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Re: Knott's Anti-jumping-to-conclusionism

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  • fictiveparrot
    ... Another rather ridiculous conclusion. If something makes you think -- even errantly -- it may not be useless. You may be furthering your ideas by mixing
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 31, 2013
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      > Following on from my last post to you and
      > your continual, rather tedious, personal
      > attacks on Wil, I have been wondering if
      > your anti-intellectualism may be partly
      > due to your thinking, mistakenly in my view,
      > that as I cannot think anybody else's thoughts,
      > it is rather pointless reading philosophy books,
      > as they will just contain thoughts I cannot think.

      Another rather ridiculous conclusion. If something makes you think -- even errantly -- it may not be useless. You may be furthering your ideas by mixing them and testing them. If that is important to you, have at it. If not, don't.

      However, claiming you know exactly what some author was thinking without stating verbatim what the passage is, and all supporting materials is faux. For example, you have no clue what I think I am talking about, and you read what I wrote about it, which seemed to me pretty plain and simple.

      I like the work of Beckett, and I can read him over and over to produce different thoughts from the same materials... and over time I think my perception of what he seems to think changes. I would never claim to absolutely know what he was thinking, because that would be stupid. I am also reading in English and he wrote most of it in French, so I am already reading an interpretation of an iteration... how many generations of separation do you need before you disassociate from the source? My suggestion is that the separation is immediate.

      > Understanding what somebody says or writes involves
      > entertaining the same thought content that they expressed.

      Well, no. As I think I express above, you can't understand what I consider a simple paragraph, so good luck digesting the whole of what any philosopher is saying or attempting to relay.

      > we can stand on the shoulders of those who have
      > gone before us, in order to see further.

      You stand on the shoulders of your interpretation. You cannot claim to thoroughly understand anyone else's thought, not even my simple ones as shown here.

      > it is perfectly fine, in my view, to refer to
      > the thoughts of dead philosophers (and live ones
      > too), when we have our discussions at Existlist.

      Refer if you want, but don't expect anyone else to have the same interpretation. That makes very little sense. You might say "what I understand from Hegel..." and try to express an idea you had while reading him, or even quote passages, but to say "Hegel said..." and that paraphrase is idiotic. It is as if someone else having -- from your unique perspective -- a thought somehow renders it validity or added weight is faux. Constantly blaming someone else for the fractal bits that you believe you glean from words they may have written in another language is crappy detective work.

      > I think your anti-intellectualism, which manifests
      > itself in you complaining when members of Existlist
      > mention philosophers' names, is unjustified.

      Well, then you clearly don't understand what I am trying to relate... and that is exactly my point. Hegel is not thinking in my head. I am not thinking in yours. Nothing I read is a direct translation. Even an author putting ideas into words is an iteration which may be a translation itself. If you don't understand what someone says, it is not necessarily them being an idiot...but it seems there are some things that are clearly errors within a model. For example, in my model, claiming to know what someone else is thinking, had thought, intended, etc., is clearly an error. Every time you make that claim, my model finds the conclusion necessarily wrong -- no matter what it is.

      It is actually not anti-intellectual at all to give people credit for what they are able to derive -- quite the opposite I think. However, blaming someone else for your thoughts is sorta wimpy, anti-intellectual, sad, and falsifying.

      If you don't agree, you don't understand my point -- or how I am thinking it... again, my point.

      Carpet Fire
    • Jim
      Knott, You write: If you don t agree, you don t understand my point -- or how I am thinking it... again, my point. I wonder if your argument here just
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 1, 2013
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        Knott,

        You write: "If you don't agree, you don't understand my point -- or how I am thinking it...
        again, my point."

        I wonder if your argument here just applies to our current disagreement, or whether you hold to the following general thesis:

        (GT) If two people disagree with one another about some point or other, then that only shows they do not fully understand each other. In other words, if two people do succeed in understanding each other then they will agree with each other.

        Or perhaps your view is even more radical: perhaps you think nobody ever understands anybody else?

        Certainly your claim that you and I cannot even understand what the other means by 2+2=4 suggests that your radical claim is that no two people can ever entertain the same thought content (thought-type), which seems to me to be another way of saying two people can never understand each other.

        As I have said before, I think your scepticism is so extreme that you effectively cut yourself off from everybody else.

        Let me also respond to this paragraph of yours: "It is actually not anti-intellectual at all to give people credit for what they are able to derive -- quite the opposite I think. However, blaming someone else
        for your thoughts is sorta wimpy, anti-intellectual, sad, and falsifying."

        I haven't noticed anybody on this forum blaming someone else for their thoughts. Perhaps you can point to a passage where somebody blames somebody else for their thoughts?

        For myself, I would say I have benefitted from reading books by philosophers, scientists and other writers. And I do think it is possible to understand other writers, and be confident on a particular interpretation of their key ideas, some of the time. However I acknowledge that we are going to continue to disagree about this.

        Jim
      • fictiveparrot
        ... I entertain that but somehow it seems incorrect to me to make supposition that people can understand each other, so the end-point of agreeing seems
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 1, 2013
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          > (GT) If two people disagree with one another
          > about some point or other, then that only shows
          > they do not fully understand each other. In
          > other words, if two people do succeed in
          > understanding each other then they will agree
          > with each other.

          I entertain that but somehow it seems incorrect to me to make supposition that people can understand each other, so the end-point of agreeing seems impossible. I guess you could look at it like a function where you assume a behavior as you approach infinity in ƒ(x). There is always going to be some difference. At least as I perceive it.

          > Or perhaps your view is even more radical:
          > perhaps you think nobody ever understands
          > anybody else?

          Totally, I think it is impossible. Circumstantially, perhaps. However, any time you think someone is totally wrong, I often believe it is more a misunderstanding in not being privy to their process of achieving the conclusion. And no, you don't have to point out that I am inconsistent in deciding that certain people are wrong...I feel I understand them, I know I can't, I apply my own models, and it doesn't fit. I rib them to see if there's any gas in the idea, and most of them explode...I'm not much for gentle. I could, perhaps, learn more... I am a little impatient with people who claim to be brilliant but can't fathom anything I say...all terribly inconsistent at points. Mostly it is a response to inconsistency.

          > ...your radical claim is that no two people can
          > ever entertain the same thought content (thought-type),
          > which seems to me to be another way of saying two
          > people can never understand each other.

          I think that's my suggestion -- at least it appears by your words that you sorta get where I'm going. Or went.

          > I think your scepticism is so extreme that you
          > effectively cut yourself off from everybody else.

          Hahahaha. Not sure how you mean that.

          > I haven't noticed anybody on this forum blaming
          > someone else for their thoughts. Perhaps you can
          > point to a passage where somebody blames somebody
          > else for their thoughts?

          Any post where someone justifies a position by saying "XYZ Philostopher said..." Pfft. I call it 'blaming'. Someone understands something in a certain way, it fits other models conveniently, works with personal definitions...It may look like a yak compared to a donkey if the author were to appear. I don't trust academia. It is full of people more hell-bent on dragging an idea to the ground and choking it to death than playing Baron Frankenstein and trying to help make the thing walk. New life and new ideas come from synthesis -- so it seems -- not by historic excavation. Quoting and blaming is just lining up urns. Dead people, dead thoughts, stagnancy.

          > I would say I have benefitted from reading
          > books by philosophers, scientists and other
          > writers.

          My example with Beckett meant to point that out...you can read and synthesize ideas (in my impression your own ideas about what you believe the author might be saying, not the author's ideas -- and perhaps leap to another level where the words conjure something outside of the text -- which for me happens quite often).

          > However I acknowledge that we are going
          > to continue to disagree about this.

          Well, then you both understand me, and don't... which is pretty close to the point -- which is far more clear to me. Until it changes.

          Kutzoff Geans
        • Jim
          Knott, Thank you for your thoughtful and carefully argued post. I m tempted to say I understand what you are saying, but to avoid unnecessary confrontation,
          Message 4 of 7 , Apr 4, 2013
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            Knott,

            Thank you for your thoughtful and carefully argued post.

            I'm tempted to say I understand what you are saying, but to avoid unnecessary confrontation, I'll just say I kind of get where you are coming from.

            Jim



            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "fictiveparrot" <knott12@...> wrote:
            >
            > > (GT) If two people disagree with one another
            > > about some point or other, then that only shows
            > > they do not fully understand each other. In
            > > other words, if two people do succeed in
            > > understanding each other then they will agree
            > > with each other.
            >
            > I entertain that but somehow it seems incorrect to me to make supposition that people can understand each other, so the end-point of agreeing seems impossible. I guess you could look at it like a function where you assume a behavior as you approach infinity in ƒ(x). There is always going to be some difference. At least as I perceive it.
            >
            > > Or perhaps your view is even more radical:
            > > perhaps you think nobody ever understands
            > > anybody else?
            >
            > Totally, I think it is impossible. Circumstantially, perhaps. However, any time you think someone is totally wrong, I often believe it is more a misunderstanding in not being privy to their process of achieving the conclusion. And no, you don't have to point out that I am inconsistent in deciding that certain people are wrong...I feel I understand them, I know I can't, I apply my own models, and it doesn't fit. I rib them to see if there's any gas in the idea, and most of them explode...I'm not much for gentle. I could, perhaps, learn more... I am a little impatient with people who claim to be brilliant but can't fathom anything I say...all terribly inconsistent at points. Mostly it is a response to inconsistency.
            >
            > > ...your radical claim is that no two people can
            > > ever entertain the same thought content (thought-type),
            > > which seems to me to be another way of saying two
            > > people can never understand each other.
            >
            > I think that's my suggestion -- at least it appears by your words that you sorta get where I'm going. Or went.
            >
            > > I think your scepticism is so extreme that you
            > > effectively cut yourself off from everybody else.
            >
            > Hahahaha. Not sure how you mean that.
            >
            > > I haven't noticed anybody on this forum blaming
            > > someone else for their thoughts. Perhaps you can
            > > point to a passage where somebody blames somebody
            > > else for their thoughts?
            >
            > Any post where someone justifies a position by saying "XYZ Philostopher said..." Pfft. I call it 'blaming'. Someone understands something in a certain way, it fits other models conveniently, works with personal definitions...It may look like a yak compared to a donkey if the author were to appear. I don't trust academia. It is full of people more hell-bent on dragging an idea to the ground and choking it to death than playing Baron Frankenstein and trying to help make the thing walk. New life and new ideas come from synthesis -- so it seems -- not by historic excavation. Quoting and blaming is just lining up urns. Dead people, dead thoughts, stagnancy.
            >
            > > I would say I have benefitted from reading
            > > books by philosophers, scientists and other
            > > writers.
            >
            > My example with Beckett meant to point that out...you can read and synthesize ideas (in my impression your own ideas about what you believe the author might be saying, not the author's ideas -- and perhaps leap to another level where the words conjure something outside of the text -- which for me happens quite often).
            >
            > > However I acknowledge that we are going
            > > to continue to disagree about this.
            >
            > Well, then you both understand me, and don't... which is pretty close to the point -- which is far more clear to me. Until it changes.
            >
            > Kutzoff Geans
            >
          • Mary
            Jim, Confrontation is unavoidable because of differences, and people can figure out where they stand sooner if they accept them and deal with them head on. We
            Message 5 of 7 , Apr 5, 2013
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              Jim,

              Confrontation is unavoidable because of differences, and people can figure out where they stand sooner if they accept them and deal with them head on. We can understand and agree with some people some of the time about some things yet differences remain, and even when we think we understand, we may still disagree. I think one of the essential existential dilemmas for people and society is how to 'handle' difference.

              Mary

              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
              >
              > Knott,
              >
              > Thank you for your thoughtful and carefully argued post.
              >
              > I'm tempted to say I understand what you are saying, but to avoid unnecessary confrontation, I'll just say I kind of get where you are coming from.
              >
              > Jim
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "fictiveparrot" <knott12@> wrote:
              > >
              > > > (GT) If two people disagree with one another
              > > > about some point or other, then that only shows
              > > > they do not fully understand each other. In
              > > > other words, if two people do succeed in
              > > > understanding each other then they will agree
              > > > with each other.
              > >
              > > I entertain that but somehow it seems incorrect to me to make supposition that people can understand each other, so the end-point of agreeing seems impossible. I guess you could look at it like a function where you assume a behavior as you approach infinity in ƒ(x). There is always going to be some difference. At least as I perceive it.
              > >
              > > > Or perhaps your view is even more radical:
              > > > perhaps you think nobody ever understands
              > > > anybody else?
              > >
              > > Totally, I think it is impossible. Circumstantially, perhaps. However, any time you think someone is totally wrong, I often believe it is more a misunderstanding in not being privy to their process of achieving the conclusion. And no, you don't have to point out that I am inconsistent in deciding that certain people are wrong...I feel I understand them, I know I can't, I apply my own models, and it doesn't fit. I rib them to see if there's any gas in the idea, and most of them explode...I'm not much for gentle. I could, perhaps, learn more... I am a little impatient with people who claim to be brilliant but can't fathom anything I say...all terribly inconsistent at points. Mostly it is a response to inconsistency.
              > >
              > > > ...your radical claim is that no two people can
              > > > ever entertain the same thought content (thought-type),
              > > > which seems to me to be another way of saying two
              > > > people can never understand each other.
              > >
              > > I think that's my suggestion -- at least it appears by your words that you sorta get where I'm going. Or went.
              > >
              > > > I think your scepticism is so extreme that you
              > > > effectively cut yourself off from everybody else.
              > >
              > > Hahahaha. Not sure how you mean that.
              > >
              > > > I haven't noticed anybody on this forum blaming
              > > > someone else for their thoughts. Perhaps you can
              > > > point to a passage where somebody blames somebody
              > > > else for their thoughts?
              > >
              > > Any post where someone justifies a position by saying "XYZ Philostopher said..." Pfft. I call it 'blaming'. Someone understands something in a certain way, it fits other models conveniently, works with personal definitions...It may look like a yak compared to a donkey if the author were to appear. I don't trust academia. It is full of people more hell-bent on dragging an idea to the ground and choking it to death than playing Baron Frankenstein and trying to help make the thing walk. New life and new ideas come from synthesis -- so it seems -- not by historic excavation. Quoting and blaming is just lining up urns. Dead people, dead thoughts, stagnancy.
              > >
              > > > I would say I have benefitted from reading
              > > > books by philosophers, scientists and other
              > > > writers.
              > >
              > > My example with Beckett meant to point that out...you can read and synthesize ideas (in my impression your own ideas about what you believe the author might be saying, not the author's ideas -- and perhaps leap to another level where the words conjure something outside of the text -- which for me happens quite often).
              > >
              > > > However I acknowledge that we are going
              > > > to continue to disagree about this.
              > >
              > > Well, then you both understand me, and don't... which is pretty close to the point -- which is far more clear to me. Until it changes.
              > >
              > > Kutzoff Geans
              > >
              >
            • Jim
              Mary, There is a lot in your short post, so I ll respond to each sentence in turn. Mary: Confrontation is unavoidable because of differences, and people can
              Message 6 of 7 , Apr 6, 2013
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                Mary,

                There is a lot in your short post, so I'll respond to each sentence in turn.

                Mary: Confrontation is unavoidable because of differences, and people can figure out where they stand sooner if they accept them and deal with them head on.

                Response: Yes difference is all around us – difference in attitudes, values, likes and dislikes between individuals and between groups. I even find differences within myself from day to day. As you suggest difference often (but not always) leads to confrontation which again in on a scale from a disapproving word or look up to physical violence.

                Like you, I think usually it is best to acknowledge difference and get it out into the open, rather than sweep it under the carpet as some people prefer to do. In fact I think it shows respect to the other person to acknowledge the differences between you and them.

                Mary: We can understand and agree with some people some of the time about some things yet differences remain, and even when we think we understand, we may still disagree.

                Response: Some differences are easier to acknowledge than others. So I can agree that my philosophical views on understanding and matching thoughts are different from Knott's without residual feelings of anger, resentment and injustice. Philosophical differences can usually be acknowledged amicably – although when I was studying Philosophy at Nottingham I heard there was a fist fight between two of the Professors in the Philosophy corridor – however I don't think it was a dispute over ontology.

                Yes, sometimes we just don't understand each other, and again I think it is good to acknowledge this, even if this can create awkwardness, especially if the other has tried to explain his point carefully ten times or more!

                Mary: I think one of the essential existential dilemmas for people and society is how to 'handle' difference.

                Response: Yes, very much so! I recently broke off a forty-year friendship because my former friend was against gay marriage. I argued that because he was not religious, so he wasn't just following religious dogma, he was actually homophobic. He denied this, but I still broke off the friendship.

                Differences like this, and political differences generally, I find difficult to handle. I can't just "agree to disagree" with a right-winger – I cannot help but feel anger, resentment and injustice when I hear their views.

                Another area of difference is difference in attitude and values between me and my children. I think this is a bit of a "no win" area, as part of growing up during one's teenage years involves forming one's own distinct identity and personality, and one necessary way to do this is to define difference and distance from one's parents. So inevitably children will develop into independent-thinking individuals partly by forming attitudes and values different from their parents. But as a parent I want my children to see things as I do!

                This leads me to appreciate how important it is to allow others to be different from ourselves and not try to force everyone we fit into our own mould. In fact one of the most damaging of character traits is that of the `control freak', the man (usually it's a man, but not always) who wants to completely control his family, his work colleagues (at least those underneath him) and his friends (who have to be his disciples to remain his friends).

                Yes, as a species we struggle with difference.

                Jim




                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
                >
                > Jim,
                >
                > Confrontation is unavoidable because of differences, and people can figure out where they stand sooner if they accept them and deal with them head on. We can understand and agree with some people some of the time about some things yet differences remain, and even when we think we understand, we may still disagree. I think one of the essential existential dilemmas for people and society is how to 'handle' difference.
                >
                > Mary
                >
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