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InvisibleSclorch
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Heteroabsolutism
    #461263 - 11/17/01 12:01 PM (21 years, 10 months ago)

It's basically what I call my belief system. The only thing absolute is now. Right now, I believe that whatever is true to me is the absolute truth until I am corrected by a perceptual shift or by some other person. My thoughts and/or actions depend on my current concept of right is in that situation. Unlike contingent truth, whatever is done in one situation is absolutely right in all situations EXACTLY (same person, place, time, etc...) like that one. Of course, this is assuming that I am always being honest with myself and only do what I know is right in whatever situation I am in. This is not relativism because if someone else has something different to say and they cannot back up their point of view better than I can back up mine, then I am right and they are wrong.
?

So, we see here that socially, heteroabsolutism is quite tricky and much more complex. But when isolated, the heteroabsolutist has nothing but their current perspective of the world to draw conclusions and truths. So, we really can't be pissed at them for making a mistake every once-in-a-while. But, if after significant social interaction (read: correction) they still do not adopt the "righter" stance, then they can no longer be called heteroabsolutists- they can safely be called morons.
?


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Anonymous

Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #808557 - 08/10/02 08:05 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Hmmmm

Whence cometh such strange but unoriginal ideas?

Is this James talking or Aristotle?

What do you make of the correspondence theory of truth? I'm a big fan despite its obvious flaws. Then again, I've got season tickets to the World Series of Philosophical Pursuit.

Excellent thread! Please, lead on.

Cheers,


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: ]
    #808599 - 08/10/02 08:36 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Whence cometh such strange but unoriginal ideas?
Is this James talking or Aristotle?


The word 'pragmatism' has almost as many foul connotations as 'psychedelic'. And I can't really call it Zen, because there's a religion there...

What do you make of the correspondence theory of truth?
Well, I argued my Epistemology professor into the ground on these same issues... boy did he get frustrated. In the end (just as my philosophy of mind professor in our many arguments on free will vs. determinism), he just said "okay, let's just move on"- the fucker wouldn't even admit that I had him cornered.
I don't like it... I'll have to read up on it again to tell you exactly why as it's been awhile since I forced myself to read all those boring epistemology theories.

Fuck, lemme get a book.... I'll be back.


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Anonymous

Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #808606 - 08/10/02 08:41 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Cool.

I know what you mean about cornering someone on a philosophic point and then having them not admit it or even give an inch. I see that as a REAL function of the ego. With an attitude like that it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to learn.

Yeah, I gotta clean out the chicken coop. I'll be back laterz.

Piece out, namaste, and dog ciao


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #808640 - 08/10/02 08:56 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

That's a reasonable belief system - similar to my own.

You would change your beliefs based on social interaction (correction) but would you change your belief system? I'm sure you would as you would apply the principles of that belief system to the belief system itself.

But there are many people out there who would gladly change their beliefs (and proclamin their open-mindedness) while their belief systems go unexamined.



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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #808641 - 08/10/02 08:57 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

the fucker wouldn't even admit that I had him cornered.

don't you hate it when that happens?



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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: infidelGOD]
    #808833 - 08/10/02 10:44 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

You would change your beliefs based on social interaction (correction) but would you change your belief system? I'm sure you would as you would apply the principles of that belief system to the belief system itself

It depends. I'm rigid on only one thing: adaptability. I doubt that I would experience anything that would change my adaptable belief system into something rigid (overall).
I figured out my system before I read James... deriving a system on your own (based on your own experience) is much more powerful than adopting someone else's, though finding your ideas (that you thought were unique) in the 100 year old writings of an important philosopher add a little more credence to your ideas.


But there are many people out there who would gladly change their beliefs (and proclamin their open-mindedness) while their belief systems go unexamined.

I think that an unbiased and in-depth study of philosophy (paired up with the occasional, complete ego-loss of a strong entheogenic experience) is a helpful method of putting oneself in the proper state for metaprogramming. It's not a sureshot, but I think it is definitely helpful.


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Anonymous

Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #809092 - 08/10/02 01:48 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

...though finding your ideas (that you thought were unique) in the 100 year old writings of an important philosopher add a little more credence to your ideas.

Careful that you aren't just repeating the same mistakes your predecessor made.

Phaedrus/Poincar??

I think that an unbiased and in-depth study of philosophy (paired up with the occasional, complete ego-loss of a strong entheogenic experience) is a helpful method of putting oneself in the proper state for metaprogramming. It's not a sureshot, but I think it is definitely helpful.

I would agree and add that the phrase, "strong entheogenic experience" might be exchanged for, "strong spiritual experience". They are similar but not exactly the same thing.

Cheers,


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: ]
    #809662 - 08/10/02 06:32 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

...though finding your ideas (that you thought were unique) in the 100 year old writings of an important philosopher add a little more credence to your ideas.
Careful that you aren't just repeating the same mistakes your predecessor made.

Well... yeah. Mistakes must be cleared up. Though I haven't found any major mistakes in any James' writings yet. Of course, I haven't read ALL of James yet (or Nietzsche or, well, anybody- hey, I'm 23).
Some of my ideas I haven't found anywhere yet (I guess I always have to have that 'yet' in there, don't I?), so I guess predecessors only help out for some of my thoughts.


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Offlinewhiterastahippie
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #810052 - 08/10/02 11:51 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

if knowledge does not free the self from the self, then ignorance is better than such knowledge.


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #810256 - 08/11/02 06:02 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Care to elaborate on that?
(It's just too vague.)


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Offlinemirrorsaw
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #810395 - 08/11/02 07:16 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

So you believe what you believe, but you keep an open mind.

did you have to dress it up?


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #810403 - 08/11/02 07:20 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Knowledge is the abyss.


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: mirrorsaw]
    #810415 - 08/11/02 07:28 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

So you believe what you believe, but you keep an open mind.
Close... I don't like what "belief" connotes... we need a new word for belief.
I have WORKING BELIEFS. That's all.

did you have to dress it up?
Always.


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OfflineChubbSubb
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #810647 - 08/11/02 09:50 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

I like your ideas Sclorch
Trev,


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #811693 - 08/11/02 07:29 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Sclorch writes:

Though I haven't found any major mistakes in any James' writings yet.

Never fear... you will. Pragmatism is one of the easiest of the pseudo-philosophies to debunk.

pinky


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Adamist]
    #811843 - 08/11/02 10:03 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Knowledge is the abyss

If knowledge is the abyss, what does that make of ignorance?


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Phred]
    #812194 - 08/12/02 05:52 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Never fear... you will. Pragmatism is one of the easiest of the pseudo-philosophies to debunk.

I'd like to hear this... go on.


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Anonymous

Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Phred]
    #812537 - 08/12/02 08:41 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

By all means, I echo Sclorch's sentiment, please show us where James is in error.

I would like it if you would join our little dialectic.

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #812710 - 08/12/02 10:05 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Living in the now is a good thing indeed.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #813507 - 08/12/02 05:39 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

I'm tired tonight. Got a raging case of wicked bronchitis and it feels like I've got two porcupines in my chest cavity. Rather than type from scratch, I'll rely heavily on excerpts from a precis written by others to save myself some time. My commentary is italicized.

From an article at radicalacademy.com:

"James developed the view, in opposition to the more traditional associationism, that consciousness functions in an active, purposeful way to relate and organize thoughts, giving them a streamlike continuity. In the history of psychology, James's theory of mind is called functionalism. James had established an international reputation in psychology before his main focus turned to philosophy, and many of his philosophical views have their roots in his psychological studies.

"James starts from a Positivist viewpoint, that is, from experience, which for him is established by psychological facts. The psychological facts make their appearance as an undifferentiated stream. In this psychic stream the mind makes a distinction between subject and object, sensations and concepts. Concepts arise out of the necessity of organizing the confused facts of experience. Hence their value is not absolute but relative to their utility in practice, i.e., relative to their practical consequences (Pragmatism).

While it is true that concepts must first be organized and formulated by humans before they can be used, neither their validity nor their value is dependent on their utility. A concept, once formulated correctly, exists whether it is of any practical utility to a given individual in a given context. A concept of no apparent use or value today may be of paramount importance tomorrow. It is incorrect to assert that any correct concept is valueless.

"The pragmatic method," says James, "tries to interpret each notion (concept) by tracing its respective practical consequences."

Again, practical consequences of a concept are irrelevant qua "concept". Practical consequences are contextual. What is of value in one context may be harmful in another. The CONCEPT (and its validity) is the same in either case.

"The value of concepts whose practical consequences have not yet been experienced scientifically, depends upon the will."

Mysticism.

"Thus between two hypotheses, neither of which can be tested scientifically, the choice is made by the will on the basis of utility."

I suppose it's marginally better to choose on the basis of "utility" than by by some other arbitrary measure, such as adherence to the "word of God". But from a philosophical standpoint, any hypothesis which does not violate observable reality and known physical laws is potentially a valid one, regardless of its "utility". Note who is doing the deciding here, according to James -- not man's rational faculty, but his "will", whatever that is.

"James considered pragmatism to be both a method for analyzing philosophic problems and a theory of truth. He also saw it as an extension of the empiricist attitude in that it turned away from abstract theory and fixed or absolute principles and toward concrete facts, actions, and relative principles."

And this is why I say that Pragmatism is not a philosophy at all, but an anti-philosophy. With no absolute principles, no abstract theory, it is nothing more than an endless process of trying-out of various actions, observations of random (and, to a Pragmatist, unconnected) concretes, with no attempt made to systematize them. Anything goes, quite literally.

"James considered philosophies to be expressions of personal temperament..."

-- thus indicating handily his misunderstanding of what philosophy is --

"... and developed a correlation between "tough-minded" and "tender-minded" temperaments and empiricist and rationalist positions in philosophy."

What ???

"Theories, he felt, are "instruments" that humans use to solve problems and should be judged in terms of their "cash value" or practical consequences for human conduct.

"He developed the notion of truth as a "leading" that is useful: it can change as human experience changes."

Here is his core error. Truth does NOT change as human experience changes. The truth is unchanging, regardless of whether humans have discovered that particular truth at that particular time, or choose to acknowledge it once discovered.

"The morality, as well as the truth, of an idea or action should be judged, according to James, in a similar way -- in terms of its outcome in human experience. In The Will to Believe (1897) and The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), James examined the problem of belief in cases in which no immediate evidence exists on which to base one's belief. He concluded that in the area of religious commitment, belief can create its own truth through the effects created in the experience of the believer by his "willing nature." Belief in God is thus pragmatically justified if it makes a positive difference in the experience of the believer."

In other words, it is okay to delude yourself into believing any false set of premises as long as (for the moment) it makes you feel good. Again, the antithesis of philosophy.

"In A Pluralistic Universe (1909) and Essays in Radical Empiricism (1912), James developed his metaphysical position: there is no fixed external world to be discovered by one's mind but instead a "humming-buzzing confusion" that one organizes through experience."

Shades of Immanuel Kant, Batman!

"The universe, as well as one's knowledge of it, is continuously evolving. Never complete, it cannot be reduced to a single underlying substance."

In other words, entities are not static. So what? That does not mean they are unknowable.

"Neither materialistic nor spiritualistic monism satisfied William James. The individual is a mere puppet in the hands of absolute substance, be it universal matter or universal mind. The test of a theory, belief, doctrine, must be its effect upon us, its practical consequences -- the pragmatic test: whatever works is true."

Pragmatism in a nutshell -- "whatever works is true" -- carefully avoiding any definition of the term "works".

"The possession of truth is not an end in itself but a preliminary means to vital satisfaction."

Obviously. The problem is with James's definition of the "truth", and with his methodology (or more accurately, anti-methodology) of discovering it.

"Knowledge is an instrument for the sake of life, existing as practical utility. True ideas are those we can assimilate, validate, corroborate, and verify."

Correct. But they need not necessarily have any utilitarian value to fulfill those conditions.

"Truth is, therefore, useful because it is true, it is true because it is useful."

Circular definition.

"James's empiricism opposes classical rationalism and traditional empiricism. He denies that whatever is rational is real."

As do all Mystics.

"To reach reality we must take experience as it exists before it has been manipulated by conceptual thinking. Reality is the flux of our sensations coming from what we know not. It is the totality of consciousness, experience permeated with thought. Reality is ever in the making, growing where thinking beings are at work."

Pure Kant. The primacy of consciousness as opposed to the primacy of existence.

"James's radical empiricism makes for pluralism, multiplicity, diversity, opposition either in quantity or quality. Pluralism satisfies man's moral nature..."

Exactly how does this arbitrariness satisfy man's moral nature? Aztec priests considered it moral to drown babies to appease the rain god. Drowning babies "worked"... it always rained sometime after the sacrifice. They also sacrificed virgins to the god of corn. This "worked", too -- the corn grew. Yet neither action was moral.

"...recognizes individual perceptions. It is melioristic; if each man will do his best, the universe cannot fail."

Again, a Kantian, mystic, anthropocentric, "primacy of consciousness" view of existence.

"In such a world man is free to seek his ideal."

And in a rational universe man is not? Says who?

The following critical note is from the website. I have reproduced it here unchanged because I like it:

"The only metaphysics consistent with James's theory of knowledge has to be based on a selection from among a multitude of opinions. This eclectic approach is clearly the negation of philosophy, for it does not lead to any absolute or to any certitude. James sought to avoid this difficulty and to reach the absolute and God by having recourse to the unconscious mind."

Okay, back to the body of the article:

"James's psychology gives foundation to his empiricism. Consciousness is active and a unity. It is selective and teleological. It carves out man's world. The will, by making a strong idea focal to the exclusion of others, fills the mind and prepares for action. The intellect isolates and integrates "things," imputes reality to them, through the emotional and active life, and conceives them pragmatically."

Note James's view that consciousness imputes reality to "things". Again, the "primacy of consciousness" approach: without a consciousness to bring things into reality, there is no reality. 100% Kant. Also, observe his faulty epistemology here -- who are the active participants in this "bringing into reality" process? In James's view it is not the rational faculty that performs this, but "the emotional and active life". Sounds like Nietzsche to me.

"The unity of consciousness is thorough connectedness, a flowing stream, "substantive" parts shading into one another through the "transitive" parts, surrounded by a "fringe" or "feeling of tendency." "

Kant.

"He acknowledges a stream of experiences but not a stream of conscious experiences."

Huh?

"Therewith he denies that in knowledge the relation between the knowing subject and the object to be known is fundamental, which almost all modern philosophers had taken for granted. This denial has induced many contemporary philosophers, though opposed to James's views, to reconsider the bases and starting points of their own thoughts."

To the detriment of modern philosophy.

"James discovered besides, around and beneath the conscious mind, a darkened psychical zone, the zone of the subconscious, in which -- he believed -- the highest spiritual values, such as genius, sanctity and so forth, were formed, and contact was established with the absolute."

WEBSITE AUTHOR'S CRITICAL NOTES: "James's discovery of the subconscious mind was surely a great contribution to psychology and won for James world-wide fame. But we cannot accept James's doctrine that the highest spiritual values originate in the subconscious mind, for the subconscious mind is irrational and therefore the highest spiritual values would be founded on irrationality -- a supposition which is absurd. James may justify in this way his stand as a liberal Protestant; he may be quoted as a father of Modernism; but no one can deny that his religious position is in complete opposition to the basic statement of his pragmatism -- for it does not lead to any solution, to any practical certitude, to any justification of the universe.

If the only road leading to the supreme spiritual reality is to be found in the analysis of psychological emotions, of religious sentiment, objective Christian dogma disappears. It is modified and replaced by the subjective exigencies of each individual, and thus every believer creates his own religion, his own truth. This, of course, is the central position of Modernism. The logical consequence is that even the nature of God will be understood differently according to various religious emotions. In fact the sincere religious tendency of James himself stumbles along and falls into a pluralistic conception of Divinity. God is finite, He exists in time -- a being among many beings, and like us, a creator of His own story.

How can any satisfaction be found in such a religion? Even from the viewpoint of Pragmatism, it cannot work, for in it none of the fundamental aspirations of mankind are fulfilled. There is no certitude, no hope, no absolute. How can such a limited God guarantee the order of the physical and of the human world? What is left of the world of spirits?

Religious Pragmatism is merely a shortsighted, emotional and irrational attempt to replace dogmatic, absolute and universal truth with the personal fancies of the man in the street. It is morally disastrous, for if truth depends upon subjective feeling, any action can be justified by virtue of the satisfaction it procures. Such a philosophy makes man his own judge and leads to total moral anarchy.

Pinky again. As an atheist, I have no comment on the religious aspects one way or the other. As a moral individual, I must agree with the author's assertion that morality by whim or by public opinion poll is not morality. There IS an objective morality, whether James chooses to acknowledge it or not.

pinky


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Phred]
    #813624 - 08/12/02 06:24 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

I thought so...
You really do misunderstand pragmatism.
Pragmatism is really Zen. The problem is that Zen can't be understood through dialectic. Dialectic takes up a branch in pragmatism, but that's all.

That article is extremely biased. They don't get pragmatism.
article: Such a philosophy makes man his own judge and leads to total moral anarchy.
This is a slippery slope argument. For those so in favor of proper logic, I'm wondering why the bust out the BS so much. (to the author of the article)

Bear with me here...
Absolutes exist, but they are unspeakable (at least with the languages currently available). Have you ever heard the saying, "the true Zen cannot be spoken"? It can't be taught, it can only be learned. Socrates ran into this issue in Plato's Protagoras (substitute "Zen" for "virtue").

You should avoid the "whatever works is true" concept of pragmatism. You should look at it more like "truth is backwards-looking".


Here's an excerpt from THIS POST:

"Although most coherentists would disagree, I am not certain that there is a necessity for an absolute, universal truth. Furthermore, with an unknowable, unspeakable truth, the focus of the ultimate is not on some tangible goal. Instead, the focus is on cognition and thought itself. Thus, there is no core set of unchanging, indubitable beliefs. The process of being a thinking, conscious entity never subsides for a moment and the mind is forced to persist in pondering this peculiar reality of existence."



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Offlinewhiterastahippie
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #813712 - 08/12/02 07:09 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

if knowledge does not liberate the self from the self, ignorance is better than such knowledge.
Care to elaborate on that?
if the things you learn, do not help you seperate yourself from this lower state of existence that is semi natural to us, then ignorance is better than such knowledge. meditate on it.
we are born homo fabers, we must evolve to homo sapiens


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Edited by whiterastahippie (08/12/02 07:12 PM)


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #814128 - 08/13/02 04:06 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Sclorch writes:

I thought so...
You really do misunderstand pragmatism.


Can you provide a link to a site which would correct my misunderstanding? Or can you explain it yourself in terms I will understand?

Pragmatism is really Zen.

I did not know that. In my thirty years of philosophical reading I hadn't heard any writer or professor make that connection before.

The problem is that Zen can't be understood through dialectic. Dialectic takes up a branch in pragmatism, but that's all.

Yes, the branch of epistemology. A philosophy based on a faulty epistemology will not yield correct conclusions.

That article is extremely biased. They don't get pragmatism.

"Biased" is a vague term. Can you point out specific passages from what I quoted that misrepresent James's writings?

It has been many, many years since I read James, but my memory (and I have a pretty good memory) of what I read and what that article summarized correspond pretty much identically.

Absolutes exist, but they are unspeakable (at least with the languages currently available).

This is incorrect. Give me an example of an absolute which cannot be communicated in words.

Have you ever heard the saying, "the true Zen cannot be spoken"?

Yes, I have. I didn't realize I was supposed to debunk Zen, though. I was under the impression I was meant to illustrate the errors in James's writings.

It can't be taught, it can only be learned.

Then it is, technically speaking, not a philosophy at all, but an anti-philosophy.

Socrates ran into this issue in Plato's Protagoras (substitute "Zen" for "virtue").

Plato's philosophy is arbitrary in large parts, incomplete and self-contradictory in other parts. This does not necessarily mean that "virtue" is indefinable.

You should avoid the "whatever works is true" concept of pragmatism.

How can I do that?. James used "utility" to define "truth", did he not? How can I discard one of the central tenets of Pragmatism (arguably THE central tenet) without discarding everything else that logically follows from it?

You should look at it more like "truth is backwards-looking".

I don't understand the meaning of that phrase. Could you elaborate?

pinky


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #814166 - 08/13/02 04:25 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Sclorch writes:

"Although most coherentists would disagree, I am not certain that there is a necessity for an absolute, universal truth.

Depends how one defines "necessity". If human survival is not the goal, then clearly there is no necessity for absolutes. But for humans to survive, there must be absolute, universal truths that can be understood by them, otherwise their main tool of survival (rationality) is useless.

Furthermore, with an unknowable, unspeakable truth, the focus of the ultimate is not on some tangible goal.

Without survival, no further goals are possible, so in that sense you are correct.

Can you explain to us how you came to conclude that truth is unknowable? And can you define "truth" in this context?

Instead, the focus is on cognition and thought itself.

Until the human doing the thinking dies from lack of food.

Thus, there is no core set of unchanging, indubitable beliefs.

If by that you mean a rational being is constantly refining and adding to his knowledge and discarding his previously held beliefs which have later been proven false, I will agree. The acquisition of knowledge is an ongoing process.

The process of being a thinking, conscious entity never subsides for a moment and the mind is forced to persist in pondering this peculiar reality of existence.

Correct. And why is that? Because without thought, RATIONAL thought, a human cannot survive (absent the attention of other humans). It is not only that we DO think, but we MUST think. All that is left to decide is HOW we think. Should we rely on divine inspiration or some ineffable cosmic consciousness to keep us alive? Or should we use our rational faculty that has been refined over tens of thousands of years to become the most effective tool of survival ever to appear on this planet?

pinky


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Phred]
    #814450 - 08/13/02 06:47 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

You're still not getting it... I'm obviously not communicating it good enough.
Most philosophies are are somehow based on foundations. Heteroabsolutism is NOT based on foundations... it is anti-foundational (you called it an anti-philosophy). The purpose of this is NOT to ignore everything rational and starve to death (though that is a logical possibility). If you're looking for a perfect system of universal truths, you'll never find it. The nature of reality is change, so adopting an adaptable thought system seems like a logical thing to do.

I think most have misunderstood pragmatism... and now there is this sour connotation that is paired up with the word. I think the word 'Heteroabsolutism' advertises the central tenet better. Sure, we need absolutes to function everyday, but the moment we stop challenging our own thought system is the moment we throw away fallibility and, thus, adaptability. Infallibility is a form of dogmatic thinking. It provides security and safety for the weak mind. It encourages people to stop questioning, to stop reassessing, to stop wondering...


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Anonymous

Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #814475 - 08/13/02 06:58 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

You may want to check out some of the Philosophies of Bruce Lee..


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: ]
    #814496 - 08/13/02 07:06 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Actually, I've only glanced at some of Lee's work. I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Can you recommend a book?


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Anonymous

Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #814688 - 08/13/02 09:09 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

I can... Tao of Jeet Kune Do comes to mind.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #814711 - 08/13/02 09:20 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Sclorch writes:

You're still not getting it... I'm obviously not communicating it good enough.

All I know of Pragmatism is what I was taught, and what I have read in the work of James himself and commentaries by a few dozen others. From everything I have read, that article from radicalacadamy.com is pretty much bang on -- no distortions, no misrepresentations, no major ommissions. I eagerly await any information you can supply me which shows otherwise.

Most philosophies are are somehow based on foundations.

ALL philosophies are. Some foundations hold up. Others don't.

Heteroabsolutism is NOT based on foundations... it is anti-foundational (you called it an anti-philosophy).

Then by definition it is not a philosophy. It is, in fact, an anti-philosophy.

The purpose of this is NOT to ignore everything rational and starve to death (though that is a logical possibility).

I realize that is not the intention, but it is the effect. Without certainty of knowledge it is impossible to survive. That isn't an opinion, that's a fact. Nature, to be commanded, must be understood. Nature, to be understood, must be understandable. Since nature can demonstrably be commanded, it is therefore understandable. In other words, there ARE absolutes. All is NOT flux amd random sensation.

If you're looking for a perfect system of universal truths, you'll never find it.

That is your arbitrary assertion, supplied with no proof.

The nature of reality is change...

The fact that entities move and interact does not alter the fact that they exist. An entity IS, whether you choose to acknowledge its existence or not, whether you can (yet) chart every last infinitesimal detail of its subatomic structure or not.

...so adopting an adaptable thought system seems like a logical thing to do.

Just because a thought system recognizes the fact that there are absolutes does not mean it isn't an adaptable thought system. Incomplete or false theories (the geocentric theory of astronomy, for example) are discarded as new knowledge becomes available. New aspects of knowledge are incorporated into the system (the microbe theory of disease, for example) as they are discovered.

The universe operates according to a finite set of rules. Entities are what they are, and act as they act, according to their specific nature which is determined by that set of rules. This is true whether we know all the rules yet or not. The universe doesn't CARE how many of the rules we have discovered.

I think most have misunderstood pragmatism... and now there is this sour connotation that is paired up with the word. I think the word 'Heteroabsolutism' advertises the central tenet better.

Hmm. This reminds me of a discussion I had in the Politics forum, where Statists call themselves Anarchists. To be honest, I don't really understand what you mean by "heteroabsolutism". How did you coin the word? "Hetero" = other, different. "Absolutism" = belief in absolutes. Does that mean you believe in more than one absolute at a time? I am not being facetious here, I really need a concise and accurate explanation of the term.

Sure, we need absolutes to function everyday, but the moment we stop challenging our own thought system is the moment we throw away fallibility and, thus, adaptability.

Here is where we disagree. The fact that a thought system is as yet incomplete does not make it invalid. We must of course ADD to our knowledge, and correct our knowledge but to discard sytematic thought because it is (as yet) unable to accurately predict every possible event far into the future with unerring accuracy is folly.

Infallibility is a form of dogmatic thinking.

Why are you convinced those who think systematically believe themselves incapable of error?

It provides security and safety for the weak mind. It encourages people to stop questioning, to stop reassessing, to stop wondering...

I submit the reverse is true. If one believes there are no absolutes, that reality is not discoverable through reason, then one will be encouraged to sit like a vegetable, pondering (with what?) a flyspeck on the wall while waiting for the "Zen" to make its appearance. "Why question that which cannot be questioned? Why reassess that which cannot be assessed? Why try to discover that which cannot be discovered?" Better to be a passive vessel with an wide-open "mind" in the hopes that God (or whatever) may some day deign to fill it.

pinky


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Phred]
    #815046 - 08/13/02 11:56 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

I'm going get back to you on this...
Pragmatism does have a method, but it is more bootstrapping and less plan ahead... I hope that's clear. Whatever, lemme draft something up...


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Anonymous

Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Phred]
    #815207 - 08/13/02 01:26 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

I am not posting as much now, which I explained in the Terence McKenna thread. I will make a brief comment or two.

I am reading, though I am not posting much, and I am enjoying this conversation as much as if I were in it.

I appreciate your patience in this thread and hope to be back to my regular posting schedule soon.

RadicalAcademy.com, eh?

Perhaps we know each other.

And I am sure you are familiar with my mentor, Dr. Mortimer J. Adler?

Of course I agree with your posts. Reading yours is so much better than writing them myself.

Thank you,


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: ]
    #815299 - 08/13/02 02:02 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Mr_Mushrooms writes:

RadicalAcademy.com, eh?

Perhaps we know each other.


Perhaps, but not through radicalacademy.com. I just ran across it yesterday when I did a search looking for brief synopses of the writings of William James.

And I am sure you are familiar with my mentor, Dr. Mortimer J. Adler?

Nope. Does he have a website?

A question for you, dude. Why on earth do you sign your posts "Plato" when you are an avowed Aristotelian?

pinky


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Anonymous

Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Phred]
    #815466 - 08/13/02 03:04 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Ah me, what a way to draw me out.

Nope. Does he have a website?

Essentially, radicalacademy.com is the official Adler site. It contains an archive of his work.

His published nearly 50 books in his lifetime and the last one when he was a spry 93 years old. He is chiefly responsible for the Encyclopedia Brittanica, the Institute for Philosophical Research, and the Aspen Institute. He was, in my opinion, the most critical thinking, brilliant mind of the twentieth century. He stopped writing for academia in the 70's though and after that focused on getting the common man to think. His death rocked the foundation of the world of philosophy last year when he died at 98 years of age, June 28th 2001.

The Chicago Sun-Times said:

"Mortimer Jerome Adler, a prolific philosopher who made the "great books" accessible to the reading public and wrote 49 of his own while teaching at the University of Chicago and editing the Encyclopaedia Britannica, died Thursday at age 98.

More than half a century ago he led a movement to base education on what he called the great books, works by authors from Plato and Aristotle to Freud and Faulkner. His list was criticized for its lack of diversity, but it popularized the seminar texts of Western civilization."

A few thoughts from fans and friends after his death:

"At the age of 45 in 1983, after public schooling, two University degrees (Business and Law) and special R.C.M. Police training, it was crushing to learn that I was not very well educated. But thanks to Mortimer Adler this crushing was only a way of facing reality. With Mortimer's help, he led me out of the cave to see in all its glory, real education. But it did not stop there. He led me into the realm of God. By that I do not necessarily mean religion. He led me to the world of ideas, the world of the intellect and conceptual thought. In this non-temporal world he showed me that understanding is greater and higher than information or knowledge. To Mortimer I owe my true inner existence and without him I would only "tremble on the edge of nothingness." With other Adler friends, I feel fortunate to have had the
opportunity to share seminar discussions of his books in his later years. Through Mortimer I am closer to the Totum bonum, because he is the Summum bonum of all teachers. The passing of his individuality from this physical cosmos at the age of 98 is still too soon.

And:

As I poured myself a cup of coffee this morning, I saw the words "Great Books" through the blue plastic which covered my Chicago Tribune. Great Books on the front page of the Tribune--why? I immediately opened up the paper and was saddened to hear Mortimer Jerome Adler had died. I then thought about how much he has influenced me through his life's work. Almost every week I refer to at least one of these: Syntopicon, Propeadia, or How to Read a Book. Almost every week for fifteen years I have been involved in one of the following programs: Aspen Institute, Great Books Foundation, Center for the Study of Great Ideas, or Basic Program of Liberal Education. I have been greatly influenced by him; I am a better person because of him; and I will continue growing because of the availability of his life's work. I am most appreciative. The Chicago Tribune provided a small biography of Mortimer Adler. I was surprised to find out he had been married to two different women for over 30 years each. Not many men have done that--even once. But then again, few men have accomplished as much as Mortimer Adler."

Dr. Adler was also the co-founder with Robert Hutchins of the Great Books program at the University of Chicago. They were the ones who had a run-in with another favorite of mine, Robert M. Pirsig aka Phaedrus, of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance fame. Please don't tell me you haven't heard of him either.

Dr. Adler taught Aristotle like Issac Stern played the violin. If you widh to read more about him just type in the phrase, "The Day Philosophy Died" in a search engine. That should tell you more about him than I could ever say.

Why on earth do you sign your posts "Plato" when you are an avowed Aristotelian?

You are not the first person to notice the anomalous component of my posts. My respect of Aristotle is so great that it borders on worship. I may use his picture but I could never sign his name as if it were mine.

His light is like the burning sun whereas mine is but the taper light.

Heavens, keep asking me questions about Dr. Adler and I will back to speed in short order!

cheers,




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Anonymous

Re: Heteroabsolutism [Re: Sclorch]
    #817670 - 08/15/02 09:55 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Hey Sclorch buddy,

Where were we?

Glad the Shroomery is back! Just as I was getting my second wind the darn thing had a black out!

Cheers,


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