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10379Re: [anthroposophy] Re: Hanging around

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  • Maurice McCarthy
    Mar 3, 2004
      Dear Joksu

      Thanks for the encouragement. I battle on as best I can to understand
      and I've always had an interest in the Big Issues. Years ago I played
      chess to a minor international level and though I lost more than I won
      there is perhaps only a single game in my recollection which I lost
      through a lack of strategy oversight. It was in the details that I lost
      my way - and 'the devil is in the details', as the saying goes.

      Essentially what I am trying to say in these little words is that RS
      died a whole human life-time ago teaching us the principle that reality
      alters and alters continually, even though some things appear more
      stable than others. It is a common human failing to stay with habit of
      thought rather than re-think afresh and we anthroposophists have just
      this failing as much as anyone else. This does not mean that RS is
      irrelevant (words from the spirit are the most stable of all and when
      Christ says 'verily, I say unto ye' then listen because what comes next
      is true for every level of consciousness and all time. This is why it is
      put 'verily'.) RS is not irrelevant but habit ossifies his words which
      slowly lose contact with living reality. It is up to us to rework the
      truth in our changed circumstances.`

      McGinn is a "monkey-hanger" - a term of endearment for a chap from
      Hartlepool in the North East of England. During the Napoleonic Wars they
      famously hung a monkey there for being a French spy ... ?!? (True story)
      In "The Making of a Philosopher" he writes to the effect that:
      In the technical works such as Syntactical Structures Chomsky argued
      that a child could not learn a language by the Behaviourist's stimilus
      and response but had to come pre-prepared with an implicit grasp of
      grammar. One of the key arguments was the limited resources a child
      posseses to develop rich grammar.

      Functionalism now easily arises from the observed necessity to
      thrust the mind into stimulus and response. Jerry Fodor is McGinn's
      colleague at Rutgers and McGinn says that he is generally acknowledged
      to be the best philosopher of mind in the world. (Anglo-Saxon philosophy
      is still a very male-ego oriented thing today.) Fodor's Language of
      Thought 1975 is considered one of the first robust statements of
      Functionalim which now puts the first, if still physicalised, emphasis
      on the How as opposed to the what.

      From our position we generally think that Computer Intelligence is just
      baloney from first inspection. I still agree but this speaking from
      habit. Be warned - there is a lot more credit to AI than we at first
      give it.


      On Wed, Mar 03, 2004 at 08:11:00AM -0000 or thereabouts, joksu57 wrote:
      > Hello Maurice!
      > In the 70's when I studied Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom,
      > philosophy became very interesting subject to me. Inspired by Dr.
      > Steiner's views I started studying theoretical philosophy in a
      > university in late 70's. Of course academic philosophy was some sort
      > of a disappointment after PoF. But the history of philosophy was
      > worth the trouble and from "new philosophy" e.g. the paradigm-concept
      > of Thomas S. Kuhn was a helpful tool. After the "university years" I
      > have propably been too lazy in studying philosophy and scientific
      > subjects (there are just too many esoteric subjects to mess with!).
      > It is nice to hear that consciousness is nowadays not treated as a
      > mere attribute of matter. But still there are grave differences. We
      > can take again the example of a "human being". So some modern
      > thinkers can take the attitude, where the mind is almost accepted as
      > a reality. When we think what man is after Saturn-, Sun-, Moon- and
      > Earth-periods, the "accuracy-level" is remarkably different. Of
      > course a human being is extremely large and difficult concept to
      > study, because "we are the microcosm". What makes the subject even
      > more harder is the fact, that we are in a "halfway position" and
      > probably in Vulcan-period we can see, what it really means to be a
      > human being. So there remains a lot of work in "bridging" the
      > different paradigms.
      > It is fine that you have interest and capability in this "philosophy-
      > business". Please keep on reporting about your research!
      > Warm Regards
      > Joksu
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