations of QM do not incorporate time; the so-called "arrow of time" is irrelevant in that context. According to current Quantum theory time simply cannot be an "organizing principle" for physics.

    So, what do you think would be the practical difference that a posited future physics working under the paradigm of phenomenology would have form the physics of today?

    My point was that mathematics gets its precision from its grounding in supposedly determinate self-identical abstract objects . But Husserl, Nietzsche, Merleau-Ponty , Heidegger, Derrida and others, believe the notion of a determinate self-identical abstract object to be an illusion, a fiction, the imperfect product of intentional activity. It s not simply that they are subjective constructions, but that even understood as mental objects they do not have determinant self-identicality in the way that Enlightenment thought presumed. This is one of the central insights of that 'llving' inquiry called phenomenology.Joshs

    Right, so it seems you do agree with me that phenomenology cannot be as precisely rule-based as mathematics. The question as to whether mathematical objects are, understood as "mental objects", determinately self-identical would seem to be an incoherent one. They are certainly, logically speaking, determinate; whether they are so from some imagined phenomenological or experiential perspective would seem to be undecidable even assuming that it makes sense to ask it, and in any case could have no bearing on mathematics as a discipline that I can imagine. If you can imagine a possible difference then I am open to hearing what you have to say about it.
  • Janus
    7.9k
    Slow your roll there. I'm just suggesting that certain types of philosophy are extremely detailed pictures of that person's interpretation of what is the case, sometimes requiring its own self-contained jargon/neologisms to get the point across. They have some really useful and interesting insights, and in a poetic/aesthetic sense can be very powerful. But it is still someone's interpretation of the world and other people's reaction to that interpretation. What makes it philosophy proper is how it relates itself to previous known philosophers, and how subsequent philosophers reference it for their own work. Similar to how Google works with its heuristics, the more other philosophers reference a previous philosopher, the more weight that philosopher has. However, I don't necessarily think something is of great insight just because a philosopher is referenced more. And what makes a philosopher itself can be quite hard to define, other than, you know, be credentialed from a higher institution with a degree, but c'mon... does that make a PHILOSOPHER? Haschopenhauer1



    Sure, I'm not denying that we may be able to offer some original insights and perspectives or that there is value in what happens here. But all of it is against the background of the greats, just as all of modern science rests on "the shoulders of giants". It is also true that the greats may have incorporated insights from lesser figures who never achieve any notoriety.

    I don't think that the number of references to philosophers is an arbitrary matter, but that it is determined by what new insights they have to offer. I don't believe it has anything to do with being "credentialed", though, even if most referenced philosophers today do happen to be professional academics. If you love something to the degree that you want to make it your life's work, then of course you will avail yourself of any institutional opportunity to earn a living from doing what you love. Same goes for artists and musicians. This doesn't mean that it is impossible for an autodidact, working outside of any institutional context, to produce some valuable work, but it would seem to be rare..
  • Joshs
    716
    So, what do you think would be the practical difference that a posited future physics working under the paradigm of phenomenology would have form the physics of today?Janus

    Beats the hell out of me. Seriously though, the primordial ground for Husselian phenomenology is time, More specifically time consciousness as the tripartite structure of retention, presencing and protention.

    According to at least a few of the more philosophically minded physicists of recent times, Rovelli, Greene, Wheeler and De Witt, for example, time is a kind of illusion. The equations of QM do not incorporate time; the so-called "arrow of time" is irrelevant in that context. According to current Quantum theory time simply cannot be an "organizing principle" for physics.Janus
    It seems to me this view of time is in tune with Kant. Temporality and history only take on a fundamental explanatory role for philosophy with Hegel, Marx and Dilthey, and for science with Darwin.
    Can a future physics put the arrow of time at the center of its thinking as Smolen, Prigonige and other envision? i think it will have no choice if it wants to avoid stagnating. This will likely mean that physics will morph into an evolutionary science in accord with the biological and social sciences. Just one persons's opinion.
  • Janus
    7.9k
    Seriously though, the primordial ground for Husselian phenomenology is time, More specifically time consciousness as the tripartite structure of retention, presencing and protention.Joshs

    Yes, I do understand that, I just can't see what relevance that could possibly have to quantum mechanics.

    It seems to me this view of time is in tune with Kant.Joshs

    I don't think it is really "in tune with Kant", beyond a superficial semblance; Kant asserts that time is an empirical matter, one of the pure forms of phenomenal experience, the other being space. In claiming that, he agrees with Leibniz and disagrees with Newton. The modern understanding of spacetime is a kind of synthesis of Newton and Leibniz; it is a relativistic understanding, according to which spacetime is the real (in the sense of 'mind-independent') fabric of the cosmos.

    But then QM seems to suggest that that "reality" itself is a matter of perspective, not of any particular perspective, but perspective per se, that is it obtains only when perspectives obtain. Perspectives obtain only in our familiar "macro" world; in the pre-perspectival "micro" world of QM there are no perspectives because of its indeterminate nature. (Perspectives in this broadest sense should not be thought of as being unique to humans).
  • I like sushi
    1.3k
    Yes, I do understand that, I just can't see what relevance that could possibly have to quantum mechanics. — Janus

    It isn’t meant to. Husserl’s phenomenology is a science of consciousness/subjectivity NOT a science of physics. Physics is the science of physics. Husserl makes no facts about the material world in the manner that physics does and he certainly doesn’t dispute physics and/or stand in opposition to it. He was educated in physics and mathematics prior to his work on phenomenology (which he viewed as a science rather than as a philosophy).

    His underlying goal was to improve/discover the grounding for the physical sciences and, for want of a better word, to ‘rescue’ psychology from empiricism - which he saw as a denial of the investigation of subjectivity.

    It would be unfair to equate Husserl’s work as having anything to say about quantum phenomenon directly. It is of import today? More so in the relevant field of study if anywhere (neuroscience).

    But then QM seems to suggest that that "reality" itself is a matter of perspective, not of any particular perspective, but perspective per se, that is it obtains only when perspectives obtain. Perspectives obtain only in our familiar "macro" world; in the pre-perspectival "micro" world of QM there are no perspectives because of its indeterminate nature. (Perspectives in this broadest sense should not be thought of as being unique to humans).

    Some people seem to think it suggests this. I imagine academics in the field that think that are few and far between though? There are plenty of wacky interpretations out there, but the layman (myself included) often mistaken the mathematical model, probabilistic or otherwise, as being the physical reality. My uneducated view is that we’ve simply not become accustomed to certain concepts in common parse well enough to develop further paradigm shifts ... not just yet at least. Much in the way that the vast majority of us still don’t appreciate what Einstein did and how such ideas inevitably shift current perspectives. As a more tangible example many people refer to mere calculating as doing mathematics.
  • Janus
    7.9k
    It isn’t meant to.I like sushi

    That's right it isn't; and I was responding to Joshs' apparent assertion that it is.

    There are plenty of wacky interpretations out there, but the layman (myself included) often mistaken the mathematical model, probabilistic or otherwise, as being the physical reality.I like sushi

    I don't think it is a "wacky" interpretation at all. It is not a matter of "mistaking the mathematical model", but a matter of trying to ascertain what the experimental results of QM, along with the mathematical models that have been so extraordinarily successful at predicting what will be observed, suggest about the 'fundamental' (micro) physical nature of reality. We already know, directly by experience, what the phenomenal (macro) nature of reality is.
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