• I like sushi
    2.4k
    Something specific would be better. Any of us can easily find out about his general ideas so I don’t see exactly what purpose it would serve anyone to listen to repeats.

    I’m not interested in stoicism so went for his views on the limitations of science and philosophy. I was expecting more depth than what I’ve heard in podcasts or youtube talks.

    We have ours and our brother's and sister's loquaciousness whenever we like. Maybe better to be succinct, here, and give our guest the space?tim wood

    That’s probably a better option. Let him open with some ideas and then have us take a run at them rather than have him juggle with ideas that don’t really engage with his wants/needs. I think the stoicism side of things holds more sway here rather than discussing the problems of science and epistemic issues of communicating scientific concepts.

    There is something to be said about Sellars and Husserl. I’ll have to look further into Sellars, but at a glance there is more in common between Sellars and Husserl than not. The problem is likely more about the breadth of terms like ‘natural’ and ‘empiricism’. I’ve haven’t found anything in Sellars’ yet that overrides what Husserl was about. As with Heidegger it looks like another case of taking one aspect of the phenomenological perspective and cutting it away as if it’s something different.
  • Artemis
    1.9k


    Perhaps we can try again sometime with a different philosopher. I like some of his ideas, and I enjoyed his single post, but even among professionals not everyone is the most.... reliable.

    To be fair, end of the semester is perhaps not the best time to orchestrate this kind of thing either. Especially the end-of-semester-right-between-holidays time.

    I certainly think it would be a shame if people put in the amount of time and effort they have for Prof. Pigliucci only to be disappointed again.

    Live and learn, as they say.

    In the meantime, thank you to everyone who did put time and effort in. As a member of the peanut-munching crowd, it was appreciated.
  • creativesoul
    8.1k
    Ditto thoughts...

    I was actually working on something to ask, but spent too much time researching his works, and missed the deadline. Here's what I had...



    Hey professor Pigliucci,

    Alas, time is of the essence here...

    After reading your blog Footnotes to Plato, I've come to admire the skeptical approach first set out in the section called Between strident atheism and vanilla ecumenicism. This is just the beginning of much agreement between our respective world-views. The similarity between our lines of thought reaches striking proportions. I couldn't help but to find myself in agreement as I read through your writings on a variety of different subject matters. If only I were as eloquent...

    Thank you for being here.




    I'm particularly intrigued by the criterion you've put forth for determining what counts as pseudo-science. To be as precise as possible, I'm skeptical of the amount of value we ought place upon one particular element therein...

    Peer review.

    As we all know, consensus does not guarantee truth. So, it could be the case that one follows all of the rules governing what counts as an acceptable scientific endeavor, and still yet arrives at contradictory conclusions to their contemporaries. These actual scenarios(all paradigm shifts) are the strongest empirical ground for tempering the peer review portion of the standard. Too much value placed in peer review renders an immutable - unshakably certain - standard in our current knowledge base. We will be forced to say that such cases are pseudoscience.

    How do we best temper our judgment here, according to the Stoicism you advocate, particularly when judging and/or determining what counts as an acceptable theory of all human thought and belief(a notion than many find a need for)?


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    It wasn't finished because I wanted to better tie it into his thoughts about philosophy straddling between science and social structures... ah well. I'm glad to have found out about the professor.
  • Amity
    1k
    I certainly think it would be a shame if people put in the amount of time and effort they have for Prof. Pigliucci only to be disappointed again.

    Live and learn, as they say.

    In the meantime, thank you to everyone who did put time and effort in. As a member of the peanut-munching crowd, it was appreciated.
    Artemis

    It is not likely that I will put in similar effort in future.

    Indeed, it is an ongoing puzzle why I still participate in any philosophy forum.
    So very tiresome...all efforts seem to disappear down a deep, dark hole.

    Best Wishes.
  • god must be atheist
    2.1k
    It is not likely that I will put in similar effort in future.

    Indeed, it is an ongoing puzzle why I still participate in any philosophy forum.
    So very tiresome...all efforts seem to disappear down a deep, dark hole.
    I guess I need another break...
    Amity

    Early in the nineteenth century, a Hungarian playwright wrote a masterpiece, not translated into English, due to its language being in iambic meters, rhyming, and in Hungarian; this masterpiece, "The Tragedy of Man" had to deal with Adam looking for a home after being tossed from the garden (the first recipe for tossed garden salad), and he travels not only in space, but in time as well, reaching as far as the planet Mars. He is being guided through the ages by Satan, trying to sell him real estate in a multitude of disguises he wears.

    Anyhow, I never read the play, it is long and tedious, like all epic masterpieces. Apparently Adam is unsuccessful in his journey for finding a habitable spot in the known universe. But the ending is the inspiring call by god as Adam exeunts left stage with a long chin:

    "MAN, KEEP ON STRIVING, AND HANG ON TO YOUR HOPES!!"
  • Pantagruel
    813
    It is not likely that I will put in similar effort in future.Amity

    Isn't the effort its own reward though? When is effort truly wasted?
  • Hanover
    5.6k
    If I were a philosophy professor, spending 40+ hours a week teaching, studying, researching, and discussing philosophy, I'd be encouraged that there is an online community devoted to my passion, and I'd try to promote it the best I could, even possibly accepting an invitation to participate, but then quickly realizing I simply lacked the time to do it justice. I totally get it.
  • Michael
    8.7k
    I know the feeling. Unlikely to make that 13th December deadline. Sorry boss.
  • leo
    830
    So very tiresome...all efforts seem to disappear down a deep, dark hole.Amity

    There is a reason you philosophize, there is something you attempt to move towards through philosophy. In times of hardship there is only faith in that thing that keeps you connected, and that’s what you hold onto. Appearances aren’t what they seem, what seems to be wasted efforts can turn out to be fruitful in unexpected ways.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.2k

    Yeah, I do appreciate Pigliucci's approach, acknowledging the historical and social elements of science which seem to be overlooked. Scientific communities are institutions that have ways of life and idiosyncrasies which are still based on philosophical underpinnings towards the findings (usually a conservative approach to how the findings compare with previous research).

    I think his approach is most useful in science/math education. I think it much more enlightening and holistic to provide the context for which these mathematicians and scientists were working and discovering their theories. To just present the theories in a vacuum, as if there was no human struggle with how to understand them, or how the concepts developed over time, is to exclude the actual thinking-processes from the conclusions they wrought.
  • Wayfarer
    9.6k
    A recent Aeon publication by Prof. Piggliuci, Consciousness is Real. (I lost interest at mention of Dennett.)

    It is an ongoing puzzle why I still participate in any philosophy forum.
    So very tiresome...all efforts seem to disappear down a deep, dark hole.
    Amity

    I do get that. Oftentimes I feel the same and have quit, never to return, on more than one occasion. (Thought about it again today!) But then, people spend inordinate amounts of time on game sites, social media, and many worse things. At least discussion of philosophy has some actual intellectual merit, even if the signal-to-noise ratio fluctuates wildly. Hang in, as your name indicates, you're one of the more amicable. :up:

    (Oh, and I forgot to say - I'm gradually, gradually overcoming the near irresistible urge to tell those I disagree with what I think. That alone is worth the time spent here.)
  • Wayfarer
    9.6k
    Incidentally, and apropos Pugliucci's essay, I note this passage quoted from Searle:

    What I want to insist on, ceaselessly, is that one can accept the obvious facts of physics – for example, that the world is made up entirely of physical particles in fields of force – without at the same time denying the obvious facts about our own experiences – for example, that we are all conscious and that our conscious states have quite specific irreducible phenomenological properties. — John Searle

    I think a much better argument is the inescapable presence of meaning - that is, everything we say about, oh, physics, brain states, neurology, evolution, or whatever - relies on an (often implicit) ability to interpret, to say what these things mean. And this is nowhere described by physics, or any of the so-called 'hard sciences', because it must precede those sciences; If we are not able to make meaningful statements, then we're not going to be able to pursue any science whatever. Of course, this is why C.S. Peirce has suddenly become so influential particularly in biological sciences; because his work on semiotics is all about meaning, signs, signification and so on. But none of this has anything directly to do with what is generally called 'the hard problem', or with the reality or otherwise of consciousness. It's a much more direct argument than that, as it's not about the ostensible properties of things, such as brain-states, or intentions, or anything else objective: is says that meaning, in the most general and the broadest sense, is not something that can ever be accounted for in terms of the objective sciences, because meaning is always a matter of interpretation, and the objective sciences always rely on at least some interpretation, they're not truly 'observer-free'.

    And that, incidentally, also undermines the argument about 'emergence'. Consciousness - actually I prefer 'mind' - is not an objective reality but that which any objective argument presupposes. And even in the most simple life-forms, the experience of being - let's just say 'being' - is manifest, and this is not an objectively-existent reality so much as the ground of any objective judgement (at least when it evolves to the state of rational and language-using being). The problem with modern philosophy is that it forgets this presupposition by 'bracketing out the subjective', and then forgets what it has done (which I think is connected to Heidegger's 'forgetfulness of being'.)
  • creativesoul
    8.1k
    C.S. Peirce has suddenly become so influential particularly in biological sciences; because his work on semiotics...Wayfarer

    Draws a distinction between syntax and semantics as a means to take account of meaning. That's a fatal flaw. Both syntax and semantics consist of and are therefore existentially dependent upon common language use. Meaning, in it's most basic rudimentary form, is not. Hence, the fatal flaw of inherent inadequacy to be able to properly account for all meaning.
  • leo
    830
    A recent Aeon publication by Prof. Piggliuci, Consciousness is Real. (I lost interest at mention of Dennett.)Wayfarer

    I think of consciousness as a weakly emergent phenomenon, not dissimilar from, say, the wetness of water (though a lot more complicated). Individual molecules of water have a number of physical-chemical properties, but wetness isn’t one of them. They acquire that property only under specific environmental circumstances (in terms of ambient temperature and pressure) and only when there is a sufficiently large number of them.

    It seems he doesn’t see that even if the motions of a liquid can be explained from the motions of the molecules that compose the liquid, that doesn’t explain in any way how the motions of these molecules can give rise to the sensation of wetness. Going down that path we can hope to explain the motions of a brain based on the motions of the molecules that compose the brain, but that still won’t tell us in any way how these motions of the brain give rise to any sensation. We’re only explaining motions in terms of other motions, we aren’t at any point bridging the gap between motion and emotion.

    Also he repeatedly dismisses dualism through appeals to authority, that’s not much of an argument.
  • Pussycat
    347
    So what happened with Massimo? Did he ever show up?
  • Baden
    10.3k


    Yes, briefly.
  • Pussycat
    347
    Indeed, I found his one and only post. Was there any explanation as to why he quit?
  • Baden
    10.3k


    Time pressure.
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