Philosophically, why are human's able to understand the world around us?
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27-12-2010, 04:58 PM
 
RE: Philosophically, why are human's able to understand the world around us?
He won't get an answer then. Thanks! lol.
There's no way you can put philosophy into that argument is there?
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27-12-2010, 05:06 PM
RE: Philosophically, why are human's able to understand the world around us?
Not really, no.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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01-01-2011, 11:25 PM
RE: Philosophically, why are human's able to understand the world around us?
Philosophy is over-rated. As a tool for true understanding, it is as faulty as the intentions and misunderstandings of the users.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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20-02-2011, 05:20 PM (This post was last modified: 20-02-2011 05:26 PM by TrainWreck.)
RE: Philosophically, why are human's able to understand the world around us?
(26-12-2010 11:07 PM)TheKetola Wrote:  . . . Through the making of tools, eventually we developed systems of storing information (writing, paintings, DVDs, etc.) and this literacy and stored information, as well as easy communication, . . .
This is very close to the answer to the question; philosophically, why are humans able to understand?

I think a more concise answer would be that humans developed sophisticated communications and standardized descriptions of the systems that comprise the human experience - social agreement as to the describing of the environment.

Humanism - ontological doctrine that posits that humans define reality
Theism - ontological doctrine that posits a supernatural entity creates and defines reality
Atheism - political doctrine opposed to theist doctrine in public policy
I am right, and you are wrong - I hope you die peacefullyCool
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20-02-2011, 05:44 PM
 
RE: Philosophically, why are human's able to understand the world around us?
As a philosopher, I can say your dad is silly. The question is a biological question, not a philosophical one.

And we're not the only ones, we just do it the best out of every other organisms. Hell, dolphins even have self-awareness, apes make use of tools. Clearly they're capable of making sense of their world, just not on the human level. You want an answer? Because natural selection favored us being intelligent, that's why.
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20-02-2011, 05:46 PM (This post was last modified: 22-02-2011 08:02 AM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: Philosophically, why are human's able to understand the world around us?
I agree that this is more trouble than it's worth since if you have an answer you shouldn't need to scrap it and develop a new one. For the sake of argument though here's some philosophical pandering (of my own) on why humans have "intelligence".

The philosophical answer in this scenario is that humans cannot accept that things are the way they are and demand a change for their benefit. Philosophy as a principal is developed over the fact that people can't just sit back and accept life. The science and other truths found appear through this need to understand and alter their basic life. Humans find all of these insights into the world, because they demand the knowledge to alter their surroundings to their benefit.

Against intelligent design I would state that philosophically the goal of humans is to comprehend "god" well enough that they can move beyond it. This being based off of the idea that "god" is so often believed, and that many philosophical arguments attempt to begin to move past this belief. The issue of philosophy is that without any evidence outside of personal reflection you can't seriously create a valid answer. Which is why most philosophers also do more empiracle studies.

But, in truth philosophy cannot even prove an idea of why humans are in some way superior to animals. It's just the mental excercise that aids people in understanding their own minds.

I don't think science has proven anything as far as the intelligence of different living things personally, the only scale we have is the human one and our definition of intelligence can be widely different than that of another species. Being able to see patterns is not something so greatly proving as humans often fall into patterns as well, we just understand human language and get more than a mere observation.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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27-02-2011, 01:38 PM
 
RE: Philosophically, why are human's able to understand the world around us?
How do you guys feel about the anthropic principle? It would answer this thread's question by stating that humans are able to analyze the world around them because if we couldn't, then we wouldn't be able to ask the question why in the first place.

It seems like a pretty convenient answer to these "why are we so special" questions, but most scientists reject it simply because it isn't satisfying enough.
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27-02-2011, 02:06 PM
RE: Philosophically, why are human's able to understand the world around us?
Personally I find it quite satisfying. I have no problem with "why are we intelligent at all" type of questions, since it is explained perfectly by evolution. Also, it is very unlikely that intelligen life forms develop at first sight, but is we consider the number of planets and starts in the known (!) universe it is not at all suprising. THe absence of them would be more suprising.

..."we can be truly free - not because we can rebel against the the tyranny of the selfish replicators but because we know that there is no one to rebel."
Susan Blackmore : The Meme Machine
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27-02-2011, 07:28 PM
RE: Philosophically, why are human's able to understand the world around us?
The anthropic principle is correct, but unsatisfying, becauser it is too obvious to scientists. It is so basic that it is not a challenge nor does it lead towards new discoveries. At least that is my view of it.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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03-03-2011, 03:01 AM
 
RE: Philosophically, why are human's able to understand the world around us?
I just thought of something to show how silly this question is.

Philosophically, why is the Earth spherical?

The question is silly and inane. Adding philosophically to the beginning of a question does not mean it warrants any type of special response, it just means you don't know what types of questions are philosophical or not.
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