b.e. hydomako response to me – I am very appreciative of it

+KENNETH UDUT: Intersubjectivity is a word I don’t see nearly enough and you’re right; in the actual practice of science, the lines that seem so nice and clear to students are, as always and thankfully so, blurred by good ol’ reality, at least from what I can see.

And I feel this makes trying to talk to people who are embedded and invested in a “scientific” outlook particularly frustrating at times because they tend to take for granted their philosophical position about what it is they are actually doing. I’ve had several debates with a few people that were essentially futile simply because they were so entrenched in the idea that they are establishing “truth” about an “objective” reality that they can not even begin to see the error they are making; that is, the idea of a shared intersubjectivity is like Kryptonite to their Superman science: it weakens them to the point of becoming entirely irrational and unreasonable.

And so it goes.

I have, alas, been hanging around several Philosophy forums over the past six months, conquering once and for all, a lifetime distaste for that method of discourse… at least.. as it manifests itself on the Internet.

Well, there’s this joke about Wittgenstein, see. It goes like this:

Wittgenstein was on his way to give a talk at a “professional philosophy conference.” He comes to the place where the conference is being held and walks up to the registration desk to claim his spot and register his attendance.

Now, Wittgenstein, of course, is looking his regular self, which is to say shabby, disheveled, bag bulging with books, and the concierge–not familiar with any of the attending philosophers–looks Wittgenstein up and down and says, “I think you’ve made a mistake: I am afraid you’ve stumbled on a conference of philosophers.”

And Wittgenstein says, “So am I, so am I.”

Philosophy on the internet is frequently like many things on the internet: a sort of pale specter of the real thing. Further, everyone can think they are a “philosopher” simply because they can also opine on some such matter or another, and the internet seem rife with people more than willing to not only offer their opinions on such and such, but to also resolutely hold to that opinion to the point of becoming entirely irrational and unreasonable.

And so it goes.

And sometimes–perhaps even often–philosophy as done in real life, as done “professionally,” isn’t much different, heh.

Ayn Rand anyone?

Lol, it is so funny you should insert this into your response. I’ve had a conversation or two with some (“scientifically” minded) people who, if not Rand followers, will at least assume the metaphysical tenets of “Objectivism” and act as if these somehow justify every single dogmatic thing they say about an “objective reality.”

What’s worse is they often fail to see how “Objectivism” is self-defeating. I mean, sure, we can assume there is some “external” reality which we interact with via our sensory perceptions, but the very fact that we must necessarily interpret those sensory perceptions as a human being implies at best an intersubjective network of reporting on those experiences and perceptions: what is a “reality” separate from our human based processing of our sensory perceptions? Like there is a coherent answer to this question!

Fallacy? Oh if I hear that word one more time…

Lol again! If we explore the list of “fallacies”–both formal and informal–we end up, I feel, at the end of Wittgenstein’s (not to overly favour his work or him in particular, mind) Tractatus:

What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.

And yet, we’ll talk and talk and talk all the same, heh.

We’re all just people doing the best we can with whatever knowledge we have at hand at the time in whatever roles we may be playing at the time.

Yes. There is a practical sort of pragmatism to our knowledge, but this does not mean such knowledge is “truth”: our knowledge is at best “functional,” which is also to say the models we frame our knowledge in have some degree of workability (as I like to call it), yet this does not necessarily require that they are accurate, complete, or even “true.” It simply means that they work to some degree, and to what “degree” we simply can not know as that would imply that we have a complete and accurate account of reality to compare them to!

I was excessively harsh regarding perceptions of the Subject because I find myself defending its … well.. ultimate truthfulness:  not as “absolute ” or “ideal form”  – but as a series of on-going negotiations in shared human attempts towards…

Ah yes, I see where you are coming from. I tend to feel that people can simply be too frightened or too lazy–or whatever else–to accept the responsibility that is entailed by existing as a First Person Experiencing Being In The World. We want assurances, we want stories, we want ways to lull our sense of “existential dread” qua our utter singularity of being to sleep. We do not want to feel alone in the world and we often seem to do whatever we can to avoid being alone with ourselves.

I don’t know what it is we are “working towards,” if anything. I tend towards rejecting the idea that there is any sort of “absolute” teleology to being; rather, we go back to what is pragmatic: what makes our life worth living, or, what is our answer to Camus’ “only one really serious philosophical problem”?

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