Comments

  • Heidegger's sorge (care)
    What type of being does Man understand? The material world? I haven't seen where Heidegger explicitly denies this, although he focuses on hammering for example instead of hammers.Gregory

    I agree with Xtrix. Heidegger’s account is an explicit critique of materiality and objective causality on which science is based, including Relativity. The material object in modern science is derived from Descartes’ notion of substance as res extentia, a thing which is identical
    with itself , purely present to itself. The geometrical description of time and space as mathematical grids independent of what takes place in them is made possible by this notion of object as substance. This fall under the mode of the present to hand.
  • Heidegger's sorge (care)
    I think it’s best not to dwell on care. I see care as a bridge between the analysis of being-in-the-world and temporality. We “care” about the world by default— we can’t help it. Just as we can’t help being (or having) a world. What’s more important is the structure of time that emerges from the analysis. After all, it’s not “Being and Care”, it’s being and time.Xtrix

    Yes, but how has Heidegger radicalized the concept of time so that it can be understood as heedful circumspective relevance? Why can’t we help caring about the world? Temporality is at the heart of Husserl’s model also but Care doesn’t apply to his approach. Why not? Because the structure of temporality for Heidegger describes an intimacy between past present and future missing from Husserl. Care is this intimate pragmatic relevance, this for-the-sake-of which orients all experience with respect to the immediate past.
  • Heidegger's sorge (care)
    the very distinction between “self” and “world” is very much antithetical to Heidegger.Xtrix

    You’re absolutely correct. Heidegger does not view Dasein from the vantage of a subject-object binary. If one instead speaks of self and world, then Dasein belongs to both poles. Specifically , the self is a constantly changing creation. It exists in unveiling itself by projecting itself on a possibility. What it projects itself on is its world. So the self is its world as the possibility that it projects itself into. Put differently , the self is the tripartite structure of temporality as the past anticipating itself into the future.

    Heidegger understands that to be radically, irreducibly, primordially situated in a world is to be guaranteed , at every moment, a world that feelingly creatively impinges on me anew as foreign in some aspect. And it is simultaneously, to feel a belonging familiarity) to what impinges on me in its foreignness due to the anticipative, projective futural aspect of temporality. Heidegger's being-in -the world is always characterized by a pragmatic self-belongingness that he articulates as a heedful circumspective relevance that events always have for Dasein in its world. For Heidegger, self is Dasein, Dasein is attuned understanding , attuned understanding is projection, projection is a happening, an action, historicality, temporality, the over and beyond, self as transcendence, the unveiling of a specific possibility.
  • Philosophical Plumbing — Mary Midgley
    ...Midgley's point; philosophers are needed in order to point to the smell and the feted pooling.Banno

    They are useful in articulating the situation in terms of ‘smell and fetid pooling’ , but that language isn’t the only form of conceptualization that will change the situation. It will change anyway from within , but the changes will be seen by insiders only in a fragmented and localized way, not as a change of plumbing. As an analogy, Kuhnian philosophers of science will say that the whole edifice of Newtonian physics was turned on its head by relativity, which recognized the smell and fetid pooling of the old paradigm. But scientists will instead say that Relativity and more recent developments only added to Newton in a piecemeal fashion, so no smell or pooling was involved.
  • Philosophical Plumbing — Mary Midgley
    I think Midgley right in pointing to social contract theory as the broken pipe in the foundation, and I don't see that there is a clear solution; so I don't agree with you. If you were correct that we see the rot only from the vantage of a new philosophical system, that system would be apparent and ubiquitousBanno

    Most Conservatives in the U.S. wouldn’t know what on earth you are taking about. They would claim that there is absolutely nothing wrong with social contract theory. Why is this? Because they are living within the old philosophical system. The rot you are talking about doesn’t exist for them, just as the limits of behaviorism didn’t exist for Skinner, the limits of Hegelianism don’t exist for today’s Marxists, the limits of realism don’t exist for most of today’s physicists.
  • Philosophical Plumbing — Mary Midgley
    Are you saying that the role of philosophy is essentially descriptive? How do you assess Midgley's paper?Tom Storm

    The role of philosophy is creative , as is the role of all
    other cultural modalities. I don’t disagree with Misgley’s claims concerning philosophy , but I would want to add that any field of endeavor changes its underlying assumptions over time , it’s ‘plumbing’. Most fields don’t pay attention to this fact , and science in particular has until recently had a habit of denying that there is any underlying plumbing, just models attempting to mirror the ‘real’ world.
  • Heidegger's sorge (care)
    If Heidegger believed that love was ontic and anxiety was ontological, than I think he has it backwards, although I don't think he says this. Intentionality always has to be activated by love of something in some sense. You can't just have will power and anxiety. You would be crippled instantly.Gregory

    Before one can love or hate anything, or have any particular affective response to the world, one must be affected by the world. If you want to think of Dasein in terms of intentionality (although that is Husserl’s concept, not Heidegger’s) one intends an object of experience, which in Heidegger’s
    terms means that Dasein projects ahead of itself. You can think of this as the way that each moment of time is an anticipating beyond itself. At the same time, each moment is my being affected by what I project myself into. So there is an aspect of familiarity and astonishment in each new experience. You could say there is an aspect of love and joy here in this structure, as well as wonder and awe, and that is all implied by primordial anxiety. Heidegger also calls it uncanniness.


    “Angst individualizes and thus discloses Da-sein as "solus ipse." This existential "solipsism," however, is so far from transposing an isolated subject-thing into the harmless vacuum of a worldless occurrence that it brings Da-sein in an extreme sense precisely before its world as world, and thus itself before itself as being-in-the-world.“ "Together with the sober Angst that brings us before our individualized potentiality-of-being, goes the unshakable joy in this possibility.”

    “Transposed into the possible, he must constantly be mistaken concerning what is actual. And only because he is thus mistaken and transposed can he become seized by terror. And only where there is the perilousness of being seized by terror do we find the bliss of astonishment-being torn away in that wakeful manner that is the breath of all philosophizing.”
  • Philosophical Plumbing — Mary Midgley
    There's a tension between system building and critical evaluation in philosophy. Perhaps the system builders - your Kant, Hegel, Russel - thrive when the basis of society is unthreatened; and the critics - Socrates, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein - in what might be called "interesting times"?Banno

    The critics are system builders themselves, although not builders of traditional metaphysical systems in the case of writers like Nietzsche, Wittgenstein or Derrida.

    the presumed notion of a social contract has its limits. Only then we can look for something better.Banno

    I think it’s the other way around. We find something better and only then do we see the limits of the previous approach. The old thinking only stinks in retrospect , and there’s no necessity for it to crumble under the weight of its own limitations, given that those limitations only emerge from a new vantage of thinking , which isn’t guaranteed.

    We don’t need philosophy for this. Every modality of culture ( the arts , politics, the sciences) evolves past its previous presumptions without the direct help of philosophy. What philosophy can do is make explicit what is only held as implicit within other modes of thought.
  • Depression and Individualism
    There seems to be a strong correlation between depression and the ideology of “following” one’s heart. As a lack of responsibility and structure in one’s life decreases the sense of purpose, depression increases. Instead, society tells us to experiment with drugs (antidepressants) and chase false hopes instead of solving the problem. Shunning social obligations and familial responsibilities in order that one might increase a sense of individuality commonly occursLadybug

    This part of the OP reminds me of politically conservative arguments about the connection between self-help culture and the decay of the values of social responsibility and obligation and personal character ( David Brooks). Is this what you had in mind?

    FWIW, I think depression is invariably tied to a sense of
    alienation and disconnection with respect to other people. I don’t think social responsibility and obligation is the answer so much as learning. better ways to relate to the thinking of others.
  • Heidegger's sorge (care)
    So is care that important? Not really, and it can often be mistaken as being emotional somehow because of the connotations of the word, when it’s more akin with directed activity or more related to awareness/attentional behavior.Xtrix

    I like your summary of Being and Time but I have a quibble about the importance of Care. I agree that it is misinterpreted as being about emotionality. The difference between Husserl’s intentionality and Heidegger’s Care is that the entirety of one’s history as a totality of relevance comes into play in the supposedly simplest acts of perception for Heidegger. For instance, according to Husserl, in constituting a spatial object , that is an objectivizing intention striving for the harmonious fulfillment of the object as a total unity. And each adumbrated moment of the object constitution affects and attracts ( or repellent) the ego.

    Notice that the motivation directed toward the object from the ego and from the object to the ego is restore yes to the intentional act of object constitution. Other motivations can be brought to bear , but via shifts of interest. For Heidegger, by contrast, the entirety of Dasein’s past comes into play in any experience, and this is what Care expresses. We care about each minutia of experience in a totalistic way in relation to our past goals, desires, understandings as a unity. Relevance isnt circumscribed for him in the way it is for Husserl.

    “The for-the-sake-of -which signifies an in-order-to, the in-order-to signifies a what-for, the what-for signifies a what-in of letting something be relevant, and the latter a what-with of relevance. These relations are interlocked among themselves as a primordial totality. They are what they are as this signifying in which Da-sein gives itself to understand its being-in-the -world beforehand. We shall call this relational totality of signification significance. It is what constitutes the structure of the world, of that in which Da-sein as such always already is.”( Being and Time).
  • Heidegger's sorge (care)
    I think when he says "taking care of the world" he means love, plain and simpleGregory

    our most fundamental ability psychologically, ontologically, and spiritually is love.Gregory

    Heidegger isn’t talking g about love or any other particular sentiment but of the pre-condition for any sentiment , or experience, whatsoever.
    Care is the pragmatic relational structure of relevance that holds between self and world at all times. We o lu experience anything in the extent to which it matters to us, is significant to us relative to our ongoing concerns.
    Care is just as much about hate and indifference as it is about love. If you want to locate a primordial ‘affect’ underlying all others for Heidegger, it’s anxiety, not love.
    Love as you mean it is an ‘ ontic’ concern, shears Care is an ontological theme. What’s the difference. The o rival level has to do with how I relate to specific objects in my world, including how I feel about them. The ontological perspective has to do with what makes possible the relation between self and world in general.

    Heidegger in Zollikon seminars:

    “ would Binswanger's "psychiatric Daseinanalysis" form a section of Heidegger's analytic of Dasein? But as Binswanger himself had to admit a few years ago, he misunderstood the analytic of Dasein, albeit by a "productive misunderstanding," as he calls it. You can see this from the fact that there is a "supplement" to Heidegger's "gloomy care" [diistere Sorge] in Binswanger's lengthy book on the fundamental forms of Dasein.t It is essentially a treatise on love, a topic that Heidegger has supposedly neglected.

    What was Binswanger expressing in his endeavor to develop a supplement? What is lacking in reference to the thinking in Being and Time, when Binswanger attempts to make such a supplement? In Being and Time it is said that Da-sein is essentially an issue for itself. At the same time, this Da-sein is defined as originary being-with-one-another. Therefore, Da-sein is also always concerned with others. Thus, the analytic of Da-sein has nothing whatsoever to do with solipsism or subjectivism. But Binswanger's misunderstanding consists not so much of the fact that he wants to supplement "care" with love, but that he does not see that care has an existential, that is, ontological sense. Therefore, the analytic of Da-sein asks for Da-sein's basic ontological (existential) constitution [ Verfassung] and does not wish to give a mere description of the ontic phenomena of Da-sein. The all-determining projection of being human as ecstatic Da-sein is already ontological so that the idea of the human being as "subjectivity of consciousness" is overcome. This projection renders manifest the understanding of being as the basic constitution of Da-sein. It is necessary to look at it in order even to discuss the question of the relationship of the human being as existing to the being of beings (of the non-human being and of existing Da-sein itself). But this question is a result of the question of the meaning of being in general.”
  • Can the universe be infinite towards the past?
    There is no past. The present has passed but the pass does not exist. Existence is moving forward,val p miranda

    If thats the case how so we hear a piece of music as a unity? We would only know each present note but not the previous flow of notes that creates the mellody. This was a problem for the old model time as punctual now points. The solution, offers by William James, Husserl
    and others , was that we experience the just past note in the present alongside the current note. It is not. past that is gone but a past simultaneous with the present , appearing alongside it in the same moment.
  • Blind Brain Theory and the Unconscious
    you don't need most of your body to be conscious. Therefore, embodied consciousness has to do with content. That's an issue far downstream from a basic theory of consciousness.frank

    You don’t need most of your brain to be conscious either. But I don’t think your argument has to do with how much of our body is necessary for consciousness but, correct me if I’m wrong , some kind of distinction that’s important to you between what the brain supposedly is and does, and what the body is and does. To you this thing called the brain has special properties that make consciousness possible, and the body doesn’t have these special properties.

    This is where the enactivist argument is important. They follow Piaget in focusing on properties of self-organization in living organisms that link simple creatures without a brain with human consciousness. For them consciousness and cognition are just more complex emergent elaborations of the self-organizing character of all living things. Piaget begins with the organism functioning as a system of exchanges with its environment oriented toward certain goals , where it assimilates material into its processes and accommodates it’s organization to the particularities of those materials. Consciousness and cognition are just internalized symbolic forms of this goal-oriented system
    of material exchanges with an environment.. That’s why Evan Thompson can refer to the behavior of single celled organisms as a form of cognition. In a sense, everything that is interesting about consciousness ; motivation and goal orientedness , integration of information, memory and affect , is already present in the simplest organisms without brains.
    I think this is the real import of the word ‘embodiment’ It doesn’t just refer to anatomical parts outside of the brain, but a way of understanding the organization of cognition and its relation to the organization of living systems in general. I’d go so far as to say that there is no magical point where consciousness emerges from non-consciousness in evolutionary history. There are just different degrees of consciousness. Proto-sensation is present in all living systems.
  • Blind Brain Theory and the Unconscious
    The things that are clearly innervated, like your mouth (there are three big fat nerves keeping watch there), don't appear to be necessary for consciousness. You don't need a mouth to enjoy Beethoven. You don't need your digestive track. We can put the right chemicals straight into your blood.

    You don't need a heart or lungs. We can bypass those with machinery and you can remain wide awake.
    frank

    You may be missing the point. It’s not a question of what’s necessary for the very existence of consciousness, but of how feedback from nerves in the mouth or the other organs contribute to the particular way in which consciousness functions. You can keep a heart alive outside of the body , but not without changing its functioning significantly. The heart will never function exactly the same way it did when it was part of the body, no matter how many apparatuses you hook it up to, and especially if you transplant it into a different body. What if we transplanted a brain to it a new body? Would this profoundly alter conscious experience : what we think and how we think and feel? It would certainly have an effect , but a minor one , because the brain is essentially most of what the body is in terms of functional complexity, not just in terms of number of neurons but what the neurons do, how intricately they interact with each other.

    The functioning body , and consciousness itself , is not the result of a a concatenation of essential and inessential anatomical parts. The lungs, heart and all other organs make no sense understood in isolation from the functioning of the organism as a whole to which they contribute. Certainly you can eliminate subprocesses or individual organs. Depending on their contribution to the total functioning of the body-mind-environment system their absence will have a minor or or major effect on the whole functioning , including consciousness. We can remove a lung or a kidney with only minor impact, but not both without replacing their function somehow. We can destroy individual neurons with imperceptible effect, but with enough destruction eventually the impact will be significant. Notice that when damage to any organ is severe enough, the effects on the body are systematic, potentially affecting metabolism, concentration, appetite , balance, etc, since these are intercorrelated. That’s because the function of every organ system takes into account every other aspect of the organism’s functioning, and is designed for the sake of the whole.
    . In theory , a biologist could deduce all of the functional properties of an organism from just its heart or liver, such as the size of the animal, it’s environment , diet, form of mobility, etc. But the part would only tell you all this if you already knew the relationship between it and all of these other aspects of an animal’s body-environment functioning, that it is a functioning whole that we can artificially separate into parts ina second step , rather than it being an assembly of parts that exist as parts first and only later belong to the totality. We can treat machines this way , like an auto engine , but even here, we didn’t begin with isolated parts later brought together. The original conception began from a functional whole and derived the parts from
    the whole.



    I’m not arguing that the organism is an undifferentiated whole. Of course there are differentiated subsystems. The brain cannot pump the blood , the lungs cant think, the liver cannot hear. But alterations to any of these processes ( circulatory blockage, liver toxicity , renal failure, copd, Alzheimer’s) changes the functioning of all the other processes in some fashion, including consciousness.
    As far as the brain not being able to feel itself , the sensations from the receptors cannot be consciously felt in isolation from other brain contributions no matter how healthy they are , because conscious feeling is not simply receptor stimulation but a complex
    , differentiated process of perception, most of which takes place far away from the sensory source. This is also the reason for phantom limb syndrome , the real feeling of sensation arising from an amputated limb. The receptors are no longer three , but the brain processes of sensory perception are still active.

    In sum, we can’t treat organ systems and other subprocesses of the body as interchangeable , but neither can we understand what they are in themselves without understanding what they do, and we cannot understand what they do without knowing how they interact in reciprocal fashion with all other systems of the body for the sake of a total functionally unified system. And this total body system cannot be understood without knowing how it forms a body-environment process. You remove the environment for which it was designed and is continually being shaped and you fail to understand the body.
  • Blind Brain Theory and the Unconscious


    It's not any sort of presupposition. It's anatomy.frank

    What is the anatomy of a sensation, a perception, a memory, an affect? What are the anatomical
    boundaries of the body? Does the body end with the skin, the hair? Or does it extend into the environment? Is the air part of the lungs?


    When you say "embodied" what part of the body are you talking about?frank

    Admittedly, embodiment is an amorphous concept, and has been used in a wide variety of often incommensurable ways by different writers. The approaches that I am most interested in argue that we cannot treat the brain as though it exists in a vat. That is what the original information processing approaches to cognition do. They take the brain as a symbolic computation device modeled after the computer. Affectivity is treated as separate and secondary from cognition and perception, and perception is treated independently of the subject’s movements and physical interaction with objects. In opposition to this thinking , enactivist perspectives do not split the brain off from the body and the environment. All three are iinseparably entangled in each other. Affect, the body and interactive movement are considered as intrinsic to perception and cognition. In this way the brain is ‘embodied’ in a body and embedded in its environment.
    In short , we have a single brain-body-world system which functions as an integrated whole. Focusing on anatomy apart from function or isolating ‘sensation’ from perceptual interpretation is artificial and an attempt to separate what is inseparable.
  • Blind Brain Theory and the Unconscious
    The stuff you can't do without isn't sensory innervated.

    A fair amount of the stuff that is sensory innervated can be lost without any significant change in consciousness.
    frank

    And underlying ‘sensory innervation’ is what sort of set of pre-suppositions? That the brain constructs representations out of raw sense data that come from an outside existing entirely independently of the subject, but can never be directly accessed as what it is in itself?

    “ In advance, as though this were obviously correct, one misinterprets conscious life as a complex of data of "external' and (at best) "internal sensuousness"; then one lets form-qualities take care of combining such data into wholes. To get rid of "atomism", one adds the theory that the forms or configurations are founded on these data necessarily and the wholes are therefore prior in themselves to the parts. But, when descriptive theory of consciousness begins radically, it has before it no such data and wholes, except perhaps as prejudices."

    “Certainly the world that is in being for me, the world about which I have always had ideas and spoken about meaningfully, has meaning and is accepted as valid by me because of my own apperceptive performances because of these experiences that run their course and are combined precisely in those performances—as well as other functions of consciousness, such as thinking. But is it not a piece of foolishness to suppose that world has being because of some performance of mine? Clearly, I must make my formulation more precise. In my Ego there is formed, from out of the proper sources of transcendental passivity and activity, my “representation of the world, ” my “picture of the world, ” whereas outside of me, naturally enough, there is the world itself. But is this really a good way of putting it? Does this talk about outer and inner, if it makes any sense at all, receive its meaning from anywhere else than from my formation and my preservation of meaning? Should I forget that the totality of everything that I can ever think of as in being resides within the universal realm of consciousness, within my realm, that of the Ego, and indeed within what is for me real or possible?” (Husserl, Phenomenology and Anthropology)
  • Blind Brain Theory and the Unconscious


    There are limits to the computer metaphor for modeling brain processes. It sounds like you’re summarizing the representational computational view of brain functioning, which is consistent with neo-Kantian philosophy. I prefer approaches which jettison computationalism in favor of relational embodied ideas. These draw their inspiration from phenomenology.

    From a paper I wrote:

    “psychological processes unavailable to explicit consciousness are nevertheless implied by and belong to it (and vice-versa), not in the sense of a content that arbitrarily contributes to awareness in the manner of interactions between independent regions, but as an integral bodily background intrinsic to, but not directly articulated in, each moment of awareness. In this view, the ‘hidden hand' of the unconscious conditions awareness not as a separate outside, but rather exceeds conscious control from within each experienced event, as the hidden hand of integral background context (intra-noetic rather than pre-noetic). Gendlin(2000) puts it this way;

    “The puzzle about the body knowing our decisions before we consciously know them might make us miss the fact that there is an inwardly experienced body, and that the reflective and bodily-sentient person is much wider than conscious control”(p.110).

    It’s not a question of conscious vs unconscious but explicit vs implicit consciousness. What is implicit isn’t
    hidden from consciousness but unarticulated background , which is why even though we are not paying attention to all our body movements or perceptions of the vehicle when driving ( except as a beginner) , such implicit awareness can come immediately to the fore if a problem with the car arises.
  • The choice of one's philosophy seems to be more a matter of taste than of truth.
    Hmm, by “truth filtering” I was referring to forsaking certain truths that don’t cohere into one’s system of explanation in favor of those truths that do.javra

    But if one’s system of explanation functions as a unity, like a scientific paradigm , then it wouldn’t be a question of seeing certain truths and then making a decision to foresake them , but of not having a coherent glimpse of them in the first place. Kuhn said that events that fall
    outside of the scope of a paradigm are not experienced as evidence.

    To the latter, teleology is bogus, fictional, illusory, and so forth, even though they have goals in mind in so conceiving.javra

    I would say that what is meant by teleology isn’t properly grasped in the first place by the group rejecting it, because they have no framework in which to make it coherent.
  • The choice of one's philosophy seems to be more a matter of taste than of truth.
    Things outside this worldview are 'entirely invisible' to me. Well, some are and some are not. Some are shadows and shapesTom Storm

    It’s an interesting issue. Negative emotions like fear, threat and anger mark our response to events that we are not able to comfortably assimilate into our existing worldview. In other words, ideas and ways of being that are just beyond the frontiers of our thinking, which represent opportunities for personal growth , are precisely what we instinctively flee from. We can’t just force ourselves to embrace such unassimilables, at least not without some way to make what appears incoherent understandable. Otherwise personal chaos results. The best one can do is to believe in principle that there are many equally valid ways of construing situations , and to approach what appears threatening in a piecemeal fashion.
  • The choice of one's philosophy seems to be more a matter of taste than of truth.
    Often the matter of truth does not seem to be quite clearly distinguishable from the matter of taste.spirit-salamander

    Nietzsche would suggest that’s because there is nothing to distinguish. Truth is nothing but valuation masquerading as a universal.
  • The choice of one's philosophy seems to be more a matter of taste than of truth.
    if philosophy is to be a logical enterprise then philosophy can just as easily act to correct tendencies to be governed by our guts.magritte

    The last thing philosophy needs to be is a ‘logical enterprise’. That would divest it of everything meaningful it could say about the world.
  • The choice of one's philosophy seems to be more a matter of taste than of truth.
    And here various truths are filtered in favor of maintaining the system of explanation that most assists oneself in making sense of existence. Thereby, that system of explanations which best helps one to live. I’m by no means any exception to this bias.javra

    Are you saying there is an alternative to this ‘bias’? If sense-making is a bias , what is the alternative to sense-making?

    If there were to be a theory of everything in philosophy, it would need to explain everything to a t: both real and fictional, both metaphysical and physical, and so on. Thereby holding complete explanatory power for everything - for that which our own temperaments value as well as that which we find no great value in, though it be valuable to others.javra

    I thought that every comprehensive philosophy in history, from Plato through Kant and Heidegger, did just that, explaining everything to a t. As Heidegger and Nietzsche would argue, all forms of understandings are value systems. A value system isn’t based on ephemeral ‘temperament’ , but represents a qualitative gestalt that organizes all the details of our experience in a meaningful way. There is no such thing as a value-independent fact.
    The reason that theories of everything end up getting replaced is that ‘the ‘ everything’ they are describing isn’t a static set of facts but is constantly evolving, because we are a part of this everything and are constantly evolving
  • The choice of one's philosophy seems to be more a matter of taste than of truth.
    ut to Banno's point - this ain't a brilliant thing for the philosophical enterprise if accurate.

    If true, it raises follow up questions - can this be overcome or dealt with in some way? How is it identified?

    Can we make an effort to read and understand thinkers we are not drawn to? What should matter is the quality of the content, not whether it appeals, but I guess it could be argued that even our ability to sit with some ideas and not with others may rest with personal taste.
    Tom Storm

    You’re missing the very essence of understanding. You’re mistaking the pre-condition for comprehending anything with some sort of flaw, which is the point Nietzsche is trying to make. But you’re not alone here. There are never ending laments on this site about ‘prejudice’, ‘bias, the appeal of ‘emotion ‘ over objectivity. What you’re calling ‘personal taste’ is the result of the fact that the understanding of anything new must be based on compatibility with a pre-existing frame of reference. What makes us drawn to certain thing s over others is our ability to relate to them, to find them relevant and significant to our concerns. Something appeals to us because it matters to us, and it matters to us because it is comprehensible and meaningful in relation to how we see the world. Things and events completely outside of our worldview not only don’t matter to us, they are entirely invisible to us. This isn’t something unique to philosophy, it’s how scientific knowledge functions as well, which is what Kuhn was getting at.
  • The cultural climate in the contemporary West - Thoughts?
    Colonization by China is another possibility if Western economies decline.Apollodorus

    I’m not talking about a declining economy. I’m talking g about the paradoxical , contentious proposition of an increasingly roboticized and thriving economy run by progressively fewer people.
  • The cultural climate in the contemporary West - Thoughts?
    Not decline, intellectual stagnation. No one is moving on from Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger or Derrida . Instead, the
    leading edge of philosophical thought is regurgitating ideas from 140 years ago ( James, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard) and that passes for ‘new’ thinking. Since philosophy is the crystal ball pointing to the future of other cultural modalities we see the same stagnation in literature, music, the visual arts , film and dance, political theory. Lots of activity and passion but mostly centered around recycled ideas( news flash: physics is no longer the queen of the sciences). Why is this happening? One can point to slowing birth rates, especially among progressives, and an aging population. When life expectancy was only 55 years and there was an explosive birth rate in the West a rapid transformation of ideas took place from generation to generation.

    I suspect populations will noticeably shrink over the next decades , which is a good thing. I think not only will economies survive this but in the long run it will allow them to thrive. We’re simply not going to need the numbers of workers we have now. But I think this trend is already impacting intellectual culture. Going forward I don’t think we will see the creative movements in the arts and theoretical fields we have been accustomed to in previous eras. Instead it will just be a tiny handful of individuals scattered around academic departments around the world. Meahwhile, rest of the culture will accelerate the current trend toward a lowest common denominator, with more and more derivative and bland product in the arts and ideas.
  • Consciousness: a hallucination of an illusion
    A perception is illusory to the degree that its reality does not match its appearancehypericin

    Its reality does not match its appearance because its reality IS its appearance, and the hallucination here is the belief that there is a reality separate from the subjective appearance of the world to an individual, and the intersubjective coordination of appearances within a language community.
    A perception can be deemed illusory if a subsequent perception does not validate what has been anticipated based on a previous perception , but this invalidation takes place relative to the subject’s own prior experience , not in comparison to some presumed Cartesian ‘real’ world entirely independent of the subject.
  • A short theory of consciousness
    So, you are correct that Meta-physics is a legitimate science of Possibilities and Probabilities -- things that "are not", but "could beGnomon

    I am more familiar with Kant than with Plato. Would you agree that for Kant the the physical exists but is unknowable in itself , the mental exists in itself but is empty without sensations from the world ('concepts without percepts are empty; percepts without concepts are blind‘). So Kant’s metaphysics shows us that the physical is an ideal , not an actuality. It is an ideal in a different sense than the mathematical concept of zero, yet still an ideal. Therefore his metaphysics is showing us that ‘what is’ ( both as fantasized concept and as physical ) is the product of an indissociable interaction between external reality in itself and subjective mental process.
  • A short theory of consciousness
    Meta-physics is the science of "what can't beGnomon

    I thought metaphysics was the science of the conditions of possibility of ‘what can be’. As such it includes within itself things and concepts.
  • Is Humean Causal Skepticism Self-Refuting and or Unsound?
    I think Hume's account of causality is self-refuting:Noisy Calf

    Any philosophical approach that utilizes a notion of refutation courts skepticism.
  • The Role of Narration
    what does "fiction" mean in " kinds of useful fictions" - not true?Banno

    It means true in the context of a contingent and relative value system.

    Why shouldn't the world that is relevant to us – be a fiction? And if someone asks: “But doesn't fiction belong with an author?” – couldn't we shoot back: “Why? Doesn't this ‘belonging' belong, perhaps, to fiction as well? Aren't we allowed to be a bit ironic with the subject, as we are with the predicate and object? Shouldn't philosophers rise above the belief in grammar? With all due respect to governesses, isn't it about time philosophy renounced governess-beliefs?” – The world with which we are concerned is false, i.e., is not fact but fable and approximation on the basis of a meager sum of observations; it is "in flux," as something in a state of becoming, as a falsehood always changing but never getting near the truth: for--there is no "truth" (1901/1967 Will to Power)Joshs
  • The Role of Narration
    I don't doubt the cat's on the mat, or that gravity doesn't apply the next county over, but as I move from the set of things certain toward the Great Uncertain, I arrive at some point that is somewhere in the middle.csalisbury

    What does it mean to say that the above are ‘certain’ , that they correspond to a subject independent reality? Is that how you are reading Nietzsche?
    There isn't any contradiction (though, yes, there is when Nietzsche is too casually cited as a cheat-code for Pure Relativismcsalisbury

    If Nietzsche argues for the notion of truth as contingent and relative to continually changing values systems , is that a form of ‘pure relativism’? Or is it a relativism of temporary stabilities?

    “The belief in “immediate certainties” is a moral naivete that does credit to us philosophers: but – we should stop being “merely moral,” for once! Aside from morality, the belief in immediate certainties is a stupidity that does us little credit! … It is no more than a moral prejudice that the truth is worth more than appearance; in fact, it is the world's most poorly proven assumption. Let us admit this much: that life could not exist except on the basis of perspectival valuations and appearances; and if, with the virtuous enthusiasm and inanity of many philosophers, someone wanted to completely abolish the “world of appearances,” – well, assuming you could do that, – at least there would not be any of your “truth” left either! Actually, why do we even assume that “true” and “false” are intrinsically opposed? Isn't it enough to assume that there are levels of appearance and, as it were, lighter and darker shades and tones of appearance – different valeurs, to use the language of painters? Why shouldn't the world that is relevant to us – be a fiction? And if someone asks: “But doesn't fiction belong with an author?” – couldn't we shoot back: “Why? Doesn't this ‘belonging' belong, perhaps, to fiction as well? Aren't we allowed to be a bit ironic with the subject, as we are with the predicate and object? Shouldn't philosophers rise above the belief in grammar? With all due respect to governesses, isn't it about time philosophy renounced governess-beliefs?” – The world with which we are concerned is false, i.e., is not fact but fable and approximation on the basis of a meager sum of observations; it is "in flux," as something in a state of becoming, as a falsehood always changing but never getting near the truth: for--there is no "truth" (1901/1967 Will to Power)
  • The Role of Narration
    Really? Is that true?Banno

    True as in conforming to an unchanging standard or true as in describing and embodying an irreducible
    complicity between appearance and transformation?
  • The Role of Narration
    Useful fiction=metaphorfrank

    It certainly does
  • The Role of Narration
    So, it is not my intention to say that we can distinguish between the real and personal, the process of narration blends them together so well that although it is surely true that these two components are what is being blended together, once they have been blended, it not a simple matter to undo what has been done, or to even recognise what has been done.Judaka

    Can’t we just agree with Nietzsche that the ‘real’ and the ‘true’ are themselves only kinds of useful fictions?
  • What evidence of an afterlife would satisfy most skeptics?


    In ‘ Human Immortality: two supposed objections to the doctrine’, William James offered a creative ‘empirical’ hypothesis concerning the possibility of life beyond death.

    “It is true that all this would seem to have affinities rather with preëxistence and with possible re-incarnations than
    with the Christian notion of immortality. But my concern in the lecture was not to discuss immortality in general.
    It was confined to showing it to be not incompatible with the brain-function theory of our present mundane
    consciousness. I hold that it is so compatible, and compatible moreover in fully individualized form. The reader would be in accord with everything that the text of my lecture intended to say, were he to assert that every
    memory and affection of his present life is to be preserved, and that he shall never in sæcula sæculorum cease to be able to say to himself: "I am the same personal being who in old times upon the earth had those
    experiences.”

    https://web.ics.purdue.edu/~drkelly/JamesHumanImmortalityTwoObjections1898.pdf
  • Godel, God, and knowledge
    Gödel was trying to find a way to make a line in between what can be known and what can notGregory

    According to Roger Penrose Godel was a “very strong”mathematical platonist, so even if proof leads to an infinite regress, you can read Godol’s theorem as perfectly compatible with an absolute god-given grounding for. math.
  • How do we perceive time?
    Reality exists independent of us. We have no way to perceive the majority of things around usDon Kotlos


    I’m going to self-plagiarize here and re-post a comment from an earlier thread.

    Here’s Husserl’s critique of representationalism, the idea that reality exists independent of us:

    Representationalism notoriously courts scepticism: Why should awareness of one thing (an inner object) enable awareness of a quite different thing (an external object), and how can we ever know that what is internally accessible actually corresponds to something external? On Husserl's anti-representationalist view, however, the fit and link between mind and world – between perception and reality – isn't merely external or coincidental: “consciousness (mental process) and real being are anything but coordinate kinds of being, which dwell peaceably side by side and occasionally become ‘related to' or ‘connected with' one another” (Husserl 1982: 111

    “For Husserl, physical nature makes itself known in what appears perceptually. The very idea of defining the really real reality as the unknown cause of our experience, and to suggest that the investigated object is a mere sign of a distinct hidden object whose real nature must remain unknown and which can never be apprehended according to its own determinations, is for Husserl nothing but a piece of mythologizing (Husserl 1982: 122). Rather than defining objective reality as what is there in itself, rather than distinguishing how things are for us from how they are simpliciter in order then to insist that
    the investigation of the latter is the truly important one, Husserl urges us to face up to the fact that our
    access to as well as the very nature of objectivity necessarily involves both subjectivity and
    intersubjectivity. Indeed, rather than being the antipode of objectivity, rather than constituting an obstacle and hindrance to scientific knowledge, (inter)subjectivity is for Husserl a necessary enabling condition. “
  • Is the Philosophy Forum "Woke" and Politically correct?
    My point isn’t that bias exists as the opposite of impartiality but that the dichotomy bias-impartiality is incoherent. It is not that pure lack of bias is an unattainable ideal , but that truth as correspondence with a fixed external reality is an inadequate philosophical position.
    I think PC and woke ideas are new or rehashed biases.Andrew4Handel
    Give me an example of a position or feature of philosophy that is not a bias of some sort or other.
  • Karl Popper & A Theory Of Everything
    A theory that explains everything explains nothing.
    — Karl Popper (Philosopher Of Science)
    TheMadFool

    As the good Kantian that he was , Im sure all we’d need to do to please Popper is adjust the TOE so that it acknowledges we can never reach the thing in itself, and instead aim to approximate absolute truth as asymptotic limit via progressive falsification.
  • The Deadend, and the Wastelands of Philosophy and Culture
    It leaves me wondering if it will get to the point where philosophy is seen as an appendix of knowledge, especially that which is developed in science.

    My idea of a deadend is like a cul de sac, or point in a maze, where there is no way out, or no obvious way forward. It is equal to coming to stagnation, or a standstill.
    Jack Cummins

    From my vantage , the opposite is the case. It is the sciences that are in a kind of stagnation relative to philosophy, especially the physical sciences that are beguile so many on this forum as the ultimate authority on questions such as the nature of time and reality. The enslavement of physics to metaphysical, or at least empirical , realism keeps it frozen in late 19th century philosophical territory. The most promising developments in the sciences are coming from scholars who are being inspired by recent philosophy ( ‘ recent’ meaning beginning more than 100 years ago ) .