The Philosophy Thread

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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by wosbald » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:11 am

+JMJ+

A Deleuze Glossary covering Difference and Repetition, The Logic of Sense, Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus




Though Deleuze's work is certainly not as lexically challenging as that which provoked the one centered David Bentley Hart, I offer this thumbnail glossary for those few who might find it of use.

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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by wosbald » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:02 am

+JMJ+

Exhibition on philosopher Maimonides in Jerusalem
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Shrine of the Book at Israel Museum in Jerusalem

Original writings by greatest Jewish Medieval author

TEL AVIV — The great 12th-century philosopher, scientist and Jewish religious figure Maimonides is featured in a major retrospective exhibition opening on December 11 and running through April at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

The show includes items on loan from the Vatican Apostolic Library, the British Library of London, the Metropolitan Museum of New York, and other important cultural institutions.

Titled "Mainmonides: A Legacy in Script", the show will display a collection of works by the author considered one of the most prolific and influential intellectuals of his time and in Jewish history.

Born in Spain, the life and work of Maimonides focused mainly on the Middle East, as well as Italy and France, but reached the furthest corners of the Medieval world.

His approach was that of merging secular studies and Torah — the spiritual centre of Judaism — to make Jewish law accessible to all. His encouragement on moderation in all aspects of life, his guidelines on nutrition and on preventative medicine, are still "studied and interpreted in various academies and popular circles", the show's organisers said.

[…]

Among the works on display are the original version, with corrections, of the Mishneh Torah, his code of Jewish religious law with his signature and his handwriting.

Those scheduled to participate at the show's inauguration on the evening of December 10 include: Archbishop Jose Tolentino de Mendona, archivist and librarian of the Catholic Church; Spanish Ambassador to Israel Mauel Gomez-Acebo; and Chief Rabbi of Israel Yitzhak Yosef.

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by Nature of a Man » Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:14 pm

I've spent some time studying philosophies and attempting to find common existential themes, ideally avoiding getting wrapped up in a single idiosyncratic thinker or set of ideas without properly understanding them or what they actually add up to in the grand scheme of things.

Ideally there would be some attempt at distinguishing some of the bad, or at least inept, thinkers from the good or genuinely insightful ones. Rather than have them all lumped into one "philosophy" category.

I'd consider thinkers such as Epicurus, Nietzsche, Rand, Bentham, Mill, Marx, Voltaire, Foucault to be examples of more or less bad or inept thinkers who nevertheless sometimes have undue relevance - though I've never studied them heavily and am open to revising things.

While thinkers such as Pythagoras, Aristotle, Plato, Kant were more or less good thinkers. Some such as Rousseau, or even Bertram Russell I would say fell into more of a "grey" area.

---

For that matter, ideally there would be some attempt at contextualizing the vague and ambiguous terms like "realism", or whatnot. (Just as how theories such as the physical theory of gravity can be contextualized by demonstrating how they translate into practice and events, such as an apple falling from a tree).

Most of the discussions I've seen on Western philosophy sadly fail to put things into context, and most people wouldn't be able understand the meaning of them in actual practice, which is why I believe many philosophical inquiries seem akin to wordplay or mental masturbation.

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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by durangopipe » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:07 pm

Nature of a Man wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:14 pm
I've spent some time studying philosophies ...
In my experience, good philosophy professors do an excellent job of contextualizing both individual philosophers and schools of philosophy.

Wosbald (an extremely well-studied young philosopher), I am guessing, has been holding back for many reasons. I, a somewhat less capable old philosopher, have been holding back as well, but thought I might finally make a comment regarding this most recent post.

Many of your questions begin with a disclaimer regarding the depth of your study or limited familiarity with a topic and then proceed to make some rather sweeping (and in my opinion, unaddressable in this context) statements.

“Statements” (to make a bit of a leap here to semantics) can report (utterances of verifiable fact), infer (utterances about the unknown induced or deduced from the known), or judge (utterances of value in accordance with an articulated or unarticulated value system regarding reports, verified or unverified or inferences, sound or unsound).

Regarding the quality of inference and judgment exemplified in many of your “questions” ...

Wos could speak with you for hours, for example, about your antipathy towards and limited understanding of postmodernism - a conversation I am certain you would find hugely enlightening. But to even begin that conversation here would be nearly impossible.

Contextualizing philophy and philosophers for a serious student takes time and a great deal of humble effort. It is usually initially approached with an introductory survey organized either as a quick march through the history of philosophy broadly, or by following the approaches taken to addressing significant recurring questions.

This is usually followed by more of the same done far more intensively, taking it much more slowly - more rigorous study of that same history, and the organization of those significant recurring questions into some kind of organizing rubric, the most common one involving rigorous study of the nature of knowledge (epistemology), the nature of realty (metaphysics), and the nature of value including morality (axiology) - while being fully aware of the fact that the pedagogical rubric is chosen to organize content, and that the apparent distinctions between these areas of inquiry appear only as a heuristic tool, not a perfect reflection of the material and ideas themselves, material and ideas that overlap and interact in very complex ways.

Simultaneously, the rigorous study of logic (symbolic and propositional) helps to greatly clarify our understanding of various forms of argument.

Knowledge, for example, of the simple distinctions between truth, validity and soundness radically alters the nature of discourse, and are known to the most beginning of budding philosophers, but this is only one set of many such basic distinctions - if not learned - that render meaningful conversations about “philosophy” impossible. And, sadly, most such conversations generally lack awareness of such rudimentary concepts as these.

Contextualization (of significant depth) cannot be acquired simply. You cannot pick up an historical work by Aristotle, Nietsche or Kant (to mention some you just named) and either know why they address the things they address, how they are addressing them, or critically interact with their ideas in isolation from a great deal of gradually accumulated familiarity with the content and tools of “philosophy.”

Little different from picking up a book on spherical geometry or differential equations and hoping to start the study of mathematics there.

And everything I have just said can be fruitfully debated by someone (like Wos) well-studied, whose commitment to an approach toward philosophy is very different from my own commitment to another. But that is a conversation we are each prepared to have - and have explored a bit in PMs.

To judge some thinkers “inept” and others “gray” absent much more rigorous study is, in the kindest word, I can muster, hasty.

A little humility would go a long way here, NoaM.

By the way, the term “realism” can be rather succinctly defined (and that definition subsequently richly argued and developed) with but a bit of time in an introductory metaphysics textbook:

“Metaphysical realism is the view that most of the objects that populate the world exist independently of our thought and have their natures independently of how, if at all, we conceive of them.”

Continue to study. Humbly.
That would be this old professor’s advice.

To you, and to himself as well.

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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by Del » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:59 pm

I am slowly reading Plato's Dialogues.

He is easy to read.

I have also opened the Summa of Thomas Aquinas. He is much denser.... still, easy enough for any lover of philosophy to enjoy. You'll get clobbered with great wisdom on every page of St. Thomas Aquinas. On page 1, we learn that it was possible to know God through Reason alone -- but 1) it was only known to a few very wise persons (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle), 2) after a very long time, and 3) with a great many errors mixed in. That is why God revealed Himself to us -- so that the whole world can know the truth.
G.K. Chesterton — 'It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.'

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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by Nature of a Man » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:01 am

durangopipe wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:07 pm
Nature of a Man wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:14 pm
I've spent some time studying philosophies ...
In my experience, good philosophy professors do an excellent job of contextualizing both individual philosophers and schools of philosophy.

Wosbald (an extremely well-studied young philosopher), I am guessing, has been holding back for many reasons. I, a somewhat less capable old philosopher, have been holding back as well, but thought I might finally make a comment regarding this most recent post.

Many of your questions begin with a disclaimer regarding the depth of your study or limited familiarity with a topic and then proceed to make some rather sweeping (and in my opinion, unaddressable in this context) statements.

“Statements” (to make a bit of a leap here to semantics) can report (utterances of verifiable fact), infer (utterances about the unknown induced or deduced from the known), or judge (utterances of value in accordance with an articulated or unarticulated value system regarding reports, verified or unverified or inferences, sound or unsound).

Regarding the quality of inference and judgment exemplified in many of your “questions” ...

Wos could speak with you for hours, for example, about your antipathy towards and limited understanding of postmodernism - a conversation I am certain you would find hugely enlightening. But to even begin that conversation here would be nearly impossible.
My limited understanding of postmodernism is that Foucault was mostly "bad" or "extremist", while Derrida was the shining star of postmodernism, though his ideas have somewhat been bastardized by incompetent audiences.

I define "Postmodernism" itself as merely criticism or skepticism of modernism, so I don't view anything which may be described as "postmodernism" as necessarily "bad", just for the record.
Contextualizing philophy and philosophers for a serious student takes time and a great deal of humble effort. It is usually initially approached with an introductory survey organized either as a quick march through the history of philosophy broadly, or by following the approaches taken to addressing significant recurring questions.

This is usually followed by more of the same done far more intensively, taking it much more slowly - more rigorous study of that same history, and the organization of those significant recurring questions into some kind of organizing rubric, the most common one involving rigorous study of the nature of knowledge (epistemology), the nature of realty (metaphysics), and the nature of value including morality (axiology) - while being fully aware of the fact that the pedagogical rubric is chosen to organize content, and that the apparent distinctions between these areas of inquiry appear only as a heuristic tool, not a perfect reflection of the material and ideas themselves, material and ideas that overlap and interact in very complex ways.

Simultaneously, the rigorous study of logic (symbolic and propositional) helps to greatly clarify our understanding of various forms of argument.

Knowledge, for example, of the simple distinctions between truth, validity and soundness radically alters the nature of discourse, and are known to the most beginning of budding philosophers, but this is only one set of many such basic distinctions - if not learned - that render meaningful conversations about “philosophy” impossible. And, sadly, most such conversations generally lack awareness of such rudimentary concepts as these.

Contextualization (of significant depth) cannot be acquired simply. You cannot pick up an historical work by Aristotle, Nietsche or Kant (to mention some you just named) and either know why they address the things they address, how they are addressing them, or critically interact with their ideas in isolation from a great deal of gradually accumulated familiarity with the content and tools of “philosophy.”

Little different from picking up a book on spherical geometry or differential equations and hoping to start the study of mathematics there.

And everything I have just said can be fruitfully debated by someone (like Wos) well-studied, whose commitment to an approach toward philosophy is very different from my own commitment to another. But that is a conversation we are each prepared to have - and have explored a bit in PMs.

To judge some thinkers “inept” and others “gray” absent much more rigorous study is, in the kindest word, I can muster, hasty.

A little humility would go a long way here, NoaM.

By the way, the term “realism” can be rather succinctly defined (and that definition subsequently richly argued and developed) with but a bit of time in an introductory metaphysics textbook:

“Metaphysical realism is the view that most of the objects that populate the world exist independently of our thought and have their natures independently of how, if at all, we conceive of them.”

Continue to study. Humbly.
That would be this old professor’s advice.

To you, and to himself as well.
Thank you, I appreciate it.

As far as realism in that sense, to me that seems to be a fairly ubiquitous notion required to function sanely in day to day life (e.x. in modern physics, objects such as atoms and molecules exist independently of our thought; I believe my wife is a real person, not a figment of my imagination, etc).

While by that definition, the alternative would be to believe that nothing exist outside our own mind, which would be solipsism, and something most would consider an absurdist position in the real world. (e.x. If I believe the moon doesn't exist, then it doesn't exist - therefore the moon landing must have been a hoax; of if I drink a glass of poison but believe the poison doesn't exist, then it won't actually kill me).

If you disagree then feel free to offer your feedback, though the above IMO is an example of why not contextualizing what these terms actually translate into in daily life tends to overcomplicate and obfuscate things.

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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by durangopipe » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:25 am

Nature of a Man wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:01 am
If you disagree then feel free to offer your feedback, though the above IMO is an example of why not contextualizing what these terms actually translate into in daily life tends to overcomplicate and obfuscate things.
I don’t disagree, necessarily, NoaM. But again, all of the questions you are asking are contextualized quite well in the ongoing conversation that is and has been the history and current practice of philosophy.

We can contrast metaphysical realism with metaphysical idealism. In terms of your question/conclusion ...

“Idealism might best be characterized as the group of metaphysical philosophies that assert that reality as humans can know it, is fundamentally mental, or mentally constructed.

Again for emphasis: reality as humans can know it.

And ask of the choice between metaphysical realism and metaphysical idealism, how do we choose between them regarding truthfulness (i.e. what is, in fact, the case?) which leads us to questions of epistemic truth - how do we know what we know?

A metaphysical idealist would likely also be an epistemic idealist ...

“Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing.”

Which is not absurd. It raises legitimate questions about the intervention of the limits imposed by the human sensory apparatus and the human brain as constructors of human experience and knowledge of reality.

Rich debates about philosophy of mind exist to be studied.
Rich debates that reconnect empirically and “scientifically verified” understandings of the nature of reality with the limitations imposed, for example, by theory ladenness in instrumentation (what is a measurement, what is an observation?), just waiting to be studied and then elaborated, debates that reinforce the difficulty of glibly dismissing either metaphysical idealism or epistemic idealism.

All of this has a rich history of prior inquiry and current philosophical conversation, none of which obfuscates for the sake of obfuscation; rather, the conversation enriches our understanding beyond simple first impressions and certainties to increasingly refined understanding.

And yes, also contextualizes complex ideas and terms.

Again, a forum such as this cannot adequately provide the answers you seek (nor deal with the questions you ask - which often contain answers arrived at prematurely).

Patience, study, inquiry and most of all a bit more humility move us further and further along the path of understanding.

The hasty judgement of “obfuscation” is no less ill-considered than the facile judgement that categorizes philosophers as “good,” “bad” and “gray” absent much more study.

You are at the beginning of a fantastic journey, if you really do love inquiry and the particular form of that inquiry that is philosophy.

Don’t mistake the on ramp for arrival at the destination.
Slow down and enjoy the ride.

And don’t take my word for any of this. I truly believe some guided exploration (under some good teachers) would be both beneficial and quite enjoyable. One may certainly do this on their own, but you lose a lot of time reinventing the wheel.

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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by wosbald » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:15 am

+JMJ+

New book by St. John Paul shows early political, social philosophy [In-Depth]
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This two-volume collection on political and social philosophy by Father Karol Wojtyla, now St. John Paul II, was published for the first time by his former Catholic university in Poland. (Credit: CNS photo/Jonathan Luxmoore)

WARSAW, Poland — A new two-volume manuscript on political and social philosophy, authored by St. John Paul II in the 1950s, will dispel views of him as “an intellectual cut off from social concerns” and clarify his lifelong stance on political and ideological issues, said the book’s editor.

The 120,000-word collection by then-Father Karol Wojtyla, released for the first time, is expected to require the updating of biographies and reinterpretation of aspects of John Paul’s teaching.

“Katolicka Etyka Spoleczna” (“The Catholic Social Ethic”) shows Wojtyla “had a deep knowledge of social problems in the 1940s and 1950s and was looking for a key to solve them; while he was convinced a world shaped by capitalism was a bad world, he also saw how communism had made simplistic promises of social change,” said Father Alfred Wierzbicki, one of the book’s editors.

“This may well affect wider interpretations of his teaching. At the very least, it reveals there are really very few differences between St John Paul II and Pope Francis on social questions,” he said.

Agnieszka Lekka-Kowalik, director of the John Paul II Institute at Poland’s Catholic University of Lublin, said the book would be “a new source for those researching his ideas, showing how they developed from Wojtyla the philosopher to Wojtyla the pope.”

“Though it won’t necessarily affect our understanding of papal teaching as a whole, it will undoubtedly deepen our understanding of this pope. Certain things will be clearer when we see how he presented his arguments.”

[…]

“The Catholic Social Ethic” originated in a course taught from June 1953 by Wojtyla at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University. He continued the course at seminaries when the university’s theology faculty was forcibly closed by Poland’s communist rulers in 1954.

It shows the future pontiff was deeply versed as a young priest in the works of Karl Marx and able to debate complex points in the German thinker’s monumental classic, “Das Kapital.” However, it also reveals a deep knowledge of wider political, economic and social ideas, especially those with a bearing on church doctrine from the time of Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical “Rerum Novarum.”

An introduction by the editors said the text should be seen in the “specific historical context” of communist rule and was intended by the future pope as a “teaching aid” for theology students, rather than for general publication.

However, it added that the work addressed “virtually all the issues pertaining to Catholic social teaching,” and showed a consistency in the pope’s life-long pursuit of a Christian “vision of human liberation and construction of a human rights culture.”

“‘Katolicka Etyka Spoleczna’ is a kind of hermeneutic key that enables a better understanding of John Paul II’s social teaching, and especially his encyclicals,” the editors said.

“He understood the social and moral motives, as well as the critical diagnosis of the capitalist system, which inspired the Marxists’ commitment to the cause of working people. However, he was also deeply aware of the philosophical roots of the fallacy of Marxism.”

“Like the communist ones, the solutions to social issues offered by liberalism proved, in Wojtyla’s view, a cure worse than the disease, since they had not taken into account the status and condition of the human person.”

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by wosbald » Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:27 pm

+JMJ+

German humanities scholars enlisted to end coronavirus lockdown [In-Depth]
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Aristotle. (Credit: iStock)

In contrast to other countries, philosophers, historians, theologians and jurists have played a major role advising the state as it seeks to loosen restrictions.

In the struggle against the new coronavirus, humanities academics have entered the fray — in Germany at least.

Arguably to a greater extent than has happened in the UK, France or the US, the country has enlisted the advice of philosophers, historians of science, theologians and jurists as it navigates the delicate ethical balancing act of reopening society while safeguarding the health of the public.

When the German federal government announced a slight loosening of restrictions on 15 April — allowing small shops to open and some children to return to school in May — it had been eagerly awaiting a report written by a 26-strong expert group containing only a minority of natural scientists and barely a handful of virologists and medical specialists.

Instead, this working group from the Leopoldina — Germany’s independent National Academy of Sciences dating back to 1652 — included historians of industrialisation and early Christianity, a specialist on the philosophy of law and several pedagogical experts.

This paucity of virologists earned the group a swipe from Markus Söder, minister-president of badly hit Bavaria, who has led calls in Germany for a tough lockdown (although earlier in the pandemic the Leopoldina did release a report written by more medically focused specialists).

But “the crisis is a complex one, it’s a systemic crisis” and so it needs to be dissected from every angle, argued Jürgen Renn, director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and one of those who wrote the crucial recommendations.

[…]

Germany’s Ethics Council — which traces its roots back to the stem cell debates of the early 2000s and is composed of theologians, jurists, philosophers and other ethical thinkers — also contributed to a report at the end of March, warning that it was up to elected politicians, not scientists, to make the “painful decisions” weighing up the lockdown’s effect on health and its other side-effects.

“We have a direct line to the ministers and decision-makers in parliament,” said Joachim Vetter, the council’s director. “You can ask the virologists in the beginning; but as you go on you need jurists, people from the economy, social scientists,” he argued, as the impact of lockdown ripples through society.

Other European countries also have bioethics councils — some of which have issued their own recommendations on the coronavirus — but Dr Vetter argued that Germany had a particularly strong tradition of ethical debate. After the release of its report, the chair of the council appeared on a prime-time evening news programme. “You’re really in the main news,” Dr Vetter said.

[…]

While France has a tradition of public intellectuals, Professor Höffe said, in Germany, academic philosophers have a stronger history of involvement in political discussion.

Germany’s involvement of the humanities in its coronavirus response appears to be the exception rather than the rule. In France, an 11-strong coronavirus scientific council assembled by the country’s president, Emmanuel Macron, at the end of March is composed almost entirely of disease experts, epidemiologists, disease modellers and medics — it features only a single sociologist and one anthropologist.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by durangopipe » Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:44 pm

wosbald wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:27 pm
+JMJ+

German humanities scholars enlisted to end coronavirus lockdown [In-Depth]
Image
Aristotle. (Credit: iStock)

In contrast to other countries, philosophers, historians, theologians and jurists have played a major role advising the state as it seeks to loosen restrictions.

In the struggle against the new coronavirus, humanities academics have entered the fray — in Germany at least.

Arguably to a greater extent than has happened in the UK, France or the US, the country has enlisted the advice of philosophers, historians of science, theologians and jurists as it navigates the delicate ethical balancing act of reopening society while safeguarding the health of the public.

When the German federal government announced a slight loosening of restrictions on 15 April — allowing small shops to open and some children to return to school in May — it had been eagerly awaiting a report written by a 26-strong expert group containing only a minority of natural scientists and barely a handful of virologists and medical specialists.

Instead, this working group from the Leopoldina — Germany’s independent National Academy of Sciences dating back to 1652 — included historians of industrialisation and early Christianity, a specialist on the philosophy of law and several pedagogical experts.

This paucity of virologists earned the group a swipe from Markus Söder, minister-president of badly hit Bavaria, who has led calls in Germany for a tough lockdown (although earlier in the pandemic the Leopoldina did release a report written by more medically focused specialists).

But “the crisis is a complex one, it’s a systemic crisis” and so it needs to be dissected from every angle, argued Jürgen Renn, director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and one of those who wrote the crucial recommendations.

[…]

Germany’s Ethics Council — which traces its roots back to the stem cell debates of the early 2000s and is composed of theologians, jurists, philosophers and other ethical thinkers — also contributed to a report at the end of March, warning that it was up to elected politicians, not scientists, to make the “painful decisions” weighing up the lockdown’s effect on health and its other side-effects.

“We have a direct line to the ministers and decision-makers in parliament,” said Joachim Vetter, the council’s director. “You can ask the virologists in the beginning; but as you go on you need jurists, people from the economy, social scientists,” he argued, as the impact of lockdown ripples through society.

Other European countries also have bioethics councils — some of which have issued their own recommendations on the coronavirus — but Dr Vetter argued that Germany had a particularly strong tradition of ethical debate. After the release of its report, the chair of the council appeared on a prime-time evening news programme. “You’re really in the main news,” Dr Vetter said.

[…]

While France has a tradition of public intellectuals, Professor Höffe said, in Germany, academic philosophers have a stronger history of involvement in political discussion.

Germany’s involvement of the humanities in its coronavirus response appears to be the exception rather than the rule. In France, an 11-strong coronavirus scientific council assembled by the country’s president, Emmanuel Macron, at the end of March is composed almost entirely of disease experts, epidemiologists, disease modellers and medics — it features only a single sociologist and one anthropologist.

[…]
[The French response] features only a single sociologist and one anthropologist
... and no ethicist.

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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by wosbald » Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:03 pm

+JMJ+

Want a good job? Major in philosophy. [In-Depth]
Image
Surveying the world from beneath the columns of the Academy of Athens, in Greece. (iStock/sarra22)

Reading about the closures of several philosophy departments has me worried that our centuries-old experiment of liberal arts education is ending. The United States has been trying to transform liberal arts education into pre-professional training for well over a decade, at least since the 2008 recession; and that desire has accelerated, with students and their parents demanding the expansion of programs and majors they believe will lead straight to well-paying, secure jobs.

Consider the jokes about what philosophy majors will do post-graduation. A typical example is a T-shirt that reads, “I have a degree in Philosophy: Why do you want fries with that?” This reveals a pervasive misconception about what philosophy is and what philosophical training prepares its graduates to do.

Philosophy, like any other bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts, prepares graduates for a wide array of jobs, the kind that can lead to more skilled mid-level positions later on. Yet philosophical training seems to be understood as an example of what the philosopher Lisa Heldke calls “stupid knowing,” which classifies someone as more stupid for having gained it. She points to cultural tropes of farmers as unsophisticated laborers whose farming knowledge somehow disqualifies them from higher-order thinking. Philosophy graduates are held to have these higher-order cognitive skills, but at the same time, the possession of those skills is cited as evidence of stupidity: How stupid do you have to be to pursue a “worthless” major that guarantees poverty?

However, the data suggests that we need more philosophy classes if our students’ employment futures are a prime concern. We know, for example, that philosophy students do extraordinarily well on the GRE, LSAT and GMAT tests, showing that they are well prepared not just for further academic study but also for training in law and business. A study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2017 found that the net return on investment for a philosophy degree is equivalent to that of an engineering degree. Not only is philosophy education less expensive than other forms of education that lead to well-paying, respectable jobs, but philosophy graduates end up earning more over their lifetimes than graduates in any other humanities field and more than graduates of some STEM fields.

The more philosophy graduates demonstrate the falsity of the “useless major” trope, the more deeply entrenched it seems to become. Some have taken the claim “philosophy doesn’t prepare its graduates for any single job” to mean that philosophy leaves its graduates without any job skills. The truth is in between: Philosophy prepares its graduates for many different jobs.

[…]

The promises of college and university mission statements — like cultivating in students a thirst for lifelong learning and providing transformative education — depend heavily on the skills promoted by a liberal arts education. This includes such “soft” skills as:
  • discerning what is worthy of respect in social, moral and political opinions different from the ones you hold;
  • understanding why multiple positions or potential solutions to a problem may all be strong (or weak), even when they are very different;
  • reflecting on the extent to which our thinking may be biased and developing methods for reasoning well even as we know we can never be fully free from bias.
[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by wosbald » Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:09 am


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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by Jester » Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:17 am

Marx was a racist and I don't see anybody abandoning Marxism.
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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by SlowToke » Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:49 pm

Jester wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:17 am
Marx was a racist and I don't see anybody abandoning Marxism.
A man can dream though.
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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by Del » Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:34 pm

SlowToke wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:49 pm
Jester wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:17 am
Marx was a racist and I don't see anybody abandoning Marxism.
A man can dream though.
The woke ideology is about gaining political power through bullying and political correctness. There is no philosophy or principles to it.

Just look at how individual Black voices are cancelled, just as soon as their opinions do not jive with the woke orthodoxy. Like calling Candace Owens a "white supremacist." Or firing Kevin Hart from the Academy Awards show ever a decade-old joke about how he didn't want his son to grow up gay.

We already know that "woke philosophy" is immoral and inconsistent. But that doesn't matter.

As long as people fear to lose their jobs, or suffer some social bullying, or see their kids suffer at school -- the woke leftist minority will continue to rule.
Last edited by Del on Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by durangopipe » Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:28 pm

That Foucault abused boys, if it is true, makes him a reprehensible and justifiably condemned human being.

That the ideas that led to cancel culture are a consequence, uniquely, of Foucault’s thought and therefore if he gets “cancelled” that will end the ability of anyone to cancel “in a (logical) singularity” is a form of intellectual masturbation.

Maybe the tweeter thinks it’s fun, but for others it means nothing.

You can’t trace cancel culture to one individual. “Shunning” is a form of cancellation. It existed long before contemporary philosophy. Exile is another. Simple ignoring because of a dominant group’s biases still one more. We’ve been cancelling, rightly or wrongly, as long as we’ve existed. Blog thinks Moog screwed up the hunt. Blog kicked him out of the cave. No meat for Moog. Cancelled.

The tweeter is a posturer. He likes the sound of his own (tweeting) voice.
Nothing more.

If I hear the trope of singularity used outside of physics anymore I’m going to barf.

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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by Del » Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:52 pm

durangopipe wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:28 pm
If I hear the trope of singularity used outside of physics anymore I’m going to barf.
This is the first time I have heard of a social "singularity."

There is a real phenomenon of "self-referential" twists in society and social media. Basically, applying the same rules that the bullies use against the bullies. This is poetically similar to a mathematical singularity.

When we organize a solid push-back against the racism of the woke mob, pointing out how their "anti-racist" talk is just like the old Jim Crow segregationist racism.... implosion!
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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by wosbald » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:13 pm

+JMJ+


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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by Hovannes » Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:22 pm

Lets get back to Philosophy---
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Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by TheShepherd » Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:14 pm

Del wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:34 pm
The woke ideology is about gaining political power through bullying and political correctness. There is no philosophy or principles to it.
That sounds more like Alinsky than Foucalt, but I'm not sure how they both fit into the grand spectrum of thing. I'm also not convinced that these simple types of behavior are limited solely to the so-called "woke" or any specific ideologue to begin with.
Just look at how individual Black voices are cancelled, just as soon as their opinions do not jive with the woke orthodoxy. Like calling Candace Owens a "white supremacist." Or firing Kevin Hart from the Academy Awards show ever a decade-old joke about how he didn't want his son to grow up gay.
I find that it's easy and profitable to spin a narrative that capitalizes on irrational fears, hyperbole, and sensationalism.
We already know that "woke philosophy" is immoral and inconsistent. But that doesn't matter.

As long as people fear to lose their jobs, or suffer some social bullying, or see their kids suffer at school -- the woke leftist minority will continue to rule.
Rule what?

And realistically, does a proverbial "white trash leftist" who has no life other than posting "woke" memes on Facebook or Twitter have less of a reason to fear losing his low-level job to begin with than, say, CEO and MIT graduate (and donor to public schools) Charles Koch?

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