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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    What's the best criticism one can make about philosophy?
    That it is a pursuit often burdened by vague and pointless questions.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    What is the purpose of meaning?
    The purpose of meaning is to understand.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

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    But what are you really understanding? Some people believe, for example, that scientific explanations reflect the true underlying way that the universe works. Others believe that the explanation is one of several possible explanations that are more or less equally true. For this second group the value in an explanation is in its value in predicting and explaining other phenomena and developing technology rather than explaining the ultimate meaning behind the way the universe operates.

    So which viewpoint is more valid and why? Or are both viewpoints equally valid?
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    But what are you really understanding?
    The meaning.

    I think that you can competently answer the other questions yourself. They are not difficult.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    That it is a pursuit often burdened by vague and pointless questions.
    Tee hee!



    But you're wrong. The biggest problem is that it attempts to apprehend reality through concepts and abstractions rather than direct experience. Duh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    The meaning.

    I think that you can competently answer the other questions yourself. They are not difficult.
    Well I've already answered them, but I am not confident in my answers. I need to hear more input to decide if I have overlooked something.
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    How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?




    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Tee hee!



    But you're wrong. The biggest problem is that it attempts to apprehend reality through concepts and abstractions rather than direct experience. Duh.
    And is not "direct experience" not simply a concept, an abstraction? I think so. The model of the world which is constructed in our brain is theoretical, a guess at the state of the universe, one which we hope corresponds to the way the universe actually is. There is nothing direct about experience, and nothing in our experience can be useful without interpretation by philosophical presuppositions which are prior to experience itself--the very notion that there is a reality to which our experiences can correspond is one such presupposition.

    I do not think there is anything wrong with philosophical investigation, though I do think that there is something mistaken about how many people prosecute that investigation, and what they expect to come of it.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    And is not "direct experience" not simply a concept, an abstraction? I think so.
    As I discuss it, sure. As I experience it, no. This isn't experiencing, just philosophical banter.

    The model of the world which is constructed in our brain is theoretical, a guess at the state of the universe, one which we hope corresponds to the way the universe actually is. There is nothing direct about experience, and nothing in our experience can be useful without interpretation by philosophical presuppositions which are prior to experience itself.
    That's somewhat true, but ignores the fact that people's perceptions can be further tangled by their expectations and ideas. To say that "we're all just taking a guess" strikes me as a bit too broad, since some guesses are better than others. The alternative is some type of solipsistic nightmare.

    I do not think there is anything wrong with philosophical investigation, though I do think that there is something mistaken about how many people prosecute that investigation, and what they expect to come of it.
    What expectations are realistic, in your opinion?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Well I've already answered them, but I am not confident in my answers. I need to hear more input to decide if I have overlooked something.
    Confidence offers no protection against error and can easily blind you to the truth. Never be too confident if it can be helped. That said, do not refrain from judgement, make bold conjectures and put them to the test, that is the way to learn. There are many who refrain from any decision from fear of being wrong, and so never being wrong means nothing is ever learned, except a habit of evasiveness to critique.

    I think you can answer yourself the questions which you asked. The truth is that which corresponds to the facts. There are some who seek true theories and others who seek useful theories. There are fewer true theories than there are useful theories, and while true theories are always useful, useful theories are not always true. In any case, you can choose between whichever goal you like, since the two have no special claim on scientific investigation, which can stumble upon either. Personally, I am far more interested in the truth, and I suspect that you are too.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

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