Comments

  • Currently Reading
    Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
  • The theory of everything; formulated so as to be indubitable and thus forming a final theory
    The system is Turing complete, hence must necessarily be comprehensive.Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay

    It is comprehensive with respect to computability. It isn't clear that phenomenological events conform to the computability hypothesis - at least it isn't clear to me.
  • The theory of everything; formulated so as to be indubitable and thus forming a final theory
    Ok. I get the bit about recasting epistemological problems in a well-defined, formalized symbolic logic. I think such formulations inherently are not comprehensive in themselves, but I understand your approach. The limitations I see are exemplified by your statement:

    So what then is the optimal implementation of the scientific method? Well, I suppose it depends on
    what we mean by optimal.

    You select an optimum standard that is mathematical in nature, but the whole nature of phenomenal qualia transcends mathematization.

    Then your derivation of physics from first principles goes over my head. However it also appears to be a highly specific application of your over-arching epistemology.
  • The theory of everything; formulated so as to be indubitable and thus forming a final theory
    The theory is 3 lines. Its simplicity is unbeatable. If people had actually read the paper and made the effort, they would have noticed that I severely exaggerated the difficulty.Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay

    Can you provide a descriptive summary of your conclusions and the implications of your theory in that case? Or maybe a copy of the PDF that doesn't require me to register online for the service.
  • The theory of everything; formulated so as to be indubitable and thus forming a final theory
    I am certain none here are able to understand the math (thats a given) but further can't even intuit let alone comprehend why the foundations of the theory are chosen as such, and why they make the endeavour possible, and its finalisation necessary, in the first place.Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay

    It seems to me that the better a theory is, the more explicable it should be. Generally, the more highly technical something is, the more restricted its scope. A theory of everything should encompass multiple (all) theoretical domains and so should be broadly, not narrowly, comprehensible.
  • Currently Reading
    Today on this auspicious 42nd anniversary of its publication, I'm re-reading

    Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
    180 Proof
    :up:
    Love me some Doug Adams.
  • Currently Reading
    Re-reading The Conscious Mind by David Chalmers

    I see it has a chapter on naturalistic dualism, which came up in a thread recently and relates to the A.N. Whitehead books I just finished.
  • Is this naturalist model of what happens after death coherent?
    Naturalism as I understand it embraces the idea that the comprehensive experience of cognition/thought is a feature of the universe, versus any kind of eliminativism or reductionism. Any speculation about what happens to that thought after physical death would be just that, speculation. Naturalism does not preclude emergence; in fact, it assumes it.
  • Currently Reading
    Adventures of Ideas by Alfred North Whitehead
  • Hobbies
    I assumed reading, writing, music and philosophy to be a given around here :smirk:darthbarracuda

    :rofl:
  • Hobbies
    Listening to music, writing and recording music. I started running again this summer after a three year layoff, I'll keep it up as long as my knees last. Reading, of course.
  • Is a constitution undemocratic? Is it needed to protect minority rights?
    Jurgen Habermas views constitutions as transformational documents aimed at addressing and redressing the most significant defects and deficiencies in the society that frames it. So constitutions can also be seen as the foundation and basis of laws. Constitutions are one way that democracy evolves under certain circumstances.....
  • Quips from Montaigne
    Just crossed paths with this one. To me, it seems more forceful if you drop the final, "from his fear": he who fears suffering already suffers.... It kind of like, when something is translated from one language to another, the translator can take liberties in search of the best meaning. Well, even speaking and hearing can be viewed as a kind of translation (of separate viewpoints). In fact, I just passed another comment where Montaigne says that words belong half to the speaker and half to the listener....

    :)
  • Quips from Montaigne
    ...things are sensed through the understanding, understood through the senses. p. 1257
  • Philosphical Poems
    This isn't a poem, strictly speaking. However it is some of the most lyrical prose that I have ever read. More so in that the lyricism survives or transcends translation, perfectly bridging form and content. It is from Fichte's Vocation of Man:

    Shall I eat and drink only that I may hunger and thirst and eat and drink again, till the grave which is open beneath my feet shall swallow me up, and I myself become the food of worms? Shall I beget beings like myself, that they too may eat and drink and die, and leave behind them beings like themselves to do the same that I have done? To what purpose this ever-revolving circle, this ceaseless and unvarying round, in which all things appear only to pass away, and pass away only that they may re-appear unaltered;—this monster continually devouring itself that it may again bring itself forth, and bringing itself forth only that it may again devour itself?

    This can never be the vocation of my being, and of all being. There must be something which exists because it has come into existence; and now endures, and cannot again re-appear, having once become such as it is. And this element of permanent endurance must be produced amid the vicissitudes of the transitory and perishable, maintain itself there, and be borne onwards, pure and inviolate, upon the waves of time.

    Our race still laboriously extorts the means of its subsistence and preservation from an opposing Nature. The larger portion of mankind is still condemned through life to severe toil, in order to supply nourishment for itself and for the smaller portion which thinks for it;—immortal spirits are compelled to fix their whole thoughts and endeavours on the earth that brings forth their food. It still frequently happens, that when the labourer has finished his toil, and promises himself in return a lasting endurance both for himself and for his work, a hostile element will destroy in a moment that which it has cost him years of patient industry and deliberation to accomplish, and the assiduous and careful man is undeservedly made the prey of hunger and misery;—often do floods, storms, volcanoes, desolate whole countries, and works which bear the impress of a rational soul are mingled with their authors in the wild chaos of death and destruction. Disease sweeps into an untimely grave men in the pride of their strength, and children whose existence has as yet borne no fruit; pestilence stalks through blooming lands, leaves the few who escape its ravages like lonely orphans bereaved of the accustomed support of their fellows, and does all that it can do to give back to the desert regions which the labour of man has won from thence as a possession to himself. Thus it is now, but thus it cannot remain for ever. No work that bears the stamp of Reason, and has been undertaken to extend her power, can ever be wholly lost in the onward progress of the ages. The sacrifices which the irregular violence of Nature extorts from Reason, must at least exhaust, disarm, and appease that violence. The same power which has burst out into lawless fury, cannot again commit like excesses; it cannot be destined to renew its strength; through its own outbreak its energies must henceforth and for ever be exhausted. All those outbreaks of unregulated power before which human strength vanishes into nothing, those desolating hurricanes, those earthquakes, those volcanoes, can be nothing else than the last struggles of the rude mass against the law of regular, progressive, living, and systematic activity to which it is compelled in opposition to its own undirected impulses;—nothing but the last shivering strokes by which the perfect formation of our globe has yet to be completed. That resistance must gradually become weaker and at length be exhausted, since, in the regulated progress of things, there can be nothing to renew its strength; that formation must at length be completed, and our destined dwelling-place be made ready. Nature must gradually be resolved into a condition in which her regular action may be calculated and safely relied upon, and her power bear a fixed and definite relation to that which is destined to govern it,—that of man. In so far as this relation already exists, and the cultivation of Nature has obtained a firm footing, the works of man, by their mere existence, and by an influence altogether beyond the original intent of their authors, shall again react upon Nature, and become to her a new vivifying principle. Cultivation shall quicken and ameliorate the sluggish and baleful atmosphere of the primeval forests, deserts, and marshes; more regular and varied cultivation shall diffuse throughout the air new impulses to life and fertility; and the sun shall pour his most animating rays into an atmosphere breathed by healthful, industrious, and civilized nations. Science, first called into existence by the pressure of necessity, shall afterwards calmly and carefully investigate the unchangeable laws of Nature, review its powers at large, and learn to calculate their possible manifestations; and while closely following the footsteps of Nature in the living and actual world, form for itself in thought a new ideal one. Every discovery which Reason has extorted from Nature shall be maintained throughout the ages, and become the ground of new knowledge, for the common possession of our race. Thus shall Nature ever become more and more intelligible and transparent, even in her most secret depths; and human power, enlightened and armed by human invention, shall rule over her without difficulty, and the conquest, once made, be peacefully maintained. This dominion of man over Nature shall gradually be extended, until, at length, no farther expenditure of mechanical labour shall be necessary than what the human body requires for its development, cultivation, and health; and this labour shall cease to be a burden;—for a reasonable being is not destined to be a bearer of burdens.
  • Philosphical Poems
    Late-night/Early-morning

    Restless resolutions steal my safe, considered self away
    Dislodging what I think I feel to make it possible today.
    No mysteries to give me pause (constructed so that I might hide!)
    Only the grip of iron claws that drag me to a world inside.
    And yet, more beautiful it seems to cease to wonder evermore,
    And be ruled by a world of dreams whose universe is in their core.
    The sparrows and the robins soft are calling to th'awakening morn;
    Before they can be borne aloft, within their songs my dreams are born.
  • Quips from Montaigne
    He who does not live at all for others hardly lives at all for himself p. 1138
  • Quips from Montaigne
    I am loath even to have thoughts which I cannot publish. p. 953

    Now there's a standard
  • Currently Reading
    Science and the Modern World by Alfred North Whitehead
  • The Metaphysics of Poetry
    I thought philosophy was kind of the boon that the self-recognition of creative thought conferred on itself? Like the worst day being a philosopher is better than the best day actually working? Even if you do have to drink hemlock sometimes....

    edit:
    This is interesting. I recently read a book by Collingwood that made me want to read all of Whitehead's works on process philosophy, so I bought Science and the Modern World, and another book that hasn't arrived yet. I've been wanting to read it but the Essays I'm reading now is a huge book, so I'm focussing on finishing it. This little chat inspired me to sneak a peak at the Whitehead though. The first line of the foreward:

    It has been said of nineteenth-century English Romantic poetry that it enshrines the best English-Language philosophy....When, by the early nineteenth century, the powerful industrial confluence of science and technology had rendered cosmic disenchantment the inevitable fate....

    Sounds exactly like the kind of creation of the poetic sensibility by the dominant spirit of the culture that we were discussing.
  • The Metaphysics of Poetry
    I think philosophy has got to the point where the mundane is preferred to the magnificent.Jack Cummins

    Hmm. I do you think it is a linear progression over time though? Or are we all not simply creatures of the world into which we have been born? I have a small book on the American Transcendentalist thinkers. The introduction describes in detail how this transcendentalist mode of thought linked with the historical events of the American Revolution and Civil war, how there was a general atmosphere of cataclysmic upheaval and the overturning of the all accepted social meanings, and it was this that led to the transcendentalist point of view being so genuinely embraced.

    Perhaps we are waiting for the next great event to spawn the next great evolution of philosophical thought?
  • The Metaphysics of Poetry
    There was, of course, the tradition of metaphysical poets, such as John Donne, but it was a very specific worldview and probably not one which could be seen as truly objective.Jack Cummins

    Metaphysical poetry is based on the conceit of juxtaposing the sublime and the mundane. Isn't that the challenge of metaphysics itself? Trying to express what is beyond the mundane, through the terminology of the mundane....
  • Quips from Montaigne
    :up:

    ...there is no more reliable witness than each man is to himself. p. 711

    Since men are not intelligent enough to be adequately paid in good coin let counterfeit coin be used as well. p. 715
  • Conceiving Of Death.
    People try to remember the dead. I often wondered, why not remember the living, but the dead?Corvus

    I have a saying I came to from sad experience: treat each person the way you will wish you had when they are gone,
  • Conceiving Of Death.
    "A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave....I am now ready to leave, regretting nothing except life itself....Death is the origin of another life....is it reasonable to fear for so long something which lasts for so short a time?"
    ~Montaigne, "To Philosophize is to Learn how to Die"
  • Zhuangtsu's Insight on Death: Some more Translations
    "A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave....I am now ready to leave, regretting nothing except life itself....Death is the origin of another life....is it reasonable to fear for so long something which lasts for so short a time?"
    ~Montaigne, "To Philosophize is to Learn how to Die"
  • Currently Reading
    This book cries out for reading group.Corvus

    Yes, that's probably true, it looks....dense.
  • Does causality exist?
    "Teleology is only mechanism turned upside down"

    Collingwood's description of Bergson's metaphysics of creative evolution.
  • Currently Reading
    Nice, me too. :up:
  • Currently Reading
    The Complete Essays of Michel De Montaigne

    this is going to take a while, studying the nature of human thought through self-exposition...
  • Can we see the brain as an analogue computer?
    There are also neural networks that simulate brain function at a neuro-chemical level (which would be analog-equivalent, I guess), however they are less efficient than traditional 'high level' designs...
  • Currently Reading
    My copy, as I type, even closer than my coffee-cuptim wood

    :up:
  • Could Science Exist Without Philosophy? (logic and reasoning)
    ...a scientist who has never philosophized about his science can never be more than a second-hand, imitative, journeyman scientist. A man who has never enjoyed a certain type of experience cannot reflect upon it; a philosopher who has never studied and worked at natural science cannot philosophize about it without makng a fool of himself.
    ~R.G. Collingwood, The Idea of Nature, Introduction, "Science and Philosophy"
  • Currently Reading
    The Idea of Nature by R.G. Collingwood

    Looks "phenomenal"..... :)
  • Zhuangtsu's Insight on Death: Some more Translations
    Torture is the way to awesome
    — Some guy
    TheMadFool

    For the guy doing the torturing?
  • Zhuangtsu's Insight on Death: Some more Translations
    Leave me guessing, huh?TheMadFool

    I can only surmise that, qua conscious beings, we are composed of experiences and beliefs. So perhaps experiencing the magnificent uncertainty of death is the key to spiritual evolution. Much of my own personal growth has been linked in one way or another to an immersive awareness of the profound finality of death. To quote one of my favourite movies (that I just watched again on the weekend as it happens): Death is the road to awe.
  • Zhuangtsu's Insight on Death: Some more Translations
    Gilgamesh fails of course and that was the core message of this workTheMadFool

    Gilgamesh joins the immortal pantheon after he dies....kind of fits with something I've recently been toying with, are we spiritual beings "in-training"? Perhaps what is traditionally called the soul has its material birth....
  • Currently Reading
    The Epic of Gilgamesh - the most ancient recorded story

    For anyone who enjoys Dickens or Victorian literature or just a good fiction, The Eustace Diamonds is quite a gem. I could not put it down.