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Philosophy Discussion of epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, logic, and aesthetics

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Old 03-30-2008, 08:41 PM   #17506  /  #1
Worldly
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Default Derek Parfit is one of the best philosophers

to not derail another thread I started a new one.

http://www.biographybase.com/biograp...fit_Derek.html

Quote:
Derek Parfit is a philosopher who specializes in problems of personal identity, rationality and ethics, and the relations between them. His 1984 book, Reasons and Persons (described by Alan Ryan of The Sunday Times as "something close to a work of genius") has been very influential in the field.
We had a thread in IIDB that was going on for weeks, at least 200 posts or some 50 pages or so. I don't remember and don't want to log in to look it up, not important exactly how many.

What is important for me is that I ended up in wrong group according to the "materialists" not sure of it that is the right phil term for it but physicalist might be more formally correct.

This Derek Parfit is a very clever guy at rhetoric and I tried to tell the others to not get lured into such clever set ups but they seemed to be very self assured and didn't see any merit in my warnings that it was a trap.

As I remember Derek Parfit do tell it in a book he wrote and the text I link to is supposed to see it that way too. That is at least how I see that text.

What I also wanted to point out was the open agenda of Derek Parfit.

He had had personal experiences that he interpreted to support the view that
Buddhism was right about their views on impermanence and non-self or what terms to use.

So he set up a thought experiment to teach us physicalists a lesson he learnt from doing meditation.

As I remember none even cared about Derek Parfit, all of the participants was totally caught up in the thought experiment as if that one was possible to have logically or using reason or by doing philosophy or so.

It was kind of fun to be on the wrong side of the fence against my own will. I got insight in how it feels like to talk to other physicalists and see how they could appear from the other side. Horror but entertaining.

And the very sad thing was that they didn't even trusted me to be a physicalist. Ok maybe me have no clue on what it refers to but I have identified with that word for some 50 years so if I have no clue on it I've fooled myself for 50 years.

My point? How many such pages is needed to give any impact on the blind faith in philosophy?

When I read that text by Derek Parfit I get the impression that it is more about interpretation and support for that interpretation and to me that is close to what religion do and have nothing to do with evidence or reality.

It feels that way for him. His body gives him that interpretation. Where is the evidence for the claims he makes?
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:57 PM   #17524  /  #2
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Due to a copyright thing the text I link to has not the text that wikipedia had.

And the wikipedia are not allowed to due to tehe copyright infringement so I fail to cite what I took up in IIDB.

The old wikipedia cite from an interview or something. Parfit admit it is a special made thought experiment to teach physicalists a lesson. They are supposed to fail to get it and that was what happened in IIDB as I get it. Almost none else physicalist than me ended up dead due to this thought experiment. A kind of sick humor Parfit had.

The sad thing was that the physicalists was proud of ending up dead. They loved to live up to Parfit's prediction on how they was fooled by his set up.
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:58 PM   #17528  /  #3
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So some internet folks spend a long time discussing a purportedly specious thought experiment presented by someone who's purportedly a philosopher, and you conclude from this that philosophy is all just blind faith? Why?
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:01 PM   #17530  /  #4
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Here is a version they have not under review at wiki.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasons_and_Persons

There it is mentioned what I try to take up here. I try to find the best quotation.

Quote:
Parfit's argument for this position relies on our intuitions regarding thought experiments such as teleportation, the fission and fusion of persons, gradual replacement of the matter in one's brain, gradual alteration of one's psychology, and so on.

Parfit's conclusion is similar to David Hume's view, and also to the view of the self in Buddhism, though it does not restrict itself to a mere reformulation of them. For besides being reductive, Parfit's view is also deflationary: in the end, "what matters" is not personal identity, but rather mental continuity and connectedness.
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:13 PM   #17545  /  #5
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His book is presented this way
Quote:
This book challenges, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality, morality, and personal identity. The author claims that we have a false view of our own nature; that it is often rational to act against our own best interests; that most of us have moral views that are directly self-defeating; and that, when we consider future generations the conclusions will often be disturbing. He concludes that non-religious moral philosophy is a young subject, with a promising but unpredictable future.
Quote:
Reasons and Persons
Here is a typical google suggestion for his book.

Quote:
Buddhism and Modern Science
Derek Parfit of Oxford University (probably the world's most important living philosopher) accepts the Buddhist view of life and selflessness. ...
http://www.floridabuddhistvihara.org...p?articleid=52

Last edited by Worldly; 03-30-2008 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:29 PM   #17558  /  #6
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Maybe they use Derek Parfit against his will. But here is how his philosophical views are used by some Buddhists.

Quote:
Derek Parfit of Oxford University who is considered as the world's most important living philosopher, has begun to accept the Buddhist view of life and selflessness.

He believes that his acceptance of selflessness which was inspired by split brain research, has liberated him from the prison of self.

He says "when I believed that my existence was such a further fact, I seemed imprisoned in myself. My life seemed like a glass tunnel, through which I was moving faster every year, and at the end of which there was darkness.

When I changed my view, the walls of my glass tunnel disappeared. I now live in the open air."

Our mission is to make all Europeans realize for themselves what Einstein has said of Buddhism, take them out of the old science's three dimensional frog's well which still keeps them shrouded in a cloud of mysticism,

take them into the open air that Parfit has experienced and help them to live more meaningful lives based on truth and universal reality.
http://www.sundaytimes.lk/000702/plus9.html
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:36 PM   #17566  /  #7
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I reiterate: the conclusions you've drawn about philosophy as a whole simply do not follow from the information you've presented.

What are you trying to get at regarding this Parfit guy?
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:58 PM   #17584  /  #8
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I try to explain it here
http://talkrational.org/showthread.php?t=852
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Old 03-31-2008, 01:47 AM   #17793  /  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordy View Post
to not derail another thread I started a new one.

http://www.biographybase.com/biograp...fit_Derek.html

Quote:
Derek Parfit is a philosopher who specializes in problems of personal identity, rationality and ethics, and the relations between them. His 1984 book, Reasons and Persons (described by Alan Ryan of The Sunday Times as "something close to a work of genius") has been very influential in the field.
We had a thread in IIDB that was going on for weeks, at least 200 posts or some 50 pages or so. I don't remember and don't want to log in to look it up, not important exactly how many.

What is important for me is that I ended up in wrong group according to the "materialists" not sure of it that is the right phil term for it but physicalist might be more formally correct.

This Derek Parfit is a very clever guy at rhetoric and I tried to tell the others to not get lured into such clever set ups but they seemed to be very self assured and didn't see any merit in my warnings that it was a trap.

As I remember Derek Parfit do tell it in a book he wrote and the text I link to is supposed to see it that way too. That is at least how I see that text.

What I also wanted to point out was the open agenda of Derek Parfit.

He had had personal experiences that he interpreted to support the view that
Buddhism was right about their views on impermanence and non-self or what terms to use.

So he set up a thought experiment to teach us physicalists a lesson he learnt from doing meditation.

As I remember none even cared about Derek Parfit, all of the participants was totally caught up in the thought experiment as if that one was possible to have logically or using reason or by doing philosophy or so.

It was kind of fun to be on the wrong side of the fence against my own will. I got insight in how it feels like to talk to other physicalists and see how they could appear from the other side. Horror but entertaining.

And the very sad thing was that they didn't even trusted me to be a physicalist. Ok maybe me have no clue on what it refers to but I have identified with that word for some 50 years so if I have no clue on it I've fooled myself for 50 years.

My point? How many such pages is needed to give any impact on the blind faith in philosophy?

When I read that text by Derek Parfit I get the impression that it is more about interpretation and support for that interpretation and to me that is close to what religion do and have nothing to do with evidence or reality.

It feels that way for him. His body gives him that interpretation. Where is the evidence for the claims he makes?
Anyway, you must admit he has a very nice name.
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Old 03-31-2008, 02:21 AM   #17817  /  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordy View Post
I try to explain it here
http://talkrational.org/showthread.php?t=852
And this was my response:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quizalufagus View Post
So some internet folks spend a long time discussing a purportedly specious thought experiment presented by someone who's purportedly a philosopher, and you conclude from this that philosophy is all just blind faith? Why?
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:55 AM   #17985  /  #11
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He is or was the leading in his field. I didn't discern that the philosophy gang was against him. So that is to what philosophy is. He defines the main stream cutting edge and was at that time the most respected of them. That was what they said anyway. so why shouldn't I trust them? They know their own. I don't.

who do you see as the leading phil then?
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Old 03-31-2008, 02:21 PM   #18128  /  #12
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I think it's a gross exaggeration to suggest Parfit was ever a leader in the field; by all accounts he was only modestly influential. John Searle is probably the most influential living philosophers.

Anyway, your claim--that philosophy is blind faith--doesn't follow from the fact that any leader in the field is wrong. You seem to be evading that point. Why?
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:20 PM   #18177  /  #13
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Quote:
John Searle is probably the most influential living philosophers.
what is his view on what Parfit tokk up then? Parfit was presented to me as the most of all living by that writer. Maybe they loved him dearly then and was biased in take on him?

Lol, evading? On my level of understanding one don't have to to evade things, one grasp so vaguely that one barely know what the texts says. I'm not into phil as I said.

That doesn't mean me defer from having views on things they do. Evade should here be translated to knows what is above my capacity to grasp and then I admit that this is so.

Quote:
philosophy is blind faith
I described how I interpret their behavior. I didn't intend to give an accurate description on their intent or so. I trust that most people do their best at being honest. They feel honest but when they interpret things their interpretation get biased by their earlier knowledge and experience and if trained in phil they tend to give phil laden? answers to things that science has a better chance at finding models for. Like determinism and free will.

Last edited by Worldly; 03-31-2008 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:07 AM   #18517  /  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordy View Post
what is his view on what Parfit tokk up then? Parfit was presented to me as the most of all living by that writer. Maybe they loved him dearly then and was biased in take on him?
I suspect you're right about that. Whoever told you that Parfit is the most important living philosopher was simply exaggerating his influence. I've never even heard of Parfit before this.

Searle would disagree with Parfit as far as I can tell. While I'm not sure I'd call him a physicalist, Searle claims that the mind is essentially an extension of material objects (i.e., the brain). He's also quite famous for his rejection of computationalism--he believes that the brain isn't a digital computer and that the mind isn't analogous to software.

Quote:
Lol, evading? On my level of understanding one don't have to to evade things, one grasp so vaguely that one barely know what the texts says. I'm not into phil as I said.

That doesn't mean me defer from having views on things they do. Evade should here be translated to knows what is above my capacity to grasp and then I admit that this is so.

Quote:
philosophy is blind faith
I described how I interpret their behavior. I didn't intend to give an accurate description on their intent or so. I trust that most people do their best at being honest. They feel honest but when they interpret things their interpretation get biased by their earlier knowledge and experience and if trained in phil they tend to give phil laden? answers to things that science has a better chance at finding models for. Like determinism and free will.
You have a bias of your own in this instance: you apparently believe that philosophers take philosophical approaches to issues without regard to what science has to say about the matter. This simply isn't how philosophy is done in the 21st century. In fact, most philosophers value science highly and believe that scientific discoveries have a direct bearing on many philosophical problems. Take a look around this forum--you'll see nearly as much science as philosophy in many of the discussions.

ETA: If you don't know much about philosophy, why would you try to make an interpretation like "philosophy is based on blind faith" at all? I'm not trying to be mean with these questions; I'm really curious. Why not simply reserve judgement until you learn more about philosophy?

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Old 04-01-2008, 12:28 AM   #18527  /  #15
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I have tried to get what philosophy says since at least 1964 but most intensely between 1972 to 2002 or so. I have not read every philosopher cause all of them are above my level of getting their texts but I have read all I layed my eyes on. I bought maybe a book a week during several years.

Sure you could say me didn't get what they talked about but as I remember they didn't accomplish anything during that time as far as I remember.

Neuroscience though accomplished things during those times.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:49 PM   #19433  /  #16
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You keep claiming that there hasn't been progress in philosophy, but I have no idea what you mean by that. What sort of progress would you like to see in philosophy? What counts as an accomplishment in this context?
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