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Thread: What your teacher can’t tell you, I will!

  1. #1 What your teacher can’t tell you, I will! 
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    What your teacher can’t tell you, I will!

    Philosophy has always been an a priori domain of knowledge. In other words, philosophy is generally not considered to be a science because it shows little regard for empirical experience beyond the rationalist model.

    SGCS (Second Generation Cognitive Science) has challenged classical philosophy to reconsider its total reliance on the non empirical rationalist model. New brain scan technology has made it possible for cognitive science to develop new theories that place into question the adequacy of radically critical self-consciousness, i.e. present day philosophy that ignores such new empirical cognitive theories.

    One of the outstanding characteristics of philosophy is its touted authority over the judgment of the adequacy of postulates and axioms incorporated into various sciences. Just as the saying regarding medical practitioners “Doctor, cure thy self” so one might say that philosophy must make a radical critique of thy own assumptions, “philosophy critique thy own assumptions”.

    Cultural, social, and political possibilities beyond those sanctioned by a priori philosophy, such as objectivism, allow us to reach far beyond the current standards governed by such philosophies. Effective action is not determined alone by transcendental a priori truth but by pragmatic knowledge. What we need is something like a “cognitive map of the cultural models and other social constructs that animate thinking and decision making”.

    There is much that is important that can be facilitated by a comprehension of how our conceptual system is structured. Our conceptual system determines to a large degree what we think, perceive, and know.

    The benefits of cognitive theory to the Critical Thinking citizen are not merely technical and strategic. The benefits of cognitive theory are: first, a more penetrating critique is facilitated because it “cuts to the very root of conventional wisdom”; secondly, by posing this “ostensibly descriptive question of how law works is, necessarily, to inquire into the substance and ontology of Law. This inquiry will lead inexorably to the most profound issues of meaning and anatomy in human affairs.”

    Conventional views of reasoning are contained in the ‘rationalist model’. “The traditional view takes for granted that reason is linear, hierarchical, propositional, and definitional. I refer to his standard view as “the rationalist model” or, more simply, “rationalism” to emphasize that it is, after all, only one possible model for reason and, thus, it operates as a kind of “ism”.”


    Conventional views of reasoning express a very narrow and rationalistic conception that has proven to be inadequate to the demands of legal reasoning and generally all humanistic sciences. “Metaphor is a central modality of human thought without which we cannot even to begin to understand the complex regularities of the products of the human mind…a cognitive understanding of metaphor provides a more genuinely pragmatic alternative to the insistence on dichotomous thinking that so dominates and distorts contemporary legal thought.”

    Quotes from A Clearing in the Forest: Law, Life, and Mind by Steven L. Winter


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  3. #2 Re: What your teacher can’t tell you, I will! 
    Lyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    Philosophy has always been an a priori domain of knowledge. In other words, philosophy is generally not considered to be a science because it shows little regard for empirical experience beyond the rationalist model.
    This hasn't been true for at least a century, and especially after the rise of logical positivism. Even those who opposed logical positivism (Popper, Ayer, Quine, Putnam) did so on grounds that maintained the primacy of empirical experience.


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    Meaning is the fat on bacon. Positivism is jerky (strips of spicy meat trimmed of fat and dried with low heat).

    Following WWI a group of scientists, mathematicians, and philosophers gathered in Vienna to discuss recent events in logic. This informal gathering, labeled as the Vienna Circle, sought a formal and systematic reduction of human knowledge to ‘acceptable levels’.

    Logical positivism, aka logical empiricism, resulted from this meeting. Logical positivism allows only logical tautologies and first-person observations to be considered as accurate forms of acceptable knowledge. The influences resulting from the Vienna Circle have proven to be enormous.

    A sentence is factually significant only if I know what observations make it true or false. This idea, logical empiricism, leaves no room for anything to be considered as significant knowledge except empirical observations and meaningless but useful tautologies of math and logic.

    Rudolf Carnap’s book “The Logical Structure of the World” (1929) attempts to construct in scientific language the structure of the whole world. It is this detailed analysis that led to the discovery of the difficulties of this procedure. The result was Karl Popper’s insight that we cannot establish truth but we can only prove that which is false; this leads into Popper’s theory of falsifyability.

    This program of logical positivism left little room for serious considerations of value, meaning, aesthetics, and morality.

    Five decades passed, following the Vienna Circle, before John Rawls broke up the strangle-hold on moral considerations exerted by logical positivism. Rawls book “A Theory of Justice” constructs a theory of justice that is somewhat like constructing the grammar of a natural language.
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  5. #4  
    Lyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    Logical positivism, aka logical empiricism, resulted from this meeting. Logical positivism allows only logical tautologies and first-person observations to be considered as accurate forms of acceptable knowledge. The influences resulting from the Vienna Circle have proven to be enormous.
    Ergo, the second line of your initial post is erroneous.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyn
    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    Logical positivism, aka logical empiricism, resulted from this meeting. Logical positivism allows only logical tautologies and first-person observations to be considered as accurate forms of acceptable knowledge. The influences resulting from the Vienna Circle have proven to be enormous.
    Ergo, the second line of your initial post is erroneous.
    I suspect that both words are accurate.
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  7. #6 Re: What your teacher can’t tell you, I will! 
    Lyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    philosophy... shows little regard for empirical experience
    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    logical empiricism... [has] proven to be enormous

    The first sentence says philosophy has little regard for empiricism. The second sentence says the influence of empiricism has been enormous. I would love to see what sorts of rhetorical gymnastics you can cook up to reconcile these two statements.
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  8. #7 Re: What your teacher can’t tell you, I will! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyn
    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    philosophy... shows little regard for empirical experience
    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    logical empiricism... [has] proven to be enormous

    The first sentence says philosophy has little regard for empiricism. The second sentence says the influence of empiricism has been enormous. I would love to see what sorts of rhetorical gymnastics you can cook up to reconcile these two statements.

    Philosophy is one thing and the natural sciences another. We see today that one flourishes while the other remains more of an academic exercise except for the fact that its theories permeate the culture.

    You certainly struggle hard to be negative. If you were to struggle that hard to develop curiosity and to learn it could prove to be quite positive.
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  9. #8 Re: What your teacher can’t tell you, I will! 
    Lyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    Philosophy is one thing and the natural sciences another.
    True, but irrelevant. Your first sentence makes a claim about philosophy: you say it has tended to ignore empiricism. Your second sentence also makes a claim about philosophy: you claim that the philosophers of the logical positivist school emphasized empiricism, to "enormous" influence. That's a contradiction any way you slice it, and cutting and pasting previous sound bytes won't help you out of it. You have to meet the matter head-on. So which is it: does philosophy ignore empiricism or does it emphasize it?

    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    You certainly struggle hard to be negative.
    Someone who spends his time posting thread after thread about the sorry state of American culture is not well-positioned to fault others for being negative.
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  10. #9 Re: What your teacher can’t tell you, I will! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyn

    Someone who spends his time posting thread after thread about the sorry state of American culture is not well-positioned to fault others for being negative.
    You wear the cape of negativity like it was a badge of courage.

    Negative persona (mask) inhibits learning

    ‘To be negative’ is not the same as ‘to be critical’.

    The dictionary has many definitions for this word, “critical”, but I would choose the critical (decisive) meaning, as regarding learning, to be—exercising or involving careful judgment or judicious evaluation.

    A negative persona is an attitude of non-acceptance.

    I think that part of the problem is that too many of us have only an accept button and a reject button.

    Accept or reject are not the only options one has. The most important and generally overlooked, especially by the young, is the option to ‘hold’.

    It appears to me that many young people consider that ‘to be negative is to be cool’. This leads them into responding that ‘X’ is false when responding to an OP that states that ‘X’ is true.

    When a person takes a public position affirming or denying the truth of ‘Y’ they are often locking themselves into a difficult position. If their original position was based on opinion rather than judgment their ego will not easily allow them to change position once they have studied and analyzed ‘Y’.

    The moral of this story is that holding a default position of ‘reject or accept’, when we are ignorant, is not smart because our ego will fight any attempt to modify the opinion with a later judgment. Silence, or questions directed at comprehending the matter under consideration, is the smart decision for everyone’s default position.

    Our options are reject, accept, and hold. I claim that ‘hold’ is the most important and should be the most often used because everyone is ignorant of almost everything.
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  11. #10 Re: What your teacher can’t tell you, I will! 
    Lyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    You wear the cape of negativity like it was a badge of courage.
    As do you, to the point where you think of yourself as a modern-day Socrates for doing it.

    You still haven't answered my question. Does philosophy of the last hundred years disregard empiricism, or does it not disregard empiricism? Complaining about my negativity (or, more accurately, about my requests for you to provide evidence for your claims and clarifications when they are inconsistent--it's amusing if not surprising that you consider that being "negative") doesn't get you out of the more fundamental problem here, which is that your post contains a contradiction. If you're serious about wanting to foster positive dialogue, here's your chance to show it.
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  12. #11 Re: What your teacher can’t tell you, I will! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyn
    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    You wear the cape of negativity like it was a badge of courage.
    As do you, to the point where you think of yourself as a modern-day Socrates for doing it.

    You still haven't answered my question. Does philosophy of the last hundred years disregard empiricism, or does it not disregard empiricism? Complaining about my negativity (or, more accurately, about my requests for you to provide evidence for your claims and clarifications when they are inconsistent--it's amusing if not surprising that you consider that being "negative") doesn't get you out of the more fundamental problem here, which is that your post contains a contradiction. If you're serious about wanting to foster positive dialogue, here's your chance to show it.
    There are at least two kinds of questions; one seeks to facilitate learning and the other to inhibit learning.
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  13. #12 Re: What your teacher can’t tell you, I will! 
    Lyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    It appears to me that many young people consider that ‘to be negative is to be cool’. This leads them into responding that ‘X’ is false when responding to an OP that states that ‘X’ is true.
    But that is not the case here. The issue is not whether "x" is true. The issue is that you are claiming "x and -x" to be both true. I am simply asking you to explain how that is possible, and you're using this negativity issue as an excuse to avoid the question.


    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    There are at least two kinds of questions; one seeks to facilitate learning and the other to inhibit learning.
    Quite so, and given that your posts contain a contradiction, my asking you to clarify your position is an attempt to facilitate learning. You often chide people for being ignorant of basic logic, so surely you understand that "x and -x" is a logical impossibility that requires resolving before any coherent discussion can continue. So why not stop running away from the question and just answer it? On one hand, you say philosophy ignores empiricism, and on the other hand you say it does not. Which one do you believe? You can either answer the question and facilitate learning, or continue to avoid it and inhibit learning. Let's see which one you choose.
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  14. #13  
    Lyn
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    I guess that's what you'd call a terrapin's response.
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  15. #14  
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    I did like your rather effective terrapin bowling. :wink: Several strikes and the rest were spares.
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