13 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2022
  2. Jul 2022
    1. Mechanical and vitalist systems existed concurrently, and although it might seem easy to distinguish them,when we come to look at most specific characters and their thought, the distinctions appear blurred

      Mechanical philosophy and vitalism were popular and co-existed on a non-mutually exclusive spectrum in the seventeenth century.

      Mechanical philosophy is a philosophy of nature which arose broadly in the 17th century and sought to explain all natural phenomenon in terms of matter and motion without relying on "action at a distance" or the idea of a cause and effect that occurred without any physical contact or direct motivation.

      René Descartes, Pierre Gassendi, and Marin Mersenne all held mechanistic viewpoints.

      See also: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitalism - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanical_philosophy

      Link to: - spooky action at a distance (quantum mechanics)

  3. Dec 2021
  4. Jul 2021
    1. Aristotle already thought the argument to be deceiving. He ridicules it by saying that according to the same kind of argument a hair, which was subject to an even pulling power from opposing sides, would not break, and that a man, being just as hungry as thirsty, placed in between food and drink, must necessarily remain where he is and starve. To him it was the wrong argument for the right proposition. Absolute propositions concerning the non-existence of things are always in danger of becoming falsified on closer investigation. They contain a kind of subjective aspect: “as far as I know.”

      Aristotle came up with some solid counter examples against using the principle of sufficient reason and showed how they could be falsified.

      What is the flaw in logic that would cause it to fail? Are there situations in which it could be used reliably? Ones in which it can't?

  5. May 2021
  6. Mar 2021
  7. Feb 2021
  8. Jul 2020
  9. Jun 2019
    1. So many people today – and even professional scientists – seem to me like somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering.

      a nice way to put it

  10. Apr 2016
    1. one of the roles of philosophy over the past two and half millennia has been to prepare the ground for the birth and eventual intellectual independence of a number of scientific disciplines. But contra what you seem to think, this hasn’t stopped with the Scientific Revolution, or with the advent of quantum mechanics. Physics became independent with Galileo and Newton (so much so that the latter actually inspired David Hume and Immanuel Kant to do something akin to natural philosophizing in ethics and metaphysics); biology awaited Darwin (whose mentor, William Whewell, was a prominent philosopher, and the guy who coined the term “scientist,” in analogy to artist, of all things); psychology spun out of its philosophical cocoon thanks to William James, as recently (by the standards of the history of philosophy) as the late 19th century. Linguistics followed through a few decades later (ask Chomsky); and cognitive science is still deeply entwined with philosophy of mind (see any book by Daniel Dennett). Do you see a pattern of, ahem, progress there? And the story doesn’t end with the newly gained independence of a given field of empirical research. As soon as physics, biology, psychology, linguistics and cognitive science came into their own, philosophers turned to the analysis (and sometimes even criticism) of those same fields seen from the outside: hence the astounding growth during the last century of so called “philosophies of”: of physics (and, more specifically, even of quantum physics), of biology (particularly of evolutionary biology), of psychology, of language, and of mind.

      Massimo Pigliucci skewering Neil deGrasse Tyson for outright dismissal of philosophy.

    1. . I consider that my job, as a philosopher, is to activate the possible, and not to describe the probable, that is, to think situations with and through their unknowns when I can feel them

      The job of a philosopher is to "activate the possible, not describe the probable."