My Philosophy
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09-04-2013, 10:00 PM
My Philosophy
I got into a very deep philosophical conversation with a friend, and I think I managed to put my philosophy into words better than I ever have. I'm not sure if there's a term for this point of view, so if anyone has any comments or anything, I'd appreciate it.


The world is chemistry, and physics, and biology. All of love and morality and justice and art and beauty and care and emotion and everything that matters to us, is patterns of chemicals and firing neurons in our brains. But just because it's rooted in the physical world doesn't mean it doesn't matter. Just because my sense of justice or my love of my family is just a chemical reaction doesn't mean that it's any less real to me. What I feel matters to me, and knowing the physics doesn't change that.

But there are conflicting points of view that are just as real to those people that hold them. These ideas, these conflicting emotions and concerns and obligations-- It's as much an ecosystem as a rainforest. Survival of the fittest. We act within the social and mental constructs we create. And what is moral is what we find to be moral. You can judge someone by your moral standards, and they have every right to judge you right back by theirs. In the end, a metastability will be found. I guess we just have to hope that some point of view within that system somewhat reflects the beliefs we hold now.

Basically, it is what it is.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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09-04-2013, 10:10 PM
RE: My Philosophy
Chemistries, physics', biologies, oh my Smile
I hear ya. Anyone who tries to tell ya your love for your family is empty when attributed only to the physical processes in the brain that bring it about,.....should try to hurt one of your family members sometimeAngry
They'll find out REAL quick you're just as passionate in your defense of a lover or child as they are Evil_monster

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09-04-2013, 11:30 PM
RE: My Philosophy
(09-04-2013 10:00 PM)Phaedrus Wrote:  I'm not sure if there's a term for this point of view~

~You can judge someone by your moral standards, and they have every right to judge you right back by theirs. In the end, a metastability will be found. I guess we just have to hope that some point of view within that system somewhat reflects the beliefs we hold now.

I don't know about the rest but, that's moral relativism.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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09-04-2013, 11:41 PM
RE: My Philosophy
(09-04-2013 10:00 PM)Phaedrus Wrote:  ...
I'm not sure if there's a term for this point of view
...

bbeljefe's right in part regarding the second part but has not covered the first part.

The first part would probably be covered by 'Materialism' but you are saying more than that.

How about...

Phaedrus's Philosphy :- Material Matters!

See what I did there?

Therefore theism = immaterial matters

Smartass

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10-04-2013, 10:47 PM
RE: My Philosophy
Hey, Phaedrus.

The natural world is biology, chemistry and physics. I'm cool with that.

But these rules don't in and of themselves account for emergent properties. That's the interesting stuff. So I'd just say that there's another level of complexity above the simple mechanics of the universe.

I agree. The thoughts we have, the way we view the world, are important. Ultimately it's way more important than "what is" because what is doesn't guide your actions. What's perceived does.

Yeah, the conflicting points of view thing is social relativism. It even borders on social constructivism... Welcome to the club Cool

The application of Darwinism to culture is Universal Darwinism and memetics.

Quote:We act within the social and mental constructs we create.

Oh but you make me a happy man this evening Cool

I would say look into the following:
-Socially constructed reality
-Memetics
-Universal Darwinism
-Etic and Emic
-Cultural relativism
-The ritual view of communications
-Carey, Barthes, Hall, Foucault

I hope I don't sound trite, but I'd be happy to discuss any of these matters further. I am ever so passionate about them.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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13-04-2013, 08:21 PM
RE: My Philosophy
(10-04-2013 10:47 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Phaedrus.

The natural world is biology, chemistry and physics. I'm cool with that.

But these rules don't in and of themselves account for emergent properties. That's the interesting stuff. So I'd just say that there's another level of complexity above the simple mechanics of the universe.

I agree. The thoughts we have, the way we view the world, are important. Ultimately it's way more important than "what is" because what is doesn't guide your actions. What's perceived does.

Yeah, the conflicting points of view thing is social relativism. It even borders on social constructivism... Welcome to the club Cool

The application of Darwinism to culture is Universal Darwinism and memetics.

Thanks for these things. The additional things I would add are mathematics and geography/geology.

Quote:We act within the social and mental constructs we create.

Oh but you make me a happy man this evening Cool

I would say look into the following:
-Socially constructed reality
-Memetics
-Universal Darwinism
-Etic and Emic
-Cultural relativism
-The ritual view of communications
-Carey, Barthes, Hall, Foucault

I hope I don't sound trite, but I'd be happy to discuss any of these matters further. I am ever so passionate about them.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Greetings carbon-based bipeds. - Arthur Clarke
The stars died so you could be here today. - Lawrence Krauss
Mathematics is the language of nature. - Lawrence Krauss
I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature's loveliness. - John Muir
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15-04-2013, 07:48 AM
RE: My Philosophy
(10-04-2013 10:47 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Phaedrus.

The natural world is biology, chemistry and physics. I'm cool with that.

But these rules don't in and of themselves account for emergent properties. That's the interesting stuff. So I'd just say that there's another level of complexity above the simple mechanics of the universe.

I agree. The thoughts we have, the way we view the world, are important. Ultimately it's way more important than "what is" because what is doesn't guide your actions. What's perceived does.

Yeah, the conflicting points of view thing is social relativism. It even borders on social constructivism... Welcome to the club Cool

The application of Darwinism to culture is Universal Darwinism and memetics.

Quote:We act within the social and mental constructs we create.

Oh but you make me a happy man this evening Cool

I would say look into the following:
-Socially constructed reality
-Memetics
-Universal Darwinism
-Etic and Emic
-Cultural relativism
-The ritual view of communications
-Carey, Barthes, Hall, Foucault

I hope I don't sound trite, but I'd be happy to discuss any of these matters further. I am ever so passionate about them.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Thanks mate!

Social constructivism, universal darwinism, and memetics are all things I understand and am fully behind. Thumbsup Moral relativism as well, though I should note, going by wikipedia's terminology, mine is non-normative moral relativism.

I looked up the ritual view of communication, and I'm not sure if it's his terminology or what, but I find it very obtuse. Personally, my view is that each system of smaller parts, whether that be an organism, society, or electrical circuit, is simply an emergent property of the interactions of the constituent parts. Language is simply an interaction method between humans (atoms, cells, transistors) in a society (molecule, squirrel, iPhone). There is nothing special on a universal level about language; but to the emergent entities that we are it can have layers upon layers of meaning and subtlety. And that language could, conceivably, itself be considered to have emergent entities.

Of the philosophers you listed I'm only familiar with Foucault. I find him to be a bit pessimistic and a bit narrowly focused, only focusing on how power moves within a society, when there are numerous other social variables that flow as well, especially ideas, emotion, and obligation. I haven't read his work very extensively though, so I could be off on this.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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15-04-2013, 09:10 AM
RE: My Philosophy
Hey, Phaedrus.

Glad it was of value to you.

Foucault is the bomb. And yeah, he's kind of suicide inducing I suppose, but the point is to simply understand the place that his ideas have in the whole, rather than slavishly following his ideas AS a whole, if you know what I mean. His understanding of ideology and power relationships and the atomisation of power are just dope.

In terms of the normative question, I view that as a false dichotomy.

In terms of emergence, I absolutely agree that all functioning systems of interdependent parts have, when in operation, emergent properties. I did have difficulty unpacking exactly what you were saying about language.

In terms of the ritual view, it's pretty difficult to get a handle on. But once you do, it's pretty rock and roll Cool

I've never tried to encapsulate it before, so here goes. Hope I'm up to the task. The linear model of communication (or transmission view) views the message as a vehicle within which we place information and then ferry it from one person to another (with the exception of McLuhan who says that the medium itself is the message). The ritual view proposes that reality is wrapped up in language and that it is the act of communication itself that creates, maintains and modifies reality over time. The mental constructs you mentioned in the OP are not something that we arrive at independently as though we live in a vacuum, but are rather constantly negotiated and re-negotiated between members of the larger whole. We don't simply act upon these constructions, we live within them.

Quote:A ritual view of communication is directed not toward the extension of messages in space but toward the maintenance of society in time; not the act of imparting information but the representation of shared beliefs.

If the archetypal case of communication under a transmission view is the extension of messages across geography for the purpose of control, the archetypal case under a ritual view is the sacred ceremony that draws persons together in fellowship and commonality...

It sees the original or highest manifestation of communication not in the transmission of intelligent information but in the construction and maintenance of an ordered, meaningful cultural world that can serve as a control and container for human action...

...communication is a symbolic process whereby reality is produced, maintained, repaired, and transformed...

Both our common sense and scientific realism attest to the fact that there is, first, a real world of objects, events, and processes that we observe. Second, there is language or symbols that name these events in the real world and create more or less adequate descriptions of them. There is reality and then, after the fact, our accounts of it...

...reality is brought into existence, is produced, by communication - by, in short, the construction, apprehension, and utilization of symbolic forms...

The capacity of private thought is a derived and secondary talent, one that appears biographically later in the person and historically later in the species. Thought is public because it depends on a publicly available stock of symbols. It is public in a second and stronger sense. Thinking consists of building maps of environments. Thought involves constructing a model of an environment and then running the model faster than the environment to see if nature can be coerced to perform as the model does....

Thought is the construction and utilization of such maps, models, templates...

We first produce the world by symbolic work and then take up residence in the world we have produced...

We not only produce reality but we must likewise maintain what we have produced, for there are always new generations coming along for whom our productions are incipiently problematic and for whom reality must be regenerated and made authoritative. Reality must be repaired for it consistently breaks down... we must, often with fear and regret, toss away our authoritative representations of reality and begin to build the world anew...

Our attempts to construct, maintain, repair, and transform reality are publicly observable activities that occur in historical time.

-James Carey, from the chapter "A Cultural Approach to Communication," from, "Communication as Culture."

When you couple Carey with Foucault's views of ideology and control and with Hall's notion of interpretive communities, you're rewarded with a profound insight into the workings of human culture and society. It's pretty fascinating.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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15-04-2013, 09:58 AM (This post was last modified: 15-04-2013 10:18 AM by Luminon.)
RE: My Philosophy
(09-04-2013 10:00 PM)Phaedrus Wrote:  I got into a very deep philosophical conversation with a friend, and I think I managed to put my philosophy into words better than I ever have. I'm not sure if there's a term for this point of view, so if anyone has any comments or anything, I'd appreciate it.


The world is chemistry, and physics, and biology. All of love and morality and justice and art and beauty and care and emotion and everything that matters to us, is patterns of chemicals and firing neurons in our brains. But just because it's rooted in the physical world doesn't mean it doesn't matter. Just because my sense of justice or my love of my family is just a chemical reaction doesn't mean that it's any less real to me. What I feel matters to me, and knowing the physics doesn't change that.

But there are conflicting points of view that are just as real to those people that hold them. These ideas, these conflicting emotions and concerns and obligations-- It's as much an ecosystem as a rainforest. Survival of the fittest. We act within the social and mental constructs we create. And what is moral is what we find to be moral. You can judge someone by your moral standards, and they have every right to judge you right back by theirs. In the end, a metastability will be found. I guess we just have to hope that some point of view within that system somewhat reflects the beliefs we hold now.

Basically, it is what it is.
If you ask me, this is an emphemeral view based on just a couple hundred years of Cartesian worldview. A worldview that threw away everything humanity ever knew and started out of scratch. Less than that actually, because this throwing away also included the trust of humanity itself. Christian doctrine of man's corruption got in here too*, humanity itself is doubted. And when you doubt humanity, you doubt those who do science and thus the science itself. Descartes was a lousy philosopher.
These are the plagues of positivism, reductionism, scientism and in the end the plague of relativism saving the day.

(* inspired by Ron Miller - What Are Schools For?)

There are no gaps in science, the science itself is a gap, a small island in the sea of unknown reality. The unknown reality is out there and may act upon us even if we can't account for it. By creating a controlled environment we exclude it to broaden our little island of knowledge a bit more, but we pay a great price for that by becoming deaf to all that we had to tune out to make a controlled experiment. Yet in pride of the success we forgot our self-imposed limitations. We forgot the limitations of test were used only out of momentary necessity and we see the self-imposed limitations as the only defense against the hordes of irrationality behind the gates. Perhaps they once were and perhaps they today still are to some degree. But those who see them as absolute might just as well jump over the gates and join the other side with their absolutes.

Yes, consciousness may be electric impulses traveling along neurons, but what is the nature of electricity? Sure it has an aspect of particles, but what is driving them? Is there any other aspect, that is wrapped around the conductors as a field, allowing for things like Tesla coil to exist, that transmits power only with one wire? If so, what is the implication, what else can influence us in this way? Emergent properties? Aren't we trying to pull a dozen of proverbial big clowns out of a small car here? Aren't we simply more open to our environment than we thought, only to the invisible environment that makes up 95 % of the universe?

Does it have anything to do with mystical writings that describe power travelling along spinal columns in times of deep meditation? What about traditions describing power concentrating at specific centers in skull cavity when a person is getting enlightened? Why do we find such themes in many cultures around the world, including Egyptians, Hindus, Christians and native north Americans? Why do they use equivalent symbols?
You would not give it a second thought, because
A) Descartes & Co. threw out the baby with bathwater,
B) You are not experiencing these things right now.
C) Experiencing anything does not matter? Descartes says there might be a hypothetical "evil spirit" deceiving us at any time...

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15-04-2013, 11:36 AM
RE: My Philosophy
Luminon, first you're reading far too much into what I said, almost to the point of putting words in my mouth.

You have also raised questions with me about whether you actually understand science yourself. The controlled environment of an experiment is meant to allow for consistency, and to allow you to vary one variable at a time, which allows you to find the root cause of a given phenomenon. But I'm not sure that's what you're talking about. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be positing some sort of mind-matter dualism. I must say, that dualism is undefendable as a philosophical position.

Saying something is supernatural, or part of an "invisible environment", is nonsensical. Things happen, yes? And there are things that we understand, and things that we don't understand. Saying that things we don't understand are completely non-understandable (supernatural) is a fallacy, whether the explanation is ghosts, ghouls, gods, or whatever you call this apparent "invisible environment" you are describing.

And the justification given (paraphrased)?

"What makes Tesla coils work? Particles or something? What makes them work?" -- An attempt at infinite regression, based on ignorance of physics. I call it the "Magnets, how do they work?" fallacy.

"What if science threw out the baby with the bathwater?" -- Maybe. Maybe or maybe not. That's rhetoric, not argument.

"Egyptians, Hindus, Christians, and Amerindians had similar cultural aspects?" -- That's neat. It doesn't mean magic.





I'm disappointed, Luminon.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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