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Thread: Steven J Gould

  1. #21
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I think that this notion is logically incoherent. Human nature is a term identical in meaning to how a human is. As a general rule, when you say that A is the nature of B, you're saying this is how A is B. In other words, one's nature is the same as one's identity.
    Okay, then defining human nature is not a task worth engaging in at all.

    I'm thinking of human nature as a basic blueprint. Certain outliers will have some differing traits. That way, at least we're in a frame we can come up with hypotheses in.

    If we adopt your definition, a non-average human being is not a human being at all as human nature traits don't apply to him.
    You're thinking boolean. I'm thinking continuous. As in, people can be more or less human. (I'm basically using the adjective "human" as "typical human".)

    My definition of human nature includes all qualities that human beings have. For example, breathing, consuming food, urinating and a host of other physical functions and in addition to that; basic intellectual cognition and emoting. Its very much possible to construct a definition of a human which will include all mutations and other cases of idiosyncrasy. Human nature is a set of traits that all human beings will inevitably share.



    Really, there could be a village where no human being does anything that is in its natural tendency to do? This human being won't breathe or eat? Its possible that some natural tendencies of a human being may be abrogated as a result of our experiment, yet not all as I have shown. However, once at least one of them undergoes an alteration, a new specie will have evolved as the creature's nature and indeed 'human' nature has changed. As a result the speciation in the strictest sense of the term will occur, or a change of the biological status of a creature from human to something else. Notably, some properties of human nature are part of 'creature nature' or living thing-nature and therefore its inevitable that any creature that exists has at least some of the qualities a human has; such as breathing for example.
    That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying you can't just make a list of traits that all humans have and call that human nature because you miss out on being able to discuss tendencies that most humans have. With your definition, it's not a part of human nature to be violent because some people aren't. But if you don't account for violence at all when speaking of human nature, you make the term "human nature" almost useless.

    All I'm saying is that I'm using human nature in a more dynamic way than you. My variables are continuous, yours are boolean. (And I suspect most people are more interested in tendencies anyway.)

  2. #22
    Senior Member Blackwater's Avatar
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    The statement that intelligence is influenced substantially by environment is inconsistent with the claim that it is largely innate.
    no it isnt. suppose you have to kinds of seed. one good and one bad.

    you plant each in very rich soil

    the good one is still going to be taller than the bad one.

    IQ tests and IQ data have long been known to be manipulable.
    all data is manipulable. it does not prove anything for or against eigther claim
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  3. #23
    Senior Member Blackwater's Avatar
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    but all the while... is SJG an ENFJ or not?
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  4. #24
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    i could see it. definitely see serious Fe. he has those "love me i'm wonderful" Fe gestures.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Blackwater's Avatar
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    he has those "love me i'm wonderful" Fe gestures.
    you dont get any "love me i'm wonderful" vibes from enfps?
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  6. #26
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Okay, then defining human nature is not a task worth engaging in at all.
    That is another question. In this discussion I have defined human nature in a way that Gould was using the term as my conversation with Blackwater was regarding Gould's views on human nature rather than the definition of such a term for the purpose of a general discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    I'm thinking of human nature as a basic blueprint. Certain outliers will have some differing traits..


    That way, at least we're in a frame we can come up with hypotheses in...
    We can also hypothesize in the context of a human nature definition as a set of qualities that all humans inevitably have. We can make conjectures about what behaviors these qualities shall entail. For instance, if it is human nature to first and foremost seek pleasure, then we can make a hypothesis that all people will pursue their own pleasure in one way or another in all cases.





    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    You're thinking boolean. I'm thinking continuous. As in, people can be more or less human. (I'm basically using the adjective "human" as "typical human".) ...

    This definition accomplishes nothing but an opportunity to discuss what qualities common people tend to have. This is not relevant to the question of human nature because traditionally the term nature denotes what one has acquired by means other than nurture or interaction with environment: what one has acquired by virtue of his or her innate dispositions.

    If your discussion focuses simply on what qualities common people have, there is no reason to believe that the qualities they have are a result of their innate dispositions rather than their experiences in life.

    My definition of human nature avoids this problem. It posits that not only is it the case that all people that live today or have lived in the past possess a certain set of qualities, but all people who could possibly exist will also have them. We know that the qualities in question must necessarily be innate because they are immune to the influence of circumstance: we know that they are immutable because in all possible scenarios, all people will have them. This shows that nurture has not in any way contributing to any person developing the aforementioned attributes and we therefore can conclude that they are innate or a result of nature.

    It is only fitting to define human nature as qualities humans have due to nature rather than nurture.





    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying you can't just make a list of traits that all humans have and call that human nature because you miss out on being able to discuss tendencies that most humans have....

    Why should we discuss tendencies that most humans have in a discussion about human nature in general? Such a question is better addressed in a sociological study of a typical person.


    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    With your definition, it's not a part of human nature to be violent because some people aren't. ....
    No, how people are has nothing to do with my definition of human nature. What is relevant to the definition in question is how all people must be under all circumstances. I don't think that its impossible to construct a scenario where the violence of people will be unalterable by any external influence. If you'd be talking about the tendency to be violent, the matter would be different. Although in that case, I think we could still construct a society where at least some people won't have a propensity for violent thought or action; thus the tendency to be violent is not a part of human nature either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    But if you don't account for violence at all when speaking of human nature, you make the term "human nature" almost useless.....
    I don't see any support for this view.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    All I'm saying is that I'm using human nature in a more dynamic way than you. My variables are continuous, yours are boolean. (And I suspect most people are more interested in tendencies anyway.)
    You've turned your term into an empty vessel to be occupied with whatever notion authors may associate with the term human nature, even if illegitimately.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
    no it isnt. suppose you have to kinds of seed. one good and one bad.

    you plant each in very rich soil

    the good one is still going to be taller than the bad one.


    Largely Definition | Definition of Largely at Dictionary.com

    "1. For the most part; mainly"

    In most technical sense, largely, or for the most part means that entity A is more efficacious than entity B, granted that only A and B are in the universe of discourse. So if entity A is 51% prevalent, it can be said that it is largely prevalent. In that case however, both A and B have a significant impact on the scenario. For instance, if intelligence is 51% hereditary and 49% resultant of environmental influences, we could say it is largely hereditary yet both intelligence and environmental influences significantly influence how intelligent one could be.

    However, that wasn't the definition of largely the Bell Curve authors used. They'd be posit that if anything, 90% of intelligence is hereditary and 10% environmentally entailed.




    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
    all data is manipulable. it does not prove anything for or against eigther claim
    Not the data is manipulable, the IQ test itself is. Its questions are simple enough in nature to be studied and comprehended by route, or as that article in wikipedia I sent to you shows, its possible for a person to train himself to do well on this test. Its in the same category as the GRE, or Grades. None of us have the temerity to assert that our grade point average or our GRE score serve as precise indicators of our intelligence, even less natural intelligence. On that note, why should we make such an outlandish claim with respect to IQ test results?



    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
    but all the while... is SJG an ENFJ or not?
    I don't know what his type is, but I've shown your supporting rationale of the conclusion that he is a Feeling type to be unacceptable. He may still be an ENFJ, though not for the reasons that you have in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by the state i am in View Post
    i could see it. definitely see serious Fe. he has those "love me i'm wonderful" Fe gestures.
    Yeah, I get an eery vibe from you, just like I got from my alcoholic ISTP uncle: you must be an ISTP.

    No, seriously, vibes are indicators of a type? The gut feelings we get about people tells us something about their nature? In that case we really should give more credence to fortune tellers!
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  7. #27
    Senior Member Blackwater's Avatar
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    oh bluewing

    you can train for iq tests but even so, you cant train yourself more than 15 points up or down. so you cant go from 100 to 160.

    this means that intelligence is still largely innane. of course, the environment can break you but that isnt really relevant to my argument

    besides, there are other correlations: people whoose ears are symmetrical have a higher iq on average, and people who can tab their fingers very fast against a hard surface. these things indicate that iq is largely biological as noone would presume that you grow more symmetrical ears from contemplating philosophical problems, would they?
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  8. #28
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
    oh bluewing

    you can train for iq tests but even so, you cant train yourself more than 15 points up or down. so you cant go from 100 to 160.:
    I've read this before, but I wouldn't accept this notion uncritically. Keep in mind, most sources you'll find on the subject are unreliable as the problem of IQ has long been influenced by social and political propaganda. Its also the case that very few reliable studies on the matter have been published as honest scholars tend to shy away from the topic.

    On purely conceptual grounds, I'd be skeptical of that claim. Most IQ questions are rather simple in nature and given the sufficient time, a person of average intelligence can figure them all out. Furthermore, should he or she take enough tests, they could decipher the underlying pattern of most IQ tests as they are simple enough to accomplish this feat.

    The trouble is that most people don't bother doing that and generally have little interest in spending a great deal of time solving puzzles. They also have little interest in pursuing other problem-solving activities that would help them perform well on the IQ test, as a result they stay at approximately the same level.

    Besides, look at how many obtuse, but ambitious and industrious individuals attain admittance to Ivy league schools and graduate with honors? Part of what they had to accomplish for this is attain high GRE scores and other high test scores that correlate highly to IQ. If they could do that, they should be able to score highly on an IQ test. Since these people by definition are not bright and therefore aren't talented at solving puzzles, their test score before training should have been much lower than after.

    Altogether, if you can dramatically improve your standardized test scores, there is no reason why you can't enhance your IQ scores as significantly.

    Lastly, having a high IQ score is unlikely to be reflective of a person's intelligence. How quickly and accurately a person can solve simple puzzles has little bearing upon how he or she will perform at theoretical reasoning.

    Having a high intelligence means being able to solve difficult puzzles with accuracy, not merely solving simple puzzles quickly and accurately. To retort to this, one may ask why is it that people who are good at solving difficult problems also do well on IQ tests? There is a correlation no doubt. Of course there is, people who are good at solving difficult problems (theoretical work in physics, math or philosophy) will likely also be good at solving easy problems quickly. However, the vice versa of this relation does not hold. People who are good at solving easy problems are not nearly as likely to be good at solving difficult problems. They may simply lack the skills in precise reasoning or imagination to handle difficult problems, even if they can solve simple problems that require few of such cognitive attributes at a lightning speed.

    Altogether, its questionable whether IQ tests do measure intelligence as the kind of problems they assign are altogether irrelevant to the kind of puzzles one need to solve in order to be regarded as uncontroversially intelligent.



    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
    besides, there are other correlations: people whoose ears are symmetrical have a higher iq on average, and people who can tab their fingers very fast against a hard surface. these things indicate that iq is largely biological as noone would presume that you grow more symmetrical ears from contemplating philosophical problems, would they?
    I've never heard of that, but I wouldn't be surprised to find this in print. After all, you have to remember that these ideas are a sophistication of craniology or a pursuit of discovering correlations between skull size and intelligence. A number of criminologists, and Lambrosso prominently, purported to establish high correlations between a number of physical attributes a person may have and intelligence or even propensity for responsible behavior in society.

    Today such studies are known as outdated and mostly inspired by political ambitions rather than the truth-seeking. They have long been known to procure sympathy for racist doctrines. Many of such inquiries have been debunked as fraudulent. It is a remarkable fact of these studies that they aren't taken seriously today, part of it is due to their social stigma no doubt, but more importantly, of course is that thus far no positive correlations between having a certain physical feature and high IQ scores have yet been established and on purely conceptual grounds this idea seems absurd.

    Is there any reason to suppose that people of a specific bodily attribute have greater natural intelligence than people of other attributes, barring the fact that blacks tend to score lower on IQ tests than the whites? But then again, its a fact that blacks in America have inferior educational opportunities, it could well be the case that people of 'inferior race and inferior attributes' aren't truly genetically inferior but simply exposed to less advantageous circumstances than the whites are.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Altogether, you ought to pay closer attention to the reliability of your sources as fraud has long loomed large in the topic of IQ, especially in the question of hereditary intelligence. Even if your source is reliable, don't accept its author's conclusion uncritically as very few scholars who published on the subject refrained from allowing their prejudices to vitiate their arguments.
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  9. #29
    Senior Member Blackwater's Avatar
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    bluewings argument runs like this:

    because earlier incantations of a certain science were wrong, all later incantations of that same science must also be wrong

    by extension:

    because astrology was wrong, mbti must also be wrong

    nice going, bw
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  10. #30
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Yeah, I get an eery vibe from you, just like I got from my alcoholic ISTP uncle: you must be an ISTP.

    No, seriously, vibes are indicators of a type? The gut feelings we get about people tells us something about their nature? In that case we really should give more credence to fortune tellers!
    oh no bluewing, tell it like it is!

    your analogy makes little sense, and your definitions ("vibes?") make little sense and have no relevance to what i said. i perceive similarities in gestures to my concept of Fe usage. this is Ni at work in conjunction with my own Fe. your conclusions are poor in almost all accounts. you find a premise that you try to bloat to create a conclusion that is exaggerated and irrelevant. it makes you look in between unintelligent and crazy. and it is extremely ineffective in persuading others (which you so desperately hope to do) unless your audience is comprised of people who are going to be gentle and kind bc they are predominant F types anyway and don't want to make you feel badly about yourself. or you take up the ludicrous cause of attacking the usage of myers briggs on a myers briggs site and acting like an advocate for the crotchety republican contingency who follow your views (oh look how disenfranchised we are with this, the whole world is going to hell and a handbasket, etc).

    maybe you should take up a career in writing or get your masters in rush limbaughism.

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