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Re: [anthroposophy] Hanging around

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  • Cheeseandsalsa@aol.com
    To the AP critics- A person who has a cat by the tail knows a whole lot more about cats than someone who has just read about them. -Mark Twain I didn t
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 1, 2004
      To the AP critics-  "A person who has a cat by the tail knows a whole lot more about cats than someone who has just read about them.  -Mark Twain
      I didn't think such a thing as certainty reguarding spiritual matters existed until finding AP.   The Light feels good,  The Light feels real, I think I'll stay here where the Light unfolds, for the sake of human kind, I'll stay where the Light feels good and true.   Chees
    • Maurice McCarthy
      Ned Block (philosopher NYU) defines functionalism as the theory that mental states are constituted by their causal relations to each other and to sensory
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 2, 2004
        Ned Block (philosopher NYU) defines functionalism as the theory that
        "mental states are constituted by their causal relations to each
        other and to sensory inputs and behavioural outputs". He calls the
        scientific concept of kidney a function - it filters the blood. This
        lends itself well to the computer analogy in that the function is
        'software'. The mental is no longer identified with the physical but has
        a level of its own so that psychology has a content of its own divorced
        from the physical. Reductionism is out.

        I reckon that because 'causal' remains a physical notion for the
        functionalist then this is why they are attacked for no theory of the
        quality of the senses. Functionalism is a sort of hybrid
        realist-dynamist theory. They are sure to reject any proposal that
        concepts and ideas have an objective validity but will see them as
        linguistic description only (They use Wittgenstein's theory of meaning.)
        This is the battle to win through for a proper epistemology, that
        concepts have a formative influence. They put language as the generator
        of the conceptual. In terms of time they have a point but not in terms
        of explanation. Explanation has a priority in being.

        Maurice
      • joksu57
        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
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 3, 2004
          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

          --- In anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com, Maurice McCarthy
          <maurice.mccarthy@n...> wrote:
          > On Mon, Mar 01, 2004 at 01:46:27PM -0000 or thereabouts, joksu57
          wrote:
          > >
          > > I also have my doubts about the outcome of those debates, when
          the
          > > paradigms are so different. E.g. a human being in "anthro-
          paradigm"
          > > means something totally different compared to "scientific-
          > > materialistic" paradigm. When even the basic concepts used in a
          > > discussion can mean different things, it is hard to come to some
          > > reasonable conclusion. My respect, though, to everyone, who have
          the
          > > patience to explain the basics of spiritual science to critics
          (who
          > > obviously have some other agenda than understanding AP or Waldorf
          > > education).
          > >
          >
          > With respect to materialism and how it has changed since Steiner's
          time
          > I've recently read Colin McGuinn's philosophical biography and am
          now
          > reading Paul Churchland's "Matter and Consciousness". Both are
          intended
          > for the lay reader but the latter especially is challenging.
          >
          > The big change is that the mind is almost accepted as a reality,
          > distinct from matter. Almost all cognitive scientists, neurologists
          and
          > Artificial Intelligence folk are funtionalists. In the terms of
          Human
          > and Cosmic Thought this is a form of dynamism and is adjacent to a
          > Leibnitzian-type monadology - which definitely affirms the
          existence of
          > subjective entities.
          >
          > Chomsky is the man most responsible for this change - that the mind
          is
          > born with a pre-configured modularity. As I see it this is within
          an ace
          > of declaring the soul.
          >
          > Maurice
        • Maurice McCarthy
          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
          Message 4 of 13 , 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.

            Maurice




            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
          • Maurice McCarthy
            Bradford asked about modules Chomsky holds intelligence to be of separate compartments and not an infinitely plastic unity. There is one for language but to
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 3, 2004
              Bradford asked about modules

              Chomsky holds intelligence to be of separate compartments and not an
              infinitely plastic unity. There is one for language but to him it is
              specifically human. Animal or alien tongues may easily be
              unintelligible to a human. Intelligences are separate things - I think
              he is saying species specific.

              McGinn finds this relevant to what he calls Metaphilosophy, the
              philosophy beyond philosophy or philosophy of philosophy. I ask what is
              the love of knowledge for the love of knowledge? The pure willingness to
              understand - Christ as Anthropo-sophia, human wisdom. He say
              metaphilosophy is the most neglected and difficult aspect in all
              philosophy.

              Maurice.
            • Maurice McCarthy
              Children do not imitate speech, they create it: Lap me, Nanny! (My daughter at about 2 years old) Maurice
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 3, 2004
                Children do not imitate speech, they create it:

                Lap me, Nanny! (My daughter at about 2 years old)

                Maurice
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