117 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2018
    1. The Modern Stoicism movement traces its roots to Victor Frankl’s (Sahakian 1979) logotherapy, as well as to early versions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, for instance in the work of Albert Ellis (Robertson 2010). But Stoicism is a philosophy, not a therapy, and it is in the works of philosophers such as William Irvine (2008), John Sellars (2003), and Lawrence Becker (1997) that we find articulations of 21st century Stoicism, though the more self-help oriented contribution by CBT therapist Donald Robertson (2013) is also worthy of note. All of these authors attempt to distance the philosophical meaning of "Stoic"—even in a modern setting—from the common English word "stoic," indicating someone who goes through life with a stiff upper lip, so to speak. While there are commonalities between "Stoic" and "stoic," for instance the emphasis on endurance, the latter is a diminutive version of the former, and the two should accordingly be kept distinct.
    1. Inventive interactive history of philosophy linking quotes/ideas from various thinkers. No Deleuze!?

  2. Oct 2018
    1. This page shows a graph of philosophical authors, important statements of them and with whom they agree or disagree by those.

  3. Sep 2018
    1. For to imprint anything on the mind without the mind’s perceiving it, seems to me hardly intelligible.

      The theory of the unconscious mind opposes this view

    2. These have so settled a reputation of maxims universally received, that it will no doubt be thought strange if any one should seem to question it. But yet I take liberty to say, that these propositions are so far from having an universal assent, that there are a great part of mankind to whom they are not so much as known.

      Is Locke asserting that Identity is not a universal feature of experience?

    3. Universal consent proves nothing innate. This argument, drawn from universal consent, has this misfortune in it, that if it were true in matter of fact, that there were certain truths wherein all mankind agreed, it would not prove them innate, if there can be any other way shown how men may come to that universal agreement, in the things they do consent in, which I presume may be done.

      Assuming a dichotomy of innate vs acquired, can a truly universal thing be subject to this test? If it is ubiquitous, no space/time where it wasn't so, and there are no instances where it is consciously acquired, is it not functionally innate?

      An example would be the idea of physical orientation, "Left vs Right". They are near-universal aspects of experience that are absent (as far as we can tell) only in some people with neurological disorders.

  4. Aug 2018
    1. to tarry with this negative

      I've always been interested in Hegel's statement about tarrying with the negative. In my mind, I think of fencing, perhaps because I conflate "tarry" with "parry."

      However, I don't think this is necessarily too far off. To tarry can be seen as staying and engaging with the negative. It seems similar to "dilly-dally" or "dawdle." Basically, it seems to me that to "tarry with the negative" is to delay oneself in the presence of the negative in order to engage with it (which I still choose to view as an intricate fencing match).

    1. anomie

      I feel like this word captures very well the exact era of Trumpian Republicanism in which we find ourselves living.

    2. Are there, in other words, any fundamental "contradictions" in human life that cannot be resolved in the context of modern liberalism, that would be resolvable by an alternative political-economic structure?

      Churchill famously said "...democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time..."

      Even within this quote it is implicit that there are many others. In some sense he's admitting that we might possibly be at a local maximum but we've just not explored the spaces beyond the adjacent possible.

    3. Believing that there was no more work for philosophers as well, since Hegel (correctly understood) had already achieved absolute knowledge, Kojève left teaching after the war and spent the remainder of his life working as a bureaucrat in the European Economic Community, until his death in 1968.

      This is depressing on so many levels.

    1. Hume had denied that they were,whereas Kant thinks they are. For Kant, they are com-binations of concepts and particulars, of reason and ex-perience. While the Empiricists suggest all our knowledgemust conform to experience, Kant says all experience mustconform to knowledge

      Superación de la disputa entre empirismo y racionalismo

    1. Habe ich einBuch, das für mich Verſtand hat, einen Seelſor¬ger, der für mich Gewiſſen hat, einen Arzt der fürmich die Diät beurtheilt, u. ſ. w. ſo brauche ich michja nicht ſelbſt zu bemühen. Ich habe nicht nöthigzu denken, wenn ich nur bezahlen kann; anderewerden das verdrießliche Geſchäft ſchon für michübernehmen.

      Kant über künstliche Intelligenz

    1. Sorokin and Merton in 1937, entitled 'Social Time: A Methodological and Functional Analysis' that some of the Durkheimian ideas were taken up again. This paper identified social time as qualitatively heterogeneous (e.g. holidays and market days), not quantitatively homogeneous as astronomical or physical time has it. Social time was seen as being divided into intervals that derive from collective social activities rather than being uniformly flowing. Local time systems, it was argued, function mainly in order to assure the coordination and synchronization of local activities which eventually become extended and integrated, thereby necessitating common time systems. The Durkheimian claim of the category of time being rooted in social activities, of time being socially constituted by virtue of the 'rhythm of social life' itself, buttressed by the analysis of the social functions it served, was a tacit rebuttal of Kant's a priori intuitions of time, space and causality.

      Sorokin and Merton extended Durkheim's work and staked the claim that social time was qualitative, varied, rhythmic and useful for social coordination in contrast to Kant's philosophy of time, space and causality.

      Kant in a nutshell: "In 1781, Immanuel Kant published the Critique of Pure Reason, one of the most influential works in the history of the philosophy of space and time. He describes time as an a priori notion that, together with other a priori notions such as space, allows us to comprehend sense experience. Kant denies that neither space or time are substance, entities in themselves, or learned by experience; he holds, rather, that both are elements of a systematic framework we use to structure our experience. Spatial measurements are used to quantify how far apart objects are, and temporal measurements are used to quantitatively compare the interval between (or duration of) events. Although space and time are held to be transcendentally ideal in this sense, they are also empirically real—that is, not mere illusions." via Wikipedia Philosophy of space and time

  5. Jul 2018
    1. I buy into Newton’s philosophy that we see further by standing on the shoulders of giants.

      I take his general point here, and Newton said something along these lines, but I wouldn't call it "Newton's philosophy". If anything this philosophy is really the scientific method and Newton didn't invent it.

    1. It would be deeply unphilosophical to select a favourite living philosopher without questioning the philosophical assumptions underpinning the task. The emphasis on great individuals reflects an emphasis on innovation, an idea that rationality is best exercised in the solitary thinking of lone minds, and an ideal of autonomy in which we should think not just for ourselves but by ourselves. These are not uniquely western ideas and values but they are more pronounced here than elsewhere in the world. “Authorship of a philosophy resides not in individuals but in groups” For example, although Confucius is revered in China, he is of secondary importance to the school of thought he helped develop. This is Rujia, or the school of the ru (ru is a scholar or learned man, and jia is literally house or family). Confucianism was a term coined by 16th century Jesuit missionaries, superimposing the western value on founding figures on the indigenous tradition. But Confucius saw himself as a preserver of ancient wisdom, not as a creator of a new philosophy. In this way of thinking, authorship of a philosophy resides not in individuals but in groups. Philosophising is a quintessentially collective enterprise. In that spirit, I would nominate the East-West Philosophy Center in Hawai’i as my favourite “philosopher.” It is a unique locus for comparative philosophy, a hub for a community of scholars that extends beyond its formal members. In its orbit are exceptional thinkers like the Confucian philosopher Roger Ames and the Japan specialist Tom Kasulis. Thinkers like these do not receive as much credit as is due in part because non-western philosophy is undervalued but also because they can be dismissed as mere interpreters rather than original thinkers. In fact, all philosophers work in traditions and some of the most creative work has always emerged as a sympathetic response to existing ideas. What is exciting about the work of the likes of Ames and Kasulis is that it breathes new life into old ideas by bringing disparate traditions into dialogue with each other. In contrast, those that plough their lonely furrows risk creeping into stagnation and irrelevance.
  6. Jun 2018
    1. This should be a space where you can create the identity that you want to have. You can write yourself into existence.

      I like this sentiment. Had René Descartes been born a bit later might he have said "Blogeō, ergo sum"?


      [also on boffosocko.com]

    1. But it’s the second part of that definition that has proven the most helpful for me: ‘recognising that one’s own experience is part of the common human experience’. It’s the idea of taking a zoomed-out look at yourself, and realising that you are more similar to others than you are different, even (maybe especially) considering how ridiculous you often are. As Neff herself said in an interview with The Atlantic in 2016: ‘[W]hen we fail, it’s not “poor me,” it’s “well, everyone fails.” Everyone struggles. This is what it means to be human.’In fact, it’s this part of the definition of self-compassion that makes me question whether it should be called self-compassion at all. Neff’s concept isn’t really about adoring yourself, or not entirely, anyway; this piece of it isn’t actually about you. Rather, it’s about the importance of recalling that you are but one small part of an interconnected whole.
  7. Apr 2018
    1. But why did the different thinking styles emerge in the first place? The obvious explanation would be that they simply reflect the prevailing philosophies that have come to prominence in each region over time. Nisbett points out that Western philosophers emphasised freedom and independence, whereas Eastern traditions like Taoism tended to focus on concepts of unity. Confucius, for instance, emphasised the “obligations that obtained between emperor and subject, parent and child, husband and wife, older brother and younger brother, and between friend and friend”. These diverse ways of viewing the world are embedded in the culture’s literature, education, and political institutions, so it is perhaps of little surprise that those ideas have been internalised, influencing some very basic psychological processes.
  8. Mar 2018
  9. Feb 2018
    1. First, in terms of science, it now appears that his metaphysics has withstood the test of time. While traditional scholars largely dismiss his holistic ontology prior to the Critique, innovations in the environmental and physical sciences have validated Kant's claims as realistic insights in the workings of nature. His evolutionary theory of the universe is now seen as “the essence of modern models” in cosmology (Coles 2001: 240), and his natural philosophy is seen as the last milestone of western philosophy prior to its “comedown” to skepticism (Hawking 2003, 166). In light of climate change, it stands to reason that Kant's grasp on biospherical dynamics and sustainable policies may well spur a philosophical return to Kant in the near future.
  10. Nov 2017
    1. This is the indirect pursuit of the golden rule that focuses on ideally good means to ideally good ends. “Love the good with your whole mind, your whole heart and your whole strength,” then you will love your neighbor as yourself, and also treat her as you’d wish to be treated by her. The differential diagnosis here identifies devotion that leads to embodiment as the cause of golden rule effect. And this devotion need not include any following or practicing rules of thumb like the golden rule, purposely fulfilling duties, or practicing those conventional activities associated with being morally upright. It can be as spiritual and abstract an activity as concentrated rational intuition ever-intent on an imagined Platonic form of good, which presumably would direct one’s perception of every reflection of the Form, in every ethical matter one dealt with in life.
    2. The golden rule displays one algorithm for programming exemplary fair behavior, which can be habituated by repetition and even raised to an art by practice. Virtue ethics (habits) and deliberation ethics (normative ethics) fall here. What we are simulating are side-effects of a moral condition. We are trying to be good, by imitating symptoms of being good.
    3. The fourth way, is more a simulation than a “way.” It is not a form of embodiment at all, and therefore does not generate golden rule effect as a spontaneous offshoot. We learn to act, in some respects, as a master or exemplar would, but without embodying the character being expressed, or being truly self-expressive in our actions. What we call ethics as a whole—the ethics of duties, fulfilling obligations, adhering to responsibilities, and respecting rights can be seen as this sort of partial simulation. We develop moral habits, of course, some of which link together in patterns and proclivities. And we can  “engage” these. But we would not continue to carry around a sense of ethical assembly instructions or recipes needing sometimes to refer to them directly—if we were ethics, if we embodied ethics. We don’t retain rules and instructions when we are friends or parents. (Those who read parenting books are either looking for improvements or fearing that they aren’t true parents yet.)
    4. Getting some perspective, the second and third avenues or “ways of embodiment” above are analogous to the two main schools of Zen Buddhism—Rinzai and Soto. In the first, one experiences satori or enlightened awakening in a sudden flash. It is not known how, even a non-devotee may be blessed by this occurrence. One smiles, or laughs as a result, at the contrast in consciousness, then goes back to one’s daily life with no self-awareness of the whole new sense of reality and living it creates. Those around cannot help but notice the whole new range of behaviors that come out, filled with the compassion of a bodhisattva. To the master, it is daily life and interaction: “I eat when I am hungry, I sleep when I am tired.” The third way is that of gradual enlightenment. One meditates for its own sake, with no special aim in mind—no awaited lightning strike from the blue. “Over time, as one constantly “polishes one’s mirror,” Zen consciousness continually grows until normal consciousness and ego fade out, akin to the Hindu version of enlightenment or moksha. Compassion grows beside it, imperceptibly, until one is bodhisattva. To the recipient, Zen-mind seems ordinary mind.
    5. the secular spiritual transformation that comes from single-mindedness. When someone’s striving for a cherished goal becomes a life-mission, be it mastering a musical instrument or fine art, or putting heart and soul into building a business, or putting a public policy in place (a new drunk-driving ban or universal health care) they often come to embody their goal. “He is his company.” “She has become her music” (“and she writes the songs”).  Certainly in religion this is what is meant by terming someone holy or a living saint. This is also the secular goal of Confucian practice, to make li (behavioral ritual) yi (character). One accomplishes this transformation by complete and intense concentration of thoughts and behavior, and by “letting go” of one’s self-awareness or ego in the task. The work takes over and one becomes “possessed” by it, either in an uplifting way, or as in the need for exorcism, rehab, or at least “intervention” by friends and family. When morality sets the goal and means here, we term their culmination “moral exemplarism.”
    1. Slote begins by observing that discussions of moral development and methods of teaching children to be moral tend to assume that the children have been loved, with (usually tacit) acknowledgment that children who aren't loved may not respond to the methods in question. He points out that unloved children often have psychopathic tendencies, and if this is the result of their being unloved, then love in very early childhood is a condition for moral development
    2. (1) the importance of early upbringing for the future development of virtue, (2) the central place of action in learning virtue, and (3) the indispensability of community for both cultivating and maintaining virtue, which is an ongoing activity.
  11. Oct 2017
    1. Unlike every other ethic, agape provides no basis for according ourselves special first-person discretion or privacy.  The self-other gap is transcended. It’s not even clear how the typical moral division of labor is justified in agapeistic terms. In principle, when we raise our spoon filled with breakfast cereal at the morning table, the matter of whose mouth it goes into is in question
    2. for those who use its ethic to rise above good and evil in a mundane sense, the golden rule is a wisdom principle. It marks the transcendence of interested and egoistic perspectives. It points toward its sibling of loving thy neighbor as thyself because thy neighbor is us in some deeper sense, accessible by deeper, less egoistic love
  12. Sep 2017
    1. but the true technology of Java is not in the language, but the virtual machine itself. The JVM as it stands today, is a fast, abstract machine that you can plug any languages into, and is able to operate at speeds comparable to natively compiled binaries.

      This is something really neat to ponder at... Thank you for your insight!

    1. The point of political protest is to change the world. And yet the process matters, too.
    2. To live in the present is not to avoid hard work or strife. Alongside the projects that occupy you in your profession, or in your political life, the telic activities that matter to you, is the atelic process of protesting injustice or doing your job. To value the process is not to flee from work or political engagement. That is why living in the present is not an abdication of ethical responsibility or a recipe for detachment.
    3. To live in the present is not to deny the value of telic activities, of making a difference in the world. That would be a terrible mistake. Nor can we avoid engaging in such activities. But if projects are all we value, our lives become self-subversive, aimed at extinguishing the sources of meaning within them. To live in the present is to refuse the excessive investment in projects, in achievements and results, that sees no inherent value in the process.
    4. To live in the present is to appreciate the value of atelic activities like going for a walk, listening to music, spending time with family or friends. To engage in these activities is not to extinguish them from your life. Their value is not mortgaged to the future or consigned to the past, but realized here and now. It is to care about the process of what you are doing, not just projects you aim to complete.
    5. “If you are learning, you have not at the same time learned.” When you care about telic activities, projects such as writing a report, getting married or making dinner, satisfaction is always in the future or the past. It is yet to be achieved and then it is gone. Telic activities are exhaustible; in fact, they aim at their own exhaustion. They thus exhibit a peculiar self-subversion. In valuing and so pursuing these activities, we aim to complete them, and so to expel them from our lives.
    6. Atelic activities, by contrast, do not by nature come to an end and are not incomplete. In defining such activities, we could emphasize their inexhaustibility, the fact that they do not aim at terminal states. But we could also emphasize what Aristotle does: They are fully realized in the present. “At the same time, one is seeing and has seen, is understanding and has understood, is thinking and has thought.” There is nothing you need to do in order to perform an atelic activity except what you are doing right now. If what you care about is reflecting on your life or spending time with family or friends, and that is what you are doing, you are not on the way to achieving your end: You are already there.
  13. Aug 2017
    1. T. Nagel (1974) argues that some facts can only be captured ‘from a subjective perspective’ and uses his famous example of bats to illustrate the point: Even if we knew everything there is to know ‘from an objective perspective’ about a bat's sonar system, certain factual questions concerning bats would remain unanswered. We still would not know ‘what it is like’ to perceive a given object with a bat's sonar system.
    2. the Martian would be lacking completely in the sort of imagery and empathy which depends on familiarity (direct acquaintance) with the kinds of qualia to be imaged or empathized.
    3. advantages of knowledge by acquaintance over knowledge by description
    1. Not all things wise and good are philosophy Nicholas Tampio
    2. Good point. I think the author’s argument is weak in overlooking the issue that there are in fact philosophical traditions that do make arguments for God, for the immortal soul, etc.Additionally even the Greek tradition had philosophy as a spiritual discipline in the sense that it was about the individual’s initiation into a one-ness with the rest of creation. Thus the Indian, the Buddhist, the Native American can in fact have a philosophical tradition far more in line with the Greeks than the sad attempts of the Dennets and Churchlands who want to resurrect a debunked behaviorism or invest in silliness like computer programs as conscious entities.
    3. In fact, an argument could be made - one that respects the Greek philosophic tradition - that contemporary Anglo-American “philosophy”, based in physicalist ontology, is not in fact philosophy (love of wisdom) at all, but rather, represents the death of philosophy much as fundamentalism represents the death of the spirit of religion.
  14. Jun 2017
    1. conquest of mind

      Aee Panthee Sagal Jamaatee Man Jeetai Jagjeet - conquer the mind, conquer the world

    2. Santi (self-control or quietness of mind), Vichara (spirit of inquiry), Santosha (contentment) and Satsanga (good company).

      in Sikhi, the Gurus taught us that to obtain liberation, we must have good virtues those 5 virtues are: truth, compassion, compassion, humility & love

      similar concept

    3. Realize that you are the immortal all pervading Self and become free.

      A drop within an ocean, an ocean within a drop

      can that drop truly understand the greatness of the ocean? can it understand it is a part of the ocean? perhaps not but if it can understand itself, there is a chance it can understand what it's made of - the ocean

    4. Nothing in a dream can be true

      Descartes: I think therefore I am?

      he can doubt everything - everything is a dream - but he knows he is true because he can think and convince himself that nothing exists.

      I have convinced myself that there is nothing in the world — no sky, no earth, no minds, no bodies. Doesn’t it follow that I don’t exist? No, surely I must exist if it’s me who is convinced of something. But there is a deceiver, supremely powerful and cunning whose aim is to see that I am always deceived. But surely I exist, if I am deceived. Let him deceive me all he can, he will never make it the case that I am nothing while I think that I am something. Thus having fully weighed every consideration, I must finally conclude that the statement “I am, I exist” must be true whenever I state it or mentally consider it. (Descartes, Meditation II: On the Nature of the Human Mind, Which Is Better Known Than the Body).

  15. May 2017
    1. The French sociologist Gabriel Tarde in 1901 made the following telling observation: ‘I open a newspaper that I think is today’s, and I greedily read some news, then I notice it’s a month or a day old, and it immediately ceases to interest me.’ There is a kind of ‘sudden disgust’ at noticing that what you thought was news is in fact old, he says. This ‘increasing passion’ for the ‘sensation of news’ (sensation d’actualité), is ‘one of the clearest characteristics of civilised life’.

      Kind of like when we're watching sports on TV and enjoying -- but upon noticing that it's not live, we re disappointed and switch channels

  16. Apr 2017
    1. phenomenological

      Surprised nobody's beat me to this post, but Phenomenology is the philosophy of consciousness and experience. Like the video summary of Hume v. Descartes, phenomenology looks at things and consciousness as "bundles" of experiences, though more than Hume's pure sensory approach, since it includes the larger elements of "experience" as well.

  17. Mar 2017
    1. He might have been my brother. After a while, I guess I realized that he was my brother

      Reminds me of Viktor Frankl and Personalism, "Seeing everyone as another I." Here's a link about it, it was a very big philosophy with Pope John Paul II.

      e. Particularly, with Corder's later point, it reminds me of Frankl's experience meeting with a fellow concentration camp survivor, this one being a survivor of the Soviet Gulag, telling him about a fellow prisoner who had been a leader, inspiration, and hero among them, and kept them alive. He names him, and his hero prisoner happened to be one of the guards from Frankl's camp, a particularly brutal one.

    1. That summer was the first time he rented an inexpensive cottage on Gotts, a remote island off the coast of Maine; it lacked running water and electricity but was covered in pine forests and romantic mists. There, he wrote Levin, he was “reading nothing more frivolous than Plotinus and Husserl,” and Harry was welcome to join him “if Wellfleet becomes too worldly.”

      Paul de Man is buried on Gotts

  18. Feb 2017
    1. Conviction affects the understanding only; persuasion, the will and the practice. It is the businci.s of the philosopher to convince me of truth; it is the business of the orator to persuade me to act agreeably to it, by engaging my affections on its side. Conviction and persuasion do not always go together. They ought, indeed, to go together; and 111011/d do so, if our inclination regularly followed the dictates of our understanding.

      A very important move made here within the history of rhetoric.

  19. Jan 2017
    1. “What is disease?” is a contentious question among philosophers of medicine.  These philosophers distinguish among four different notions of disease.
      • Ontological
      • Desviación de la fisiología normal
      • Mecanismo desadaptativo (biología evolucionista)
      • Genética (ausencia o no expresión de un gen)
  20. Dec 2016
    1. Thoughtful blog by Grete Howland, about being raised as an evangelical Christian -- and then discovering that it isn't for her.

      For those raised in more liberal, free-thinking denominations, such as certain Episcopal congregations or the Unitarian-Universalist church, the religious molding might not be such a bad thing. In those cases, you might have been taught that everyone is unconditionally welcome in the love of God, that all belief systems are worthy of respect, that decolonization is mandatory practice, to have a community service mindset, and the basic lesson of self-reliance. These are examples of habits and traditions one might want to continue practicing, regardless of personal faith or continued church involvement.

      ...

      I had been taught (1) to put my faith in God regarding everything--finances, relationships, and so on--and (2) that the way to deal with stress and pain was to pray for their causes to be gone. I was not supposed to change my thinking; God was supposed to change my circumstances.

    1. Knowledge takes you back to God while you are in the world, but it does so in a very specific way because its emphasis is practical, not magical. It is not about metaphysics, learning all about the sixteen million levels and the cosmology of all of the universes. That is for people who think and do nothing. The person of Knowledge is not concerned with these things unless they have a specific relevance to his or her function in life, and even then they are a temporary expedient and nothing else. If you want to know about mystical cosmology, then perhaps a teacher will tell you about these things to get your attention while he or she gives you something far greater. Mystical cosmology does not get you through the day. It does not attend to you when you are alone and miserable in your thoughts. It is simply a broader range of speculation. It may be a reprieve from your personal difficulties, but it is not the key to your freedom.
  21. Oct 2016
    1. Books mentioned throughout this comment thread. Add your suggestions! - de Mesquita and Smith's The Dictator's Handbook - Machiavelli's The Prince - Sun Tzu's the Art of War - Saul Alinski's Rules for Radicals - David Nickle's Eutopia - Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel (as per a previous CGPGrey video) - Erica Chenoweth's Why civil resistance works
    1. Just as the professionalization of philosophy--and the endless need for doctoral students to find new topics--has brought us a large volume of scholarship on obscure figures of dubious philosophical merit associated with, e.g., 19th-century German Idealism and Neo-Kantianism, so too it is hard to imagine that there won't be for a long time scholarship on the central figures of 20th-century analytical philosophy, like Russell, Carnap, Quine, and Kripke.
    2. Near the end of the twentieth century, very few philosophers of the nineteenth are much read: Peirce and Frege, Mill, Bentham, and Sidgwick, Hegel, Nietzsche, and perhaps Schopenhauer.
    3. around mid-20th-century, the Harvard Philosophy Department, then clearly the dominant department in the U.S., included on its faculty (not all at the same time) a young W.V.O. Quine, a much older C.I. Lewis, as well as Donald Williams, Ralph Barton Perry, John Wild, William Ernest Hocking, Raphael Demos. Just a half-century later, almost all these (at the time) eminent and widely respected figures are largely forgotten.
  22. Jul 2016
  23. Jun 2016
    1. As a context, we must understand that there are four major types of these "technologies," each a matrixof practical reason: (I) technologies of production, which permit us to produce, transform, or manipulatethings; (2) technologies of sign systems, which permit us to use signs, meanings, symbols, orsignification; (3) technologies of power, which determine the conduct of individuals and submit them tocertain ends or domination, an objectivizing of the subject; (4) technologies of the self, which permitindividuals to effect by their own means or with the help of others a certain number of operations on theirown bodies and souls, thoughts, conduct, and way of being, so as to transform I themselves in order toattain a certain state of happiness, purity, wisdom, perfection, or immortality.

      It's great to ask what are the trends? How are we working on ourselves? Is their a role capitalism plays in what is currently being "valued"? Where's the profit?

  24. May 2016
    1. We philosophers are mistake specialists. … While other disciplines specialize in getting the right answers to their defining questions, we philosophers specialize in all the ways there are of getting things so mixed up, so deeply wrong, that nobody is even sure what the right questions are, let alone the answers. Asking the wrong questions risks setting any inquiry off on the wrong foot. Whenever that happens, this is a job for philosophers! Philosophy — in every field of inquiry — is what you have to do until you figure out what questions you should have been asking in the first place.
    2. The history of philosophy is in large measure the history of very smart people making very tempting mistakes, and if you don’t know the history, you are doomed to making the same darn mistakes all over again. … There is no such thing as philosophy-free science, just science that has been conducted without any consideration of its underlying philosophical assumptions.
  25. Apr 2016
    1. Jon Udell on productive social discourse.

      changeable minds<br> What’s something you believed deeply, for a long time, and then changed your mind about?

      David Gray's Liminal Thinking points out that we all have beliefs that are built on hidden foundations. We need to carefully examine our own beliefs and their origins. And we need to avoid judgment as we consider the beliefs of others and their origins.

      Wael Ghonim asks us to design social media that encourages civility, thoughtfulness, and open minds rather than self-promotion, click-bait, and echo chambers.

    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."

  26. Feb 2016
    1. If negation is the inner life-force of the dialectic, then triadic structure is its organic, fractal form.
  27. Jan 2016
    1. When you write something, you never know who it is going to affect, or how it could help someone who’s struggling and feeling alone, or how in a low moment in their life, desperately searching on Google for answers, they will come upon your words when they need them most. And despite what our culture will have us believe—that metrics and stats matter above all else, that the number of clicks tells the whole story—somehow, in some calculation, impacting one human being has got to be worth more than all the unique page views and Shares and Likes in the world.
    1. It is the third bucket that contains the most ambitious applications: “smart contracts” that execute themselves automatically under the right circumstances. Bitcoin can be “programmed” so that it only becomes available under certain conditions.

      In other words, it can facilitate a deferred payment system that works when the payer provides payment in escrow, like Kickstarter and other crowdfunding systems. It could manage deposits on purchase-and-sale agreements and handle escrows on legal judgments, without a third party holding title to the money. The core financial system itself could hold the money.

      Could it be made into a complete deferred payment system for managing loans, mortgages, and coupon bonds? I don’t know how, since the source of those payments is outside the bitcoin system and generally doesn’t exist at the time of the loan or bond purchase. But imagine if a financial system was entirely built around a programmable trust system, then financial instruments themselves become a part of the logic of a company’s assets and liabilities. When a corporate bond coupon comes due the company treasurer doesn't create a transaction, instead the coupon payment is automatically transferred to the holder of the bond by the financial system itself. That is, the structure of the bond has been integrated directly into the financial system for automatic execution.

      If a future government were to implement blockchain technology and legislate its adoption throughout the financial community (perhaps as an option, in parallel with the pre-existing system), it could 'write the code' for legally certified instruments like corporate bonds, mortgages, car loans. It could further write legally permissible derivatives of those instruments (yes, derivatives have tremendous value in reducing risk, when used wisely).

      At that point, financial companies like Vanguard or Fidelity could issue mutual funds whose prospecti assert that the only kind of instruments held by the fund were those certified by the government to use the legislated systems. This could reasonably allow safe and less expensive adoption of powerful financial instruments with far less risk to the system.

      Sure there are plenty of flaws and dangers in this kind of a system. But could they be worked out to create a safer, less expensive, more transparent and more accessible financial system than we currently have? Would it help engender some of the trust that has most recently been lost?

    2. This has implications far beyond the cryptocurrency

      The concept of trust, in the sociological and economic sense, underlies exchange. In the 15th-17th centuries, the Dutch and English dominance of trade owed much to their early development of instruments of credit that allowed merchants to fund and later to insure commercial shipping without the exchange of hard currency, either silver or by physically transporting the currency of the realm. Credit worked because the English and Dutch economies trusted the issuers of credit.

      Francis Fukuyama, a philosopher and political economist at Stanford, wrote a book in 1995, Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity, on the impact of cultures of trust on entrepreneurial growth. Countries of ‘low trust’ have close family culture who limit trust to relations: France, China, S. Italy. Countries of ‘high trust’ have greater ‘spontaneous sociability’ that encourages the formation of intermediate institutions between the state and the family, that encourage greater entrepreneurial growth: Germany, England, the U.S. – I own the book and (shame on me!) haven’t yet read it.

      I thought of this article in those contexts – of the general need for trusted institutions and the power they have in mediating an economy, and the fascinating questions raised when a new facilitator of trust is introduced.

      How do we trust? Across human history, how have we extended the social role of trust to institutions? If a new modality of trust comes available, how does that change institutional structures and correspondingly the power of individuals, of institutions. How would it change the friction to growth and to decline?

      Prior to reading this article, I had dismissed Bitcoin as a temporary aberration, mostly for criminal enterprises and malcontents. I still feel that way. But the underlying technology and it’s implications – now that’s interesting.

    1. Life is short. Avoid bullshit. Especially the bullshit that's your own fault. Identify the things that really matter to you. If there's something worthwhile that you want to do, do it. Value your family and friends, because you won't have one another for very long. Savor your moments.

    1. “We depict hatred, but it is to depict that there are more important things. We depict a curse, to depict the joy of liberation. ” ― Hayao Miyazaki
    2. “I’ve become skeptical of the unwritten rule that just because a boy and girl appear in the same feature, a romance must ensue. Rather, I want to portray a slightly different relationship, one where the two mutually inspire each other to live - if I’m able to, then perhaps I’ll be closer to portraying a true expression of love.” ― Hayao Miyazaki
    3. “The concept of portraying evil and then destroying it - I know this is considered mainstream, but I think it is rotten. This idea that whenever something evil happens someone particular can be blamed and punished for it, in life and in politics is hopeless.” ― Hayao Miyazaki
  28. Nov 2015
    1. a Kantian stance (categorical imperative)

      The Categorical Imperative

      Image Description

      Kant believed that as rational human beings we have certain duties. These duties are categorical: in other words they are absolute and unconditional – duties such as “You ought always to tell the truth” or “You ought never to kill anyone”. They apply whatever consequences might follow from obeying them. Kant thought morality was a system of Categorical Imperatives: commands to act in certain ways. This is one of the most distinctive aspects of his ethics. He contrasted categorical duties with hypothetical ones. A hypothetical duty is one such as “if you want to be respected, you ought to tell the truth” or “If you want to avoid going to prison, then you ought not to murder anyone”. Hypothetical duties tell you what you ought or ought not to do if you want to achieve or avoid a certain goal. He thought there was only one basic Categorical Imperative: “Act only on maxims which you can at the same time will to be universal laws”. ‘Will’ here means ‘rationally want’. In other words, the message of the Categorical Imperative is only act on a maxim you would rationally want to apply to everybody. This principle is known as the principle of universalizability.

      Source: Warburton, N. (2004) Philosophy, The Basics: Fourth Edition, London : Routledge

    1. philosopher Thomas Nagelhas written about is that one of the most important achievements of the human mind isto make sure you always remember in the vast flow of human experience and time and whereyour life is going, that things can be insignificant. That everything in some sense has a smallplace in the broader flow of human experience and laughter really helps you get there, ithelps you put things into perspective sort of a almost delightful sense of the absurd.
    1. Awe ofcourse is very important to Immanuel Kant who wrote an essay that differentiated in1764 the experiences of the sublime or awe from beauty which we’ll talk about.
    2. Edmund Burke.And what he does, and really one of the most impressive books on awe ever written, is hesecularizes awe. He takes this emotion and he shows how it really is a part of everyday,perceptual experience. So he writes about how patterns of light and dark can triggerawe, how things that are powerful like oxen can trigger awe. He kind of maps out what sortof sensations create this experience that used to be the domain of religion.
    1. According to Mark T. Mitchell, professor of political science at Patrick Henry College in Virginia: Gratitude is born of humility, for it acknowledges the giftedness of the creation and the benevolence of the Creator. This recognition gives birth to acts marked by attention and responsibility. Ingratitude, on the other hand, is marked by hubris, which denies the gift, and this always leads to inattention, irresponsibility, and abuse.
  29. Oct 2015
    1. Adam Smith, the great economist, when he was thinking about what makes forcivil, kind, cooperative societies, said that gratitude is really the glue that ties peopletogether. If you move forward a couple of centuries we encounter Trivers, the greatevolutionary thinker who was making the case that altruism and sharing and generosity ofthe reciprocal kind that takes place between two individuals is really driven by feelingsof gratitude, of having a sense that other people are giving to you
    1. Freedman also points out how Siddhartha described Hesse's interior dialectic: "All of the contrasting poles of his life were sharply etched: the restless departures and the search for stillness at home; the diversity of experience and the harmony of a unifying spirit; the security of religious dogma and the anxiety of freedom."[8]

      This reminds me of a quote, which I can't currently attribute, that basically says you can have everything in life, but not everything at once. Somewhat obvious, but I think if a person isn't mindful of this idea and is afraid to get out of his comfortable zone, or is held to a set of rigid beliefs, a diverse range of experiences are highly unlikely.

    1. Cassandra tendenc

      Cassandra tendency: occurs when valid warnings or concerns are dismissed or disbelieved.

      The term originates in Greek mythology. Cassandra was a daughter of Priam, the King of Troy. Struck by her beauty, Apollo provided her with the gift of prophecy, but when Cassandra refused Apollo's romantic advances, he placed a curse ensuring that nobody would believe her warnings. Cassandra was left with the knowledge of future events, but could neither alter these events nor convince others of the validity of her predictions.

    1. As the forgiveness training progressed, Delores began to look at her suffering and ask herself what “unenforceable rule” she was trying to enforce. I reminded her that she would not be so upset unless she was trying to change something that was impossible for her to change.

      From Epictetus.

  30. Sep 2015
    1. Even compassion, the concern we feel for another being’s welfare, has been treated with downright derision. Kant saw it as a weak and misguided sentiment: “Such benevolence is called soft-heartedness and should not occur at all among human beings,” he said of compassion. Many question whether true compassion exists at all—or whether it is inherently motivated by self-interest.
    1. Much research in social production has focused primarily on theoretical development, or, when it has focused on empirical details, deals with them at an abstract level.

      This research seems to have a tinge of philosophical influence to it..

  31. Aug 2015
    1. As I did 20 years ago, I still fervently believe that the only way to make software secure, reliable, and fast is to make it small. Fight Features.

      Fight Features.

  32. Jun 2015
    1. What is within the circle of appropriate investigation for philosophical enquiry? Demonstration by the abstract sciences should be limited to quantity and number. Reasoning beyond this boundary is sophistry. All other enquiries regard matters of fact and existence and are incapable of demonstration. It is just as conceivable that something does not exist as that it does. Both ideas are clear and distinct.

      Isolation of qty and #. It is sophistry beyond this.

    1. Schrödinger thought that the Greeks had a kind of hold over us—they saw that the only way to make progress in thinking about the world was to talk about it without the “knowing subject” in it. QBism goes against that strain by saying that quantum mechanics is not about how the world is without us; instead it’s precisely about us in the world. The subject matter of the theory is not the world or us but us-within-the-world, the interface between the two.
  33. Apr 2015
    1. Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.
  34. Jun 2014
    1. Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.

      "Technology leadership is....defined by...the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world's most talented engineers."

      The key components of this applied "open source philosophy" seem to be about increasing input, visibility, and collective motivation by taking fear out of the interaction equation.

    1. This later formulation points to the beginning of an important transformation of the public sphere as it moved from being a space of public authority to one in which private citizens came together to form publics capable of holding public authorities accountable.

      This is a key point, so I want to make sure I understand it correctly. Is the claim that a 'public world of readers' is already a transition away from an earlier conception of the public sphere as simply the site of dissemination for authoritarian mandates?

      How does the private/public distinction function when it comes to private citizens forming publics that hold public authorities accountable?

      Maybe the phrase 'private citizen' is throwing me off here.

    1. A fundamental task for public philosophy is to attend to the work the public is doing in developing its own self-conception.

      This strikes me as a very productive way of identifying an important aspect of public philosophy. On the one hand, it allows us to distinguish between philosophers who think more people should be listening to them and philosophers who think they should be listening to more people. On the other hand, it suggests and leaves open a number of questions that can be addressed in and through the work public philosophers are doing in developing their own self-conceptions.

  35. Feb 2014
    1. What is missing is a space between the $( and the following (, to avoid the arithmetic expression syntax. The section on command substitution in the shell command language specification actually warns for that:

      This is a very good example of why shell scripting does not scale from simple scripts to large projects. This is not the only place where changes in whitespace can lead to scripts that are very difficult to debug. A well-meaning and experienced programmer from another language, but new to bash scripting, might decide to clean up formatting to make it more consistent-- a laudable goal, but one which can lead to unintentional semantic changes to the program.

      Flat, short bash scripts are extremely useful tools that I still employ regularly, but once they begin creeping in size and complexity it's time to switch to another language to handle that-- I think that is what (rightly) has driven things likes Python, Puppet, Ansible, Chef, etc.

      Despite the syntactic horrors lurking in shell scripts there is still a beautiful simplicity that drives their use which is a testament to the core unix philosophy.

  36. Nov 2013
    1. And just as every porter wants to have an admirer, so even the proudest of men, the philosopher, supposes that he sees on all sides the eyes of the universe telescopically focused upon his action and thought.

      Wow! He has a thing against the philosopher.

    1. If moral philosophy were a part of rhetoric, it would have to be expounded in some part f rhetoric.

      good point

  37. Oct 2013
    1. this part of learning, which, after being neglected by orators, has been taken up by the philosophers, was a portion of our business,

      Distinction between philosophers and orators (us and them)

  38. Sep 2013
    1. while the teachers of philosophy impart all the forms of discourse in which the mind expresses itself. Then, when they have made them familiar and thoroughly conversant with these lessons, they set them at exercises, habituate them to work, and require them to combine in practice the particular things which they have learned, in order that they may grasp them more firmly and bring their theories into closer touch with the occasions for applying them

      How teachers of philosophy train the minds of their students

    2. physical training for the body, of which gymnastics is a part, and, for the mind, philosophy, which I am going to explain. These are twin arts—parallel and complementary—by which their masters prepare the mind to become more intelligent and the body to become more serviceable, not separating sharply the two kinds of education, but using similar methods of instruction, exercise, and other forms of discipline.

      Nice

    3. They characterize men who ignore our practical needs and delight in the mental juggling of the ancient sophists as “students of philosophy,” but refuse this name to whose who pursue and practise those studies which will enable us to govern wisely both our own households and the commonwealth—which should be the objects of our toil, of our study, and of our every act.

      Pointing out the idea of philosophy should be reconsidered.

    4. physical training for the body, of which gymnastics is a part, and, for the mind, philosophy, which I am going to explain. These are twin arts—parallel and complementar

      Twin arts for two parts

    1. when I see a youth thus engaged,—the study appears to me to be in character, and becoming a man of liberal education, and him who neglects philosophy I regard as an inferior man, who will never aspire to anything great or noble. But if I see him continuing the study in later life, and not leaving off, I should like to beat him, Socrates; for, as I was saying, such a one, even though he have good natural parts, becomes effeminate.

      Studying philosophy should be done in adolescence, and should not be carried on by adults.

    2. the study of philosophy too far

      Philosophy has a time and place and must be balanced with application. Compared to femininity, seen as soft, not a hard science or practical knowledge

    1. They also started to standardize and very deliberately reduce the supported infrastructure and configurations. One decision was to switch everything to PHP and MySQL. This was a philosophical decision, not a technology one: they wanted both Dev and Ops to be able to understand the stack, so that everyone can contribute if they wanted to, as well as enabling everyone to be able to read, rewrite and fix someone else’s code.

      NOTE: "This was a philosophical decision, not a technology one."