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

    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

  2. #2
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Yeah Bayes' Rule stuff (implemented on neural networks) seems to out-do all the old models.

  3. #3
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    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
    If one is a serious philosopher, he or she will have an interest in understanding the world. Science uses the empirical method to derive the basic facts about it. For example, biology will inform you of the essence of life-forms, while physics may inform you of the nature of the material world.

    Philosophical reasoning may discover the implications of these discoveries by reasoning 'apriori', in a manner that is akin to the rationalistic method. However, the bottom line is, philosophical reasoning must take the empirical discoveries into account. If it does not, the philosophical inquiry in question will be a mere fantasy.

    Mathematics and logic fit the criteria that you have in mind much more precisely. Those intellectual disciplines truly do not require any appeal to empirical evidence as they have no say with regard to the nature of the world. They are only concerned with the instruments one may employ to understand the world, but when such instruments are employed, attention to empirical evidence is necessary. Note how significantly engineers and physicists (scholars who rely heavily on the logical/mathematical method to understand the world) rely on lab experiments and observations of the physical world?

    Bottom line is, one cannot be a serious philosopher or a serious scholar of any kind without having an interest in science or the empirical method. The disciplines of mathematics and logic serve as the only case of exception to the postulate above.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
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    We have in our Western philosophy a traditional theory of faculty psychology wherein our reasoning is a faculty completely separate from the body. “Reason is seen as independent of perception and bodily movement.” It is this capacity of autonomous reason that makes us different in kind from all other animals. I suspect that many fundamental aspects of philosophy and psychology are focused upon declaring, whenever possible, the separateness of our species from all other animals.

    This tradition of an autonomous reason began long before evolutionary theory and has held strongly since then without consideration, it seems to me, of the theories of Darwin and of biological science. Cognitive science has in the last three decades developed considerable empirical evidence supporting Darwin and not supporting the traditional theories of philosophy and psychology regarding the autonomy of reason. Cognitive science has focused a great deal of empirical science toward discovering the nature of the embodied mind.

    The three major findings of cognitive science are:
    The mind is inherently embodied.
    Thought is mostly unconscious.
    Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical.

    “These findings of cognitive science are profoundly disquieting [for traditional thinking] in two respects. First, they tell us that human reason is a form of animal reason, a reason inextricably tied to our bodies and the peculiarities of our brains. Second, these results tell us that our bodies, brains, and interactions with our environment provide the mostly unconscious basis for our everyday metaphysics, that is, our sense of what is real.”

    All living creatures categorize. All creatures, as a minimum, separate eat from no eat and friend from foe. As neural creatures tadpole and wo/man categorize. There are trillions of synaptic connections taking place in the least sophisticated of creatures and this multiple synapses must be organized in some way to facilitate passage through a small number of interconnections and thus categorization takes place. Great numbers of different synapses take place in an experience and these are subsumed in some fashion to provide the category eat or foe perhaps.

    Our categories are what we consider to be real in the world: tree, rock, animal…Our concepts are what we use to structure our reasoning about these categories. Concepts are neural structures that are the fundamental means by which we reason about categories.

    Quotes from Philosophy in the Flesh by Lakoff and Johnson

  5. #5
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    We have in our Western philosophy a traditional theory of faculty psychology wherein our reasoning is a faculty completely separate from the body. “Reason is seen as independent of perception and bodily movement.” It is this capacity of autonomous reason that makes us different in kind from all other animals. I suspect that many fundamental aspects of philosophy and psychology are focused upon declaring, whenever possible, the separateness of our species from all other animals.

    This tradition of an autonomous reason began long before evolutionary theory and has held strongly since then without consideration, it seems to me, of the theories of Darwin and of biological science. Cognitive science has in the last three decades developed considerable empirical evidence supporting Darwin and not supporting the traditional theories of philosophy and psychology regarding the autonomy of reason. Cognitive science has focused a great deal of empirical science toward discovering the nature of the embodied mind.

    The three major findings of cognitive science are:
    The mind is inherently embodied.
    Thought is mostly unconscious.
    Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical.

    “These findings of cognitive science are profoundly disquieting [for traditional thinking] in two respects. First, they tell us that human reason is a form of animal reason, a reason inextricably tied to our bodies and the peculiarities of our brains. Second, these results tell us that our bodies, brains, and interactions with our environment provide the mostly unconscious basis for our everyday metaphysics, that is, our sense of what is real.”

    All living creatures categorize. All creatures, as a minimum, separate eat from no eat and friend from foe. As neural creatures tadpole and wo/man categorize. There are trillions of synaptic connections taking place in the least sophisticated of creatures and this multiple synapses must be organized in some way to facilitate passage through a small number of interconnections and thus categorization takes place. Great numbers of different synapses take place in an experience and these are subsumed in some fashion to provide the category eat or foe perhaps.

    Our categories are what we consider to be real in the world: tree, rock, animal…Our concepts are what we use to structure our reasoning about these categories. Concepts are neural structures that are the fundamental means by which we reason about categories.

    Quotes from Philosophy in the Flesh by Lakoff and Johnson
    The purpose of science is to understand the world. This cannot be accomplished without paying attention to it, or keeping track of the empirical evidence. One may reason in the abstract, yet the reasoning has to be about what can be observed in the empirical world.

    This does not mean that reasoning in itself is not important as it plays a big role in the analysis and theory of empirical investigation. In addition to this, abstract reasoning without empirical inquiry plays a crucial role in logic and mathematics, which are obviously very important.

    In short, the fact that science and the recent studies rely heavily on empirical evidence does not suggest that abstract reasoning or 'apriori' inquiry is unimportant.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    ^I think his point is more that reasoning is in no way disconnected from our animal selves. There's no thought separate from the body and evolutionary processes that got our bodies to the point they are.

    He's saying that the distinction between man and animal is basically arbitrary...we just have a larger neural network and therefore can devote more resources to categorization. Also, much of our "thought" (aka categorization) takes place unconsciously and completely outside of our control, which may make people uncomfortable as it opposes the notion of choice.

  7. #7
    HAHHAHHAH! INTJ123's Avatar
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    I'm going to simplify this into one sentence.

    USE YOUR WHOLE MIND.

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    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    ^I think his point is more that reasoning is in no way disconnected from our animal selves. There's no thought separate from the body and evolutionary processes that got our bodies to the point they are.

    He's saying that the distinction between man and animal is basically arbitrary...we just have a larger neural network and therefore can devote more resources to categorization. Also, much of our "thought" (aka categorization) takes place unconsciously and completely outside of our control, which may make people uncomfortable as it opposes the notion of choice.
    The answer to the question of whether his claim is true or false depends on our definition of the term 'animal'.

    If an animal is a creature that has some cognitive abilities and a body, than man is indeed a member of this set. However, if an animal is defined as a creature with a body with only limited cognitive faculties, than man is not an animal, as even the most obtuse of human beings are superior in intellect to animals. On that note, it can be plausibly argued that dolphins are not animals either.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    The answer to the question of whether his claim is true or false depends on our definition of the term 'animal'.

    If an animal is a creature that has some cognitive abilities and a body, than man is indeed a member of this set. However, if an animal is defined as a creature with a body with only limited cognitive faculties, than man is not an animal, as even the most obtuse of human beings are superior in intellect to animals. On that note, it can be plausibly argued that dolphins are not animals either.
    It's clear that man has superior reasoning ability (a more interconnected neural net with more nodes) than other animals. I think the argument here is that it's not like the difference is a matter of a different kind of processing. It's just faster and more complex processing.

    The difference between man and other animals is like the difference between a computer from 1980 and a computer now.

    All humans and other animals do is categorize (based on some inductive method, whatever that may be). All learning is just reinforcement learning. Animals and humans do this stuff; humans just devote more energy relatively to doing it better.

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    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    just when I thought I was out.........they pull me back in. You can't have my soul, you can't!!

    If Philosophy wants to start using Te, the universe will turn inside out.

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