Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Wittgenstein, Arendt, Rawls, Turing & Searle, Singer

“The world is everything that is the case.” 

“Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. Our life has no end in the way in which our visual field has no limits.” 

“I give no sources, because it is indifferent to me
whether what I have thought has already been
thought before me by another.” 

“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”

“A nothing will serve just as well as a something about which nothing could be said.” 

“A logical picture of facts is a thought.” 

“A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably.” 

jpg3duck.jpg (2902 bytes)
What do we see when we observe the above figure? What we see in the above figure, of course, is dependent upon that with which we are familiar. Those who are not acquainted with the shape and form of a rabbit but are with that of a duck will see only a duck--and vice versa... When we normally speak of seeing in our everyday language-game, we are not inclined to say, "I see the picture as a duck," but rather we simply say, "I see a duck."
“Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.” 

“If you tried to doubt everything you would not get as far as doubting anything. The game of doubting itself presupposes certainty.” 
“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

“The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.” 

“The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.” 

It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us-the lesson of the fearsome word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.” 

"Justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many."

“Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others.” 

"David Hume thinks that people more or less naturally agree in their moral judgments and count the same qualities of character as virtues and vices; it is rather the enthusiasms of religion and superstition that lead to differences, not to mention the corruptions of political power.” 

“I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.” 

“I'm afraid that the following syllogism may be used by some in the future.
Turing believes machines think

Turing lies with men

Therefore machines do not think."

“To protest about bullfighting in Spain, the eating of dogs in South Korea, or the slaughter of baby seals in Canada while continuing to eat eggs from hens who have spent their lives crammed into cages, or veal from calves who have been deprived of their mothers, their proper diet, and the freedom to lie down with their legs extended, is like denouncing apartheid in South Africa while asking your neighbors not to sell their houses to blacks.” 

“If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans?” 

“The notion that human life is sacred just because it is human life is medieval.” 

“If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it.” 

“To give preference to the life of a being simply because that being is a member of our species would put us in the same position as racists who give preference to those who are members of their race.” 

Just as we have progressed beyond the blatantly racist ethic of the era of slavery and colonialism, so we must now progress beyond the speciesist ethic of the era of factory farming, of the use of animals as mere research tools, of whaling, seal hunting, kangaroo slaughter, and the destruction of wilderness. We must take the final step in expanding the circle of ethics. -” 

“Philosophy ought to question the basic assumptions of the age. Thinking through, critically and carefully, what most of us take for granted is, I believe, the chief task of philosophy, and the task that makes philosophy a worthwhile activity.”

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