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PhilosophyGround >> Most Brilliant Person Ever?


11/2/07 11:08 AM
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Polaris
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Edited: 02-Nov-07
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Fyodor Dostoevsky! BTW- "I learned more from Dostoevsky than any other thinker." -Einstein
11/2/07 4:21 PM
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Attila
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Edited: 02-Nov-07
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LOL @ picking Bach over Newton and da Vinci.
11/2/07 8:47 PM
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JasonKeaton
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Edited: 02-Nov-07
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I second Hume
11/5/07 12:44 AM
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HELWIG
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Edited: 05-Nov-07
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"Fang Maturi"

Couldnt let this go unappreciated.
11/5/07 6:45 AM
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scuffler
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Edited: 05-Nov-07
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Emanuel Swedenborg
11/5/07 8:23 AM
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joesondo123
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Edited: 05-Nov-07
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Nagarjuna
12/16/07 5:26 PM
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IBringTheDanger
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Edited: 16-Dec-07
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Newton for me too.

 

Up until then Newton had been somewhat precocious and had been a successful student, but he had done nothing really outstanding. Now things started to happen. His two years at Woolsthorpe represent the greatest recorded achievement of a human intellect in a short period. In these two years, this 'kid' extended the binomial theorem, invented calculus, discovered the law of universal gravitation and had enough time left over to experimentally prove that white light is composed of all colors. Then he had his 25th birthday. If Newton had communicated these results and then died, his reputation would be almost a great as it is today. He lived for another 60 years and made a few additional contributions to the pool of knowledge, but, at most, these later results would have earned him a footnote in history. In two years he invented the calculus which would quickly grow into the largest and most important field in mathematics and which would first have a tremendous impact on physics and astronomy and more recently on fields of biology, economics, business and even political science. At the same time he discovered the law of universal gravitation which explains, on a large scale, how the universe operates.

5/6/08 2:53 PM
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MasterDebater
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the study determined there iq to be accurate to within 5 points? how is this possible without a reference point(their actual IQ)? and if you had their actual IQ why would you use the studies determined IQ?

I would tend to think that if you were trying to establish crediblity in the field of intelligence, you might do the 'intelligent' thing and cut out the middle man by using the actual IQ.
6/16/08 4:27 PM
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truthisalive
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The Lord God Jesus. When he was robed in flesh.
6/16/08 5:01 PM
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HELWIG
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 I dont know if that would fair to include in the discussion. If Jesus as part of the Godhead had a connection to omiscience then the playing field is not exactly level.
6/24/08 3:58 PM
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baxter stockman
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i'm surprised i didn't mention wittgenstein way back when on this thread...

apparently i was all riled up about aristotle. those were very caffeinated days.
6/24/08 8:26 PM
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Stronghold
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The guy who invented sliced bread because it is has been the greatest thing since like forever.
7/11/08 12:47 AM
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Felix Holt
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Yes, Wittgenstein certainly deserves a mention in this thread.
7/22/08 12:23 AM
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Felix Holt
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[quote]CorgausOfMacadon - i think wittgentsein gets waaay more credit than he deserves, i mean, what did he actually do? He also opposed mathematical logic because to him it was just a string of tautologies.[/quote] 

I think you don't know what you're talking about.

www.nybooks.com/articles/11439

plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein/

plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein-mathematics/

plato.stanford.edu/entries/private-language/

plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein-atomism/

etc.
8/3/08 3:01 AM
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ShakeNBake
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ttt
8/9/08 3:26 AM
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Felix Holt
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Edited: 08/09/08 4:05 AM
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CorgausOfMacadon - 
Felix Holt - 
CorgausOfMacadon - i think wittgentsein gets waaay more credit than he deserves, i mean, what did he actually do? He also opposed mathematical logic because to him it was just a string of tautologies.
 

I think you don't know what you're talking about.

www.nybooks.com/articles/11439

plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein/

plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein-mathematics/

plato.stanford.edu/entries/private-language/

plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein-atomism/

etc.


Interesting, you linked a bunch of websites I have read. When you want to discuss "The Philosophical Investigations" or the "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus" please bring up a few of the propositions and we can debate them. If you would like to argue that he was more important than I think he is, please let me know.



I don't see much to debate about the Tractatus -- most of it, anyway. Wittgenstein disowned his Picture Theory of Language and many of the other propositions he put forward. What do you want to debate about (the incomplete) Philosophical Investigations? You're the one who said Wittgenstein gets more credit than is deserved, so you tell me what's wrong with his ideas, and why they're not as influential as most British/American philosophers think they are.
8/9/08 8:12 AM
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Crazy Zimmerman
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 Rose O'Donnel?
8/15/08 2:05 PM
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Felix Holt
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CorgausOfMacadon - 
Felix Holt - 
CorgausOfMacadon - 
Felix Holt - 
CorgausOfMacadon - i think wittgentsein gets waaay more credit than he deserves, i mean, what did he actually do? He also opposed mathematical logic because to him it was just a string of tautologies.
 

I think you don't know what you're talking about.

www.nybooks.com/articles/11439

plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein/

plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein-mathematics/

plato.stanford.edu/entries/private-language/

plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein-atomism/

etc.


Interesting, you linked a bunch of websites I have read. When you want to discuss "The Philosophical Investigations" or the "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus" please bring up a few of the propositions and we can debate them. If you would like to argue that he was more important than I think he is, please let me know.



I don't see much to debate about the Tractatus -- most of it, anyway. Wittgenstein disowned his Picture Theory of Language and many of the other propositions he put forward. What do you want to debate about (the incomplete) Philosophical Investigations? You're the one who said Wittgenstein gets more credit than is deserved, so you tell me what's wrong with his ideas, and why they're not as influential as most British/American philosophers think they are.


Wittgenstein's later works are interesting in and of themselves, but I cannot point to many substantive advancements made upon their principles. Some evolutionary psychology or language development theories have some bases in his theories, but in my view, its mostly a dead end. My specific problem with his works was the way he treated mathematical logic - it was completely uninteresting to him and he tried to undermine the work of people like frankel and hilbert. Axiomatic mathematical systems were boring or something to him. A few interesting bits of science decide to credit Wittgenstein with parts of their development, for instance, Gerald Edleman's theory of neural darwinism claims at least some descent from his theory of language games. But I am unable to discern how his ideas have influenced other philosophers other than as examples of what not to do. I hazard to posit that if he had lived much longer he would have disowned the PI much as he did the tractatus.


Sorry for this late response, but I don't visit MMA.tv much anymore.

Wittgenstein himself had a strange relationship to his philosophy of mathematics; he became intensely interested in it in the last ten years of his life and, when asked to proofread a biographical blurb about himself (I forget who asked him to do this -- someone at Cambridge) the only bit he added was "Wittgenstein's most important work has been done in the philosophy of mathematics." Soon after this, he abandoned his work on mathematics and no longer sought to make the latter half of PI all about mathematics. He may have immersed himself once again in mathematics while staying with his doctor at Cambridge, during the final months of his life, but I don't remember. So Wittgenstein clearly considered at some point his work on mathematics to be important, but I can't say how influential his ideas have been. I know contemporary mathematicians, like Kreisel, Gödel and Turing (Turing had some famous exchanges with Wittgenstein at a lecture in the late 30s) thought his ideas were pretty ridiculous. My interest in philosophy of mathematics is quite high, but I really don't know enough to judge Witt.'s influence. There's a long paper in my copy of The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic on Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics and its influence, written by Juliet Floyd. I'll have to re-read it.

Anyway, I think Wittgenstein's ideas about language and psychology have been quite influential. Ryle, Hacker, Kripke ("Kripkenstein"), Rorty, Chomsky (sort of), the ordinary language school, etc.
8/18/08 5:09 AM
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baxter stockman
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this thread isn't necessarily about who's work, in the field of philosophy or otherwise, was the most influential or the most enduring, but rather who was the most brilliant. and i think wittgenstein's in the running.

there are a lot of "estimated iq" lists that have him at the top but, its my opinion that wittgenstein proved himself without that kind of post-facto jocking. 

the man outmaneuvered bertrand russell and did it in, what, 76 pages?

there is an intense beauty to the tractatus logico philosophicus and, while its string of inquiry may have proven to be a dead end -- or at least a very succinct and profound argument about what little witt. thought was able to be discussed with enough certainty to be worthwhile, and why, making for a very short if scenic philosophical detour. the sheer eloquence of the man's body of work in light of the heft of the subjects he addressed is enough to warrant a place in the thread.
8/30/08 4:11 AM
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Attila
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Here is a partial list of William James Sidis' extraordinary capabilities and accomplishments:

1. Given IQ is a purely anthropocentric means of assessing intelligence, Sidis' IQ is crudely estimated at 250-300.
2. Infant Billy listened to Greek myths read to him by Sarah as bedtime stories.
3. Started feeding himself with a spoon at eight months (after two months of trial and error).
4. Cajoled by Boris, Billy learned to pronounce alphabetic syllables from blocks hanging in his crib.
5. At six months, Billy said, "Door." A couple months later he told Mom he liked things, doors and people, that move.
6. At seven months he pointed to Earth's moon and called it, "moon." He wanted a 'moon' of his own.
7. Mastered higher mathematics and planetary revolutions by age 11.
8. Learned to spell efficiently by one year old.
9. Started reading The New York Times at 18 months.
10. Started typing at three. Used his high chair to reach a typewriter. First composed letter was an order for toys from Macy's.
11. Read Caesar's Gallic Wars, in Latin (self-taught), as a birthday present to his Father in Billy's fourth year.
12. Learned Greek alphabet and read Homer in Greek in his fourth year.
13. Learned Aristotelian logic in his sixth year.
14. At six, Billy learned Russian, French, German, and Hebrew, and soon after, Turkish and Armenian.
15. Calculated mentally a day any date in history would fall at age six. Absolutely fascinated by calendars.
16. Learned Gray's Anatomy at six. Could pass a student medical examination.
17. Billy started grammar school at six, in 3 days 3rd grade, graduated grammar school in 7 months.
18. At age 8, Billy surpassed his father (a genius) in mathematics.
19. Corrected E. V. Huntington's mathematics text galleys at age of eight.
20. Total recall of everything he read.
21. Wrote four books between ages of four and eight. Two on anatomy and astronomy, lost.
22. Passed Harvard Medical School anatomy exam at age seven.
23. Passed MIT entrance exam at age eight.
24. Intellect surpassed best secondary school teachers.
25. At age 10, in one evening, corrected Harvard logic professor Josiah Royce's book manuscript: citing, "wrong paragraphs."
26. Attempted to enroll in Harvard at nine.
27. In 1909, became youngest student to ever enroll at Harvard at age 11.
28. In 1910, at age 11, lectured Harvard Mathematical Club on 'Four-Dimensional Bodies.'
29. Billy graduated from Harvard, cum laude, on June 24, 1914, at age 16.
30. Billy entered Harvard Law School in 1916.
31. Billy could learn a whole language in one day!
32. Billy knew all the languages (approximately 200) of the world, and could translate among them instantly!
8/30/08 4:11 AM
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Attila
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http://www.quantonics.com/The_Prodigy_Review.html
1/12/09 5:07 AM
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Sadyv
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Impressive, but I don't know that it makes makes him brilliant, or more precisely worthy of comparison to the others mentioned in this thread.

It does not appear he contributed significant findings in any of thought or study. Great retention of data, near perfect memory and raw brain power, yet there is no evidence of putting that with the intuitive leaps, the profound insights that come from intelligence, study, work, and imagination fueled by all three.
7/16/11 4:38 PM
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cincibill
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PR - It has to be Martin Luther King.


A great public speaker.

Other than that he has a street in every slum named after him and a US holiday. Yep, that's what we need, another day of no work with entitlement pay.
7/16/11 5:54 PM
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Stronghold
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Hefner
7/19/11 2:25 PM
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Subadie
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What are people thinking of Bucky Fuller these days. Some years ago, he would have been high on the list

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