Once Again – Do We Have Free Will?
“It has become fashionable to say that people have no free will. Many scientists cannot imagine how the idea of free will could be reconciled with the laws of physics and chemistry. Brain researchers say that the brain is just a bunch of nerve cells that fire as a direct result of chemical and electrical events, with no room for free will. Others note that people are unaware of some causes of their behavior, such as unconscious cues or genetic predispositions, and extrapolate to suggest that all behavior may be caused that way, so that conscious choosing is an illusion.”
Was Kant Wrong?
“The history of moral philosophy is a history of disagreement, but on one point there has been virtual unanimity: It would be absurd to suggest that we should do what we couldn’t possibly do.”
“This principle — that “ought” implies “can,” that our moral obligations can’t exceed our abilities — played a central role in the work of Immanuel Kant and has been widely accepted since. Indeed, the idea seems self-evidently true, much as “bachelor” implies “man.””
But was Kant wrong?
#philosophy #kant #morality #moralphilosophy
From Sentience, To Reason & Philosophy
“Why Is It Modern To Study Ancient Philosophy? Because one studies this way the roots of reason, as first put into digital form (that’s what writing is). One does not study ancient physics, so why ancient philosophy? Well, one should study ancient physics, that would be an occasion to mention obvious mistakes one is tempted to do, but that one should NOT to do when interpreting nature.”
Where Do Morals Come From?
“The social sciences have an ethics problem. No, I am not referring to the recent scandals about flawed and fudged data in psychology and political science.1 I’m talking about the failure of the social sciences to develop a satisfactory theory of ethical life. A theory that could explain why humans are constantly judging and evaluating, and why we care about other people and what they think of us. A theory that could explain something so trivial as the fact that social scientists care about data fudging.”
#philosophy #morals #morality
Technology Philosophy: Determinist’s vs Constructivist’s & Other Visions
“There are two kinds of technology critics. On one side are the determinists, who see the history of technology as one of inexorable progress, advancing according to its own Darwinian logic—the wheel, the steam engine, the autonomous car—while humans remain its hapless passengers. It is a fatalistic vision, one even the Luddite can find bewitching. “We do not ride upon the railroad,” Thoreau said, watching the locomotive barrel through his forest retreat. “It rides upon us.” On the opposite side of the tracks lie the social constructivists. They want to know where the train came from, and also, why a train? Why not something else? Constructivists insist that the development of technology is an open process, capable of different outcomes; they are curious about the social and economic forces that shape each invention.”
Philosophy in LIfe
“When I am asked what subject from school helped me most in life, including my career, I always answer without much hesitation (and no sophomoric pretentions) that it is philosophy.”
Should Scientific Knowledge be Free?
Any student will tell you how frustrating it can be trying to obtain important journal articles for your research or papers. Most (but not for long) scientific research is published in peer-reviewed journals (New England Journal of Medicine for instance) and then placed behind pay-walls. If you want the article/knowledge you have to pay for it. If you want your University to carry the journal, they have to pay for a subscription which in some cases is hundreds of thousands of dollars and so many Universities don’t even provide access to some important journals due to the cost.
How can we advance knowledge by locking it behind pay-walls?
This is absurd if you think about it for a minute. Imagine how quickly science would evolve, how quickly our knowledge would progress, how quickly we might find cures for things like cancer or alzheimer’s if EVERYONE, every scientist and every student could access all the (already paid for or funded) research/knowledge that was available? Although there are now many Open Access Journals and many scientists refuse to publish their research in pay-wall journals (like Sage and Elsevier), a great deal of science and knowledge is still locked behind a pay-wall.
Therefore, I intend to use this service now, and hopefully they will be able to stay up. Currently search does not seem to be working.
What do you think – Should all scientific research results be freely available?
#science #openknowledge #openaccess
What Do Philosophers Think They Know?
“Professional philosophers often appeal to patterns in ordinary thought and talk — “commonsense” — in order to support theories or assumptions. In recent years, the emerging interdisciplinary field of experimental epistemology has revealed many instances where commonsense epistemology has been seriously mischaracterized. But even if professional philosophers misidentify what the folk think about knowledge, certainly they know what they themselves think about knowledge. Right?”
Where is the Internet, social-media and the as yet undiscovered ways in which technology will “connect” us, going to lead? Will we find news ways to prolong and strengthen our fragile attachments to ego and outer beauty? Or will we use these tools to connect with and share a deeper, permanent, more meaningful and everlasting inner beauty?
““Connected” is one of the most generic, but most loaded, buzzwords still in circulation, and for a reason. The notion that information technology is increasingly connecting our lives, for better and worse, is a rudiment of the web 1.0—and the term remains coded with both utopian and dystopian tones. Connectivity promises closeness and efficiency, yet threatens to render us vulnerable and superficial.”
#connected #technology #socialmedia #philosophy #spirituailty #ego #pamelaanderson
Teaching Kids Philosophy
“We hear a lot about things kids “must” learn. Indeed, President Obama just announced he was going to ask Congress for $4 billion to fund an initiative to bring computer science to more students. Here’s an argument that there is a more immediate issue that schools should tacke. It was written by Steve Neumann, a writer and philosophile who says he is interested in doing for philosophy what science journalists do for science — “preparing the arcana of academia into a dish digestible by the public.””