Philosophy is a dog chasing its tail.

Recently I came up with a couple bold conclusions regarding the human pursuit of Philosophy and would like to open it up for debate.

I’m curious to see what kind of substantive pushback I get.

If any. ?

 

Philosophy has no standards of objectivity beyond the writer's imagination and the ability to argue effectively.
 
Philosophy has and will continue to resemble a dog chasing its tail,

in contrast to science’s hound sniffing out its quarry.

I’m too tired to put this in my own words at the moment.

https://youtu.be/YLvWz9GQ3PQ

I didn't call Philosophy stupid!
53 minutes, can't say it succinctly, hmmm. ;-)

 

 

Chew on this.

There’s a thing called Evolution, and there’s thing called emergent properties.

We came from ( monkey, strike that. Exccuuuz me.) apes a few million years back, but we’re aren’t apes today, we are humans.

I know some say there’s no difference between those either.

Reading between the lines,

simply pointing out humans are grotesquely self-indulgent - materially and intellectually.

We didn’t come from monkeys. Get your story straight. Also material conditions of the times shape human consciousness that changes greed, self indulgence to cooperation and solidarity. That services the only thing that is inherent in sentient beings- the will to survive. Together as the social animal that we are.

@missinggirl We didn’t come from monkeys. Get your story straight. Also material conditions of the times shape human consciousness that changes greed, self indulgence to cooperation and solidarity. That services the only thing that is inherent in sentient beings- the will to survive. Together as the social animal that we are.
Dang you caught me. Good on you. I hope you're okay with my correction, we split from apes a few million years back.

 

Live Science.com

Fossil Reveals What Last Common Ancestor of Humans and Apes Looked Liked
The 13-million-year-old infant skull may have resembled a baby gibbon

By Charles Q. Choi, LiveScience on August 10, 2017

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fossil-reveals-what-last-common-ancestor-of-humans-and-apes-looked-liked/

The most complete extinct-ape skull ever found reveals what the last common ancestor of all living apes and humans might have looked like, according to a new study.

The 13-million-year-old infant skull, which its discoverers nicknamed “Alesi,” was unearthed in Kenya in 2014. It likely belonged to a fruit-eating, slow-climbing primate that resembled a baby gibbon, the researchers said.

Among the living primates, humans are most closely related to the apes, which include the lesser apes (gibbons) and the great apes (chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans). These so-called hominoids — that is, the gibbons, great apes and humans — emerged and diversified during the Miocene epoch, approximately 23 million to 5 million years ago. (The last common ancestor that humans had with chimpanzees lived about 6 million to 7 million years ago.)

<blockquote> Also material conditions of the times shape human consciousness that changes  greed, self indulgence to cooperation and solidarity.</blockquote>
Yup.  That brings us back to a fundamental biological reality, we cannot understand and organism without understanding the environment that it exists within.

Bless you Lausten for picking Carrier - and not pinker, or peterson, or haidt I couldn’t do an hour of them.

From other talks I’ve already formed an opinion on Carrier and he’s worth more than those three show boats put together, and so far I like it. I’ll admit I’m only a few minutes in it and will have to leave the rest for later, but at least I’ll be looking forward to getting back to it.

In keeping with his serious approach, he starts with definitions.

 

(@missinggirl. To be clear, that’s me bestowing my blessing, in my own name, to a pal, for a job well done.)

we’re aren’t apes today

I beg to differ, because humans are considered to be one of the great apes and I would dare to say we look (without as much “fur”) and act a lot like other apes. They are our closest relatives on earth. Even the Great Ape Project agrees with me that we are one of the five great apes:

Great primate The five great primates

Orangutan, gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo and human. These are the five great primates, which are so defined because they do not have tails and are a little bit ahead of their cousins monkeys on the evolution scale. Popularly one calls all the primates monkeys, but the truth is that monkeys are the ones who have tails. Africa was the place where the first no-tailed primates appeared. Orangutan appeared between 12 and 15 millions years ago, and after came the gorillas (8 to 9 millions) and the humans (7 millions). Chimpanzees and bonobos must have appeared 5 or 6 millions years ago.

You can read more here:

https://www.projetogap.org.br/en/primate/the-five-great-primates2/

@missinggirl

We didn’t come from monkeys.

You’re right. However, Chimps, Gorillas, Bonobos, Orangutans and humans have a common ancestor, which makes us all apes, but different species of apes.

CC, don’t judge the YouTube by it’s name. Carrier is known for that kind of language. It’s why I like him.

(I see you added to your initial reaction)

ps: thanks for the recent mentions. Being a mod has it’s rewards.

@Lausten,

Okay I’ve had a chance to listen to the entire talk. Okay, fine, have it your way, some things simply can’t be explained in a few soundbites; Sit t/f/ down, shut up, and listen. Yes sir. Thank you

Thoroughly interesting along with being enjoyable, especially considering that he agreed with my assessment. Well, sure, instead of my melodramatic broad stroke, he added informed details and nuances that make it clear, with evidence and straight talk, that there are huge fields of philosophy worth taking seriously.

Remember, I’m still on the rebound of Donald Hoffman’s philosophizing rationalizing his Case Against Reality, and even according to Carrier that sort stuff fits my most negative assessment.

I liked the talk so much I took a bunch of screen shots and will be building a post around it. I’ll share a link when I put it up in a few days. Hopefully, it’ll be the last for my ‘review portion’ of that project - second to last post will be about Critical Thinking Skills.

Bunge's Ten Criticisms of Philosophy

So now to Mario Bunge’s Ten Criticisms of contemporary academic philosophy, which has largely deviated from what philosophy was invented to be and could and should be.

 

• Tenure-Chasing Supplants Substantive Contributions

• Confusion between Philosophizing & Chronicling

• Insular Obscurity / Inaccessibility (to outsiders)

• Obsession with Language too much over Solving Real-World Problems

• Idealism vs. Realism and Reductionism

• Too Many Miniproblems & Fashionable Academic Games

• Poor Enforcement of Validity / Methodology

• Unsystematic (vs. System Building & Ensuring Findings are Worldview Coherent)

• Detachment from Intellectual Engines of Modern Civilization (science, technology, and real-world ideologies that affect mass human thought and action)

• Ivory Tower Syndrome (not talking to experts in other departments and getting knowledge and questions to explore from them or helping them)

Separating Good Philosophy From Bad - Carrier

How do you tell good philosophy from bad?

How do you find the philosophy that avoids all ten of Bunge’s defect criteria?

Philosophy as an academic field simply isn’t making any effort to.

Philosophy needs to be rigorously demarcated from pseudo-philosophy, and philosophical error needs to be more consistently ferreted out.

Just as science is from pseudo-science, and just as science tries to find and fix its mistakes.

Not all philosophy is pseudo-philosophy, or in error, but there is no easy way to tell (it’s all published in the same journals and academic presses, and presented at the same conferences, and wins the same professorships).

 

Error is just error: like in science, identifying and eliminating it is a form of progress.

 

What is pseudo-philosophy?

 

Philosophy that relies on fallacious arguments to a conclusion, and/or relies on factually false or undemonstrated premises. And isn’t corrected when discovered.

 

All supernaturalist religion is pseudo-philosophy. Religious philosophy is to philosophy what “creation science” is to science. And some philosophers are willing to admit this, including one of the most renowned atheist philosophers of religion this decade. He gave up on it, and called it out…

https://richardcarrier.info/philosophy.html#summary

I don’t remember if Richard addresses it in this talk, but he’s talked about how science, history too, have become very specialized at the highest levels. I like learning, but to become a “pro”, you have to spend a lot of time on some tiny issue, like the meaning of some word or phrase from a thousand years ago. I think Bunge might be conflating that kind of work with the work of applying that knowledge to more pertinent issues, like race relations, or social welfare. He has a point, there is an ivory tower, but it’s not a reason to tear it down.

I think we’ve seen improvements too. Like the way Brian Greene relates the wonders of the cosmos to us average joes who have to think before solving for x. Or how Ken Burns or Hamilton give us history we can enjoy consuming. With philosophy, “logical fallacy” is now a popular term. It’s helped me a lot to know them and recognize them. It’s also helped to learn that people don’t like telling you they made an “argument from ignorance”. It makes me appear to be one of the “inaccessible” people when I do that.

What I try to do now, what I think I see more of, is first do the usual challenging, but use open ended questions like, “so, tell me more about how you know lasers set wildfires”. They will deflect or add-on a new topic, or maybe link to NewsMax. At that point, you know there is no science behind what they say, which you probably knew, but you’ve confirmed it. There’s no need to evaluate them or label them. Instead try to shift to how you determine what’s true. Unless you are an expert in the topic, you’ll have to refer to other experts, so you have to point to that ivory tower. But you can show how you evaluate the methodology. You can show facts, and show there is data behind it, and there are regular people who collected it. Either they’ll see it and try to understand it, or keep claiming it’s MSM or elites or a cabal or whatever. Some people you can’t reach in one conversation.

So, that was longer than I expected. It’s that last bit I was wanting to get to: More palatable, laymen terms, facts we can all relate to AND those are based on data that has been collected over a generation or more, reviewed, discussed by people who focus on that kind of data, you know, science. That includes philosophy because philosophy is informed by science of the brain, of animal behavior, biology, and more.

He has a point, there is an ivory tower, but it’s not a reason to tear it down.
No disagreement from me on that! (Though the inhabitants shouldn't feel sacred and above reproach either.)

Nor do I disagree with the rest of your comment for that matter. Despite me being spicer than most. :v:

I think philosophy is, in one way, the point where art and science intersect:

Philosophy and art are both ‘useless’ (they don’t feed people or keep them warm when it’s -33 deg C like it has been here for the last four days.)
Philosophy and science both follow rules of rationality and logic (if those rules aren’t followed, you aren’t doing philosophy or science.)
You could say that philosophy is an artistic expression of science.

So, to me, philosophy is kinda both.

They’re also very similar in that I don’t know anything about either of them.

Philosophy and science both follow rules ...
I accept the best explanation of philosophy is that philosophy is one's approach to whatever is under consideration.

The approach one takes to a subject will define, control and limit what is considered and how such consideration proceeds. If one’s approach to art, or science, is that it is a reflection of experience then one must consider what constitutes experience.

The philosophical dog avoids chasing its tail only by accepting some a priori notions, thus establishing an origin for his point of view.

a “philosophy” could be defined as prescribed a set of guidelines, a list of rules to live by. But I would say that is “using” philosophy".

doing philosophy is always an open ended exercise. It’s a series of askings of “why?” Never arriving at definitive answer, instead, leaving off at “I don’t know”. Answers should be accompanied with a probability, depending on what is verifiable, that is, not philosophical. When it switches from answering based on some other knowledge, to something that can’t be confirmed, to making up something to fill in for something unknown, then it becomes pseudo-philosophy.

then it becomes pseudo-philosophy.
Richard Carrier made an excellent point about the difference between pseudo-philosophy / legitimate-philosophy

and pseudo-science / legitimate-science for that matter.

 

Both make mistakes, but “pseudo -” refuses to learn from their mistakes, even when repeatedly presented with substantive trustable information.

 

 

Doing philosophy is always an open ended exercise. It’s a series of askings of “why?” Never arriving at definitive answer, instead, leaving off at “I don’t know”. Answers should be accompanied with a probability, depending on what is verifiable, that is, not philosophical. When it switches from answering based on some other knowledge, to something that can’t be confirmed, to making up something to fill in for something unknown, then it becomes pseudo-philosophy.
So you will have us accept that ultimately all answers to all questions must be uncertain and thus all philosophy is ultimately pseudo-philosophy. "Answering based on some other knowledge" has "other knowledge" as a premise. And, of course, the other knowledge must be based on even more other knowledge, ad infinitum.

“We hold these truths to be self evident” defines an approach to the subject of government; it is the foundation of a philosophy of government; it is an origin for a point of view. I suggest the same can be said of the a priori statements prefacing the study of any subject. We accept that nothing can be proven beyond all doubt, so we are constrained to accept conclusions arrived at from an origin.

You’re almost catching up to where I was 6 years ago.

You’re aware of the problem of infinite regress, but you aren’t thinking about what to do about it. I assume you have some bedrock philosophy you adopted from somewhere, probably some divine source, but you know better than to share it here because it will get shredded. You know assuming a cause is circular and that you can’t just make bare assertions. But you don’t know what to do about it. So you just poke holes in every other philosophy. Welcome to philosophy. That’s all they do, poke holes in other philosophies.

That doesn’t make everything pseudo however. We do have knowledge. An a priori statement always has a probability that comes with it. Yes, we accept conclusions based on some a priori knowledge. What you left out is, not all a priori knowledge is equal. We have data from the past, results of experiments, shared experiences, many points of view. Bottom line, we have each other.

bedrock philosophy
The first among a priori notions is "I am." The second a priori notion is that there is other than me. All one "knows" is what one remembers. Memory is fallible. Memory, knowledge, may not correspond to experience. One cannot prove anything beyond all doubt. Proof is only what we accept as most likely. A point of view (often: a frame of reference) requires an origin. All conclusions drawn from and within a point of view are qualified as dependent upon the origin of that point of view.

Shred away.

Shred away. -- IBL
That was pretty dang good. Rooted in Locke and Hume.

It doesn’t seem like the basis for many of your posts however.