• The Shoutbox

    Numbers adjusted.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)

    The criminal cases are more substantial. Personal liberty is never something you want to lose. Losing all your money is pretty big too.

    I hope mostly that our institutions persist. Trump will be on the wrong side of the sod soon enough. I worry more about the virgins, treasure, and electoral maps that will be buried with him.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Could easily get tossed on appeal, and it's not as if the DoJ can afford misfires.Wayfarer

    As a civil case, where the purported fraud points to getting an unfair advantage within a set of legislated conditions designed to deny that to business owners, an appeal reversal based upon a faulty declaration of facts would be much different than the limits of standard practices. The Trump defense, so far, seems to be angling for the latter. For James to lose on that basis is more of a reflection of New York City and State law than upon the prosecutors. Shysters ride free.
  • The Shoutbox

    Hopefully not the second of the other part.
  • A Wittgenstein Commentary

    I was thinking that Wittgenstein, as a survivor of the calamity of Nazi Germany, was proposing a measure of fragility not commonly observed. A way of thinking about what one could reasonably expect that was not all that it seemed.
  • A Wittgenstein Commentary
    The skeptic imagines the other's body blocks us from knowing their pain, but it is our unwillingness (to accept anything but pure knowledge) that shields their humanity from us;Antony Nickles

    I don't understand this quest for "pure knowledge" angle. What I took from the passage is that means of discrimination have consequences far beyond the subjects they entertain.
  • A Wittgenstein Commentary

    So, what about this paragraph? It does not fit into your 'reduction of skepticism' model:

    420. But can't I imagine that the people around me are automata, lack consciousness, even though they behave in the same way as usual?—If I imagine it now—alone in my room—I see people with fixed looks (as in a trance) going about their business—the idea is perhaps a little uncanny. But just try to keep hold of this idea in the midst of your ordinary intercourse with others, in the street, say! Say to yourself, for example: "The children over there are mere automata; all their liveliness is mere automatism." And you will either find these words becoming quite meaningless; or you will produce in yourself some kind of uncanny feeling, or something of the sort. Seeing a living human being as an automaton is analogous to seeing one figure as a limiting case or variant of another; the cross-pieces of a window as a swastika, for example.
  • A Wittgenstein Commentary

    That is a generous invitation.
    I will think about it.
  • A Wittgenstein Commentary

    Worthy of actually being quoted:

    Whereas we are tempted to say that our way of speaking does not describe the facts as they really are. As if, for example the proposition "he has pains" could be false in some other way than by that man's not having pains. As if the form of expression were saying something false even when the proposition faute de mieux asserted something true. For this is what disputes between Idealists, Solipsists and Realists look like. The one party attack the normal form of expression as if they were attacking a statement; the others defend it, as if they were stating facts recognized by every reasonable human being. — ibid. 402

    I have questioned a lot of your interpretations regarding these topics but I have to agree with this observation.
  • A Wittgenstein Commentary

    I brought up behaviorism as an example of a kind of theory making that Wittgenstein is not doing. The skepticism applied to the use of universals is not to reduce them to a set of inputs which are sufficient for establishing causes.

    Neither is W making an argument against behaviorism that Chomsky, for example, puts forth in his models.

    There is a ventriloquism underway in the insistence that a model must be the goal of the enterprise. If only a 'family resemblance' can be discovered amongst different games, the arbitrary nature of chess can be contrasted with how language-games work within certain constraints. To insist that there must be a way they are equally arbitrary is to insist upon the universal set aside at the beginning.
  • A Wittgenstein Commentary
    There is nothing outside the individual instantiations.schopenhauer1
    There is no way to confirm this to be the case. There are models of why it seems to happen in the way you describe. It does not introduce a "Platonic thing" to observe that we can observe many things about our use of language without presupposing a model. I can imagine solipsism but doing that does not make it a fact. It cancels itself as something to be verified.

    One thing the present discussion of what is "real" versus "ideal" poorly reflects is the extent Wittgenstein challenged the 'theoretical'. He questioned the way we seek universals but did not deliver an alternative model that explains what should happen instead. That would place him in the Behaviorist camp where language is a part of an organic system.

    And further, if we were to ever say that something can exist without a mental states, that is not meaning, but some sort of function. It's no more meaningful than some process in nature is meaningful.schopenhauer1

    Is this not the kind of theory that Wittgenstein expressed skepticism about?
  • A Wittgenstein Commentary
    Public is a shared internal understanding of use, which is internalschopenhauer1

    Is that to say language gives the appearance of us sharing a world but we are actually stuck in an isolated theater of the individual mind?

    And if that is the case, what is this "sharing" you speak of? It seems a lot more possible as something we can observe ourselves doing than to propose an unknown process designed to make us feel like it is happening.
  • What are you listening to right now?

    A lot of fun. Tight playing. Love whacking the anvil.
  • What is freedom?

    I provided the argument. I accept your surrender.
  • What is freedom?

    You don't get other people's problems. And yet you want them to help you argue against them in other places.

    The perfection of your form makes me wonder if you are an algorithm.
  • What is freedom?
    So I view that experience as highly overrated, even inconsequential.NOS4A2
  • What is freedom?

    You just dismissed the discussion of what "freedom" is about upon the basis of the conditions of our existence as an organism. Your beliefs are whatever they are.
  • What is freedom?

    You have located many of the problems of human experience within grounds presuming a determinism of conditions related to the possibility of our existence so far flung from why people talk about freedom that only a very fertile imagination could recognize it as an idea.
  • What is freedom?

    An interesting counterpoint to the libertarian ethos you proclaim in other places.
  • What is freedom?

    Your depiction of a "divided person" as literally cut into pieces makes me curious how you view the experience of desiring incompatible things, weighing competing loyalties, dilemmas of conscience versus self-interest, and times when you knowingly choose what is bad for yourself.
  • Essay on Absolute Truth and Christianity
    One bit of the argument.

    I am not convinced this is a testimony of faith.

    Whatever one may think of Scripture or how it got written, this idea of separating its use from "unbelievers" as a matter of dialogue reduces everything to whether one is convinced of one set of propositions or by another. And if it is the "one" set that has your vote, you suddenly possess the decoder ring needed to hear the Gospel.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    The rebellion of the USA against the UK was a taxation or public administration problem rather than a cultural war.javi2541997

    As the expression goes: "Taxation without Representation."
    It was also a about "lawyers, guns, and money." Also known as the British Mercantile economy:

    Britain’s desire to maintain their mercantile economic system also encouraged the creation of the Proclamation Line. Within the British mercantile world, colonies were to produce raw materials for export to the mother country, where they would be produced into manufactured goods and sold to consumers within the empire. To keep her wealth internalized, Great Britain enacted a number of regulations throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, such as the Navigation Acts, prohibiting her colonies from trading with foreign markets. Following the French and Indian War, Britain feared that westward expansion would lead to a growth in commercial agriculture, allowing farmers to profit by smuggling excess crops to external Atlantic markets. Instead, the government sought to protect mercantilism by encouraging colonial growth to the north and south in an effort to populate the newly acquired provinces of Quebec, East Florida, and West Florida. This would not only limit the establishment of commercially profitable farms on newly acquired western lands, but would also keep settlers within close range of Britain’s economic and political influence. Consequently, many colonials of varying socioeconomic backgrounds viewed the Proclamation Line and its restrictions as repressive measures put in place by the Crown to secure increased control over affairs in their North American colonies.Jennifer Monroe McCutchen
  • Feature requests
    It is interesting that my remark was removed without comment.

    So, it is like that.
  • What is freedom?
    The master is addicted to power and luxury, and his fear is that the slaves will revolt and enslave him in turn and beat him. This is the story of unfreedom, of being a slave to desire and fear. This is the life of a well trained dog; this is not freedom for slave or for master. So it seems that no one can be free, while another is a slave - maybe one day...unenlightened

    Through Hegel, this dynamic is expressed as a doubling of consciousness, where the conditions forced upon the slave are replicated in their treatment to themselves and fellow slaves. This points to a crossroads where the possible, as established by the power of the master, has a second life in the individuals framed by those conditions. There are some, like Georg Lukács, who saw the public and the individual bounded in the same topos or means of each side reflecting the other. There are views like that presented in the Invisible Man where the alienating dynamic is front and center but the 'personal' is decidedly not a reflection of those imposed conditions. And then there are the starting points for Freud and Jung who formulated these elements into conditions undergone by individual psyches.

    Kierkegaard takes a different approach by acknowledging that a person is limited by possibilities of the world one must live in but that the personal is not reflected in it as a possibility. Freedom is the capability to do things. That requires a movement from oneself and an education through the school of possibilities. This is noted in one of Kierkegaard's notes:

    In every concrete expression of freedom, all or a part of existence [Tiveroerelsen] collaborates. — Kierkegaard, Papers, V B 53:21, 1844, given as a reference in The Concept of Anxiety.

    Kierkegaard argues that the personal is fundamentally different from other categories to the point where psychology, as the attempt to generally understand the human condition, must give way to the theological. But his view is sharply at odds with a Stoicism that carefully marks out the borders between the regions. He clearly expects to change what is possible in the world.
  • Ukraine Crisis

    Who is the "us" in this statement?
  • Heidegger’s Downfall

    Yes, I would like to see more of that inherent contradiction.
  • Heidegger’s Downfall

    I agree Being and Time should be studied as an ontology thesis To what extent that thesis is inherently apolitical is a reasonable inquiry that doesn't make the text equivalent to Mein Kampf by default.

    After reviewing the range of literature concerned with the political, the interpretations range from seeing his work as a culmination of Heidegger's rejection of 'modern society' developed over a long time or as a conflict in his own thinking. The latter consideration is more interesting as a problem for philosophy. But that does not make it apolitical.
  • A List of Intense Annoyances

    What bugs me is that it got its form as a past participle so that one could cogently refer to things "having an impact".
    But then it started getting used as an active verb. That has an Orwellian Newspeak feel of replacing better English.
  • A List of Intense Annoyances
    The use of "impact" as a verb.
  • A Wittgenstein Commentary
    The PI is opposed to Referentialism, whereby words refer to objects in the world. To be an object existing in the world in space and time it must have some kind of essence.RussellA

    The observation that a particular use governs the meaning of a word does not cancel the fact that language is referring to entities and events we encounter in the world. It is that particularity that gives us confidence that such is the case. We can distinguish between cases.

    To say: "And the meaning of a name is sometimes explained by pointing to its bearer", is to observe that some naming is sufficient through simple pointing ala Augustine. By arguing that we do not learn language that way is not an argument that what we talk about is not actually in the world we live in.

    Saying objects "must have some kind of essence" is metaphysical supposition of the sort Kant said we could not confirm through experience. I don't think the discussion of meaning here is a part of that supposition.
  • A question for Christians

    I think Kierkegaard recasts the tension between faith and reason through looking at what changes our conditions in Philosophical Fragments. Obeying the command to love as laid out in his Works of Love was not a confirmation of a credo as much as it was a manual for change. Sort of a rebuttal to the The Enchiridion by Epictetus.
  • A Wittgenstein Commentary

    The either/or expressed by moving from "meaning as representation to a view which looks to use as the crux of the investigation", assumes that the challenge W is making to treating words as pointing to essences should be replaced by a competing explanation of essence. I think this interpolates an intention to make an ontological claim that is not Wittgenstein's concern.

    That we may misunderstand our relation to "essence" does not mean that we can fix that with another general approach. Working with 'family resemblances' comes from our limitations to provide what some words seem to give us. By that token, the approach does not give us that something through another means.
  • Crito: reading
    The chorus too must be regarded as one of the actors. It must be part of the whole and share in the action, not as in Euripides but as in Sophocles.Greek chorus - wiki

    This prompted me to check Oedipus the King (by Sophocles) and Aristotle gets this right. Oedipus acknowledges hearing the Chorus and converses with their Leader. This situation becomes pivotal to the drama because Oedipus insists that Tiresias speak in front of the assembly rather than take the option to hear from Tiresias privately.

  • Is Philosophy still Relevant?

    I will get back to you on that. I have to reactivate some of my cells devoted to that method.
  • List of Definitions (An Exercise)

    Being: Whatever it is that everything is doing without qualification.

    Awareness: The activity that brings beings into presence

    Consciousness: Whatever conditions that make awareness possible

    Thinking: Talking with others and myself through making or following connections.

    Time: That one is very tricky. I don't have time to explain myself.

    Sensation: An integral component of perception

    Perception: Distinguishing things given through sensation. (I recognize this is straight up Aristotle)

    Mind: A way to talk about consciousness as an agent.

    Body: What every being is with qualifications.

    Good: The idea of the best as conceived against the reality of its absence.

    Happiness: When I feel good.

    Justice: Another very tricky one but am convinced of its importance for the Good to be.

    Truth: Not sure I can handle the truth.
  • Crito: reading

    Good observation!

    No hoi polloi. By that measure, the audience has less representation in the scenes.
  • A Wittgenstein Commentary
    PI 182 sounds more like the anti-realist linguist than the realist engineer.RussellA

    It is realist to the degree that W defers to the engineer as providing a clear example of the statement meaning something.
  • Crito: reading

    Thank you for your kind words. As you typically open up many more paths than I can follow, our "relative" wisdom will have to be placed side by side in the way described in Symposium:

    Then Agathon, who was reclining alone on the last couch, said, “Come here, Socrates, and recline beside me so that, through contact with you, I may enjoy 175D that piece of wisdom that came to you in the porch. Of course you found it and you have it, for you would not have come away without it.”

    Socrates then sat down and said, “It would be nice, Agathon, if wisdom were the sort of thing that flowed between us, from the fuller to the emptier once we were in contact with one another, just as water in cups flows through wool from the fuller to the emptier one. Yes, if wisdom 175E is like this too, then I greatly prize my position alongside you, for I believe I will be filled with a copious beautiful wisdom by your side. For my wisdom would be ordinary, even as questionable as a dream, while yours would be resplendent and would hold great promise, young as you are; and this shone forth mightily from you, just the other day, and was put on display before the eyes of more than thirty thousand Greeks.”

    “Socrates, you are being contemptuous!” said Agathon. “Yet in due course, you and I shall submit these matters to judgement on the issue of wisdom, resorting to Dionysus[10] as our judge. For the moment, you should turn your attention to your supper.”
    Symposium, 175c, translated by Horan

    I think Fooloso4's approach is a fruitful and rigorous way to compare texts in order to understand:
    Socrates' own music consists of arguments, but that will not do for the many who need to be charmed.Fooloso4

    Without addressing the question of how much Socrates enjoyed the arts of the "many" (or the arguments in the Sorgner essay), I will observe Socrates is a character in Plato's plays. They are obviously more than plays, consisting of fixed characters being expressed through actors on a stage. Nonetheless, they are also artistic compositions. I have long found it interesting that Aristotle referred to Socrates as a 'moralist', suggesting that all the philosophy that can be found in the character is of Plato's making. That statement itself could be an urban myth shared amongst metics.

    Continuing my suspension of how those dynamics relate to the arguments concerning the highest arts, I would like to make some observations about Socrates as a participant in audiences.

    I start with the above passage from Symposium given above. I can only presume that Socrates was one amongst the "thirty thousand Greeks" who attended.

    In the Index to my old collection of the Dialogues, there are over a hundred references to Homer, thirteen to Aeschylus, fourteen to Pindar, forty-seven to Hesiod, four to Sophocles, and I am sure I have left out others. There are the countless rituals and festivals Socrates takes part in. And there is the beginning of the Republic where Socrates makes an aesthetic judgement upon the procession he came to witness. The guy was no shut in nor likely to plug his ears when nearing the Sirens.

    This is a long way to say that Socrates is sometimes found playing a role that does not reflect his understanding and other times puts that into the mouths of other people. So he speaks in the voice of the Law to satisfy Crito when he just can't get it. (I agree with you that there is comic element at that moment). The wisdom Socrates reports receiving from Diotima sure sounds an awful lot like the arguments Socrates makes on his own account.

    I will mull over your other comments.