Do not believe or act as if you believe.....

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by wise acre, May 11, 2009.

  1. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    to be progressive, even anarchy requires guidelines.

    Frankly this strikes me more as an antithesis to a dominant paradigm than a thesis (IOW a reactionary response a paradigm that is stifling as opposed to laying out a paradigm)
    anything goes .... as long as it delivers the goods.
    IOW science without the demonstrative doesn't look good
    words like "advance" can only be in use if there are guidelines in place to grant meaning
    once again, the power of a theory is to have the goods on the table.
    For instance there isn't much credibility to the theory that the moon is made of cheese, even though it stands to upset the current status quo quite considerably.

    Obviously this is an absurd take on his statements. As mentioned earlier, its things like this which make me think he is offering more of an antithesis, or a critique of existing standards .... as opposed to introducing a whole new standard


    viva la revolution!
    Imagine if people took the title of his book deadly seriously and rejected the standard method of reading, and instead licked the pages?

    IOW one gets refamiliarized with sanity when they examine the normative guidelines that surround the issue. Of course an issue can get so corrupted by institutionalism, hegemony, or whatever as to reduce its practicality/functionality considerably. Hence there is a constant discourse of thesis being critiqued by antithesis to form a synthesis .... which then goes on to become the new thesis and so on ...
    much like thesis -> antithesis -> synthesis is essentially anarchistic

    my point is that the nuts and bolts of science is empiricism. IOW the playing field is the senses (even though the strategies may call upon a host of mental tools such as extrapolation, logic, or even scientific politics, etc)
    given that we can't achieve by drumming or chanting what can achieve by reaching for the saw in the right way (or for that matter, chanting with a saw also may not prove so effective), each action withe each tool "converts" us as much as is practically required to do the task.

    Trying to cheapen it through one too many short cuts gives results that are not only unsatisfactory but also frequently inhibiting or dangerous.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

    Sometimes research, or at least proto-research, can exist somewhere, but no one picks up on it or does any follow-ups. It gets started, or an idea gets thrown out, but no one takes it and runs with it until many years later.

    I can't comment on meditation, but other alternative practices, including herbal medicine, have often received far more attention in both Europe and especially Asian countries, where scientists seem more apt to put such treatments and techniques under scrutiny.
    Certain traditional plant medicines are widely used and studied in certain countries, while in the West, it seems any such stuff really only trickles through.

    So maybe the preliminary research, or even very thorough research, exists somewhere, but not through easily accessed channels, and thus is either not discovered or is ignored by the larger group?
    And it depends where you live. Westernized, American culture is very secular, and dogmas that go along with the rigid, secular science institutions can inhibit exploration for as simple a notion as "Oh, that's so silly, I couldn't waste my time with that! Why, just asking about it would make me look like a joke!"

    Example: it is well and good for astronomers and other scientists to speculate about extraterrestrial life, and to come up with variable laden equations (Drake) to put it in perspective, and to scan the heavens with radio telescopes looking for signals, and fantasize about their biology and their physics. But only within reason. It's generally the orthodox rule that you can't consider that someone may have actually visited, or is currently visiting the planet from somewhere else. It's an unspoken rule that "good" scientists don't do that kind of stuff, or if they dare to, they don't come to the conclusion that it is indeed a good possibility.

    Of course, that mindset is certainly not restricted to humanist/materialist scientists.

    Societies have dogmas, stigmas, and unspoken rules that pressure people sometimes from putting good ideas out, or even asking good questions to stimulate discussion, for fear of ridicule, whether the fear is founded or not. It used to be mostly religion that hindered science the most, as well as social equality.
    And then, sometimes it becomes alright to speculate, but not too hard, or only in prescribed avenues, like the example of extraterrestrial life.
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. wise acre Registered Senior Member

    I read your last post and it seems to me you are taking a very similar position to the empiricists you are critical of. You just want other norms. But you don't want people to really be free to choose their norms or to have other norms than you have. When the scientist knocks your methods he is mirroring your judgments of other methods you think are fruitless.

    Let's look at your concern about reading.
    Most people would not be interested in suddenly trying another method. What Feyarabend means by against method is that people should not be forced to stay with one methodology. And his case is aimed at scientists.

    If a few people actually did want to approach reading via other methods, they would either get bored, perhaps find sometime useful, confirm current methods are the best they can find, who knows? I can't see the loss.

    Further Feyarabend is pointing out in his books that 1) people have already used a variety of methods and 2) this has been good!!!! So it is not like he is trying to force everyone to break away, but rather to get the core to recognize that diversity is already present and has been throughout the history of science and this includes discoveries and studies that are considered important by the core.
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    I'm suggesting that one may be free to use a thermometer or a tape measure, but one is not free to use a tape measure as a thermometer.
    IOW for each problem or task we set out to investigate, there are guidelines/norms pertinent to the object of investigation.
    I never say that a method is fruitless.
    There's absolutely nothing wrong with empiricism ... except when it is brought in to investigate something that lies outside its parameters.
    The playing field of science is the external world (or at least, one's perception of it). There are numerous methods for elaboration within those parameters.
    The playing field of transcendentalism is the internal world (which again, also has a multitude of methodologies).

    IOW one methodology has, at its core, the manipulation of external things to the extent of one's power/perception and then begins the investigation.
    And the other has the manipulation of one's state of being before beginning investigation.
    One has formative prerequisites for investigation.
    The other has existential prerequisites for investigation.

    Hence the suggestion he is acting more as a reformer (ie promulgator of an antithesis). IOW if he advocated the complete rejection of all norms he would be throwing the baby out with the bath water. He's cleaning house, not knocking out foundations.
  8. wise acre Registered Senior Member

    So there may be a variety of guidelines given the variety of problems. This would be in line with Feyarabend.
    I agree, though I would put it differently: To assume that only empiricism can gain information or knowledge is problematic.

    This seems to accept the split. Shamanism, it seems to me, is not limited to either the inside or the outside. Nor would I say meditation is. Or a few other processes I have experienced.

    This latter fits better for me in relation to the distinction than the innner outer split, which I actually associate with the whole line running down from Descartes into current empiricism, at least in the 'West'.

    To me each can be kept rather diverse.

    I think he would even say he is simply pointing out that the foundations are not what the official version says they are. That they are in fact diverse and it would be best to acknowledge this and openly allow it.
  9. swarm Registered Senior Member

    You do not understand what a themometer is then. It is easy to use a thermometer as a tape measure. The reverse is a bit more difficult but still fairly trivial. Take an object with a know coefficient of expansion. measure it at a known temp. You now have a thermometer tape measure. I understand mercury in a glass tube works well and you can etch the tape measure on to the glass.

    Sure, but you don't have to do it that way. Some times its fun just to play. For example there is a right way to strech nylon to make it strong and silky. Gotex was discovered by streching it the wrong way.

    When something is fruitless its fruitless. Like phrenology or religion.

    The playing field of transcendentalism is that there was never any in or out to begin with.
  10. lightgigantic Banned Banned


    Normal people understand that a particular tool has a particular usage. Of course there are some similarities between things like chisels and screw drivers ... but anyway, please feel free to offer a suggestion how to use a tape measure as a thermometer, and thus display your superior knowledge of what a thermometer is.

    Next you will probably say that by hooking a rat trap up to the ignition of a nuclear bomb you have the means to utilize a rat trap as a nuclear war head.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Sure, but you should realize that by manufacturing a pen with a digital clock you are not essentially designing anything innovative.
    phrenology is a discipline (it has a similar methodology to science - namely the attributing of value to an empirical phenomena)
    religion is host to a variety of methodologies (some more effective than others)
    I guess that would draw on state of being/existential issues then, huh?
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  11. lightgigantic Banned Banned


    Actually if you take empiricism as monopolizing agent of all claims of knowledge you are left with a very absurd picture (perhaps mother's day will only be a valid celebration if you can back up the claim with a dna test?)

    In short, if you have a claim of knowledge that doesn't rest on the performer having a particular "state of being", you don't have a transcendental claim.

    For instance regardless whether one is an atrocious jerk or a benevolent altruist, it doesn't affect one's ability in electrical engineering (hence electrical engineering doesn't lay any transcendental claims on the table)

    This latter fits better for me in relation to the distinction than the innner outer split, which I actually associate with the whole line running down from Descartes into current empiricism, at least in the 'West'.

    I am suggesting that the foundation of empiricism is that there are no existential prerequisites (or at least a very minimal ones .... for instance its conceivable that someone may have to be socially trained up in 2D representations to understand what a photograph is .... but this detail cannot compare to the vast requirements for transcendental claims)

    IOW he is not reviewing the empirical process to the extent of governing radical new recommendations for the personal behavior of scientists
  12. swarm Registered Senior Member

    Which is why every one uses a flathead screw driver as a universal prying tool. Tools may have conventional uses, but the use of a tool is limited only by the imagination of the user.

    Already done, I suggest rereading my previous post. Your average thermometer is just a means to measure the distance an object expands when heated. Those markings on the side are just a tape measure etched on the glass in graduations which convert the coefficient of expansion into degrees of temperature. You could do the same thing with a long enough tape measure, a long bar of metal like aluminum and the following:
    Linear Temperature Expansion Coefficient for Aluminum - 12.3 10^-6 in/in F

    I'm sorry you don't understand even basic science, you should give learning a try some time.
  13. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    I guess this also explains why a person requires a few extra things aside from a tape measure if they want to use a tape measure as a thermometer, huh?

    Wait up I think I'm getting the hang of this.

    If you give me a rat trap (and a nuclear warhead) I can use a rat trap as a nuclear warhead.

    (gee maybe there were WMD's in Iraq after all ....)

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  14. wise acre Registered Senior Member

    Only if you have already determined calenders are effective via empirical study rather then say because your parents used one or it seemed to work so far.

    I am sure that works for some people, but the transcendant/immanent split is not universal.
    yes, I get this.

    Fair enough. And shamanism, for example, does not keep this rigid, at all, either.

    or states of being, yes, a nice way of looking at it.

    Actually I think his stance allows for states of being to be considered as part of testing protocols. He is not advocating it, but he is trying to get science to stop saying 'this is a scientific method and this is not'.

    If it adds to knowledge he's open to it. And definitions of knowledge are similarly more open.
  15. wise acre Registered Senior Member

    by the way guys,
    I am not sure the tool metaphor is a good tool here.
  16. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Of course it hold for science. Just look at our resident scientific atheists!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    A 'flexible relation to an authority'? With asuch a flexible relation to that authority, you cannot expect to get the benefits that the authority promises, though.

    Sure. But having that sort of strong trust doesn't mean that you actually will invest it in other things.

    Sure. But why should they?

    We always put our trust or our faith into something. And we are not 'giving away our power' - it's not like we really have any power of our own to give away.
    We trust our senses, our brain, the food we eat, our bodies, our education, our parents, our friends, some hero, our teacher, our church etc. etc. How much we trust each of these is a matter of choice, but we cannot but trust some of them

    It's not like a person would first (or at some point) be self-situated, self-empowered, but then would give away that power to someone or something else.
  17. wise acre Registered Senior Member

    I suppose if you think giving your free will over to an authority is the only way. I don't. I have found such authorities problematic for me. It is simply not what I want to do. I do want guidance, at times, and wisdom from entities that are more experienced - in certain areas. I have found these relationships very beneficial, as far as I can tell mutually.

    Not sure what you mean by 'things' here. But if I think of the authority issue above. If you trust yourself to give yourself over to an authority, you should also trust yourself to on occasion not follow their rule/order/suggestion using that same implicitly supported skill.
    They can give away their free will and power if they want. But I will continue to notice this is happening and that it exhibits a lot of self-trust, even if they do not think of it this way.

    If I will do anything an authority says I should do the phrase 'given away my power' fits.

    Any many of them I seems to not follow on occasion.

    I like the compound word self-situated. I get a sense of it, but have not encountered it before. Plunging on as if my sense is correct for the moment.....

    I do not think that people have a feeling of being self-empowered and self-situated, at least not in this life, and then give away this feeling/state to someone else. Neverthess I think they give over something they were afraid to notice they had and had an uneasy relation with
    they often give this away to an authority. But it could even be to a drug.

    Have you found yourself capable of giving your free will over completely to an authority?
    Is there an authority you do not have a flexible relationship with?
    If so, how has it worked ?
    If there isn't, why not?
    Last edited: May 21, 2009
  18. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Well, it all depends on what you want to achieve.
    In some cases, 'giving your free will over to an authority' is probably or by definition the only way to achieve the desire goal.

    Sure. This is also the test of how much you really follow the authority by your own free will.

    Sure. But you always follow one or the other, do you not? Or are there situations where there is the 'pure you', independent from your senses, your brain, your body, the food you eat, your education, parents, friends, heroes, teachers, church etc. etc.?

    But what is that something?

    No and no.
    But with the clarification that I don't think it is a matter of 'giving over your free will', but a matter of on your own free will doing what the authority says.

    My explanation for not completely following an authority is that:
    1. I am sometimes too lazy,
    2. I do not have sufficient knowledge about the authority to make an informed decision to follow completely,
    3. I get distracted by a number of things, that although seemingly small, are powerful enough.
  19. wise acre Registered Senior Member

    I guess, I don't see that as being necessary for me.

    Or notice that you are, over and over.

    To me this seemed like sleight of hand. You are using authority in a way I would not. Now parts of me are being reified into authorities that I give myself (the rest of myself?) over to and let them rule me.

    Their intuition. Their sense of responsibility for what decisions - as long as they tow the line.

    But I first talked about having a flexible relation to authority. You seemed to think this ruled out effectiveness in this relationship. Now you are saying you have not found an authority with whom you do not have a flexible relationship with. IOW all your relationships with authorities are flexible. So I do not understand why, if you live this way, you think there was something wrong with my suggestion that that is all that is necessary.

    My interpretations of the judgments involved in each....
    1. something is wrong with me, but not the idea that I must give myself freely and completely to an authority
    2. no authority so far has seemed worthy to me
    3. something is wrong with me, but not the authority in question. It would be good to give myself over to it, but I get distracted.

    Are these judgments, if they are your judgments, working for you?
  20. swarm Registered Senior Member

    You don't need anything more to use it as a thermometer than you need to use it as a tape measure, i.e. a tape measure accurate to the level which you need to take measurements at and something to measure. You only have to take one extra measurement so you have a reference point in order to use it as a thermometer.

    No you are still an idiot.

    You could certainly use a snapit style rat trap and some wires as the switch to set off anything which you cared to rig it too.

    Go ahead and say something inane now so you can pretend like you have a point and "roll" your eyes again.
  21. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    I'm pretty sure you are just pretending to be stupid and being very good at it.

    Let's rephrase the question in a more precise fashion

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    using only the object in the picture (and not the object plus, say, a heat sensitive vessel of mercury or aluminum, or some other object/device that is by standard attributed to be the mechanism by which a thermometer works), how would you propose to measure temperature with it?

  22. wise acre Registered Senior Member

    my first thought would be to make it wet. It looks rather long. I would then stretch it out on various days and she how much it shrank in length and start connecting this up to different felt senses of coldness warmth.

    You could also measure how fast ice forms mm./minute or melts.

    If I can't use water, then you can't use air with your thermometer.

    My methods might be crude at first, but over time one could perhaps get rather good with them.
  23. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    But why insist on measuring temperature with a tape measure??

Share This Page