What really matters?

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EMTe
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Re: What really matters?

Post by EMTe » March 21st, 2013, 6:39 pm

Not all theories are philosophical. Basically, "theories" which infest human minds with unanswerable questions are philosophical, while theories which have found some use in real life or in science are not philosophical at all.

Examples.

Freud's ideas when you read them are plain philosophical gibberish. But they led to developing therapeutic techniques which seem to work and help people.

Questions like "what is my place in the Universe" or "what happens when tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it" lead to nothing. They have no practical use. This is philosophy.
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Re: What really matters?

Post by Rombomb » March 21st, 2013, 7:13 pm

EMTe wrote:Not all theories are philosophical. Basically, "theories" which infest human minds with unanswerable questions are philosophical, while theories which have found some use in real life or in science are not philosophical at all.

Examples.

Freud's ideas when you read them are plain philosophical gibberish. But they led to developing therapeutic techniques which seem to work and help people.

Questions like "what is my place in the Universe" or "what happens when tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it" lead to nothing. They have no practical use. This is philosophy.
What about historicism? Its a theory. Is it philosophical? If not, then what field of study does historicism get categorized under?

Also justificationism. Please answer the same questions.
We are all fallible -- anyone of us can be wrong about any one of our ideas. So shielding any one of my ideas from criticism means irrationally believing that I have the truth.

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Re: What really matters?

Post by EMTe » March 21st, 2013, 7:29 pm

Historicism and justificationism are philosophy. When you wake up tomorrow, kiss your lp and go to work you will not, during whole day, think about historicism and justificationism, and you will not act, neither in work nor during personal contacts with people, in accordance with your own views on historicism and justificationism. You will simply behave in accordance with social rules. When you will return from work, kiss your lp and wish her good night, and enter internet, then AND ONLY THEN you will argue about historicism and justificationism.

Philosophy is simply your brain stuck in loop when you're alone, have too much free time and don't have to cope with rl, fight for a living etc. It's medical condition similar to depression.

Sorry. 8)
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Re: What really matters?

Post by Rombomb » March 21st, 2013, 9:43 pm

Rombomb wrote:Science is about scientific theories
EMTe wrote: And philosophy is about philosophical theories.

Philosophers are not insane meant as "mad" or not aware of what is going around them, but they are certainly sociopaths to some degree.
I'm not sure what you mean by "sociopaths". Lots of people mean different things by it and I don't know which meaning you are referring to. Could you tell us which meaning you mean? You could explain it yourself, or quote a definition and cite the source.
EMTe wrote: They can't accept their life as it is
I'm a fallibilist, which means that I believe that everybody makes mistakes, no one's perfect. I also believe that progress is unlimited, and I believe that's true for everybody -- unless you're in a coma or sufficiently brain-damaged. By "progress" I'm referring to evolving one's knowledge -- and I'm talking about all kinds of knowledge, epistemic, psychological, moral, political, economic, scientific, technological, etc.
EMTe wrote: and they constantly dig for answers. I can't understand it,
Why do you think its impossible for you to understand it? Or, do you mean "can't" metaphorically?
EMTe wrote: probably because I am sane.
Why do you think in terms of probability? Do you believe that the truth-value of ideas can be predicted by guesstimates/calculations?

Or do you mean "probably" in a metaphorical sense? If so, what is the literal meaning that the metaphor stands for?
EMTe wrote: You live, but every second of your life you try to find the answer why you live,
um, I consider myself a philosopher and I don't "try to find the answer why live" every second of my life. I haven't spent much time thinking about stuff like that. I've always had lots of interests and I continue to make more (its part of living and its fun!)

So my existence is a counter-example to your theory that "[Philosophers] live, but every second of [their lives they] try to find the answer why [they] live". And this counter-example is a negative argument that acts against your theory, thus refuting it. So as far as I know, your theory is wrong. Note that because of I follow the tradition of fallibilism, I treat all theories as either tentatively true, or tentatively false. This means that no other truth-values are possible, there is only true and false. And I say *tentatively* because of another implication of fallibilism, which is that we can be wrong about any one of our ideas.

A common mistake most people make is to hold on to their ideas (aka beliefs) irrationally -- meaning that they hold on to ideas even in the face of criticism, and without even addressing the content and merit of the criticism. This is a justificationist mistake. Learning about justificationism, and its implications on one's psychology and behavior would improve one's ability to prevent himself from holding on to ideas irrationally. Since some of the ideas a person holds on to are mistaken, that means he's holding on to lots of mistaken ideas, many of which cause suffering.

So learning about justificationism results in fewer hurt-causing ideas, which means less suffering for the individual and the people he interacts with.

EMTe wrote: how to live or how to not live etc.

We do that because some ways of living are hurtful, and others are not. The non-hurtful ways are better -- because less suffering is better. And we make progress in discovering our hurtful ways. We also make progress in changing the hurtful ways by replacing them with non-hurtful ways -- in this way, we are evolving our knowledge in a step-by-step piecemeal way.

EMTe wrote: At the end of your biological existence you find that you spent your whole life in a sort of loop. You talked about life, but you never lived.

uh, so you're lumping all philosophers together and claiming that they *all* share a certain quality that you described as "[philosophers] never lived". This is a mistake known as parochialism. This is an epistemic theory, like justificationism is, and learning about it would help you improve your skill in noticing your parochial ideas.

Why Philosophy? (ipad app), by Elliot Temple. Elliot wrote:Parochialism refers to ways of thinking which mistake parts of one's life for general features of the universe.

Parochialism can be thought of as bias towards stuff you are accustomed to.

Parochial thinking is usually done unconsciously rather than intentionally.

Parochialism is false. Common sense contains mistakes. Your intuition contains mistakes. Western culture contains mistakes. Christianity contains mistakes. Scientific Journals contain mistakes. In general, parochial thinking often contains mistakes. It shouldn't be assumed true or accepted blindly.

Parochial thinking is limited in scope. It mistakes features of your life for general features of the universe. It mistakes your own limits, today, for universal limits.

Avoiding parochial thinking requires learning to think more generally. And thinking more impersonally. And learning and following the methods of truth seeking.

The "methods of truth seeking" is the field of epistemology -- epistemic knowledge. Epistemology is about how we gain knowledge.
We are all fallible -- anyone of us can be wrong about any one of our ideas. So shielding any one of my ideas from criticism means irrationally believing that I have the truth.

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Re: What really matters?

Post by Taylorthephilosopher » March 22nd, 2013, 5:48 am

EMTe wrote:I've discovered this topic only because somebody posted in it, but the question is still important, partially because it was asked by admin, The Scott, who still believes philosophy of ancient Greeks is the answer.

Science is answer.

Why did you ask this question. What is your agenda. What is your past. What is your biology. Which fluids your body contains when you ask these questions.

Ancient Greeks, including your favourite Diogenes, were simply morons, inventing fables produced by their limited brains. They knew nothing of modern philosophy, psychology, physics, biology.

Philosophy is fun as "history of human thought", but it will never escape what I call the "zeitgeist trap". You think you're smart, but you're only link in the chain.

Sorry, Scott, you can dissolve this forum. Philosophy in 4679 will look completely different from your vision. 8)
Science is material workings, while philosophy is conscious workings. The philosopher is wise when it accepts eternal and infinite inferiority to and ignorance of reality. "Run to those who seek the truth, run from those who claim to have found it."

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Re: What really matters?

Post by Rombomb » March 26th, 2013, 10:54 am

EMTe wrote:Historicism and justificationism are philosophy. When you wake up tomorrow, kiss your lp and go to work you will not, during whole day, think about historicism and justificationism, and you will not act, neither in work nor during personal contacts with people, in accordance with your own views on historicism and justificationism.
False. I do, and you do, and everybody else does too.

You either believe that historicism is true or false. If you don't know what it is, then you believe its true. Historicism is the belief that trends of human choices of the past can be turned into laws of human choices that can be used to predict future choices. Its wrong because people can change their minds -- i.e. create new ideas. Its these new ideas that affect people's decision-making. So with new ideas comes different decisions.

Note that parents use this sort of logic with their children. If their child has acted in a certain way in the past, he assumes that he will in the future. But that assumption is predicated on the premise that the child won't change his mind, which is dumb.


You either believe that justificationism is true or false. If you don't know what it is, then you believe its true. Justificationism is the belief that knowledge is not true unless it is "supported" enough. The premise is that "support" of an idea is meaningful. Its a false premise. Evidence (and reasons) can be consistent with a theory (aka idea), but that doesn't mean that the evidence "supports" the theory. Why? Because the evidence could be consistent with an infinite number of logically-possible theories. So if the evidence doesn't single out one theory that it supports, then that means that "support" is meaningless.

EMTe wrote: You will simply behave in accordance with social rules.
False. I don't follow social rules unless I judge that they are good. For example, the 'nice' tradition is bad, so I don't follow that tradition.
EMTe wrote: When you will return from work, kiss your lp and wish her good night, and enter internet, then AND ONLY THEN you will argue about historicism and justificationism.
False. I talk about these things with my 6 and 4 y.o.
EMTe wrote: Philosophy is simply your brain stuck in loop when you're alone,
False. Philosophy is about learning to think better. And that means less suffering. http://onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums/ ... f=3&t=8274

http://onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums/ ... f=2&t=8444
EMTe wrote: have too much free time and don't have to cope with rl, fight for a living etc.
False. Philosophy helps one cope with real life.
EMTe wrote: It's medical condition similar to depression.
False. Philosophy is a field of study. Depression is not.
EMTe wrote: Sorry. 8)
What is there to be sorry about?

BTW, I disagree with the tradition of apologizing.
We are all fallible -- anyone of us can be wrong about any one of our ideas. So shielding any one of my ideas from criticism means irrationally believing that I have the truth.

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Re: What really matters?

Post by EMTe » March 26th, 2013, 7:05 pm

If everything what I said is false you must simply become me (in theory) to agree with me or just understand me. Nothing I said stands in contradiction with my, quite simple, views on outside world and people, so why you say it's false is a mystery to me.
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Re: What really matters?

Post by Belinda » March 27th, 2013, 4:20 am

EMTe wrote:Historicism and justificationism are philosophy. When you wake up tomorrow, kiss your lp and go to work you will not, during whole day, think about historicism and justificationism, and you will not act, neither in work nor during personal contacts with people, in accordance with your own views on historicism and justificationism. You will simply behave in accordance with social rules. When you will return from work, kiss your lp and wish her good night, and enter internet, then AND ONLY THEN you will argue about historicism and justificationism.

Philosophy is simply your brain stuck in loop when you're alone, have too much free time and don't have to cope with rl, fight for a living etc. It's medical condition similar to depression.

Sorry. 8)

But when a doctor goes to work the doctor should aim to produce diagnoses that rest upon the patients' previous histories ,signs and symtptoms and not alone upon some theory of disease. Likewise the bicycle repairer looks to see what sort of misuse has caused the brakes to malfunction so that the causes can be addressed. When the philosopher talks of 'historicism' she is addressing how interpretations of causes matter for future actions.

Naturally, one does not use big words when one is at the supermarket checkout, or when one is out on a stormy sea rowing the lifeboat. Etc.
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Re: What really matters?

Post by Londoner » March 27th, 2013, 6:45 am

EMTe wrote:If everything what I said is false you must simply become me (in theory) to agree with me or just understand me. Nothing I said stands in contradiction with my, quite simple, views on outside world and people, so why you say it's false is a mystery to me.
It isn't that your views are 'false' - your views are your views and we will take your word for it that you are honestly reporting them. For me, the problem is that they are unrealistic.

Through some chance, the atoms that make up my body have some degree of self-awareness. In this respect I am unlike everything else in the universe, which just exists...yet I realise I am also still part of this universe. Philosophy is the way I explore this contradiction.

I'm not saying this will make me happy. As the story in Genesis points out, self-awareness is as much a curse as a blessing. But as Genesis also points out, I am stuck with it. If I could get rid of it, just 'live for the moment' etc., that might be good (or it might be a shameful cop-out), but it doesn't really matter because I don't think I can manage it.

If a philosopher insisted they were above all their material needs, that they were free of emotions, could suppress all instincts etc. we would not believe them. We would say they lacked true self-knowledge. And we would not be surprised to find that because they refused to acknowledge their animal needs, they turned into animal monsters!

I think the same is true of someone who does not acknowledge their philosophical needs. If you don't look after them, they won't go away. They will force their way into your life in some distorted form and either make you miserable or do the same for those around you.

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Re: What really matters?

Post by Taylorthephilosopher » March 27th, 2013, 2:52 pm

Rombomb wrote: You either believe that historicism is true or false. If you don't know what it is, then you believe its true. Historicism is the belief that trends of human choices of the past can be turned into laws of human choices that can be used to predict future choices. Its wrong because people can change their minds -- i.e. create new ideas. Its these new ideas that affect people's decision-making. So with new ideas comes different decisions.


You either believe that justificationism is true or false. If you don't know what it is, then you believe its true. Justificationism is the belief that knowledge is not true unless it is "supported" enough. The premise is that "support" of an idea is meaningful. Its a false premise. Evidence (and reasons) can be consistent with a theory (aka idea), but that doesn't mean that the evidence "supports" the theory. Why? Because the evidence could be consistent with an infinite number of logically-possible theories. So if the evidence doesn't single out one theory that it supports, then that means that "support" is meaningless.
Both historicism and justificationism are valid methods, but they exist in a reality which consists of infinite possibilities. Infinite possibilities means that the only rule is exceptions to the rule.

Exceptions do not discount trends and patterns, they highlight them. Without exceptions there would be no reason for anyone to ever consider making the concrete fact about the way things are into some sort of maxim by which to guide behavior and predict the future. It is the fact that we can possibly err that gives us the desire to form such rules and the methods for finding them.


Trends, although fallible, can and are used to accurately predict the future, they just cant be used to build certainty in predictions.

Evidence, although fallible, can and is used to establish knowledge, it just can not establish certain truth.

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Re: What really matters?

Post by Rombomb » March 27th, 2013, 4:55 pm

Rombomb wrote: You either believe that historicism is true or false. If you don't know what it is, then you believe its true. Historicism is the belief that trends of human choices of the past can be turned into laws of human choices that can be used to predict future choices. Its wrong because people can change their minds -- i.e. create new ideas. Its these new ideas that affect people's decision-making. So with new ideas comes different decisions.


You either believe that justificationism is true or false. If you don't know what it is, then you believe its true. Justificationism is the belief that knowledge is not true unless it is "supported" enough. The premise is that "support" of an idea is meaningful. Its a false premise. Evidence (and reasons) can be consistent with a theory (aka idea), but that doesn't mean that the evidence "supports" the theory. Why? Because the evidence could be consistent with an infinite number of logically-possible theories. So if the evidence doesn't single out one theory that it supports, then that means that "support" is meaningless.
Taylorthephilosopher wrote: Both historicism and justificationism are valid methods,
The solution to the regress problem refutes justificationism. Do you have a criticism of this refutation?

If not, then why do you still think that justificationism is a valid method?
We are all fallible -- anyone of us can be wrong about any one of our ideas. So shielding any one of my ideas from criticism means irrationally believing that I have the truth.

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Re: What really matters?

Post by Londoner » March 28th, 2013, 6:05 am

Rombomb You either believe that historicism is true or false. If you don't know what it is, then you believe its true. Historicism is the belief that trends of human choices of the past can be turned into laws of human choices that can be used to predict future choices...
Touch of the 'straw man' there!

This is only 'historicism' as Popper defines it - he first defines it in this exaggerated way and then argues against his own definition.

So I don't like the sentence: 'If you don't know what it is, then you believe its true' in the quote. Nobody 'knows'. It is an approach to understanding history and one that everyone uses to some extent. The only question is how it can be usefully balanced against the alternative approaches.

Same goes for 'justificationism'.

Rombomb continues:
Because the evidence could be consistent with an infinite number of logically-possible theories. So if the evidence doesn't single out one theory that it supports, then that means that "support" is meaningless.
If all the evidence pointed to one theory, then it wouldn't be a theory - it would be a fact! But it is never going to happen; humans are never going to be in a position to know all the evidence, nor know for certain that anything we assert is true. As I remember, this comes up quite early in philosophical studies. But we have to start from where we are...

So I think I'm with Taylor on this one. If we disregarded every approach that failed to irrefutably explain life, history, the universe etc. then we might as well give up the thinking business altogether.

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Re: What really matters?

Post by Rombomb » March 28th, 2013, 9:35 am

Rombomb You either believe that historicism is true or false. If you don't know what it is, then you believe its true. Historicism is the belief that trends of human choices of the past can be turned into laws of human choices that can be used to predict future choices...
Londoner wrote: Touch of the 'straw man' there!

This is only 'historicism' as Popper defines it - he first defines it in this exaggerated way and then argues against his own definition.
What is another definition of historicism?
Londoner wrote: So I don't like the sentence: 'If you don't know what it is, then you believe its true' in the quote. Nobody 'knows'. It is an approach to understanding history and one that everyone uses to some extent. The only question is how it can be usefully balanced against the alternative approaches.
You're claiming that *I* use it. Why do you make that claim?
Because the evidence could be consistent with an infinite number of logically-possible theories. So if the evidence doesn't single out one theory that it supports, then that means that "support" is meaningless.
Londoner wrote: If all the evidence pointed to one theory, then it wouldn't be a theory - it would be a fact!
But you're talking about all of today's evidence. You realize that we will get new evidence, and that evidence could contradict the theory that you've labeled as "fact".
Londoner wrote: But it is never going to happen; humans are never going to be in a position to know all the evidence,
Right. So you agree with me.
Londoner wrote: nor know for certain that anything we assert is true.
Right. So you agree with me.
Londoner wrote: As I remember, this comes up quite early in philosophical studies. But we have to start from where we are...

So I think I'm with Taylor on this one. If we disregarded every approach that failed to irrefutably explain life, history, the universe etc. then we might as well give up the thinking business altogether.
Wait, why did you say 'irrefutably'? I didn't say that. You're created a straw man.
We are all fallible -- anyone of us can be wrong about any one of our ideas. So shielding any one of my ideas from criticism means irrationally believing that I have the truth.

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Re: What really matters?

Post by Taylorthephilosopher » March 28th, 2013, 10:42 am

Rombomb, no reasonable person claims that evidence can prove a theory true or that trends from the past are absolutely the trends of the future. There are obviously times that evidence and trends will lead one to a false hypothesis: when things change and when evidence is misleading. They will lead to an accurate or close to accurate hypothesis much more often than a false one when used correctly however.

Trends are real and they do tend to continue on into the future in the same manner that carried on in the past. Evidence does provide information about a thing that with which connections and relations other known things can be made to establish basic understanding.

I do not know what solution to what regress problem you are thinking disproves that justificationism is useful.

You really ought to take your philosophy of falliblism (a philosophy I agree with) and apply it not only to humans but to the tools humans craft as well. We are fallible, and so is every method for finding truth that we come up with. The problem is that the determination of "the best method for finding truth" requires us to already have found a method for finding truth. To compare different methods, like justificationism and historicism, involves evaluating the truth in each method's proces for evaluation. To evaluate different methods of evaluation is to use a method of evaluation in without a prior evaluation of its value; How did you know that the method used to evaluate other methods was the best method to use?

I am getting way off on a tangent now. I apologze. My point is that every method for finding truth is fallible and you would be wrong to dismiss a ton of evidence because you can think of a possible rival theory to the one supported by all that information, and it would be unwise ignore consistent trends because its possible they might change.

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Re: What really matters?

Post by Londoner » March 29th, 2013, 6:43 am

Rombomb What is another definition of historicism?
That events can be best understood by reference to the specific culture in which they occured, rather than as the result of some universally operating force...or just chance.

To put it very crudely, the French Revolution can best be understood by looking at the details of French society at the time, rather than as part of some law of inevitable human progression towards popular governments, (or as a chaotic spin-off from King Louis having had indigestion one night)

It is a considerable jump to go from this modest approach to understanding history to insisting:
Historicism is the belief that trends of human choices of the past can be turned into laws of human choices that can be used to predict future choices.
You're claiming that *I* use it. Why do you make that claim?
Because of the remark I quote above.
But it is never going to happen; humans are never going to be in a position to know all the evidence, Right.

So you agree with me.
I'm pleased to hear we do agree on this point. But since that is the case, then surely your remark;
Because the evidence could be consistent with an infinite number of logically-possible theories. So if the evidence doesn't single out one theory that it supports, then that means that "support" is meaningless.
applies equally to every theory. If we are never ever going to be able to find evidence that will 'single out one theory that it supports' then in all discussions we are just going to have to settle for evidence that will 'support' a theory. You can call it 'meaningless', but it is all we are going to get!
So I think I'm with Taylor on this one. If we disregarded every approach that failed to irrefutably explain life, history, the universe etc. then we might as well give up the thinking business altogether.

Wait, why did you say 'irrefutably'? I didn't say that. You're created a straw man.
You said of historicism 'the evidence could be consistent with an infinite number of logically-possible theories'. I responded that the same was true of any theory, that we cannot prove any approach 'irrefutably', since we can never have all the evidence and for other reasons. You replied to each of my points (philosophical truisms) 'So you agree with me'. So I don't see how this misrepresents you!

So once again, I do not see why you dismiss the evidence for 'historicism' as 'meaningless' just because it cannot pass what (I think) we agree is the impossible test of being conclusive.

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