Integrity in philosophy

For all things philosophical.

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Advocate
Posts: 1071
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:27 am
Contact:

Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by Advocate »

[quote=uwot post_id=157314 time=1390177337 user_id=7941]
[quote="aiddon"][quote="uwot"] I doubt there is much point pointing out that materialism is an ontological hypothesis that very few philosophers or scientists would commit to.[/quote]

Uwot, I would be interested to know why this is so? As far as I can tell there are some very committed and prominent thinkers (not all necessarily philosophers) who would subscribe to materialism. I'm thinking of Daniel Dennett, perhaps Richard Dawkins. What is the alternative to materialism if one dismisses idealism?[/quote]I would recommend ontological agnosticism. Materialism should be distinguished from realism, which holds only that there is some stuff that the universe is made of. By some extraordinary means, that we don't fully understand, it gives rise to all the observable phenomena we experience. As an hypothesis, it is almost certainly true, but Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins are far too sharp to insist that it definitely is the case, without allowing for the possibility of alternatives, even idealism.
[/quote]

There is some stuff the world is made of AND there is s metaphorical overlay in our minds which correlates to some degree. There are also patterns in the mind without a material correlates, like god.
Advocate
Posts: 1071
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:27 am
Contact:

Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by Advocate »

[quote=uwot post_id=157520 time=1390376103 user_id=7941]
Sorry for the delay aiddon. To be honest, ontological agnosticism isn't an official 'ism', it's just the fact that we don't know what the nature of matter really is. This has been realised since pretty much the beginning of western philosophy. The Milesians were keen to work out what the world was made of, all the Greek elements had their advocates: Water/Thales, Air/Anaximenes, Heraclitus(not strictly a Milesian)/Fire and Xenophanes(nor was he)/Earth. However, another, proper, Milesian, Anaximander, claimed that the universe is made of the [i]apeiron[/i], basically some infinite 'stuff', which we have no direct experience of, but has perceptible qualities of hot or cold, wet or dry. This was taken up by Aristotle; in On Generation and Corruption, Aristotle says, ‘Our own doctrine is that although there is a matter of the perceptible bodies (a matter out of which the so-called 'elements' come-to-be), it has no separate existence, but is always bound up with a contrariety.’ Aristotle noted that there are four ways the contrarieties could intermingle and each of these mixtures defined an element: fire is hot and dry, air is hot and wet, water is cold and wet, leaving earth cold and dry. In effect, Aristotle was pointing out that we only know about matter from sensing it.
Later Descartes argued that the only thing we can be certain of is that we have experiences. Descartes was a dualist and argued that as there is thinking, therefore their is definitely 'mind', in particular his own, but he had a 'clear and distinct idea' of matter, the sort that a good god wouldn't let him be wrong about; therefore reality is made of mind and matter. Pierre Gassendi pointed out that the fact that experience is happening is not enough to conclude that the apparent focus of experience, any particular mind, actually exists. The empiricists ran with that idea, insisting that the only thing we can be certain of is the experiences, and that there is nothing intrinsic in them that demands they correspond to any 'clear and distinct idea' we may have. Berkeley went to the extreme of claiming that there is no such thing as matter. As Ginkgo has mentioned, Kant summed it all up, distinguishing between the phenomena and the ding an sich, the thing in itself.
Today, with space telescopes and atom smashers, we can see a very long way and really deeply, but still the underlying matter, the stuff that fundamental particles are made of, is a mystery. My money is on some unified field theory, but I wouldn't wager very much. Anyone who says they 'know' what the universe is made of is an idiot. If they know because 'god revealed it to them', they are a loony. And Blaggard, if they insist that we all behave according to the whim of their god, they should be told to go fuck themselves.
[/quote]

The nature of matter is entangled, high entropy energy. The nature of material reality is infinite layers of metaphor. Matter is an emergent property of energy. Energy is change that we experience as waves. Change is the universal substrate of the universe and mass, momentum, gravity, etc. are all aspects or expressions of universal, infinitely causal change.
PeteJ
Posts: 426
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:15 pm

Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by PeteJ »

aiddon wrote: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:22 am Uwot, I would be interested to know why this is so? As far as I can tell there are some very committed and prominent thinkers (not all necessarily philosophers) who would subscribe to materialism. I'm thinking of Daniel Dennett, perhaps Richard Dawkins. What is the alternative to materialism if one dismisses idealism?
Dawkins and Dennet are not widely regarded as capable thinkers. Indeed. in some quarters they are regarded as a comedy double-act.

Alternatives to materialism are idealism of one sort or another. Most forms of idealism suffer from the same problems as materialism, but an exception is Absolute or Transcendental Idealism. This is non-dualism under another name.

Basically the choice is between dualism and non-dualism, where the latter appears to be entirely unknown to Messrs Dennett and Dawkins, who do not study philosophy but focus on their propaganda campaign.

I'm sure you're perfectly capable of working out that materialism is logically absurd and philosophically useless, so I wouldn't worry about what the faithful have to say about it even if they are a professor.
Post Reply