• bye!

    I enjoyed our debate about truth and beauty on the art thread very much. Sad to 'see' you go. What's just as sad (to me) is announcing my own departure, as well (didn't want to create a thread for this purpose, though so hope you will forgive me adding a few of my own thoughts).

    Philosophy has been a love of mine for a very, very long time. It's craddled me like a child during bad times, it has opened my eyes, saddened, frustrated and delighted me but it's not my own place anymore and hasn't been for some years. Many things I used to call 'mine' without giving them another thought, have been appropriated during this same time frame.

    Life is give and take. I wish this forum absolute succes and hope it can be a shining example of ideas.

    Jamalrob, you did the right thing creating this forum and I hope the admins here will support you in making this 'third place' a place by philosophers for philosophers. For the love of philosophy.

    Thank you all.

    - S
  • Missing features, bugs, questions about how to do stuff

    Then, don't worry about it. The post hasn't done well, though.
  • Missing features, bugs, questions about how to do stuff
    Actually, my own thread - sadly. It's entitled 'Language, specifics, dreams and impressions'. Would that be possible? I'd appreciate it.
  • Missing features, bugs, questions about how to do stuff
    I haven't figured out how to delete a thread. Could someone tell me? Thank you.
  • Language, specifics, dreams and impressions

    I don't know if this is helpful, but perhaps when we attempt to convey a thought or feeling we are simply inviting another's interpretation of us and trying to manipulate it into a desired response.

    So, you are saying we don't express for ourselves, we express for the benefit of the responses of others? I disagree in a very real sense.

    A good actor never acts for the audience, they act for themselves. Also, it's interesting you bring up the idea of acting versus genuine feeling. Why did you, actually?

    We can't demonstrate anybody's truth because there are none and simultaneously many. It's hard enough finding our own truth. Have you not spent a life time finding yours and aren't you still?

    Do you know the mechanisms behind a thought? Or how it comes into 'being' after which it's turned into a word which conveys a meaning? I don't, namely and spend a lot of time thinking about it.
  • Reading for October: The Extended Mind

    I wasn't entirely joking when I said that the authors come very close to the spirit of Derrida in their approach to the mind here.

    Derrida, as the father of deconstructionism, does with language what neuroscience and theoretical physics do with consciousness.

    As far as the territorial mapping and demarcation between 'cognition', 'mind' and 'consciousness', I am not of the opinion that anyone has succesfully or conclusively done so. It's chasing an invisibility cloak. Maybe the answer lies not in (biological) separation of the whole but in their unity.
  • One possible motive for the pessimist's temperament

    I fail to follow what the self being created, fragmented, and random has to do with perception or understanding - the "self" is a construct, which means that it exists "in the past" as it were, while perception and understanding exist in the present.

    If the self exists in the past as you claim, how can it 'keep up' and 'see' or realize the 'present' which you coin 'reality'? Wouldn't it then constantly be lagging while 'reality' forges ahead?

    The "self" is the bundle of desires/beliefs, etc that one identifies with. To see "reality" means to attend to perception directly, without overlaying your "self" (ie. desires, beliefs, etc.) over it.

    How can you divorce your experiences or 'self' from 'reality'? You are of the world, aren't you? It appears you propose ultimate objectivity is possible. It's as though you suggest you are divorced from the very thing/place/time you 'are' while simultaneously claiming your self exists within a given time frame in relation to what you believe is reality.
  • Language, specifics, dreams and impressions

    As far as Derrida goes, he would resist the idea that your experience, your dreams, or some 'inner' unarticulated psychological reality offer some foundation or more 'fundamental' truth beneath language.

    Exactly, it's this reason why I separated 'words' from 'impressions'. Since I've never dreamt in 'language', all I can do is fundamentally agree with Derrida that words refer only to other words. Whether or not he'd agree there's a validity to unarticulated realities is neither here nor there for the moment as it's not the premise of my argument.

    I always marvel at people who dream in words. It's obvious that 'dreaming' isn't a uniform experience since you do dream in words and I don't. On occasion, I have had dreams where numbers were featured or revealed to me but always using 'visual cues', for example, a piece of paper with a number on it.

    Similarly, I also think in impressions during waking states. On occasion, I wonder if our thoughts (and conversations with interlocutors) create their own realities, therefore, the more thoughts you have; the more realities you are creating.

    Language as vocalization exists within its 'own' solipsistic sphere and is a part of but not equal to communication. To me, it's obvious there's a 'place' or reality beyond language which likely contains more of the Universe than words.
  • One possible motive for the pessimist's temperament

    once you realise that your "self", sub specie durationis, is a combinatorial product, and just like other such products, it comes into existence fortuitously, and goes out of existence just as fortuitously.

    A free man is neither pessimist nor optimist. He sees the world as it is. He is a seer; doesn't stamp himself all over the world.

    I find these statements highly contradictory, Agustino. If the self is a combinatorial product of 'chance' then how can this fragmented, random 'self' make sense of/pinpoint or 'see' that which you dub 'reality' (I assume you are a determinist and/or physicalist since you claim reality is an objective, stable entity which can be known)?

    Also, please define reality as that would mean defining the nature of consciousness itself in my opinion.

    It seems wholly impossible divorcing subjective experience from the nature(s) of realities. Everyone 'stamps themselves all over the world' in the same way the world stamps itself all over us. We exist and create within realities, aren't divorced from them while clinically observing them. We are the world.
  • Bad Art
    One might with some justification suggest that creativity is an essential ingredient. And this gives rise to a problem; one cannot specify it in advance. Pirsig has much of interest to say about this. It is the nature of originality to break with tradition, to make its own rules.

    Excellent point. What, then, qualifies as creativity?

    But I think the problem for art at the moment is that this has been adopted as the only criterion of quality. And this means there is no way to distinguish creative genius from contrarian rubbish. Pirsig would say, I think, that the judgement of quality comes first, and then one derives by analysis the criteria, the rules, the definitions, but only after the event as it were.

    I've never read Pirsig but I very much concur with what they have to say as you present it. Thanks for the suggestion, at that.

    Also here though, the issue becomes by which 'standards' one judges (quality). Is something contrarian by nature 'rubbish'?
  • Bad Art
    How can I judge something I haven't properly defined? It'd be much the same as a beauty pageant (not that I endorse them) without any qualifying standards?

    I don't see an inherit contradiction or sabotage in firstly defining art, then judging it. I rather find they go together. Interestingly enough, posters tended having different ideas about what art 'is'. Mayor suggested it's whatever you get away with, Mongrel goes for truth which is akin to aesthetic value in their pov, I offered the idea that 'ugliness' can constitute as art, as well.

    Of course, other people such as critics, curators etc etc are free deciding for themselves how, when and why they judge art. Among philosophical circles, I'd expect a different angle/slant to art critique as you pointed out.
  • Bad Art
    Ah, I see. Apologies. I was attempting taking a step back and firstly deciding what even qualifies as 'a work of art' before being able to decide on its merits.
  • Bad Art
    Why? Do you have to first define 'chair' before judging the quality of a chair? If something can count as a chair, it's a chair, and the same with art.

    I don't understand the comparing and contrasting of a physical object with a collective idea such as art, to be honest.
  • Bad Art
    What do holy people create? Do holy people exist? What proof of this do we have?
  • Bad Art

    The reason I asked for clarification is not so much for an overview of the technical nature but more your own ideas. How can we tell someone is 'Holy'? The way they dress? A title? The way they live? Or the way they think/act? How do we know the 'heart' of a man? Can we ever, truly?
  • Bad Art
    It seems by most of your definitions that 'ugly' things can't be art. Is this a fair representation? If that is the case, I disagree vehemently. By claiming something with little aesthetic value can't be art, one sterilizes, distorts and placates the discipline.

    As an example, some of the best literature or poetry can be considered 'ugly' in nature. Then, of course, there are the 'boundary pushers' in any artistic discipline whom enjoy playing with the concept of aesthetics in various ways.
  • Bad Art
    Who or what is a 'Holy person' and how can one identify them? Why? This is utterly fascinating.
  • Bad Art

    To try to put it into words, I'd say it's like seeing the raw force of the universe taking shape in simplicity and elegance.

    Thank you for your reply, you write beautifully.

    But as it settled in, I realized the truth. The answer to my question about Islam can only be answered by seeking aesthetic truth. And nobody can hand me that. I have to find it myself.

    I must say this intrigues me mostly because I have no idea how you could achieve this or what it entails. Could you explain it more in depth?
  • The metaphysical implications of disquotationalism
    As an aside, I have a real problem with the 'Frodo' example being used as it refers to a fictional being and character. It adds layers of psycho dynamics to the discussion, rather than focusing on the ontology (or deontology) of the language.

    What I mean to say is, when I read your screen name 'Michael' I, by default, associate it with two ideas; namely a person I know and the Arch angel. What if someone knows an actual, real life Frodo? You might then confuse two entirely different entities when refering to them 'by name'.

    Now, when we refer to an object; let's say the 'chair', we - similarly - could conjure up many different types of chairs, however, we haven't ascribed psychological set values or given it that level of emotional context.
  • Bad Art
    Thank you for all the responses, I loved each and every one. Mayor, great quote! That being said, Mongrel's response gives room for exploration.

    Interesting short poem by Keats. @Mongrel How do you presuppose one finds 'truth' in art and in what way?

    How does it tie into the other disciplines you mentioned?
  • Depression, and its philosophical implications
    @The Great Whatever

    Why do you continue existing? And could you define if there's anything you 'like'? I'd hesitate using the word 'love'.
  • How should one think about Abstract Expressionism?

    Could you explain when and why art can be considered 'bad'?
  • How should one think about Abstract Expressionism?
    "as well as a bad way of doing art."

    Is there a 'bad' or 'correct' way of 'doing' art?
  • On reference
    How would anti-realism mesh with deconstructionism?
  • On reference
    What I find interesting is the distinction between words refering to 'objects' and words refering to 'characters'. Then, what IS ontologically independent of language and ideas? I see a contradiction here. Anti-realism rejects the notion of an actual ontology, does it not?

    The idea that only realism allows for words to refer to things is mistaken. Anti-realism allows for this too.

    I never suggested the above, to the best of my knowledge.
  • On reference
    I must admit I did not read this thread extremely in depth.


    Unusual in the sense of not common, yes. But I think it far more sensible than the traditional realist account where there's some metaphysical relationship between the sounds we speak and things which are ontologically independent of language and experience and ideas.

    I take it you agree with Derrida, then that words can only refer to other words? Deconstructionism lies on the path towards anti-realism. I started a thread related to this yesterday in the philosophy of language section.
  • Male sexiness and ball size may be inversely correlated.
    That would make evolutionary sense. These males would need to acquire more sex in order to ensure a similar amount of offspring a more fertile male would require having less sex for.
  • What draws people to an online forum anyway?

    I never enjoyed Wittgenstein enough to be able to concur or verify this! Ha.

    Philosophy deals with the question 'how to live' and everybody asks that in some form or another at some point.
  • What distinguishes real from unreal?
    What's 'real' is really asking what it means to be conscious and if we even are.
  • Propositional logic and the future
    If/then thinking is always based (to a real degree) on an assumption. It's akin to risk assessment, the validity of the 'then' always has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That's where it gets tricky and logicians (and scientists for that matter) engage in varying degrees of willing suspension of disbelief to underscore a hypothesis.
  • Icon for the Site?
    I agree with AbsurdRhetor that it should be a universal symbol instead of a non-related object or single philosopher.
  • The Future of the Human Race
    Don't we appreciate individuals and loathe groups as a rule? Many studies have been done that 'prove' this effect. It becomes easier disliking (including all negative behaviours) groups because people categorize them.

    The mass becomes a faceless blob, whereas, an individual stands out, therefore, we are able to connect or empathize better with them. It's a heavily used technique in journalism and literature. Character building and portrayal. Gets tricky when dealing with a large quantity.

    Incidentally, it's also the reason it's easier to drop (cluster) bombs on people from the sky rather than face them in ground combat. Faceless mass + removal of intimate portrayal and contact aka the trolley problem.
  • How should one think about Abstract Expressionism?
    @Thorongil, I have never been too sure of this because it wouldn't explain the interplay of magnetism and poles or most (though not all) mathematical models.

    It has always seemed an unsolvable dichotomy from where I stand.
  • How should one think about Abstract Expressionism?
    @Thorongil Ha! It's easy to embrace one's cynicism and that much harder to embrace one's joy, I've found. An interesting dichotomy when considering you're in agreement with Plato that 'the good attracts the good'. This I'd question after having read little red riding hood a few times. ;)
  • How should one think about Abstract Expressionism?
    Interesting points about pessimism and art, Bitter Crank. What does this mean in a world where art is all but a goner? Unless you want to count deviantart and instagram as 'art'.

    Thorongil, I sympathize with your stance on modern art although I always promised myself not to judge others' taste in art.
  • How should one think about Abstract Expressionism?
    Funnily enough, this exact painting was done by Monet and Renoir together, meaning to say they both painted the same scene while out together. There was a huge controvery between two art houses about the authenticity of Renoir's version.
  • How should one think about Abstract Expressionism?
    I always saw A.E as a counter-reaction to the Impressionists. The ultimate rebellion, if you will and I've never cared for either movement. If you accept that Art moves in cycles (or used to before smart phones) then it's the minimalistic version of Daidism, they in turn are attempting a crude form of Surrealism, in my opinion.
  • AI as a partner
    So, BC that was quite an amusing response.

    Did it concern you that Siri was sarcastic which is rather 'charming' in moderation, or was it a welcome development for you?

    I suppose my issue is the blurring between the organic, the robotic and its implications. Does a sex bot feel a connection or empathy? Would it even matter, anymore? Will we start resembling bots more or will bots ever truly resemble us? Does the distinction matter to anyone? Will bots phase out humans at some point or will humanity self destruct, first?
  • PF sold for $20,800
    Money buys everything except love, happiness or a soul.

    Oh, right - so, nothing.

    Oh well, back to the old drawing board humanity.
  • What draws people to an online forum anyway?
    Well, things in the world of philosophy certainly have been 'interesting' recently. Who ever knew our beloved, 'stuffy' little humanitarian science could attract such controversy.

    As always:

    'Don't feed the trolls' and of those there are many shapes and sizes. Some are even dressed up as fairies! As a rule ignore sympathy ploys, too good to be truers and those who incite/provoke. That's what I've learnt so far, kinda. The internet sure is a weird place.