• What Philosophical School of Thought do you fall in?
    I identify with the darthbarracuda school of philosophy, I think - maybe.Thinker

  • What Philosophical School of Thought do you fall in?
    I prefer not to identify myself with any "schools" or "movements". It smells too much of dogmatic traditionalism. The map is confused for the territory, the "way things are" is not identifiable or reducible to a single person's name. "Reality" is more mysterious and withdrawn. The names of metaphysical systems, the terminology and structures, all of this makes them works of art. Even if they are ultimately right, it would still be wrong to call reality by these names.

    But this indeterminacy is apparently intolerable, so people divide themselves up into different groups, all with their special idols and "masters". It goes beyond the pragmatic use of terms for ease of communication and into a realm of competition, so it's no longer about what "reality" is like but more about who can outsmart everyone else. Belonging to a group of fellow idolizers makes you feel like you're a part of something bigger, a tradition, and that you have "superpowers" of sorts - you "see" the world "differently" than the "other" people.

    So let's be clear here: "reality", the "way things are", is not identical to a person's name. The world is not "Aristotelian" or "Platonic", it's not "Deleuzian" or "Schopenhauerian", it's not "Hegelian" or "Kantian", it's none of these things. Aristotle might have been right about the four causes but that doesn't make the world "Aristotelian". Schopenhauer might have been right about the "Will" but it doesn't make the world "Schopenhauerian". Labeling reality like this seems to be an affront to reality itself. It means you believe that you, or your idol, is a master of reality, and that reality answers to this.

    If someone comes along and tells me "your thought is very Aristotelian!" or "you sound like a Heideggerian!" I will tell them I have no need for these labels outside of basic communication. I don't need to be a "part" of any tradition, I don't want to be a part of any tradition, and it's a mistake to identify reality with these labels, so take your names and shove off. Stop trying to make reality something that has a determinate identity, as if someone has a monopoly on reality. How nauseating it would be if the way things are is intrinsically and timelessly linked to someone's name! It's absurd!
  • Is Agnosticism self-defeating?
    You can, but then you're arguing for global skepticism, not agnosticism.Michael

  • How would you live if you were immortal?
    I'd wonder if I really was immortal. What if there was something that could kill me? How could I ever know I really was immortal unless I were God?
  • Achieving Stable Peace of Mind
    My hope is that the same 'over-evolved' brain that finds despair in lack of meaning can move past this dilemma in a positive way.CasKev

    You might be interested in the work of Colin Feltham. He's a psychologist and counselor who is working in the field of depressive realism, with an emphasis on integrating the thought of Peter Zapffe.

    He's certainly not one of those positive psychology people, but he is trying to find ways of coping with the human condition that isn't disingenuous or fatal. I think one of the things he critiques Zapffe on is his underappreciation of love and intimacy.
  • What are we trying to accomplish, really? Inauthentic decisions, and the like
    I think you are correct that most of life is a repetition of boring events. We go through the motions of life out of habit and inertia. In my own experiences, what makes life vibrant and fulfilling is usually precisely what is not the case: possibilities. Anticipation gives life its color, the expectation of a future metamorphosis keeps us going, even if this future never actually materializes.

    For example, I may program and code, with a cup of coffee next to me and earbuds in, listening to some sort of space ambient music or science-fiction music. It really pulls me out of "reality" and into a different one, the world of the what-if. What if I was on a space-faring vessel, exploring some distant star cluster, away from the political bullshit on Earth, the impending environmental disaster, the rampant suffering and decay? I think people live in this world of the what-if more than actual "reality". They spend more time dreaming than acting, because dreaming doesn't come with limitations. People take drugs to escape reality. They browse social media to escape their responsibilities.

    I think, even if we can formulate a coherent philosophical pessimism that denounces "life", phenomenal existence, or whatever, we'll all have "good" days, where the world seems a bit more welcoming than usual. We get seduced into loving the world even if there's that little whisper in the back of our minds reminding us of the antelope being eaten alive in the savanna, the inevitable heat death of the universe or the fact that I didn't study for my exam this coming Wednesday. And I guess I would say that this is just who we are, it's in our nature to do this. It reminds me of Werner Herzog's brief bit about the harmony of the universe, and how he loves the forest even against his better judgment.

    Probably a generic rule of thumb of the cosmos would be that it cannot satisfy everyone. For every state of affairs, there's always going to be someone for whom it doesn't quite live up to expectations or requirements. The affirmative attitude marginalizes these people, making it seem as though it is their fault that they find existence to be faulty.

    Part of the Heideggerian care structure is the world, which is defined as the system of purposes and meanings that organizes our activities and our identities and within which things make sense to us. There are ready-at-hand entities (equipment), that have a reference towards-which (work), which is for-the-sake-of-which (a possibility of Dasein's Being), or for-Others, etc. The angst, the anxiety, comes from the moments when we ask for what sake do we ourselves exist and do all the things we do. It's a void of meaninglessness in which the nothing "nihilates" our contextual meaning, our world. Nothing matters anymore, it's all just very ephemeral and pointless.
  • The problem with Brute Facts
    So you can think the statement "The triangle is a circle", or you can speak it or write it down. The collection of qualia, sounds, or ink marks on paper is consistent and exists, but it does not refer to anything.litewave

    Are you sure that they don't refer to anything? How can we coherently talk about something without having a representation of it in our minds? How can something be absent in our minds and yet still we talk about "it"?
  • Does "Science" refer to anything? Is it useful?
    Yes, I have read Haack and am in a lot of agreement with her. However I have found from my own reading that she calls science a loosely-organized federation of disciplines, and I can't help but wonder why, then, do we need the word "science" anyway and risk the sort of rampant scientism we have today?
  • Hedonism and crime
    If well-being and morally good are not connected, how can hedonism be a moral theory?WISDOMfromPO-MO

    It can be the axiological foundation of a consequentialist theory that would take the value of a population as more important than the value of an individual's experiences, as a population is merely a conglomeration of individual experiences, with all individuals being equal to each other.

    Or you can focus more on negative experiences, and say that the pleasure that comes from killing people cannot be morally good because it causes negative feelings in others.

    Like I said, rational self-interested hedonism =/= morality.
  • Does "Science" refer to anything? Is it useful?
    There can't be scientism if there isn't any science! >:O
  • The problem with Brute Facts
    The ultimate reason for why anything exists is logical consistency. What is existence anyway, if not logical consistency?litewave

    But how do you explain the fact that we can think about impossibilities? Do these acts of thinking not really exist?
  • Hedonism and crime
    So if killing people is pleasurable to a serial killer then his well-being is increased by killing people, and, therefore, his killing people is morally good?WISDOMfromPO-MO

    No, at least not necessarily. There's a difference between saying taking pleasure in killing people is good for the person doing the killing, to saying the fact that the person kills people and takes pleasure in it is morally good.

    What is good for someone may not always be what is morally good.
  • The problem with Brute Facts
    That there is some reason why God, the universe, mind, etc cannot not exist.Marchesk

    But why does this reason exist? And why does the reason that this reason exist also exist? If something is necessarily existent - why is it necessarily existent? "Brute" facts seem more like cowardice and obscuration than genuine, honest belief.
  • The problem with Brute Facts
    I'm only speculating, but it seems to me that if we try to label, describe, or otherwise identify something as "brute", we have only pushed the explanation back even further. If, let's say, "mind" is "brute" - then what makes mind mind? If God is fundamentally the fundamentality of fundamentality, then what makes it the case that God is God? If the ultimate reality is, say, the Will, does it even make sense to say that the Will is "striving"? How would it be striving? How would be even come to conceptualize what this "striving" amounts to?

    The only way out that I see is some form of infinite regress out of necessity (but what is necessity if not a brute fact?) We could say that the "brute fact" is ABCD, and if we try to analyze what "brute fact" amounts to, we'll end up with ABCD as well. A circular but infinite explanation. Sort of like saying everything can be divisible an infinite amount of times.
  • God and the tidy room
    In other words, no one is reaching the conclusion that people were involved simply because the room, the furniture, etc. are there. We're reaching the conclusion because we know something about how rooms, furniture and so on are made.

    With the Earth, trees, etc. there's zero evidence that anyone makes them. The evidence rather suggests that they're made entirely by natural/not-person-made phenomena.
    Terrapin Station

    Exactly. Just because some things are designed does not make all things designed.
  • Why Is Hume So Hot Right Now?
    Does the Academic appreciation of Hume reflect honest philosophical consideration, or is it merely determined by the Academia's leftist/atheist bias?Agustino

    Or maybe the coherency of Hume's arguments is a reason for Academia's leftist/atheist "bias"?
  • The Shoutbox
    Just a stab in the dark, but does anyone know of any philosophical work on the essence of science fiction? I'm particularly interested in the common tropes and leitmotifs that build the characteristic "aesthetic" of science fiction. For example, the emphasis on technology (Heidegger would probably be relevant with his discussion on presence-at-hand), an almost religious conception of science and exploration as the penultimate purpose of human society (kind of like a form of scientism), xenophobia, the "mysterious" nature of space, the unstable and unsure future of humanity, dark forces from the "beyond" that add to the intrigue, etc etc etc. Probably the best example of what I'm talking about is Mass Effect, but also Star Trek and some of the recent space exploration movies.
  • On What Philosophical Atheism Is
    Premise 2. There is no scientific explanation about God.
    Conclusion. There is no reason to believe in God.
    some logician

    This does not follow. You must show that only a "scientific" explanation is a reason to believe in something. There are other reasons for believing in God that are not "strictly scientific", like personal experience, theological demonstrations, etc. God, by definition, is usually thought to be supernatural, or "transcendent" and cannot be studied "scientifically" - to demand that God be subjected to "scientific" inquiry is to sneak in a naturalism of sorts, a naturalism that may be defensible but certainly has not been defended here.

    It's also not clear what "science" even is. It's a buzzword - everyone apparently "knows" what science is, but as soon as you actually ask them what the hell science is it's never quite straightforward or clear. Probably because there is no self-evidently obvious definition of science.
  • Is rationality all there is?
    I was just wondering if rationality as a tool for philosophy has ''failed'' us. Should we not try out, for example, Taoist/Zen paradoxical thinking? Why not launch an all-out attack on our sensibilities and reason? Pressurize reason and expose the all-seeing, all-comprehending mind-eye, the true seat of all understanding.TheMadFool

    How would we know the answer to this except through reason?