Comments

  • Top Ten Favorite Films
    And a question for everyone.

    Have I just become old and cranky, but are especially Hollywood films become worse? What do you think about current films compared to 20th Century films? Especially the last few years have seem to me as a quite downer when it comes to great films.
    ssu

    I don't know. At its best, Hollywood has produced quality entertainment, as well as some solid, earnest but accessible works, the kind that contend for Oscars and Golden Globes. And I don't see this trend changing in recent times. Sure, style and tone has changed somewhat, but don't they always?

    Here are some recent films that are quite good, in my opinion (though I am not sure that all of them are, technically, Hollywood productions):

    Anomalisa (2015)
    Dunkirk (2017)
    Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022)
    Hell or High Water (2016)
    Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
    Leave No Trace (2018)
    Manchester by the Sea (2016)
    Paterson (2016)
    The Green Knight (2021)
    The Shape of Water (2017)
    The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Seymour Hersh just posted a blow-by-blow account of How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline, going into details of secret meetings and CIA reports, communications between governments, and precise descriptions of military operations.

    All of it "according to a source with direct knowledge of the operational planning."

    (Sorry for posting on topic!)
  • To what Jazz and Classical Music are you listening?
    Woke up with this playing in my head :death:

  • Top Ten Favorite Films
    Page 3:

    Pulp Fiction
    Goodfellas
    Dr. Strangelove
    Lost in Translation
    The Departed
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail
    Manuel

    All About Eve
    Blow-Up
    Joshs

    The Magnificent Seven
    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - I'm surprised no one has mentioned this. Also:
    A Fist Full of Dollars
    For a Few Dollars More
    Once Upon a Time in the West
    T Clark

    That’s why I’m a big fan of the anti-Western, and Sergio Leone’s films with Clint Eastwood were among the first of these. Anti-Westerns turn the tables on the standard view of the hero as establishment figure. The rebellious anti-establishment outlaw becomes the new hero.Joshs

    I kind of skipped classic Hollywood westerns (there are two or three that I like) and went straight for Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns. So for me these are the classic westerns. In any case, though there is a great distance between Ford and Leone, I wouldn't call the latter anti-western: there is a clear line of continuity between them.

    Favorite anti-western: Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller

    Das Boot (1981): submarine films don't get better as this and perhaps the best naval warfilm. Puts the sound of sonar in a totally different perspective.ssu

    :up:

    Although I think the most grim warfilm, a film that really makes war as awful as it can be is Elem Klimov's Come and See from 1985, a quite rare film from the Soviet Union.ssu

    :up:

    Being John Malkovich
    Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
    Andrew4Handel
  • Top Ten Favorite Films
    Page 2

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (The evil of authority generally, but perfectly personified by Nurse Ratchett).
    The Shining (The face of insanity)
    American Beauty (Suburban existentialism)
    Hanover

    I am not into horror, but The Shining is classic for a reason.

    Mike Leigh films:
    Mr Turner.
    Vera Drake.
    unenlightened

    + Another Year

    Ken Loach filmsunenlightened

    I've seen these:

    Raining Stones
    The Wind that Shakes the Barley

    I should see more limey working-class kitchen-sink dramas :)

    Trainspotting.unenlightened

    Goodfellas
    Chinatown
    The Big Lebowski
    Bradskii

    Seven Samurai (1954) - Kurosawa
    Apur Sansar (1959) - Ray
    L'Eclisse (1962) - Antonioni
    Late Spring (1949) - Ozu
    Ran (1985) - Kurosawa
    Cleo from 5-7 (1962) - Varda
    Maw

    Of Angelopoulos I've seen only Eternity and a Day - loved it. The music is still stuck in my head.

    Persona is my favorite BergmanMaw

    Not my favorite, but worth watching, especially as part of a retrospective.

    The Meaning of LifeBC

    Midnight Cowboy
    Casablanca
    The Graduate
    Annie Hall
    Fanny and Alexander (Bergman)
    Godfather
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest
    Dr Strangelove
    Gone With the Wind
    BC

    GallipoliBC

    Thin Red Line (a great poetic war film from Terrence Malick)ssu

    Heat (a great Al Pacino and Robert de Niro faceoff, likely best film from Michael Mann)ssu

    In the Mood for Love
    Brazil
    Walkabout
    Tom Storm

    A masterpiecejavi2541997

    :up: I also liked his Chungking Express, though it is very different.
  • Top Ten Favorite Films
    I've seen so many good movies, I couldn't possibly rank them. Maybe I'll just pick some from others' lists.

    Seven Samurai
    Persona
    8 1/2
    There Will Be Blood
    Mikie

    5. A Clockwork Orangegod must be atheist

    (Mostly for style and atmosphere, which is where Kubrick excels.) I think my favorite Kubrick movie is one of his lesser known ones: Barry Lyndon.

    Annie HallT Clark

    2. Pulp fiction
    3. The Godfather (all the parts)
    4. Tokyo Monogatari
    5. A clockwork orange
    6. Ikiru
    7. Yojimbo
    8. Ran
    9. Akira
    javi2541997

    The Godfather I & II
    Blade Runner
    Barfly
    Unforgiven
    180 Proof

    Pulp Fiction
    Andrei Rublev
    Taxi Driver
    Jamal

    My favorite Tarkovsky film, along with Rublev, is probably The Mirror.

    Amadeus
    Groundhog Day
    Donnie Darko
    Luke

    The Gods Must be Crazy
    Tootsie
    Vera Mont

    Night of the Hunter
    Citizen Kane
    Midnight Cowboy
    Bonnie and Clyde
    Almost Famous
    Joshs

    Richard II, with Lawrence Olivier
    Lawrence of Arabia
    High Noon
    The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
    Paine

    Aguirre, the Wrath of God
    Princess Mononoke
    Spirited Away
    tim wood

    Platoonuniverseness

    Oops. Yes I did see that — I know it as Tokyo Story. The Japanese didn’t ring a bell. Ozu is incredible and it’s a great movie.

    I love almost everything I’ve seen out of Japan, which admittedly isn’t a lot. Ozu and Kurosawa are at the very top. Miyazaki is up there too.
    Mikie

    Check out Kore-eda Hirokazu if you haven't seen him: Nobody Knows, Still Walking, Shoplifters.

    I have seen all Ozu's films, and they are fantastic.javi2541997

    :up:

    Love Good Morning. His silent film,I Was Born, But... which is loose remake, is also excellent.Maw

    I was fortunate to have seen this in a theater with an honest-to-goodness live piano accompaniment!
  • Any academic philosophers visit this forum?
    It is for some the former [world, existence, etc.] via the latter [study of philosophical texts].Fooloso4

    For a student of philosophy, sure.

    Why is much philosophical focus devoted to the study of philosophers and their texts? Perhaps in order to use the work of others to articulate fresh concepts of world, existence, reality and truth.Joshs

    Except that for many, studying philosophers and their texts is not a stepping stone towards future practice, but the practice itself. Not that there is anything wrong with that - I didn't mean what I wrote as criticism of academic philosophy. It is what it is, but I suspect that many people don't realize that. They may think, when choosing their major at a university, that they would graduate to write about world, existence, etc. But chances are that if they pursue philosophy as a career, they will be doing something else.

    Other academic disciplines are different in that regard. For example, philosophy, history and sociology of science are not considered to be part of science itself and wouldn't be studied in the same departments with scientific disciplines. On the other hand, your typical scientist probably never read any science text published earlier than 70 years ago.
  • Any academic philosophers visit this forum?
    I’m trying to think of an example of something that exists only within philosophy’s practice (or doesn’t exist only within its practice). Put differently, isnt the aim of philosophy to address within its practice such inclusive concepts as world, existence , reality and truth?Joshs

    A lot of academic philosophy is focused more on itself than on concepts of "world, existence, reality and truth." Much of what is taught and published is exclusively devoted to the study of philosophers and their texts; in essence, it is philology of philosophy. History and sociology of philosophy are often also included into the same discipline.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    As the The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe notes about NATO:

    The NATO Participation Act of 1994 (PL 103-447) provided a reasonable framework for addressing concerns about NATO enlargement, consistent with U.S. interests in ensuring stability in Europe. The law lists a variety of criteria, such as respect for democratic principles and human rights enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act, against which to evaluate the suitability of prospective candidates for NATO membership.
    ssu

    Speaking of the Helsinki Final Act (Helsinki Accords), a few weeks ago the Russian government banned the Moscow Helsinki Group - one of the oldest human rights organizations in the world. It was started in the Soviet Union (which was a signatory of the Accords) as a watch-group to report on the compliance with the accords in the Soviet Union. Later, similar watch-groups were started in other parts of the USSR and in other countries. The US Helsinki Watch group, started a few years after the MHG, is now called Human Rights Watch. Naturally, the MHG was severely persecuted, but after the dissolution of the Soviet Union it operated relatively freely. Well, not any more.
  • The Merely Real
    One of the more interesting themes that I find recurring in Proust is the way in which an experience is thought to be enhanced through the benefit of some predisposing information as to its supposed sublimity.Pantagruel

    In Proust this juxtaposition of experience with expectation and imagination can go in different ways. Remember his disappointment when at last he was allowed to see the famous Berma in Phedre? "The deliberate monotony" of her unconventional delivery was something to which the boy-narrator was unconditioned: he expected "intelligent modulations or beautiful gestures." And yet it was precisely "the trivialities of the moment" intruding on the "merely real" that lifted up his experience, at least momentarily: "Then at last I felt my first impulse of admiration, which was provoked by the frenzied applause of the audience." (Look at that - a short Proust sentence!)

    What was the Balbec passage that you were thinking about? (I read that volume - A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs? - some years ago.)
  • What if cultural moral norms track cooperation strategies?
    The “mysticism” of cultural moral norms that science debunks is the mystery of their origins and why they have the strange intuitive properties (that John Mackie described as queerness) of bindingness and violations deserving punishment.

    By explaining the “queerness” of our intuitions about cultural moral norms as subcomponents of cooperation strategies, science debunks the mysticism that shields cultural moral norms from rational discussion.
    Mark S

    Science can only "dubunk" the mysticism of moral norms when it is opposed to mystical narratives concerning their origins and operation, such as those offered by some religious traditions. But we are not talking about that. There is no mysticism involved in accepting moral norms without or independently of an awareness of history and mechanism. (The "queerness" of which Mackie wrote is something else - it concerns moral "properties" when viewed alongside items in a naturalistic ontology of properties.)

    And while conservative religious societies may indeed oppose the kind of scientific research into the anthropology of morality that you have been championing in this thread, somehow I don't think that is what you have in mind when you talk about debunking and shielding. What then? The questions that science opens to rational discussion concern the whats and the hows of morality: What norms are there? How did they arise? How do they operate in society and in individual? Etc. What it cannot do is advance the discussion of norms as such - that is, whether one ought to accept them - except indirectly and arationally, similarly to how learning and life experience can over time affect one's moral outlook.

    Science reveals an objective basis for evaluating cultural moral norms as instrumental oughts. If you want the benefits of cooperation, you ought not follow cultural moral norms when they predictably will create rather than solve cooperation problems. That seems simple to me.

    We can set aside the question of naturalizing morality via scientific insights into its origins, which I think has not progressed much in this discussion, and talk instead about putting those insights to practical use. But I don't know how much there is to be said here. Morality is a social institution, and just about anything having to do with sociality involves cooperation strategies - even conflict above individual level. "Solving cooperation problems" can describe everything that goes on in society, from family life to wars.
  • What if cultural moral norms track cooperation strategies?
    Thanks for Clarifying your thinking.

    With this empirical knowledge:
    • Any perceived imperative oughts are debunked. (Despite our intuitions, the Golden Rule, do not lie, steal, or kill, and other cultural moral norms do not have any innate, mystical, imperative oughtness. They are only heuristics for parts of cooperation strategies.)
    Mark S

    Yeah, that's a non-starter then. Is does not debunk ought. A naturalistic theory of morality does not have it as a consequence that moral imperatives are false, invalid or obsolete. Strictly speaking, there is no logical coupling between the two. Perhaps entertaining such theories can influence one's moral reasoning in some way, but not via inference.

    Generally, a reductive explanation does not debunk its explanandum. But here we don't even have a reductive explanation. A moral imperative is not reducible to an explanation of its neurochemical mechanism or its social function. To see why, simply note that, as Hume argued, causal explanations neither contain nor imply any oughts, nor do they motivate action on their own, without being supplemented by some imperatives.

    You still have the choice to abandon moral norms and leave only non-moral imperatives (instrumental oughts), but that choice cannot be justified by science. It's no less "mystical" than accepting moral norms in the first place.


    I want to also push back against this charge of "mysticism":

    Lacking the empirical knowledge that cultural moral norms are heuristics for parts of cooperation strategies:
    • The mysticism of religious and cultural heritage and moral norms’ intuitive imperative oughtness can protect cultural moral norms from rational discussion.
    Mark S

    This implies that moral norms must derive their oughtness from something - if nothing else, then "mysticism." But I don't think that we necessarily derive our oughts. We may rationalize them, but that is optional and done after the fact.

    There is no getting away from norms. We have rational, epistemic norms - those aren't derived either. Moral norms are just a different kind of norm, and they are not derivable from anything non-moral, though many things can influence them.
  • What if cultural moral norms track cooperation strategies?
    Key question for you: Why do you think this knowledge would not be useful as I have described?Mark S

    Well, to summarize my perhaps a bit convoluted response, I'll reiterate PhilosophyRunner's question:

    How does the "is" help with disputes about "should" and "ought?"PhilosophyRunner

    You yourself seem rather conflicted on this point. In your OP and responses to others you both acknowledge it and contradict it. This is what I find most confusing. There are plenty of people among those who comment on morality who blithely ignore or deny the is-ought problem. But with you I can't even figure out where you stand.

    Let me try to reconstruct your thinking and you tell me if I got something right:

    1. Science can give us insights about generative principles behind moral norms.

    2. Those generative principles constitute a purer form of morality than the specific norms that result from it.

    3. Therefore, by gaining an understanding of those principles, we can apply a corrective to the actual moral norms that we hold, or fill the gaps left by existing norms.

    (2) is the most problematic step here, in my opinion, although plenty can be said about (1) and even (3) to further complicate the issue.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    And to use for example surface to air missiles in the surface-to-surface role is quite inefficient as the missiles don't have a similar high explosive charge as actual artillery missiles and rockets.ssu

    Yes, much of what Russia is now lobbing at ground targets was not primarily intended for that purpose. And the problem with that is not only the size or penetration, but targeting as well. For example, the Kh-22 missile was originally designed to target aircraft carriers, so it has plenty of charge - enough to destroy an apartment complex in Dnipro. But, like most anti-ship missiles, it has radar homing, which works well for large metal bodies in open sea, but not for concrete structures on land. So on land it can hit hundreds of meters wide off target.

    Yet I think that creating simple "el cheapo" rockets/missiles to this role is quite possible even with the sanctions etc. Scuds were made in the 1950's and then there wasn't much computer chips around. Russia is likely transforming to a wartime economy and likely changes to the military industry can be done in a year or so. Hence likely a continuation of the missile barrage against Ukrainian cities will continue and I'm not so sure if the missiles will run out.ssu

    Iranian drones that Russia is launching against Ukrainian infrastructure were found to be assembled from many Western components that Iran wasn't supposed to have. But over the years Iran has learned how to get around sanctions, so that they can manufacture their weapons in quantity. If Iran can do it, so can Russia. Indeed, sanctioned components have also been found in recently manufactured Russian munitions and drones as well.

    Still, we are likely going to see primitivization of their weapons production, just as we are already seeing primitivization of civilian production (car manufacture, etc.)
  • What if cultural moral norms track cooperation strategies?
    Hello Mark and welcome to the forum!

    First, when you say "this empirical finding," I am assuming you are referring to this, plus your generalizations/summations, right?

    See Oliver Curry’s “Morality as Cooperation” papers and Martin Nowak’s book SuperCooperators for an introduction to the field.Mark S

    This is all fine. Just to add, the study of the natural origins and mechanisms of morality goes at least as far back as Darwin, and has been particularly active in the past 100 years. There are multiple theories from anthropology, ecology, psychology, neuroscience, developmental biology, many of which are not mutually exclusive, but rather provide different and mutually supportive ways of looking at the same subject. Morality as cooperation strategy very much fits into that body of research.

    However, I don't understand how you get to this conclusion:

    This knowledge can help resolve disputes about cultural moral norms because it provides an objective basisMark S

    This implies that you can discern the shape of some truer, superior morality by identifying global patterns in its natural origins. And once you have grasped this "super-morality," you can then use it to arbitrate moral puzzles and disagreements. But why? Why must there be some universal, immutable "super-morality" behind the dizzying variety of cultural norms? And why think that this is the way to find it? Just because you can identify patterns doesn't mean that you have found a general principle. Such an approach is redolent of natural science, but then you must believe that morality is a universal principle of nature, like, say, relativity or the least action principle?

    I suspect that what is really going on is that you are taking modern science as the paragon of a methodology aimed at truth and then applying that methodology to ethics without first establishing whether ethics is a suitable domain of application.

    Identifying general principles behind the historical development of moral norms is a worthy and fascinating scientific endeavor, but I don't think it can inform us about some "truer" morality that supersedes whatever moral norms we may currently hold.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Human Rights Watch: Russian Attacks on Energy Grid Threaten Civilians

    Russian forces’ widespread and repeated targeting of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure appears primarily designed to instill terror among the population in violation of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today. Numerous missile and drone attacks in October and November have deprived millions of civilians of at least temporary access to electricity, water, heat, and related vital services ahead of the cold winter months. — HRW

    Russian politicians, lawmakers, and other commentators on Russian state media widely applauded the prospect of Ukrainian civilians being left without heat and water in winter. One member of parliament stated that ordinary people should “rot and freeze”, another said the strikes were necessary to destroy the Ukrainian state’s capacity to survive. — HRW

    Amnesty International: Russian attacks on critical energy infrastructure amount to war crimes

    Reacting to the news that Russian attacks on energy facilities in Ukraine over recent days have led to a nationwide blackout in the country, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said:

    “The strategy behind Russia’s latest warfare tactics is unmistakable. In bombing Ukraine’s critical civilian infrastructure, including energy facilities, the Russian army clearly intends to undermine industrial production, disrupt transportation, sow fear and despair and deprive civilians in Ukraine of heat, electricity and water as the cold grip of winter approaches.”

    “Russia’s targeting of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure is unlawful. The morale of the civilian population is not a lawful target, and carrying out these attacks with the sole purpose of terrorizing civilians is a war crime. All those responsible for ordering and committing these criminal attacks must be held to account. With Russia ramping up its efforts to terrorize civilians in Ukraine, the international community must urgently respond and condemn these heinous attacks.”
    — Amnesty International

    International Federation for Human Rights: Russia’s attacks against energy infrastructure violate international humanitarian law

    In this position paper, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) analyses why the Russian attacks against Ukrainian energy infrastructure violate international humanitarian law and could be qualified as war crimes. — FIDH

    Reuters: When are attacks on civilian infrastructure war crimes?

    Russia's attacks on Ukraine's civilian infrastructure, including energy facilities, have been described as possible war crimes by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Amnesty International. — Reuters

    BBC: Is attacking Ukraine's power grid a war crime?

    "Demoralising people, terrorising people, is not considered to be an acceptable military advantage," Dr Varaki explains. In fact, she says, the opposite is true: "Terrorising the civilian population is considered to be a war crime."

    As well as Russia's insistence that it is targeting only military objects, the Kremlin has hinted that there is another reason for the strikes - persuading Kyiv to talk.

    "The unwillingness of the Ukrainian side to settle the problem, to start negotiations, its refusal to seek common ground - this is their consequence," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
    — BBC
  • Ukraine Crisis
    How is this taken in the Kremlin? Should a change in their tactics be expected?jorndoe

    Not likely. Terror against civilians has been their favored tactics practically from the beginning of the invasion, or rather since the leadership realized within the first few weeks that the blitzkrieg failed and that Ukrainians were not welcoming their "liberators" with open arms. This is nothing new for Russia: they did the same in Chechnya and in Syria. The campaign to destroy life support systems for millions of people in the middle of winter is just the latest escalation of that tactics. It had long been called for by hardline supporters of the war inside Russia, and Putin seems keen to please them, although they are a small minority.

    The only change that I am seeing is in the state propaganda rhetoric. In the past crimes against civilians were denied at all levels, however implausibly. Now, while the Russian MoD hypocritically claims that the strikes are aimed against "military control centers and energy infrastructure linked to them," state media and lower-level officials are openly acknowledging and even praising the destruction of critical civilian infrastructure. And they are not shy about articulating the reasons for attacks against civilians: it is to destroy their will to resist and turn them against their government. That the tactics didn't work before and isn't working now doesn't seem to give anyone a pause and doesn't prompt any change in thinking at the top.

    As for the effectiveness of the air campaign, it may be less effective than hoped for, but as long as a percentage of missiles and drones gets through, it does its job. Note also that some munitions are better at getting through the air defense than others. For example, Ukraine has no defense against the Kh-22 missile that destroyed the apartment complex in Dnipro (and earlier destroyed a shopping center, also causing dozens of casualties). Patriot might have shot it down, but it is not deployed yet, and Ukraine will never have it in anything like sufficient quantities to protect its major population centers. In any case, all Russia needs to do is launch more than the defense can shoot down. The only potential issue for Russia is the depletion of its stocks of long-range munitions at a much faster rate than the industry can produce. But they are already supplementing their dwindling stocks with hundreds of cheap Iranian strike drones, and according to Western intelligence, they are also negotiating to buy Iranian ballistic missiles.
  • A re-think on the permanent status of 'Banned'?
    Think of tpf as a magazine or philosophical daily paperunenlightened

    That's not an apt analogy. A magazine or a paper is not a place for discussion. Yes, sometimes a response to a published piece may be published, but for the most part it is a one-way broadcast to a silent and anonymous readership. An internet forum is a community and a discussion club. Quite a different dynamics and atmosphere.

    This comment is not intended to argue for or against bannings. People get ostracized by their communities and banned from clubs just the same as here.
  • Response to Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism
    Our primary source of confidence in our senses and our reason is that we don't have a choice. You either take them as given or you are lost.

    So I will continue to take my faculties for granted, except when they prove to have been at fault, which, alas, is often enough.unenlightened

    Yes.
  • Response to Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism
    Doesn't follow. Nothing follows if you can't take the reliability of your cognitive faculties for granted. The argument is so corrosive that it undermines everything, including itself.
  • Response to Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism
    No, I think Nagel is right in this instance. You cannot pull yourself out of the abyss of skepticism by your bootstraps using reasoning and empirical evidence if the very reliability of reasoning and observation are in question. It is good that evolutionary science can give a plausible account for the reliability of our cognitive faculties, but that cannot be your source of confidence in them. You have to "help yourself to a little something" (Plantinga's expression) to even start.

    But so does everyone, no matter their beliefs. Theists aren't better grounded just because they help themselves to imaginative origin stories and rationalizations of why the good Lord would not allow a malicious demon to systematically deceive them.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    I think it is in the interests of NATO states to oppose the Russian invasion of Ukraine. One could oppose the invasion on moral grounds, but that might be more hypocritical than self-interest. Europe didn't care that much about the USSR invading Afghanistan--who, outside a small circle of friends, did care? But Ukraine is WAY TOO CLOSE for comfort, being right up against NATO's and the EU borders.BC

    Caring about something is not hypocritical unless it is not genuine. And don't see any reason to believe that most Europeans who object to the Russian invasion on moral grounds are insincere. That they allegedly didn't care that much about the Afghan invasion may be unfortunate, perhaps even hypocritical (if they used hypocritical rationalizations for their indifference), but that doesn't make their present reaction hypocritical.

    Do you care about anyone in your life? Do you ever help anyone? Or do you worry that not caring about every person in the world to the same extent and not helping everyone who needs help in equal measure would make you a hypocrite?
  • The new Help section
    No, I was thinking of "nothing about me without me", where folk mention a member without linking their name. Once or twice might be forgetfulness, but here are a few repeat offenders.Banno

    I don't see a need to be notified whenever someone mentions me. This doesn't happen offline (and that's probably for the best), so why should this be a rule online? If I get a mention, I take it that they want me to attend to it. If that wasn't their intent, then why bother me?
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Scale of alleged torture, detentions by Russian forces in Kherson emerges

    This is in regards to why those selfish Ukrainians are giving their lives to defend their country, instead of "accepting the realities" and letting Russia steamroll over the rest of the country, as it originally intended (and apparently still does).

    The numbers that are emerging on the scale of alleged detentions and torture, “point to widespread and grave criminality in Russian-occupied territory,” said British lawyer Nigel Povoas, lead prosecutor with a Western-backed team of legal specialists assisting Kyiv’s efforts to prosecute war crimes.

    Povoas said there appears to have been a pattern to inflict terror and suffering across Ukraine, which reinforces “the impression of a wider, criminal policy, emanating from the leadership” to target the country’s civilian population.
    — Reuters
  • Useful hints and tips
    3. You can choose which subjects appear in your All Discussions feed. Go to the Categories page and uncheck the categories you don't want to see.Jamal

    Does this work for anyone? I don't see any way to check or uncheck a category on the Categories page.

    Instead, if you open a particular category page, at the bottom of the discussion list there is a faint eye icon. Clicking it will toggle the visibility of the category on the All Discussions feed.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    The states and organisations only act when they see it is worthy for their own interests and I don't understand why the Western world is caring that much about Ukraine. I feel I am not seeing something.javi2541997

    You mean to say that your horse is higher because you don't care about anything (besides your income, natch)?

    Well, if you believe that "states and organisations only act when they see it is worthy for their own interests" then it should be obvious why the Western world is caring about the biggest war in Europe since WWII. But another reason is that not everyone in the Western world is a selfish rat, and governments and organisations in democratic nations care about public opinion.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    The difference between National Socialists and plain socialists appears to be pretty tenuous.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    The problem here isn't just that you are ignorant of the facts (you are). The problem is that you think that it's OK for one country to invade and subjugate another if from 2000 km they all look pretty much the same to you, and besides, gas prices are more important, so why are they being so selfish about resisting brutal occupation? In other words, this is an issue of values, not an issue of facts. If you don't get it, you don't get it, and there's nothing for us to talk about.
  • Why is the Hard Problem of Consciousness so hard?
    No one would say that you are "seeing brain states" when you look at something.SophistiCat

    Then I am gratified you are here to disabuse me. I won't ask for a thesis, just the essential idea you have in mind.Constance

    We started this discussion with the thesis "The brain is the generative source of experience," which was presented as an essential physicalist commitment. I won't dispute that, though I personally think that physicalism is not so much about specific scientific commitments. With that in mind, a physicalist should be committed to the idea that what we call "seeing" is generated (in some sense) by the activity of the brain.

    In what sense is seeing "generated" by the brain? I would say that the weakest physicalist commitment would be the supervenience relationship between seeing and brain activity (that is to say, no difference in what we see without a corresponding difference in brain activity). Some would go further than that, asserting a stronger reductive relationship between the folk-psychological concept of "seeing" and its physical realization.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    The subject is different. While Poland is country with his own history, language, culture and system, Ukraine is basically a little Russiajavi2541997

    Ookey... So Ukraine does not have its own history, language and culture and does not have a right to exist as a sovereign nation (no matter what its people think). In that case they totally deserve to be invaded and subjugated. Got it :roll:

    we do not see any move by Ukraine to end this war... he is acting selfish and is choking the world economy just for his nationalist business. He is acting like the rest of the world is not in trouble...javi2541997

    Very selfish indeed. Why can't they just quit their resistance to the invasion and let Russia rampage over the rest of the country? No one would care (except for Ukrainians, but they aren't even a people, so they don't count).
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Also Poland was as much responsible for WWII as Hitler and Stalin.
  • Why is the Hard Problem of Consciousness so hard?
    but logic* as a field does not present an argument or a justification of itself.SophistiCat

    This would be true if logic were, magically, its own interpretative baseConstance

    That's the opposite of what I said.

    I first put this out there to show how physicalism as a naive thesis, lacks epistemic essence.Constance

    What do you think the thesis of physicalism is? I don't think there is a single generally recognized physicalist doctrine. It is more of a family resemblance among philosophical treatments of certain subjects.

    I see my cat and I am thereby forced to admit I am reductively seeing brain states only.Constance

    That's hardly even a caricature of physicalism. No one would say that you are "seeing brain states" when you look at something.


    Phenomenology remedies this matter, I argue.Constance

    Well, I was hoping to find out more about "this matter" (not so much about phenomenology), but I am making no progress in teasing it out.
  • Why is the Hard Problem of Consciousness so hard?
    But you are talking about the very possibility of discoursing (logically) about logic, and I don't see a problem with that.SophistiCat

    And there is none. What you talk about is the very reason why we have the discipline called logic. the point I am making is that this field is question begging in the same way physics is question begging when it talks about, say, force. They talk about and use this term freely and make perfect sense, usually, but ask what a force is, and you will get blank stares; well, at first you will get explanatory attempts that contextualize the meaning, by when you get to "where the ideas run out" as Putnam put it, it has to be acknowledged that physics hasn't a clue as to the "true nature" of force. Go to something like Plato's Timaeus and you find some intriguing inroads, but mostly pretty useless.Constance

    An argument or a justification can beg the question, but logic* as a field does not present an argument or a justification of itself. I already acknowledged that logic cannot be grounded in more logic, but that is in no way controversial, nor does it present a challenge for its study.

    * Or rather, rationality, which includes informal logic, as well as other standards of reasoning and decision-making.

    (I don't want to derail this conversation further, but if you are interested, Feynman (who rather disparaged philosophy as a discipline) has a good philosophical discussion of the nature of force and its treatment in physics in his Lectures: Characteristics of Force. (I dare say, this is more useful than Timaeus.) He sort of agrees with you.)

    Anyway, I still don't see how this addresses the thesis that started this conversation:

    If the brain were the generative source of experience, every occasion of witnessing a brain would be itself brain generated. This is the paradox of physicalism.Constance

    What paradox?
  • Why is the Hard Problem of Consciousness so hard?
    I thought the analogy of logic clear.Constance

    I would rather address the original question directly.

    No, I don't find the analogy with logic any more clear. Anything can be the subject of a discourse, including logic. At the same time, as you note, logic structures discourse. But I don't see a vicious circularity here, if that is what you are leading to. You cannot ground or justify logic with more logic - that much is clear. But you are talking about the very possibility of discoursing (logically) about logic, and I don't see a problem with that.

    I don't see how, at the level of basic questions, anything can be posited that is not phenomena.Constance

    Well, then you do deny the premise, and that's that. You cannot make an argument against a contrary position without first taking it on its own terms. If you deny the position outright, or, as you admit, don't even understand it, then there is no argument to be made.

    That encountering is phenomenological. What isn't?Constance

    Indeed, especially if you understand "phenomena" and "encountering" as one and the same, or one being a species of the other. But I don't see where that gets us.
  • Why is the Hard Problem of Consciousness so hard?
    If you accept the brain as the generative source of consciousness and its phenomena, you are also a brain doing the accepting, so the question goes to where the authority of the accepting lies, for one simply can't get beyond the brain-itself-as-phenomenon, for to affirm a brain as not a phenomenon, one would have to stand apart from a phenomena.Constance

    I am not following your argument. I am stuck at "one simply can't get beyond the brain-itself-as-phenomenon, for to affirm a brain as not a phenomenon, one would have to stand apart from a phenomena." Can you expand on this?

    Is it that you are committed to the idea that "everything is a phenomenon," and therefore there is no such "thing" as a brain? If so, then you are merely denying the premise. The only contradiction here is between the premise "the brain is the generative source of consciousness" and your commitment to phenomenology.

    Or: How can consciousness position itself to "see" consciousness in order to discuss what it is?

    I don't see a problem here. Is it self-reference that is giving you difficulty? Self-reference is not necessarily paradoxical.
  • Why is the Hard Problem of Consciousness so hard?
    Indeed, and this is an extraordinary point: If the brain were the generative source of experience, every occasion of witnessing a brain would be itself brain generated. This is the paradox of physicalism.Constance

    I don't see any paradox here. Can you explain?
  • The Shoutbox should be abolished
    LESS TALKING MORE SHOUTING1!1
  • To what Jazz and Classical Music are you listening?
    Nice. I am listening the whole set.



    A while ago I was binging on Purcell and Handel, especially their lesser known keyboard works. These guys rock!

    Purcell
    Reveal





    Handel
    Reveal
    These are Handel's best-known keyboard suites - the only ones he published, in two sets of eight. My favorite piano version:





  • Why is the Hard Problem of Consciousness so hard?
    What trips people up is conflating an understanding of consciousness with understanding the NCCs (neural correlates of consciousness).hypericin

    I would include here all scientific and scientifically informed studies of consciousness, including psychology and some philosophy of mind.

    You can imagine in the future that we might have a complete accounting of the NCCs, a complete description of all the relevant brain structures and how they interact with one another. But nonetheless, we still can't conceptually make the leap from this description to the first person features of consciousness: qualia, what-is-it-like, etc.hypericin

    Well, this gets me back to what I said about explanations. We have a good idea of what a scientific explanation is (neuroscience, psychology, etc.) But you say: No, that's not it, that's just such-and-such "correlates" of consciousness. OK, but do you have an idea of what it is that you are looking for in an explanation of "the first person features of consciousness"? How would it differ from the other kind? How would you recognize a successful explanation?

    And I don't mean to say that scientific explanations are the only explanations that deserve the name. But to even have a discussion about this, we should understand what it is that we are looking for. And that seems to be the one thing that is conspicuously missing in most such discussions.