Something fishy!
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26-01-2012, 07:02 PM
Something fishy!
Source: http://bit.ly/ye7Ugr

"Survey of professional philosophers and others on their philosophical views, carried out in November 2009. The Survey was taken by 3226 respondents, including 1803 philosophy faculty members and/or PhDs and 829 philosophy graduate students."


God: theism or atheism?
Accept or lean toward: atheism 1257 / 1803 (69.7%)
Accept or lean toward: theism 295 / 1803 (16.3%)
Other 251 / 1803 (13.9%)

Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?
Accept or lean toward: physicalism 981 / 1803 (54.4%)
Accept or lean toward: non-physicalism 521 / 1803 (28.8%)
Other 301 / 1803 (16.6%)

Interesting statistics to say the least. Pfft philosophical theology my ass...

In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

--Stephen Jay Gould
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26-01-2012, 09:20 PM
RE: Something fishy!
That was very cool! Thanks! ... It scares Girly a bit that I actually understood the survey well enough to answer almost every question for myself. I found myself in the minority more often than I would've guessed.

This one is worth the mindfuck. Big Grin

"Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?
Other 997 / 1803 (55.2%)
Accept or lean toward: two boxes 458 / 1803 (25.4%)
Accept or lean toward: one box 348 / 1803 (19.3%)"

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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26-01-2012, 11:27 PM
RE: Something fishy!
I saw Neil DeGrasse Tyson in a video going on about scientists belief compared to the general public and he later adds in the video how when going to PHD philosophers the ratios adjusts to nearly all atheist.

I'm not sure if they consider theologists philosophers.. I wouldn't which would explain the data to in my view, although maybe inaccurate.

It felt like to me if you are really into philosophical thought and are a religious person, it's more than likely going to lead you into theology over other philosophical fields.
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27-01-2012, 06:38 AM
RE: Something fishy!
(26-01-2012 09:20 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  That was very cool! Thanks! ... It scares Girly a bit that I actually understood the survey well enough to answer almost every question for myself. I found myself in the minority more often than I would've guessed.

This one is worth the mindfuck. Big Grin

"Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?
Other 997 / 1803 (55.2%)
Accept or lean toward: two boxes 458 / 1803 (25.4%)
Accept or lean toward: one box 348 / 1803 (19.3%)"

How is there an "other?" XD
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27-01-2012, 02:16 PM
RE: Something fishy!
(26-01-2012 11:27 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  I saw Neil DeGrasse Tyson in a video going on about scientists belief compared to the general public and he later adds in the video how when going to PHD philosophers the ratios adjusts to nearly all atheist.

I'm not sure if they consider theologists philosophers.. I wouldn't which would explain the data to in my view, although maybe inaccurate.

It felt like to me if you are really into philosophical thought and are a religious person, it's more than likely going to lead you into theology over other philosophical fields.

Theologians are not usually considered philosophers. I know they weren't for the purposes of this study. The theists that there are are mostly specialists in philosophy of religion, which is a subfield of philosophy. The difference is basically that theologians ponder the nature of God while assuming the broad "truth" of some religious framework, while philosophers of religion try to use philosophy to bring intellectual respectability to the framework.

The standard of rigor in theology is much lower in theology than in philosophy, and that philosophy of religion is often regarded by philosophers of other specializations of being conducted at a particularly low level of argumentation. See this post and the comments on the philosophy blog Leiter Reports to get a sense of this; it's a news story about the famous atheist philosopher of religion Keith Parsons moving to a different subfield because he thought philosophy of religion had become a waste of time, since the theist arguments were so bad.

It's also worth noting that when the survey results are adjusted for specialization as philosophy of religion, theism becomes the dominant position. There are two simple reasons for this. The philosophy of religion is a field flooded with mediocre thinkers from religious schools, whose background is in philosophical theology or "Christian philosophy" and then flood into the philosophy of religion en masse trying to "prove" God with the same arguments over and over in no-name journals. Their background is not in formal academic philosophy. Second, philosophy of religion is a subfield you are unlikely to enter unless you share certain intuitions about theism's prima facie plausibility. For example, it is basically impossible to even begin to solve the problem of evil unless one is a libertarian about free will, a position that most philosophers in philosophy of mind and metaphysics think is goofy.

(27-01-2012 06:38 AM)Ben Wrote:  
(26-01-2012 09:20 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  That was very cool! Thanks! ... It scares Girly a bit that I actually understood the survey well enough to answer almost every question for myself. I found myself in the minority more often than I would've guessed.

This one is worth the mindfuck. Big Grin

"Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?
Other 997 / 1803 (55.2%)
Accept or lean toward: two boxes 458 / 1803 (25.4%)
Accept or lean toward: one box 348 / 1803 (19.3%)"

How is there an "other?" XD

"Other" includes people who answered "there is no fact of the matter" or "agnostic/undecided" or "insufficiently familiar with the issue" and other such answers.

"There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination."
-Daniel Dennett
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27-01-2012, 02:46 PM
RE: Something fishy!
Ummm. This indicates that there might be atheists who are also lean non-physicalist. That or nearly every undecided selected non-phys.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain
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27-01-2012, 03:05 PM
RE: Something fishy!
(27-01-2012 02:46 PM)germanyt Wrote:  Ummm. This indicates that there might be atheists who are also lean non-physicalist. That or nearly every undecided selected non-phys.

An atheist who is not a materialist is not really an atheist. He just trades one woo for another.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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27-01-2012, 03:24 PM
RE: Something fishy!
(27-01-2012 03:05 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(27-01-2012 02:46 PM)germanyt Wrote:  Ummm. This indicates that there might be atheists who are also lean non-physicalist. That or nearly every undecided selected non-phys.

An atheist who is not a materialist is not really an atheist. He just trades one woo for another.

One possible source of confusion for those answering the survey though; does "non-physicalism" include property dualism, because this is definitely a live option. I agree that true Cartesian dualism, or idealism, about minds is silly, but the following are all live options:

-Reductive physicalism
-Non-reductive/supervenience physicalism (mental facts are not reducible to physical facts, but supervene on physical facts)
-Property dualism (mental facts are an irreducible set of separate facts, but are still natural facts)

If I was responding to the survey I'd certainly be annoyed at the ambiguity of the question, though I'd only definitely consider property dualism "non-physicalism."

"There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination."
-Daniel Dennett
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27-01-2012, 03:37 PM
RE: Something fishy!
(27-01-2012 03:24 PM)Valdyr Wrote:  
(27-01-2012 03:05 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(27-01-2012 02:46 PM)germanyt Wrote:  Ummm. This indicates that there might be atheists who are also lean non-physicalist. That or nearly every undecided selected non-phys.

An atheist who is not a materialist is not really an atheist. He just trades one woo for another.

One possible source of confusion for those answering the survey though; does "non-physicalism" include property dualism, because this is definitely a live option. I agree that true Cartesian dualism, or idealism, about minds is silly, but the following are all live options:

-Reductive physicalism
-Non-reductive/supervenience physicalism (mental facts are not reducible to physical facts, but supervene on physical facts)
-Property dualism (mental facts are an irreducible set of separate facts, but are still natural facts)

If I was responding to the survey I'd certainly be annoyed at the ambiguity of the question, though I'd only definitely consider property dualism "non-physicalism."

To have an informed discussion about the differences I will need to do some research.

My (materialist) view is:
  • Brain is hardware/firmware;
  • Mind is firmware/software;
  • Consciousness is an emergent property of complex software.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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27-01-2012, 05:44 PM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2012 05:49 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Something fishy!
(27-01-2012 03:05 PM)Chas Wrote:  An atheist who is not a materialist is not really an atheist. He just trades one woo for another.

Don't think I'm down with that. ... not sure I ascribe to materialism. ... And it's all woo, brother, science just provides a more explainable and understandable woo.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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