Hype's Philosophy Thread

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Everybody's Friend
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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#21 Post by Everybody's Friend » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:58 am

Hype wrote:
Bandit72 wrote:Someone please start a discussion :bored:
On this note: I actually believe (on the basis of some arguments) that there's only one possible way the universe could have been and can be now and will be in the future, and that everything is absolutely 100% logically and causally necessary.

Very few philosophers hold a view about causality that strong. It does strange things to moral responsibility and how we think about human action. Some philosophers might accuse me of fatalism (everything is fated) and nihilism (so nothing matters), since if everything is necessary, it seems we can't change things. This is, technically, true. But in practice, the neat thing about living things (in fact, *the* thing about living), is that they respond to their environments in multifarious (many different) attempts to get things to go ways they want, with greater or lesser success. This can drive progress (just as easily as regress), because we don't know precisely what will happen tomorrow -- the causal nexus is too complicated to see clearly (like infinite chess pieces on an infinitely large chess board, with each piece operated by an infinitely complex decision-machine).

There... does that spark any interest? :noclue:
No.

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#22 Post by Bandit72 » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:07 am

I can't see any other way other than a causal universe and I can't see why people see chance as wrong. :noclue: Surely everything is fated? I don't see why that should be a problem even for philosophers, in fact, isn't it one of the most obvious things?

I also don't see how hard it is for some to understand probability. With over 100 billion stars, why shouldn't there be at least one instance where a planet with exact coordinates supports life? Whic has been developing over 4 billio years or whatever. Is it that hard to imagine our planet to be so old that we have to invent creators?

I'm not entirely sure we'll be around to learn how the Universe came into existance, but we will never lose that same old god-fearing arguement that because we don't know, *THEY* do. I often think what a secular planet would be like. Surely that would alter ways in which the planet has evolved over the last few thousand years. I know it's going to go when our sun goes, but I sometimes feel life will go quicker than is necessary due to these multifarious attempts by people to get things to go the way they want. And it'll become another empty sphere, gravitating in our tiny solar system.

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#23 Post by Hype » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:09 am

Everybody's Friend wrote:
Hype wrote:
Bandit72 wrote:Someone please start a discussion :bored:
On this note: I actually believe (on the basis of some arguments) that there's only one possible way the universe could have been and can be now and will be in the future, and that everything is absolutely 100% logically and causally necessary.

Very few philosophers hold a view about causality that strong. It does strange things to moral responsibility and how we think about human action. Some philosophers might accuse me of fatalism (everything is fated) and nihilism (so nothing matters), since if everything is necessary, it seems we can't change things. This is, technically, true. But in practice, the neat thing about living things (in fact, *the* thing about living), is that they respond to their environments in multifarious (many different) attempts to get things to go ways they want, with greater or lesser success. This can drive progress (just as easily as regress), because we don't know precisely what will happen tomorrow -- the causal nexus is too complicated to see clearly (like infinite chess pieces on an infinitely large chess board, with each piece operated by an infinitely complex decision-machine).

There... does that spark any interest? :noclue:
No.
:lol: Shit... I was hoping the answer was 'No.'

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#24 Post by Everybody's Friend » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:18 am

Hype wrote:
Everybody's Friend wrote:
Hype wrote:
Bandit72 wrote:Someone please start a discussion :bored:
On this note: I actually believe (on the basis of some arguments) that there's only one possible way the universe could have been and can be now and will be in the future, and that everything is absolutely 100% logically and causally necessary.

Very few philosophers hold a view about causality that strong. It does strange things to moral responsibility and how we think about human action. Some philosophers might accuse me of fatalism (everything is fated) and nihilism (so nothing matters), since if everything is necessary, it seems we can't change things. This is, technically, true. But in practice, the neat thing about living things (in fact, *the* thing about living), is that they respond to their environments in multifarious (many different) attempts to get things to go ways they want, with greater or lesser success. This can drive progress (just as easily as regress), because we don't know precisely what will happen tomorrow -- the causal nexus is too complicated to see clearly (like infinite chess pieces on an infinitely large chess board, with each piece operated by an infinitely complex decision-machine).

There... does that spark any interest? :noclue:
No.
:lol: Shit... I was hoping the answer was 'No.'
Let the record show.... I tried. :bored:

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#25 Post by Hype » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:49 am

Bandit72 wrote:I can't see any other way other than a causal universe and I can't see why people see chance as wrong. :noclue: Surely everything is fated? I don't see why that should be a problem even for philosophers, in fact, isn't it one of the most obvious things?
No, it's not obvious. Not for people who believe people are special (i.e., have free will), or for people who think that quantum mechanics is physically indeterministic (not just epistemically, or knowledge-indeterminate). David Hume famously argued, against the rise of mechanistic philosophy and science, that 'causality' isn't something we've actually perceived in the world, but only an inference we've made from the fact that what we have perceived seems to obey regularities. The modern conception of a physical law is indebted to this view (though somewhat different). More interestingly, the Western legal tradition is dominated by a view of persons as free agents, i.e., actors who can originate causal sequences without being fully determined by what came before. There are important legal and moral concepts that would have to be denied if we all accepted that everything is totally determined. There would no longer be a distinction between mentally ill and sane criminality, since all criminality would have to be seen as ultimately derived from causes that the perpetrator did not choose. This is a serious problem. Some philosophers even think that if everything is fully determined, there couldn't be any true morality (or moral philosophy) or politics (or political philosophy).

One thing to clarify about what you say, though, is that the philosophical concept of 'chance' is the exact opposite of the concept of 'necessity'. So if everything is necessary, determined, and couldn't be different, then nothing is the way it is 'by chance'. This doesn't imply that someone (something intelligent) chose or set things up the way they are, but it does mean that nothing happens randomly or merely probabilistically. This leads to your next statement:
I also don't see how hard it is for some to understand probability. With over 100 billion stars, why shouldn't there be at least one instance where a planet with exact coordinates supports life? Whic has been developing over 4 billio years or whatever. Is it that hard to imagine our planet to be so old that we have to invent creators?
Yes. It is hard for ALL people to conceive very large time scales (or very large distances, or very large numbers of anything). A lot of scientists and philosophers, especially when educating the public, like to talk about how humans have basically evolved in a world full of 'middle-sized dry goods'. We're conditioned to think about things more or less as big as we are, moving about as fast as we can, and made of material of roughly the same consistency as we are. Our language and logic does very poorly with very large or very small things, very fast or very slow things, and very liquid or gaseous things. These are still difficult issues in mathematical and philosophical logic, metaphysics, and for physics. We also do very poorly at grasping probabilistic logic. Take the Monty Hall Problem, for example:



We like to teach things like that in intro philosophy because it shows how poorly we're able to intuitively understand basic numeracy/logic, and why mathematics and logic are so important.
I'm not entirely sure we'll be around to learn how the Universe came into existance, but we will never lose that same old god-fearing arguement that because we don't know, *THEY* do. I often think what a secular planet would be like. Surely that would alter ways in which the planet has evolved over the last few thousand years. I know it's going to go when our sun goes, but I sometimes feel life will go quicker than is necessary due to these multifarious attempts by people to get things to go the way they want. And it'll become another empty sphere, gravitating in our tiny solar system.
There won't be a secular planet, because the problem isn't belief in gods, or religions, but the evolutionary biases we're stuck with that are directed toward genetic survival rather than truth. Some of the most superstitious, poor reasoners I've met are self-described atheists or non-religious people. There are a bunch of studies about how philosophers are subject to the same biases as everyone else, even though we think we're trained to avoid them (because we know what they are, and we spend our careers trying to employ logic and careful thinking in order to find truths, not merely confirm our biases). The problem isn't that people have biases, but how to catch ourselves when we make them and get at truth instead. That's the basis of the development of scientific method from Francis Bacon to Descartes and onwards.

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#26 Post by mockbee » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:21 am

We,re all sinners, even the atheists.

Were do you see 'godlessness' going?

All hail the phone? There was a guy not looking at his phone todaty, I wanted to ask him what was wrong....:noclue:

Are you saying god never was the problem with humans, humans are the problem with humans, I would agree with that.




Oh, and we've had this discussion before a couple years ago, I want you to report back what you've discovered since then........ :waits: :tiphat:

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#27 Post by mockbee » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:59 am

mockbee wrote:
Were do you see 'godlessness' going?
Let me be more specific on this point.

1. Do you believe that humans are more, less or the same 'god-fearing' as we were 50, 100, 1000 years ago? Is this question quite geographically/culturally variable?

2. If we are less god-fearing, has this shift been due to high respect for scientific endeavors, or just life is more 'easy' so people just became lazy and don't need to bother with these greater questions?

3. And finally, why are 'atheists' so awkward?

thank you.

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#28 Post by Hype » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:52 am

mockbee wrote:
mockbee wrote:
Were do you see 'godlessness' going?
Let me be more specific on this point.

1. Do you believe that humans are more, less or the same 'god-fearing' as we were 50, 100, 1000 years ago? Is this question quite geographically/culturally variable?

2. If we are less god-fearing, has this shift been due to high respect for scientific endeavors, or just life is more 'easy' so people just became lazy and don't need to bother with these greater questions?

3. And finally, why are 'atheists' so awkward?

thank you.
I'm not really in the business of answering things categorically. I'm not a speculative sociologist. (Is there such a thing?) One reason is that there's nothing useful to me in telling other people what I believe. I'm much more interested in working things out in ways that suit me, and maybe helping others figure out how to do that for themselves. But there might be a way to do some philosophical thinking with your questions.

First, it's not clear what you mean when you say 'humans'. You could mean the species, or you could mean individuals, or you could mean some societies, or some parts of the world, or you could mean in terms of behaviour, or belief, or both. But it seems you mean something like the fact that when surveys are done, people are now reporting less religiosity in many parts of the West than they have in the past. I don't think philosophers have an answer to why this is the case.

If I were to guess, I'd say probably affluence, stability, and happiness all play a role in whether people look for something to believe in or feel free to stop believing what their parents believed. Many parts of the world are currently still VERY religious and very dangerous for targets of religious hatred (Uganda, Russia, many others). But I don't have the actual data. Worse, I don't think that reporting a lack of belief in a particular god or gods, nor a lack of religious observance, necessarily indicates anything about the people who report it. Pollsters might be interested in asking whether professed non-religious people believe various other kinds of pseudo-scientific or superstitious nonsense, and then we'd have a better sense of whether people are changing or not.I think public education can help remove some kinds of superstition, but not all.

Your third question is just silly... as far as anyone knows, atheists aren't any more or less awkward than anyone else. Some awkward atheists are well-known public figures, and some fans of those public figures are awkward. And because some atheists have gained noticeable popularity recently, their awkward fans are perhaps more noticeable.

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#29 Post by mockbee » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:09 am

Hype wrote:
I'm not really in the business of answering things categorically. I'm not a speculative sociologist. (Is there such a thing?) One reason is that there's nothing useful to me in telling other people what I believe. I'm much more interested in working things out in ways that suit me, and maybe helping others figure out how to do that for themselves. But there might be a way to do some philosophical thinking with your questions.

First, it's not clear what you mean when you say 'humans'. You could mean the species, or you could mean individuals, or you could mean some societies, or some parts of the world, or you could mean in terms of behaviour, or belief, or both. But it seems you mean something like the fact that when surveys are done, people are now reporting less religiosity in many parts of the West than they have in the past. I don't think philosophers have an answer to why this is the case.

If I were to guess, I'd say probably affluence, stability, and happiness all play a role in whether people look for something to believe in or feel free to stop believing what their parents believed. Many parts of the world are currently still VERY religious and very dangerous for targets of religious hatred (Uganda, Russia, many others). But I don't have the actual data. Worse, I don't think that reporting a lack of belief in a particular god or gods, nor a lack of religious observance, necessarily indicates anything about the people who report it. Pollsters might be interested in asking whether professed non-religious people believe various other kinds of pseudo-scientific or superstitious nonsense, and then we'd have a better sense of whether people are changing or not.I think public education can help remove some kinds of superstition, but not all.

Your third question is just silly... as far as anyone knows, atheists aren't any more or less awkward than anyone else. Some awkward atheists are well-known public figures, and some fans of those public figures are awkward. And because some atheists have gained noticeable popularity recently, their awkward fans are perhaps more noticeable.
That makes sense. I think my questions are more rooted in the sociological realm. Speculation and categorical thought seem to be an overwhelming fascination with today's media/populace. I think the difference between today and times past is that is all so immediately accessible and in our faces all the time. I would hope that people, like you say, are thinking about 'working things out in ways that suit [themselves]' as much, or more, than has always been the case........... but there is really no way of knowing if that is happening.

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#30 Post by Bandit72 » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:08 am

Hype wrote:First, it's not clear what you mean when you say 'humans'. You could mean the species, or you could mean individuals, or you could mean some societies, or some parts of the world, or you could mean in terms of behaviour, or belief, or both. But it seems you mean something like the fact that when surveys are done, people are now reporting less religiosity in many parts of the West than they have in the past. I don't think philosophers have an answer to why this is the case.
Isn't this just a simple case of folk being more in tune with science and evidence than they were say even 50 years ago? I'm sure you'll agree that available information, however credible, is easier to access now than it ever was. I agree, people tend to hand pick what they want, but the fact remains, education and reason is becoming more and more prevalent.

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#31 Post by Hype » Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:19 am

Bandit72 wrote:Isn't this just a simple case of folk being more in tune with science and evidence than they were say even 50 years ago? I'm sure you'll agree that available information, however credible, is easier to access now than it ever was. I agree, people tend to hand pick what they want, but the fact remains, education and reason is becoming more and more prevalent.
I don't think that's totally true. The fact of easier access to information doesn't tell us anything about how much of that information the average person accesses, or, having accessed it, actually understands. In fact, there's preliminary evidence suggesting a new cognitive bias where people (including academics) mistake having searched something on the Internet for knowing more about it. Proof: http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2015-13957-001/
As the Internet has become a nearly ubiquitous resource for acquiring knowledge about the world, questions have arisen about its potential effects on cognition. Here we show that searching the Internet for explanatory knowledge creates an illusion whereby people mistake access to information for their own personal understanding of the information. Evidence from 9 experiments shows that searching for information online leads to an increase in self-assessed knowledge as people mistakenly think they have more knowledge “in the head,” even seeing their own brains as more active as depicted by functional MRI (fMRI) images. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
People actually believe they know more now than they actually do.

From my brief experience as an educator, I can also add that I have seen far too many students mistake reading words on a page for understanding the thoughts those words are meant to convey. I once described the phenomenon as mistaking familiarity for understanding. It's not a new phenomenon. Religious ideas are maintained in this way, under the guise of "knowledge", even when there's nothing to know.

Reason, in the sense of thinking carefully about what one has reasons to do or believe, certainly isn't more prevalent now than it has been in the past. I don't know why anyone would think that.

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#32 Post by mockbee » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:04 am

Hype wrote:

Reason, in the sense of thinking carefully about what one has reasons to do or believe, certainly isn't more prevalent now than it has been in the past. I don't know why anyone would think that.
I reason to agree. Intuition, I think, is being confused with truth, belief and meaning on a wide scale. And the internet isn't helping. It distorts the true nature of reality in a way that people are convinced is truth. Maybe before, in a purely brick and mortar world, a sliver of hope could be had for people to follow their intuition based on real events that aren't condensed into sound bites and hyperbole. Of course this has probably always been the case, like 19th/20th C. Revival meetings, maybe just nothing does change or will change with how we perceive and process the world...
:noclue:

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#33 Post by Squee » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:22 am

Hype wrote:...
From my brief experience as an educator, I can also add that I have seen far too many students mistake reading words on a page for understanding the thoughts those words are meant to convey. I once described the phenomenon as mistaking familiarity for understanding. It's not a new phenomenon. Religious ideas are maintained in this way, under the guise of "knowledge", even when there's nothing to know.

Reason, in the sense of thinking carefully about what one has reasons to do or believe, certainly isn't more prevalent now than it has been in the past. I don't know why anyone would think that.
We interrupt this programming for a comment from the peanut gallery-

The bold-ed is one of the reasons why we now have Common Core Curriculum ... don't get me started!
As a parent of two children 18 years apart, I am experiencing the difference in teaching from then to now.
With all the new changes, I wonder and am sometimes frightened what the next generation will be like once they get to college having grown up with this "new learning" :banghead:
Teaching should not be a one size fits all solution. Some of the stuff my younger one comes home with is driving me to want to drink before she asks me for help with it.

and...now back to our regularly scheduled Philosophy thread...

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#34 Post by Hype » Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:41 pm

Squee wrote:
Hype wrote:...
From my brief experience as an educator, I can also add that I have seen far too many students mistake reading words on a page for understanding the thoughts those words are meant to convey. I once described the phenomenon as mistaking familiarity for understanding. It's not a new phenomenon. Religious ideas are maintained in this way, under the guise of "knowledge", even when there's nothing to know.

Reason, in the sense of thinking carefully about what one has reasons to do or believe, certainly isn't more prevalent now than it has been in the past. I don't know why anyone would think that.
We interrupt this programming for a comment from the peanut gallery-

The bold-ed is one of the reasons why we now have Common Core Curriculum ... don't get me started!
As a parent of two children 18 years apart, I am experiencing the difference in teaching from then to now.
With all the new changes, I wonder and am sometimes frightened what the next generation will be like once they get to college having grown up with this "new learning" :banghead:
Teaching should not be a one size fits all solution. Some of the stuff my younger one comes home with is driving me to want to drink before she asks me for help with it.

and...now back to our regularly scheduled Philosophy thread...
I wouldn't worry about it too much, because there are always going to be some really bright kids, regardless of what a common curriculum tries to make a baseline, and some of those kids will get lucky and figure out a way to do really good, cool, difficult stuff.

But, you're right that the common core issue is one that we really should think carefully about, because as you suggest, it generates some odd outcomes later. For one thing, there's been a huge push for all the kids of the boomers and gen-xers to go to university, without any regard for desire, ability, suitability, etc. Universities have responded in some really strange ways, especially once they realized that many parents were willing to pay lots of money. The Ivies and other large private US schools are somewhat immune to this because they have huge historical endowments and a vested interest in retaining the appearance of selectivity (well, except for legacies... that's a whole other problem). But now public institutions are all being run on a neo-liberal funding model that privileges high recruitment and turnover, and of course, this penalizes programs that aren't associated with immediate income benefits. The Renaissance and Enlightenment ideals of free individuals self-creating and self-learning through the opening up of opportunities is basically being usurped to make wealthy people wealthier. There's immense pressure on university professors to simply pass students who would have failed many years ago, because it means they continue to pay for the university's existence.

Worse, the humanities are forced to, somewhat disingenuously, suggest that what we're good for is... skills that help other fields. Philosophy is a great major for crushing the LSATs. English is a great major for technical writing or basic communication skills. These and language departments are closing like crazy, because they just can't compete with the pre-med/pre-law/engineering programs that have effectively turned undergraduate education into apprenticeship programs and job-training. And of course, that's not to knock those programs. They are necessary. And it's not a slight against parents wanting their children to do well. Of course that's fine, though often misguided.

The problem is that the promises of these things are all being sold as products rather than something valuable in itself (products are only as valuable as people believe them useful, or can be suckered into buying whether or not they turn out to be useful).

A lot of this comes down to failures at the policy-level, and I can't really blame parents and kids for getting caught up in it. I will say that many professors are convinced that new university students are far less skilled in certain basic things than they were even as few as ten years ago. This might be a cognitive bias, because these professors are ten years older, and thousands of students further on, and may be mistakenly remembering only the better students from the past. But there does seem to be something strange going on with students on average. They come in with very high marks, and expect high marks, but have to re-learn how to do everything. They can't spell, they can't write coherently, they can't even follow simple instructions like "Write your name and student number on every page of the exam." Oh, and because of all of this and the fear of looking stupid, they cheat in ways that weren't possible, or weren't as easy to pull off, even five years ago. It's a mess.

This is on the front page of Reddit right now, and reminded me of your complaints about the Common Core:
Image

The strategies are stupid, but in this case, the teacher is even worse. Sometimes you just get duds. I had some really awful teachers that, looking back, I think probably played a large role in steering me away from things that I had enjoyed up until that point (sciences, math, music, and English all come to mind, at various points in my education). But it's really hard to be a good teacher. I don't think a common curriculum can help that.

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#35 Post by mockbee » Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:18 pm

Hype wrote:
Squee wrote:
Hype wrote:...
From my brief experience as an educator, I can also add that I have seen far too many students mistake reading words on a page for understanding the thoughts those words are meant to convey. I once described the phenomenon as mistaking familiarity for understanding. It's not a new phenomenon. Religious ideas are maintained in this way, under the guise of "knowledge", even when there's nothing to know.

Reason, in the sense of thinking carefully about what one has reasons to do or believe, certainly isn't more prevalent now than it has been in the past. I don't know why anyone would think that.
We interrupt this programming for a comment from the peanut gallery-

The bold-ed is one of the reasons why we now have Common Core Curriculum ... don't get me started!
As a parent of two children 18 years apart, I am experiencing the difference in teaching from then to now.
With all the new changes, I wonder and am sometimes frightened what the next generation will be like once they get to college having grown up with this "new learning" :banghead:
Teaching should not be a one size fits all solution. Some of the stuff my younger one comes home with is driving me to want to drink before she asks me for help with it.

and...now back to our regularly scheduled Philosophy thread...
I wouldn't worry about it too much, because there are always going to be some really bright kids, regardless of what a common curriculum tries to make a baseline, and some of those kids will get lucky and figure out a way to do really good, cool, difficult stuff.

But, you're right that the common core issue is one that we really should think carefully about, because as you suggest, it generates some odd outcomes later. For one thing, there's been a huge push for all the kids of the boomers and gen-xers to go to university, without any regard for desire, ability, suitability, etc. Universities have responded in some really strange ways, especially once they realized that many parents were willing to pay lots of money. The Ivies and other large private US schools are somewhat immune to this because they have huge historical endowments and a vested interest in retaining the appearance of selectivity (well, except for legacies... that's a whole other problem). But now public institutions are all being run on a neo-liberal funding model that privileges high recruitment and turnover, and of course, this penalizes programs that aren't associated with immediate income benefits. The Renaissance and Enlightenment ideals of free individuals self-creating and self-learning through the opening up of opportunities is basically being usurped to make wealthy people wealthier. There's immense pressure on university professors to simply pass students who would have failed many years ago, because it means they continue to pay for the university's existence.

Worse, the humanities are forced to, somewhat disingenuously, suggest that what we're good for is... skills that help other fields. Philosophy is a great major for crushing the LSATs. English is a great major for technical writing or basic communication skills. These and language departments are closing like crazy, because they just can't compete with the pre-med/pre-law/engineering programs that have effectively turned undergraduate education into apprenticeship programs and job-training. And of course, that's not to knock those programs. They are necessary. And it's not a slight against parents wanting their children to do well. Of course that's fine, though often misguided.

The problem is that the promises of these things are all being sold as products rather than something valuable in itself (products are only as valuable as people believe them useful, or can be suckered into buying whether or not they turn out to be useful).

A lot of this comes down to failures at the policy-level, and I can't really blame parents and kids for getting caught up in it. I will say that many professors are convinced that new university students are far less skilled in certain basic things than they were even as few as ten years ago. This might be a cognitive bias, because these professors are ten years older, and thousands of students further on, and may be mistakenly remembering only the better students from the past. But there does seem to be something strange going on with students on average. They come in with very high marks, and expect high marks, but have to re-learn how to do everything. They can't spell, they can't write coherently, they can't even follow simple instructions like "Write your name and student number on every page of the exam." Oh, and because of all of this and the fear of looking stupid, they cheat in ways that weren't possible, or weren't as easy to pull off, even five years ago. It's a mess.

It is a mess, for all the reasons you've laid out. I like what one woman said on Bill Maher about her daughter 'joining the Ponzi scheme - I mean.... going to University.' :balls:

What is a parent to do...?

We do need apprenticeship programs that 4-year universities have become (very unsuccessfully), but those should be the trade schools and community colleges. These should be quality state run colleges (not universities) where you live at home, or find an apartment with friends and work exclusively on a trade, while working service jobs to make ends meet. There wouldn't be a whole university 'lifestyle'. The 4-year state and private universities should have half the enrollment they have now, be quite competitive (with extensive outreach to less privileged populations) and be only dedicated to arts and sciences, with intent to 1) learn for learning's sake or 2) get a professional degree/or work towards further studies.

I think the main problem is that there has been a fair amount of affluence in the last couple decades and parents and kids have conflated the trade school and liberal education paths that has been co-opted by the 4-year state schools, where neither path is sufficiently realized.

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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#36 Post by Matz » Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:13 pm

Everybody's Friend wrote:
Hype wrote: Very few philosophers hold a view about causality that strong.
I don't get that. How do your colleagues e.g. shoot down that vending machine example of yours that you used in the free will thread to demonstrate your point? Seems impossible to do to me

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mockbee
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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#37 Post by mockbee » Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:27 pm

Hype wrote: This is on the front page of Reddit right now, and reminded me of your complaints about the Common Core:
Image
What the fuck is that shit?!!!!

That kid got a close to failing grade because of that?

Poor kid.


I had some awful teachers, English comes to mind, but some really good ones as well, especially in calculus. I don't know much about this Common Core stuff, but the stuff that I have seen, I think I actually used a lot of these strategies to get through algebra, calculus, physics etc. Just....I sort of figured it out on my own, you don't need teachers who hardly understand alternate ways of figuring things out muddying the waters..... :essence:

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Bandit72
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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#38 Post by Bandit72 » Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:16 am

Serious question for Hype. Do philosophers suffer with angst or depression more than most? I just get this feeling that the philosopher is always in a constant battle with a lot of aspects of literary or aural life. Maybe you/they can switch on and off to what they do or don't want to get involved in? :noclue:

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Hype
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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#39 Post by Hype » Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:13 am

Matz wrote:
Everybody's Friend wrote:
Hype wrote: Very few philosophers hold a view about causality that strong.
I don't get that. How do your colleagues e.g. shoot down that vending machine example of yours that you used in the free will thread to demonstrate your point? Seems impossible to do to me
Arguments usually amount to something like: "Yeah, maybe my preferences are determined, but I can choose to go with or against them."

Some very good philosophers have held views like this (Harry Frankfurt holds a view something like this, or did at one time, as did A.N. Whitehead).

There's also sometimes a kind of nod to quantum indeterminacy, used to say "Well, we can't say absolutely everything is determined, so we can't say that human action is utterly determined." This is partially true. We don't have a physics that allows us to say that absolutely everything is causally determined. And some philosophers and theorizers about consciousness have exploited this to argue that perhaps consciousness is a quantum phenomenon, and so this is how we could have free will. (Susan Wolf, Penrose and Hammeroff, etc.) The problem is that this doesn't seem like a good way to go, since it doesn't explain how human decision-making works, it just seems to let it rest on randomness or probability. But decisions we seem to make freely, and/or rationally, don't seem like that at all.

The feeling that one's actions are one's own and not entirely influenced by external factors is very strong, and won't go away easily.

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Hype
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Re: Hype's Philosophy Thread

#40 Post by Hype » Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:19 am

Bandit72 wrote:Serious question for Hype. Do philosophers suffer with angst or depression more than most? I just get this feeling that the philosopher is always in a constant battle with a lot of aspects of literary or aural life. Maybe you/they can switch on and off to what they do or don't want to get involved in? :noclue:
This is another one of those questions that I don't know the answer to because it's a quantitative measurement question... We'd have to ask psychologists or sociologists to survey philosophers and find out.

I sometimes half-seriously joke that philosophy is best done when driven by anxiety (about knowledge, not necessarily anything else). But I think I only mean it as a metaphor.

There's a great graphic novel about the connection between mental illness and some great philosophers called Logicomix: http://www.amazon.ca/Logicomix-An-epic- ... 1596914521
This magnificent book is about ideas, passions, madness, and the fierce struggle between well-defined principle and the larger good. (Barry Mazur, Gerhard Gade University Professor at Harvard University, and author of Imagining Numbers (Particularly the Square Root of Minus Fifteen))
But most philosophers aren't Bertrand Russell or Ludwig Wittgenstein. Most philosophers I know have spouses and kids and seem more or less perfectly fine, even if roughly the same number of philosophers are struggling with mental disorder as the rest of the population. Some of them are clinically diagnosed, and many aren't.

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