• Next book for reading?
    Kierkegaard does for Christianity what Freud does for the Greek myths; as the Greek gods are many, so, to compensate for the unity of the Trinity, there are many Kierkegaards - discuss.

    YouTubeDaniel Cox

    Which made me think at once to read Kierkegaard as Jordan Peterson's secret crib-sheet.
  • Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris
    Mine wasn't a straw man, it was a reductio ad absurdum. That is to say, if one holds that there is no essential difference between mental illness and social stigma, one implicitly holds that Charles Manson (or, another example, Jeffrey Dahmer who raped and ate his victims) is not mentally ill but just someone we have chosen to stigmatize. That there might be hard cases where it's hard to distinguish if the person is mentally ill or whether we just find the person's behavior violative of certain societal norms doesn't mean there aren't obvious cases of mental illness.Hanover

    Well Szaz would be your true absurdist. We do stigmatise murderers do we not? And sometimes we call them mad, and sometimes we don't. And what is the difference, and how do you tell in these supposedly easy to tell cases? Do you measure their madness on the scale of your own repugnance?

    I do not say these people are fine. Did you think I might? I say their relationship with others is in a bad way; do you disagree? The odd thing is that this view is not even controversial, merely old-fashioned. It is the basis of talk based therapy, that a personal relationship can be therapeutic, in a way that it is not when there is an organic illness. It is the first premise of the psychoanalytic tradition that the source of mental distress is the exigencies of civilised society. Bears do not become anal-retentive because they get to shit in the woods.
  • Wiser Words Have Never Been Spoken
    Now I'm in the embarrassing position of more or less agreeing entirely.csalisbury

    A fate worse than birth.
  • My research for college
    It would be helpful if you could put a clarification as to what for you distinguishes self from identity. The distinction is not fixed, and can be not at all distinct or interpreted in opposite senses, which might confuse your results.
  • The poor and Capitalism?
    So unenlightened, is that really what industry gives to the Third World? Environmental problems? Sweatshops? Nothing else? How do you add up these two parts of your commentary?ssu

    I've said some stuff. You say some stuff, and then we'll compare. But try not to create a straw man argument based on the virtue of the poor. People without legs don't run in the corridors, but it is not a great virtue.
  • The Shoutbox
    Never, ever, ever complain. Feedback is just a place to volunteer to be banned.

    A really good thread is one that is sufficiently vague that two or more commentators can get into a long argument without either of them quite knowing what the thread is about or whether they are agreeing or disagreeing with the op. Add a controversial but vague one-liner whenever they start to flag. Funk and Scallywag claim that an infinite thread is perfectly possible with this method.
  • The Shoutbox
    Is there a recommend time limit before creating a new thread. Should there be a thread cool down time? I know it isn’t wise to make a bunch of threads in a short amount of time. Can someone give me a time limit?Purple Pond

    Day 1. Think.
    Day 2. Post thread of polished pearls.
    Day 3. Reply to comments or add an elucidation as necessary.
    Day 4. Watch your pearls sink down the front page in a sea of mediocrity. Think on.
    Day 5. Start a new thread on the merits of stoicism.
  • The poor and Capitalism?
    One o' the best bits as it goes; N Wales, by the seaside. And today is bright sunshine and no wind, and the world and his brother are here for Easter, chips and ice cream. So it's not a personal thing at all.
  • The Shoutbox
    It was full of the stench of burning strawmen.

    Here is the secret to happiness.

    Juvenile humans have no consideration for themselves or others; they shit themselves and don't clean up.
    The options for mature adults are: -
    1, Clean up after them.
    2. Get rid of them.
    3. Live in shit.

    Option 1 is the best.
  • The poor and Capitalism?
    That’s peculiar? I visited last year and found it to be quite magnificent, beautiful, quiet, efficient and clean.I like sushi

    These things are relative, and I'm a miserable old whinger. But it depends where you come from. It's very hard to get away from the drone of traffic, and in most of the cities the air pollution is bad. Public transport is poor, and to be a pedestrian or cyclist in the city is dangerous and unpleasant. When I were a lad, most children walked to school. Now hardly any do. I imagine a visitor heads for the beauty spots and historic attractions that are well maintained rather than the abandoned steelworks and docks and the mouldering terraced houses of the old industrial towns.
  • The poor and Capitalism?
    Of course, there are many other issues at play in comparing first world and sub-Saharan African energy usages. Do you find this disparity congruent with your expectations of capitalism as it is, incongruent, or do you find other factors more important?boethius

    The UK, where I live, is a relatively crowded place, and relatively wealthy place. But it is not an entirely pleasant place to live. The man-made environment is ugly, noisy, polluted, stressful, unhealthy, and inconvenient. It is the result four submission to the 'necessities of production', where the methods are those of slash and burn agriculture - clear the land, suck the nutrients out of the soil, abandon and move on. Such is industry - it does not need to clean up after itself, and so finds it uncompetitive to do so.

    And so we live in each others' waste, and are only out of fear beginning to wonder if we need to. We have never much asked how we would like to live together. The necessities have always seemed inescapable, but this is only because they have happened without thought or plan, they are really just accidents. Capitalism is the rule of accident, of grabbing whatever has value, and dumping whatever has none. Socialism is making a plan, and making rules of behaviour to implement the plan. Or perhaps that is wrong entirely. I don't think it matters much whether it is those words or some other words i use to make a distinction that I think is more important than political convention.

    What is important is, for sure, to have modern medicine and dentistry, to have good communications, to have food and shelter, security, and a pleasant environment. Now the problem at the moment is that production is not making itself responsible for cleaning its own mess plastic in the sea, fumes in the city, pesticides in the countryside, CO2 in the atmosphere ... and if a rule is made here, industry will go elsewhere where there is no rule, because if one doesn't a competitor will. This is the industrial tragedy of the commons.

    But we manage, together, to regulate a water and sewage system according to rules, we manage to have a police and justice system, we regulate and limit ourselves in all sorts of ways to make our environment work, and with a little thought we can solve the problems we have not yet addressed. Perhaps you will not be able to pour petrol into your car, and fumes into the atmosphere any more, the way you are not allowed any more to pour waste chemicals into the rivers. And much will be made of a totalitarian nanny state infringing your God given liberties.

    Some fuckwit builder has poured his waste concrete into the sewer. This is what we are doing to the planet. Let's stop being so fuckwitted as to think there is some issue of liberty in such behaviour; it is an act of tyranny.
  • Philosophical Investigations, reading it together.
    Form-of-life > language-game > use > meaning.StreetlightX

    Greengrocery >banana wholesale purchase> "About how many hands to a box?"> how big are the bananas?

    Philosophy>realism demonstration> "Here is a hand," > meaningless.

    Primary school> naming of parts> "Here is a hand." > This part is called a 'hand'.

    Is this about right?
  • The poor and Capitalism?
    The 19 million inhabitants of New York State alone consume more energy than the 900 million inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa. The difference in energy consumption between a subsistence pastoralist in the Sahel and an average Canadian may easily be larger than 1,000-fold — and that is an average Canadian, not the owner of five houses, three SUVs, and a private airplane.

    Too much of a change, or moving the discussion on?
  • Why Free Will can never be understood
    Thinking that our free will and our sense of self is disconnected from that is both narcissistic and arrogantChristoffer

    if you have a cognitive bias towards believing determinism to be wrong, you will ignore those reasons and support.Christoffer

    This line of thinking is just naive.Christoffer

    that's fundamentally corrupt and biased.Christoffer

    Yeah, but don't hold back, dude, let me know when I'm wrong. It's good to know that someone out there is rational and measured.
  • Philosophical Investigations, reading it together.
    I've always disliked calling language-games 'contexts'StreetlightX

    Sorry, it was probably me that brought that in as something of a fudge between 'language game' and 'form of life'. I wonder if you might say a word about that distinction?
  • Invasion of Privacy
    First, thank you for sharing your story with strangers so eloquently, and in defiance of your paranoia. It shows both strength of character and provides a motivation for your particular theme.

    I think everyone has conflicting urges in this regard, on the one hand for being known, as fame or intimacy, and on the other for privacy and anonymity. A hundred years ago, most people lived in a small community - a village - and were so intimately known to their neighbours that keeping any secret was extremely difficult.

    And now the internet has produced a global village where secrets are equally difficult to keep. There are real moral issues around stalkers, vigilantes, gossips, and manipulators, but though the technology is new, the morality and immorality is not. Witch-hunts have a history.

    The US, and Objectivism in particular, has a great emphasis on the individual, as if every man is the pioneer building his own world alone with his bare hands, whereas China, say, or Europe, has a much more social, community based view of identity. This leads in turn to a rather rigid and intolerant identity in the US, such that any failure to thrive is seen as a personal failure rather than a social problem. One might say that the only social problem is that there are so many personal failures.

    So you may be resistant to the idea that the society you live in, or rather fail to properly live in, is set up to keep you out. Failure is privatised and success is publicised, and you are brought up in a shaming world the keeps you out and blames you for it. And a diagnosis of mental illness is the nearest thing to an exoneration you can get.

    If you want a theorist/therapist who makes a strong connection between childhood experiences and adult problems, Gabor Mate might be your man.
  • Houses are Turning Into Flowers
    How ironic that those who speak of physics are theologians in disguise.StreetlightX

    Why ironic? We replaced The Good Book with The Book of Nature; we didn't stop reading, (or writing). Of course the authority of physics replaced the authority of God, and of course it pretends otherwise. But we love Big Brother and we love the Bomb because serotonin is nature, as god is love, or something.

    I kinda think the otherness of science wrt religion is no more absolute than the otherness of flowers wrt houses. But maybe that's my brain turning to mush?
  • I think, therefore I am (a fictional character)
    "Fictional" is a kind of existence...
    — Harry Hindu

    I agree with this.

    I don't. Fiction exists in the usual way, but "fictional" is rather a kind of nonexistence. Sheila Potter, Harry's older sister, has no existence whatsoever despite that I have just conjured her. And Harry Potter has no existence whatsoever despite the fact that Rowling conjured him. Existence-wise, Rowling's creation and mine are on a par, despite hers having more sales.
  • Causality and historical events
    The concept works the same way as usual - the brick thrown causes the broken window - not the other way round, except indirectly - break my window and I might throw a brick at you, but not the throw that broke the window. But best not pretend that history is a science; there are no repeatable experiments, as initial conditions cannot be controlled.

    But my impression is that the general feeling about WW1. is that economic and political conditions made war inevitable 'sooner or later', and the assassination was more so a pretext or perhaps a trigger than a cause.
  • I think, therefore I am (a fictional character)
    Fictional characters may be said to to think, as they may be said to commit murders or wear pyjamas. But they don't wear pyjamas, nobody dies, and they don't think. Why make difficulties?
  • Philosophical Investigations, reading it together.
    This (post) is here.

    Well thanks for pointing that out un, I hadn't noticed. :roll:

    It seems a fucking weird thing to say, to me. The circumstance that makes it seem slightly less than totally redundant would be making a comparison between the parts diagram and pack contents of an Ikea bookcase, such that 'this' and 'here' are different 'realms'. "This (points at paper) is here (points at object)". Or conversely, pointing at the spire in a picture of Notre Dame, "this is not here", pointing at the remains of the cathedral.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Why do you play with that absurd fantasy?ssu

    Well because it is the foundational fantasy of democracy and I am an inveterate optimist. But I understand you are an elitist, so you don't have to play.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Play with this fantasy: "the people" is extremely smart. So smart that they are able to punish the democrats for their failure to be brave and radical in support of the people while at the same time making clear that, (a) republicanism is repugnant and does not command a majority, (b) a radical is what is required rather than a moderate, (c) don't expect me to vote for a venal, business as usual, bullshit candidate just because she's a woman.

    Now, assuming "the people" is smart, assuming they meant exactly what they said at the last election, and that they expect the democrats to learn some lessons, who you gonna put forward? Of whom I've seen from across the pond, Warren stands out as sensibly radical, and - dare I say in all naivety? - honest.
  • Why Free Will can never be understood
    I rest my case.NKBJ

    Feel free. :grin:
  • Why Free Will can never be understood
    Until you can explain to me what about the self could be free from determinism, your entire theory is based merely on wishful thinking.NKBJ

    No it isn't. I just told you my theory is based on what appears to be the case, that I can choose freely, not at all on what I wish. And whatever the basis of my theory which is hardly theory at all, it is in no way dependent on what I can explain to you, fortunately.
  • Why Free Will can never be understood
    When you take away biology, and you take away all the experiences of your life, WHAT is left of you that could make decisions?NKBJ

    I've never tried it. If you have, perhaps you can tell me, but your question is rhetorical, so of course you cannot, you merely show that you assume there is nothing, and cannot be anything.

    However we verify or falsify the argument, free will never find solid ground outside of an irrational belief system.Christoffer

    However we verify or falsify the argument, determinism will never find solid ground outside of an irrational belief system.

    However closely you examine the virtual world of a computer game, you will never find anything that violates the determinism of the program; you will never find any trace of the player, but only of his input, which you may see as 'either random or programmed'. But we know that people play games, and are more than their avatars.

    My position is simple. It appears to me that I make choices, and the making of choices entails that they are not already determined. This could be an illusion, but no one has presented the least reason to think it is an illusion. So just as I do not assume the sky is pink because it appears to be blue, so I don't assume that I cannot choose because it appears that I can.
  • Philosophical Investigations, reading it together.
    And this in turn leads to Witty's critique of the idea that a word's meaning is separable from a word's use: "As if the meaning were an aura the word brings along with it and retains in every kind of use." Which, is some sense, follows analytically from the equation of meaning and use that Witty's attempted to establish (if meaning is use, it obviously cannot be otherwise than that use).StreetlightX

    And yet words do have a aura that is the ghost of all the uses in all the games of the ancestors. This supernatural meaning is employed by poets and advertisers who say literally meaningless things that nevertheless convey - something that perhaps cannot be said explicitly. We talk about 'subtext' as well as 'context'.

    The inseparability of meaning from use must work both ways, so when I use 'supernatural' in this game, the aura of the Roman gods is somehow invoked, whether I intend it or not.
  • Why Free Will can never be understood
    Yes. I think this what the op is getting at. I suppose one could psychologise at this point as to why such a negation is so important. A terror of responsibility perhaps? I might do something, post something, at any moment that will change the world, and I don't have to, so I am responsible. It seems like a refusal to live, almost... But this is an illicit move in the philosophy game, so my opponents are entitled call 'ad hom'. I'm just amusing myself at their expense, while I wait for that justification.
  • Why Free Will can never be understood
    But those choices aren't "free" or untethered to determined causes.NKBJ

    That is the extra claim you make, that I do not. And you keep making it and not justifying it. I'm unsurprised, because I have never heard any justification in many years of such discussion.
  • Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris
    I can't buy into the argument, though, that Charles Manson was essentially fine and that I can't reliably tell him apart from the average man next door.Hanover

    Then don't make the argument. It's certainly not one that I make. One can fairly reliably tell the difference between a homosexual and a heterosexual. Diagnosis is not the the problem. You like going for the scary extremes don't you. I'm not that familiar with Manson, but if I remember, the case was actually very much to do with the social environment - the creation of an oppositional social sub-group, amplified by drugs. Rather a good example of how limited an understanding one gets from looking at individual behaviour in isolation. It's not that one cannot spot a murderous paranoid schizophrenic, or that one ought ideologically to pretend not to notice. And no one would be so silly as to try and suggest that. So remove the stuffing from your straw man and put it on the compost heap.

    What kind of social environments produce autism and catatonia?

    Also, if there are anatomical and/or physiological causes of atypical behaviour, and there is not a widely accepted general definition of the noun phrase "mental illness", would it be more appropriate to refer to neuro-behavioural typicality and atypicality?

    Indeed, I don't know how it goes generally, but my limited experience is that when an organic, neurological condition can be identified, one does not talk much about mental illness, but neuro-atypicality or disability, or some such, and one does not so much focus on treatment as on careful education and adapting the social environment. To be clear, I am saying that one should look at mental distress as relational, I am not saying it is all the environment, but that it is always in relation to an environment. Thus homosexuals still suffer distress because they still live in a society that condemns them. They are shamed, and that is traumatic, maybe depressing, etc.

    Again, PTSD is a condition defined as a neurological/physical change produced by the environment. It doesn't quite fit the Hanoverian serial killer paradigm, but is much more common. Childhood abuse, and the stress of combat -environmental factors - are typical causes, an neurological conditions are the result. Treatment may involve palliative drugs, talking (mind-changing?) cures, and special environments of quiet and safety.
  • Why Free Will can never be understood
    You haven't provided any substantive argument for why it wouldn't be so.NKBJ

    No. And you haven't provided any substantive argument for why it would be so. But I have the advantage that people make choices, and I don't need to explain it, merely notice it, whereas you need to explain it away.
  • Why Free Will can never be understood
    You make choices based on a mixture of your personal biology and past experiences. Take away those two things and there's nothing left of "you."

    There's nothing "free" about a free will, because it's just random and wouldn't be based on reason or values or experience or knowledge or anything. It would be chaos.

    You are just going round and round, declaring without argument that everything must be like this because it must be. And you don't notice that it isn't like that after all.
  • Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris
    Sure, it used to be considered a psychiatric illness to be homosexual, but it was hardly psychologists who first vilified homosexuals. They were pretty much just parroting the ideology of the times. Today's psychologists seem to be much farther left than right, being a force for greater human rights.Hanover

    Thing is, what this demonstrates is that there is no essential difference between mental illness and social stigma. And when I say 'essential' I mean a difference that allows psychologists, psychiatrists, philosophers or anyone else to reliably tell them apart. And that means, that when anyone talks about 'mental illness', they literally do not know whereof they speak. And that's why it is in quotes and should be in quotes.

    Now suppose the profession were to actually bite this bullet. Then we could stop talking about illness, and simply talk about distress as a manifestation of broken relationship. Perhaps we can ease the distress with drugs, perhaps we can work to make a better relationship. Perhaps the individual needs to change, or perhaps the environment needs to change. perhaps both. Not much would change, but the relationship between professional and client would change, and so everything would change.
  • Why Free Will can never be understood
    You'd have other reasons that caused your action, though.NKBJ

    And then you'd need to hypothesise a cause/reason why one reason was causal and the other was not.

    I call that cause my choice; my choice determines whether I act accord ing to this reason or that reason or no reason. But you want a cause for my choice...
  • Why Free Will can never be understood
    How do you figure that? Lottery numbers are generated by computers and those have algorithms. Definitely caused and determined.NKBJ

    No. I can pick my own numbers for my ticket.

    If a reason causes you to do something, then it is a cause.NKBJ

    Well yes, that's a bit tautological. But perhaps reasons are not the kind of thing that causes anything. It certainly seems that I can have a reason to do something and yet not do it.
  • Why Free Will can never be understood
    Your whim is still going to be influenced by the tastes of foods you know you like.NKBJ

    Maybe, maybe not. Maybe my lottery numbers are influenced by something or other, maybe not. I think it is a matter of faith that they 'must be'.

    But besides that, would you really want people going around making uncaused choices all the time?

    Oh, I didn't realise I had the choice. :joke: Can I suggest that reasons are not necessarily causes? I might choose an unknown flavour on one occasion, and stick with something I know I like on another. Each has its reasons.
  • Why Free Will can never be understood
    Well I can imagine never having had ice cream before, and having no idea what favourite would be. So I choose on a whim. Still my choice, still free, no?
  • Why Free Will can never be understood
    one must be able to make choices without being influenced by anything.TheMadFool

    Let's try to charitably understand this. I choose chocolate ice cream freely because I am only influenced by my liking for chocolate ice cream. If you have a gun to my head and promise to shoot me unless i choose vomit tutti frutti flavour, then my choice is not free, and I may well choose against my will and according to your will.

    Strictly speaking, I would say I am still free to defy you and your tutti frutti fascism, but there again, one must pick one's battles.
  • Why Free Will can never be understood
    I like to be naive about this. If I am not imprisoned, then I am free to come and go at will. I may be confined to bed by illness, or I may be confined to a cell at her majesty's pleasure. My freedom, however, extends to anything that is determined by my will, and not by circumstance.

    To pretend that there is no difference between being confined and being unconfined is merely to refuse to engage with the topic.

    The philosophical difficulty is that one has to believe that the past is completely determined, and that will completes this determination; but one has also to believe that one's decisions remain undetermined until one determines them. One can only decide anything on the basis that the decision is efficacious.

    There is a sense of 'determine' that means 'to find out'. Imagine the world as a computer game - fully determined in its internal workings, but requiring input from the player via a controller. These posts don't write themselves, do they?