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Posted: 10 February 2008 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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homunculus - 10 February 2008 12:35 PM
AtheEisegete - 10 February 2008 06:14 AM

. . . Wittgenstein went soft and woolly. . . .

. . . which resulted in much in today’s take on linguistics and cognitive psychology. My problem with you is that you lied to this forum about Wittgenstein and what he repudiated. You are not to be trusted.

Those are fighting words. I have not lied about anything here, to my knowledge.

I have my own take on Wittgenstein, of course, and this may be unorthodox in parts. Certainly a lot of people found the later Wittgenstein much more congenial than the earlier, and for good reason, since the spin-offs from his fragments (and that is all they ever were, just reams and reams of bits of paper with remarks on them, a few of which he assembled into the Philosophical Investigations and the remainder of which were picked over by his disciples after his death) were as you say, today’s standard views on many issues in linguistics and cognitive psychology. I have certainly not lied about how many mathematicians react to his later work, and this for me colors the likely value of the rest.

Wittgenstein repudiated his earlier views only in the sense that he saw them as an illusion. But he saw every systematic view as an illusion! He just sank into a swamp of relativism and fragmented insights. Lots of good stuff there, of course, as some philosophers have found, such as my former research supervisor Crispin Wright (who wrote a book on Wittgenstein’s philosophy of mathematics) - but with the best will in the world (so to speak) I found nothing there that I could really get my hands on as a contribution to understanding mathematical praxis.

Please retract your offensive statement.

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Posted: 10 February 2008 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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AtheEisegete - 10 February 2008 01:45 PM

. . .
Please retract your offensive statement.

Uwe, I’ve often wished for the ability to retract past statements, but have not been able to come up with a way to accomplish it. I know—judges are known to instruct juries to “Disregard that statement,” but unless the judge is a hypnotist, it seems silly to me. On this forum, I have more enemies than friends, so I’d naturally assume that you’d consider me open for battle with you. Since my words generally come from a 10-cent pea-shooter and yours from thoroughly vetted sophistication, you have nothing to be concerned about.

In Response #20 of this thread, you state, in part:
“. . . Many brilliant young thinkers do their best work when young, and Wittgenstein was no exception. He never repudiated the Tractatus . . . .”

In #29, responding to my “Now we’re back to Wittgenstein’s early work, which he at least somewhat repudiated,” you stated “He did, but was that wise?”

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 10 February 2008 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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homunculus - 10 February 2008 02:57 PM

In Response #20 of this thread, you state, in part:
“. . . Many brilliant young thinkers do their best work when young, and Wittgenstein was no exception. He never repudiated the Tractatus . . . .”

In #29, responding to my “Now we’re back to Wittgenstein’s early work, which he at least somewhat repudiated,” you stated “He did, but was that wise?”

OK, we have the nub of the issue.

Wittgenstein somewhat repudiated his earlier position, essentially because it was just too way out for public consumption, but he never subjected it to any serious criticism, just moved on to rather general stuff.

I accept your clarification, thanks.

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Posted: 10 February 2008 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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And I thank you, too.

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 10 February 2008 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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homunculus - 10 February 2008 02:57 PM

you have nothing to be concerned about….

Anyone who would lose sleep over what Wittgenstein did or did not repudiate, even somewhat, is someone I will inevitably endeavor to comfort according to my lights. Insomnia ultimately cures itself, but whacking oneself over the head with an alabaster bookend is known to be effective in some cases.

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Posted: 10 February 2008 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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AtheEisegete - 10 February 2008 05:50 AM

Well, indeed, I recall that Victorian parliamentarian Benjamin Disraeli said of his colleague William Gladstone that he was “intoxicated by the exuberance of his own verbosity”. However, I am sure that James Joyce would have reveled in the felicity of this rotundly Victorian phrase as a description of his own divinely inspired glossolalia.

As for my phallic endowment, sigh, all my diverse and manifold attentions to the world of words have had the result that it has diminished beyond any possibility of recall. The sad consequence is that my metaphysical dick, so to speak, is all I have, so don’t knock it - or I shall dub thee dickhead!

But your protest is well taken. An act of informative intercourse is only consummated when the relevant information has been transmitted, and the sign of this consummation is an acknowledgment by the recipient. I must persist until I receive an OK.

You write like Dolly Parton looks.

Oh well. Good luck with whatever it is you are trying to do.

Salut.

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Posted: 10 February 2008 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve often noticed that when a theorem is postulated verbosely, it is usually not valid.

Or, to put it another way, If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bullshit

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Posted: 10 February 2008 07:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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Salt Creek - 10 February 2008 03:34 PM

Anyone who would lose sleep over what Wittgenstein did or did not repudiate, even somewhat, is someone I will inevitably endeavor to comfort according to my lights. Insomnia ultimately cures itself, but whacking oneself over the head with an alabaster bookend is known to be effective in some cases.

I really need to remember not to bring up embarrassing childhood cognitive difficulties, but I must admit that I was chuckling now and then all day at your comment. Our family had nothing made of alabaster, but sleeping through a night was never my problem anyway. It was my waking world that brought on the difficulties. That’s behind me now, fortunately, partly because I managed gradually to become an atheist.

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 10 February 2008 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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homunculus - 11 February 2008 12:28 AM

That’s behind me now, fortunately, partly because I managed gradually to become an atheist.

Relax. There’re other fish to fry in the Pan.

AtheEisegete - 10 February 2008 05:50 AM

As for my phallic endowment, sigh, all my diverse and manifold attentions to the world of words have had the result that it has diminished beyond any possibility of recall. The sad consequence is that my metaphysical dick, so to speak, is all I have, so don’t knock it - or I shall dub thee dickhead!

More detritus of people ashamed of being ground apes. Of being (gasp!) fricking animals! No need to worry; help is on the way. Captain Fantastic is an acolyte of that fun new religion, Transhumanism:

AtheEisegete - 10 February 2008 04:21 PM

The annual farce of the Turing test shows the problem. This is why a robot will need a biocore to get smart enough. The Kurzweil scenario is that genomics, nanotech and robotics will all evolve fast and synergize. We (and it will be we, maybe Western or Chinese humans) will build robot suits for ourselves. Hell, we’re doing it already - we call them cars. We will soon (in evolutionary terms) become inseparable from them. Imagine a world so polluted that the life-support systems in the cars are all that stands between life and death. Whatever the detailed scenario, the effect will be the same. A synergistic lifeform with a biocore of some sort and a robotic exterior will have its consciousness permanently online. That leaves precious little room for individual deviancy, which in a world of exploding fundamentalists will be seen as progress.

So these androids will be in effect all tech (the bio part is just a name for DNA tech) and always online. The real control will be a distributed superconsciousness in the net, or rather in the Global Online Dominion (a tad beyond Google).

Let us take him at his glossolalic, polysyllabic word. He says, “I spoof you not.”

[ Edited: 10 February 2008 10:19 PM by Traces Elk]
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Posted: 10 February 2008 11:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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AtheEisegete - 10 February 2008 01:50 AM

As for my phallic endowment, sigh, all my diverse and manifold attentions to the world of words have had the result that it has diminished beyond any possibility of recall. The sad consequence is that my metaphysical dick, so to speak, is all I have, so don’t knock it - or I shall dub thee dickhead!

I dub thee hypocrite!

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Posted: 11 February 2008 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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SumonaB - 11 February 2008 04:31 AM

I dub thee hypocrite!

Well, there’s a come-on if ever I heard one! Sumona ... sounds female: how about checking out my metaphysical endowment and seeing how hypocritical a glossolaliac can be?

Sorry, this is most unseemly even for a hypocrite. All comments about pudenda are of course to be taken with a sack or two of salt. I wish to return to the metaphysical themes that Sam in all his naive wisdom has brought into the public spotlight.

Sigmund Freud, in my opinion rightly, opined that civilization was built upon sexual repression. For this reason, I find it sinister that a British government organ today (approximately) pronounced that we should all have sex every day to reduce our chances of heart disease and cancer. Is this good science or a bid to keep down the malcontents? An attempt to persuade all those angry young Muslims to pleasure themselves to images of scantily clad lovelies in order to reduce the suicide bomber rate, perhaps.

Sounds like bogus science to me. I go with Mohandas K Gandhi, who opined that not ejaculating was the key to spiritual health and well being. He even subjected himself to the torment of sleeping with nubile young ladies to test his powers of resistance, and was old and wise enough to remain chaste!

I think I could go for that - if only I could find a supply of bashful cow-eyed virgins to practice with.

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Posted: 11 February 2008 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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This thread has gone from the ridiculous, to the sublime, and now to the just plain icky.

ATE, did you know that Ghandi one freaked out whilst sleeping with his girls, because he had produced a nocturnal emmission? There are a number of reasons to admire Ghandi, this isn’t one of them.

And Freud was just projecting his own neurosis upon the world.

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Posted: 11 February 2008 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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Celsus - 11 February 2008 12:15 AM

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve often noticed that when a theorem is postulated verbosely, it is usually not valid.

Or, to put it another way, If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bullshit

I fear there is some merit to this claim. I am an earnest follower of all the latest fashions in the field of foundational physics, and last summer David Deutsch and David Wallace proved a remarkable theorem that, if true, makes the Hugh Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics with branching universes and so on seem much more mathematically respectable than ever before.

Sadly, when you study the theorem, it piles up a series of definitions of matters pertaining to “subjective probability” that even I (who only ever wrote one small thesis on probability theory) could see depended on some rather subtle intepretation. So I’d say the status of the Everett conjecture is almost as moot as ever, despite the prima facie plausibility of Deutsch’s arguments for his views.

As for my own efforts, on which some readers here have perhaps already had their fill, they depend on some tricky issues in mathematics and philosophy where reasonable men may differ. I still think I’m right, but others who think they understand think I don’t understand whatever it is they think they understand, I think, if I understand them correctly.

So don’t take my word for it. Think these things through for yourself, as Gautama Buddha said.

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Posted: 11 February 2008 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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Celsus - 11 February 2008 04:41 PM

Freud was just projecting his own neurosis upon the world.

Sez you. But again, whether you can accept this Freudian statement depends on a series of collateral beliefs that may or may not be coded in your neuronets and that one can only advise you think through for yourself. I see it as one of the wisest things Freud ever said.

Human civilization is a social order built upon social conventions that among other things constrain and regulate the expression of our sexual urges. Consider how religions, especialy the Abrahamic religions, issue endlessly detailed and obsessively nuanced instructions about how people should conduct themselves sexually, and consider how now, in our secularizing world, people are still subject to massive propaganda about what forms and varietes of sexual expression are politically correct or fashionable or taboo.

Being here in Germany, I readily recall how Nazi propaganda anathematized non-procreative sex among German youth, as if they were doing so in order to train a generation of hardened fighters to take on the decadent races of Europe in mortal combat.

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Posted: 12 February 2008 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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Sander:
You write like Dolly Parton looks.

Now that is some dazzling verbosity. Boffo!

I think it is only fair to mention that Mr A Teeth-Goatee-Whatever has gotten off to a larger than average, I mean, better than average start than most new posters. He has presented his case exhaustively and shown his credentials with links and web pages that are quite exhaustive. No one had to tell him that his thread belongs in the New Age forum. He has shown up to accept a diverse volley of highly accelerated porridge dollops. He keeps on flossing and coming back for more. I have to give him a B- on the whole barging in with the stone tablets thing.

However.
WTF are we talking about? Did you bring up Ludwig as part of some progression toward something? Why not a philosophy thread? We already know that quantum comedy isn’t funny in the macro world. Did you want to start a science thread? I was looking forward to hearing more about bopp and goofy and their friends. I thought you were going to do some mental stuff. I don’t want to put words in your avatar but is the omnium like a sub-atomic realm, or a convention center in Atlanta or some other thing? I thought you agreed that a TOE was not needed to explain the human mind.

The problem with selling a Grail is that most folk have already got one. You aren’t going over our heads yet. You are creating numerous orbiting sub-atomic flies. You’re going to exhaust us with all the swatting.

Jumpin’ Universes, Andy!
Decompile yourself, and have another go.

[ Edited: 12 February 2008 08:22 AM by Nhoj Morley]
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