Tag Archives | Philosophy

You Have to Be Conscious to Deny Consciousness, and Other Conundrums

Leonhard_Euler_2

via Evolution News:

Would you have a rational discussion with a zombie? Materialists are forced into the position of discussing philosophy and science with the walking dead, since under their terms we are all that. Unless rationality is a mindful concept — unless we are more than atoms in motion — that’s the logical result of denying mind and intelligence.

To deny that we are mindful creatures, the materialist also has to deny the existence of any realm of abstract concepts that a mind can access. Yet materialism itself is an abstract concept.

This seems intuitively obvious, but it’s amazing how often materialists ignore the self-refuting nature of their assumptions. Nancy Pearcey wrote about this a few months ago, noting ways in which materialist claims commit the self-referential absurdity: “Applied to itself, the theory commits suicide.”

A recent example is a new theory of consciousness from Ezequiel Morsella, a psychology professor at San Franciso State University.

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Music, Aesthetics & Making Sense: A Conversation with Andrew Bowie

Bowie Header Adorno

This post originally appeared on four by three magazine.

What is music? Can music make sense of the world or even transcend it? Philosopher and jazz musician Andrew Bowie talks to four by three about the connection between music, aesthetics, language, and time, with reference to Adorno and Heidegger, as well as about the relationship between philosophy, the arts and sciences, asking: why does art matter?


‘Art is supposed to engage your whole being and not just your conceptual capacity’
— Andrew Bowie

four by three: The philosophy and philosophical significance of music has been a major preoccupation of much of your writing. What is it that motivates you to write philosophically about music?

Andrew Bowie: When I started doing philosophy, I used to regard my playing as completely separate from my philosophy, because I wasn’t very good at playing in any case [I still am not great, but I have got better].… Read the rest

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Synchronicity and the Secret of the Co-creator

Sync final

Synchronicity and the Secret of the Co-creator

Synchronicity: is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner [to the observer]. To count as synchronicity, the events should be unlikely to occur together by chance.

If you believe synchronicity is simply coincidence, then you haven’t read any of the top experts in the field. The famous psychotherapist Carl Gustav Jung coined the term synchronicity in the 1920s to reference the alignment of universal forces with a person’s experiences.

These forces have been sought out for centuries in many spiritual traditions as a means of aligning with the “flow.” This usually takes years of disciplined meditation, study, ritual or by other means to navigate this journey toward a harmonic “individuation.” To some the search is inward for the self, yet for others it’s an outward search for spirituality.

My first experience with synchronicity was on March 21st at 3:03am which is the 3rd month, 3rd week, 3rd hour, 3rd minute or 3333, on the equinox and the moment of my birth.… Read the rest

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Plato Not Prozac

Lou Marinoff is a Philosopher, bestselling author and Canadian table hockey champion.

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Source:  IAI News

Beatrice Popescu: Where does your love for counselling stem from? Who was your first inspiration?

Lou Marinoff: My first inspiration was my talkative extended family, most of whom were capable of dispensing advice almost continuously, and on any topic. In such a climate, one must think for oneself, dispense advice in self-defence, and ultimately take one’s own counsel.

Beatrice Popescu: From a philosophical practitioner’s standpoint, philosophy needs to be demystified and made available in the service of people for whom it was initially created. Can philosophy (the discipline that discusses anything and attempts to treat any ailment of the soul) become a resource for common people, from the perspective of philosophical counselling?

Lou Marinoff: Yes, and no. I have come to believe that while many people can and do benefit from philosophical counselling, it is not a panacea and may never attract as many people as does psychological counselling.

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Chiara Marletto: The Code of the Cosmos

In this article Oxford Physicist Chiara Marletto explores whether we should consider information, rather than matter as the fundamental building block of the universe.

593 The Universe Code.cxjIII

Information has come to play an increasingly fundamental role in our lives during the last few decades: billions of computers are now interconnected over the world, and our technology – and hence our survival and well-being – crucially rely on them.

It is much harder to argue that information plays a role in fundamental physics.

Traditionally, fundamental physics expresses predictions about where, say, a particle will go, given its initial state and its laws of motion. This paradigm has been the prevailing one since Galileo and Newton and has been extremely successful – allowing us to formulate deeper and deeper explanations of the physical world, of which quantum theory and general relativity are the current best examples. Yet, there are things in the physical world that this mode of explanation cannot adequately capture for us.

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People resort to violence because their moral codes demand it

European Parliament (CC by-nc-nd 2.0)

European Parliament (CC by-nc-nd 2.0)

Tage Rai explores the “myth of pure evil” and uncovers what motivates the majority of people to violence. Let’s look into the abyss with this long(ish) read from Aeon.

via Aeon:

‘When I was 14 years old, this guy beat me down in the streets. And my stepfather took his life right in front of me. And I felt good about it, really.’
— Tio, in the documentary, The Interrupters (2011)

In his book Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty (1999), the psychologist Roy Baumeister argues that people believe most perpetrators of violence to be sadists who gain pleasure from the suffering of innocent victims. Especially for the most heinous crimes, we can’t help but see the perpetrators as ‘bad’ people: inhuman monsters who lack basic moral feeling. Baumeister called this phenomenon ‘the myth of pure evil’. A myth because it isn’t true.

In spite of widespread beliefs about its existence, sadism is so rare that it is not even an official psychiatric diagnosis.

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Self-centeredness, Anti-intellectualism — What is Killing America?

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

In response to David Niose’s article “Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America,” Ravi Chandra argues that it is actually self-centeredness which is killing America.

Here’s some of Niose’s argument:

Social dysfunction can be traced to the abandonment of reason.

Decrying racism and gun violence is fine, but for too long America’s social dysfunction has continued to intensify as the nation has ignored a key underlying pathology: anti-intellectualism.

America is killing itself through its embrace and exaltation of ignorance, and the evidence is all around us. Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter who used race as a basis for hate and mass murder, is just the latest horrific example. Many will correctly blame Roof’s actions on America’s culture of racism and gun violence, but it’s time to realize that such phenomena are directly tied to the nation’s culture of ignorance.

In a country where a sitting congressman told a crowd that evolution and the Big Bang are“lies straight from the pit of hell,”(link is external) where the chairman of a Senate environmental panel brought a snowball(link is external) into the chamber as evidence that climate change is a hoax, where almost one in three citizens can’t name the vice president(link is external), it is beyond dispute that critical thinking has been abandoned as a cultural value.

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Cell Phone Radiation Is Probably Cooking Your Brain and Balls (and What You Can Do About It)

mobilize

Via Midwest Real

Kevin Kunze is the filmmaker behind Mobilize, an investigative documentary exploring the negative long-term health effects of cell phone radiation. The film examines recent scientific research, follows national legislative efforts, and exposes the influence that technology companies have on public health.

ITUNES  STITCHER DOWNLOAD

This is an unfortunate rabbit hole my friends, because I love me some technology. I’m constantly ranting about it, tweeting about it, or manipulating it in some manner. It’s certainly not lost on me that without it, this show and this site wouldn’t even exist in the first place. I’ll even go out on a limb and say that technology and the insatiable, uniquely human, desire to continually lift our circumstances is intimately intertwined with the destiny of mankind (if that’s a thing).

As Terence McKenna put it:

“Technology is the real skin of our species… We take in matter that has a low degree of organization; we put it through mental filters, and we extrude jewelry, gospels, space shuttles.

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Aristotle on Time

Darren Tunnicliff (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Darren Tunnicliff (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Aristotle’s The Physics:

Next for discussion is time. The best plan will be to begin by working out the difficulties connected with it, making use of the current arguments. First, does it belong to the class of things that exist or to that of things that do not exist? Then secondly, what is its nature? To start, then: the following considerations would make one suspect that it either does not exist at all or barely, and in an obscure way. One part of it has been and is not, while the other is going to be and is not yet. Yet time—both infinite time and any time you like to take—is made up of these. One would naturally suppose that what is made up of things which do not exist could have no share in reality.

Further, if a divisible thing is to exist, it is necessary that when it exists, all or some of its parts must exist.

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Aesthetics, Immanuel Kant & Imagination

Irving Guyer

Does an artist perceive or invent his creation? How does imagination relate to freedom, beauty and nature?
Paul Guyer talks to four by three about the relationship between aesthetics and morality in the work of Immanuel Kant, Hegel’s rejection thereof and Schopenhauer’s positive conception of the aesthetic experience.


four by three: A substantial part of your work as a philosopher has been in the field of aesthetics. What motivated you to start working on this discipline of philosophy?

Paul Guyer: In hindsight, three things.  First, I started taking classes with Stanley Cavell as a freshman at Harvard (his large humanities class, some of the material from which turned up forty years later in his last book, Cities of Words). Cavell did not teach any conventional aesthetics in that course, or at any time during my undergraduate and graduate years at Harvard, but his title was ‘Professor of Aesthetics and General Theory of Value,’ and that may have both piqued my interest and licensed the subject of aesthetics for me.… Read the rest

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