Comments

  • Metaphilosophy: Historic Phases
    There's also the odd thing that it's not even true – it's like a robot shorting out and running a default message, even if it has nothing to do with what the interlocutor is actually saying. I mean, come on – 'a historical examination of the relation between rhetoric in the Athenian legal tradition as it relates to history? That's just more philosophy!' It's not even a coherent objection!Snakes Alive

    But do think it's interesting and para-philosophical - I mean, I was the one who introduced the relationship between litigation and philosophy early on in this thread! I think we're on the same page on a lot of this. What I object to is something that seems like a motte-and-bailey shuttling between bona-fide meta-philosophy & historical examination.
  • Metaphilosophy: Historic Phases
    You're just doing #2, though.Snakes Alive
    I wouldn't lose sleep if I was - I don't particularly care for the whack-a-mole, spot-a-fallacy vibe that's developing here & don't think avoiding snake's three is a constraint worth keeping ever in mind - but I think a close reading of what you've described as two and what my post says reveals a signficant difference. If you're settling into whacking, you're probably gonna get a lot of false positives for moles, its almost unavoidable.
  • Coronavirus
    it's a muck and a mess. it's just a mess.
  • Metaphilosophy: Historic Phases
    I like a lot of what you've been saying in this thread if taken in a weak, rhetorical sense. 'Agree' isn't really the right word, but I mean taking what you've said as conceptual offerings or rhetorical moves that help shake off some bad ideas, or limiting ways of thinking. (I don't mean 'weak' in a perjorative way but 'weak' as in 'not an overly rigid conceptual claim')


    At the same time, It feels like the line of thought you're pursuing will culminate eventually in (or at least require) a method of canonization where certain philosophers and works are considered part of the tradition, while others, who may seem to be philosophers, are actually doing something else. Newton & Natural Philosophy is one example of this, but I'm sure we could quickly multiply examples. But what is this? It's asking a 'what is x' question and then determining which things are and aren't x on the basis of whatever the answer is (if you're not doing that, and are simply looking at what's taught in philosophy classes today without establishing an essence, then all you can say is that only those things that are taught as philosophy today are taught as philosophy today.) You mentioned a religious analogy where philosophers will backpedal or re-cast their claims so they can never be shown wrong. There's also a robust religious tradition of editing received tradition (almost always baggy, multiform, all over the place) in order to draw out a single thread of continuity that links it all together with reference to the present state of affairs.This could look like Josiah justifiying his reign, but it could also look like showing a throughline from Jereboam to his descendants to trace an inherited corruption.

    there's a thin line between leaving philosophy 'standing up because you're tired of sitting' and a sons-eating-the-father thing which is a matter of wresting control through laying claim to a higher-order narrative. Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, UG Krishnamurti, Richard Rorty, Heidegger, Derrida and Laruelle all come to mind as people who it's unclear to what degree they're doing one vs the other.

    Another way to say this: It's possible that most of what's going on in this thread is well within the folk tradition. It increasingly seems that way to me.
  • Axiology: What determines value?
    @Shawn nothing substantial to say, but I like your pic.
  • Metaphilosophy: Historic Phases
    I also suspect that the very idea of a syllogism, or any kind of deductive argument set out in premises that implies a conclusion, has its roots in courtroom procedure. People noticed in getting people to make statements, that multiple statements, due to their natural semantics, had commitment relations to each other, and noticed that if you said one thing, you then had to say another, on pain of contradiction. This then became a model of reasoning.Snakes Alive

    That would make a lot of sense.

    Another thought: I think you can marry the agonistic and litigious aspects of philosophy in the general idea of laying claim to something. People compete to lay claim to truth. First, in the sense of legally establishing a claim to this or that.But also in the sense that one jousts, as as a show of strength or skill, to lay claim to the king's favor. (or the adulation of a teacher, or the public etc) think those two aspects ave been joined in philosophy for most of its history.
  • Coronavirus
    "Such is perhaps the most difficult challenge in a lockdown situation: to clear a space where to be on one’s own while already separated from the community. Being cooped up on a boat with a few others of course generates a feeling of estrangement, but estrangement is not solitude, and solitude is, in reality, what makes confinement bearable. And this is true even if one is already on one’s own. I noticed that what made my isolation extremely distressing was in fact my incapacity to withdraw into myself. To find this insular point where I could be my self (in two words). I am not talking here of authenticity, simply of this radical nakedness of the soul that allows to build a dwelling in one’s house, to make the house habitable by locating the psychic space where it is possible to do something, that is, in my case, write.

    I noticed that writing only became possible when I reached such a confinement within confinement, a place in the place where nobody could enter and that at the same time was the condition for my exchanges with others. When I was able to get immersed in writing, conversations through Skype, for example, became something else. They were dialogues, not veiled monologues. Writing became possible when solitude started to protect me from isolation. One has to undress from all the coverings, clothes, curtains, masks, and meaningless chattering that still stick to one’s being when one is severed from others."
    StreetlightX

    Yeah, I think I know what she's talking about. It sounds trivial, but it really is frustrating to just want to be home, like just be at home, and then have to either make small talk, or awkwardly remain silent every single time you have to go to the bathroom or make a sandwich. It makes my living room/kitchen feel like the break room at the office when there's just one other person there, you know that weird feeling?
  • Coronavirus
    You perhaps felt more acutely that we are just finding ways to occupy time, survive, maintain. Others who are used to routines and getting caught up in some sort of task, might have to be more introspective than they are used to. This causes mass existential questioning of life itself, purpose, and what the hell is the point of perpetuating it, maintaining it, dealing with it in the first place. Of course, existential reflection will just become a passing fad.. "That was so 2020" they might say.. Back to unreflective living it is.schopenhauer1

    that doesnt sound like my experience, but it does put me in mind of the revolving door of your thinking. i don't want to jump to conclusions, but maybe you're thinking of what you think about?
  • Coronavirus
    On the positive side, as very introverted person the stay-at-home order has made my job much more comfortable and enjoyable. I'm eating healthier and exercising regularly. Obviously this is not the case for many people, especially those who have lost their jobs. Silver lining, I suppose.darthbarracuda

    I've felt weird about this, but same. I've lost 6 pounds since this started (or to be precise, since when I started working at home the beginning of this month) I've felt happier and more relaxed. I *look* much better, almost dramatically so. I've felt significantly happier. I've been thinking about this - is it that I'm usually so morose and anxious with no clear cause that that makes me feel isolated - but when everyone feels similarly, I feel more connected?
  • Coronavirus
    Joining the conversation late so perhaps this has already been discussed; where I live there is a statewide quarantine until mid-April since last week, and I have been working from home since the week before. I suspect the stay at home order will be extended. Others I have talked to have predicted the same, but for how long seems to be up in the air. Some have said May, others June, and still other September and even November. Mid-April seems too early, but to extend it to November seems impossible to enforce and will tank the economy in ways that will ultimately hurt more people than the coronavirus itself would.

    What do people on here think? When do you expect things will begin to go back to "normal"?
    darthbarracuda
    gut take - I think April is going to be horrible. We're still at the beginning. It will get real, next month, when cases overwhelm hospitals. I think that will carry on into may and, at least, June. I think we'll all be collectively traumatized going into july. My guess, as of now, is August will be when things will start kind of adjusting to normal (where 'normal' means merely 'not a disaster') (obviously this is all wild speculation, but thats my spur of the moment reaction)
  • Coronavirus
    if i cant handle you at your skipped rock, i dont deserve you at your godspeed. this is perfect for right now, good play
  • Coronavirus
    hell yeah. I haven't talked frog eyes in a decade, cheers
  • Coronavirus
    One thing that always stuck with me: I remember my friend telling me about an interview with Mercer he read where Mercer talked about how whenever he hung out with his musician friends, he always had to 'be on' and be funny (iirc, he was talking specifically about camping trips ) because he was poor. They could relax, but he always had to be entertaining to prove his worth. I feel like you can feel that desperation for expression in his music. It's beautiful, but also sad.
  • Coronavirus
    That said, technically all capitalism is state capitalism, as Polyani pointed out long ago.StreetlightX

    Polyani rules, but this sounds like a blurb of a blurb. Polyani was cool, he was in it, he wrote what he experienced. If you've read The Great Transformation and are drawing from that, I apologize. The quote just feels like a skipped rock.
  • Coronavirus
    One of my favorite albums. Are you familiar with Spencer Krug's work in Frog Eyes?ZzzoneiroCosm

    I am! Tears of the Valedictorian. One of my big high school albums. Frog Eyes is by far the grimiest (in a good way) of all his projects, though, to be fair, that album's largely Carey Mercer. I saw Krug live, with/as Sunset Rubdown, a few times at the Middle East in Cambridge. i was 18 and 19 and those shows still mean a lot to me. Of all of his stuff, Dragonslayer is still my favorite album, but it goes too close to the nerve if I try to listen now. Too many hard memories bound up with it.
  • A Question About Kant's Distinction of the Form and Matter of Appearance
    fair enough, but i don't want you to leave thinking this is an AI question. I could have said 'Nike Airs' or even ' baseball cards' instead of 'computers', and it would have been the same point.
  • A Question About Kant's Distinction of the Form and Matter of Appearance
    ...through the process of apperception whereby the mind relates particulars to classes and categories. That kind of analysis even filters through into phenomenology and indeed cognitive science (there's such a topic as 'Kantian cognitive science'.)

    Think of it as underlying the structure of consciousness - the means by which knowledge organises itself into categories and intelligible relations. Then you begin to see more clearly the relationship of thought with the intelligible order - that mind grasps the ideas of things, whereas the senses grasp their material form to create a coherent whole (coherent meaning 'holding together').

    Where it's very difficult for us moderns to grasp, is that for us, the 'ideas' are identified as the activities of the brain, which itself is the product of evolutionary biology. So 'ideas' can't have any foundational reality if they're understood in those terms - they're a product, not a cause. Somehow - we presume according to broadly Darwinian principles - the capacity for ideas emerge in response to the requirements of natural selection. However I find that attitude irreducibly reductionist.
    Wayfarer

    I may be fanning my vanity, but I flatter myself I can understand both modern skepticism and appreciation of the scholastics. Wherever you stand, it's a fact that new things like, say, computers didn't exist from the beginning of time. Recognizing a computer as a computer, for a kantian, presupposes an existent concept [computer]. The raw matter of sense gets organized into the [computer] form. Only, there were no computers when Kant was alive. That form had to have developed at some point. How does that work? A lot of Kant has to be heavily modified or augmented for his stuff to work beyond mere recognition of a pre-existent conceptual web. I spent a couple years on Kant, & I truly don't think there's anything to explain this kind of idea-genesis in him. I like Kant, don't get me wrong, but you can see his limits here.
  • Coronavirus
    Anyone who has to do triage during the peak should get a full paid year off after this, at the very least. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
  • Coronavirus


    "There was a flood
    A world of water
    The mason’s wife
    Swam for her daughter.

    One thousand people
    Did what they could.
    They found the steeple
    And tore out the wood.

    Five hundred pieces
    Means five hundred float.
    One thousand people means
    Five hundred don’t."
  • Coronavirus
    jesus. What happens when the bed shortage mean 50000 uncared for? People die at home and in the streets? I guess that's already happening to some extent in Italy and Spain. This is ugly.
  • Metaphilosophy: Historic Phases
    I think that the magnitude of the attention-seeking is important, normal people normally seek attention from their surroundings - the poeple they interact with -, whereas philoshophers seek attention from the whole, which is normal, if you think of it, since philosophy, traditionally speaking, has to do with the whole: philosophers do not speak to normal or common people, but to this notion of the whole. Whoever undestands this, is on the same page with them, whoever not, is considered inadequate or simply not ready yet.Pussycat

    For sure. I feel like this is the source of the infamous arrogance of philosophers. I think it applies to a lot of types, but philosophers can be some of the worse offenders. At its simplest, its a devaluation of those around you combined with an over-valuation of the thing you're into. And then valuing or devaluing others depending on how well they can do the thing you're into. Again, I think this applies to all sorts of things, but I also think its true people into philosophy often do this more intensely (myself included, though I hope I'm getting better.)

    I do think @Snakes Alive's characterization of philosophy as a folk tradition is helpful, in this respect, because it helps brings everything down to earth.
  • A Question About Kant's Distinction of the Form and Matter of Appearance
    A form is what makes a thing 'this thing' as apart from 'that thing' - it confers identity. Whereas matter itself is indeterminate, it's simply the primal stuff which, until it 'receives' form, is not intelligible, because it has no kind, resemblance, principle, etc. Bear in mind, Aristotle's 'hyle' is derived from 'timber' i.e. 'that from which things are made or carved'; so it doesn't correspond with 'matter' in the modern sense of the elements of the periodic table.Wayfarer

    that's a really good way of breaking it down. Once a thing is seen 'as a thing', its fitted into a vast network of other things and their relations. Kant's limitation is that he has trouble considering consciousness (or, better, life, living) outside of this cognitive way of relating to things as instances-of. He also can't provide an account of where this network of things comes from - implicit in his system is that the whole cognitive complex has to have already been given, somehow. There's no way to account for novelty.
  • Coronavirus
    Transitioned to that same kind of arrangement sophomore year. My ex-girlfriend at the time began freshman year with that arrangement at well, but she was at a significantly more esteemed university than me. I think it's not uncommon, here, for freshmen to get the most cramped arrangements, then move on to better pastures. Don't know enough to say for sure though. I've also known a lot of people also just end up renting on the normal market outside university property.
  • Coronavirus
    We do, at least if we can afford the million dollars a year to attend. My freshman year of college there were three of us in a room about 2/3 of the size of my current bedroom, and I was paying about the same for lodging that I do now. Maybe a little more.
  • Coronavirus
    :up: :up: that's not a bad idea
  • Coronavirus
    Good question, what with us not living in the same room. I assume the term is some kind of manifestation of our great entrepeneurial spirit and for now I can only glimpse its significance through a glass darkly.
  • Coronavirus
    I have a dear abby question, corona related. My roommate's girlfriend has been here for three weeks now, has left the apartment maybe three times during this period, for an hour or so. If there had to be a roommate's girlfriend here for three weeks, she's not a bad one to have. Cleans up, goads my roommate to clean up. She's nice and friendly. Still, it's a two bedroom with an open concept main room (living room separated from kitchen by an island) and it's a little too small for three people to be there all the time. I've overheard her, a few times, explaining that she can't go home ( a couple hours north) because of the stay-at-home-order in Portland (which is a willful misinterpretation of what the stay-at-home-order is).I would prefer to have a couple days with no girlfriend, I like to be able to walk around in my boxers and bump loud music and sing along, every now and then, just to decompress. I talked to my roomate and said that if she is gonna be here full-time for the forseeable future, then we should all split rent and utilities (maybe not an equal three way split, but there has to be some sort of sharing of costs. She lives at home, up north, and has no rent or utility costs). He agreed and said he'd been thinking the same thing, but this was a week ago and nothing's come of it. The Dear Abby question is: what's the right course of action here?
  • Metaphilosophy: Historic Phases
    But yeah, let us entertain that thought, that philosophers are no truth seekers, no wisdom seekers either, that truth and wisdom are in fact myths promulgated by them, because in essence what they really are is attention seekers, what say you sally?Pussycat

    I'd been drinking the last time we talked. Looking back, I was surly and projecting. I'm an attention-seeker myself, so I'm probably more likely to diagnose others with the same. Still, even if I use philosophy as way of getting attention, I genuinely enjoy reading difficult texts alone, working them out., putting thoughts in order. So there's the attention-seeking aspect, and the material itself. The material can be used to get attention, but its almost like one subself using the work of another subself, the way a wheeler and dealer will leap on the work of a creative for his own gain. I guess that's the same with all things, and the relative weight of either part depends on the individual in question.

    I would still say that the thing of doing philosophy is something different than the pursuit of wisdom, though they may both be tributaries of something upstream. As has been said on this thread, there's a strong litigious element to much of philosophy. I also think there's a strong public-wrestling aspect to it. You see that even today in the most dry and academic of philosophy. There's an strong agonistic aspect that I think might be more central than the widsom-seeking aspect. Still, I don't necessarily think most philosophers are disingenuous in the sense they claim to do one thing, while secretly knowing what they're really doing. Analagously : a lot of finance guys probably really do believe the hayek-derived approbation of the freemarket and that allows them to do one thing, in real life, while telling themselves a parallel story that explains themselves to themselves in agreeable terms.
  • The Long-Term Consequences of Covid-19
    You're always asking for personal solutions to transpersonal problems. I don't have any answers for you. I don't have any answers for any particular people, and I am in no position to offer them. Here I just normalize a certain discourse, make it stock standard and create an atmosphere - make the obvious unobvious and the unobvious obvious. You do whatever you want or can.StreetlightX

    Fair enough, I don't think I disagree with most of what you've said in this thread, factually. I just tire of the viewpoint/approach, which feels like a passive attack on power, a report filed. I don't think it's helpful now, and things about the temporalty of capitalism etc - it seems to be a vestige of pre-all-this. I'll leave it there.
  • Coronavirus
    I would characterize your recent post history as something like : 1 won't happen. ok 1 happened, but 2, are you crazy? ok, 2 happened, but 3 would never happen, plus you're misreading 1. ok 3 happened, but 4 is crazy, and besides. Yes, of course 4, but that's to be expected, and you have to approach it in the right way, but 5?

    can we just collectively let go with being more level-headed than the next guy and deal with what's happening right now?
  • Metaphilosophy: Historic Phases
    If Schopenhauer was pissed with Hegel on those terms, he wouldn't have written WWR! A system is a system is a system. He was probably more upset with a lack of attention. Imagine two kids building two lego structures. Two prodigies at building lego structures building lego structures.
  • Metaphilosophy: Historic Phases
    By 'will', we normally think of what we want to do, but I think it is what we think is right, right to do, right in an absolute sense. When we are absolutely certain that a course of action, or thinking, was the correct one and could not be otherwise. But when we ponder on the same situation and think otherwise, then this conflict of wills becomes evident.Pussycat

    I think that's right. And I think, in that stroke, the whole idea of 'will' becomes void, like you said. Still. We live, and see what we do, and then reflect, and think we want to realign in a certain way, act in a better way. But if you self-tyrannize, and will yourself to will the right thing, that tends to backfire. So there's a new situation?
  • Metaphilosophy: Historic Phases
    But philosophically speaking, a lot of philosophers take the I to be a representation of the will, or Will, and to be one and only. And so there is this notion of "my will", pointing to something definite, if not quite. But of course, if there is a multiplicity of I's or Will's, then it makes no sense to talk that way.Pussycat

    sure, Schopenhauer it sounds like. What do you understand by 'will'?
  • Metaphilosophy: Historic Phases
    I think the multiplicity is itself a bright side! I'm slowly getting to know myself. That's good. And the bad sides of myself too. That's hard. But at least I'm learning the sides of myself my exes already knew, but that I hid from my own awareness.

    But what does this have to do with contempt for 'common people'?
  • Metaphilosophy: Historic Phases
    There is this thing called the 'I', as in an I for an I, for long thought to be one and in unity with itself. But then came Nietzsche and said that this I is not a simple, but a multiplicity of things. Anway, what do those untimely meditations of yours have to say?Pussycat

    I appreciate the wordplay - Hammurabai - Nietzsche - meditation -a Nietzsche work whose title includes that word.

    Yeah, I think the I covers a multiplicity. If you're used to identifying with a unitary I, that's weird and a big shift. If you're not, and have already accepted a fragmentary self, you're just at the beginning? It seems that way to me. Now you have a whole menagerie of voices and tones and personalities to attend to.
  • The Long-Term Consequences of Covid-19
    I agree. I do agree, with almost all of that. Through and through. But, jesus, there's something to this sort of thing that reminds me of a subselection of biblilical prophets. Yes, it's bad, really bad! But who is this complaint being lodged to??? It seems like a moral complaint, which it is, and which is legiimate - but what court is hearing it? There's no god, as with the prophets, so ---- who is this addressed to?

    I'm not content to smolder in the face of capitalism. how do we use this fuck you energy in a way that isnt a forum fuck you? I mean this. People are really coming together now. How to use it?
  • Metaphilosophy: Historic Phases
    Yeah, not discussing. I do think it can be partially shared, but not in that way.

    I've been meditating more and more regularly the past few months. I've noticed my chatter is very argumentative. It argues both sides of whatever topic it settles on (there are a lot of different voices and tones that crop up). Sometimes in a sustained back and forth. Sometimes its like catching fragments of a courtroom argument from a few blocks over, so you don't really see the whole thing. In any case, there's a lot of that. I don't know if that's a cause of me liking philosophy or an effect - it's been too long, so I can't remember what my chatter used to be like. Whatever the case, it's frustrating. It's really frustrating sometimes. I want it to stop, but I'm not in control of it. That might just be part of getting into meditating though? like you have to actually look at how out of control your inner conversation is before you can calm a bit.
  • Metaphilosophy: Historic Phases
    I agree with you about german idealism. It's something you contract, it clogs up your head. I was pretty ensorcelled by it for a long time and still recovering. What I mean though is they had this idea of 'intellectual intuition' which seemed like a reminder this was all missing the mark, only they made it a concept, sort of, instead of exiting.
  • On Brain Machine Interfaces
    I hear you man. Mental illness sucks. I hope you're riding this whole thing out ok. Message me anytime if you want. I've struggled with a lot of mental stuff - I can't promise I can give you good advice, but I can relate at least. In the meantime, stay safe.
  • The Long-Term Consequences of Covid-19
    I haven't spoken to so many strangers as I have in recent days, spontaneously, while going about things. Although that will probably change as we've just gone into partial lockdown here. But yes, there's a definite sense of concern for one another that's kind of hard to fathom as being in place at any other time. My dream is that this sense of mutual care gets translated into our ways of social organization, and prompts us to rethink what and how we value things as a society. There is, among all this horribleness, an opportunity to use that 'shimmer' as a window into that better world, I wish we knew how to take it.StreetlightX

    Yeah, but also here's a chance to figure out how to take it, right? If I was speaking with my phil-hat, I'd say something like, idk, we're offloading our responsibility on the subject-who-knows-how-to-take-it, assuming they'll fail. But that's us! We are actually that - we're actually the people this is affecting! This is a window, of sorts, how do we use it? The whole thing of : 'this would be great, if only' supposes someone other than us, equipped in the right way, would make use of it. Well - who is that supposed to be?

    We don't have to wish we knew how to take it - we can try to figure it out.