Philosophy and Science

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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby BadgerJelly on December 24th, 2016, 6:12 am 

wolfhnd » December 24th, 2016, 5:35 pm wrote:The arrogance of those who enjoy "philosophy" is what I find disturbing. In general they seem to believe that science can benefit from philosophy but philosophy cannot benefit from science. I believe it is the other way around. Science grounds philosophy in objective reality allowing it to address the "big questions" without being total fantasy. Philosophy often becomes nothing more than an intellectual coat of fresh paint on a rotting house and I offer post modernism as an example.


I find remarks like this purposefully provocative, needlessly hostile, singular, and lacking any kind of validity.

Or to put it more simply, plain silly. See, I can be condescending too! How great! I will even go on to explain the validity of my statement :)

To say that philosophers generally disregard science is nonsense. To say philosophers only operate outside of "fantasy" because of science is nonsense. Philosophy is based on experience and reasoning. One path of philosophy has been objectivism and another physicalism ... or to put this more clearly "natural science".

Are there philsophers that dismiss scientists? I am sure there are. Are there scientists that dismiss philosophers? There sure are and the link dandelion provided highlights this very well.

I do not see anyone here saying philosophy does not benefit from science? I have never really seen this protested by anyone overtly. On the other hand, a great many people are very quick to dismiss philosophy as useless in regard to its application to scientific thought.

So, I find what you say disturbing and I am willing to accept that philosophy and science offer each other certain types of knowledge to investigate human nature and the natural world we are a part of.

I am well aware that this forum is more inclined towards scientific investigation than towards philosophical discussion. Other forums suffer from the opposite condition and I can only guess that such experiences have led you to assume some amateurs online represent the philosophical community?

I also understand that many people produce such harsh statements in order to provoke certain responses to destroy reasoned discourse, give gravitas to a stagnated discussion or simply to voice a personal opinion without any real thought or research to back it up.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Serpent on December 24th, 2016, 12:04 pm 

BadgerJelly » December 24th, 2016, 2:34 am wrote: The point is not to disregard logic, the point is to see the limit of scientific reduction as a purposeful means of describing human experience.

I get that. But It seems to me, you've said in one sentence what Husserl - and many others - used up 100 pages to not-quite-say. Of course this is partly because I'm an impatient reader: if they don't come to some discernible point in the first paragraph, I scan, then skip, then quit.

And, having said that you can't weigh or measure human experience - then what? Okay. So? You can still talk about it. Were this not so, language could never been invented, let alone so many languages, that can be readily translated from one to another. The Rosetta Stone was far from improbable; something like it was inevitable. People are very keen to communicate.
For me, the best way to talk about it is not inaccessible philosophies with their lofty specialized language, but through folk songs. Art, generally, is the medium of communicating experience directly from one human to another, and the most universally shared of the arts is music. Folk music - the simple tunes and rhythms that 2-year-olds the world over dance to at first hearing; the simple themes of love, desire, loss, grief, courage, loyalty, homesickness and loneliness.

But I see no reason, beyond that, why we can't examine the commonalities and exceptionalities of human experience as recorded in various ways by various people, as a body of knowledge. To treat it like any other body of collected data, observation and statistic. To me, this is what anthropology means. It's not a hard science, but that that doesn't excuse it from a standard of honesty and rigour.

The universal science was about being human and from there came abstraction and understanding through the modern scientific tradition as a means to explore our world in itself alienated from our humanistic being.

Anthropocentric - or rather, andro-specific - science is very far from universal. It is limited in the scope of its investigation and and POV; it's prone to misconception and special-interest manipulation.
Ironically, the advancement of specialized sciences, with their objectivity, firmly-defined concepts and methodologies, are exclusively human, as no other experience is. Science has not only brought us fully into our humanity, but has - finally, after far too long - begun to bridge the chasm (dug ever deeper by increasingly sophisticated religion) between humans and the rest of the planet they inhabit.

Science as we know today has been a very fruitful path of a broader "universal science" (philosophy). I only ask what new concepts science has allowed us to create that can be of use if applied to "universal science"?

I have to go with that^ one. The idea of eco-systems, interdependence, the continuity and fluidity of species, and our own place in that web. The Web of Life concept, which philosophy lost when it went from pastoral and open to urban and cloistered.

I am not saying to simply transplant modern scientific method and reductist techniques into humanistic fields of study. It is precisely this I am protesting against as a psychological fixatedness, not a protest against logic, but rather the habit of applying scientific methodogy where it cannot describe human attitudes.

Methodology doesn't need to describe what people are capable of describing for themselves. But that doesn't mean we can't subject those descriptions to reasoning scrutiny.
And all I'm asking is not to put any subject of study and communication outside the realm of enquiry. About any statement or claim, on any topic, made by anyone - no matter their scholarly credentials - you should be able to ask: Does that make sense? Is it plausible? Is it congruent with facts I have previously observed? Does it require me to suspend disbielief?
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Forest_Dump on December 24th, 2016, 12:37 pm 

Not to present a tangent but I could agree with a lot of this but for this point:

Serpent wrote:For me, the best way to talk about it is not inaccessible philosophies with their loft specialized language, but folk songs. Art, generally, is the medium of communicating experience directly from one human to another, and the most universally shared of the arts is music. Folk music - the simple tunes and rhythms that 2-year-olds the world over tune into at first hearing; the simple themes of love, desire, loss, grief, courage, loyalty, homesickness and loneliness.


For me it would be something more along the lines of the more angry and edgy music of the Who or Pearl Jam. Well maybe some of the blues of the Zep. But even some Marillyn Manson has some appeal at times... But I digress.

But not that much. There is something in what Badger interpreted from Hussurl that struck a cord with me although I can't quite crystalize it yet. One of the questions raised for me relates to this perhaps artificial dichotomy between science nd philosophy in that I wonder to what extent we either 1) judge the scientific method according to how it handles what we call science or 2) decide what is science according to how it can be addressed by the scientific method. I suspect there are some who are at one extreme end or the other while more are somewhere in between (where I hope I am and wonder why). So, for example, I acknowledge that science provides me with some kinds of certain knowledge or truth. But there are other kinds of certain knowledge such as why I happen to like some kinds of music but detest others (like sappy Christmas music or most jazz) but can't imagine how science could ever be brought to bear on this task or kind of question. In my own work, I do try (very hard and perhaps at times even dogmatically) to use science and scientific methods but at the same time recognize that science is also very limited in what it can really do here.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Serpent on December 24th, 2016, 1:27 pm 

Forest_Dump » December 24th, 2016, 11:37 am wrote:[ Folk music]
For me it would be something more along the lines of the more angry and edgy music of the Who or Pearl Jam. Well maybe some of the blues of the Zep. But even some Marillyn Manson has some appeal at times... But I digress.

Because it's more visceral? No, that's not enough. It's culture- and time-specific: though it might well resonate with some other cultures and periods, it would be inimical and incomprehensible to others. I was considering only the universal communication of universal human experience, which also includes familial and social organization. From a single 8th century ballad, an English peasant boy could understand how a Chinese noble lady is situated in her world and how she looks out at that world. From the collection of a nation's ballads of any particular period, we could reconstruct the whole society, its attitude to other societies and the role and level of contentment of every class, age and gender within it.

So, for example, I acknowledge that science provides me with some kinds of certain knowledge or truth. But there are other kinds of certain knowledge such as why I happen to like some kinds of music but detest others (like sappy Christmas music or most jazz) but can't imagine how science could ever be brought to bear on this task or kind of question.

If this is important for you to know, there is no obvious obstacle to constructing an investigation of it on the same model that you would use to investigate an odd fossil. You alone are uniquely qualified to trace the time-line and influences of your aesthetic preference. It depends, of course, of the percent certainty you demand. In the soft sciences, it's okay to have a +/- 10% accuracy rate; in unique personal phenomena, you may need to tolerate a greater margin of error.
(But I have seen fans of Philosophy, not to mention famous philosophers, nod and smile at 85% unverifiable speculation. To me, that's unacceptable in any field of study.)

In my own work, I do try (very hard and perhaps at times even dogmatically) to use science and scientific methods but at the same time recognize that science is also very limited in what it can really do here.

Every endeavour has limits, and should be aware of and acknowledge those limits. Any tool has limited and particular applications where it's effective, while being ineffective or downright destructive in the wrong application, so it's important to choose the appropriate ones.
What else can you use?
What can you do with a subject that's not observable or desribable or verifiable? You can't study it or discuss it. After saying "I like chocolate pickles - dunno why." or "Soandso is a violent felon - he just is." there really isn't any more to do with the subject - so why worry it?
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby NoShips on December 24th, 2016, 1:44 pm 

Lotta turf defending here. I don't give a shit personally, but just to provoke you a little bit.... Kuhn says (roughly) what defines science is the abandonnment of critical thinking. I think what he means is, the defining feature of science is that certain people gather around a maypole, sing praises of a dogmatic orthodoxy (yes, I said dogma), and test.... yes test... how to fit stuff that doesn't obviously fit into to the paradigm fit. Nevah, no nevah test the theory itself.

So the test is.... a test of your ingenuity, making the recalcitrant observation fit the dogma. The dogma is not in doubt.

Don't look at me, I'm an outsider with nothing to gain. You're not. I'd be defending my job too if I had one.

Source: "Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge" - Lakatos

A couple of dudes have good comebacks. Anyway, the point is, the more decadent you get, the more you deserve a good poking.

Been reading more Fodor. He thinks evolutionary theory is crap too; it simply doesn't square with his massive modularity thesis. And he's no dummy. But I am.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby wolfhnd on December 24th, 2016, 4:21 pm 

BadgerJelly » Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:12 am wrote:
wolfhnd » December 24th, 2016, 5:35 pm wrote:The arrogance of those who enjoy "philosophy" is what I find disturbing. In general they seem to believe that science can benefit from philosophy but philosophy cannot benefit from science. I believe it is the other way around. Science grounds philosophy in objective reality allowing it to address the "big questions" without being total fantasy. Philosophy often becomes nothing more than an intellectual coat of fresh paint on a rotting house and I offer post modernism as an example.


I find remarks like this purposefully provocative, needlessly hostile, singular, and lacking any kind of validity.

Or to put it more simply, plain silly. See, I can be condescending too! How great! I will even go on to explain the validity of my statement :)

To say that philosophers generally disregard science is nonsense. To say philosophers only operate outside of "fantasy" because of science is nonsense. Philosophy is based on experience and reasoning. One path of philosophy has been objectivism and another physicalism ... or to put this more clearly "natural science".

Are there philsophers that dismiss scientists? I am sure there are. Are there scientists that dismiss philosophers? There sure are and the link dandelion provided highlights this very well.

I do not see anyone here saying philosophy does not benefit from science? I have never really seen this protested by anyone overtly. On the other hand, a great many people are very quick to dismiss philosophy as useless in regard to its application to scientific thought.

So, I find what you say disturbing and I am willing to accept that philosophy and science offer each other certain types of knowledge to investigate human nature and the natural world we are a part of.

I am well aware that this forum is more inclined towards scientific investigation than towards philosophical discussion. Other forums suffer from the opposite condition and I can only guess that such experiences have led you to assume some amateurs online represent the philosophical community?

I also understand that many people produce such harsh statements in order to provoke certain responses to destroy reasoned discourse, give gravitas to a stagnated discussion or simply to voice a personal opinion without any real thought or research to back it up.


Well scientist can be equally arrogant in dismissing philosophers but that was not the point. If you have been following my comments you would note that I have a very broad definition of science. There are certain fields where internal evidence is appropriate, math would be an example, but if you take something like math you can see that internal consistency is insufficient if it is used to model reality. Their are thousands of models in physics that while mathematically sound do not reflect reality well when tested. The same problem crops up with logic where logical statements can be untrue.

My position is that you should start with evidence and proceed to reason not reason and look for evidence. For example if a philosopher wants to discuss artificial intelligence they should start by mastering the current science on the subject first and then relate it to the human consequences. If you just want to speculate about the consequences then you could read science fiction.

If you want to talk about the human condition then you should know what it is. I don't believe you can arrive at any realistic understanding of the human condition without science in the broad sense. Again when I say science I simply mean observable empirical data. That is not to say that observations and data are reliable in every case but it is a good starting point.

I think where I diverge from most people is that I believe that human behavior is driven by instinct fundamentally. Culture is the tools that get added on top of the instinctual layer and while it evolves independently in some sense from physical evolution the two are unavoidably linked. The sum of the parts is not really greater it just appears so because of complexity. Evolution appears to show that complexity produces better tools in general but not specifically.

I have noted and commented on the improvement of scientific papers when philosophers are included on research teams. As I stated earlier it is not so much improved logic, or insight but rather the defragmentation of information. The question is if this comes from formal training or is simply a result of certain habits of mind. Anyone with sufficient intelligence can be a scientist or a philosopher without formal training. Often times the difference between the formally trained and the amateur comes down to culturally transmitted thinking tools. It is not the tools however that determine the quality of the final product but the skill in which they are used. Good tools speed up the process and extend the natural limitations but the quality of the end results should not be totally subjective or simply a matter of consensus.

We have philosophers on this forum who state that there is no such thing as objective reality and that is troubling. Apparently they have not been hit on the head by a rock sufficiently large enough to dissuade them of this delusion. It is especially important to understand that the human condition is not infinitely malleable. but is restrained by physical reality. We are not all equal nor can we be made equal. It is also important to understand that emotions nor any other property of the mind lie outside of the brain. Yes the brain is extended by culture and culture transforms the brain but culture itself is a product of the physical environment. We simply lose the connections in complexity.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby NoShips on December 24th, 2016, 7:00 pm 

wolfhnd » December 25th, 2016, 5:21 am wrote:
We have philosophers on this forum who state that there is no such thing as objective reality and that is troubling. Apparently they have not been hit on the head by a rock sufficiently large enough to dissuade them of this delusion.


LOL!! Yes, people like these give Santa Claus a bad name.

We also have members who believe in multiple universes though. Got a spare rock, friend?
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Forest_Dump on December 24th, 2016, 7:17 pm 

There are a number of interesting potential directions I think we could take here. I will start with one but then offer what I think might be a potentially fruitful spin.

wolfhnd wrote:We have philosophers on this forum who state that there is no such thing as objective reality and that is troubling.


I am not sure how true that assessment is but there is certainly a viable philosophical undercurrent to it coming from what is known as Cartesian skeptism that is expressed in Scrooge's conversation with Jacob Marley (or was that Bob?) and "The Matrix". Of course that could ultimately be dismissed as nihilism (and some do go too far in that direction) but I also found it an important implication from some of my research into altered states and religious ritual in the archaeological record in that studies in neuroscience do clearly indicate that consciousness is variable with a gradual cline into hallucinatory states based on sleep, health, presence of toxins, etc. So, this and also taking into account differences in your definitions of objective reality vs. mine definitely raises questions about an inability to agree about what actually will count as objective reality.

wolfhnd wrote:My position is that you should start with evidence and proceed to reason not reason and look for evidence. For example if a philosopher wants to discuss artificial intelligence they should start by mastering the current science on the subject first and then relate it to the human consequences. If you just want to speculate about the consequences then you could read science fiction.


So many different ways to explore the internal consistency of statements like this, particularly given some of your other comments on logic vs. truth and where we might need more evidence. Personally, for example, I might be one of those odd balls who distrusts the experts so demand more evidence that thermonuclear bombs might be a bit of a farce used to cast a black mark or even bomb or invade those poor Iranians, Saddam's Iraquis or North Korea. Do I really need to put faith in those conspiracy types who tell me, without much in the way of solid empirical or objective evidence that thermonuclear bombs are really all that dangerous? Where do we draw the line here?

But one topic I have found more interesting here was in looking for some of the logic in what was included in university education, broadly writ. I was impressed, for example, that many years ago Harvard decided to get rid of its geography department. Might have been a mistake in how the discipline of geography did change but I think it is a viable topic to think about. If universities are to facus on topics where there is potential for additions to knowledge, then can we justify including business or accounting in universities? Some years ago I was surprised at how many Ph.D.s were being conferred in mathematics. Believing at the time that a Ph.D. dissertation had to include something really novel and new, I was surprised that there was much left to discover in math (finding something novel and new to the literature was a definite and rigid requirement in my own topic defence, let alone dissertation defence and I know that it is required in most other areas). One of my own quips to math Ph.D.'s I was meeting was, after the congrads, whether they had discovered a new number, etc. But alas I never found out what nay of them had come up with for their dissertation topic or what they could possibly discover that a computer programmer couldn't solve in a fraction of the time. Now I do NOT profess to be an expert and would like to learn more in a topic like this without offending anyone but frankly and without knowing a ton about the upper echelons of either of these disciplines, I would think it both easier and more interesting to come up with something new in philosophy than in math but I suspect the number of grads per year would indicate the opposite.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby wolfhnd on December 25th, 2016, 12:58 am 

I think we need to start before the idea of philosophy existed. Did people not create cultures before philosophy? Was the religion that bound those cultures together any less useful than philosophy? In the west we like to think the philosophy was the foundation for the enlightenment but democracy existed in the west long before the enlightenment and perhaps before any concept of formal philosophy existed.

I have already suggested the solution to this issue and it is too broaden the definition for both science and philosophy.

It is also not clear that a formal education in philosophy would be of much use unless you have some objective standard to evaluate the relative value of different schools. Now I know the cultural relatives will wail and nash their teeth but some ideas are clearly more useful than others at meeting the almost universal desires of humans and do so with the most sustainability and minimal conflict. It seems history and the social sciences may even be more useful in many ways at ferreting out the best political arrangements.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Serpent on December 25th, 2016, 2:33 am 

wolfhnd » December 24th, 2016, 11:58 pm wrote:I think we need to start before the idea of philosophy existed. Did people not create cultures before philosophy?

No, I don't think they did. I think culture and philosophy developed together. A group of early people - clan, tribe, band - would live in a particular time and place; they would respond to that environment in a particular way that worked for them. When they were successful in avoiding harm and gaining benefits, they would associate those events with whatever else they noticed - geographic features, weather, time of day, what they had eaten, worn, seen, done the day before... and they would talk about what happened; and wonder how to make the good things happen again and avoid the bad things. They would form a pattern of observed phenomena, acts and outcomes. People make patterns out of everything. People make up explanations for everything, even when they have very little information. Sometimes they get it right, and build on their knowledge. That was the beginning of natural science.

Was the religion that bound those cultures together any less useful than philosophy?

I have a problem with the assumption that religion binds a culture together. I think the particulars of a religion depend on, and branch off from, the core philosophy by which a people live. That core philosophy - or world-view - also instructs their legal system, economy, family and social organization.
It's not a question of which part of a necessary whole is more or less useful than another.

Just because we specialize areas of enquiry and knowledge, we tend to think those separations always existed and must exist. They haven't and don't: they're arbitrary. It's okay, as long as everybody's using the same dictionary, but the demarcations don't extend backward and forward in time in a reliable way.

It is also not clear that a formal education in philosophy would be of much use unless you have some objective standard to evaluate the relative value of different schools.

I very much doubt whether that would matter. If philosophy is not part of the education system from about Grade 3 on, cross-referenced in literature, history and civics courses, it's not going to have any effect on ordinary people. Formal philosophy has no influence outside of academe.

Now I know the cultural relatives will wail and nash their teeth but some ideas are clearly more useful than others at meeting the almost universal desires of humans and do so with the most sustainability and minimal conflict.

The WHAT?? Had the majority of humans desired sustainable and conflict-free lives, we'd have had no empires, no crusades, no conquest of the Americas, no world wars, no big bronze statues in every town square. Our history would have been all about floods and droughts and migrations.

It seems history and the social sciences may even be more useful in many ways at ferreting out the best political arrangements.

You don't need a PhD for that. The best political arrangement is one with no bosses. What we need to figure out is how to prevent bosses. Genetics is the science to consult.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby wolfhnd on December 25th, 2016, 4:00 am 

Serpent » Sun Dec 25, 2016 6:33 am wrote:
wolfhnd » December 24th, 2016, 11:58 pm wrote:I think we need to start before the idea of philosophy existed. Did people not create cultures before philosophy?

No, I don't think they did. I think culture and philosophy developed together. A group of early people - clan, tribe, band - would live in a particular time and place; they would respond to that environment in a particular way that worked for them. When they were successful in avoiding harm and gaining benefits, they would associate those events with whatever else they noticed - geographic features, weather, time of day, what they had eaten, worn, seen, done the day before... and they would talk about what happened; and wonder how to make the good things happen again and avoid the bad things. They would form a pattern of observed phenomena, acts and outcomes. People make patterns out of everything. People make up explanations for everything, even when they have very little information. Sometimes they get it right, and build on their knowledge. That was the beginning of natural science.

Was the religion that bound those cultures together any less useful than philosophy?

I have a problem with the assumption that religion binds a culture together. I think the particulars of a religion depend on, and branch off from, the core philosophy by which a people live. That core philosophy - or world-view - also instructs their legal system, economy, family and social organization.
It's not a question of which part of a necessary whole is more or less useful than another.

Just because we specialize areas of enquiry and knowledge, we tend to think those separations always existed and must exist. They haven't and don't: they're arbitrary. It's okay, as long as everybody's using the same dictionary, but the demarcations don't extend backward and forward in time in a reliable way.

It is also not clear that a formal education in philosophy would be of much use unless you have some objective standard to evaluate the relative value of different schools.

I very much doubt whether that would matter. If philosophy is not part of the education system from about Grade 3 on, cross-referenced in literature, history and civics courses, it's not going to have any effect on ordinary people. Formal philosophy has no influence outside of academe.

Now I know the cultural relatives will wail and nash their teeth but some ideas are clearly more useful than others at meeting the almost universal desires of humans and do so with the most sustainability and minimal conflict.

The WHAT?? Had the majority of humans desired sustainable and conflict-free lives, we'd have had no empires, no crusades, no conquest of the Americas, no world wars, no big bronze statues in every town square. Our history would have been all about floods and droughts and migrations.

It seems history and the social sciences may even be more useful in many ways at ferreting out the best political arrangements.

You don't need a PhD for that. The best political arrangement is one with no bosses. What we need to figure out is how to prevent bosses. Genetics is the science to consult.


I'm sorry if that wasn't well written, the point I was trying to make has to do with definitions. If you call it philosophy or science does that make it so. The opposite must be true as well because while there are standards for these things that doesn't mean they didn't exist before they were given specific status.

My reference to religion was an attempt to show how the degree to which people share a belief is no measure of it's correlation to objective reality. Science has a way of avoiding the pitfalls of appeals to authority that philosophy often doesn't.

It would certainly be nice if a PHD was similar to a USDA stamp of approval. For technical fields that may be somewhat the way it works but as you move farther away from things that can be objectively measured it becomes increasingly difficult. Who determines philosophical malpractice?
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby BadgerJelly on December 25th, 2016, 6:05 am 

I think you'd both find use in reading my last post on The Vienna Lecture. It is in direct relation to the questions you are posing here.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby vivian maxine on December 25th, 2016, 7:50 am 

noships wrote:We also have members who believe in multiple universes though.


You didn't know? You didn't hear about the breakup of the Tenth Dimension and the falling off of our little rejected world? I'm sorry. I should have warned you. Watch out for the still tumbling rocks.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Athena on December 25th, 2016, 10:46 am 

wolfhnd said: It is also important to understand that emotions nor any other property of the mind lie outside of the brain.


I question this statement. I am quite sure our feelings in are in our bodies. I can not think of one feeling that is in the head, except a headache and that is also outside of the brain. We feel hunger, anger, fear, grief, sexual, in our bodies. Our brains may or may not be aware of the feeling on a conscious level. Our brains can confuse signals such as mistaking fear for sexual arousal. Depression may cause us to overeat or lose our appetite. Depression can make us tired and cause us to sleep too much or it can prevent us from sleeping. When making a decision it is a good idea to check with our gut. Neither plants nor animals are like computers. It doesn't all happen in a brain, and philosophically I think awareness of this makes a big difference?
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Serpent on December 25th, 2016, 11:06 am 

wolfhnd » December 25th, 2016, 3:00 am wrote:
I'm sorry if that wasn't well written, the point I was trying to make has to do with definitions. If you call it philosophy or science does that make it so. The opposite must be true as well because while there are standards for these things that doesn't mean they didn't exist before they were given specific status.

It was perfectly well written. I have only a slight quibble with the role of religion; other that that, I'm almost completely with you on the whole subject.
Hence :
Just because we specialize areas of enquiry and knowledge, we tend to think those separations always existed and must exist. They haven't and don't: they're arbitrary. It's okay, as long as everybody's using the same dictionary, but the demarcations don't extend backward and forward in time in a reliable way.

My reference to religion was an attempt to show how the degree to which people share a belief is no measure of it's correlation to objective reality.

This is true of the 'civilized' formal models of both philosophy and religion. They are power-centered modes of thought; boss-glorifying ritual service. It can be traced back, in several cases, to a particular monarch's self-aggrandizement, and in all cases to the central idea of a supreme macho *head. It doesn't so much appeal to authority as promote authority.
Primitive religion is far more grounded in reality; in the cycles of nature and the dangers of living with one's skin right up against the rocks and tree-bark and water. Those people made poetic reference to the elements: attributed personality and purpose to natural processes - but those were, nevertheless, actual processes, to which people must respond appropriately, or die.
There are several bifurcations in the development of human culture, where religious practice/medical branches off from the sciences of tool-making, orientation and building; where the practical lore branches off from the speculative; where the study of material objects branches off from the study of society and man; where medicine rejoins the material sciences and religion goes off into the unfathomable.

Science has a way of avoiding the pitfalls of appeals to authority that philosophy often doesn't.

I totally agree. Not that sciences are infallible, but that the material world keeps them anchored in reality by blowing up when they overreach or falling down when they miscalculate. For4mal, cloistered Philosophy is self-sustaining: any well-phrased notion, however daft, requires only the approval of other scholars to become doctrine -- at least for the while its political climate lasts.

Who determines philosophical malpractice?

We all do. Philosophers are products of their time, place and culture, like everyone else. Philosophers don't influence what will happen: they describe how Man [the man of their time and class] fits into the the World [their time and nation] and responds to that world. They explain what is thought and believed in their specific environment in their lifetime. The ones who predict how thought and belief will change are either accurate or inaccurate. Their work either fits the next step of the culture's life-cycle, or is left behind.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Athena on December 25th, 2016, 11:21 am 

wolfhnd » December 25th, 2016, 2:00 am wrote:[quote="[url=http://www.sciencechatforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=312804#p312804]
I'm sorry if that wasn't well written, the point I was trying to make has to do with definitions. If you call it philosophy or science does that make it so. The opposite must be true as well because while there are standards for these things that doesn't mean they didn't exist before they were given specific status.

My reference to religion was an attempt to show how the degree to which people share a belief is no measure of it's correlation to objective reality. Science has a way of avoiding the pitfalls of appeals to authority that philosophy often doesn't.

It would certainly be nice if a PHD was similar to a USDA stamp of approval. For technical fields that may be somewhat the way it works but as you move farther away from things that can be objectively measured it becomes increasingly difficult. Who determines philosophical malpractice?


I am quite sure philosophy and science did not exist before we created them. Neither did monarchy or democracy exist before we created them. I am not sure what percentage a mathematician would put on this, but I suspect at least 80% of our reality is man made and did not exist before we made it so. A huge amount of philosophy argues this point, especially as dissatisfaction with the church and state grew. Our reality is what we make it and that parted paths with nature long ago.

I do not understand what you mean by objective reality? Jews, Christians, Mulsims, Hindus, etc are not real? Capitalist and communist countries are not real? I think my perplexity goes with believing feelings are in the body. We are the body of Christ or Krishna or Buddha and without us none of that would exist, but with us it is made manifest. Logos reason, controlling force of the universe made manifest in speech.

Who determines philosphical malpractice? Brainvat. If it doesn't meet his standards the thread is closed, and that is the end of that. Only kidding, but the greater truth is we all determine what we are going to go along with and what we won't go along with. It doesn't matter how great a thought is, unless others pick it up and pass it on, the manifestation of the thought will end with the thinker.

I am concerned. I think I am picking up excessive reliance on experts? We began externalizing authority in 1958, in the US. I don't know about other countries. Before 1958 we internalized authority. Reliance on experts is the authoritarianism that the US stood against. We see this same conflict in ancient Sparta and Athens. The best way to kill democracy is to become authoritarian. Things will be done more effeciently, but atrophy will become fatal.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby vivian maxine on December 25th, 2016, 11:37 am 

wolfhnd wrote: It is also important to understand that emotions nor any other property of the mind lie outside of the brain. Yes the brain is extended by culture and culture transforms the brain but culture itself is a product of the physical environment. We simply lose the connections in complexity.


Unless I am misreading, this sounds rather close to what Gazzaniga is saying about the Social Mind as a group of individual Minds influencing each other. This is also where culture evolved and conscious coevolved to "update" (my choice of word) itself as cultures evolved. He speaks of Conscious being emergent from the brain but I kept getting the feeling that he was making "MInd" and "Conscious" mean the same?

Am I on the right track? Or am I misreading both Wolfhnd and Gazzaniga?

http://www.giffordlectures.org/books/wh ... ence-brain
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Athena on December 25th, 2016, 11:57 am 

dandelion » December 20th, 2016, 5:21 am wrote:This talk seems to agree that philosophy can be very helpful to science and I think highlights good interactive relationships between these of the past and seems encouraging of this going forwards.

I think the talk addresses mostly those not working as scientists, including working as philosophers, in the audience, discussing helpful and less helpful influences philosophy has had on science, and amongst answers to questions at the end, includes more specific suggestions for philosophy of science.

Some philosophers in particular are commented on. For some instances, philosophers with good attitude, listening to science, such as Kant reacting to Newton, and even from amongst phenomenologists, Husserl is remarked upon near the end of the talk. There seems to be a point made that philosophy with consideration of science is good because science offers the best knowledge available at the moment about the world. So the talk emphasises I think the impact of science influenced by philosophy, influenced by science.
https://youtu.be/IJ0uPkG-pr4


Different terminology, like natural philosophy is mentioned as well. I'll add that, responding to a challenge from Samuel Taylor Coleridge (mentioned previously elsewhere here for introducing the phrase about a willing suspension of disbelief for the moment), the theologian, polymath, and philosopher, Whewell, who, among other terms introduced the term "physicist", also introduced a more general term, "scientist" (1883), that it might match the term "artist"- "...as an Artist is a Musician, Painter, or Poet, a Scientist is a Mathematician, Physicist, or Naturalist", adding to earlier terms of natural philosopher and man of science (e.g., https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Fe8 ... t.&f=false ).


Your post triggers the thought that language is everything. We can't think it without a word for it. The world is full of different languages and each one restricts knowledge in different ways. Also, our sense of reality changes when the meanings of our words become meaningless or changed.

In the US the meaning of the word "liberal" is so distorted our whole understanding of politics and morals is distorted. This makes our democracy very different from what it was a hundred years ago.

Quantum physics is a new term that is dramatically changing our sense of reality. The idea of packets of energy comes with a huge vocabulary of previously unknown words like quarks. I don't know how this science will right itself with the God of Abraham religions, but it is doing well with Buddhism and Tao. Change the language, change reality.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Athena on December 25th, 2016, 12:06 pm 

Serpent » December 22nd, 2016, 10:13 am wrote:
Athena » December 22nd, 2016, 11:05 am wrote:What video? I googled "Lay in sufficient scotch to dull the pain" and got confirmation that it is good for relieving a toothache, but not get an explanation of a video.

That would be because I inadvertently edited out the link, which was the sole purpose of my post.
http://usa.newonnetflix.info/info/80095865/s
Sorry!


That really looks interesting! Thank you. I am eager to watch that.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Athena on December 25th, 2016, 12:46 pm 

Braininvat » December 22nd, 2016, 6:44 pm wrote:
Science is some other different kind of human endeavor. It is the human endeavor of the Scientific Method. That is something like collecting empirical data and forming a theory to explain and model that data.


This cruises dangerously close to tautology.

But I guess you mean science is a set of methodological tools that are value-neutral. Whereas philosophy is about the quest for values and meanings as they may be determined by humans?

Sorry, maybe that quote only looked tautological at first glance. I really need to eat.


There is nothing value neutral about replacing our liberal education, and internalizing authority and preparing everyone for civic and industrial leadership, and good moral judgment, with education for technology for military and industrial purposes, externalizing authority and leaving moral training to the church.

We now have an amoral nation that is in crisis with intense discontent and distrust and paranoia in the form or needing to be superior and in control, and this is what we defended our democracy against with humanitarian education for citizenship. We also went from ranking 17th in military capability and requiring a year to mobilize for war, to the greatest military might on earth, and ability to unleash more destructive force in one hour than could be achieved in several months of WWII level fighting, and we can do this with only 4 hours notice, and no citizen involvement.

All this is not value neutral, and yes, this is tautological or preaching when I say it. I feel passionately about this situation, and I can not comprehend why someone would think this wrong? It has everything to do with our values and what our children and their children will experience. If humans have any more value that parasites, it is because they are capable of caring and choosing how they manifest their reality.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby TheVat on December 25th, 2016, 2:00 pm 

I was responding to Hyksos, on a definitional question about the methods of science. Sorry, wasn't really addressing any of the issues you brought up. Thanks for writing.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby wolfhnd on December 25th, 2016, 4:35 pm 

I think my real question is what qualifies you to call yourself a scientist or philosopher. The next question is what is pseudo philosophy as compared to pseudo science.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Serpent on December 25th, 2016, 5:50 pm 

wolfhnd » December 25th, 2016, 3:35 pm wrote:I think my real question is what qualifies you to call yourself a scientist or philosopher. The next question is what is pseudo philosophy as compared to pseudo science.

Now those are interesting questions!
The first is probably easy for academics (though impossible for me: I think everyone is potentially both).
The second could be very contentious.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby BadgerJelly on December 25th, 2016, 10:50 pm 

Science and philosophy possess a theoretical attitude. They both make The World, The World. Meaning they make the world thematic. Prior to this human communities operated in a mythical-religious attitude, wholly untheoretical, unquestioned, and accepted as simply and obviously being-there (I guess we could compare this tona state of dreaming. In a dream we don't question what in hindsight display very peculiar and bizarre happenings).

What is interesting to me is we cannot take away our "obvious" attitude, our myhtical-religious attitude. By this I mean by thematizing The World we abstract from a natural attitude (an attitude absent of science and philosophy, an attitude with no theoretical gaze towards any particular goal).

If we, in our scientific attitude today, view this we apply a scientific theory to it. We talk about "instinct" as being at play.

Validity is another thing that is exhibited by a theoretical attitude. The idea of a false or true science is bound within the theoretical attitude. For prescientific man validity was not held up for inspection as it is by us today through abstract methodology, given to us by making the world thematic. In prescientific man the world was not a theoretical subject matter, it was not objectified.

That is the condensed version of what Husserl says and what I also would say is my view.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Serpent on December 25th, 2016, 11:32 pm 

BadgerJelly » December 25th, 2016, 9:50 pm wrote:Science and philosophy possess a theoretical attitude. They both make The World, The World. Meaning they make the world thematic. Prior to this

Prior to what? What, exactly, happened to make "this" and when did it happen?
human communities operated in a mythical-religious attitude, wholly untheoretical, unquestioned, and accepted as simply and obviously being-there (I guess we could compare this to a state of dreaming.

Sez who? How do you know? What are the indications that it was so?
I'm finding it very hard to imagine a million or so years of hominids sleepwalking and failing to investigate the world in which they not merely survived but became dominant. I find it very hard to imagine making myths and religions without language. But maybe even harder is imagining that language was not first used for exchanging practical information. After all, non-human species use their vocal signals to communicate vital information: threats and declarations, the location of food and territory, the formation for hunting, etc. - not superstitions.
In fact, I think story-telling is a later, more thematic, use of language than exchanging practical information or instruction, and myth-making is even more abstract - more theoretical; a much later development.

For prescientific man validity was not held up for inspection as it is by us today through abstract methodology, given to us by making the world thematic. In prescientific man the world was not a theoretical subject matter, it was not objectified.

That is the condensed version of what Husserl says and what I also would say is my view.

I can't believe in "prescientific man". I can't believe a species with a big brain can evolve and prosper without observing, calculating, experimenting and gathering data. Making a better hide-scraper or harpoon is technology: it arises from knowing and testing the properties of materials - that's science, even if it hasn't been labelled yet.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby BadgerJelly on December 26th, 2016, 12:18 am 

Maybe I didn't explain well enough? The world exists and we are part of it. I am not saying we wondered around blindly. I am saying that making The World thematic is to alienate ourselves from the world, or maybe better to say to view it from the outside (objectify). By doing so we then put to use theoretical attitude. Prior to that it doesn't mean we did not interact as a worldly being.

Crafting tools is not science in any modern sense. What distinguishes science (inclusive of philosophy) is that it is abstract and unchanging. The tools of science are abstract tools and are not exhausted and we can speak of "crafting" as a persisting but exhaustable in use and "prescientific". Or to put it another way, prescientific tools are used materially whilst scientific tools ( theretical ideas) are abstract and unchanging.

Sez who?

I will hopefully explain better. I am referrig to "validity" here. Some "supernatural" entity, soem unknown cause, makes the rain come. Mythos frames the causation and sets the understanding in such as a way as not to be open to questioning. Over time a form of methodology begins wholly absent from making the world thematic as "out there", as apart. Of course today as much as anytime in human history we understand ourselves through limited reach and agency. I am not denying any such thing. The world as you see it now is just as valid for someone else with an entirely different outlook and how they see it. Prescientific man did not need "proof", we only look back now with our scientific knowledge and equate "proof" to a world view that has literally no need for such a thing.

I honestly don't know why you think I said there was no language?

"Prescientific man" is man before science and philosophy, prior to theory.

Thanks for helping me atrempt to clarify.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Serpent on December 26th, 2016, 2:15 am 

BadgerJelly » December 25th, 2016, 11:18 pm wrote:Maybe I didn't explain well enough? The world exists and we are part of it. I am not saying we wondered around blindly. I am saying that making The World thematic is to alienate ourselves from the world, or maybe better to say to view it from the outside (objectify).

Not sure of the significance of capitalizing The World. But I think I get the rest - or, anyway, have a kind of handle on it. I'll say the objectifying of environment comes in at the city-state stage of history; a long time after herding and farming; when people built stone walls around their settlements, silenced the women and stratified the men into classes.
Crafting tools is not science in any modern sense.

Then what is a GPS? What is the modern sense, when does modern begin and how does it differ from the antique sense?

What distinguishes science (inclusive of philosophy) is that it is abstract and unchanging.

Nothing humans make is unchanging! Science changes all the time. so does philosophy. The ideal of Science isn't more real than the everyday practice of science. The idea of a horse could never have been conceived without a lot of actual horses to model it on. The real thing, in the real world, thought, spoken, written and done by real people is necessary. The abstract is not.

Sez who?

I will hopefully explain better. I am referrig to "validity" here. Some "supernatural" entity, soem unknown cause, makes the rain come. Mythos frames the causation and sets the understanding in such as a way as not to be open to questioning.

Why do you think anyone ever thought this way? What is the source of your information concerning the thought-process, attitude and world-view of our remote ancestors?

Over time a form of methodology begins wholly absent from making the world thematic as "out there", as apart.

What starts this? Why does it happen? When does it happen?

I honestly don't know why you think I said there was no language?

You didn't. What i can't imagine is language being used for mythologizing before it's used for problem-solving.

"Prescientific man" is man before science and philosophy, prior to theory.

Before the names or before the practice? My contention is that man didn't change from prescientific to scientific and is unlikely to change again to postscientific; that labels get invented, stuck on things and unstuck again when they cease to be useful.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby BadgerJelly on December 26th, 2016, 3:48 am 

I have a made a small mistake in how I've explained "thematic". The "thematic" is the community (and strangely an individual can be a "community", meaning that a lone individual can still establish a world-sense ina "community" of materials). I guess you appreciate that I have my personal "world" and you have yours. In a community we do not set out a theory to create a sense of world for the community, this world-sense is blindly taken up, it is not readily questioned or doubted. Once we have a communal view of The World (note: this world will differ in various subtle, or less subtle, ways not only from person to person, but from community to community, are extend from communities to communites to encompass the "community" of humanity) we can only then open up the possibility of a theoretical attitude. Our communal world has a ready acceptance of The World in a practical sense. The theoretical is unpractical, meaning it is not a task taken on in order to achieve any direct practical use.

You mentioned problem solving. This is not an exclusively theoretical idea. If I am hungry (problem), I eat(solution). Nothing theoretic there. The theoretcial attitude is how we question the readily accepted obviousness of practical life. We do not question that we are on Earth and the Earth orbits the Sun. We can question the validity of this and offer theory and method to explain this and give it validity. Through theory we have come to establish a different idea of truth, a truth that moves beyond personal experiences and holds to reason and logical thought.

I am not saying that people thought thisnor that. I am saying that I have an obviousness of my wrold view established by a theoretical attitude and that I have no right to assume that such rigorous logic was applied by mankind in prehistory. In fact I have reason enough to believe that reason, as used today, has taken a long time to establish itself in society and still falls prey to misuse or simple neglect. I am not saying that primordial humans lacked reasoning capacities, but I am saying as clearly as I can that they had no practical reason to establosh a communal theoretical attitude and that this attitude once established was by way of making The World a thematic whole outside of individual communities and even supposed as outside of the human community as a whole. This is the unchanging abstract structure of objectivity that all modern thought is surrounded by. Physics is almost wholly absorbed in thsi world and in various other areas of specialised "scientific" interest (including philosophy, psychology, chemistry, history,etc,.) there is a thread back to the "prescientific" interest, the human interest.

I shoudl also add that in the modern sense of the word "philosophy" I am somewhat scathing about it in some respects. What I have grown to understand is that I have been bias in my previous degradation of philosophy without putting the same critic to the face of science ... as it turn out in my view of all this I have been curious as to what may habe been overlooked, passed over, or eben what previously held prescientific views could be of use to the scientific views of today in order to establish a fresh view. If so then how to go about this task? If it is possible? In this pursuit I then simply investigate the course of science (as a whole) and use reason in doing so and remaining on guard against obviousness that may make my world as valid as did the world of prescientific man.

I am not speculating about a "post-scientific" era. Such an idea is as beyond me as our current attitude is to that of prescientific humans. Huamns with no practical regard toward (or communal interest in) a theoretical attitude and a creation of a methodology of endless pursuit.

You asked What starts this? When does it happen? etc. I have tried to frame this briefly. If it is still too ambiguous I can keep trying, but I don't have conclusive answers only a line of investigation that does not wander into speculative grounds (although I can imagine you would strongly protest this and wouldn't blame you for doing so only encourage you to clarify the protest and help us both). Theblast two posts made in other thread go over this more in depth. I don't expect you to read them. It is up to me in my words to show some value in what I say and for you to actually care enough to look.

Also, the idea of "validity" today tells me that it has a specific meaning today. When you were a child and someone told you that Santa existed and came down the chimney I doubt you questioned this. I imagine such a thing in yourbown memory is really hard to get to grips with. Now I am not saying primordial man was the same as a child. I am just trying to show that in a community certain norms are established and this frames the world in a certain way. Once a community establishes a methodology to question and investigate the world-view held by the community they establish a world-view that spreads like a flash fire across humanity. This is what happenes in ancient Greece. Why it happened is of interest, butbI am not knowledgeable enough to speculate in one way or another anymore than I can establish whybit took huamnity as long as it did to invent the television. I can say though that there are some factors of society that helped create, all be it accidentally, the means from which such things happened.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby TLK on December 26th, 2016, 11:35 am 

I've enjoyed reading the discussion here. Here's my take on the question asked in the original post to this thread (What is the relationship between philosophy and science?):

I think it is well established - as pointed out by some in this thread - that there is a historical relationship between philosophy and science. But that historical relationship does not necessarily imply what the current relationship between philosophy and science is or ought to be.

I think that science is fundamentally about identifying actual patterns of events in the things we observe. We sometimes think we have properly identified a pattern in events but further observation shows that what we thought were patterns in events are not actually patterns after all. For example, when we say that something is "just a superstition" we are saying that something that is proposed as be a pattern of events is not an actual pattern of events. The scientific method is an effort to refine the process of identifying actual patterns of events in our observations. The gold standard for determining whether or not we have identified an actual pattern of events is if a proposed pattern of events can reliably predict those kinds of future events.

I think that most people would probably agree that science is at a minimum about finding actual patterns in the events we observe. For quite a while I also thought that most people would agree that science is also about trying to establish causal explanations for the actual patterns of events identified by the scientific method. Maybe most people do, but I once had a discussion with a very sharp fellow who thought that causal explanations were beyond the scope of what science ought to be about. We had an interesting back and forth on the issue. My point in bringing that up here isn't to redirect the discussion to one of the proper demarcation of what is science and what is not, but to argue that the question of demarcation of what is science and what is not, is not a question that can be answered within science itself.

Science operates by a set of "rules". Within the bounds of those rules I don't see that philosophy is necessary for the proper functioning of science. But I do think that the establishing of those rules - e.g., what is the proper demarcation of what is science and what is not - is a philosophical issue. Since what science is depends on one's demarcation of science, the question of demarcation cannot be answered by science itself.

How we use or ought to use science in our lives is also a question that is beyond the boundaries of science itself. Science helps us identify actual patterns of events but it doesn't inform us about what we ought to do with that information. What science means to us in our everyday lives - ontologically, epistemically and ethically - are philosophical issues.

I'm sure I oversimplified and made claims here that others will question.
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Re: Philosophy and Science

Postby Serpent on December 26th, 2016, 1:39 pm 

BadgerJelly » December 26th, 2016, 2:48 am wrote:I have a made a small mistake in how I've explained "thematic". The "thematic" is the community (and strangely an individual can be a "community", meaning that a lone individual can still establish a world-sense ina "community" of materials). I guess you appreciate that I have my personal "world" and you have yours.

Which is why we require a common language to compare notes. That is, most broadly, the use of language. I believe language developed first to establish identity, then property, then to communicate threats, warnings and invitations; then to convey feelings; then to organize communal effort. Only beyond this level of complexity is language capable of narrative. Until there is a narrative context - usually accompanied by mimicry, dance and costume - can a comprehensive communal world-view be expressed by a group of people.
In a community we do not set out a theory to create a sense of world for the community, this world-sense is blindly taken up, it is not readily questioned or doubted. Once we have a communal view of The World (note: this world will differ in various subtle, or less subtle, ways not only from person to person, but from community to community, are extend from communities to communites to encompass the "community" of humanity) we can only then open up the possibility of a theoretical attitude.

Why? Why cannot each person and each discrete community have both a grounding world-view and a spirit of inquiry that sets up and tests theories - even if only limited ones?

Our communal world has a ready acceptance of The World in a practical sense. The theoretical is unpractical, meaning it is not a task taken on in order to achieve any direct practical use.

Again - How come? What is the basis-in-fact of this statement?

You mentioned problem solving. This is not an exclusively theoretical idea.

Of course not. Theory is only part of the process.
If I am hungry (problem), I eat(solution).

How convenient for you! But if your life is that easy, hunger is not a problem. For the man you call prescientific, food - the finding and obtaining and preserving of food - took a lot more thought and effort. For his precursors, even more.


nothing theoretic there. The theoretcial attitude is how we question the readily accepted obviousness of practical life.

That's one application of theory. But practical life isn't always obvious. Suppose you fall into a crevasse, or get caught in a flood, or lost in a jungle. Suppose you are taken hostage by bank robbers or become trapped in a derailed upside-down train. Practical life presents problems, large and small, for the man living in nature, and different ones for the urban modern man.

We do not question that we are on Earth and the Earth orbits the Sun.

Now, we don't. But only because a long time ago, someone did. I grant that prehistoric peoples were not so intent as we are on the universe beyond Earth's atmosphere, but they were certainly aware of celestial objects and their movement; made use of them to navigate and eventually made stories about them. That's not strictly theorizing, but wondering, curiosity and speculation are the precursors of theory, just as the use of handy objects as tools is the precursor of engineering.

We can question the validity of this and offer theory and method to explain this and give it validity. Through theory we have come to establish a different idea of truth, a truth that moves beyond personal experiences and holds to reason and logical thought.

You mean formalize, classify and label modes of thought that have been practised all along without the dignity of names. I accept that.

I am not saying that people thought thisnor that. I am saying that I have an obviousness of my wrold view established by a theoretical attitude and that I have no right to assume that such rigorous logic was applied by mankind in prehistory.

Then why assume the opposite? Why assume that they were incapable of theorizing, logic or proof?

In fact I have reason enough to believe that reason, as used today, has taken a long time to establish itself in society

That's a big assumption. I can see no evidence through written history, or in such archeological records as we have, to indicate that reason and logic have played a progressively larger part in human organizations over time. Modern Americans are just as irrational as the Babylonians were in their beliefs, and more obviously emotional than people of the Tang dynasty in China.

I am not saying that primordial humans lacked reasoning capacities, but I am saying as clearly as I can that they had no practical reason to establosh a communal theoretical attitude and that this attitude once established was by way of making The World a thematic whole outside of individual communities and even supposed as outside of the human community as a whole.

All right. You still haven't answered the crucial question: If there was a decisive beak, what event precipitated the change?
It seems to me, rather, a matter of gradually widening horizons, due to data-collecting capability and mobility provided by a growing body of engineering successes. But I do see a change at the establishment of fortified city-states. This is when philosophy shifts from man-in-nature to man-vs-nature.
Perhaps it's at this juncture that the notion of an unchanging abstract is invented.
This is the unchanging abstract structure of objectivity that all modern thought is surrounded by. Physics is almost wholly absorbed in thsi world and in various other areas of specialised "scientific" interest (including philosophy, psychology, chemistry, history,etc,.) there is a thread back to the "prescientific" interest, the human interest.

Academic disciplines become more rigidly defined and formally framed. Yes. The authorities in those disciplines set global, super-cummunal standards. Okay. They conceive a framework and standard that is uniform and eternal. Maybe. I certainly could not successfully include all the disciplines you mentioned under such an exacting umbrella, but I'll go along with the concept.

.... I have been curious as to what may habe been overlooked, passed over, or eben what previously held prescientific views could be of use to the scientific views of today in order to establish a fresh view. If so then how to go about this task? If it is possible?

I don't see how. We can't dig up a caveman to ask what he thinks of modern psychology or cosmology.... (Maybe we'll find one in the melting ice-cap and revive him - but the language barrier would still be formidable.)
In this pursuit I then simply investigate the course of science (as a whole) and use reason in doing so and remaining on guard against obviousness that may make my world as valid as did the world of prescientific man.

What you have to be on guard against is the Eurocentric or andro-exclusive POV. Go out into the woods or plains or whatever natural landscape is readily available, remove as much clothing as practicable, and spend a lot of time alone, paying attention.

I am not speculating about a "post-scientific" era. Such an idea is as beyond me as our current attitude is to that of prescientific humans. Huamns with no practical regard toward (or communal interest in) a theoretical attitude and a creation of a methodology of endless pursuit.

I wasn't really speculating on it, either. I'm saying that the human temperament is constantly and continuously both scientific and philosophical.

You asked What starts this? When does it happen?

European academics, and their American offspring, generally place this big change or intellectual revolution or whatever in -5th or -4th c Athens, because that's where their most inspirational documents originate. Of course, they're wrong: the same level of civilization and reason and applied science existed in at least five other places at the same time.
Me, I don't believe there ever was such a break with the past and start of a brave new thematic world. I believe that major shifts in attitude, and in world-modeling, took place at critical changes in human lifestyle: herding nomads, agriculture, smelting, permanent settlements, seafaring, the establishment of stratified social structure and monarchy, cities and imperialism... It's just a lot harder to find evidence of what and how people thought before they carved their ideas in stone. Perhaps the best way is to listen to the oldest and least contaminated folk tales of American and Australian natives. Could be, some other long-established lines of people can be found in the Himalayas, Manchuria, maybe even Africa.

I will try to look at the Husserl ms again. I grow impatient with him, though: he's so very much a product of late 19th century Europe and its industrial/imperial perspective.

Also, the idea of "validity" today tells me that it has a specific meaning today. When you were a child and someone told you that Santa existed and came down the chimney I doubt you questioned this.

And yet, every child questions it. Some early, some late, and for different reasons, but pretty much all of them have discarded the Santa story by age 7. This a function of the reasoning mind.
I imagine such a thing in yourbown memory is really hard to get to grips with.

Not at all. I had had my doubts already when I accidentally came upon conclusive evidence. My mother said that I was now in on the adult conspiracy and honour-bound to keep the truth from younger brother. So it always goes, from discovery to revelation to instruction. It's the process of collecting life-skills.
Now I am not saying primordial man was the same as a child. I am just trying to show that in a community certain norms are established and this frames the world in a certain way. Once a community establishes a methodology to question and investigate the world-view held by the community they establish a world-view that spreads like a flash fire across humanity.

Hardly a flash-fire, when it takes 100,000 years. It moves a lot faster, once you start spreading it with gunpowder and battleships, but it still isn't all-of-a-piece.

This is what happenes in ancient Greece. Why it happened is of interest, butbI am not knowledgeable enough to speculate in one way or another anymore than I can establish whybit took huamnity as long as it did to invent the television. I can say though that there are some factors of society that helped create, all be it accidentally, the means from which such things happened.

Sure. Like an avalanche - it takes a long time to accumulate, but one it starts moving, anybody under it dies pretty fast. That's where we are now with technology.
Last edited by Serpent on December 26th, 2016, 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Serpent
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