Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, October 21, 2013

Common Sense Philosoraptors (17,3)

Hello Philosoraptors!

Thomas Reid and the School of Common Sense were the two main topics of philosophical discussion today among the Philosoraptors - tying together the two previous talks about the existence of trees and whether or not we are dreaming. We all seemed to agree that whether or not this reality that we exist in is real does not matter so much because we still need operate within the reality. Therefore it seems that we need to focus on things that happen in this reality and how those things impact our existence.

Here's a link to some bibliographies about some of the Common Sense philosophers.

Also in our Groups we discussed getting our study guide together for this next test.
Don't forget about that, Jami!

So long Philosoraptors!



  1. The following comment is more of a rant on the philosophy of George Berkeley, and is not very open-minded.

    So during his time the scientific revolution is challenging the way people see the world. Suddenly everything is made of molecules that have no real qualities that we can identify with, therefore (by his logic) we've all been living a lie and had no idea that all this time everything seen, touched, tasted, and heard were all just ideas in our minds. Now, when trees fall, they don't make sounds; in fact, when trees aren't being thought about, they stop existing. (I'm getting annoyed with all these tree analogies) This perspective leaves people feeling a little disconcerted, and for good reason. But, Berkeley "fixes" this by saying, oh it's all OK, all ideas are always existing because even if we're not thinking about them--God is. Ridiculous. This leads in to one of my factual questions:

    FQ: Which of Berkeley's contemporaries said, "I refute this" while kicking a stone across a street and denying Berkeley's philosophy?
    Samuel Johnson

    FQ2:John Locke considered descriptions broken into two categories. What were they?
    Primary and secondary qualities

    DQ: Do you believe, like Voltaire, that we need to stop philosophizing and start doing something useful for our fellow man?

    My link is to the Spock meme that came to mind after reading on Berkeley. http://www.mememaker.net/static/images/memes/140344.jpg

  2. I'm still confused about the trees!!

    FQ (PB)- What philosopher viewed the world as a "puzzle" and it is not what we think it is, but simply just a projection of our mind?

    DQ (PB)- Do you agree with "Berkeley's Puzzle"? Why or why not?

    Link to a video on Berkeley

    1. FQ: Who described a philosopher as "the most appropriate description for somebody who remaps culture--who suggests a new and promising way for us to think about the relation among various large areas of human activity."?
      Richard Rorty
      DQ:Rorty contends that the answer to the question “Is Truth a goal of Inquiry” is no. By this he means that we never “get closer to a capital T Truth that trumps all others for all times and communities.” Does this line up with your idea of philosophical inquiry? Is the goal of philosophy to further the search for that which is ultimately true, or to answer, as Rorty contends, what are the best ideas that we could put forward as a group?

      The more I read about this Rorty guy, the more I like him. It seems that one of the effects of his work (if not one of his explicit goals) was to piss off as many of his colleagues as he could. That endears him to me in itself, but his contention that philosophy is best utilized when it advances society, opposed to the epistemological tendency towards navel-gazing, rings true in my ears and lends credence to his ideas.

      I actually laughed out loud at the sentence that "Nietzsche served the hormonal imperatives of philosophical teen males as efficiently as Bart Simpson does those of normal adolescents". I started reading Nieztsche when I was about 15, and upon a re-reading of one of his books a few years ago (Beyond Good and Evil, I believe), I realized that what I liked about it before (cherry-picking aphorisms, mostly) didn't stand up to a bit more life experience.

      The message here? I'd like to say something about how my "many" years of experience have shown that I was a silly boy latching on to silly ideas, but some of those ideas have formed who I am today (an awesome guy with a matching awesome beard). I suppose the only truth (capital T optional) I could pull out of that is that no matter what you're sure of now, or what drives your passions now, don't be surprised if it changes in 10 years. And again 10 years after that.

      I certainly hope it does, anyway. Otherwise we'd be a boring and vacuous bunch, all holding on firmly to ideas and refusing to process new information because it doesn't match up with what we previously believed.

      I should end this here before it becomes a preachy rant.... so here's a relavent xkcd.

  3. Ah yes, Voltaire's Candide, the book that I love to hate. For what it's worth, it's an incredibly well written and thought-provoking piece of satire, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it's just that some of the characters (cough*pangloss*cough) are so mind-numbingly stupid that I can't stand them. But that is the point of the book, so I digress.

    FQ: who said "I hate what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"? - Voltaire.

    DQ: In Candide, Pangloss continually states that this is "the best of all possible worlds", and that their kingdom is "the best of all possible kingdoms", no matter the situation, whether it be rape, torture, being killed and then brought back to life, only to be killed once more by dissection. The reason for this is that Leibniz felt that our world was the closest to being perfect, because God had created it as such, so therefore it must be the absolutely perfect balance of good and evil, since it is good enough for God, and God does not create inferior things. My question to you all is this: what do you think about the notion that this world is "as good as it's going to get"? Or rather, it's exactly as it should be, problems and all? Do you believe that this is really everything we deserve and that it can be no other way?

  4. Nathan, I'm actually going to by Candide this afternoon, because it sounded oddly provoking. Would that be you recommending it? haha

    FQ: What philosopher believed that an object is just a collection of ideas that you and other people have of it and that it doesn't have any existence beyond that?
    Answer: Berkeley

    DQ: Do you agree with the argument that disease, floods, disasters, etc, are all just a part of God's greater plan? So even if things seems to be going badly, they're actually not in the larger picture.

    I agree and think that it's a very good point. I mean, yeah, on a local scale things like this can be tragic and heartbreaking (even if local means an entire country), but if you "stood back" and looked at the world as a whole, you might feel differently, because at that exact moment, there is something else (something better hopefully) happening elsewhere.