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Thread: Theology and Philosophy: Twin Handmaidens

  1. #1 Theology and Philosophy: Twin Handmaidens 
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    Theology and Philosophy: Twin Handmaidens

    The overt effort of theology is to accentuate the misconceived mind/body dichotomy while the covert effort of philosophy is to accentuate this same mind/body dichotomy.

    Theology does this legitimately because it believes that humans are both body and soul. The body is what we must put-up-with for our short stay on earth while the soul will last through eternity in an environment determined by our brief stay on earth.

    I claim that philosophy does this illegitimately because it vainly wishes to be respected in the manner like mathematics or physics. Philosophy wants to use word symbols to describe truth in much the same way as math uses their particular symbols of equality, greater than, minus, plus, differential, exponential, etc.

    Theology and philosophy are twin handmaidens of the human urge to separate itself as much as possible from its animal heritage and to move closer toward being god-like.

    It appears to me that analytic philosophy is being challenged by SGCS (Second Generation Cognitive Science) “Philosophy in the Flesh” 1999, by Lakoff and Johnson ; by meaning philosophy “The Meaning of the Body” 2007, by Johnson; by visual art “Art and Visual Perception” 1954, by Arnheim.

    How about them apples?


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    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    the covert effort of philosophy is to accentuate this same mind/body dichotomy.
    So you think, for example, that John Searle's secret agenda is to perpetuate the Cartesian myth?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    the covert effort of philosophy is to accentuate this same mind/body dichotomy.
    So you think, for example, that John Searle's secret agenda is to perpetuate the Cartesian myth?
    Yes
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    Why do you suppose Searle's covert agenda would be diametrically opposed to his overt positions, recounted in his books, papers and lectures?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Why do you suppose Searle's covert agenda would be diametrically opposed to his overt positions, recounted in his books, papers and lectures?
    He is perhaps a member of the CIA.
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    Perhaps Bertrand Russell and Karl Popper were in the CIA too? Or MI6?
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  8. #7 You're right to an extent 
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    I think you are right to an extent about some philosophers wanting to be "real scientists." Psychologists went through this phase when they took the behaviorist road. We see the same thing today with the computational theories of mind. (I like to joke that computationalists are just behaviorists with degrees in computer programming.) On the other hand, math and physics can't address questions of meaning, value, what we should do in various circumstances, how we should govern ourselves and each other, etc. The world of real life is far, far to messy for hard sciences to deal with.
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  9. #8 Re: You're right to an extent 
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsiyrrubnuB
    I think you are right to an extent about some philosophers wanting to be "real scientists." Psychologists went through this phase when they took the behaviorist road. We see the same thing today with the computational theories of mind. (I like to joke that computationalists are just behaviorists with degrees in computer programming.) On the other hand, math and physics can't address questions of meaning, value, what we should do in various circumstances, how we should govern ourselves and each other, etc. The world of real life is far, far to messy for hard sciences to deal with.
    I recently had occasion to hang out in the waiting area of St Joseph Hospital in Asheville for a few hours. I was free to walk many of the corridors and rest in many of the waiting areas along with everyone else. It was early morning but it was obvious that the hospital functioned fully 24/7.

    A person can walk the corridors of any big city hospital and observe the effectiveness of human rationality in action. One can also visit the UN building in NYC or read the morning papers and observe just how ineffective, frustrating and disappointing human rationality can be. Why does human reason perform so well in some matters and so poorly in others?

    We live in two very different worlds; a world of technical and technological order and clarity, and a world of personal and social disorder and confusion. We are increasingly able to solve problems in one domain and increasingly endangered by our inability to solve problems in the other.

    Normal science is successful primarily because it is a domain of knowledge controlled by paradigms. The paradigm defines the standards, principles and methods of the discipline. It is not apparent to the laity but science moves forward in small incremental steps. Science seldom seeks and almost never produces major novelties.

    Science solves puzzles. The logic of the paradigm insulates the professional group from problems that are unsolvable by that paradigm. One reason that science progresses so rapidly and with such assurance is because the logic of that paradigm allows the practitioners to work on problems that only their lack of ingenuity will keep them from solving.

    Science uses instrumental rationality to solve puzzles. Instrumental rationality is a systematic process for reflecting upon the best action to take to reach an established end. The obvious question becomes what mode of rationality is available for determining ends? Instrumental rationality appears to be of little use in determining such matters as good and right.

    There is a striking difference between the logic of technical problems and that of dialectical problems. The principles, methods and standards for dealing with technical problems and problems of real life are as different as night and day. Real life problems cannot be solved only using deductive and inductive reasoning.

    Dialectical reasoning methods require the ability to slip quickly between contradictory lines of reasoning. One needs skill to develop a synthesis of one point of view with another. Where technical matters are generally confined to only one well understood frame of reference real life problems become multi-dimensional totalities.

    When we think dialectically we are guided by principles not by procedures. Real life problems span multiple categories and academic disciplines. We need point-counter-point argumentation; we need emancipatory reasoning to resolve dialectical problems. We need critical thinking skills and attitudes to resolve real life problems.
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