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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Ask me about Philosophy

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    Senior Saiko's Avatar
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    How has your worldview changed as a result of your studies? Are there any particular morals or ideas that you have revised as a result?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saiko View Post
    How has your worldview changed as a result of your studies? Are there any particular morals or ideas that you have revised as a result?
    In terms of ethics, not really. I was before a strong deontologist/neo-kantian, and I still am though I do have a bit more flavoring of Nietzsche in the lower value questions. Buzzwords aside, I operated with the idea that there are universal principles of ethics, and time gave me the tools to really examine them, as well as the understanding that some things just aren't that important and can just be left alone.

    My worldview changed more in terms of metaphysics. At the start of my studies I found nihilism (nothing exists) to be a distasteful prospect. I also didn't actually believe in determinism .

    First I became an existential nihilist, I accepted that there is no inherent value to anything in life. It is what you make of it. Me being in class may be to me personally, the most important thing in the world. That doesn't make it important to you.

    By the end of my undergraduate I was a realist meaning that, in terms of the human mind everything comes from matter and can be reduced to matter doing stuff. Which means that I have to answer the question of free will. If everything is just matter, how can we have free will. My answer is we don't really, it's an illusion but we should operate as if we do anyway.

    Finally, this past semester I realized that I am a metaphysical nihilist in terms of complex objects. Complex objects (how we normally think of tables, chairs, people) are objects that are, naturally larger and complex, a simply object is like an atom. This nihilism says that only simples exist and complex objects are an illusion. So things like "I think therefor I am" aren't true, strictly.

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    What do you think of Plato's political system?

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    I'm actually going into philosophy so this thread is really relevant to my interests.

    Probably looking at epistemology or ethics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fay V View Post
    In terms of ethics, not really. I was before a strong deontologist/neo-kantian, and I still am though I do have a bit more flavoring of Nietzsche in the lower value questions. Buzzwords aside, I operated with the idea that there are universal principles of ethics, and time gave me the tools to really examine them, as well as the understanding that some things just aren't that important and can just be left alone.

    My worldview changed more in terms of metaphysics. At the start of my studies I found nihilism (nothing exists) to be a distasteful prospect. I also didn't actually believe in determinism .

    First I became an existential nihilist, I accepted that there is no inherent value to anything in life. It is what you make of it. Me being in class may be to me personally, the most important thing in the world. That doesn't make it important to you.

    By the end of my undergraduate I was a realist meaning that, in terms of the human mind everything comes from matter and can be reduced to matter doing stuff. Which means that I have to answer the question of free will. If everything is just matter, how can we have free will. My answer is we don't really, it's an illusion but we should operate as if we do anyway.

    Finally, this past semester I realized that I am a metaphysical nihilist in terms of complex objects. Complex objects (how we normally think of tables, chairs, people) are objects that are, naturally larger and complex, a simply object is like an atom. This nihilism says that only simples exist and complex objects are an illusion. So things like "I think therefor I am" aren't true, strictly.
    Determinism... it's... interesting you speak favorably of that. In the past year, I actually let go of that worldview in light of quantum mechanics. Perhaps I should spend more time investigating their relationship and make sure my understandings are correct.

    And could you elaborate some on simple and complex objects, if it's not too much? How do we experience these illusions if the body that houses the mind is merely an illusion as well?

  6.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibuuyk View Post
    What do you think of Plato's political system?
    It's...interesting. There's parts I disagree with and don't think would really work like setting up people for certain jobs, but that's in the context of a modern society.
    I like the idea of the philosopher king, in the way that he meant it, not meaning modern philosophers. Modern philosophers can't lead anything. It takes us 30 minutes to figure out how to get a group of people to a restaurant. But the idea of an enlightened leader is a nice one.
    To be honest I think Aristotle had a better answer with the Academy, but yeah.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yago View Post
    I'm actually going into philosophy so this thread is really relevant to my interests.

    Probably looking at epistemology or ethics.
    Yay ethics!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fay V View Post
    It's...interesting. There's parts I disagree with and don't think would really work like setting up people for certain jobs, but that's in the context of a modern society.
    I like the idea of the philosopher king, in the way that he meant it, not meaning modern philosophers. Modern philosophers can't lead anything. It takes us 30 minutes to figure out how to get a group of people to a restaurant. But the idea of an enlightened leader is a nice one.
    To be honest I think Aristotle had a better answer with the Academy, but yeah.



    Yay ethics!
    I think epistemology is more interesting, but I think ethics is almost as interesting and has more applications, and I would really like to be able to make a difference.

    I've a really awesome philosophy professor I've been talking to, I ended up just sort of having this debate about morals at one point with him in his office, it was pretty rad.

    When did you decide to get into philosophy? You sorta touched on this, but I'm interested.

  8.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saiko View Post
    Determinism... it's... interesting you speak favorably of that. In the past year, I actually let go of that worldview in light of quantum mechanics. Perhaps I should spend more time investigating their relationship and make sure my understandings are correct.

    And could you elaborate some on simple and complex objects, if it's not too much? How do we experience these illusions if the body that houses the mind is merely an illusion as well?
    I am not much of a physicist. I am approaching it from philosophy and there's been no argument for the mind in philosophy that has convinced me.

    Simple objects are, simple. Like an atom. It's a single "thing" that makes up other stuff. So atoms of made of sub atomic partcles, made up of quarks made up of...other smaller shit...but whatever. So a simple can make a structure, like an atom can make a molecule.

    A table, is not really a table. There is not one complete thing there that will stop being a thing when 1 atom is removed, or five, or ten. There's no real line that says x atoms = table. however what is there is simples arranged tablewise. Meaning that it's just a group of simples that are functioning together to make a table. In the way atoms makes molecules which make wood, which makes a table.

    So, how does the mind not really exist as a complex object, after all we have "I think, therefor I am" so the mind should be a thing.
    Well the issue with this argument is that Descartes assumes the "I".

    A more honest and correct answer is "there is deception so there is thought, there is thought so there is something to think" that something is just a group of simples, thought is just a simple process made from complex structures.

    atoms make molecules make nerves make the brain. The brain is not a singular thing but an amalgamation of different neurons arranged in particular ways to create a specific end result, with one specific part which gives the idea of a self. The idea of a self comes from the prefrontal cortex of the left hemisphere, the prefrontal cortx control episodic memory (the memory that allows you to remember yourself in the past and your feelings, emotions, etc.) and damage to this region has shown errors in episodic memory as well as a complete absence of the sense of self if the damage is significant enough.
    The person is aware of their name, that they are a person, but injury and action is sort of seperated, like it's happening to a robot. They just don't have any connection to think "this is me, this is me that this is happening to, this is what I will be in the future" it's just "this arm is attached to the body that I am, and it's broken, and this hurts"

    so long winded, but the mind is reducible to the physical, the physical is reducible to simples, there is no complex self object, but only simples and you thinking you are a person is the illusion work of a specific section of the brain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yago View Post
    I think epistemology is more interesting, but I think ethics is almost as interesting and has more applications, and I would really like to be able to make a difference.

    I've a really awesome philosophy professor I've been talking to, I ended up just sort of having this debate about morals at one point with him in his office, it was pretty rad.

    When did you decide to get into philosophy? You sorta touched on this, but I'm interested.
    I was a biochem major and took a 101 course as a way to blow off steam and have a fun class. In that class I had my first ever college paper. When the professor handed the papers back explaining his expectations and why the grades ended up as they did he said "we're not looking for the next great american novel, just glorious adequacy" I got an A+ and fell in love that instant. a year later I moved from biochem to english and philosophy double degrees. I was really good at understanding the concepts and when explaining it to classmates was often told "you should teach" to which I laughed and went "me molding young minds? never"

    So now about 6 years later I'm getting my second masters and I'm teaching my first class in summer as the primary instructor.
    woo

  9. #19
    Senior Saiko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fay V View Post
    I am not much of a physicist. I am approaching it from philosophy and there's been no argument for the mind in philosophy that has convinced me.

    Simple objects are, simple. Like an atom. It's a single "thing" that makes up other stuff. So atoms of made of sub atomic partcles, made up of quarks made up of...other smaller shit...but whatever. So a simple can make a structure, like an atom can make a molecule.

    A table, is not really a table. There is not one complete thing there that will stop being a thing when 1 atom is removed, or five, or ten. There's no real line that says x atoms = table. however what is there is simples arranged tablewise. Meaning that it's just a group of simples that are functioning together to make a table. In the way atoms makes molecules which make wood, which makes a table.

    So, how does the mind not really exist as a complex object, after all we have "I think, therefor I am" so the mind should be a thing.
    Well the issue with this argument is that Descartes assumes the "I".

    A more honest and correct answer is "there is deception so there is thought, there is thought so there is something to think" that something is just a group of simples, thought is just a simple process made from complex structures.

    atoms make molecules make nerves make the brain. The brain is not a singular thing but an amalgamation of different neurons arranged in particular ways to create a specific end result, with one specific part which gives the idea of a self. The idea of a self comes from the prefrontal cortex of the left hemisphere, the prefrontal cortx control episodic memory (the memory that allows you to remember yourself in the past and your feelings, emotions, etc.) and damage to this region has shown errors in episodic memory as well as a complete absence of the sense of self if the damage is significant enough.
    The person is aware of their name, that they are a person, but injury and action is sort of seperated, like it's happening to a robot. They just don't have any connection to think "this is me, this is me that this is happening to, this is what I will be in the future" it's just "this arm is attached to the body that I am, and it's broken, and this hurts"

    so long winded, but the mind is reducible to the physical, the physical is reducible to simples, there is no complex self object, but only simples and you thinking you are a person is the illusion work of a specific section of the brain.
    Huh... I actually was skeptical of you, but then you went on to describe something very similar to my own thoughts, albeit much more refined and confidently.

    My only contention is that I understand many of those subatomic particles to be so small as to possess a wavelength larger than their actual size, making their exact position entirely random. Due to this, an exact state of the entire system at a point in time is undefinable, as is the following state, rendering the system indeterministic. Even while typing that, though... I find it conceivable and intuitive that an exact state does exist but is simply beyond our physical capability of defining. Although from our perspective and a pragmatic standpoint the system may as well be indeterministic, such a case would render it deterministic in actuality. This distinction is important because I have heard propositions that indeterminism resulting from quantum mechanics could allow for a free will. That being said, the notion falls victim to Ockham's razor. In either case we can observe the mind's very direct relationships to biochemistry, indicating that free will is indeed an illusion as you say, a consequence of physical phenomena.

    Um... also I'm sorry if none of that made sense. You got me thinking, and I couldn't help writing it somewhere. o.e

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    I'm willing to grant that all action in the universe is not entirely determined and that at a subatomic level action is indeterminable. However I think in regards to the concept of freewill, saying that our action of the "self' if one were to grant it, are not determined, because by that point it is the sum of basic physical function and the space in quantum physics doesn't really say that it is thought or will of the mind self which is putting these changes into effect.

    So right, things don't have to be determined at all points in the universe, I can accept randomness, I am just saying human action is determined by biologic function, and I wouldn't want us to fall into a trap of equivocation thinking that random particle interaction is the same as free willed thought.

 

 

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