philosophy   113421

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How Mary Midgley rescued me - UnHerd
The connection between philosophy and pastoral care wasn’t incidental. Mary started teaching in Oxford, but left in 1950 and was glad to have left. She travelled up to Newcastle with a desire, she said, “to bring academic philosophy back into its proper connection with life, rather than let it dwindle into a form of highbrow chess for graduate students”. With this aim, Mary was a part of a number of extraordinary women philosophers who had met at Oxford: Philippa Foot, Elizabeth Anscombe and Iris Murdoch among them. Mary was old school. “Huzzar!” she would exclaim, if she approved of what you were saying. Not “hurrah”, not “horray”. She felt like a blast from the past, even back in the 80’s.

Professor Jane Heal, another of the Newcastle teaching staff of that era, summarised Mary’s thought admirably in the Guardian: “She identified the limitations of only trying to understand things by breaking them down into smaller parts and losing sight of the many ways in which the parts are dependent on the wholes in which they exist.”
16 hours ago by ayjay
The Pope's Cartoon Libertarians |
Thus is the Pope’s picture of social theory embarrassingly underdeveloped in ways that conspicuously favor his preferred political order: when individuals operate in markets—that is, when they must trade voluntarily, respect each other’s rights, and cooperate peacefully—they are hopelessly flawed vehicles of avarice and mutual mistrust.
article  philosophy  religion 
17 hours ago by kaarlows
Inform: Past, Present, Future
Transcript of a Graham Nelson talk about interactive fiction and the Inform programming language.
text  entertainment  puzzles  programming  analysis  philosophy 
23 hours ago by stb
Why The Term ‘Continental Philosophy’ Is An Insult » IAI TV
One of the youngest philosophy professors in Germany, Markus Gabriel teaches in 16 languages, dreads metaphysics and thinks that the philosophy of mind needs to tighten up, and understand the problem with focusing on the English-specific term 'mind'  (in German, 'geist' has no connection to the brain). Author of ‘I Am Not A Brain’ and ‘Why The World Does Not Exist’, in the interview below, Gabriel discusses the link between Brexit, breakfast and the analytic/continental split, and how the language we speak shapes and limits our answer to what he considers philosophy's key question – what it means to be human. 
"So given that it’s not a helpful distinction, why stick to it? On the other hand, who ever said what analytic philosophy is? If anyone should be considered an analytic philosopher, that’s Timothy Williamson and he, in The Philosophy of Philosophy, rejects the label saying there’s no specific meaning to the term. " <- good point
philosophy  people  argument  interview 
yesterday by kmt
The Crisis of Intimacy in the Age of Digital Connectivity - Los Angeles Review of Books
The basic contradiction is as simple as it is desperate: the sharing of private experience has never been more widespread while empathy, the ability to recognize the meaning of another’s private experience, has never been more rare. In Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein confronted exactly this problem, of the meaning of intimacy and the intimacy of meaning. “The essential thing about private experience is really not that each person possesses his own exemplar, but that nobody knows whether other people also have this or something else,” he wrote. “The assumption would thus be possible — though unverifiable — that one section of mankind had one sensation of red and another section another.” Wittgenstein thought it was unverifiable, but the internet has verified it. Is the dress blue or gold? Do you hear Yanni or Laurel?

The connection of the TCP/IP promises universality of reference; it does not promise shared sensation. And shared sensation is the essence of intimacy — the conviction that I feel what another or others are feeling, and another or others feel what I’m feeling. It’s the desperate human question: Do you feel what I feel? Is the little tremor in my heart meaningful to others? Wittgenstein posed this pathetically needy, essentially human question in his famous parable of the beetle in the box...
tech  socialmedia  philosophy  psychology  from instapaper
yesterday by ayjay
The Consciousness Deniers
What is the silliest claim ever made? The competition is fierce, but I think the answer is easy. Some people have denied the existence of consciousness: conscious experience, the subjective character of experience, the “what-it-is-like” of experience. Next to this denial—I’ll call it “the Denial”—every known religious belief is only a little less sensible than the belief that grass is green.

The Denial began in the twentieth century and continues today in a few pockets of philosophy and psychology and, now, information technology. It had two main causes: the rise of the behaviorist approach in psychology, and the naturalistic approach in philosophy. These were good things in their way, but they spiraled out of control and gave birth to the Great Silliness. I want to consider these main causes first, and then say something rather gloomy about a third, deeper, darker cause. But before that, I need to comment on what is being denied—consciousness, conscious experience, experience for short.
philosophy  mind  neuroscience  from instapaper
yesterday by ayjay

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