• Ciceronianus the White
    980
    I did not propose the feeling of anguish as knowledge, but Sartre's theory on the feeling of anguish. They are two very different things.David Mo

    If you say so. I'm not sure what knowledge his theory of anguish would encompass, or derive, in that case. Knowledge of the cause of anguish? Knowledge of what anguish really is?
  • Xtrix
    831
    What role does reason play....wherein lays its weight....in humans generally, from a psychological point of view?Mww

    I can't speak for psychology generally, but my own view is that it plays a role when things break down, when we are consciously solving problems and making plans, etc. Much of our activity is seen as unconscious within psychology, as seen here for example -- a pretty well-known study.

    Of course your question depends on what you mean by "reason." I see reason, rationality, and logic as meaning essentially the same thing in our Western tradition: conscious, abstract thought. Consequently, it's pretty clear that abstract thought is essential for philosophy and science and so is very important indeed, as it is in our daily lives as human beings. But we shouldn't forget that although it's a powerful mode of being, it is still, as Heidegger says, "a founded mode," and leaves out what we are "proximally and for the most part" in our "average everydayness." In other words, by viewing the world objectively, we have to leave out all of the aspects of life in which we spend most of our time and out of which we begin to philosophize to begin with.

    So reason plays an important role, but it's not the only one. Therefore, to say we're a rational animal, as has been a common interpretation since Aristotle, isn't wrong. But the ζοον part is still there nonetheless, and shouldn't be forgotten or interpreted through the lens of "reason." Our instincts, habits, skills, our engagement with equipment, etc. - it does no good to describe these in rational terms.
  • darthbarracuda
    3k
    The business of philosophy is to teach man to live in uncertainty - man who is supremely afraid of uncertainty, and who is forever hiding himself behind this or the other dogma. More briefly, the business of philosophy is not to reassure people, but to upset them. — Lev Shestov, All Things Are Possible
  • I like sushi
    2.4k
    It’s just dedication to thinking.

    Today people call themselves ‘philosophers’ because it sounds better than saying ‘I’m just thinking about stuff’ - hence the aura of pretension that shrouds it.
  • David Mo
    480
    And when did the change occur between then and now? When was this special method "discovered"?Xtrix
    In the renaissance. It was clear at the time that a Nuova Scienza was emerging. It basically consisted of two innovations: controlled experimentation and mathematization. Today's science is heir to that scientific revolution.

    Science is still natural philosophy, in my view.Xtrix
    There's little motivation for such an unjustified demarcation.Xtrix
    Do you think a philosopher can teach atomic physics only through philosophy? Do you think philosophy is what has created the technified world in which we live? Just to cite two obvious differences.

    If you live in a world where science and philosophy are the same, you are a bit old-fashioned. You are a few centuries out of date.

    I understand that someone may express doubts that the scientific method can be defined rigidly (nobody pretends such a thing today) but to pretend that the method of philosophy and science are the same is an absurdity.
  • David Mo
    480
    Metaphysics isn't the heart of Aristotle's philosophy.Xtrix
    Aristotle places metaphysics at the top of his classification of forms of knowledge. See if it was important to him: the science of sciences.
    In the Tractatus Wittgenstein considers metaphysical propositions as true nonsense -Unsinn. In aphorism 6.53, for example, he maintains that to try to "say something of a metaphysical character" is to condemn oneself fatally to not being able "to give, in our propositions, a meaning to certain signs". Wittgenstein mentions the concept of essence as the typical metaphysical concept. You are not going to tell me that the concept of essence is not important in Aristotle!
  • David Mo
    480
    the only non-arbitrary way we can judge them is by how good or bad they make people feelPfhorrest
    By that standard, killing a child is good if it makes the killer feel good. Experimentally proven.
  • Pfhorrest
    2k
    Not if it makes the child, or anyone else, feel bad.

    Empiricism doesn't mean every hallucination or illusion someone sees is definitively real, it just means that reality is generally judged by things "looking true", but to everyone, in every context...

    Likewise, hedonism doesn't mean just anything anybody likes to do is good, it just means that morality is generally judged by things "feeling good", but to everyone, in every context...

    I wrote all this already but you said you ignored it.

    TL;DR: Hedonism is not egotism.
  • David Mo
    480
    It's not that I have to "remember" how to drive a car -- I just do it. I don't have to think about it at all;Xtrix
    Of course you remember when you open a door. It is your memories that allow you to recognize what is in front of you as a door and not a wall. In an implicit way, of course. If you hadn't had previous training you couldn't drive in an unreflective way. What I'm trying to explain to you is that there is a form of non-reflective "consciousness" that conceptualizes sensations to turn them into perceptions. Therefore, knowledge of the individual is not something merely individual. Indeed, Merleau-Ponty has a lot to say for me when she discusses the merely automatic character of conditioned reflexes. In the Phenomenology of Perception, to be exact.
  • David Mo
    480
    Knowledge of the cause of anguish? Knowledge of what anguish really is?Ciceronianus the White

    Both.
  • David Mo
    480
    Hedonism is not egotism.Pfhorrest

    And how do you justify this empirically?
  • Mww
    1.5k
    I see reason....as....abstract thought.Xtrix

    So reason plays an important role, but it's not the only one.Xtrix

    In the synthesis of the two, are we not then left with one of two inevitable conclusions: either there are times in our conscious living when we don’t think, or, the constant mental activity called thought, implied by being conscious, isn’t necessarily reason?

    I agree reason is conscious abstract thought, but I rather think we reason constantly, all else being given, whether or not we are aware of it, which makes explicit that not only does reason have an important role, it is the necessarily determinant one. Without it, we have no justification in calling ourselves human, as opposed to merely existing as some kind of intelligent biological creature.

    Anyway.....thanks.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    980
    Knowledge of the cause of anguish? Knowledge of what anguish really is?
    — Ciceronianus the White

    Both.
    David Mo

    I think anguish is caused by reading Sartre--dread being caused by thinking about reading Sartre, as I noted previously. Behold this knowledge of the causes of anguish and dread.
  • Xtrix
    831
    And when did the change occur between then and now? When was this special method "discovered"?
    — Xtrix
    In the renaissance.
    David Mo

    I already mentioned Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, and others of the early scientific revolution. Remember the renaissance itself, including these men, was influenced by Greek thought. It's no surprise the Bacon and Galileo reference Aristotle so often, for example. So were the Greeks not doing science? Again, I always like to ask about Aristarchus. Was he not doing science? He didn't have the technology of later generations, of course, and he certainly lived before this special method was "discovered" in the Renaissance. But if he wasn't "doing" science, then it simply proves that we shouldn't take very seriously how we in the 21st century choose to define it. Which is my point.

    Science is still natural philosophy, in my view.
    — Xtrix
    There's little motivation for such an unjustified demarcation.
    — Xtrix
    Do you think a philosopher can teach atomic physics only through philosophy? Do you think philosophy is what has created the technified world in which we live? Just to cite two obvious differences.
    David Mo

    "Only through philosophy" is meaningless. Yes I think philosophers can contribute to science and often have been scientists and mathematicians. Kant taught astronomy, Descartes founded analytic geometry, Leibniz invented calculus, etc. etc. Even more recently, take a look at Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Planck, et al. Were they "only" doing science? Not at all: they actively engaged in philosophical thought and were explicit in who their influences were. That's in part what made them so trailblazing, I'd argue.

    And yes, of course "philosophy" has created the technological world in which we live. One simply has to reject confining "philosophy" to 20th century university departments, completely separated from the "science" being done in other departments.

    If you live in a world where science and philosophy are the same, you are a bit old-fashioned. You are a few centuries out of date.David Mo

    Yet no one can explain what the "scientific method" is, including you. And this is what's supposed to separate "doing science" from "doing philosophy." I'd be happy to be proven wrong. Poppers and others have tried to show how science differs from other activities, but I don't find much of that convincing. It also differs quite a lot from what you've claimed.

    In reality, there's simply attempts to understand the world -- the rest is fine for abstraction and categorizing for convenience.

    I understand that someone may express doubts that the scientific method can be defined rigidly (nobody pretends such a thing today) but to pretend that the method of philosophy and science are the same is an absurdity.David Mo

    People do indeed pretend that it can be rigidly defined. But if it isn't, and so philosophy and science as currently understood often interact simultaneously in thought and inquiry, then it's also absurd to talk about the absurdity that these "methods" are the "same."

    The sciences study various domains of beings -- life, nature, rocks, stars, cells, etc. Philosophy is the study of being -- ontology in the Greek sense. This is the only "difference" I can see, and even here it's very difficult indeed to mark a clear distinction.
  • Xtrix
    831
    Aristotle places metaphysics at the top of his classification of forms of knowledge.David Mo

    No, he doesn't. Aristotle talks about φθσισ. You have to remember that "metaphysics" is a later designation, and has connotations that simply can't be applied to Aristotle if we're at all serious about trying to understand his thought.

    It's not that I have to "remember" how to drive a car -- I just do it. I don't have to think about it at all;
    — Xtrix
    Of course you remember when you open a door. It is your memories that allow you to recognize what is in front of you as a door and not a wall.
    David Mo

    Remembering and memory, at least in psychology (and as they're commonly understood), play no role opening a door any more than they have a role in breathing. If we want to argue that we have to "remember" each time we walk, or drive, or eat, it's a very strange way to look at things. It's far too abstract. If you say that it's not abstract, but simply compiled somewhere in the brain, and still call it "remembering," it's very misleading. I have to "remember" my to-to list, which the best route is to get to Cape Cod, and what this person's favorite ice cream is -- I'm not doing that when driving, in fact it's so transparent I can think and talk about anything I want. Am I still subconsciously "remembering"?

    I don't see why we would need to invoke this term, given the above.

    This indicates a kind of computer model view of the human mind. I reject that wholeheartedly.

    If you hadn't had previous training you couldn't drive in an unreflective way.David Mo

    Very true. At least when it comes to driving, playing basketball, etc. Whether things like acquiring language requires "training" is another matter.

    What I'm trying to explain to you is that there is a form of non-reflective "consciousness" that conceptualizes sensations to turn them into perceptions.David Mo

    Yes, I'm quite familiar with the arguments your presenting, which are mistakes. It's not "consciousness" at all.

    What the central nervous system does with perception is an interesting topic; but again, not relevant here, any more than the the way the visual system creates images from sensations of light is relevant.

    Maurice Merleau-Ponty has some interesting things to say about this in his Phenomenology of Perception, in fact.Xtrix

    Indeed, Merleau-Ponty has a lot to say for me when she discusses the merely automatic character of conditioned reflexes. In the Phenomenology of Perception, to be exact.David Mo

    Well he was a man, but maybe that was a typo. And yes, he has very interesting things to say about that indeed. Have you really read the book? Because it undermines everything you've said so far about consciousness and "implicit" abstraction.
  • Xtrix
    831
    I see reason....as....abstract thought.
    — Xtrix

    So reason plays an important role, but it's not the only one.
    — Xtrix

    In the synthesis of the two, are we not then left with one of two inevitable conclusions: either there are times in our conscious living when we don’t think, or, the constant mental activity called thought, implied by being conscious, isn’t necessarily reason?
    Mww

    An important quesiton. I think the latter is the case. If reason is abstract thought, then all this means is that what we call "thinking" is not always conscious, abstract thinking (reasoning). I think we all see this is the case if we introspect a little -- we're always talking to ourselves, for example. We're in the past, remembering things, we're imagining things, projecting in the future, a tune is "stuck in our head," etc. -- it's a fragmented, messy affair. Hardly "reasoning," but still considered thought nonetheless. I call it "junk thought," but I'm sure there're better terms for it. Some researchers in psychology (neuroscience) call it a "default network" -- daydreaming being a key element of this.

    I agree reason is conscious abstract thought, but I rather think we reason constantly, all else being given, whether or not we are aware of it, which makes explicit that not only does reason have an important role, it is the necessarily determinant one. Without it, we have no justification in calling ourselves human, as opposed to merely existing as some kind of intelligent biological creature.Mww

    I would nit-pick a little here and say that if you agree reason is conscious abstract thought, then if something is happening when we're not aware of it -- is that still "reason"?

    In any case, I didn't quite understand the entirety of your first sentence. As for the second, I think we certainly can call ourselves human -- just with the caveat that we're not always rational. Besides, this "intelligent biological creature" is still more intelligent than anything else in the animal kingdom, if for no other reason than the simple fact that we all have the faculty of language.
  • Xtrix
    831
    I think anguish is caused by reading Sartre--dread being caused by thinking about reading Sartre, as I noted previously. Behold this knowledge of the causes of anguish and dread.Ciceronianus the White

    That had me chuckling a little.
  • Pfhorrest
    2k
    That’s a matter of definition, not the kind of thing that calls for empirical verification. We simply do not usually use the words that way.
  • Mww
    1.5k
    if you agree reason is conscious abstract thought, then if something is happening when we're not aware of it -- is that still "reason"?Xtrix

    There is a transcendental argument which says reason is the entirety of the human cognitive system, from perception to knowledge, so at least some people think reason, or at least some part of the system to which it belongs, may be something that is happening when we’re not aware of it.

    However, in a certain speculative philosophy, thought is “cognition by means of conceptions”, and cognition is “process of joining different representations (conceptions) to each other and of comprehending their diversity in one cognition”. Therein, that which happens of which we are not aware is the generation of conceptions, as means given from the faculty of understanding, but the process of joining different conceptions, and of comprehending the diversity of them, is reason proper, the cognitions of which we are certainly aware, as ends given from the faculty of judgement.

    Granting all that, the assertion that we reason constantly becomes clear, for otherwise we must have a system informing us of that which we already know, and a separate and distinct system informing us of that which we do not know. Just because we reason much faster under conditions of extant experience, as opposed to having to process new representations in order to cognize merely a possible experience, doesn’t mean we’re not using reason in same way.
    ——————

    this "intelligent biological creature" is still more intelligent than anything else in the animal kingdom, if only for the simple fact that we all have the faculty of language.Xtrix

    We have no right to make that claim, that doesn’t smack of anthropomorphism, re: Nagel, 1974. Even if reason is a strictly human condition, and we claim it as proprietary, it is fraught with illusion and intrinsic circularity, one prime example of which is to judge by our standards, that which cannot possibly conform to it.

    What was the question again????? (Grin)
  • David Mo
    480
    I think anguish is caused by reading SartreCiceronianus the White
    Headache, more like. But this is another matter.
  • David Mo
    480
    Again, I always like to ask about Aristarchus.Xtrix

    Even more recently, take a look at Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Planck, et al. Were they "only" doing science? Not at all: they actively engaged in philosophical thought and were explicit in who their influences were. That's in part what made them so trailblazing, I'd argue.

    And yes, of course "philosophy" has created the technological world in which we live.
    Xtrix

    Yet no one can explain what the "scientific method" is, including you.Xtrix
    That at certain levels of science there is an interaction between science and philosophy does not mean that they are the same. The fact that there were scientists who were philosophers (especially in the past) does not mean that they acted as philosophers doing science or vice versa, but that they were activities that were closely related at the time and in certain fields. Leibniz was a metaphysicist, and you won't tell me that monads are a scientific concept. (Actually, I'm afraid you're going to say that).

    That technology has nothing to do with philosophy is demonstrated by the fact that those who work in it do not employ a single concept of philosophy. In fact, the vast majority of scientists today have no idea about philosophy.

    Aristarchus may be considered a scientist, but not in the same way as Galileo. The proof is that his heliocentric theory did not go beyond being a hypothesis until the New Science appeared in the Renaissance. (You could have chosen a better example). It is the difference between ancient science and modern science.

    That New Science can be clearly defined as different from the previous one because it is based on two new concepts: controlled experimentation and mathematization of variables. I don't know why you say you can't characterize the current scientific method if I'm doing it right now. (I have done this several times before.) Can you focus on my proposal?
  • David Mo
    480
    No, he doesn't. Aristotle talks about φθσισ. You have to remember that "metaphysics" is a later designationXtrix

    Remembering and memory, at least in psychology (and as they're commonly understood), play no role opening a door any more than they have a role in breathing.Xtrix

    Have you really read the book? Because it undermines everything you've said so far about consciousness and "implicit" abstraction.Xtrix
    I think you've lost sight of what we were discussing. We were discussing whether it's possible to capture the singular without prior abstractions. What I'm telling you is that our perception of the world is determined by our previous preconceptions. You keep referring to reflective consciousness when I am talking about a process of categorization that is prior to the formation of a simple perception. But implicitly. You don't have a sense of a door, but you perceive a door in a complex of sensations and preconceptions that implicit memory provides. Please note "implicit" and don't turn to me for reflection. This shows that when you are looking for something, the unthinking preconception you have of it can make you not see it even if it is right in front of your eyes.

    If this is so in reference to a simple act of perception, it is even more so when we refer to an abstract concept of "lived world". The world we live in is not naively given, but is mediated by our conceptualisation and assessment of it. That is, by the world in our own way a priori, with Kant's permission.

    I read a couple of books by Merleau-Ponty some time ago and, if I remember correctly, they agreed with what I am saying. Especially in his criticism of behaviourism based on Gestalt. But if not, I'd like you to refresh my memory.
  • David Mo
    480
    Aristotle talks about φθσισ. You have to remember that "metaphysics" is a later designation,Xtrix

    It is well known that Aristotle did not coin the term "metaphysics". It is also well known that it was a good invention because the book to which this name was given contains what corresponds to the superior form of knowledge of the five that he established (episteme theoretiké). And it is this name -"metaphysics"- that corresponds to what Wittgenstein strongly criticizes. Including the term "essence," which is the core of Aristotelian metaphysics, whatever you want to call it. Don't mind names but concepts, please.

    By the way, Aristotle is the first to point out that experience is based on memory. You see, even your idols take away your reason.
  • Pussycat
    347
    Give the word philosophy is in the very title of this forum, it seems like a fairly straightforward question, "What is philosophy?"

    The term itself, as we know, means "love of wisdom" from the Greek. But that doesn't help much until we know what "wisdom" means.

    Interested in hearing various interpretations.
    Xtrix

    Philosophy is the belief system that takes it for granted that you can reason your way through everything.
  • Xtrix
    831
    That at certain levels of science there is an interaction between science and philosophy does not mean that they are the same.David Mo

    It's not that they're the same - as I've said before, there's also plenty of examples where they're quite different- given the common notions about what they are. But they're not separate either, nor is there any clear way of determining a boundary. Philosophy is always involved in science; this doesn't mean they're the same.

    It's worth remembering that both activities come from the human mind. They both attempt to question and understand the world consciously. Both are very careful, try to be precise, etc.

    Whether a question like "Why does the cup fall but the steam rise?" can be classified as "doing" philosophy or doing science is a silly endeavor. You, and others like you, want to relegate philosophy to being completely theoretical, and so as soon as one tests ideas in any way the activity suddenly "switches" over to science. If that's how we choose to define things, that's fine. But as I've already said, I see no motivation in doing so beyond education curricula and to clarify division of labor. There's no method that is agreed upon anyway, philosophy and science often interact as you say, etc - so who cares?

    Again, the sciences being different of as branches of ontology (philosophy) is perfectly good for specialization purposes and ease of communicating what one is studying. Very useful to universities, etc. But we shouldn't take it too seriously.

    Leibniz was a metaphysicist, and you won't tell me that monads are a scientific concept. (David Mo

    The distinction is pointless. There's little evidence for monads in Leibniz' s formulation, if that's what you mean. Of course it's easy to make fun of minds far greater than your own after centuries of new knowledge, but the proposal wasn't unreasonable at the time. Not a huge leap from monads to atoms if you think about it.

    Also, to simply declare Leibniz was this or that is pretty ridiculous. What was the invention of the step reckoner, or calculus for that matter - metaphysics? "Leibniz was a metaphysicist" - sure. And also a mathematician, logician, inventor, natural scientist, and even to some a computer science pioneer.

    That technology has nothing to do with philosophy is demonstrated by the fact that those who work in it do not employ a single concept of philosophy. In fact, the vast majority of scientists today have no idea about philosophy.David Mo

    Baseless assertion. But let's take it as true - so what? Computer programmers don't need to know anything about quantum mechanics or electrical engineering. Doesn't mean electrical engineering isn't at work.

    Aristarchus may be considered a scientist, but not in the same way as Galileo. The proof is that his heliocentric theory did not go beyond being a hypothesis until the New Science appeared in the Renaissance. (You could have chosen a better example).David Mo

    It's perhaps a bad example if all you know about him is what you read for a few minutes on Wikipedia. But take a look at how he calculated, with great accuracy, earth's circumfrence. Was that an accident? Was it not science? Was it not the "same" science as Galileo's thought experiments of frictionless planes?

    Also, the fact that a hypothesis isn't confirmed until a later period says absolutely nothing about whether something is science or not.

    If Aristarchus wasn't "doing" science, neither was Copernicus or Galileo. But there is one major difference: Galileo had a telescope.
    That New Science can be clearly defined as different from the previous one because it is based on two new concepts: controlled experimentation and mathematization of variables.David Mo

    At long last, you alone have solved the mystery.

    But seriously: experiments were performed long before the Renaissance. Galileo in fact performed very few, if any, experiments. Most were thought experiments. Mathematics has been used since the Egyptians and Babylonians.

    I keep repeating: it's just not so simple. Here's a decent introduction: https://youtu.be/et8kDNF_nEc
  • Xtrix
    831
    I think you've lost sight of what we were discussing. We were discussing whether it's possible to capture the singular without prior abstractions. What I'm telling you is that our perception of the world is determined by our previous preconceptions.David Mo

    That's not what we're discussing - it's what you keep interjecting.

    You don't have a sense of a door, but you perceive a door in a complex of sensations and preconceptions that implicit memory provides. Please note "implicit" and don't turn to me for reflection.David Mo

    "You don't have a sense of a door" but "perceive the door" -- I won't try figuring out your semantics here.

    No one is arguing about the neuropsychological processes involved in perception. I mentioned before that there's no reason to believe the brain isn't involved in these activities. But it's not "reason," nor is it "implicit reason." It's not that it's impossible to talk about the phenomena this way, but it's not what you see when you observe activities like hammering, driving, etc. To say reason is still involved, but it's just "unconscious, implicit reason" is a move that I see no evidence for. Reason and consciousness just aren't involved in any way.

    Procedural memory is a different matter. but it doesn't get us to reason, comparison, or even "remembering." Talking about "preconceptions" in this context is likewise unjustified and misleading.

    The world we live in is not naively given, but is mediated by our conceptualisation and assessment of it. That is, by the world in our own way a priori, with Kant's permission.David Mo

    No one is arguing for naive realism.

    By the way, Aristotle is the first to point out that experience is based on memory. You see, even your idols take away your reason.David Mo

    Where does he say experience is "based on" memory?

    No one is arguing that human being's don't have memory, nor "procedural memory," nor "muscle memory." If that's all you're trying to show, then I agree wholeheartedly.
  • Xtrix
    831
    There is a transcendental argument which says reason is the entirety of the human cognitive system, from perception to knowledge, so at least some people think reason, or at least some part of the system to which it belongs, may be something that is happening when we’re not aware of it.Mww

    Sure. I think it's an unjustified move, but I'm aware it exists -- in fact it's probably the predominant view.

    Granting all that, the assertion that we reason constantly becomes clear, for otherwise we must have a system informing us of that which we already know, and a separate and distinct system informing us of that which we do not know. Just because we reason much faster under conditions of extant experience, as opposed to having to process new representations in order to cognize merely a possible experience, doesn’t mean we’re not using reason in same way.Mww

    Yes, this is exactly the above: reason now become "implicit reason," working below consciousness somehow. So it's like saying when we learn something, we have to learn the rules and put conscious effort into practicing -- but then once we master the skill (let's say driving), the rules become stored in the brain somewhere, working unconsciously.

    I think that's completely wrong.

    this "intelligent biological creature" is still more intelligent than anything else in the animal kingdom, if only for the simple fact that we all have the faculty of language.
    — Xtrix

    We have no right to make that claim, that doesn’t smack of anthropomorphism
    Mww

    Fair enough. I'll rephrase: we're the only biological creature with the faculty of language. "Intelligence" is another matter -- look at who we've elected President.
  • Mww
    1.5k
    some people think reason, (...), may be something that is happening when we’re not aware of it.
    — Mww

    Sure. I think it's an unjustified move, but I'm aware it exists
    Xtrix

    I agree, in accordance with the theoretical tenet that reason is a conscious mental activity. That which happens on the other side, is not reason per se. Precursor to reason, ground of reason, that which makes reason possible.....take your pick. In much the same way as we are never aware of the transition from perception by means of sense organs to the excitation of functional brain mechanics, so too are we never aware of the transition from the appearance of external objects, to the synthesis of representations into knowledge.
    —————-

    Yes, this is exactly the above: reason now become "implicit reason," working below consciousness somehow. So it's like saying when we learn something, we have to learn the rules and put conscious effort into practicing -- but then once we master the skill (let's say driving), the rules become stored in the brain somewhere, working unconsciously.Xtrix

    As aforementioned, reason doesn’t work below consciousness, insofar as consciousness stands for the state of that of which the subject is conscious, or aware.

    The brain stores stuff, but it is only because of our own need to understand each other, that “rules” is the name given to that which is stored. If neural pathways are the means for storage of “rules”, and we are hardy aware of our neural pathways and the employment of them in the facilitation of extant knowledge rather than re-learning from each successive set of empirical stimuli.....what is it that is completely wrong?
  • Xtrix
    831
    I agree, in accordance with the theoretical tenet that reason is a conscious mental activity. That which happens on the other side, is not reason per se. Precursor to reason, ground of reason, that which makes reason possible.....take your pick.Mww

    All good, really. In Heidegger, it's evident in the "ready-to-hand" (Zuhandenheit) activity of dealing with equipment.

    The brain stores stuff, but it is only because of our own need to understand each other, that “rules” is the name given to that which is stored. If neural pathways are the means for storage of “rules”, and we are hardy aware of our neural pathways and the employment of them in the facilitation of extant knowledge rather than re-learning from each successive set of empirical stimuli.....what is it that is completely wrong?Mww

    The use of "rules" really. Neural pathways are certainly involved, but to say the rules are "stored" there is the wrong picture of the mind. It's a kind of computer model of the mind, which is why AI continually fails. May sound nit-picky, but I think it matters.

    Whatever it is that changes the brain from a theoretical understanding of driving (rules, principles, etc) to the everyday driving we all engage in (i.e., once the skill has been acquired), I just don't see how the former somehow goes "underground" and is thus stored in the brain. It reminds me a bit of Plato's theory of recollection.
  • Mww
    1.5k
    I just don't see how the former somehow goes "underground" and is thus stored in the brain.Xtrix

    Two things: something is stored somewhere, and, nothing is ever learned twice. One may incorporate those into either a scientific or philosophical theory, but not both simultaneously. Science will probably prove brain mechanics someday but won’t be the least satisfying to Everydayman, and philosophical theories may very well satisfy Everydayman just fine, but stand no chance whatsoever of being proven.

    Round and round we go.......
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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.