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General Philosophical discussion


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I came to the field because I was studying physics and eventually reached a conceptual plateau where I realized the questions I was trying to answer with Physics were out of the realm of its capacities. Philosophy of science is what showed me that.

 

And that was it. Philosophy is therapy for me. It is one of the few realms where my natural inclination to take apart systems and analyze them in their composites works on all levels. I am allowed the freedom to associate as I please, and to apply as I please.

 

I do not do philosophy to be right or to expound truths of the universe, I do philosophy so that whenever I try to make something I know how best to do it.

 

For sure, that's a pretty good justification in my book. I feel pretty much the same way about physics, but as I've said before I just don't really buy into philosophy as a university major.

 

What you said about analyzing your own learning process hits on something that I've been thinking about for a long time. As a person of both creative and logical, analytical bent, and partially due to use of psychedelics at a young age, I find it basically impossible to accept almost any value judgment people around me make. Let me try to explain what I mean by this.

 

This doesnt' mean I'm amoral; killing people, to me, is still wrong. My moral judgments and my concept of value are essentially based on intuition and aesthetics. By this I mean I tend to discard utilitarian considerations in favor or artistic ones. For example, I despise fraternities because in joining one you are subordinating yourself to an arbitrary, essentially ignorant social structure and discarding your individual capability to define yourself. Put simply, you are sacrificing any high personal aesthetic you might have. I've never properly articulated my sense of aesthetics, but I think it's more fundamental than any belief that can be easily articulated or argued. When I say "I don't like that dude" or "(insert campus interest group here) is full of shit" I'm constantly hit with logical appeals, or at least demands to logically defend my position. This kind of irks me, but when I take time to do this, my logic tends to snake its way back to the fundamental fact of logic: nothing, especially not anyone's moral judgments, social standards, or so well-articulated beliefs, is fundamentally logical. That is, every judgment is arbitrary. Therefore, an aesthetic judgment justifies itself (I need to qualify this a little bit, I'll do that later).

 

I think what this means is that I deconstruct social structures and moral systems to the extent that I treat them in the same terms as I treat physics; from a removed, abstract vantage point. Ultimately, this forces me to face the relativity and sheer arbitrariness of human social, moral, even psychological constructs. If I think about this too much, it makes functioning kind of difficult; I think I perhaps have a taste of where a person with schizophrenia is coming from, or maybe autism.

 

 

I've failed to get my point across very well but based on what you've said I'm sure you can relate.

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Real talk right there.

 

Not to sound ridiculous, but after listening to the youtube video of the autistic chick that can type mad quick: I realized many things I have done through out my life are much like what she was saying about having conversations with objects.

 

Not to say in anyway that I am autistic or some sort of savant, but rather I just thought it was interesting that a large portion of my life I have always run my hand over shit. I type by sound and try to create cadences with the sounds the typing makes. I feel like you can actually express the sentiment of the statement by the way you type it. Anywho, I started thinking about the notion of just being so aware of your interaction that it supersedes a verbal expression of the relationship.

 

I'll come respond more when i have some sleep.

 

 

I are tired.

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"Arbitrary comes from the Latin arbitrarius, the source of arbiter; someone who is tasked to judge some matter. An arbitrary legal judgment is a decision made at the discretion of the judge, not the law."

Every judgment by definition is arbitrary. Joining a frat is just a arbitrary as not joining one. We are all subjugated by a social structure in some form or another anyways."Put simply, you are sacrificing any high personal aesthetic you might have" Only within that system, and only to a limited extent. "I find it basically impossible to accept almost any value judgment people around me make." Anybody who thinks for them self does this.

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Massachusetts. Amherst. A horrid place for any Texan.

 

 

The women are ugly.

The weather has been cold and rainy.

And it hasn't gotten above 60 this year.

 

 

 

 

 

ugh.

 

 

I lost my keys last night yall...

 

 

 

 

I am ultra hungover.

 

Here is a rundown of what I had:

 

4 Nips of Jameson

Mayflower IPA

Smuttynose Robusto Porter

SouthHampton Imperial Stout.

Berkshire Brewing Company: Shabadoo Black and Tan

Berkshire Brewing Company: Coffehouse Porter

 

 

 

 

 

ugh.

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"Arbitrary comes from the Latin arbitrarius, the source of arbiter; someone who is tasked to judge some matter. An arbitrary legal judgment is a decision made at the discretion of the judge, not the law."

Every judgment by definition is arbitrary. Joining a frat is just a arbitrary as not joining one. We are all subjugated by a social structure in some form or another anyways."Put simply, you are sacrificing any high personal aesthetic you might have" Only within that system, and only to a limited extent. "I find it basically impossible to accept almost any value judgment people around me make." Anybody who thinks for them self does this.

 

Let me use this definition to flesh out what I'm saying here. You have two entities here: the "judge" and the "law." As you and I both said, every judgment is by definition arbitrary. Of course. But, there are people, such as those who make the decision to join a frat, who make decisions that they do not view as arbitrary. These appeal to this fuzzy concept of "law." What do I mean here? There are different ways of defining this thing called "law." There are basic laws of human behavior, matters of survival such as eating, drinking, and not letting yourself get hit by a bus. These are in a sense arbitrary, but inescapable. Then there are more complicated, also arbitrary, but often escapable laws of social construction. There are many people who define their worlds with these constructions as their anchor. That is, as their "law" in a concrete sense. If you've read The Sound and the Fury the character Jason Compson illustrates this pretty well. Quentin Compson, then, would be like me, or like others in this thread (to whatever degree). I realize it's a work of fiction but I found the psychology in that book to be pretty profound. Anyway, these Jason Compsons, these are the people (maybe they are, strictly speaking, archetypal) who have lost (or never had) this "high personal aesthetic" I'm talking about. To me joining a frat is like joining the military; it's an admission of an inability to think for oneself; it states that this arbitrary thing holds value to you as if it were law. The high personal aesthetic might be equated with the creative process very broadly applied; decisions and value judgments are essentially made with arbitrariness AS law. (the definition I want is escaping me here...more about the creative process later, I need to ponder this one...crooked maybe you have something to say?)

 

If the self is the judge, and the law is logic, there are no individual moral laws. I don't think anything I'm saying is super profound. A lot of people end up sounding all high and mighty in this thread; I don't want to sound that way. But I think you're just taking the discussion I'm trying to start and oversimplifying it. You're right, what I'm talking about is essentially thinking for oneself. But this is a question of degree. If you're in this thread you're somebody who thinks in this way. The issue I'm raising is one that I'd venture to say everyone who philosophizes like this extensively has encountered: what lies at the far far end of "thinking for yourself?" What really happens when you discard these constructions that are necessary for you to function as a human being and as a part of society? Is there an important link between the thought process of schizophrenics or autistics and creativity or intelligence?

 

I have been exposed to some literature regarding the similarities between psychedelic states, schizophrenia, and creativity, and then of course high intelligence and autism. I think there's something to be said about a relationship between all of these things. I realize that this is a VERY broad statement, and I'm not really qualified to speak much on it. I tend to turn philosophy into these big science questions, I guess because ultimately philosophy to me is like a hall of mirrors; science provides engagement with something tangible.

 

edit: crooked, I also braved left some cold climate for college (I'm from Cali). I'm glad it's almost over, but I think it makes me appreciate my home a lot more...

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Well, I think there is one thing I disagree with you about, right off.

 

Namely, that adherence to a social norm is in itself an admission of being incapable of thinking for one's self. I have a couple friends and family who joined different military branches for different reasons, and out of the three, one is the most eccentric certifiable genius I have ever met, my cousin is a smart girl who played her cards right and is now in a great position in life, and my other friend is someone who let certain misconceptions about war and grandeur delude his perception of his own personal politics. All three, however, are free thinkers and have developed very personally and validly I'd say their own conception of life. I think that is where you and I disagree.

 

I think it is not in overarching choices of whom you chose to align yourself with that are most indicative of who you are and your propensity for abstract or independent thought, but how your most personal interactions occur. I have met many religious people I appreciate for the conceptual moderation they practice, but I would never assume that purely because they attach to christianity or any other random religion that they lacked the capacity for independent thought. Rather it is on particular issues when I fail to acknowledge some even relative similarity in how we conduct ourselves that I find a striking distaste for someone's personal beliefs.

 

But that is the relativism we must acknowledge of ourselves. You and I join a conceptual frat just as much as anyone else does. We just believe that the air of science and lucidity of language backs our beliefs more so than antiquated allegories and metaphorical language of religion does for our compliments.

 

Choice, and the necessary belief in the rationale leading to that choice is the commonality we all share, and that is what we should appreciate amongst the difference in our beliefs. To recognize there is a certain point when argumentation will get two people nowhere is to have a reciprocity of respect between them. When the unfortunately impossible questions of metaphysical correctness come up between any two disparate conceptions of such it is apparent that the agents who hold these beliefs are friends when they can put those necessary but irreconcilable differences aside to laugh about something else.

 

However, while I say all this ideally, I must recognize that of course, I too split the world into conceptual and ideological aggregations that I give or deny my personal allegiance to. But at least we can strive for the ideal and perhaps change the limitations of those allegiances to be slightly more broad then we had once previously thought.

 

 

egh. enough on conceptual ethics.

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I think the fine point is being missed here, and I haven't explained myself properly. What I'm trying to talk about is a complete LACK of conceptual alignment. This is the hall of mirrors I find at the end of philosophy: if your mind were a hot air balloon tethered to the ground by your conceptual allegiances (be they religious, social, intellectual, etc.), I'm talking about cutting these tethers altogether. This is where I see myself tottering on the edge of something unknown that I don't fully understand. At this point I don't think science and language remain alignments; you aren't still climbing the stairs after you jump off the roof of the building.

 

I didn't make it clear that when I'm talking about joining the military or joining a frat, I'm NOT saying individuals who do these things lack the ability to think for themselves. Those people are archetypal. Real people are, by and large, the same, and we all think for ourselves to greater or lesser degrees and align ourselves with our own social frameworks to greater or lesser degrees. I'm the same way. But I'm talking about abstractions which is why I found The Sound and the Fury to be an apt analogy. I'm talking about the difference between Quentin and Jason Compson; this is the best analogy I can think of, although it wouldn't be fair to expect any/everyone in here to have read the book. Hopefully someone has.

 

Anyway I think what I want to say is that when I take the conceptual ethics train to the end of the line, I find that there are an infinite number of exits at the station, and I don't know what to do. I poke my head out of a few of them, walk through a few others and find myself in an M.C. Escher world where every door leads back to the station. I'm not always sure I HAVE any beliefs, or any conceptual allegiances. The closest thing I have is a case-by-case sense of aesthetics, which, in the end, is (ironically) probably colored by social or biological influences I don't fully understand.

 

Again I don't think I got this across right.

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Found an Einstein quote, but didn't know where else to post this. But I used to ponder about this very same idea regarding mathematics and its absolute and flawless methods when measuring anything in the universe, despite being contrived from human thought.

 

" How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality? Is human reason, then, without experience, merely by taking thought, able to fathom the properties of real things. " - Albert Einstein

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  • 1 year later...

hippo_bump.jpg

 

I've done a bit of research on my own (read as wikipedia) and I am looking to understand phenomenology and speculative realism better. I know a few of you are philosophy majors so I was hoping you could help. A bit of explaination and a point in the right direction direction is all i think i should need.

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I'll give you some thoughts later tonight.

 

Started doin some reading just to make sure I had some terms and people right, but got distracted.

 

I think I can speak more to the speculative realism, however a lot of the jargon in this school is mostly from continental philosophy. So the histories of the words used are very particular, but on the surface seem obtuse and arbitrarily used. Even to me at times I have to shake my head at it.

 

I can probably discuss it a little better in relation to some of the more dry and logical languages of analytic philosophy, but I will try and find some good bridges between the two.

 

Anywho, the major players that will probably get discussed are Husserl (phenomenology), Heidegger (phenomenology as well), Wittgenstein, and some others for speculative realism.

 

Anyone in particular you have been reading MAR?

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Nothing relevant to the subject at hand; some stoics, situationist international and a little Derrida.

 

I'm interested because it's what may have influenced the Minimalists. I've been reading and writing a lot about them.

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Not exactly MAR. If you are talking about Modernist architecture, such as El Corbusier, Miers van de Rohe, etc. the form is minimalist, but the content is not. They believed that they could literally better society through their forms. Minimalist artists of the 1960's argued, as Frank Stella did, that their work is contentless, ie. form without meaning.

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FYI, we're not arguing, I had to read your statement 3 times before I realized what you took issue with.

 

We're talking M/m differences (big=art movement little=visually). It might be minimal, sparingly, designed but it's not Minimal. Pawson might be an exception in Architecture.

 

To expand however, the Minimalist removed, "meaning", which should probably be referred to as "message". The Minimalist sought to make works of art that made one aware of their presence. Robert Morris, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin all talk about it.

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