• wax
    301
    Physics has moved on from Newtonian views to relativistic views...but I wonder if culturally people are more stuck in the Newtonian point of views....a kind of Cartesian co-ordinate society, which is based upon the idea of some kind of objective reality, rather than a subjective one..

    Society is generally resistant to change I think....stuck in old ways of thinking; reliant on technology to sort out problems..

    I wonder if society, in many ways, was more sophisticated in the dark ages, and way back to the neolithic ages.....they didn't have technology to sort out messes, so had to plan ahead to a greater degree.

    As Douglas Adams said in HHGTTG people still think digital watches are amazing..or whatever..people these days think that society is advanced because they can use an iphone...
  • fdrake
    2.2k
    Maybe an experiment you could do would be to survey posts on this forum and see how many times 'subjective', 'objective' are used and 'subject' and 'object' are used in a manner consistent with the subject object distinction.

    I doubt that society has ever really thought or behaved in accordance with Cartesian epistemology, but I think people beginning to get an interest in philosophy or in general philosophical argument will find that these terms come to mind. They're, for better or worse, wallpaper at this point.
  • T Clark
    3.2k
    Physics has moved on from Newtonian views to relativistic views...but I wonder if culturally people are more stuck in the Newtonian point of views....a kind of Cartesian co-ordinate society, which is based upon the idea of some kind of objective reality, rather than a subjective one..wax

    Some thoughts:

    • How people in general view the world is different from how scientists do.
    • Classical physics without taking relativity into account is still the best way to address most aspects of "reality" at human scale. As an engineer, everything I do can be measured in inches, feet, maybe miles (I'm American, we don't believe in that communist metric system.) I don't need to worry about light years or angstroms.
    • Physicists may deal with the world of quantum mechanics and relativity, but very few of them doubt the existence of objective reality. For most, the idea of subjective reality would be anathema.
  • Joshs
    631
    There are many forms of Cartesian dualism still in effect today. For instance, the mind-body problem, otherwise known as the 'hard problem' presupposes a split between material and subjective reality. this goes directly back to Descartes.
    and Kantian subjectivism doesnt overcome Cartesian dualism, it simply reconfigures the nature of the subject-object split. so relativity in physics still presupposes a dualism.
  • CaZaNOx
    50
    The cartesian co-ordinate system somehow ascribes measurability to the entire physical world. I think this view is very widespread. One could view a naive capitalism in this regard as result of this framework. This naive capitalism overemphasizes quantity over quality. F.e. Modern architecture has developed in to a state where bulidings are rectangular in order to maximize the living space and therefore maximizing the money that can be demanded whilist leaving away features like decorations or some round corners that would somehow be "more attractiv" but less efficient and a feature that can't directly be priced. However people somehow don't necessarily prefer living in blocks. The same is true for city design.
    One could also view utilitarianism in this context. Or the desire to have more money rather then the desire to have a better life. I think there are plenty of examples showing an overemphazing of direct measurable quantity that gets maximized instead of focusing on not easily measurable quality.
    However it is difficult to connect it to the cartesian view directly, since efficency to a certain degree is itself something that people have tried to achieve before descartes. However in architecture it is rather obvious that there has been a drastic shift torwards quantity away from quality that seems to support a yes as answer to your question if one takes this shift in architecure that still holds on as symptom.
  • wax
    301


    yes, that makes sense.

    But as well as that I think people see society as a kind of simplistic grid, with themselves existing at simple co-ordinates on that grid.

    This makes it easier for them to build internal models about how society works, and where they fit in with it. It also leads to a very dysfunctional way of looking at society, I think.

    Maybe a lot of people unwittingly belong to the Flat Society Society.... :D
  • CaZaNOx
    50
    I agree with you that due to Descartes people use a grid more often nowadays to locate their position in society f.e. the political compas.

    However I don't see how you derrive the simplicity from the coordinate system. We could f.e. consider ancient schemes where the social role was not necessarily understood as being on a grid and rather being a identity in itself. F.e. One being a nobel, peasant, mercant, warrior, slave ect. We could call this scheme simple aswell. And understand it to lead to a dysfunctional view of society.

    One could even argue that due to the coordinate system it is easier to model a very complex society by introducing n Dimensions with Real numbers. Creating a complex hyperspace where n is only really limited by the brain power.

    So I am curious how and why you derrive the simplicity?

    As already stated in my view the real simplification takes places by shifting torwards measurable quantities and ignoring hard to measure qualites. F.e. Shifting away from seeing the political opponent as positive quality in regards to driving the conversation forward productivly to a person that has a different viewpoint being away from my position distance x.

    However I didn't understand if you where refering to such aspects or the aspect of them using simple grids. If you where refering to the simple grids: where do you see the difference of the models used? Do you have something specific in mind?
    What are the dysfunctions that take place in the coordinate system but not in other systems according to you?
  • wax
    301


    well for one thing, whatever system one adopts, I think it is a good idea to recognise that it is the individual who has chosen to adopt that system, and that others may adopt other systems, and the one you adopt may only be relevant to you, and not an objective way to view society....also to recognise that it is just a model, and not really how society might work.

    People may not even exist on the same grid system, but there may be systems, that link together to form the whole model, with no simple measure or value distant between two points in the whole model..

    I was really sort of angling for a more relativistic approach to modelling society, in the OP...ie that everyone has their own frame of reference and will/might see things differently, to other people.
  • CaZaNOx
    50
    I was really sort of angling for a more relativistic approach to modelling society, in the OP...ie that everyone has their own frame of reference and will/might see things differently, to other people.wax

    I see.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.