Philosophy

A compilation of my philosophy blog posts.

Philosophy of Technology

The Singularity: The basic premise is this, according to Kurzweil. Scientific change has been happening for a few hundred years. For the majority of this time period, progress has been pretty slow.

Arguments of ‘The Singularity is Near’: Kurzweil believes that this will happen approximately around the year 2045. Kurzweil has grown his credibility over the years by making accurate predictions in the world of technology. He is also an inventor and has been one since the early days of his youth.

The Value of Imperfection: Can you communicate without the imposition of a culturally shared language like English?

Epistemology

What is Truth?: To make progress in understanding, we must remain modest and allow that we do not know. – Richard Feynman

The Logos Argument: ‘Logos’ translates to ‘reason’ in Greek. The term originated in ancient Greece in the sixth century B.C with Heraclitus, who linked the logic of the cosmos with human reason.

First Principles: Man, by nature, is an imitation machine. Those who think originally are rare, but it is their ideas that transfigure society.

The Taboo of Uncertainty: We wish to make our lives simple, certain and smooth-and for that reason problems are tabu. We choose to have certainties and no doubts-results and no experiments-without even seeing that certainties can arise only through doubt, and results through experiment

The Dialectic Purpose: You must have noticed how young men, after their first taste of argument, are always contradicting people just for the fun of it.

Avoid Pointless Journeys: ‘If you shape your life according to nature, you will never be poor; if according to people’s opinions, you will never be rich.’

Develop a Historical Sense: All philosophers make the common mistake of taking contemporary man as their starting point and of trying, through an analysis of him, to reach a conclusion.

How to Read?: There are two types of ignorance. There are those who cannot read at all. And there are those who can read but are ignorant

The Curse of Philosophy: In truth, only one kind of objection is worthwhile: the objection which shows that the question raised by a philosopher is not a good question

The Science as Falsification Problem: “Reason is nothing but reason and satisfies only the rational side of man’s nature, while will is a manifestation of the whole life, that is, of the whole human life including reason and all the impulses.”

The Difference Between Intelligence and Wisdom: Wise people cannot be sufficiently educated, and educated people cannot be sufficiently wise.

Knowledge Is Not Understanding: Wise people cannot be sufficiently educated and educated people cannot be sufficiently wise.

This is Water: “The capital-T Truth is about life before death. It is about making it to 30, or maybe even 50, without wanting to shoot yourself in the head.”

Know When the Mind is a Terrible Servant: “We think our actions express our decisions. But in nearly all of our life, willing decides nothing. We cannot wake up or fall asleep, remember or forget our dreams, summon or banish our thoughts, by deciding to do so.”

Adjust Your Perception of Time and Desire: “We greatly overestimate what we can do in one year. But we greatly underestimate what is possible for us in five years.”

Deception & Self Deception

Self-Deception : A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others.

The Three Types of Lies: In a debate with Harris, Scott Adams talks about the three types of lies that exist. One lie is the mistaken fact, the other is hyperbole, and the third is the inconsequential lie.

The Lesser of Two Evils: It has gradually become clear to me what every great philosophy up till now has consisted of — namely, the confession of its originator, and a species of involuntary and unconscious auto-biography

Social Philosophy

The Munk Debate on Political Correctness: “I have spent a lifetime loathing and opposing preachiness, piety, self-righteousness, heresy, hunting, denunciation, shaming, assertion without…”

The Munk Debate on the Rise of Populism: “The markets have just had the worst month since 09. Since the bottom of the recession, 1.2 million manufacturing jobs have been creating. 2/3rds by Obama, and 1/3rd Trump.”

The Narcissistic Personality of Our Time: Narcissus spent hours staring at his reflection until he turned into a flower, or so the Greek myth goes.

The Error in Political Correctness: Ellenberger traces the trend to La Rochefoucauld in his Maxims when he remarked that unmasked virtuous attitudes and acts are disguised manifestations of narcissism.

Mimetic Desire: Through the object, one is drawn to the model, whom Girard calls the mediator: it is in fact the model who is sought.

The Narcissism of Small Differences: If you have wondered why conflict between people of the same nation or family or ethnic group is so common, then you have made the intuitive assumption that conflict arises out of differences.

Mimetic Theory: The Origin of Conflict: “The condition of man… is a condition of war of everyone against everyone”

Hunting Scapegoats: “The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Paradox of the Social Animal: You do a sick man more harm than good in removing him from place to place; you fix and establish the disease by motion, as stakes sink deeper and more firmly into the earth by being moved up and down in the place where they are designed to stand.

Skepticism

Be Wary of Your Impressions: Would you have a great empire? Rule over yourself.

Via Negativa: It is wiser to follow advice that warns you of what not to do rather than tells you what to do.

Doubt the Triumph of the Civilized Individual: He is blind to the fact that despite his rationality and efficiency he is possessed by powers that are outside his control. His gods and demons have not disappeared, they have merely taken new names.

Think for Yourself: A great danger in the time we live in is that we are fed too much information.

Doubt Yourself: The comedian Tim Minchin said, in a somber graduation speech, “opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. But unlike assholes, they should be constantly and meticulously examined.”

The Precautionary Principle: Cipolla categorizes people into four types: intelligent, bandits, helpless, and stupid.

The Hard Problem of Psychology: It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.”

Understanding The Jordan Peterson vs Sam Harris Debates: It is one thing to think of yourself as the hero of your own story, or to try to rescue your proverbial father from the belly of the beast, but it is a different thing to think about political and socioeconomic problems by taking myths too seriously.

The Cookbook Argument: He walks into a bookstore (Barnes & Noble), and with his eyes closed.

The Talebian Paradox: Taleb would argue, on the basis of the precautionary principle, that religious ideas that have been useful for thousands of years (Lindy Effect), and would be better arbitrators of truth than personal rationality or new moral ideas.

Stoicism

Focus On What You Can Control Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions.

The Revival of Stoicism: Epicurus said, “The most terrible evil, death, is nothing for us, since when we exist, death does not exist, and when death exists, we do not exist.”

Free Will

The First Man The individual: The man who has not staked his life, may, no doubt, be recognized as a person; but he has not attained the truth of this recognition as an independent self-consciousness.

The Originality Paradox: In the primordial battle, where two men fought to the death, the one who proved himself to be more free, more fearless, and therefore, more human, would become master.

Existentialism

He Who Fights With Monsters: “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby becomes a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee”

The Myth of Sisyphus: What is the Worst Punishment? Most people enjoy the climb to the top more than being at the top anyway, and so the challenge of pushing a rock up the hill could theoretically provide them with at least some pleasure.

Post-Modern Philosophy

Why are Post-Modern Thinkers Obscure?: One book that I have read, by Baudrillard, fits this category. The entire book, and his entire line of thought (which include multiple books) can be summarized in a few sentences

Trapped in Simulacra and Simulation?: The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth–it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.