Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
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08-02-2017, 02:21 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
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“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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08-02-2017, 02:28 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 11:21 AM)Naielis Wrote:  Skepticism fails if you have a coherent worldview from which you can form responses.

A worldview, like real life, is subject to change. It need only be coherent in the moment that it is used. A static worldview that attempts to interpret reality according to an unchanging standard is both useless and potentially damaging to one's quality of life.

Quote:It seems your argument is essentially just saying we should ignore skepticism.

*facepalm* Dear, sweet Uncle Loki -- Can't you get anything right? I clearly described how I use skepticism -- to question things that are out of sync with reality (such as hoping against hope that the Parking Gods will bestow upon me the best possible spot in the airport parkade at rush hour).

Quote:I think it's more useful to engage arguments instead of brushing them off. Life is much too short to waste time smearing philosophy.

I actually did engage your argument, like it or not. I just don't think it's worth staying engaged with it. Furthermore, philosophy is not life. It is just one way of contemplating life, and a fairly minor part of it as far as I'm concerned. I get vastly more satisfaction from engaging the real world instead.

I'm sorry, but your beliefs are much too silly to take seriously. Got anything else we can discuss?
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08-02-2017, 02:29 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 02:16 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Bare assertion, straw man.

Minds are brain activity. Brain activity is a process. This poses no more of a problem for materialism than running, or the execution of a computer program.

Minds are brain activity? How do you know this? It seems this is very semantic. You're just playing with the word "mind". But you're equating chemical reactions to the experiences we observe through introspection. How are these identical? Let's pose two statements.

1. I felt happy.
2. My brain released oxytocin.

Are these two statements identical? Obviously there are other chemicals that can be released when we are happy, but I think the point is illustrated with this. They are two aspects of an event. One is material and one is immaterial. Another problem with suggesting there is no immaterial mind is that you can't explain any reaction to an event. How does the content of an experience lead to a physical response in the brain? Why is the oxytocin released when you are happy? It's immaterial content of experience that causes the reaction.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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08-02-2017, 02:32 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(08-02-2017 02:16 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Bare assertion, straw man.

Minds are brain activity. Brain activity is a process. This poses no more of a problem for materialism than running, or the execution of a computer program.

Minds are brain activity? How do you know this? It seems this is very semantic. You're just playing with the word "mind". But you're equating chemical reactions to the experiences we observe through introspection. How are these identical? Let's pose two statements.

1. I felt happy.
2. My brain released oxytocin.

Are these two statements identical? Obviously there are other chemicals that can be released when we are happy, but I think the point is illustrated with this. They are two aspects of an event. One is material and one is immaterial. Another problem with suggesting there is no immaterial mind is that you can't explain any reaction to an event. How does the content of an experience lead to a physical response in the brain? Why is the oxytocin released when you are happy? It's immaterial content of experience that causes the reaction.

*I felt happy because my brain released oxytocin*

You seem to misunderstand cause and effect.

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08-02-2017, 02:34 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 02:13 PM)Naielis Wrote:  It's not that it has yet to explain. It's that it can't explain it.

You have no evidence to support that claim.

Quote:Minds are inherently immaterial.

The "mind", from what I understand, appears to be a pattern of electrical and chemical activity in the brain. Every scrap of evidence we have surrounding minds is based in the material. There is no evidence of any immaterial component.

Quote:Materialism cannot explain that which it denies.

Materialism does not deny mind no matter how many times you claim that it does.

Quote:But you acknowledge that the brain affects consciousness. This is completely consistent with dualism.

I acknowledge that the brain apparently produces the effect that is labelled consciousness. The problem with dualism is not that it admits a connection to brains but that it proposes something external to the brain that is interacting with the physical brain and yet produces no evidence for that claim. Dualism is nothing but a god-of-the-gaps argument for the fact that we do not fully understand how consciousness works.

Quote: The physical is interacting with and influencing the aphysical.

aphysical? Facepalm show me anything that requires something "aphysical" to operate. Explain the mechanism of how physical and "aphysical" interact. You are introducing magic and trying to cover that up but giving it a more respectable sounding name.

Quote:The simple fact that you have experiences is proof of dualism.

No, it is proof that I have experiences. An experience is not evidence of the cause of the experience.

Quote: Many philosophers are moving towards supervenience physicalism. This is where all truth is entailed by the physical aspect of something. I would say it's very similar to epiphenomenalism. You seem to be operating from this. The physical aspects of the brain entail the state of the mind.

The physical aspects of the brain ARE the state of the mind until you can show a shred of evidence that something else is needed.

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08-02-2017, 02:38 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Minds are brain activity? How do you know this?

Literally everything that we know about the mind indicates this.

(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  It seems this is very semantic.

No.

(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  But you're equating chemical reactions to the experiences we observe through introspection. How are these identical?

If you are asking why neurochemical reactions result in perception, I have no idea. But they demonstrably do.

(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Let's pose two statements.

1. I felt happy.
2. My brain released oxytocin.

Are these two statements identical?

Of course not. One is an event and the other is the result.

(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  They are two aspects of an event. One is material and one is immaterial.

Bare assertion.

(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Another problem with suggesting there is no immaterial mind is that you can't explain any reaction to an event. How does the content of an experience lead to a physical response in the brain?

"How does one neurochemical reaction lead to another?"

I don't think that you actually understand what we know about the mind.

(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Why is the oxytocin released when you are happy?

Oxytocin is what causes you to be happy, Naielis.

Again, you seem to be trying to overreach your bounds here. You don't actually understand what we know that the mind is, or what we know about how it works.

And yes. We do know that minds are brain activity. There is no arguing this point. We do not yet know which specific neurochemical reactions equate to what specific thought or emotion, or why it results in the perception of self, but we still know that it does.

My advice is for you to come back after you read up on this a bit. As it is, you're still asking incoherent questions.

"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."
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08-02-2017, 02:43 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 02:28 PM)Astreja Wrote:  A worldview, like real life, is subject to change. It need only be coherent in the moment that it is used. A static worldview that attempts to interpret reality according to an unchanging standard is both useless and potentially damaging to one's quality of life.

Well if your foundation is constantly changing, you are probably a bit too wishy washy.

Quote:*facepalm* Dear, sweet Uncle Loki -- Can't you get anything right? I clearly described how I use skepticism -- to question things that are out of sync with reality (such as hoping against hope that the Parking Gods will bestow upon me the best possible spot in the airport parkade at rush hour).

You use skepticism? So you're a skeptic? Ok so why aren't you agreeing with me in this thread? Skepticism isn't something you use. It's an entire epistemological system. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/skepticism/

Quote:I actually did engage your argument, like it or not. I just don't think it's worth staying engaged with it. Furthermore, philosophy is not life. It is just one way of contemplating life, and a fairly minor part of it as far as I'm concerned.

Philosophy is how we can ground our beliefs and actions.

Quote: I get vastly more satisfaction from engaging the real world instead.

This is what a lot of pragmatists and materialists say. There's one problem: what's the real world? You just assume you can trust your senses to view the real world. What if your senses are failing you? What if the physical doesn't exist at all? Then you've failed in your goal to engage in the real world because you were satisfied with the illusion. I don't believe the physical is an illusion, but I have reasons for this belief. I have justification. Where is yours?

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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08-02-2017, 02:44 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  1. I felt happy.
2. My brain released oxytocin.

They are two aspects of an event. One is material and one is immaterial.

"I felt happy" is a description of the brain state that occurred when oxytocin was released. Happiness is not some ephemeral thing floating around the aether that interacts with your brain and cause oxytocin to be released. When oxytocin is released your brain state is changed and you label that state "being happy".

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08-02-2017, 02:46 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 02:43 PM)Naielis Wrote:  There's one problem: what's the real world? You just assume you can trust your senses to view the real world. What if your senses are failing you? What if the physical doesn't exist at all?

Then you have very, very poor definitions of those terms.

This is not complicated.

"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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08-02-2017, 02:52 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 02:38 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Minds are brain activity? How do you know this?

Literally everything that we know about the mind indicates this.

(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  It seems this is very semantic.

No.

(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  But you're equating chemical reactions to the experiences we observe through introspection. How are these identical?

If you are asking why neurochemical reactions result in perception, I have no idea. But they demonstrably do.

(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Let's pose two statements.

1. I felt happy.
2. My brain released oxytocin.

Are these two statements identical?

Of course not. One is an event and the other is the result.

(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  They are two aspects of an event. One is material and one is immaterial.

Bare assertion.

(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Another problem with suggesting there is no immaterial mind is that you can't explain any reaction to an event. How does the content of an experience lead to a physical response in the brain?

"How does one neurochemical reaction lead to another?"

I don't think that you actually understand what we know about the mind.

(08-02-2017 02:29 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Why is the oxytocin released when you are happy?

Oxytocin is what causes you to be happy, Naielis.

Again, you seem to be trying to overreach your bounds here. You don't actually understand what we know that the mind is, or what we know about how it works.

And yes. We do know that minds are brain activity. There is no arguing this point. We do not yet know which specific neurochemical reactions equate to what specific thought or emotion, or why it results in the perception of self, but we still know that it does.

My advice is for you to come back after you read up on this a bit. As it is, you're still asking incoherent questions.

What causes the brain to release oxytocin after an experience? Let's say you're listening to music. Why does that make the brain release a chemical? Is it the sound waves? No it's the content of the sound waves. It's the immaterial aspect. The experience creates a physical effect. While I admit I'm not up to date on my neurobiology, I do know enough to know that experiences themselves cause physical reactions in the brain.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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