Comments

  • What is a "Woman"
    The question of inalienable rights is an interesting one, which I believe will become more pressing as secularization continues.Leontiskos

    Inalienable rights are guaranteed by Nature. It's basically stoicism.

    George_Washington_Greenough_statue.jpg
  • What is a "Woman"
    Supposedly you can let things take their course and the results will speak for themselves. If we screw up, society will become diseased. If we get it right, happiness will ring from the mountaintops and whatnot.
  • An Analysis of "On Certainty"
    The world doesn't talk, people talk.Banno

    I know that. By the way, you haven't escaped abstract objects. A sentence is also abstract.
  • An Analysis of "On Certainty"
    In the first, an abstract entity is invoked, and immediately followed by all sorts of philosophical investigations - what is the nature of this abstract entity, the proposition? Is it real, is it a Platonic form, is it an eternal statement, and so on.Banno

    Not at all. I said a proposition is what we imagine the world would say. If you notice, my account of propositions is very similar to Russell's. He believed a true proposition is simply a state of the world. But that left him confused as to how propositions can be false. My solution: we're descendants of people who thought the world could talk. That heritage is the origin of the concept of propositions.

    I won't derail the thread further. I don't think you're likely to get what I'm saying. :wink:
  • An Analysis of "On Certainty"

    :grin: Read more Emerson. He'll show how to think for yourself.
  • An Analysis of "On Certainty"

    Start with thinking for yourself. Then all the philosopher does is broaden your horizons.
  • An Analysis of "On Certainty"

    This is philosophy, not theology. Feel free to engage the ideas in play rather than becoming caught up in interpretation of the text.
  • An Analysis of "On Certainty"
    I would count "I have a laptop" as a proposition in the first person,Banno

    The thing is, that the same P can be expressed by a lot of different methods: verbal sequence, marks on page, interpretive dance, sculpture, etc. Maybe I should say a P can be expressed in a first person account, but the P itself is denoted by what philosophers call "eternal sentences." Those sentences are from the narrator's POV. It's the world talking, so to speak.

    And yes, you can't use any particular proposition to prove that there is a world, since there being a world is presupposed by there being propositions.Banno

    Right. You can't express a proposition without presupposing a world.
  • An Analysis of "On Certainty"

    I think your account is missing this: that propositions are not first or second person accounts. They're in third person. They aren't necessarily spoken by any human at any time. I think this is where Austin's usefulness ends.

    It's a tricky point, but it's this: when you repeat a proposition, you're essentially repeating what you think the world would say. Expressing a proposition implies a world who (in our imaginations) can speak.

    So you can't use any particular proposition to prove that there is a world. It doesn't work that way.
  • An Analysis of "On Certainty"

    This is a hand is a proposition. I was giving you my handy dandy explanation of what a proposition is: that it comes from interaction with the world, framed as a conversation.
  • What would you order for your last meal?

    "Maybe I died. Maybe these are just the last thoughts of a dying man”
    -- Shikishima
  • What would you order for your last meal?
    The buffet at the Hilbert hotel!fishfry

    So you take a break, poop out the pasta, and go back for more.
  • An Analysis of "On Certainty"

    This is my theory:

    We think of our interaction with the world as if it's a conversation we're having with it. When you look for your sunglasses, you're asking the world a question: where are my glasses? Then you listen for the world's responses. Those responses are what we call propositions. You hear the world say: They're on the kitchen table. If it turns out that it is your glasses there, it's a true proposition. True propositions are where you understood the world correctly. But if those are your friend's glasses, and you were mistaken, then it was a false proposition. You didn't hear the world correctly.

    So when you see your hand and say this is a hand, you're repeating what world said. You're expressing a proposition. Then you ask yourself, is there any way I could have misheard the world's voice in this case? I guess some people say you couldn't have. But this line of thought is searching for cases where you can't mishear the world.

    If we bring up the brain in vat scenario and attest that we may not be having a conversation with a world, but rather our own thoughts or some such, that's a tangential issue. It doesn't undermine the fact that having discussions with the world is primal.
  • Is communism an experiment?
    The knowledge problem is from Hayek, yes, but is by now routine economics.NOS4A2

    For now, yea.
  • Is communism an experiment?

    You been reading Hayek? He said price reflects all pertinent information in a free market. It's a powerful idea, especially if you're an investor.

    Except Hayek approved of dictatorship as the best method for insuring a free market.
  • What would you order for your last meal?

    They can't actually give you an infinite amount of pasta.
  • Seeking Intelligent and Economizing Business Partners
    It's the nature of business that partnerships go sour. You have to nail everything down in legal documents and even then, a former friend is likely to stab you in the back. Much better to go it alone.
  • What would you order for your last meal?

    Nothing competes with a really good German chocolate cake, and make it homemade strawberry ice cream. Mmmm.
  • What would you order for your last meal?
    Jamón serrano (well and perfectly sliced) with a large baguette accompanied by olive oil from Córdoba.javi2541997

    Wow! What to drink?
  • Is communism an experiment?
    Will the virus ever escape its deep-frozen storage vials?BC

    I was told that after 911 they were thinking about the possibility of starting small pox vaccines again. I guess biological warfare was a concern.
  • Is communism an experiment?

    Capitalism made and deployed the small pox vaccine, so that saved 530 million people so far.
  • Is communism an experiment?
    One could even say that great enterprises like revolution, colonialism, imperialism, communism, capitalism, and so on generally entail breaking trainloads of eggs on the way to the grand soufflé.BC

    And fascism. That was quite a few eggs.
  • Is communism an experiment?

    Plus Russia had no experience with democracy. They had an absolute monarchy up to the 20th Century.
  • An Analysis of "On Certainty"
    Yep, it's interesting. Maybe off topic for this thread.
  • Is communism an experiment?
    Yes, although Wikipedia indicates the Mongol invasion killed between 40 and 65 million, so they're up there too.T Clark

    They were definitely badass.
  • Is communism an experiment?
    Wikipedia says that a very uncertain estimate of deaths caused by Communist regimes is between 60 and 150 million.T Clark

    Based on a examination of the records from the time, Hosking estimates 37 million Soviet citizens died unnatural deaths between 1917 and the 1950s. It appears the Communist plan was to bring about a better world through destruction of the old, which actually wasn't the Marxist vision. Marx believed capitalism was the precursor for communism. Russia never had a real capitalist era. They just had a few foreign factories in St. Petersburg. Trotsky had some explanation for why Russia was able to leapfrog Marx's prophecy, something about the character of the Russian culture, that it easily reflected foreign ways.

    China is a different story and a much larger scale of destruction. China appears to have engineered a famine that killed about 40 million people. Communist China tops the list of the worst things the human species has ever done to itself.
  • Is communism an experiment?
    You do realize that nation functions differently to this day?EdwardC

    How so?
  • Is communism an experiment?
    What I mean to say is that if the population of Russia’s working class proved to be inadequate for operating its industries, then I’m sure there were measures in place. I would assume more highly educated members of the party would be tasked to this.EdwardC

    At the time of the revolution, their factories were mostly owned by the British and French, so there wasn't any native expertise. I wonder how they managed as well as they did tbh.
  • Is communism an experiment?

    Qaddafi believed democracy-socialism could work with religion as a third column. It would probably sour eventually, but don't all social schemes?
  • Fate v. Determinism
    …the crucial property of an autonomous system is its operational closure. In an autonomous system, every constituent process is conditioned by some other process in the system; hence, if we analyse the enabling conditions for any constituent process of the system, we will always be led to other pro­cesses in the system. ( Mog Stapleton)

    That's what Rosen was getting at, but I think he ends up saying that what we're really analyzing here is the way we think about life. We think of it as a causally closed system in the sense that it acts for its own sake. He's focusing more on the concept of purpose rather than autonomy.

    But doesn’t Rosen accept that emergence within dynamical
    systems represents a kind of freedom without dualism? Isnt that the point of such systems?
    Joshs

    If it's weak emergence (all is reducible), then I don't see how any kind of freedom has appeared. If water is weakly emergent, that doesn't mean there's any break in causation. I think to have a real break, you'd have to have causal dualism. To paint a picture of that: God can cause things without being part of a causal chain herself. She's the prime mover in Aristotle's proofs of God. She interacts with the universe while also being beyond it. This is break I'm talking about.

    The monotheistic God is a projection of what we think of ourselves. God has the power to choose and create because we think we have that power. Maybe.

    I just make it up. I figure nobody will check.Joshs

    :lol:
  • Fate v. Determinism
    Juerrero discusses this distinction between a closed and an open system. The key point concerning emergent freedom is that it is made possible top-down self-organizing constraints.Joshs

    If it's strong emergence, it's dualism. Weak emergent freedom is a contradiction in terms.

    A causally closed system doesn't have to be one that has no environment with which it interacts. Robert Rosen devotes most of his book Life Itself to that. Also, how the heck do you whip out a quote regarding any topic you happen to be talking about? That's amazing.
  • Fate v. Determinism
    Global organizations produce meaningful normative expectations, out of which creative possibilities emerge. When we try to trace back this behavior to the behavior of its parts, we find that these parts have no identity beyond their role in the global patterns , and as these patterns change, so does the role of the parts.Joshs

    Wouldn't that be efficient causality, though? As long as you think of yourself as a causally open system, the logical conclusion is determinism. Your differentiation from the environment around you is just a matter of language. Determinism is associated with a causally monolithic universe, and when you note that cause and effect are interdependent labels, the whole universe dissolves into a united blob.

    For free will, you need to be causally closed. You have to actually be causally separate from the rest of the universe. In other words, determinism/free will is essentially: causally monolithic universe vs. causal dualism, or primal unity vs duality. For free will, you have to be supernatural. There's no way around it.
  • The News Discussion
    Fortune magazine says the reason we haven't had either a soft or hard landing from the Fed's efforts to control inflation is private lending. This is basically the super wealthy providing private loans, thereby subverting regulations. Fortune says the reason this has allowed the economy to avoid recession is that the loans are relatively invisible. If a company misses a payment, it doesn't show up in the WSJ, triggering a wave of trading that amplifies the original problem.
  • Kant's ethic is protestant
    "Protestant" maybe isn't any thesis at all, but a historical category?Moliere

    It's was an element of a large scale shift in power in Europe. The old Catholic view was that if you were born poor, this was God's will for you. To promote social mobility was blasphemy because it meant you were defying God's plan. The Catholic clergy were generally sons of the aristocracy, so Catholicism and the aristocracy were joined at the hip. Protestantism was backed by the rising merchant class so they could break from that kind of thinking. To them, it was obvious that God intended everyone to fully express their potential, whatever that may be. So Protestantism was the ideological grounding for social destratification. It was about freedom. The Catholic Church reacted to the rise of Protestants by becoming violently ultra-conservative. Where it had once been a rich forum for diverging ideas, it became just a reflection of the Protestants. That's what Catholicism has been ever since.

    By the way, Erik Erikson wrote a really interesting book about Luther. It's part biography and part psychoanalysis. When Luther went off to become a monk, his father showed up at the monastery and stood outside screaming about the fact that Luther had abandoned the family's plan, which was about social mobility. Luther's father wanted him to study law and become a burgermeister, which would have been another step upward out of the mines and into a position of power.

    Does any of that fit with Kant?
  • Fate v. Determinism

    Right. Free will is the idea that there are choices and you're responsible for what you pick. If there is only one choice, you have no responsibility.
  • Kant's ethic is protestant
    Yes or no?

    My thinking is that Kant is protestant, through and through, because while he accepts there are other possible ethics he believes the only rational faith is believing in the Christian doctrine of immortality, free will, and the existence of God.

    It's not so much about the baptism into community but about how God influences your ethical life as an individual rational being.
    Moliere

    I don't think there is one Protestant ethical outlook. One potent vein of Protestantism is Calvinism, which disconnects your actions from reward or punishment. You don't act ethically for a reward, but rather because your life has no meaning other than to glorify God. For Baptists, God loves you and is ever-forgiving, so at any point, you can be "born again" into innocence by just waking up out of your degradation. I don't think either one has much to do with community vs individuality, but the Catholics had explored that opposition pretty thoroughly before Protestants came along.

    Protestant faith belonged to those who struggled against the aristocracy's control over social structure, so there's an element of egalitarianism to it, like Hussites whose grave stones are all the same, no matter who you were in life. It's equality in death.