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Re: [existlist] Re: self thread unraveling

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  • Herman
    Hi Jim, ... You may be right, I may be unfairly critical of philosophy. I am not sufficiently aware of THE history of philosophy (as opposed to someone s
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 1, 2010
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      Hi Jim,

      On 1 February 2010 07:57, Jim <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
      > Hi Polly,
      >
      > You write:
      >
      > "Philosophy of Mind is philosophy about what? It is only philosophical speculation about philosophical speculation. It is totally ungrounded nonsense.
      >
      > Discovering patterned relations of cause and effect is hardly the domain of philosophy. At best, philosophy can expose hidden assumptions and flawed methods used in inferring cause/effect relationships. But ironically, philosophy has utterly failed to expose such assumptions about how the world works. Rather the opposite is true. It has been left to the scientist to exorcise the a-priori demons of god, self and mind from a world-view conceived by
      > philosophers with their eyes closed."
      >
      > I like your style and clear expression, but I disagree with your negative assessment of philosophical achievement.
      >
      > I agree with you that philosophy can help us clarify our thinking and exposes hidden assumptions and inconsistencies in our thinking. But I think philosophy can achieve more than just this.
      >
      > Philosophy, at its best, takes note of science, but explores those areas of existence which are not reached by science.
      >
      > Philosophy as well as science has exorcised superstition and irrational belief down the centuries.
      >
      > As far back as the Ancient Greeks, Democritus was arguing there were only atoms and the void, and theism was challenged from the sixteenth century onwards by such philosophers as Thomas Hobbes, David Hume and later by Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand >Russell, Alfred Ayer and Jean-Paul Sartre.

      You may be right, I may be unfairly critical of philosophy. I am not
      sufficiently aware of THE history of philosophy (as opposed to
      someone's selective rendition of it) to know whether philosophy
      preceded science, or vice versa, or whether it was a dialectical,
      interdependent relationship.

      Some thoughts arise with what you wrote. I'm not expecting you to
      answer them, they are there only as an indication of my train of
      thought. Was Democritus being more than just speculative about atoms?
      What was the foundation for his views? Did the philosophical
      challenges to theism occur prior or post to the actual observation of
      the world as per Galileo, unimpeded as he was by the world view of the
      classics who seemed to have had no need for eyes?


      >
      > Of course if you believe that all truths can be revealed by science, then your anti-philosophy stance can be justified. But scientism and atheism are both philosophical positions, so science itself cannot justify these positions.
      >

      I am not sure whether to agree or disagree. I am only at the point of
      getting to know the difference between actually seeing what is there,
      and thinking what is there; the latter only being imagined.

      > I agree it is up to science to tell us how the world works at the mechanical level, but given human beings are capable of altering the world, philosophy can help us think about how the world ought to be. (IMO)
      >

      Thought is bounded only by the limits of imagination. Human reality,
      however, is bounded by the constraints of need. An imagined better
      world is often an unrecognised part of the real problem. Unless
      progress applies to all, it is merely gress. We have plenty of gress
      already, thank you.

      Polly


      > Jim
      >
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