• Merkwurdichliebe
    290
    The only way I can see that it could be arguable that we "transcend nature" is that our possession of language allows us to be reflectively aware of the potential dangers of following our instincts, but it's not looking like that is going to help us out of the pickle we are in, because at the moment it is mostly "business as usual" sustained by copious denial and empty rationalization.Janus

    Well, philosophy promises nothing. In fact, from the very beginning, Socrates pointed out how useless it is. So what else is philosophy if nothing else than "business as usual"? I don't know what crazy expectations some of us may hold of philosophy, but I assure you it is delusion.
  • Janus
    6.9k
    But they are not.Banno

    Both the collective and the individual may be seen as either subject or object; It all depends on perspective and what you want to do with it.
  • Banno
    5.1k
    Both the collective and the individual may be seen as either subject or object;Janus

    Indeed, if what you want to do is to stay inside the bottle.
  • Janus
    6.9k
    Maybe you're right; although I do like Aristotle's concept of phronesis, usually translated as 'practical wisdom'. unfortunately I don't see much reason to think humanity in general is currently practicing it much. Time will tell as to whether we can become self-reflective and intellectually honest enough to acknowledge and face our present dilemmas.

    Philosophy should help with that since it has been said to be most appropriately thought of as 'love of wisdom'; but as long as it is thought of as an intellectual diversion or a collection of language games I don't think it will turn out to be of much use.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    290




    Banno: just think if it as a language game. Your participation is not required.

    Indeed, if what you want to do is to stay inside the bottle.Banno

    Inside the bottle is where philosophy takes place. Outside of it you are just drifting in the aether and screaming into the void about your objection to the myriad bottles of philosophical discourse.
  • Janus
    6.9k
    The bottle is a figment of your imagination, I would say. Or, perhaps you could say that one man's bottle is another man's freedom.
  • Janus
    6.9k
    Outside of it you are just drifting in the aether and screaming into the void about your objection to the myriad bottles of philosophical discourse.Merkwurdichliebe

    :cool: I like it! reminds me of Dostoevsky's "Pouring from the empty into the void".
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    290
    Philosophy should help with that since it has been said to be most appropriately thought of as 'love of wisdom'; but as long as it is thought of as an intellectual diversion or a collection of language games i don't think it will turn out to be of much use.Janus

    That ties into the idea of Socratic ignorance.
    Socrates was the wisest because of his ignorance of wisdom. Socrates uses irony to examine philosophical pressuppotions, as if to reach an understanding. The irony is, that he always arrived at the conclusion that we know nothing about our philosophical presuppositions, and as they are, they tell us nothing.
  • Janus
    6.9k
    You make interesting points! For me the idea of "Socratic ignorance" indicates the dependence of discursive knowledge (leaving aside for the moment analytic or empirical knowledge) on presuppositions which we either cannot recognize or cannot help making. I don't think of wisdom as being knowledge in that sense at all, but rather as being a direct intelligent 'knowing what to do' that depends very much on circumstance. I think of good aesthetic and ethical judgement in the same way; as being a matter of contextualized wisdom rather than determinate knowledge.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    290


    Yes, I agree, but Socrates was essentially concerned with the ethical, as in: what should one do, and why? He approached the ethical as a decision taking place in our immediate existence. In, contrast, Aristotle approached ethics speculatively, and deeply interwove it into his metaphysics (and political philosophy).
  • Harry Hindu
    1.8k
    But I might dispute that the real and natural are synonymous. Consider that the unnatural can also be real (let's call it the synthetic). And indeed I am real, the posts are real, and they likely have a phenomenal reality beyond my immediacy. But, regardless of our mode of reality, I am still a mixture of the natural and synthetic, and all my posts are entirely synthetic.Merkwurdichliebe
    I thought tautologies were stupid.

    What does it mean to be "unnatural"? How can a natural thing cause an unnatural thing?

    Other animals shape their environment to their needs and even build structures. Is a bird's nest or beaver's dam "unnatural"? Stars "pollute" the galaxy with the newer, heavier elements that are forged inside them, and these elements are still considered natural.

    So what reason could you have to single out human creations and environmental changes with a different term (like "synthetic", "artificial" and "unnatural") other than assuming that humans are special in some way?
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    290
    I thought tautologies were stupid.Harry Hindu

    They are, for instance:

    What does it mean to be "unnatural"? How can a natural thing cause an unnatural thing?Harry Hindu

    It means: to not be natural.
    By removing the thing in question from its nature.

    Is a bird's nest or beaver's dam "unnatural"?Harry Hindu

    Yes it is. The beaver activity is natural. The wood they harvest is from trees in nature. But as soon as they render the trees into wood for damn building, the trees are no longer in their natural state. My argument is that humans are capable of doing this to themselves. Even if human technology can be considered natural, it nevertheless functions by removing humans from their original nature (technology is the beaver, and humans are the wood).

    (I think a better term than technology is human artifice)
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    290
    I think of good aesthetic and ethical judgement in the same way; as being a matter of contextualized wisdom rather than determinate knowledge.Janus

    Yes, I agree. The difference is that the aesthetic judgement is directed toward objectivity, whereas the ethical judgement is reversed back upon the subject.




    I should add that I don't see humanity in that anti-humanist way, I see us as an apex predator out of control, kind of like a "pig in shit".Janus

    Lol
  • S
    9.7k
    Look what they've done to my thread, Ma...Banno

    :rofl:

    I totally agree with you on that: I certainly don't advocate following the mob. We can look after our own lives and position ourselves as best we are able to weather the coming storm.Janus

    I don't know how you'd reconcile that with other comments of yours.

    Point is, there isn't a problem to solve. So the more one tries to solve it, the further one gets from the answer... so to speak.Banno

    I think I get where you're coming from, but I disagree. It's sort of like, there's only a problem if we make it a problem. I make it a problem when I fight on behalf of bringing philosophy back down to earth, instead of walking away and making some cheese on toast.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    290
    I think I get where you're coming from, but I disagree. It's sort of like, there's only a problem if we make it a problem. I make it a problem when I fight on behalf of bringing philosophy back down to earth, instead of walking away and making some cheese on toast.S


    You have a sort of Nietchzean spirit. Ever read about eternal return?
  • S
    9.7k
    You have a sort of Nietchzean spirit. Ever read about eternal return?Merkwurdichliebe

    Yes. I have "Amor fati" tattooed on my wrist. It serves as a reminder.

    On my other wrist, I have "Cheese on toast". (I don't, it actually says "Carpe Diem", but that would be funny. Maybe that'll be my next tattoo).
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    290


    Right on!

    And you should cover your back with Lorem Ipsum 
  • Harry Hindu
    1.8k
    Yes it is. The beaver activity is natural. The wood they harvest is from trees in nature. But as soon as they render the trees into wood for damn building, the trees are no longer in their natural state. My argument is that humans are capable of doing this to themselves. Even if human technology can be considered natural, it nevertheless functions by removing humans from their original nature (technology is the beaver, and humans are the wood).

    (I think a better term than technology is human artifice)
    Merkwurdichliebe
    Okay. Then you would use terms like "beaver artifice", "avian artifice" and "stellar artifice" to refer to beaver dams, birds nests, and the heavier atomic elements in order to be consistent and to avoid arbitrarily singling out humans as the only natural that can change its environment - correct?

    What about wildfires started by lightning that burn trees, or storms that uproot them? Do these processes also cause unnatural states in the trees? So maybe you've really just moved the goal posts. Instead of exhibiting a preference for humans, you seem to be exhibiting a preference for life vs. non-life as shapers of their environments. If you're going to actually say that uprooted trees from storms are "unnatural", then we can just agree to disagree at that point.
  • S
    9.7k
    And you should cover your back with Lorem IpsumMerkwurdichliebe

    :rofl::victory:

    I'm actually going to do this one day.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    290


    Well then we will agree. Perhaps, I require a biological component to regard something as natural. I just find, that to regard absolutely everything that exists as natural, and nothing as synthetic, is an overgeneralization.
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