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Author Topic:   On The Philosophy of, well, Philosophy
Modulous
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 241 of 307 (433053)
11-09-2007 6:34 PM
Reply to: Message 240 by crashfrog
11-09-2007 5:56 PM


I'm sorry, Mod, I just can't split hairs the way you want me to. I just don't have the talent for philosophy.

Well, if you can't define what you are criticizing so that I can see if I agree with you or not, we can't go any further in the discussion.

It's ridiculous to suggest that we need to define "philosophy" anyway; there's certainly been no ambiguity throughout this thread about exactly what is being discussed. Everybody knows what we're talking about when we say "philosophy."

I think that the attempt to discriminate truth from fiction is philosophy, for example. You have called that 'rigour'. It is basic definitional problems like this that have caused problems in the debate and I thought the best way to go would be to post a good solid definition of what we think philosophy is.

I'm content with the definitions I've supplied throughout this thread. I remain puzzled as to why Jon continues to act like the 230 posts or so in this thread simply don't exist.

I'm glad you are content. I do not feel, however, that they are definitions that can be used to know philosophy when one sees it. I think that this kind of definition is important before we can agree whether philosophy is useless or not. Simply defining it as useless simply skips past the debate part and declares itself the winner.

But a discussion about what words mean couldn't possibly be less interesting to me.

I agree. I'd rather we could just both post a concise and simple understanding of the topic that we are defending or deriding so that we can see why the other side chooses to take the position they do so that we can hopefully come to a mutual understanding and the discussion can move forward.

Since neither of us wants to go round and around here, shall we just call it quits?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 240 by crashfrog, posted 11-09-2007 5:56 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3946 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 242 of 307 (433128)
11-10-2007 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 214 by Modulous
11-07-2007 2:49 PM


I certainly never expected this thread to go as far and as long as it has. I applaud Crash and Mod for a fascinating and enlightening discussion. Apologies for being mostly absent - physical constraints (not philosophical ones :D ) have precluded much participation on my part.

I'd like to re-post Mod's expose of philosophy, bolding a key phrase or two that seem to jump out at me:

quote:
This search for truth began, in the Western world, when the Greeks first established (c.600 B.C.) inquiry independent of theological creeds. Philosophy is distinguished from theology in that philosophy rejects dogma and deals with speculation rather than faith. Philosophy differs from science in that both the natural and the social sciences base their theories wholly on established fact, whereas philosophy also covers areas of inquiry where no facts as such are available.1 Originally, science as such did not exist and philosophy covered the entire field, but as facts became available and tentative certainties emerged, the sciences broke away from metaphysical speculation to pursue their different aims. Thus physics was once in the realm of philosophy, and it was only in the early 20th cent. that psychology was established as a science apart from philosophy. However, many of the greatest philosophers were also scientists, and philosophy still considers the methods (as opposed to the materials) of science as its province.

Philosophy is traditionally divided into several branches. Metaphysics inquires into the nature and ultimate significance of the universe. Logic is concerned with the laws of valid reasoning. Epistemology investigates the nature of knowledge and the process of knowing. Ethics deals with problems of right conduct. Aesthetics attempts to determine the nature of beauty and the criteria of artistic judgment. Within metaphysics a division is made according to fundamental principles. The three major positions are idealism, which maintains that what is real is in the form of thought rather than matter; materialism, which considers matter and the motion of matter as the universal reality; and dualism, which gives thought and matter equal status. Naturalism and positivism are forms of materialism.2


1. Although a number of people on this thread have attempted to claim that science, etc, is "philosophy" - in fact, that everything is philosophy - the quoted passage seems to show that this is not actually the case. The quote clearly distinguishes between "philosophy" and "science". My distaste (for lack of a better word) for "philosophy" stems from the latter part of the bolded sentence, which indicates that "philosphy" as defined above is speculation without any basis in fact (or to be kind, speculation in the absence of fact). I think this point is directly relevant to crash's argument concerning rigor. If there are absolutely no facts/observations/data upon which to base one's speculations, how can there possibly be any rigor? Or for that matter, any relationship to what exists? Of course, I expect crash's "churlish" philosophers on this thread to immediately seize on my use of the word "exists" here and attempt to obfuscate the issue by some sort of sophistry along the lines of "How do you know what 'exists'? yada yada Only philosophy can tell you." or words to that effect. To forestall that quibble, I would merely point out that when I trip over a rock and fall on my face in the mud, I can bloody well determine beyond reasonable doubt that the rock exists - regardless and in spite of any philosophical maunderings concerning the nature of existence.

2. I will cheerfully concede that Mod has a good point that I overlooked or at the very least glossed over in the OP. Not all philosophical positions are necessarily vapid, if we consider the position of materialism/naturalism to be a philosophical position. Of course, it remains to be determined if the existence of a rock is a philosophical position. The other two described positions ARE what I considered to be utter bunk in the OP - useless, vapid, pointless, impractical wastes of talent, time, and space. Nothing presented on this thread to date has convinced me otherwise. In this, my philosophical position appears completely congruent and consistent with crash's. (An exception could be made for the use of logic as a tool - but not in the absence of supporting facts used to determine the validity of logical premises. Pure logic, on the other hand...)

Enjoyed the discussion. Thanks to all who participated.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 214 by Modulous, posted 11-07-2007 2:49 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 243 by Modulous, posted 11-10-2007 10:45 AM Quetzal has not yet responded
 Message 244 by Silent H, posted 11-10-2007 11:54 PM Quetzal has not yet responded
 Message 257 by Archer Opteryx, posted 11-12-2007 5:58 AM Quetzal has responded
 Message 258 by Archer Opteryx, posted 11-12-2007 6:38 AM Quetzal has not yet responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 243 of 307 (433138)
11-10-2007 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 242 by Quetzal
11-10-2007 9:22 AM


Although a number of people on this thread have attempted to claim that science, etc, is "philosophy" - in fact, that everything is philosophy - the quoted passage seems to show that this is not actually the case. The quote clearly distinguishes between "philosophy" and "science". My distaste (for lack of a better word) for "philosophy" stems from the latter part of the bolded sentence, which indicates that "philosphy" as defined above is speculation without any basis in fact (or to be kind, speculation in the absence of fact). I think this point is directly relevant to crash's argument concerning rigor. If there are absolutely no facts/observations/data upon which to base one's speculations, how can there possibly be any rigor?

Perhaps a philosophy of science thread is in order; we could then explore this in more depth.

Enjoyed the discussion. Thanks to all who participated.

It has been a rather wonderful journey. Thanks for kickstarting it :)

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 242 by Quetzal, posted 11-10-2007 9:22 AM Quetzal has not yet responded

Silent H
Member (Idle past 3894 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 244 of 307 (433282)
11-10-2007 11:54 PM
Reply to: Message 242 by Quetzal
11-10-2007 9:22 AM


Not too late for philosophy?
Hello, it looks like I'm coming in a bit late, but I saw this interesting thread and decided to toss a few pennies into the fountain.

I'm surprised by the amount of negative emotion toward Philosophy. Perhaps it stems from the following viewpoint...

The quote clearly distinguishes between "philosophy" and "science". My distaste (for lack of a better word) for "philosophy" stems from the latter part of the bolded sentence, which indicates that "philosphy" as defined above is speculation without any basis in fact (or to be kind, speculation in the absence of fact).

Though Modulous didn't address your criticism, I'd point out that his original statement correctly included the word "also". Philosophy "also" covers areas where no facts are available, not "only". It can but doesn't have to. I know mod gave a dictionary definition of Philosophy before, but I think the Wiki entry is more illuminating.

Philosophy is the discipline concerned with questions of how one should live (ethics); what sorts of things exist and what are their essential natures (metaphysics); what counts as genuine knowledge (epistemology); and what are the correct principles of reasoning (logic)...

Though no single definition of philosophy is uncontroversial, and the field has historically expanded and changed depending upon what kinds of questions were interesting or relevant in a given era, it is generally agreed that philosophy is a method, rather than a set of claims, propositions, or theories. Its investigations are based upon rational thinking, striving to make no unexamined assumptions and no leaps based on faith or pure analogy. Different philosophers have had varied ideas about the nature of reason, and there is also disagreement about the subject matter of philosophy. Some think that philosophy examines the process of inquiry itself. Others, that there are essentially philosophical propositions which it is the task of philosophy to prove...

Until the Renaissance, 'philosophy' and 'science' were considered the same discipline.

Though certain schools of philosophy and fields of study might involve pure speculation, not all philosophers do or must. Science is natural philosophy and the switch in terminology is a matter of semantics rather than true division. A scientist does in general practice philosophy, even if not all philosophers end up practicing science. Does that make sense?

I agree with assessments that pure speculation is at heart mental masturbation. Then again I can't get worked up over how someone decides to diddle with their brain. To each his own, I just won't join that particular circle... or eat the cookie as it were. I might add such "personal" activity seems pretty much confined to metaphysics, aesthetics (something even wiki appeared to miss), and certain strains of epistemology.

Logic, which is clearly Philosophy, includes math and informal logic which are crucial features of science. It would be hard to imagine modern science without them. Epistemology, when held tight to practical concerns, was important for creating the scientific method, and is important for evaluating current science methodology. Ethics is definitely not science, and yet it does have a practical side. Even the most vociferous deniers of philosophy in this thread seem to engage in ethical debates across EvC. That is philosophy.

Indeed anyone that enjoys courtroom dramas, sitcoms, and large swaths of scifi/fantasy are generally enjoying staged ethical debates. Such people don't dislike philosophy then, they just prefer their philosophers in costume and some sort of weaponry at hand (biting sarcasm in the case of sitcoms).

As far as metaphysics is concerned, and philosophizing beyond where facts are available, I have to admit to some "self-flagellation" as I enjoy reading about theoretical physics and cosmology. The copenhagen interpretation is essentially a metaphysical position. So is relativity, which certainly did not have evidence available at the time, and would not for some time to come. It was a way of thinking about nature. Current string theory is about the same thing.

Okay, enough for now. I just wanted to clarify that... from my experience anyway... not all philosophy is pure speculation, even after the nominal split between science and philosophy. And so maybe people don't have to get upset with the word philosophy, or the idea that they might be commiting such acts.

Then again, if people want to redefine the word Philosophy as meaning acts of pure speculation, that's fine too, let's just keep in mind that some current philosophers don't fall into that category and will need a new word to cover their pursuits.

Also--- for everyone that hates philosophy and thinks it impractical--- does that mean there's something oxymoronic in obtaining a PhD in the physical sciences?


h
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." - Robert E. Howard
This message is a reply to:
 Message 242 by Quetzal, posted 11-10-2007 9:22 AM Quetzal has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 245 by crashfrog, posted 11-11-2007 12:52 AM Silent H has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 245 of 307 (433294)
11-11-2007 12:52 AM
Reply to: Message 244 by Silent H
11-10-2007 11:54 PM


Re: Not too late for philosophy?
Also--- for everyone that hates philosophy and thinks it impractical--- does that mean there's something oxymoronic in obtaining a PhD in the physical sciences?

Hi!

243 posts before yours.

They're not just about the weather.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 244 by Silent H, posted 11-10-2007 11:54 PM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 246 by Silent H, posted 11-11-2007 2:53 PM crashfrog has responded

Silent H
Member (Idle past 3894 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 246 of 307 (433363)
11-11-2007 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 245 by crashfrog
11-11-2007 12:52 AM


Re: Not too late for philosophy?
Hello, I made the mistake of reading the beginning and end of the thread and skipping the middle. It figures Archer mentioned PhDs, since I agreed with his running commentary. Of course he did it more eloquently. I thought that would've been a show stopper.

Actually there were a lot of good posts. Clearly I would agree with people like Archer, Mod, bluegenes, etc. And NJ had some great points even if I disagree with what he thought Hume's intentions were. That is not to suggest that your or Quetzal's posts were bad. Actually, being a hug Hume fan, I liked how Q began the thread pitting philosophy against philosophy.

However it seemed to me the whole debate boiled down to you and Q (and others that were not as prolific in writing) holding some personal definition of philosophy, which does not square with history or modern practice. Interestingly you call yours the modern definition, but I have never seen that used, nor practiced, by philosophers or scientists I've been around.

If many philosophers and scientists disagree with your definition, do you think that they should change to fit yours or vice versa?

On PhDs, your response was not quite accurate. Here's a bit o' history from Wiki...

European universities in the Middle Ages generally placed all academic disciplines outside the fields of theology, medicine and law under the broad heading of "philosophy" (or "natural philosophy" when referring to science). The degree of Doctor of Philosophy was the most junior of the doctorates, generally granted as honorary degrees to select and well-established scholars. According to Wellington, Bathmaker, Hung, MucCullough and Sikes (2005), the first Ph.D. was awarded in Paris, in 1150; however, not until the early nineteenth century, these authors explain, did the term "Ph.D.", thanks to university practice in Germany, acquire its modern meaning (as Wellington et al. explain, initially, doctoral theses could only be awarded in theology, law or medicine prior to the nineteenth century). In 1861, Yale University adopted the German practice (first introduced in the 19th century at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin) of granting the degree to younger students who had completed a prescribed course of study and successfully defended a thesis containing original research in science or in the humanities...

From the United States the degree spread to Canada in 1900, and then to the United Kingdom in 1917... This displaced the existing Doctor of Philosophy degree in some Universities; for instance, the D.Phil. (higher doctorate in the faculty of philosophy) at the University of St Andrews was discontinued and replaced with the Ph.D. (research doctorate). Some UK universities such as Oxford, Buckingham and Sussex (and, until a few years ago, York) retain the D.Phil. abbreviation for their research degrees, as do some universities in New Zealand.

But assuming your original statement was correct, if all modern universities continue to bestow degrees with a title using the original medieval meaning, doesn't that by definition argue that the medieval meaning is still relevant and accepted?

Is there a reason why we shouldn't use the definition of philosophy as Archer, Mod, et al. have set out, which simply limits your and Q's criticisms (which I would agree with) to sections of philosophy rather than the whole?

Frankly I'd rather improve the image of Philosophy by reducing those sections to being called sheer speculation. Weeding them out so to speak. And then we can keep PhDs!

Edited by Silent H, : and to end


h
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." - Robert E. Howard
This message is a reply to:
 Message 245 by crashfrog, posted 11-11-2007 12:52 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 247 by crashfrog, posted 11-11-2007 9:11 PM Silent H has responded
 Message 248 by nator, posted 11-11-2007 10:13 PM Silent H has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 247 of 307 (433412)
11-11-2007 9:11 PM
Reply to: Message 246 by Silent H
11-11-2007 2:53 PM


Re: Not too late for philosophy?
However it seemed to me the whole debate boiled down to you and Q (and others that were not as prolific in writing) holding some personal definition of philosophy, which does not square with history or modern practice.

Definitions are pretty much irrelevant, it seems to me. We're all talking about the same thing; philosophy as practiced by the people who practice it, philosophers.

But assuming your original statement was correct, if all modern universities continue to bestow degrees with a title using the original medieval meaning, doesn't that by definition argue that the medieval meaning is still relevant and accepted?

Why would it - by "definition" or by any other means - argue that? They still graduate wearing mortarboard hats and robes, right? Is it because that's a "relevant and accepted" mode for formal dress, or is that perhaps because academia is a highly traditional place?

And how do you explain the fact that its entirely possible to get a PhD without ever doing a whit of philosophy, as so many PhD graduates have been able to do?

Of course, one answer to that is "everything is philosophy", but that's a specious argument as I've already proved. If everything is philosophy than nothing is; philosophy is just an unneeded synonym for "thinking."

Is there a reason why we shouldn't use the definition of philosophy as Archer, Mod, et al. have set out, which simply limits your and Q's criticisms (which I would agree with) to sections of philosophy rather than the whole?

You still don't get it, yet. Even if my criticism is only true about a section of philosophy, it's still true about the whole. Philosophy lacks rigor because it can't distinguish true models from false ones. Even if some portions of philosophy can do that, if other portions can't, it's irrelevant. If testable models are held in the same esteem as untestable ones - i.e. it's all "philosophy" - then philosophy as a whole lacks rigor.

Look, if you piss in soup, it doesn't matter that the piss is only 10% of the soup. You've still ruined the soup. It might as well be 100% piss for as much as you're going to be able to serve it to anybody.

If philosophy includes both rigorous and non-rigorous schools, then philosophy as a whole cannot be said to have rigor. To fail to distinguish between schools with rigor and schools without is the exact same thing as not distinguishing between truth and fiction, and therefore, philosophy has no rigor. One non-rigorous apple spoils the bunch.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 246 by Silent H, posted 11-11-2007 2:53 PM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 249 by Jon, posted 11-11-2007 10:30 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 255 by Silent H, posted 11-12-2007 4:25 AM crashfrog has responded

nator
Member (Idle past 244 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 248 of 307 (433421)
11-11-2007 10:13 PM
Reply to: Message 246 by Silent H
11-11-2007 2:53 PM


Re: Not too late for philosophy?
quote:
But assuming your original statement was correct, if all modern universities continue to bestow degrees with a title using the original medieval meaning, doesn't that by definition argue that the medieval meaning is still relevant and accepted?

I don't see why. I think it's just convention, and the "Philosophy" in "PhD" doesn't actually refer to what we think of as "philosophy" today.

Someone who earns a Bachelor's of Science degree in the Performing Arts isn't a scientist, either, despite their degree. It is doubtful that they took a single science course during their entire undergraduate career, in fact.

By contrast, my husband has a Bachelor of Arts degree in BioPsychology. Science courses were the vast majority of his curriculum.

So, I don't really think that we can pin much meaning on to the whole Doctor of Philosophy title as it pertains to what we think of today as philosophy.

Edited by nator, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 246 by Silent H, posted 11-11-2007 2:53 PM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 253 by Silent H, posted 11-12-2007 3:41 AM nator has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 249 of 307 (433424)
11-11-2007 10:30 PM
Reply to: Message 247 by crashfrog
11-11-2007 9:11 PM


Highlights of the Creationist Method
Even if my criticism is only true about a section of philosophy, it's still true about the whole.

Care to tell me why that isn't a sly, sneaky, weaselly fallacy?

Philosophy lacks rigor because it can't distinguish true models from false ones. Even if some portions of philosophy can do that, if other portions can't, it's irrelevant.

:laugh: You cannot take properties of the parts and apply them to the whole. Some random mutations are bad. It doesn't matter if some are actually good, it's irrelevant. Random mutations on a whole are bad. C'mon, once again, remove your head from your ass and stop acting like a 3-year-old creationist.

If testable models are held in the same esteem as untestable ones - i.e. it's all "philosophy" - then philosophy as a whole lacks rigor.

Of course, that's false. Philosophy does not accept everything under the same 'esteem'. You are taking definitions of 'science' and telling us that philosophy does not fit those definitions (on which we generally agree with you), then concluding that philosophy is useless as a result.

S'pose we could just as well say that because science is not philosophy, science is useless? Of course, that's malarkey, but it is to be believed if we accept your argumentation. Or does your argument only work one way, i.e., in the favour of Crashtoad?

Look, if you piss in soup, it doesn't matter that the piss is only 10% of the soup. You've still ruined the soup. It might as well be 100% piss for as much as you're going to be able to serve it to anybody.

False analogy. Philosophy ≠ a liquid.

One non-rigorous apple spoils the bunch.

And you'd throw 'em all out, no doubt, and your orchard business would go under. Guess I'm not surprised that you also see economics as useless, too. :rolleyes:

What about bad scientists? Do they 'spoil the bunch'? Or is this another one of those 'it only works in favour of Crashtoad' arguments?

Jon


In considering the Origin of Species, it is quite conceivable that a naturalist... might come to the conclusion that each species had not been independently created, but had descended, like varieties, from other species. - Charles Darwin On the Origin of Species
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ ____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

En el mundo hay multitud de idiomas, y cada uno tiene su propio significado. - I Corintios 14:10
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ ____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

A devout people with its back to the wall can be pushed deeper and deeper into hardening religious nativism, in the end even preferring national suicide to religious compromise. - Colin Wells Sailing from Byzantium
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ ____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

[Philosophy] stands behind everything. It is the loom behind the fabric, the place you arrive when you trace the threads back to their source. It is where you question everything you think you know and seek every truth to be had. - Archer Opterix The Shape of the Fabric (Message 210)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 247 by crashfrog, posted 11-11-2007 9:11 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 250 by crashfrog, posted 11-11-2007 10:41 PM Jon has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 250 of 307 (433427)
11-11-2007 10:41 PM
Reply to: Message 249 by Jon
11-11-2007 10:30 PM


Re: Highlights of the Creationist Method
Care to tell me why that isn't a sly, sneaky, weaselly fallacy?

I have, already. If you have half-rigor, and half-no-rigor, then the whole has no rigor, because rigor is a universal property.

Not having rigor is the same as saying "we can't tell the difference between truth and fiction." Refusing to discern the difference between truth and fiction is the exact same thing as that, and that's what philosophy does when it equates schools of philosophy with rigor with schools that have no rigor. If it's "all philosophy", then philosophy has no rigor.

It would be like, if scientists said "conclusions should be supported by evidence, unless the conclusion is being made on Tuesday." That doesn't just cancel out the rigor of conclusions on Tuesday, it cancels out the rigor of all scientific conclusions, because any one of them could have been made on Tuesday.

I know it sounds like a fallacy. It's not, because of what rigor is.

Philosophy does not accept everything under the same 'esteem'.

Of course it does. It's all "philosophy." Until philosophers get their acts together and vacate from their field all the various schools with no rigor, philosophy as a whole has none.

S'pose we could just as well say that because science is not philosophy, science is useless?

You could make that argument, but I refute it thus.

I mean it, thus. This. This message. This computer you're reading it on. The fruits of science, not philosophy. Your statement is wrong as a matter of observation.

What about bad scientists? Do they 'spoil the bunch'?

No, because bad scientists are discovered and marginalized - because science has rigor and bad models are rejected because of it.

Bad models in philosophy are enshrined. They never lose followers. They persist. They continue to be defended.

If someone is a bad scientist, they can be recognized by their bad science, and support for their models evaporates. Science is policed by its rigor. What happens to wrong philosophers, Jon? If a philosopher had a valid argument that was nonetheless wrong how would you even know?

When you can answer that question, you can show me the rigor. Until then you're continuing to dishonestly ignore the questions put to you.

Or does your argument only work one way, i.e., in the favour of Crashtoad?

Look, Jon, prove me wrong. Show me the rigor of philosophy.

Or is all you can show me the dishonesty of philosophy?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 249 by Jon, posted 11-11-2007 10:30 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 251 by Jon, posted 11-11-2007 11:15 PM crashfrog has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 251 of 307 (433436)
11-11-2007 11:15 PM
Reply to: Message 250 by crashfrog
11-11-2007 10:41 PM


Re: Highlights of the Creationist Method
:laugh:

All down-right utter nonsense. You need to learn how to make an argument:

because rigor is a universal property.

:laugh: Yeah, riiight :rolleyes:

S'pose we could just as well say that because science is not philosophy, science is useless?

You could make that argument, but I refute it thus.

I mean it, thus. This. This message. This computer you're reading it on. The fruits of science, not philosophy. Your statement is wrong as a matter of observation.

Err... hence the followup comment I made: "Of course, that's malarkey," Quote mining, an act taken right out of the pages of Creationism. (Side note: you know what the word 'thus' means, right? Also, familiar complete sentences?)

Bad models in philosophy are enshrined. They never lose followers. They persist. They continue to be defended.

Bzzt! Wrong again. Would you like to use your free spin? If you do, you will be required to provide evidence. If you don't, no evidence needed, but you might be asked to retract your claim.

What happens to wrong philosophers, Jon?

They're labelled as scientists :laugh:

Sorry, but your whole argument and position is just far too silly. And you keep wanting to use words like 'rigor' and 'philosophy' without ever defining them.

Man, this reminds me of that one language thread we had with that bird, and that one Creo troll (what was his name, Ishmael?) who had been asked to define 'speech' v. 'language' for about 100 posts. He never did and was periodically banned for his poor conduct.

Aww... just too funny :laugh:

Jon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 250 by crashfrog, posted 11-11-2007 10:41 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 252 by crashfrog, posted 11-11-2007 11:48 PM Jon has not yet responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 252 of 307 (433438)
11-11-2007 11:48 PM
Reply to: Message 251 by Jon
11-11-2007 11:15 PM


Re: Highlights of the Creationist Method
You need to learn how to make an argument:

Apparently, I already know how to make arguments so well, you find yourself completely unable to rebut them.

Yeah, riiight

See what I mean?

Err... hence the followup comment I made: "Of course, that's malarkey,"

So why did you make an argument you knew was false?

Are you always this dishonest? Like, in everything? Or is it just to defend philosophy from valid and damning criticism? I wonder why you even care that much.

If you do, you will be required to provide evidence.

I did, remember? Message 175. It was sufficient evidence for Subbie; he had no reply. If philosophy rejects wrong ideas, how do you explain the centuries-long persistence of Plato's idealism? Plato v. Aristotle was 2300 years ago, Jon, and the issue is still unsettled.

A field that can't settle even the most fundamental questions of its field is a field with no rigor. If I was wrong about that you'd be able to show me the rigor.

So where is it? Why do you continue to avoid a question that, if I'm wrong, must be very simple to answer?

And you keep wanting to use words like 'rigor' and 'philosophy' without ever defining them.

I've defined them throughout. I defined rigor in the post you're replying to.

Why do you continue to act like I haven't defined my terms, when its obvious that I've defined them repeatedly and consistently? If philosophy is so great, Jon, why do you have to act so dishonestly to defend it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 251 by Jon, posted 11-11-2007 11:15 PM Jon has not yet responded

Silent H
Member (Idle past 3894 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 253 of 307 (433460)
11-12-2007 3:41 AM
Reply to: Message 248 by nator
11-11-2007 10:13 PM


Re: Not too late for philosophy?
I think it's just convention, and the "Philosophy" in "PhD" doesn't actually refer to what we think of as "philosophy" today.

I thought that's what the Wiki quote was suggesting, though I must admit I am still not understanding what Q and C (and U? heheheh) mean by a modern concept of philosophy? When did this come about?

You make a good point about the relative merits of a specific term within a degree. It is my understanding that it comes from the nature of the "school" within a university that offered the degree. An Arts degree generally being a school, or course of instruction, that involves more than just a concentrated study. Arts being from liberal arts meaning a broad array of study. Thus one can have an arts degree in a science.

In any case that would seem to be different than the name of the LEVEL of degree. I don't think the Ph in PhD is the equivalent of the S or A in a B(X) degree, but rather the B. B, M, Ph... The concept of the Ph degree being that you have placed a lot of time and effort to examine and gain knowledge above others (top o' the mountain as Archer suggested)in a specific area of knowledge.

That's how it seems to me anyway.

But let's take your points at full effect, and I think you did make an interesting argument. Wouldn't you agree that given the fact that Universities have changed names of degrees in the past, they'd likely have changed the name of their top degree (or at least a few would have) if the conventional meaning of the term was as odious and oxymoronic to real knowledge as has been suggested?

For example if in medieval days they called applied serious study of a subject as Crap, and handed diplomas out with that title, I tend to doubt Universities would be handing out Crap Degrees just for the sake of tradition.


h
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." - Robert E. Howard
This message is a reply to:
 Message 248 by nator, posted 11-11-2007 10:13 PM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 254 by Wounded King, posted 11-12-2007 3:56 AM Silent H has responded
 Message 259 by nator, posted 11-12-2007 7:07 AM Silent H has responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2169 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 254 of 307 (433461)
11-12-2007 3:56 AM
Reply to: Message 253 by Silent H
11-12-2007 3:41 AM


Re: Not too late for philosophy?
For example if in medieval days they called applied serious study of a subject as Crap, and handed diplomas out with that title, I tend to doubt Universities would be handing out Crap Degrees just for the sake of tradition.

Since so many of them are still graduating people using Latin I wouldn't be a bit surprised.

In any case that would seem to be different than the name of the LEVEL of degree. I don't think the Ph in PhD is the equivalent of the S or A in a B(X) degree, but rather the B. B, M, Ph... The concept of the Ph degree being that you have placed a lot of time and effort to examine and gain knowledge above others (top o' the mountain as Archer suggested)in a specific area of knowledge.

Not so, an alternative formula for Ph.D. is D.Phil.. The reversal in the form 'Ph.D.' comes from the latin Philosophiæ doctor. The elements denoting any sort of 'ranking' would be the 'B','M' and 'D' in increasing length of study required.

TTFN,

WK

Edited by Wounded King, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 253 by Silent H, posted 11-12-2007 3:41 AM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 256 by Silent H, posted 11-12-2007 4:33 AM Wounded King has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3894 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 255 of 307 (433464)
11-12-2007 4:25 AM
Reply to: Message 247 by crashfrog
11-11-2007 9:11 PM


Re: Not too late for philosophy?
And how do you explain the fact that its entirely possible to get a PhD without ever doing a whit of philosophy, as so many PhD graduates have been able to do?

I'm not sure how or where you get a PhD without doing philosophy, unless its a disreputable University.

As mentioned in the Wiki article in my first post above, one common agreement about philosophy is that it is a method and not a specific set of subjects or beliefs. Did you have a problem with that stated methodology? Isn't that what all people do in order to get PhDs (which is what my second Wiki article suggested)?

Yes you don't have to take a course in some specific field of philosophy, you are hopefully at that point practicing philosophy to gain greater understanding of your specified field.

Philosophy lacks rigor because it can't distinguish true models from false ones. Even if some portions of philosophy can do that, if other portions can't, it's irrelevant. If testable models are held in the same esteem as untestable ones - i.e. it's all "philosophy" - then philosophy as a whole lacks rigor.

That doesn't really make sense, and ID is a great example. There are scientists who support ID and argue that it is valid science. You and I would clearly say that is not the case, and that their existence does not in turn paint the whole of science with their concept of what science itself is (which is actually a valid form of science from many centuries ago).

Likewise with Philosophy. Philosophers can't help that some continue to practice outmoded fields and schools and claim they are doing philosophy. Modern philosophers certainly can determine which are not fruitful pursuits for gaining knowledge, using the tools of philosophy, and Q's opening post showed one doing just that from two centuries ago.

I'm not sure what you mean by untestable models being held in equal esteem as testable ones. I think all philosophers agree models must be tested, the question is if it has to be with empirical evidence or not. Some think they don't, but that does not mean they are held as equal, or must be, by any other philosopher... or philosophy itself.

One complaint that might be lodged is that Philosophy allows for some ideas to be tested, within a paradigm that science (empirical research) does not currently cover. But that is not damning as it is an allowance for the logical testing of an idea (its coherence) within a paradigm, not a mandate that anyone think it is real, equal, or even have to consider it at all.

As I did mention, this tends to hold for some things acceptable to science today, like the CI and GR and String Theory, which at the time were dealt with empirical evidence, but were advancing nonscientific (that is beyond testable proofs at the time) theories. They did beautiful philosophical work which merged into science, and shaped what we see today.

To fail to distinguish between schools with rigor and schools without is the exact same thing as not distinguishing between truth and fiction, and therefore, philosophy has no rigor. One non-rigorous apple spoils the bunch.

I am not failing to distinguish between them, I am saying I can see them as clearly separate. Isn't your argument that no one should, and so the whole thing must be viewed as a barrel of bad apples?

Hume was clearly arguing that the rotten ones should be thrown out. Grown up modern philosophers can and do just that. If I encounter someone speculating, and then claiming to be philosophizing, I'll point out the difference, just as we both would point out the difference to an ID theorist.

As a final point along this same line... as I mentioned the science ID uses was at one time valid science protocol. Dembski admits as such in his books. Now long ago there were some who practiced science in a rigorous empirical manner, and some in a less rigorous way. That remains true today, though much less so the latter (despite attempts by IDers to popularize it). Back then should someone have dismissed all of science, and all scientists, because it allowed for less rigorous pursuits?

I would argue no, just like today. Same for philosophy, even if you have a slightly greater number of nonrigorous types than science (a subset of philosophy dedicated to empirical, natural inevstigation) at this time.

I hope this was clear as this is very late. I may not be able to write again for a couple days... just a heads up.


h
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." - Robert E. Howard
This message is a reply to:
 Message 247 by crashfrog, posted 11-11-2007 9:11 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 262 by crashfrog, posted 11-12-2007 12:46 PM Silent H has responded

  
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