UnderGround Forums
 

PhilosophyGround >> Sartre's-Existence precedes essenc


6/20/06 9:17 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
cool papa
3 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 20-Jun-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 40
 
What do you guys think about this particular philosophy? Good and bad points?
6/21/06 5:34 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 21-Jun-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1187
What particular philosophy you mean? State a claim or smth, cause otherwise we are in a big gray area :)
6/21/06 10:00 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
cool papa
3 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 21-Jun-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 41
well basically as a atheistic existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre believed in existence precedes essence. At some point in time there was an original being that existence precedes essence, and so more or less we all are like that. We have no human nature. Man wills himself to be what he is. We are "condemed to be free." We are fully responsible for what we become. Seeing how there is no God, everything is permissable, all responsibility is on man himself, there really is no meaning to life. "Not only is man what he conceived himself to be, but he is also only what he wills himself to be after this thrust toward existence." I personally believe in God but also believe that man has a free will, we are not determined. Iam slightly attracted to his philosophy though. I dont really have an exact question. Ive read a little Nietzche and Kafka in the past and just discovered Sartre, also he is pretty recent in that he just passed away in 1980. Just wanted to hear some differing opinions.
6/22/06 5:46 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Subadie
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 22-Jun-06 09:06 AM
Member Since: 10/09/2004
Posts: 479
Try Kierkegaard, pretty good if you believe in God and like Sartre. Regarding the question, its helps me to think of an analogy. Imagine a blueprint for a papercutter. The blueprint contains the essense of what a papercutter is. The essense precedes the existence. We, however, are in a constant state of becoming what we are. Each action, each behaviour changes who we are. God on the other hand, has a fixed essence, unchanged by existence. Perhaps He recognized this, making Abraham the first existentialist. Remember in the Bible, Abraham asked God his name. The response was "I am who I am." What can this mean other than that his existence does not precede his existence - that they are inseparable - that he is unchanging. This is what distinguishes God.
6/22/06 7:49 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 22-Jun-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1189
Interesting ideas Subadie. I am going to spill out a few of my ideas on that topic. I agree with Sartre that there is no God in the sense of a law-giver, a founder of morality or a foundation of morality. (I am skeptical otherwise too towards the personified god-models, but that is another issue) If you have any doubts see for instance the divine command theory as the reason why even guys like Thomas Aquinas and others didn´t believe in GOD in that sense. There is no objectivity of values in the sense of facts. People CAN do all the things that we deem wrong or unjust etc. Humans are condemned to freedom in that sense. And in that sense their existence precedes their essence. We are just here and there is nothing what we ARE. We are free to a certain extent and we have to accept that: (1) we are thrown into the world, we find ourselves already in the world (2) what we do or who we ARE is up to ourselves, it is for us to choose and to fill Then again we also have to keep in mind that the "human nature" which supposedly is not there can be interpreted differently. I also do not believe that there is no RIGHT normative "human nature", human telos that one has to fulfil or what makes sure what we are, no ESSENCE in that sense. But there is a human nature in a different sense. We are all biological subjects with similar psycho-physical makeup. This makeup has a lot of influence on our life or subjective experience. But in the sense of a normative guiding human nature or essence I think that Sartre was right. Just a few ideas...
6/22/06 5:02 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Subadie
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 22-Jun-06
Member Since: 10/09/2004
Posts: 482
also I think the more advanced thinkers on the forum dont care for Sartre because he is "wrong." I personally have begun to limit myself strictly to the philosophers who are "right." Guys, remind me who that is again ?
6/22/06 5:55 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 22-Jun-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13175
"Guys, remind me who that is again ?" Whatever Dogbert says, don´t trust him. ;-)
6/26/06 11:26 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 26-Jun-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1195
Sartre was once one of the most famous men in France, but his ideas have been surpassed and even Foucault used to mock him. It is my understanding that Sartre's ideas are no longer even taught in France. Problems The whole structuralist/post-structuralist movement seems to be in complete opposition of Sartre's thinking. Man is not free, we are structured by society and if you have ever taken a social psychology course or evolutionary psychology course you can see just how 'structured we are'. How easily influenced we are, how we are NOT free. Our personality is decided by genetics and society..nothing else. From a physics standpoint, determinism, at least at the level of human thinking seems to be true. This really puts a damper on Sartre wouldn't you say? Or at the very least someone would have to come up with some incredible compatabilist theory that is sympathetic to what seems like opposite ends of up spectrum. It seems to me that Sartre's basic tenet of we are completely free is 100% wrong and he got it completely backwards.
6/26/06 4:56 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Subadie
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 26-Jun-06 06:26 PM
Member Since: 10/09/2004
Posts: 486
so, your saying that I'm eatin' burgers while the French eat their crepe aux epinard. I'm drinkin Rossi Chablis too I guess. Oh well. I think the concept of Freedom (responsibility) is a bit scary. The first time I really got the idea of what he was talking about, I was like man, I could be a much better person than I am - I should be and have the responsibility to be. Especially his concept of "pre-reflective dispositions" really made an impact on the way I thought of myself and of my actions. I guess its this concept that is much effected by the structuralist critique. In a sense, somebody like - whats that basketball player who attacked the guy in the stands when he got the beer thrown on him - I am thinking he is like a puppet, no responsibility no freedom a pure slave to his environment. Sartre would of course say that we have control of our pre-reflective dispositions by our prior actions and by our prior reflections and choices. We have the ability/freedome/responsibility to know what we will do pre-reflectively, and to make certain we are responsible. We are becoming, our actions state what we become. I cant help thinking that structuralists are just maybe a little scared of this...Gee, I dont WANT all of that freedom. Its not my fault - I had a tough childhood and was bullied as a kid. Thats why I did it. Really, I am not really smart enough to judge the relative strengths of the various top philosophers, and really am incapable of arguing in Sartre's defense. Even if the sanguine cynicism which holds that there is no freedom is correct - is this really the end of the story ? Is it so bad to be wrong ? Even Kant, who is universally recognized as "wrong" - shoot even neo-Kantians are "wrong," but I can still enjoy reading him, and more importantly, his ideas can make an impact on the way I think and behave. I know what I like though and what I dont. I dont think that I am mistaken in knowing that I like Sartre. I think he was an moral man with high standards for himself, and perhaps his philosophy had some basis for this
6/26/06 10:57 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 26-Jun-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1197
Kant was right about a few things, like the fact that the mind structures our sense experience. And that was probably his MAJOR contribution to philosophy. A lot of philosophers are right about a few things or got things partly "right". Some even got most things right..such as the latter Wittgenstein. I do agree that you can enjoy Sartre, I did when I first read him and that he can influence the way you think and act. And it has been said by a few different philosophers that the illusion of freedom must be kept. But there are problems if we take Sartre's ideas to heart as well. We can't just tell a serial killer- "Hey man , you are free to choose differently and be a great moral person" and send him back into society fully in faith that he a changed man. Sartre even went so far as to say that homosexuals were simply acting on a choice and if they chose to be heterosexuals they could. Sorry ole Jean-Paul, but I doubt it works like that. What about when it comes to raising a child? I would say most parents raise their children on the presupposition of determinism "Hey don't expose Phil to XYZ or he'll end up doing ABC" etc..If we were truly ultimately free and who we are was simply a choice then it wouldn't matter how we were raised....again this is obviously NOT TRUE..and this is why it is BAD to be wrong. Taking Sartre's theories too seriously could cause us to neglect the social situations would harm the humans psyche.
6/27/06 4:34 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 27-Jun-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13202
"From a physics standpoint, determinism, at least at the level of human thinking seems to be true" is that really correct? Why not indeterminism? or what kind of determinism are you thinking about?
6/27/06 3:02 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 27-Jun-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1192
Sanguine I think you are getting the freedom part a bit wrong. Or maybe I am giving a different interpretation to the "freedom" or "existence preceding essence" than Sartre actually did?? The "freedom" is moral freedom in the sense that there is no right or wrong objectively independent of us. No GOD or supreme being to judge. And we have a choice in the respect of what to see as right and what to see as wrong. And if there is no such thing we will have to choose our values - what we choose is determined in part by our biological being and in part by the society. But a in large part we are able to determine ourselves - some just are too lazy to resist the forces of genes and environment. Of course society or "structures" influence us; of course our genes influence us, but I still believe that if you look deep into yourself you will understand that there are choices to be made which will not be determined by external factors. I believe that the absolute, strict determinism is quite wrong.
6/27/06 5:38 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 27-Jun-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1198
"Sanguine I think you are getting the freedom part a bit wrong. Or maybe I am giving a different interpretation to the "freedom" or "existence preceding essence" than Sartre actually did??" You could be right, I haven't read Being and Nothingness in a few years. I am far from an expert on the subject. But if I recall his basis for freedom was in his ontology..the being-in-itself, for-itself stuff. "Of course society or "structures" influence us; of course our genes influence us, but I still believe that if you look deep into yourself you will understand that there are choices to be made which will not be determined by external factors. I believe that the absolute, strict determinism is quite wrong. " A choice to be made that will not be determined by external factors? We can try and test out this assertion. Give an example of a CHOICE you have made that has nothing to do with external factors. I personally just don't see how this is possible, as there is nothing to an individuals psychology other than their born genetic makeup and environmental influences. So from where would this choice be coming from? Anyway, try and come up with an example.
6/27/06 5:54 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 27-Jun-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1199
"is that really correct? Why not indeterminism? or what kind of determinism are you thinking about? " I'm talking about materialistic determism where matter in the universe(including of which the human brain is made up of) is causally determined by laws of physics. At any sort of Macro-level you can use reductio ad absurdum to prove this. Would you ever got on an airplane if you thought the laws of physics were indetermined, random? So of course you do believe in determinism. Now the debate is still out whether or not quantum particles may be indeterministic, or they are situations within radioactive decay that may or may not be indeterministic or black holes. But on any meaningful level we really don't need to worry about indeterminism.
6/28/06 5:12 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 28-Jun-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1194
"I personally just don't see how this is possible, as there is nothing to an individuals psychology other than their born genetic makeup and environmental influences. So from where would this choice be coming from?" Well I just do not think so. The genes or our biological being influence us a lot. The environmental pressures influence us a lot. But I believe (and I say believe cause I think that the free will-determinism thing is one of those things that can´t ever be proven) that there is also an autonomous sphere of rational deliberation or practical reasoning in human consciousness which enables them to choose one thing over the other and so forth. Have you ever had any of those "existential" (pun intended) dilemmas where you have pondered for a few weeks to what you should do or what choice to make? You really think that the choice you finally made was a completely determined one? I think that the phenomenological proof for "choice" is quite strong. "I'm talking about materialistic determism where matter in the universe(including of which the human brain is made up of) is causally determined by laws of physics." Human brain yes. Human brain does not equal consciousness. And the contents of human consciousness are certainly not determined to the full extent by the laws of physics. "Would you ever got on an airplane if you thought the laws of physics were indetermined, random? So of course you do believe in determinism." That is a poor argument. First it shows only that people do generally believe into induction-based theories. There is no way to prove them though. Secondly it has nothing to do with human choice-capability. The statement goes that humans have a sphere which is somehow HUMAN or FREE - we are with one foot in the noumenal if you prefer Kant. Not all human actions are determined by the physical or natural. So if you show that we believe that the natural (laws of physics and aeroplane) is determined it still does not mean we have to believe that human behaviour is fully determined. I think that complete determinism would lead us to quite spurious metaphysics. Either Hegelian, religious or Schopenhauerian ones - it is the Reason, the God or the Blind Will (maybe nature) that determines every step from the beginning. I do not think it is that simple. And no one actually behaves in the social life like it would be that simple. Greets, Indrek
6/28/06 8:08 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Subadie
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 28-Jun-06 09:35 AM
Member Since: 10/09/2004
Posts: 487
I think determinism "feels" wrong. If everything is determined, can we have free will ? I want to have free will, I think we have it, and I think it is inconsistent with determinism. YET, how does one respond to the clearer and simpler view of Sanguine Cynic that biology does seem to describe humans as followers of the same deterministic rules as wasps or inanimate objects. I really dont read the structuralists much, but Dennett speaks about determinism in a non-abstruse manner, making him a good read on the subject. The question Daniel Dennett asks ( I do enjoy him, though I disagree with him) is whether there is a difference between a wasp and a person? The person can, through interaction with the environment, construct a mental model of the choices and figure out a successful strategy. The wasp, with a much smaller brain does not learn from its environment and instead is trapped in behavior that is strictly determined by its genetic program. It is in this sense, of people as animals with complex brains that can model reality and APPEAR to choose among several possible behaviors that Dennett says we have free will. We appear to have free will, and that appearance should be good enough. I think that this adequately responds to the concerns posted above by Indrek, regarding the appearance of choice as a criticism against determinism Not being a scientist, I cant follow everything real closely but I enjoy the attempts of some physicists to answer that quantum mechanics create the possibility of ?quantum indeterminacy? See http://www2.unil.ch/philo/Pages/epistemologie/bio_cv_esfeld/pdf/2000_pdf/Phil_Nat_00.pdf. By having quantum indeterminacy, we can have actual choice not diminished by sheer physical causality. If these arguments lead anywhere, it may be to a reasonable scientific theory to support actual freedom. Why I dont like determinism 1. MORALITY. There is no room for morality in determinism. Perhaps, I'm naive (but if there were no naive people like me, who would NIetzche's overman rule over), but I'd like for there to be morality. If I may, let me try to make the determinist argument for what passes for morality while doing my best not to set up a straw man. A determinist can state that we can hold people responsible for their actions because we know that this is a way to make people behave acceptably, and avoiding punishment is the incentive for people to act responsibly. People who break the rules set by society and get punished may be behaving in the only way they can (determinism), but if we did not hold them accountable for their actions, people would behave even worse than they do with the threat of punishment. This also brings up Game Theory, a very interesting concept consistent with determinism. On this point, it is suggested that adherence to high ethical standards might pay off for the individual, because if others know your behaviour is restricted in these ways, the scope for certain beneficial mutual arrangements is enhanced.. In the famous "Prisoner's Dilemma" those with "morals" who cooperate will be more successful than 'non-moral' agents who do not cooperate. However, cooperation wouldn't seem to naturally arise since we would be tempted to 'defect', which is not the best possible solution for all involved. It is to discourage defector that we need prisons. This idea of "morality" makes perfect sense, and I set it up because I cant really make a good argument against it, but I cant help feeling that there is real morality, just as there is real freedom. Any hope in quantum morality ? (I think this is a word I made up). Regardless of the above, and back to the point. Is Dennett's deterministic "Freedom" inconsistent with Sartre's more absolute "freedom" ? I dont think so, they seem to be talking about different things, or at least there appears to be room for Sartre in Dennett, though I would imagine Dennett to have little good to say about Sartre - but maybe that argument will have to wait for another day.
6/28/06 2:45 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 28-Jun-06 03:27 PM
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1204
Good post subadie, Dennett is the best philosopher I have read. I am still on the lookout for another philosopher that comes close to him or that is like him but I just can't find one. Do you know of any others? I have read his book "Freedom Evolves" as well, which a lot of your post is a paraphrase of. Even if quantum indeterminacy were true, and it somehow influenced your decision making,it wouldn't give free will, it would just mean that your choices were random. Not something you would want.
6/28/06 3:24 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 28-Jun-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1205
"that there is also an autonomous sphere of rational deliberation or practical reasoning in human consciousness which enables them to choose one thing over the other and so forth." I just can't think of an example of where this would be true. Say I'm thirsty, well I'm thirsty because there is a lack of liquids in my body and i'm slightly dehydrated. And I can't decide if I want milk or apple juice. There many reasons, unbeknownst to me that will determine the decision. Maybe this is because I am in need of calcium, or I always have milk in the afternoon and it becomes a habit, or my taste buds are aligned in such a way that milk is very tasty too me..but at the same time I haven't gotten enough Vitamin C intake so far today and I always drink apple juice with a bagel and my brother just bought some bagels. there are just one million possible causes that effect my decision. Biological(taste buds, calcium,iron,protien, vitamin C needs). Environmental(My mom used to always give me a glass of milk when i came home from school at 3pm, so now at this time of day i've gotten in the habit of drinking milk, but i generally drink apple juice with bagels and i have a bagel to eat). What is going on in my brain is a war between the two sides until one eventually wins out. Let's say apple juice. There is the illusion that I had freely chose to drink the apple juice. In reality, I was just completely unaware of the amount of processes that led to that decision. "Human brain yes. Human brain does not equal consciousness. And the contents of human consciousness are certainly not determined to the full extent by the laws of physics." While this was a HUGE debate in the past. I'm pretty sure the dust has settled and the smoke has cleared and the result is... human brain = human consciousness. I don't know anybody that is still arguing for some kind of dualism... Just ask yourself these tough questions.. if human consciousness is not determined by the human brain..then what is it? You must be saying it's NON-physical..if so how does something NON-physical develop in this world..You are obviously smart enough to believe in evolution, so how does something non-physical arise from natural selection? Doesn't that seem absurd to you? If human consciousness is NON-physical how come it is effected by physical chemicals? The cause of depression is often a chemical imbalance. When serotonin or dopamine are restored to their accurate levels, depression goes away. Anxiety is linked to overactiveness of certain chemicals in the brain. If someone is a daredevil risk taker or not is also linked to a certain balance of chemicals. Why does drinking alcohol, snorting cocaine, taking XANAX effect ones consciousness? Why does taking a sleeping pill cause you to go to sleep? The obvious answer is because you state of consciousness is determined by the state of your brain which is effected by these various chemicals we are putting in our body. If consciousness is separate from the brain, then how do these physical things effect and interact with something non-physical. Why do you make poor decisions when you drink alcohol or smoke weed if your consciousness is free and autonomous and not dependent on brain states? "I think that complete determinism would lead us to quite spurious metaphysics. Either Hegelian, religious or Schopenhauerian ones - it is the Reason, the God or the Blind Will (maybe nature) that determines every step from the beginning. I do not think it is that simple. And no one actually behaves in the social life like it would be that simple." Nope..just an Eisteinian metaphysics...
6/29/06 4:26 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 29-Jun-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1195
Too tired now - will answer in the morning. Nevertheless - sanguine, remember you worried about a job in the "just got my BA.." thread. Why do you worry - it is all determined anyway whether you get it or not or whatever happens? ;) Or is it?
6/30/06 7:47 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 30-Jun-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1198
Ok it´s noon, but anyway :) I´ll write first about my ideas on the free will-determinism debate and then about the mind-body problems. "...There is the illusion that I had freely chose to drink the apple juice. In reality, I was just completely unaware of the amount of processes that led to that decision." Might be. But this is an example tied to biological needs. But lets say you ponder whether to study philosophy or psychology in the university. You just can´t seem to decide...you weigh the pluses and minuses.. you think for weeks and then you reach a decision based on some account of those pluses and minuses. I really cannot see how the world is so intrinsically tied together that this choice will be determined. Do you think that the traffic light system was determined to surface? Do you think that the course of second WW was determined to go the way it went? I would not say that such beliefs need an einsteinian metaphysics but rather a metaphysics of a plan or smth like that. Anyway I do not think that this can ever be proven one way or the other. And you have a CHOICE (or do you?) whether you believe one or the other. And as most people do believe in some sort of an autonomous sphere I choose (or am I determined? :)) to believe it. I think you yourself in your actions believe the same thing to an extent. Now as to the consciousness question. "While this was a HUGE debate in the past. I'm pretty sure the dust has settled and the smoke has cleared and the result is... human brain = human consciousness. I don't know anybody that is still arguing for some kind of dualism..." I think that you are wrong to state that the dust is settled. The fighting still goes on. And as far as I remember from my Philosophy of the Mind class - dualism is reemerging since materialism and physicalism haven´t gotten anywhere. "Just ask yourself these tough questions.. if human consciousness is not determined by the human brain..then what is it?" There is a difference between the consciousness being determined by the brain or influenced by the brain or having physical correlates in the brain and between the consciousness being the brain. "You must be saying it's NON-physical..if so how does something NON-physical develop in this world..You are obviously smart enough to believe in evolution, so how does something non-physical arise from natural selection? Doesn't that seem absurd to you?" No. It is the way the world works ;) I do believe in evolution and I am a strong believer in empirical science, but it isn´t everything. "If human consciousness is NON-physical how come it is effected by physical chemicals? The cause of depression is often a chemical imbalance. When serotonin or dopamine are restored to their accurate levels, depression goes away. Anxiety is linked to overactiveness of certain chemicals in the brain. If someone is a daredevil risk taker or not is also linked to a certain balance of chemicals. Why does drinking alcohol, snorting cocaine, taking XANAX effect ones consciousness? Why does taking a sleeping pill cause you to go to sleep?" Nobody has ever denied that the mind and the body interact. The biggest problem is how to explain that interaction. That is why the reductionists want to declare mind = brain. That would lose the problem. But the problem really does not want to go away. While affecting the nervous system physically produces effects in the consciousness it is also the other way around. Ever heard of placebo-effect. Or psychotherapy. Or just listening to good tunes. These conscious actions will produce correlates in your brain. It isn´t always a one way street. You aren´t always stressed because you lack serotonine. You are sometimes depressed because something bad happens and you have bad thoughts and this will cause you to have low serotonine levels. It is a two-way street. And any attempt to reduce it is for me intellectual dishonesty. More to come...
6/30/06 7:52 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 30-Jun-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1199
Now some tough questions for you... I would say that there are exterior things (material, physical) that can be seen with your eyes or their extensions, touched or touchable in principle etc. And then there are interior things like consciousness and the contents of consciousness: thoughts, valuations, judgments, feelings. But also meanings. If you see lets say a park - do you think that it is a park in itself as a material object? Or is it that you in that particular culture have got an idea of a "park" and can interpret that physical environment so that it has meaning for you as a park. So there are interior and exterior things. If you disagree then show me where do meanings exist objectively and without any consciousness perceiving them. Where are values or thoughts running around - where can you SEE them or TOUCH them? ...
6/30/06 9:46 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Subadie
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 30-Jun-06
Member Since: 10/09/2004
Posts: 491
Good job Indrek One point to make only. SC mentions anti-depressants. This is an interesting choice, because it does make me think. I think that you have clearly never either been depressed or closely known a person who was. The reason I say this is because these drugs which increase seratonin or dopamine (or whatever they do) SHOULD work in the way you describe, but they DON'T. They have actually practically no long-term benefit - and even little short-term benefit. It is only the irrational belief in physicalism (irrational in the sense that it is not seen as falsifiable) and the love of $ of the drug companies that combine to keep them massively prescribed and on the market. Rather, I think that it is depression which causes the seratonin imbalance, not the other way around.
6/30/06 10:57 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 30-Jun-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1200
Yep. I would also agree that some people might actually have a genetical disposition to low serotonine levels and they might be down because of that sometimes. But it also works the other way around - something gets you down and your serotonine level drops. It is a two-way street. And of course every conscious experience has correlates in the nervous system - but it doesn´t mean it is caused by them. Meditation has correlates in brain waves supposedly. You can see that the brain waves change when someone meditates. Well - are brain waves meditative states? I don´t think so. The meditative practice brings forth the state and this has physical correlates. Not the other way around.
7/1/06 2:47 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 01-Jul-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1217
hey guys, haven't gotten a chance to read any of this, i will be on vacation up until late wednesday night. I promise i'll get to it asap
7/7/06 7:16 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 07-Jul-06 07:33 PM
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1226
"Might be. But this is an example tied to biological needs. But lets say you ponder whether to study philosophy or psychology in the university. You just can?t seem to decide...you weigh the pluses and minuses.. you think for weeks and then you reach a decision based on some account of those pluses and minuses. I really cannot see how the world is so intrinsically tied together that this choice will be determined." What does that have to do with non-determinism? Remember determinism means causation. Where in your little scenario is there not causation? The exact causes may be harder to trace, but they are still there. Perhaps I would choose philosophy because I want to be a lawyer because I want to make money so that I can live in NYC because I really like the Yankees because I was born in New york or whatever..It's just more complex and more societal based then the apple juice scenario. There are causes for my thinking patterns and the decisions etc..Your scenario is just too vague and artificial to give concrete answers for. "No. It is the way the world works ;) I do believe in evolution and I am a strong believer in empirical science, but it isn?t everything." So do you believe the world was determined completely material and then when humans came about, it changed? I am asking HOW This works. "hile affecting the nervous system physically produces effects in the consciousness it is also the other way around. Ever heard of placebo-effect. Or psychotherapy. Or just listening to good tunes. These conscious actions will produce correlates in your brain. It isn?t always a one way street. You aren?t always stressed because you lack serotonine. You are sometimes depressed because something bad happens and you have bad thoughts and this will cause you to have low serotonine levels." I don't see how this helps out dualism or indeterminism. This is just more evidence of materialism as it shows the brain is connected with the rest of the body, not that it something transcendental. So how is this an argument for indeterminism again? Or that the mind transcends the body?

Reply Post

You must log in to post a reply. Click here to login.