• Our conscious "control" over our feelings.
    In times of great grief you are completely emotionless?praxis

    I think it is not wise to question such confessions. In times of great pain, such as stitching up a cut, my doctor applies a local anaesthetic. I see no reason to assume that the mind cannot function in a similar way, and indeed it is a fairly well known effect called 'shock'.

    The contradiction I see in @Thesailor123's op is not so much that, but between "My personal belief is that we can control" and "renders me [... ] completely emotionless and blank."

    One has to alienate oneself from what one wants to control, and this creates a division: one who believes and controls, v one who feels and is rendered. Both sides speak in the same sentence, and so the contradiction.
  • Private language, moral rules and Nietzsche
    How does following one's own private rules differ from mere accident?Banno

    I can be diligent or occasionally lapse in my adherence to not stepping on the cracks, or wearing my underpants back to front, or that other thing I don't want to tell you; they are not accidents. I would think a better question would be, what makes them moral?

    I tried to ask the hermit at the bottom of the garden, as he is the most moral person I know, but unfortunately, he has taken a vow of silence - either that or he just doesn't like me any more.
  • Brexit
    Yeah. Gallows humour. This is what happens when supposed leaders and opinion makers are guided by focus groups and opinion polls - endless chasing fantasies on the road to disaster. People are actually saying things like 'we survived the war...'
  • Brexit
    Comment of the day. Some government spokesman burbles on in a brexit 'statement'. Reporter comments, "Well if you understood that, you probably weren't listening carefully enough."

    Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Let's be clear.
  • On Happiness
    I have felt unhappy about not being happy.Wallows

    I have given up on all my dreams and desire to become "happy"Wallows

    Nothing bothers me anymore, I feel content,Wallows

    So, what am I getting wrong here?Wallows

    Great accomplishment seems imperfect,
    Yet it does not outlive its usefulness.
    Great fullness seems empty,
    Yet it cannot be exhausted.

    Great straightness seems twisted.
    Great intelligence seems stupid.
    Great elequence seems awkward.

    Movement overcomes cold.
    Stillness overcomes heat.
    Stillness and tranquility set things in order in the universe.
    — Lao Tzu

    You are eloquent. Nothing is wrong.
  • I Ching - the Metaphysics of Flux.
    Are you familiar with the work of Mitchell Feigenbaum?Ying

    Of course! I almost said it there already without realising, Fractal geometry - Symmetry between different scales.

    it seems to claim that all individual situations we experience can be equated to one of the 64 base situations outlined in the text.Ying

    Well it is so beautiful - the world conceived as a breaking wave, life as riding the wave, a wave itself, the way the foaming chaos is repeated bifurcation of the same wave symmetry. And in nature one finds that fractals are the structure of the world - life-forms, coastlines ...

    I need to stop and think; I'll just try this:

    Sea Atmosphere
    pure mixed (water, foam, spray, air)
    Joining separating ? (The trigrams are beyond me just now.)

    The sage looks at the curl of a leaf and sees the state of the nation.
  • Identity wars in psychology and Education.
    Oh and bad news - the progressives always win in the end because time is on their side.
  • Identity wars in psychology and Education.
    It's in the thread title. Perhaps you haven't been on the same topic from the beginning. The thread is supposed to be about an ideological war between vague terms, progressives and conservatives on the front of identity. I could have focussed on race, but I thought it would be too provocative so I chose gender. My thesis is that this war is more virulent in America than Europe, and the flow of the thread has rather confirmed this. Not that there is no conflict about it in Europe, and that is why I presented the APA and its enemies and for comparison the European experiment in Education.
  • Identity wars in psychology and Education.
    Do you feel like you might have approached this topic with the intention of being provocative? Is being provocative more important than understanding how others see things? If so, why?frank

    I don't think so. One of the things I have tried to stay away from, but others have wanted to go into is the rather uncommon cases of individuals who actually want to change sex. So I provided links to principles of education, and principles of psychology, and nothing about principles of hormone treatment or surgery. I warned that the topic was somewhat emotive and gave a fair bit of reading in an attempt to slow things down. Short of not mentioning the war at all, I don't think there is much more I could have done.

    It seemed to me that this site is well equipped to tackle such issues, having intelligent people from both sides of the political spectrum and both sides of the Atlantic.
  • Identity wars in psychology and Education.
    Taking a closer look, the preschools mentioned in the OP are what Americans would call private schools.frank

    That's interesting, because it is exactly the feeling I have about the complaints about the APA guidelines; that if a closer look had been taken, it would have been a non-issue. Perhaps not in every case, but in general, it seems as though a few words - 'gender', 'identity', 'social', have become imbued with a blinding emotional potency, that prevents that close look.
  • Identity wars in psychology and Education.
    Consider the commonplace idiom, "Boys will be boys."

    ... a flippant way to excuse the actions and attitudes of boys and men of all ages. It’s typically used to explain rowdy or naughty behavior—things like jumping in mud puddles, roughhousing, and raising Cain. It’s also, unfortunately, used to explain away things like sexual assault allegations and other serious crimes. It doesn’t hold individuals responsible for their behavior and choices but rather infers all males are preprogrammed to act in such ways.

    I think this is understated. It does not merely excuse, but actually approves. This is not to say, by the way, that it is necessarily the case that boys are not on average, by hormonal influence or some such, more rowdy, aggressive, naughty, etc. But it is a fact also, that society tends to excuse/allow/approve, behaviours differentially between boys and girls. Inevitably, the effect of such differential treatment is to exaggerate differences between the sexes.

    And this is also done in obviously arbitrary ways as well, such as dress codes, trousers v skirts, blue v pink, short hair v long hair.

    Woman-boobs tend to be bigger than man-boobs, and this is a matter of biology. And a reasonable case can be made that natural selection ensures that men find bigger boobs attractive because *genes, childrearing bla*. And then sexual selection ensures that the difference becomes exaggerated, because that's what sexual selection tends to do - hence peacock tails and like useless appendages.

    In short, sexism is 'natural'. Genes will be genes.

    So it is unsurprising that folks like and seek to promote sexual stereotypes. And it is unsurprising that in the end, their arguments reduce to, 'well it's natural'. It is natural; what is unnatural is equality and freedom.
  • Counterexemple to Hume's Law?
    Asserting the disjunction itself would be to assert an "is" statement. It says that it is true that either A is true or B is true. And unless both A and B are false, then the statement is true.S

    "you ought to realise this is ridiculous" is true.
    Therefore, you ought to realise this is ridiculous.

    But Hume never made the claim as it is attributed anyway. The way he put it is more so that if 'ought' does not appear in any premises, but appears in the conclusion, then the deduction is invalid, which is true for any term. Unsurprisingly, if one defines 'is' statements so as to include 'oughts', then his supposed law can have all the exceptions you like.

    Hume famously closes the section of the Treatise that argues against moral rationalism by observing that other systems of moral philosophy, proceeding in the ordinary way of reasoning, at some point make an unremarked transition from premises whose parts are linked only by “is” to conclusions whose parts are linked by “ought” (expressing a new relation) — a deduction that seems to Hume “altogether inconceivable” (T3.1.1.27). Attention to this transition would “subvert all the vulgar systems of morality, and let us see, that the distinction of vice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceiv’d by reason” (ibid.).
  • Counterexemple to Hume's Law?
    The domains are connected by statements that declare what ought to be. The connection once made, logic can do its thing; it is in making the connection that neither logic nor being can get a foothold.
  • Counterexemple to Hume's Law?
    The disjunction AvB is either an "is" statement or an "ought" statement.Nicholas Ferreira

    Why do you want to say this? It seems obviously false, as you have just declared it to be both. There is little point in this logical trick, even if it 'works'. It says nothing about the status of ethics, and Hume's point stands, that what is and what ought to be are separate domains.
  • Identity wars in psychology and Education.
    What is being overlooked in this thread is the psychological development of a child BEFORE it gets to school. The environment that the parents provide and how the parents behave are adopted as the norms for that child before it even gets into the educational systemHarry Hindu

    I you had read the link in the op, you would have come across this:
    One of the group’s teachers, Izabell Sandberg, 26, noticed a shift in a 2-year-old girl whose parents dropped her off wearing tights and pale-pink dresses. The girl focused intently on staying clean. If another child took her toys, she would whimper.

    “She accepted everything,” Ms. Sandberg said. “And I thought this was very girlie. It was like she was apologizing for taking up space.”

    Until, that is, a recent morning, when the girl had put a hat on and carefully arranged bags around herself, preparing to set off on an imaginary expedition. When a classmate tried to walk off with one of her bags, the girl held out the palm of her hand and shouted “No” at such a high volume that Ms. Sandberg’s head swiveled around.

    It was something they had been practicing.

    By the time March rolled round, the girl had gotten so loud that she drowned out the boys in the class, Ms. Sandberg said. At the end of the day, she was messy. The girl’s parents were less than delighted, she said, and reported that she had become cheeky and defiant at home.

    But Ms. Sandberg has plenty of experience explaining the mission to parents.

    “This is what we do here, and we are not going to stop it,” she said.

    That is a clear description of the effect of parental upbringing being undone, and the parents' negative response to it.

    So you are wrong, it is not being overlooked.

    if the left really wants to achieve the "honorable" goal of gender-neutrality, then that would really entail forcing hormone treatment on pregnant mothers so that the fetus adopts a more sex-neutral state (so those sexual differences aren't noticible) and then removing all children from their parents after birth and raising them all by the stateHarry Hindu

    And this is a completely ridiculous and insulting claim arising from your now obviously deliberate conflation of gender as social construct and sex as biology. It is very very clear that gender neutrality in education has nothing to do with the suppression of sex differences, nor is there any suggestion in any country being discussed here that all children be raised by the state.
  • I Ching - the Metaphysics of Flux.
    Thanks for that, interesting links that I need to spend some time with, and a very useful cosmology. I have lived with this in the background as I have lived with a Christian cosmology in the background, along with scientific materialist, and so on. So I am always wanting if not a reconciliation, at least a translation, an understanding of one in terms of the other. What I am trying to do is to get some idea of the status of the various elements in relation to the philosophical language more familiar here. There seems to be an affinity with Pythagorean ideas of cosmic vibration and so on, and also with Platonic forms, but without the separation of ideal from the tangible.

    Something new to me already is the sense that 'the ten thousand things' are no more 'things' in the materialist sense than yin and yang are things, but just a further iteration of the possibilities of process, such that one might, if anyone had the stamina and insight, elaborate each of them in turn with its own name, description, and commentary.

    There is something I am trying to articulate, and failing to, about the way the fundamental division permeates reality that is very different from the hierarchies of Western dichotomies. It is as if, as well as computer programs being composed of 0s and 1s, every program and every sub-routine is in some significant sense 1-ish or 0-ish.
  • Brexit
    I've thought about starting a thread on this British (or should I say English) gloominess and persistent self-flagellation, that only seldom is interrupted by some brief upbeat monent.ssu

    Could be interesting. I lived in France for a few years.One of the historic differences is the revolution. It may seem extravagant, but the class divisions in England especially play an important role. Most of the government went to the same school, and the same university. That's only slightly an exaggeration.
  • Brexit
    What bad could happen to you?ssu

    I dare say we will survive, but the UK is losing influence, losing money, losing jobs, losing trade. We already have gone back to folks dying of malnutrition, rising inequality, rising homelessness, a loss of human rights and political accountability, increasing crime and quite a deal of despair and desperation. Plenty more bad stuff could happen.
  • Is Democracy an illusion?
    Have a chat with Plato, who thinks that democracy is a degenerate form of government.

    The ideal state is an aristocracy in which rule is exercised by one or more distinguished people. Unfortunately, owing to human nature, the ideal state is unstable and liable to degenerate into timocracy (government by property owners), oligarchy, democracy, and, finally, tyranny. States are not made of oak and rock, but of people, and so come to resemble the people of which they are made. Aristocracies are made of just and good people; timocracies of proud and honour-loving people; oligarchies of misers and money-makers; democracies of people who are overcome by unnecessary desires; and tyrannies of people who are overcome by harmful desires.

    Plato provides a detailed account of the degeneration of the state from aristocracy to tyranny via timocracy, oligarchy, and democracy. Democracy in particular arises from the revolt of the disenfranchised in an oligarchy. The state is ‘full of freedom and frankness’ and every citizen is able to live as he pleases.
  • Identity wars in psychology and Education.
    It has to be admitted that the distinction between the physical, social, and psychological cannot be maintained absolutely. The transvestite might shave his legs, or bind her breasts in a temporary body modification. And things become very knotty when one considers sanity and madness.

    1. Madness is physical; a disease/malfunction of the brain.
    2. Madness is a social construct: a formal status like criminality, conferred on the individual by society.
    3. Madness is subjective, a feeling and an identification.

    All three are obviously true in some ways and in some cases, and extremely controversial in others. But perhaps all this is for another time, and another thread.
  • Identity wars in psychology and Education.
    Given the distinction between sex as a physical phenomenon, and gender as a social construct ( and one might for clarity compare the physical phenomenon of money, as bits of paper and metal and the social construct of currency as its function as a value in social exchange ), it is worth pointing out, since the topic has come up once or twice, that there is a big difference between transgender, and transsexual. Someone who decides to present themselves as 'the opposite sex' by purely superficial means - hair, make-up, clothes, mannerisms, a transvestite, is concerned with gender, and is a very different sort of person to one who seeks to take hormones and have surgery and is concerned to change their own sex, as far as they can.

    Some people have a revulsion for either that makes them effectively indistinguishable...

    Perhaps consideration of currency as a social construct will also illustrate that a social construct is not something one can, as an individual, do anything much about. You want a tin of beans, you need 50 pence. You can say 'I don't believe in money', but the nice man at ASDA won't just let you have a tin of beans for nothing. And when hyperinflation sets in, and the price goes up to £50, it won't do you any good to say 'I don't believe in inflation and offer 50 p for the beans. Social constructs are 'made-up' but they are not voluntary.
  • Is Sartre's deferring to immaterialism legitimate grounds on which to criticise his philosophy?
    Is it not? Considering is a verb; does that not make it (and thus considering to act) an act in itself? It requires the passage of time. Time in which material changes take place. This probably highlights my misunderstanding of Sartre's philosophy.Hay Digger

    Yes you're right. I sacrificed exactitude to brevity there. Allow me to correct myself. To consider acting is not the act under consideration except on rare occasions such as this, when it's philosophy, and other occasions when it is prevarication.

    But I think Sartre would also posit a condition of presence, say of an artist looking, acting, considering, deciding, responding moment to moment a creative wholeness. In a sense it is almost universal to conceive the scholar as habitually absent- minded, absent from the full world, and contemplating an abstraction. I think Sartre, living through war, occupation and so on, found the material world interrupting that life of philosophical withdrawal in ways that he could not ignore, and it is thus the necessity to 'get real' that he tries to incorporate into his ethics. He would much prefer to drink coffee and chain-smoke while pontificating in a pavement cafe, bur finds himself obliged to actually man the barricades, or or else betray himself.
  • Is Sartre's deferring to immaterialism legitimate grounds on which to criticise his philosophy?
    My reading of this is that he is saying that the mind is withdrawing from the material world.Hay Digger
    The way I understand it is different. Suppose I am considering what to have for lunch. Maybe beans on toast, or maybe omelette. Neither of these is part of the material world - there are eggs in the kitchen, but no omelette. To consider acting is not to act. So it is not a claim that thoughts themselves are immaterial but that what they are about is immaterial, rather as an architect draws plans for a building that does not (yet) exist. The plans are as material as anything, but there is no building and may never be one. Yet oddly, one doesn't complain about how the architect models the world on these grounds.
  • Being Unreasonable
    Go and have a little chat with Hume about reason and passion, guys.
  • Villains
    That makes him a role model, right?Mariner

    No. He's following me, I'm not following him. It just looks that way because he's ahead. :razz:
  • Villains
    I doubt you consistently follow your own suggestion here. What do you think of Paulo Freire?Mariner

    My impression is that he follows my suggestion rather better than I do. I think he might say that a hero is a personification of an ideology, and an ideology in practice has victims to whom the hero is a villain; and it is the victims' job to liberate us from our heroes.
  • Villains
    Sure, in the non-fictional world, no one is pure villain (or pure hero), but does that mean that we should not orient ourselves according to this spectrum of possibilities?Mariner

    My link is to the purported non-fictional world, I suppose, and folks are orienting themselves according to just the sort of outstanding landmarks that would appear on a mythological map. Churchill - nobody thinks he was pure anything - stands out as extreme, either hero or villain, and people orient themselves in opposing directions. It's not that we should not, but it seems we cannot orient ourselves in this way with any certainty.

    I think my argument, such as it is, is that to orient oneself in reality according to fantasy criteria is to live in fantasy; the world in which Churchill is hero or villain - in which anyone is hero or villain - is a fantasy world, not the non-fictional world people take it for.
  • The end of capitalism?
    When we rather coolly refer to “real estate” or the “ownership of the means of production” we are actually talking about, at least philosophically, is the loss of unity between subjectivity and objectivity. The common air amid these hills was an aspect of the common land which were systematically stolen by a parcel of Parliamentary rogues. When Wordsworth thought of the common air or the common wind it was in association with this vast loss affecting not only England but the USA whose landmass was surveyed then divided into squares, after precisely targeted settler violence terrorized the indigenous inhabitants, to be sold also in the 1790s.
  • Villains
    Disclaimer: The only fantasy world that I claim to be an expert on is the Tolkienian work. There may be lost of errors in what follows, due to my lack of familiarity with the details of the stories mentioned.Mariner

    'Lost of errors' seems appropriate. It is surely the mark of a fantasy world that it separates neatly into heroes and villains? Consider this supposedly real debate:

    The fantasy is that there is a right and wrong view, as if Eve could-have/should-have eaten the apple of the tree of knowledge of good without evil. As if a law could mandate one thing without forbidding another.
  • Brexit
    We are standing at a cliff edge threatening to jump off. We are blaming the cruel world. Don't imagine there is much power in reason to influence us; we need the Samaritans, not some turbulent priest telling us we're going to hell.
  • Next reading group, proposal?
    And your adding your responses to my follow ups by editing your original post is putting carts before horses and upsetting the apples.Amity

    Yeah, sorry, I forgot I was editing not posting.

    Meanwhile, I going to just leave this here so as not to lose it, as relating in a vague way to the I Ching and your comments as well as offering a resource in case someone wants a thread on Pirsig.

    Mythos and logos... Yang and Yin.
  • Next reading group, proposal?
    Why can't it just be about someone starting a conversation about whatever book that interests them.
    If 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' is something that S wants to discuss, then S can just go ahead and share the joy and enthusiasm with all.

    Alas, not all of us are secure enough of our identity to initiate without consultation and approval. The humiliation of starting a thread and getting little or no participation could send a delicate soul into a major depression.

    To put it another way, one who converses with no consideration of the interests of his audience is known a crashing bore.

    I thought you were being serious :smile: and then came the Oracle :sad:
    Shame :down:

    I'm perfectly serious. I'm not going to pretend that it's oracular use is not as much a part of it as its philosophical use. One can discuss the New Testament without being a Christian, but not without recognising that it is a religious text.
  • Next reading group, proposal?
    I vote no to the very hungry Caterpillar, it's full of holes.

    Suggest instead the I Ching.

    I consulted the I Ching about this idea and it voted in favour, in these terms:

    Ta Yu is formed when Fire moves over Heaven. The idea of mental clarity or the sun in the sky shows its auspiciousness in describing your current condition. The sun sustains life and if we rise like the sun, we need only activate our hidden powers of expansion. Like the sun, by simply being, we set off a chain reaction of abundance. Obstacles disappear because of the hidden influence of Breakthrough. We cultivate the seeds planted in the dark of winter that break through the soil of difficulty and emerge stronger and wiser. This is Great Possessing. Perhaps we learned to play the guest of life and not strive so much to fight against what can never be. Where the underlying cause of Union was a time of joining and partnerships, Great Possessing is a time when our star shines or our sun is rising as an individual. Life has offered you its greatest gift – the power to shine with an inner certainty that need not be defended. Strength and clarity unite and you can move forward in the knowledge that Grace is your teacher and power is merely aligning your will with the way. The message can be about wealth, success or just a sense of knowing you have arrived.

    See here if you would like the I Ching to advise you whether to participate or not.
  • Identity wars in psychology and Education.

    Biological sex is assigned at birth, depending on the appearance of the genitals. Gender identity is the gender that a person "identifies" with or feels themselves to be.NHS

    Note the 3 terms.
    1. sex - biological.
    2. gender - undefined.
    3. gender identity. A feeling/identification.

    Gender refers to the socially constructed characteristics of women and men – such as norms, roles and relationships of and between groups of women and men. — WHO

    This fills in the gap and gives us definitive completion of physical, phenomenological, and social. It seems a pretty consistent terminology to me.
  • The Reptilian Conspiracy Theory vs Buddhism
    If it's not worth discussing for youpbxman

    It is worth discussing, briefly, what is and what is not worth discussing. Thus Buddha's noble silence does not involve him not saying anything.
  • The Reptilian Conspiracy Theory vs Buddhism
    Anyone who answers declares themselves a reptilian or else another exploited sucker. Either way they are unbelievable, and this is thus a world view that declares itself not worth discussing.