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Cicero: A Defense of Epicurus, As Relayed By An Epicurean Speaker in “On Ends” – NewEpicurean
The following is an adaptation of material from Cicero’s On The Ends of Good and Evil, as translated by Harris Rackham and published in 1914.

An elaborate defense of Epicurus was once delivered to me by Lucius Torquatus, a scholar of consummate knowledge, with Gaius Triarius, a youth of great learning and seriousness of character, assisting at the discussion. Both of these men had called to pay me their respects at my place at Cuma
philosophy  pol.505  honors  teaching_pol_theory 
9 weeks ago by Jibarosoy
Should Quantum Anomalies Make Us Rethink Reality? - Scientific American Blog Network
The tension between the anomalies and the current paradigm can only be tolerated by ignoring the anomalies. This has been possible so far because the anomalies are only observed in laboratories. Yet we know that they are there, for their existence has been confirmed beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, when we believe that we see objects and events outside and independent of mind, we are wrong in at least some essential sense. A new paradigm is needed to accommodate and make sense of the anomalies; one wherein mind itself is understood to be the essence—cognitively but also physically—of what we perceive when we look at the world around ourselves.
honors  philosophy  physics  Science  Methodology  reality  truth  consciousness 
november 2018 by Jibarosoy
A Super-Simple, Non-Quantum Theory of Eternal Consciousness - Scientific American Blog Network
Here’s why I refuse to believe her, at first. As soon as Emily says, You’re sleeping!, I wake up, and my mind splices my current awareness to my previous awareness, which preceded my nodding off. Subjectively, I lack awareness of sleeping, unless I was dreaming and remember the dream.
Watching Chalmers doze, and ruminating over these exchanges with Emily, my idea for eternal consciousness came to me. If mind emerged once in the cosmos, I thought, it will surely, over the course of eternity, emerge again. When it does, perhaps in some sense this new consciousness will be spliced together with the old consciousness, as if the intervening darkness never existed. So consciousness is subjectively if not objectively eternal. This concept might not be as comforting as “it from bit,” Christianity, Buddhism and other schemes that make mind fundamental, but it’s all I’ve got.
honors  philosophy  physics  consciousness  Methodology  reality  Science  Poetry 
november 2018 by Jibarosoy
The Biggest Myth In Quantum Physics
Quantum physics is fascinating in part because of how different the behavior of the quantum Universe is from our everyday experiences. Everything can behave as a wave or a particle, depending on what you do to it; the Universe is made from indivisible quanta; we can only predict the probabilities of an outcome, not an individual outcome; quantum physics is non-local in both space and time; and its effects are most visible on only the smallest scales. It's arguably the weirdest thing we've ever discovered about the Universe.

And yet, we couldn't help but add ourselves into the equation, perhaps due to the difficult-to-define terms of "observation," "measurement" and "interaction." Take ourselves out of it, and all we have are the equations, the results, and the answers that the physical Universe gives. Physics cannot answer questions about "why" the Universe works the way it does; it can only explain how it works at all. If you're interested in the fundamental nature of reality, ask the Universe questions about itself, and when it tells you its secrets, listen. Anything else that you layer atop it was put there by you, not by the Universe. Avoid that temptation, and you'll never fall for the greatest myth about quantum physics: that it needs an interpretation at all.
honors  philosophy  physics  reality  Methodology  Science  truth  intuition  Passions 
november 2018 by Jibarosoy
BBC - Earth - The strange link between the human mind and quantum physics
The physicist Pascual Jordan, who worked with quantum guru Niels Bohr in Copenhagen in the 1920s, put it like this: "observations not only disturb what has to be measured, they produce it… We compel [a quantum particle] to assume a definite position." In other words, Jordan said, "we ourselves produce the results of measurements."
If that is so, objective reality seems to go out of the window.
And it gets even stranger.
honors  philosophy  physics  Poetry  brain_teasers  consciousness  method  reality  truth 
november 2018 by Jibarosoy
The Ship of Theseus: A Brilliant Ancient Thought Experiment Exploring What Makes You You – Brain Pickings
Two millennia before modern psychologists came to tussle with this puzzlement, the great Greek historian and writer Plutarch examined it more lucidly than anyone before or since. In a brilliant thought experiment known as The Ship of Theseus, or Theseus’s paradox, outlined (though not for the first or last time) in his biographical masterwork Plutarch’s Lives (free ebook | public library), Plutarch asks: If the ship on which Theseus sailed has been so heavily repaired and nearly every part replaced, is it still the same ship — and, if not, at what point did it stop being the same ship?
honors  philosophy  Pol.11  self  individualism 
november 2018 by Jibarosoy
Lucretius and the History of Science
Reintroduced into a Christian culture in which metaphysics and natu- ral philosophy were dominated by a theory of providence and bolstered by Platonic-Aristotelian arguments against materialism, Lucretius’ poem pro- duced both fascination and alarm. The theses that reality consists exclusively of atoms and void, that atomic interactions are purposeless and reflect no plan, that there are no immaterial spirits, and that the gods do not care about humanity and produce no effects in the visible world were purged of some features and variously absorbed and reworked into the so-called ‘new philosophy’ of the seventeenth century.
philosophy  honors  Science  method  Poetry  Research 
november 2018 by Jibarosoy
quantum art and poetry: June 2012
The capacity for life must have existed in the Universe from the very beginning of time. But where did the symmetry and geometry for the diversity and complexity of life come from?
honors  philosophy  teaching_pol_theory  Poetry  physics  universe 
november 2018 by Jibarosoy
The Visual Cliff: What a 1960 Perception Experiment Reveals About Emotional Decision-Making – Brain Pickings
When faced with emotional ambiguity, most of us remain babies on Plexiglas — we search for feedback to resolve uncertainty, and often forget that the Plexiglas is there, unflinching — a solid, albeit invisible, support. We just have to take the leap… or crawl, as it were.
The researchers found that to make the assessment, the babies relied on the mothers’ facial expression — a reassuring, happy one meant they kept crawling, and an alarmed, angry one made them stop at the edge of the Plexiglas.
honors  philosophy  Psychology  social  Power_materials  community 
november 2018 by Jibarosoy
Lucretius5 - Peter Forbes
Lucretius either influenced or foreshadowed many topics in science from the 17th century onwards and it was the revolution in physics at the dawn of the 20th century that brought his most comprehensive vindication. In one of the papers from his annus mirabilis, 1905, Einstein sought to address the scepticism of some of his physicist colleagues:

My major aim in this was to find facts which would guarantee as much as possible the existence of atoms of definite finite size.

This work had its origin in one of Lucretius’ most haunting, painterly, and influential passages:

Mark, when the sun’s rays pour into the shadowy room
How many tiny scintillations contend with the rays:
Dust motes in fretful motion without pause,
Massed troops clashing in endless disputation.

For Lucretius, the motion of the particles was caused by bombardment from the unseen atoms and this idea became a major plank of modern physics in the 19th century through the work of James Clerk Maxwell and others. Einstein took it further and he established the “existence of atoms of definite finite size” in theoretical work that was experimentally verified by the French chemist August Perrin; the latter won a Nobel Prize for this work and in 1916 wrote: “the atomic theory has triumphed”. Einstein and Lucretius were explicitly linked in the Preface that Einstein wrote for a 1924 German translation of The Nature of Things, by his Prussian Academy colleague Hermann Diels, in which he praised Lucretius’ goal of “freeing humanity from slavish fear caused by religion and superstition”

It was only in the mid twentieth century that this goal could be said to have been achieved.
honors  philosophy  Science  Poetry  teaching_pol_theory  Teaching  physics 
november 2018 by Jibarosoy
The swerve of verse: Lucretius' 'Of Things' Nature' and the necessity of poetic form | Jacket2
Lucretius confronts a problem that scientists and mathematicians have faced from well before his time to the present: that their findings seem implausible or counter-intuitive. The world feels flat, waves and particles are irreconcilable, atoms colliding in space could not produce the world as we know it. Let's put it this way: You can't put into believable descriptive prose E=MC2, much less algebra or calculus or, well, non-Euclidean geometry or, as here's the rub, evolution, Mr. Darwin's dangerous theory (or for that matter Mr. Marx's or Mr. Spinoza's).  Once you go beyond the visible reality of "ratio" -- as Blake so powerfully notes in his visionary physics (to use Donald Ault's phrase), all prose bets are off.  The alternative to "ratio" and to the direct evidence of the senses is not irrationalism or religion or superstition -- but reason. And reason is neither visible nor consistent.
honors  philosophy  teaching_pol_theory  Science  Poetry  Teaching 
november 2018 by Jibarosoy
Did Buddhism influence Stoicism? – The Painted Porch
Both teach nonattachment, impermanence, and interconnectedness.

Both advise self-control, especially when strong emotions are involved.

Both teach that how we think about things determines how we experience life.

Both say that we create our own suffering by constantly yearning for more while failing to appreciate what we have.

And most of all, both place a strong emphasis on virtuous thoughts and actions.

But there are differences as well. Stoicism focuses on reason rather than mysticism. Concepts like Nirvana and rebirth are absent from Stoicism, as is the Buddhist practice of meditation.
honors  philosophy  teaching_pol_theory  graphics  history  china 
november 2018 by Jibarosoy
The Millennial's Guide to Philosophy: Stoicism | Primer
What do rugged cowboys, hard-boiled detectives, tough-as-nails drill sergeants, Jedi knights, Spock from Star Trek, and your grandfather all have in common?

More likely than not, they’re all Stoics – adherents of an old Greek philosophy which has not only survived but flourished over the past 2,300 years of its existence. To this day, Stoicism is making appearances in the actions and words of every tough guy out there, from the sarcastic monologues of John McClane to Clint Eastwood’s thousand-yard squint.
honors  philosophy  Teaching  life  Pol.11  Power_materials  self 
november 2018 by Jibarosoy

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