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Thread: Bite-sized philosophy

  1. #11

    Default Re: Bite-sized philosophy

    See, I see things in a totally different light: for me it's the start of the realisation that concepts of definition, of existence are dependent on the frame of reference, scales, timings, on the models of reality that are most definitely constructed. From which flows emergence, abstraction. You could even call it the first exercise in Computer Science. Far from being dualist I would say it is the exact opposite, the answer to the question you pose being "yes, and no" or rather "it depends" no matter what concept you apply it to, and forces the realisation that a concrete frame of reference must be established before any question can be considered with rigor.

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  3. #12
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    Default Bite-sized philosophy

    Re solipsism, I have encountered the very occasional adult who claimed to believe that reality is an illusion and that nothing exists except themselves. The last person who tried to convince me that they believed that was around 50 years old. I asked what they thought would happen if they stepped in front of a train. And how they had managed to stay alive so long if they really believed that reality was some kind of illusion.

    I don't think of solipsism as a philosophy. It is more of an interesting thought exercise, and a way of defining your starting assumptions about reality. The way that I perceive reality seems very real and reacts to my inputs as if it were real, and I have no evidence that it is not real, so I'm basically proceeding under the assumption that it IS real until I see evidence to the contrary. I guess that is what most thinking adults who are aware of this concept are doing.

    My perception of what is real and what is logical is heavily influenced by the fact that I exist at a certain scale within a universe with 3 dimensions of space and one dimension of time.

    This TED talk by Dawkins is, in my opinion, superb. And the good thing is that there is even a transcript for Mr B (his stated preference).

    Click on the image below to view the article:
    TED.COM
    Transcript of "Why the universe seems so strange"
    TED Talk Subtitles and Transcript: Biologist Richard Dawkins makes a case for "thinking the improbable" by looking at how the human frame of reference limits our understanding of the universe.

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  5. #13
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    Default Re: Bite-sized philosophy

    Quote virphen said View Post
    See, I see things in a totally different light: for me it's the start of the realisation that concepts of definition, of existence are dependent on the frame of reference, scales, timings, on the models of reality that are most definitely constructed. From which flows emergence, abstraction. You could even call it the first exercise in Computer Science. Far from being dualist I would say it is the exact opposite, the answer to the question you pose being "yes, and no" or rather "it depends" no matter what concept you apply it to, and forces the realisation that a concrete frame of reference must be established before any question can be considered with rigor.
    It sounds like a more accurate approach to the description of reality, especially given all we have leaned since the time of Descartes. But to have a number one on the philosophy hit parade, you need to condense it down to a five word phrase, or three words in Latin. The bite-sized approach presents challenges, and might have to make way for larger meals.

    I recall Dawkins saying that after Darwin, a lot of the assumptions that molded thinking about reality and the origin of all things were no longer valid.

    I have yet to find a bite-sized summary of Hegel, who died a couple of decades before On the Origin of Species, but I suspect his theistic utterances might have been different if he'd been forced to confront Darwin's ideas. Actually I scoff at all philosophers who ignore the lessons of Epicurus and espouse theism, carrying on as if evil is not a problem. Maybe they would not have recognised Darwin's importance anyway, if they were able to ignore the wisdom from 1500+ years earlier.

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  7. #14

    Default Re: Bite-sized philosophy

    The only contender I can think of to match your criteria is "be excellent to each other" from the great American philosophers, Bill & Ted.

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    Default Re: Bite-sized philosophy

    Less popular cinematically, but still appealing to me is Buckaroo Banzai: "Wherever you go, there you are".

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  11. #16
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    Default Re: Bite-sized philosophy

    Sorry, a bit to this but i dislike Descarte's maxim, i think it's a terrible way to understand human existence and i think it directly leads to neo-liberalism. Not that i have a beef with Descarte, father of modern philosophy and all and fair play to him given his time and place, but even capitalism was liberating once upon a time.

    The problem is that cogito ergo sum creates a false dichotomy between mind and body, or mind and earth. It is solipsist in that sense. It assumes an independence of mind as a thing, as a substance we all possess. But we are not just our mind, we are also our body and place and there is no mind beyond them, there is no identity. In Cartesian thinking, everyone is equal and independent because we all have access to this mind stuff.

    I think really Descarte just replaced the 'soul' with the 'mind.' Hey, it's probably a step in the right direction but it's taken us to a society where being born into a deprived circumstance, with the wrong skin colour, perhaps the wrong first language and the wrong sexual orientation means you're close to fucked straight away, but Cartesians will say no, it's all about how you use your independent mind.

    I feel therefore i am is better, in my opinion.
    What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t a tolerable planet to put it on - Henry David Thoreau

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