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The philosophy thread general discussion. :

Since we have a General Economic thread and a General Politic thread I think it would be good to have a general philosophy thread.

Here would be the place to discuss issues such as the debates that rage between Racionalists and Empiricists...

Or the different conceptions of individual rights that often clash in ideas as different as Utilitarism and Libertarianism.

Do the means justify the end? Should we follow Kantīs golden rule or follow the more pragmatic approach put forward by Bentham?

Who was right Locke or Hobbs? With which idea does our liberal democracy side with?

What about postmodernism and Nietzsche, Foucault, Jean Paul Sartre?

Some might say there is no need for this thread since it can be cover either under the General Politic thread or the General Economic threat, and while that is true to an extent I believe it would be productive to have a space in which troopers could discuss the finer aspects of certain dogmatic disagreements.

Another question of great interest is also Oriental philosophers that usually get shunned by western academia such as Confucius.

I myself have as of late, taken a turn away from empiricism and taken a look back at rationalism (not blindly anyways, I am not rejecting science) after hearing this lecture by Noam Chomsky.

Anyone who has seen Ghost in the Shell might be interested.

Here Chomsky discusses whether human intellect could truly understand cause and effect and whether human cognition has a limit to understand phisycal phenomenom. To do this he talks at great lenghts about Sir. Isaac Newton and how he described gravitation as a "great absurdity", that a purely naturalistic or mechanistic aproach to nature was impossible and that it required the admission of unexplainable facts.

The video also explores the relationship between our physical selfs and our Self-consciousness, evoking that old metaphor that said we were like machines and ourselfs were some sort of a "ghost" within the machine.

edited 16th Jan '13 8:16:21 PM by Baff

I will always cherish the chance of a new beggining.
 2 Best Of, Wed, 16th Jan '13 8:03:59 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
Could you add a brief summary of the main point (as in, a sentence or two would probably do) of that video in your OP? We don't like it when unsummarised links, videos or such are in OTC OPs because we want people to be able to enter a conversation without having to look beyond the OP.

I won't ask you to define the ideas of the people you mentioned in the OP. I think in a general thread like this people can be expected to look them up or ask the thread if they don't already know them.

But the video - just tell us what that's all about. (I personally intend to watch it, both because of what you said about it in the original version of the OP and because it features Chomsky.)
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
[up]

this video touches on a similar topic near the end when he talks about aliens.

edited 16th Jan '13 8:17:42 PM by Baff

I will always cherish the chance of a new beggining.
Unchanging Avatar.
Confucius gets pretty much coverage. Now Lao-Tze, that guy gets no respect in the West, I'll agree.
Except for 4/1/2011. That day lingers in my memory like...metaphor here...I should go.
 5 Lawyerdude, Tue, 29th Jan '13 11:47:38 AM from my secret moon base
Citizen
Some people in the Politics thread were mentioning Rand, especially as it seems that a lot of Republicans are at least nominal Objectivists, despite also being nominal Christians. Maybe that's why they're so crazy; they're trying to identify as a self-contradiction. Of course IMHO Rand's so-called "philosophy" failed economics, politics, and ethics all at once. About the only thing I can agree with her is atheism and materialism, but pretty much everything else is a load of malarkey, as Diamond Joe Biden would say.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
 6 Meklar, Tue, 29th Jan '13 1:36:05 PM from Milky Way Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
Of course IMHO Rand's so-called "philosophy" failed economics, politics, and ethics all at once.
Well...I wouldn't say it failed. It didn't entirely succeed, but it came much closer than most of the other bullshit philosophies that were (and still are) floating around.

Euo will do!
[up][up][up]He had his head screwed on. That's never a crowd-draw. tongue The Book of Changes is a fascinating little read. Heck, who'm I kidding? It's a long read.

It's just a shame that the hippy-crowd latched on to it more than anybody else in the West. <_< It's not the Tarot.

edited 29th Jan '13 1:38:38 PM by Euodiachloris

"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
 8 Zendervai, Tue, 29th Jan '13 1:38:32 PM from North Toronto Relationship Status: Waiting for Prince Charming
Eccentric Dreamer
I just wish Ayn Rand had come up with another name for it. In a philosophy class once I said that was objectivist, in that I believed that there were some completely objective truths that don't change no matter what. Instead, most of the class thought I was hugely hypocritical because I frequently inconvenience myself when trying to help others.

edited 29th Jan '13 1:43:41 PM by Zendervai

Everyone is a little bit insane. It makes the world so much more interesting!
 9 Dr Tentacles, Tue, 29th Jan '13 1:46:44 PM from your bed. Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Cephalopod Lothario
It's one of those loaded, self-masturbatory terms that the makers of the philosophy use to stroke their ego. Like with people who call themselves "Rationalist".

It's their way of saying "I believe in logical truths, and you don't. Look, even my philosophy says I do this! Thus, I am better."

(Note, I don't have so much of a gripe with Rationalists, though I think they could pick a less arrogant name for their philosophy. Then again, they do tend to survive on (not entirely un-earned) smug self-satisfaction.)

edited 29th Jan '13 1:47:36 PM by DrTentacles

And who are you, the proud lord said, that I must bow so low? Only a cat of a different coat, that's all the truth I know...
 10 Trivialis, Tue, 29th Jan '13 1:59:41 PM from contemplation
Happiness
Yeah, it's like calling your philosophy truthism or goodnessism. tongue
I don't need praise, I need help.
 11 Aceof Spades, Tue, 29th Jan '13 5:33:05 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Meklar, if you mean it didn't fail in that it manages to be a philosophy still buy into and is fairly widespread, then you're right. If you mean something else, you're going to have to explain that. Because morally Rand's Objectivism fails spectacularly because it encourages everyone to be a selfish little shit. And it also fails to recognize that "rational" behavior does not, in actual fact, always lead to things being better for everyone, because sometimes it's entirely rational to screw over the other guy. What's rational to do depends entirely on what your goal is, and whether morality enters into your rational decisions depends on what you think is moral. Or whether you even care about morality.
 12 Zendervai, Tue, 29th Jan '13 5:42:50 PM from North Toronto Relationship Status: Waiting for Prince Charming
Eccentric Dreamer
My biggest problem with Randian Objectivism is that you flat out can't have a stable society if everyone follows it. Everyone would be screwing each other over. It's like an anarchy where everyone hates each other.
Everyone is a little bit insane. It makes the world so much more interesting!
Ayn Rand's "philosophy" is utter bullshit. Can we discuss interesting more topics in philosophy than that? :T Like, maybe personal identity.

 14 Aceof Spades, Tue, 29th Jan '13 6:51:47 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Well, if that's what you want to discuss then maybe you should bring it up and mention philosophers that focused on that? Because that's something you can do if you want to change the subject, or otherwise we'll keep discussing the thing we already brought up.
 15 Trivialis, Tue, 29th Jan '13 6:54:46 PM from contemplation
Happiness
[up]x3 I like Kantian philosophy because of that very reason: it emphasizes that a working principle (maxim) has to work for everyone, or more accurately, it has to work when everyone follows it.

edited 29th Jan '13 6:54:59 PM by Trivialis

I don't need praise, I need help.
 16 Lawyerdude, Tue, 29th Jan '13 7:07:46 PM from my secret moon base
Citizen
Randism's idea of "enlightened self-interest" really doesn't mean much of anything, since there's nothing that you can't ethically do if the consequences are in your favor. In fact, by prioritizing monetary wealth as the mark of the highest moral value, it would follow that any act of fraud, theft or extortion justifies itself if it nets you more money. "Social conscience"? What's that?
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
Unchanging Avatar.
Is it a bad sign that so many young intellectuals define themselves by their opposition to Rand, and not by a constructive philosophy of their own to put in its place?
Except for 4/1/2011. That day lingers in my memory like...metaphor here...I should go.
 18 Dr Tentacles, Tue, 29th Jan '13 7:21:30 PM from your bed. Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Cephalopod Lothario
[up] I'd say no. You can find something morally repellent, especially if it's, to a large part, shaped our political dialogue and identity for the past few centuries (I speak mostly for the Americas, who had Emerson and Thoreau preaching much of the same before Rand made her mark).

I think a deal of questioning toward your personal philosophy is desirable. It's good to be able to say "I stand against X, " (if you have good reasons to stand against X), but be able to say "I'm not sure which I prefer the most Y, Z, or A, however, all are better than X."

(I also regard Randism as an inherently destructive philosophy. I'd classify myself as a "Soft Consiquentialist/Utilitarian.)

edited 29th Jan '13 7:23:54 PM by DrTentacles

And who are you, the proud lord said, that I must bow so low? Only a cat of a different coat, that's all the truth I know...
Unchanging Avatar.
Well, what exactly is the opposite of Objectivism? Is it Collectivism?
Except for 4/1/2011. That day lingers in my memory like...metaphor here...I should go.
 20 Trivialis, Tue, 29th Jan '13 7:25:34 PM from contemplation
Happiness
Opposite of actual objectivism would be relativism, I guess.

Opposite of Randian Objectivism is probably some form of collectivism where everyone is uniformly minded.
I don't need praise, I need help.
 21 Zendervai, Tue, 29th Jan '13 7:28:13 PM from North Toronto Relationship Status: Waiting for Prince Charming
Eccentric Dreamer
I'd say it's true communism, where everyone works for the good of the community.
Everyone is a little bit insane. It makes the world so much more interesting!
Unchanging Avatar.
Well that's almost as stupid. Okay, table that.

Relativism versus actual objectivism. Does anyone have any strong opinions?
Except for 4/1/2011. That day lingers in my memory like...metaphor here...I should go.
 23 Dr Tentacles, Tue, 29th Jan '13 7:32:05 PM from your bed. Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Cephalopod Lothario
As pretentious as it seems, I'm a mix of the two. I think there are objective truths out there (or at least the consistent experiences that we share and can measure through science/math lead to believe so.) I also think that human concepts (morality, ect) aren't objective. I think most objective truths exist on a incomprehensible level. (The proverbial trying to explain color to the blind.)

Ultimately, I think what matters far more than truth, is usefulness. As in, what we should live our lives by is what is useful to us as a species if we treat it as true.

edited 29th Jan '13 7:32:59 PM by DrTentacles

And who are you, the proud lord said, that I must bow so low? Only a cat of a different coat, that's all the truth I know...
 24 Zendervai, Tue, 29th Jan '13 7:32:53 PM from North Toronto Relationship Status: Waiting for Prince Charming
Eccentric Dreamer
I lean more towards Objectivism. Yes, there are some things that are true for some people or not others, but there are some aspects of morality that should hold true for everyone.
Everyone is a little bit insane. It makes the world so much more interesting!
 25 Lawyerdude, Tue, 29th Jan '13 10:19:05 PM from my secret moon base
Citizen
Yes, there are some things that are true for some people or not others, but there are some aspects of morality that should hold true for everyone.

Whether a proposition of fact is true or not doesn't vary from person to person. Even Rand would agree to that. And saying that certain aspects of morality should be held by others is in itself an admission of subjectivity. Morals are all opinions or results of opinions. Facts, like the Sun being larger than the Earth, are true whether you believe them or not, and are true regardless of whomever accepts them.

There is a difference, and indeed two separate standards between what is and what ought to be. Just because something is doesn't mean that it ought to be that way. What is is a matter of fact, what should is a matter of opinion.

edited 29th Jan '13 10:20:24 PM by Lawyerdude

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
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