This is a reply to post #10
lapetus wrote:Your post sparked my interest in relation to philosophy, science and their practitioners.
I am pleased to read that.
lapetus wrote:You criticise Neil deGrasse Tyson on the basis that “concerning philosophy, he has it completely wrong. That is understandable because he is not a philosopher”. On that basis, why are you posting on this site?
Scott said on the HOME page of onlinephilosophyclub:
Scott wrote:Please use our website to continue your philosophy studies. Study all the great ideas, theorists and philosophiers.
Therefore, I was politely invited by Scott to further my philosophical studies at his site. And I accepted the invitation in 2013 as you can verify in the field below my user name on the right of this post------>
On that basis I am here.
Actually, one can join for fun as well, as Scott also says on the HOME page:
Scott wrote:Currently, you can join our Philosophy Forums for fun! Join the deep, interesting discussions today! It's really great and fun. For instance, check out these current topics:
For myself, it is more for the studies that I came here, but I also have my share of fun sometimes!
lapetus wrote:What do you consider to be necessary for somebody to be a philosopher?
This is an excellent question.
A philosopher is someone who has the ability to produce philosophical discourse. The main criteria for a discourse to be considered philosophical by me
1. Accurate presentation of the facts.
2. Consistent/coherent/logical discourse, i.e. a discourse which does not contradict itself, and which does not contradict the facts. Both internal and external coherence is needed.
3. Positive impact on the audience.
(i) The discourse must be adapted to the audience. The audience must be able of relating to the discourse, which means that a philosopher must be someone who is able to tap into the concepts which he thinks his audience already understand and use these to make himself understood. Here, use of analogies and examples are of fundamental importance. This also means that a philosopher must be someone whose knowledge is both extensive and intensive.
(ii) The discourse must enlighten and at the same time further the thinking of the audience and encourage the audience to further research on the subject of the discourse.
To answer your question now, for me to determine whether someone is a philosopher or not, is only possible on case by case basis. If the above requirements are fulfilled, then I will call him/her a philosopher.
This is only fair, because if somebody who cannot write functioning computer programs at all, I cannot call him/her a computer programmer. Or someone who cannot make decent and wearable garments, I cannot call him/her a tailor.
lapetus wrote:What do you consider to be necessary for somebody to be a philosopher? A degree? Articles accepted in philosophical publications?
In the case of someone who has a degree and someone who has written an article published by a philosophy journal, implies that both these persons have attempted to produce a philosophical discourse. One now has to determine whether these discourses follow the criteria for a discourse to be labelled as philosophical. As you asked me the question personally, then I will reply: l have to read the discourses first.
The question that you could have asked me purposefully, and to which I can provide an answer is this: Do I (Daviddunn) consider you (lapetus) to have produced a philosophical discourse by post #10?
Well, at the end of this post I will provide the assessment, and my conclusion to answer the question.
lapetus wrote:Do you have particular qualifications in order to make judgements of others in relation to this observation?
Yes. It is called the right to freedom of conscience and expression guaranteed by article 18 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
lapetus wrote:You have not defined philosophy but you have asserted that Tyson is not a philosopher. I have looked up a few definitions of philosophy and most refer to;
- the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence;
- the study of ideas about how to do something or how to live;
- the study of principles for guidance in practical affairs.
Given that, in his professional capacity, Tyson investigates the nature of the universe, its origins, underlying physical laws and structure, what makes you assert that he is not a philosopher? I can understand a position which regards science as a branch of philosophy and also one which regards science as a tool of philosophy. I cannot see why you regard them as separate entities.
This is a good observation but leads to a burlesque absurdity in the present case. Notice that if you take philosophy to include the natural sciences as the ancient Greeks did, then Tyson, who is a scientist, will be saying that "Science is useless", because he said "Philosophy is useless". It does not make sense to me that he would make such a statement about science, but it is possible also. He may be having a prolonged "lucid" moment! It is up to you to further this interpretation if you wish, I have chosen not to because of its burlesque absurdity.
lapetus wrote:Hypotheses are never completely verified.
That is a matter of interpretation that needs to be considered on a case by case basis. For example, once people were undecided about whether the Earth was spherically shaped or flat in shape. So then, there were at least two hypotheses, one in which the Earth was thought as spherical and the other in which the Earth was flat. Nowadays, the hypothesis that the Earth is of a spherical shape has been completely and indubitably verified. As your statement was intended as a general statement, therefore it is false.
lapetus wrote:I cannot imagine a situation where any scientist can say that they are ‘done and happy’. If you can think of one, then I would like to hear it.
Johann Wolgang Von Goethe(1749-1832) was a scientist, philosopher and poet among the many labels which can be attributed to him. Goethe is said to be the greatest man of letters of Germany who ever existed. Also Goethe embraced Islam. His main contribution to science is the Theory of Colors.
You can view this video to learn more about this fascinating discovery of Goethe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pitz56_8CJg
About his Theory of Colors, Goethe said:
Goethe wrote:As to what I have done as a poet... I take no pride in it... but that in my century I am the only person who knows the truth in the difficult science of colors – of that, I say, I am not a little proud, and here I have a consciousness of a superiority to many(Goethe 1930, 302)
There are a multitude of other examples; check the list of Nobel Prizers and their discoveries as a start. You can also check some YouTube videos of the interviews of some recent Nobel Prizers to investigate that they were happy with their findings as well.
lapetus wrote:There is always more to find out.
Yes, but you will have to do your homework to find out.
lapetus wrote:Beyond the logical absolutes, I cannot envisage a situation where a scientist can claim absolute truth.
By logical absolutes, I think you mean tautologies, e.g. If I am intelligent then I am intelligent. Scientists do not deal with such statements but logicians and philosophers do.
If you cannot envisage a situation where a scientist claim absolute truth, then I will inform you. Scientists do claim that the Earth is of a geo-spherical shape with indubitable certainty. There are many other scientific hypothesis which have been verified, which then became known as a scientific fact.
Philosophy starts where science ends. In a way, philosophy is harder than science.
Lapetus wrote:You have given no evidence to justify such statements.
This is common sense. One must first establish the facts before one can start thinking about them. Hence, philosophy starts when science ends. A good example for this is exemplified by the argument from design. The order and regularity of the world must first be established by persistent observation, in order to rightly infer that there must be a Designer behind this magnificent and intricate ordering. The Fine-tuning argument is the more elaborate version of the Design argument, in which modern technical science is a prerequisite to its understanding and formulation. Philosophy is harder than science then, because the philosopher needs to understand the scientific process and results as well having other kinds of knowledge (history, psychology, logic
etc...). In a nutshell, the philosopher's knowledge base is (at least it should be) broader.
lapetus wrote:Your analogy with the piano works for any set of skills, including those of a scientist. It is not something specific to philosophy
In-order to account for the other fields of study, the 'piano case' must be extended, because the analogy of the 'piano case' by itself would not be enough to account for the other fields of study. This is a simple exercising of common-sense.
Let us extend the analogy of the 'piano case' by the example of someone learning to play violin. It would go like this:
Initially, someone who has never played violin, trying to play violin for the first time would find it difficult to play a particular note. With practice, as the fingers and hands get more ease in coordinating themselves, and the fingers become more articulate on the fingerboard, the first notes start to be distinguished. As one becomes more and more proficient, the music can be heard.
The violin playing can represent philosophy and the piano playing can be considered to stand for science. Note: I likened violin to philosophy here because, in my opinion, philosophy is harder than science, and violin is harder to learn than piano, although musical score reading is the same for both.
One who is developing skills in piano will not automatically be developing skills in violin, if he/she is only practicing piano playing. So a violin only practioner, will not be able to transfer/transport his skills to the piano keyboard automatically. And, the converse is true as well, even though as already mentioned, musical score reading is the same for both.
Similarly, a scientist cannot automatically transfer his skills to the field of philosophy. And a philosopher cannot directly transfer his skills to the scientific field. And again, similarly as the 'violin-piano scenarios', the musical score reading was the same, there is some overlap between the two fields in that both fields (philosophy and science) seeks answers to questions, but the difference is in their methods of seeking answers. One is introspection and the other is investigation of the world around us.
lapetus wrote:Philosophy in action.
Yes, what I do is philosophy in action, i.e. practical philosophy.
Now, let us assess your work to provide an answer to your question of how do I assess a philosophical discourse. Based on the criteria listed above, I will mark you on each criteria on a scale of 0-10 for each criteria.
1. Accuracy of factual information.
You got all your facts wrong. So, no point is awarded here.
2. Consistency of discourse.
You made logical mistakes all through the post. So, again no point is awarded.
3. Positive impact on audience.
The post was addressed to me, so I am the audience. There was nothing to understand as the facts were wrong and the logic
inconsistent. However, this caused me to think about what you wrote but since there was no substance to the post, it did not further thinking in a positive sense. Anyway, I will be lenient and concede you half the points on this criteria. So, for this criteria, I give you 5 points.
Conclusion: Do not discourage, we must learn from our mistakes. I made mistakes myself but the true philosopher is someone who is humble and learn lessons from his mistakes. He constantly strives to improve himself and is trying to instill that in others and he loves to learn.
Recommendation: The book that has had and has a profound impact on me is the Holy Quran, which I read every day a little bit at a time. If you will kindly allow me, I would like to advise you to read and ponder on the Holy Quran. For, God, the Almighty says in the Holy Quran:
- O mankind! Verily there has come to you an instruction from your Lord and a healing for what is in your breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers. [Holy Quran 10:57]