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What's the point of philosophy any more?
RE: What's the point of philosophy any more?
Here's a perfect example of why philosophy is fascinating and awesome:





Philosophy is great because it gets you thinking. It's like a gymnasium for the brain. It's no wonder science came out of it. If we stopped to say we don't need it anymore, it would be a way to stop thinking as much. Some people say that's a good thing and that philosophers overthink things. Personally I think most folks underthink things.


Even better:





^ Addressing the exact topic Big Grin
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RE: What's the point of philosophy any more?
(March 27, 2018 at 10:33 am)Khemikal Wrote: Seems legit.  What's an example of the set being compared against her example, though?  Let's posit she's in a set with others we'll call "the good ones™".  Who's in the other set?

OK yeah just come across an example. At risk of derailing the thread ... Nick fucking Bostrum. Although I wasn't even thinking of him as a philosopher to be honest, more a futurist (read someone who looks at pop science and creates hype about it to garner interest and makes themselves look important at the expense of everyone else putting in the hard graft and making genuine progress. Some scientists do this as well instead of actual science. A pox upon them all).

Although I wouldn't want to use this as an example of why philosophy as a field is redundant, because as you are all going to point out, he is actually asking the right philosophical questions. He's just making a balls-up of it. But it does serve as an example of why philosophers need to know the subject that they are talking about and the best way to get this knowledge is through experience.

Thanks to ignoramus for the link:

https://atheistforums.org/thread-54108-p...pid1724881
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RE: What's the point of philosophy any more?
(March 27, 2018 at 2:30 am)Mathilda Wrote: But you have never once given any evidence that there is anything more to the mind than the workings of the brain. All the evidence we have from neurodegenerative diseases, brain lesions and neuroscience suggest there is indeed nothing more.

Give me evidence that reality isn't idealistic, or that we're not in the Mind of God or the Matrix. Give me evidence that you're not a figment of my imagination.

You're using the vocabulary of a world view that's already decided. You've made your philosophical choice, and now all the semantics of that choice point back to it. But circles aren't really conclusions.

I'd say this: show me a single bit of evidence that you have that has not been processed through the agency of subjective experience. There's no such thing. The physical world is, so far as you are concerned, an idea which you've experienced. The brain, so far as you are concerned, is a collection of images and sense impressions. Your teacher who taught you-- is that person really existent in the sense that you treat him?

We believe that the truth of the Universe is that it is made up of suirrely little buggers aka quantum particles, which have no definite shape, location, or even position in time. That's 100% of the Universe as we currently understand it: all nothing more than wave functions which cannot be represented unambiguously in either space or time. Are you so sure that your world view of stuff and properties of stuff is really better than a world view in which everything, including "stuff," is a collection of ideas and experiences, and nothing more?
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RE: What's the point of philosophy any more?
(March 28, 2018 at 10:24 am)bennyboy Wrote: Give me evidence that reality isn't idealistic, or that we're not in the Mind of God or the Matrix.  Give me evidence that you're not a figment of my imagination.

You're using the vocabulary of a world view that's already decided.  You've made your philosophical choice, and now all the semantics of that choice point back to it.  But circles aren't really conclusions.

I'd say this: show me a single bit of evidence that you have that has not been processed through the agency of subjective experience.  There's no such thing.  The physical world is, so far as you are concerned, an idea which you've experienced.  The brain, so far as you are concerned, is a collection of images and sense impressions.  Your teacher who taught you-- is that person really existent in the sense that you treat him?

We believe that the truth of the Universe is that it is made up of suirrely little buggers aka quantum particles, which have no definite shape, location, or even position in time.  That's 100% of the Universe as we currently understand it: all nothing more than wave functions which cannot be represented unambiguously in either space or time.  Are you so sure that your world view of stuff and properties of stuff is really better than a world view in which everything, including "stuff," is a collection of ideas and experiences, and nothing more?

Sure there's always that possibility. In the same way there's a possibility that if I jump out the window I won't become a two dimensional smear on the pavement below. But I'm not going to take that risk. I take the stairs or the lift because I know that they work and can understand how and why.

You can wonder all you like about non-falsfiable non-definable ideas, but if you actually want to make any sort of progress and achieve something that is even vaguely useful to someone else, you need to deal with reality as best can be measured and reproducibly tested and not make any implicit assumptions not born out by the evidence. You also need to use unequivocal definitions. Because that's the only way that you can make any progress. By using what works in practice.

If you disagree with this, you tell me how you would determine whether you exist in the Mind of God, exist in a Matrix or that everyone else is a figment of your own imagination to the point where you could reliably convince everyone else enough to find out for yourselves and come to the same conclusion. Because the more people with their own individual subjective experience who can critically examine the same evidence and hypotheses and have it still survive, the more confident we can be that they are correct.

There are reasons why the scientific method works.
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RE: What's the point of philosophy any more?
(March 28, 2018 at 11:30 am)Mathilda Wrote: If you disagree with this, you tell me how you would determine whether you exist in the Mind of God, exist in a Matrix or that everyone else is a figment of your own imagination to the point where you could reliably convince everyone else enough to find out for yourselves and come to the same conclusion.

To start with, I'd use science to determine to the best of my ability what the Universe is made up of. Then I'd discover that at the finest resolution, the Universe is 99.9999999% empty, and that the 0.00000001% that might consist of something cannot be represented unambiguously in time and space. I would come to the conclusion that we live in a world of information, not of stuff, and that the stuff we perceive is necessarily representational of information, and not vice versa as seemed intuitive to me.

Having established with 100% certainty that the Universe is not, and cannot, be as I perceive it, I would begin to doubt very much that there is any point in defining reality except in the context of certain sets of perceptions, or as defined by certain axioms. I'd make sure that whenever I talked about truth, I'd always reference the philosophical choices which are axiomatic to the context I'm working in, so as not to conflate truth in one context with that in another.

For example, it's true on the daily level in which I normally function that Brenda in the office is a fucking bitch. I do not believe that is likely to be true at the quantum level, or at a cosmic level. I would be upset to the extreme if, in studying QM, I found any vestige at all of the truth that Brenda-is-a-fucking-bitch.


So, I wouldn't say that we are literally in the mind of a Biblical creator God, because that's clearly a bunch of made-up bullshit. But I think God as a metaphor for the way the Universe is, and the degree and manner to which we are forced to interact with it, would be a fair enough view.
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RE: What's the point of philosophy any more?
It;s entirely possible that you've lost the pulse when it comes to anything up above.   

It would be a shame if you did so because of one little idea that makes you uncomfortable.....you poor calculator, you.   Wink

Point of fact - that aint philosophy, it's what turns people off about it.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


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RE: What's the point of philosophy any more?
(March 29, 2018 at 1:10 am)Khemikal Wrote: It;s entirely possible that you've lost the pulse when it comes to anything up above.   

It would be a shame if you did so because of one little idea that makes you uncomfortable.....you poor calculator, you.    Wink

Point of fact - that aint philosophy, it's what turns people off about it.

Good point. I've made no effort at all to tie in my philosophical beliefs to sensible observations-- it's all just made-up hooey.
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RE: What's the point of philosophy any more?
(March 20, 2018 at 7:01 am)Mathilda Wrote: So can or should philosophy continue to exist as a field in its own right or should it be restricted to be part of the scientific process? What's the practical use of pure philosophy when it is not part of the scientific process? Other than, that is, it's use as a form of mental exercise.

I think you are making a straw man, drastically oversimplifying and misrepresenting philosophy as a whole. For one, philosophy is divided into many various fields, each of which has specific goals. It also has direct relevance in a number of other important fields. Second, the questions posed by philosophy are typically well-conceived and directly relevant to our understanding of truth itself. Third, the main "practical use" of philosophy lies in its rigid, systematic use of the self-evident rules of logical inference, without which it would be impossible to think correctly or even make sense of reality. Yes, scientists are quite capable of reasoning logically and applying logic to their findings, but in my personal experience, people with training in philosophy proper are somewhat better at identifying critical problems with fundamental assumptions and logical impossibilities in other fields. Fourth, many scientific sub-fields (i.e. theoretical physics) are not particularly "practical," but we value them because we ultimately value knowledge. It seems reasonable to value philosophy for its own strengths and ability to inform us of certain things that perhaps empiricism cannot.
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