Philosophy

Philosophy

  • Muhammad Mudasir Firdosi added an answer:
    Can a suicide be justified as a criminal offence in present day and age?
    Suicide attempt is a criminal offence in India under Section 309 of the IPC (attempt to commit suicide). A political activist who has been on hunger strike from last many years was booked under this law recently.
    Muhammad Mudasir Firdosi · King's College London
    Thanks Melissa was sharing this with us. I do agree with your conclusions though there are some cases with severe psychopathology like psychosis etc as well. I suppose arresting some one for a suicide attempt in a depressive episode is not the best thing to happen.
  • Barry Hammer added an answer:
    Can we clearly define 'intuition'? What is its origin? What is the exact origin of our thoughts?
    We know that the 'hardware' is there. The neurons, CNS, the brain, bio-chemicals...Now into this physical/biological/chemical network/system, 'what' 'enters' from beyond as a thought? What is the 'software' to run the hardware and process the thoughts? Who is the 'real' puppet master? Do we govern ourselves or are we governed? We are in a dismal state of scientific ignorance that we do not even know exactly when we fall asleep and who/what wakes us up from sleep exactly(in the absence of external stimuli). Is it just a reaction of chemicals giving off various permutations and combinations or is there something else initiating it from 'outside'? Can we dare to venture the existence of a 'soul' being the driver of everything?
    Barry Hammer · Graduate Theological Union, Harvard Divinity School, University of Maine
    It seems to me that, at least in some cases, intuition can involve a not fully conscious openness to the direct experience (not mediated by preconceived conceptual interpretations and biased presumptions) of subliminal vibratory energy impressions arising beyond the scope of factual information that is already known to (currently available to) our conscious mind and senses. Intuition is closely related to integrity, the experiential ability to discern what is consistent or inconsistent with the subliminal vibratory frequency of truth or falsehood, rightness or wrongness, appropriateness or inappropriateness, benevolence or malevolence. Furthermore, intuition can sometimes be related to empathy, involving the ability and willingness to tune into or commune with the experience of another individual through direct contact with their vibratory energy presence or living being, not necessarily mediated by preconceived conceptual interpretations of the other individual. Similarly, other subliminal or "peak experience" (see Abraham Maslow's writings) noetic faculties such as, compassion, warmhearted caring, inspiration, penetrating insight, and contextual, holistic, integral awareness are closely related to intuition, all involving attunement to subliminal levels of energy experience, unmediated by preconceived conceptual interpretations, biased presumptions, and partisan value judgments, as a connective rather than distancing mode of awareness. I discuss the development of these higher noetic capabilities of heart and mind in my two recently published books, and blogs (for more information about my books, please seen the attached Press Release; I have also posted sample chapters of my books and my blogs at my ResearchGate profile).
  • Guido J. M. Verstraeten added an answer:
    Does physics properly distinguish these notions: determinism, law-likeness, predictability, necessity, causality, fatalism?
    Different definitions and notions have been used in the debates over determinism. On the one hand, the terms contingency, randomness, emergency, uncertainty, free will and freedom seem to lead to an indeterministic standpoint about reality. On the other hand, the notions of necessity, causality, law-likeness, predictability and fatalism seem to suggest a deterministic stance
    Guido J. M. Verstraeten · Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
    Dear Claudia, I can also adive you to read the book of Earman : a Primer to Determinism
  • What is your opinion about using "neuroglia-science" or "glia-science" like neuroscience and establishing new specific fields for studying Glia cells?
    According to the recent studies about computational power of astrocytes (for review see Min, Rogier 2012) or their role in health and diseases (for review see Philip G. Haydon 2009, Domingues, AMJ M Antonio 2010) and so on (see book of Verkhratsky, A 2009), it seems astrocytes are very important cells in the brain and we are in the astrocytes decade. In the wake of my questions about astrocytes, I want to know your opinion about using "neuroglia-science" or "glia-science" or "astro-science" like neuroscience for studying glia cells? they are mysterious and powerful cells.
    Pandi-Perumal Seithikurippu Ratnas · Somnogen Canada Inc
    Hi Hossein, I appreciate your enthusiasm and passion to classify as a separate discipline for glia. As you know, most glia are derived from ectodermal tissue of the developing embryo, in particular from the 'neural' tube and crest. What if someone makes an argument that since 'neural tube' or 'neural crests' (and not 'glial tube or glial crests') are involved, still it qualifies to be in the neuroscience? What about if some one argues that the glia in the brain is part of central 'nervous' system (as we don't have a central 'glial' system). What about those who work on the neuron-glial communications? How would you call them? Neurobiologist? Giolioscientists? or Neuroglioscientists? Can you see the points? Can you understand the intricacies in such move? The fact that you have your collection of papers from leading authors or pioneers in glial biology; have you ever discussed your ideas with them as why such idea might be worthwhile? Any paradigm shift must come from the higher up. Not from you and not from me. We are not pioneers. Additionally, any such move should be proposed in a specialty glia conference and a consensus has to be made among the scientists. I have proposed my own theory on glia, but never published for various reason. But I am no expert or a pioneer. Do you think, those pioneers in glia, didn't thought about it? Why they haven't done so far? Have you thought about it? Hypothetically, everyone agrees that the name that you suggested 'glioscientists' is the most appropriate way to call scientists in this research domain. How would you call a basic researcher who is focusing on 'spinal cord neurons'? There are tons of information (basic and clinical) on spinal cord. There are lots of research going on in this domain. What if those researchers felt that they are working on neurons, but in spinal cord - not in the brain. If they say, 'Although we do work in the CNS circuitry, we need to be called in a special name'. Would such argument is acceptable to you? Do you think, either they would ask such manner or would you go ahead and grant one if any such requests arise?
  • The death penalty and human dignity - what are your thoughts?
    John Stuart Mill stated regarding the death penalty that, "I defend this penalty, when confined to atrocious cases, on the very ground on which it is commonly attacked—on that of humanity to the criminal; as beyond comparison the least cruel mode in which it is possible adequately to deter from the crime." It is well known that both Kant and Hegel thought that execution is required to preserve the convicted murderer’s dignity as a rational moral agent. Was it merely the state of the prisons of their day which led these men to make such statements or is there some notion of what it means to be a fully functioning human being which they felt was degraded by being imprisoned for life?
  • James F Peters added an answer:
    What is 'nature'? What is the nature of 'nature'? Is nature a Conscious, aware/intelligent force?
    Physics refers to 'natural laws' , biologists refer to 'natural selection'. Doctors administer medicine or operate and leave it to 'nature' to do the healing and recuperation. If nature refers to the physical, material world, which has its own set of laws and behavior, governs our life and limits it too, is nature conscious? If we as conscious beings emerge from nature, it follows that nature too is conscious? Is this 'consciousness' of nature, its 'nature'?
    James F Peters · University of Manitoba
    The question What is the nature of 'nature'? uses the term nature in two different senses. It seems that the term nature in "the nature of" can interpreted in different ways. For example, > "the nature of", i.e., the "meaning" of… > "the nature of", i.e., from the context, one might consider the "architectonics" of nature. I believe that Kant, in his Critique of Pure Reason, uses this term in terms of the structure of the reasoning mind. See, for example, C.E. Schutt, U. Lindberg, The new archtectonics: An invitation to structural biology, The Anatomical Record 261, 2000, 198-216: https://www.princeton.edu/~actin/newana-00.pdf That is: Architectonics is a venerable term in the philosophical literature. It pertains to both “the theory of structure”, as in the architectural literature, and “the structure of theory”, used by philosophers in a variety of ways to denote the processes by which ideas become fixed in our consciousness (Kant, 1787). Suzanne K. Langer (1967) in her magisterial three-volume work on the philosophy of art uses the word “architectonics” to expound on the discursive, non-sequential, quality of visual art forms: “Their complexity, consequently, is not limited, as the complexity of discourse is limited, by what the mind can retain from the beginning of an apperceptive act to the end of it (page 199).
  • Asmat Ali added an answer:
    Generally, does the truth comes out more (statistically) from people who talk too much or from those who talk too little?
    Typically, when someone is a researcher we think it is active. Usually he is working and in a good relationship with others. However, some of them talk too much while others minimize the words and sentences to communicate. Which type of person do you think we can expect to be more fruitful to the scientific community and even for humanity? It suggests some words: science, psycho-sociology, behavior, wisdom, philosophy, blessing, membership, inclusion, party.
    Asmat Ali · PMAS - Arid Agriculture University
    Another good and mind blowing question. I have read biographies of two scientists including Newton & Albert Einstein. I studied that they never talked a lot. However, it is still a researchable question if any one can do that. I think it is better to write a lot instead of taking a lot. Of course the writing should be shared with others also.
  • Asmat Ali added an answer:
    What philosophical positions should be considered in IS?
    Some scholars described the philosopher role to test the reality. Ontology is concerned with the nature and relations of being. Ontology asks questions such as ‘what is the nature of reality?’. When we examine a social phenomenon, ontology asks ‘is this phenomenon present or not?’ They investigate the nature and findings of many branches of knowledge, check the assumptions upon which they build their knowledge, the problems to which they give rise to and seek to establish a coherent view of the whole sphere of experience. Further, Klein (2005) defined epistemology as one vital component of philosophy and as being concerned with the nature, source and limits of knowledge. A basic objective is expected to be formed through the epistemological analysis of the research methodology and answering the question ‘are these epistemological assumptions consistent with the researcher’s own views?’ Epistemology attempts to answer the question of 'what is knowledge and how can we obtain it?'. Quine (1988) argued that a suitable epistemology should be empirically informed and should be dependent on science and not independent of it. Based on above and from your experience, what other philosophical positions should be considered?
    Asmat Ali · PMAS - Arid Agriculture University
    @Ra'ed (Moh'd Taisir) Masa'deh , you have asked a very interesting and valuable question, indeed. I am sure it would have multiple answers based on our diverse context knowledge. In my opinion, Clement and Shade in 1998 introduced Rainbow Metaphor for Information Infrastructure (II) which should be positioned in IS, as well.
  • Bernd Schmeikal added an answer:
    How does philosophical mind work?
    Philosophical minds are impressing and surprising, but how do they work? how did they create great perspectives and theories?
    Bernd Schmeikal · University of Vienna
    1. Can look at reality and perceive that which is without confusing it with his or her wishes or imaginations. 2. Thinks clearly. Good example provided by Parmenides exercise on "to ena", the one. 3. and more
  • Gabriele Scheler added an answer:
    Why is the tripartite synapse word used commonly in neuroscience ( or neuroglia science)?
    there are many types of interneuron especially in dentate gyrus. On the other hand astrocyte and pre and postsynaptic neurons are also existence. I think there is a relationship between all of these cells in a synaptic cleft. So there are more than 4 participants (also other types of glia maybe contribute). So I think we should use quadratic synapse.
    Gabriele Scheler · University of California, Berkeley
    There are often ascending monoaminergic axons with synaptic endings which participate in a synaptic combination as well. Sometimes, not always. Most interesting, there are 'glomeruli' I believe on thalamic and cerebellar dendrites: these are structures of 10 or so synaptic endings from different neurons all together surrounded by glial cells. Just to make it more complicated.
  • Ubaldina Diaz added an answer:
    Is law a science?
    The question has the merit of simplicity even if the response to it proves somewhat complex.
    Ubaldina Diaz · Simon Bolívar University
    My opinion my dear colleague, that law is not a science if science understand that system of knowledge with a limited half, the production of knowledge is mediated by the acceptance of a specific methodology which recognizes the academic community that part of the system of knowledge I think it is a normative discipline, but this character just does not pay the quality of scientific discipline.
  • Graeme Smith added an answer:
    Is consciousness giving human beings an evolutionary advantage?
    While having the concept of Self as opposed to others or to the environment seems good for focusing the organism functions on survivability and on DNA spreading, is there any evidence that consciousness has an evolutionary advantage? To elaborate further, here I'm talking about consciousness as the first person experience. And for "first person experience" I'm not talking about "experience OF first person": conversly, I'm specifically addressing the "experience IN first person MODALITY" (as a corollary to this question, I'm proposing that the word "consciousness" refers to too many concepts). In this view, I consider self-consciousness "experience of first person in first person modality". If we embrace the assumption that consciousness is always consciousness of something, we still lack an explanation for the nature and the purpose ("what is/what's for" rather than "how is it") of the first person experience, and as such why evolution favored it. In a lot of other Q/A about self and consciousness people are talking about consctructs that may function even without consciousness. Two examples: -self: a neural network comprising semantic concepts about the world could very well include the concept of self as a non-other or non-environment, or even a concept of self as an independent organism with such and such features; why do we need consciousness to conceptualize it? Would a machine decoding all the concepts coming across the node of (or the distributed knowledge about) self be considered conscious? We do not have to attribute consciousness to the machine to explain the machine processing its concept of self. -thinking: processing is certainly different from consciously elaborate something, as all the studies on automatic and subconscious processing show. On the other hand, this point address the free will problem: when we consciously elaborate something, does it mean we are voluntarly doing so? Or are we just experiencing a first person "show" of something already happened subconsciously (as Libet's studies suggest)? Without touching upon the ad infinitum regression problems, this poses the question if consciousness is useful without free will: if the conscious experience is just a screen on which things are projected, no free will is needed and thus what's the whole point of consciousness? As such, do we also need free will for accepting consciousness? If we are working with the least number of assumptions, it seems unlikely the we can accept consciousness. It seems to me that the general attitude of cognitive theories in a biological information processing/computational theory of mind framework is to try to explain everything without putting consciousness in the equation. And indeed it seems to me that no one is actually putting consciousness in the equation, when explaining cognition or behaviour (at least in modern times). All in all, it seems to me that all the above reasonings bring the suggestion that consciousness is not needed and has no evolutionary advantage over automatic non-conscious entities. Or that we should make more and more assumptions (such as accepting free will) to make sense of consciousness. I think that asking why we have consciousness could lead us to understand it better.
    Although theoretically any computation can be done by a turing machine, and the binary computer with the stack is a turing equivalent, In reality there are many tasks that require polynomial time to complete, which means we need parallel processing to achieve them. Jonathan:"Something of particular interest to me is the idea that to get a sense of me doing will need not just the monitoring circuits but a locus of 'image hosting' that has enough degrees of freedom within an indivisible dynamic frame. A series of 0 or 1 states of a binary processor with some form of stack or Turing tape equivalent as a backup resource would not provide a wide enough range of images." I think that the issue I take from this portion of your discussion is the idea of an indivisible locus of 'image hosting' that has enough degrees of freedom within a dynamic frame. We don't yet have the neural correlates of such an organ, although we are getting closer to understanding the neural correlates of consciousness. Part of the problem is that there seems to be many layers of processing on top of the basic locus of image, and that these layers of processing seem to deal with much of the degrees of freedom needed. It has been suggested that the basic self-image is of limited degrees of freedom, and has a very ancient pedigree. The brain then wraps that basic self-image with layers of processing to give it the effectiveness of a much higher degree of freedom without having to implement the larger locus of image. It's another evolutionary kludge.
  • Derek Abbott added an answer:
    Occam's razor is necessary to physics and to machine learning. Is this strange?
    Galileo has deduced the law of gravity (1/2 g t^2) by observing balls rolling on an inclined plane. However, without the occam razor, there is no reason to infirm the following law: until today the law of gravity is 1/2 g t^2, and tomorrow the law of gravity will be -1/2 g t^2. This law satisfies the criterium of Karl Popper. It is a scientific law. Without the occam razor we have to wait tomorow hoping that I was wrong and Galileo was right. We have the same problem for machine learning. Given a set of data, and a powerful learning machine such as SVM or ANN, there are an infinity of solutions which fit the data. To make the problem well posed, I need to find the simplest that fit the data.
    Derek Abbott · University of Adelaide
    I discuss that Occam's razor serves us to a point in that what we are trying to do in our physical description of nature is to provide a *compression* of information: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256838918 ....however, not all things are compressible. So that's when it falls over. In physics we tend to focus on those phenomena that are compressible into neat models, and so Occam's razor tends to be helpful. However, there is an unexplored range of possibilities where our traditional techniques may fall over. In the areas of Big Data and Complex Systems we have to approach things a little differently.
  • Louis Brassard added an answer:
    How do you perceive the relationships between science and wisdom?
    Science and wisdom have been mentioned with each other in literature. Do you think they should be together as a researcher/scientist?
    Tom, I read the post above and the two links but I fail to get your position and so my appetite is not quenched. Regard,
  • Louis Brassard added an answer:
    How does Heidegger's notion of being-in-the-world (situatedness) relate to Dasein's Openness, and to Heidegger's characterisation of Being?
    Recent cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience has gotten quite a bit of millage out of Heideggerian based insights on human's embodied and situated way of being. It seems to me that Dasein’s environmentally situated way of being, relates deeply to Heidegger’s characterization of Dasein’s Openness, and to the elusive characterization of Being, which Heidegger spent his career trying to draw out. But this point is almost entirely missed in contemporary cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience. Many people are a-buzz with Heidegger indebted embodied/situated theories of cognition, but entirely miss the way that this relates to Heidegger’s more fundamental issues with re-conceptualizing Being. Any thoughts? Basically, I would love to hear from anyone who could give me even a rough interpretation of how Dasein’s being-in-the-world (situatedness) relates to Dasein’s Openness, and to Heidegger’s conception of Being.
    Marshall, Really!!!
  • Alexander Nimo Wiredu added an answer:
    What is exactly meant by 'development'? Do we need a new paradigm for 'development' that is holistic instead of being only material and economic?
    In classifying countries and cultures as 'developed' and 'developing' and 'under developed', the criteria used is often economic. Is development widely misconstrued as 'material' development? After treading the path of 'Industrial revolution' and the path of materialism, societies have realised the hard way that these dont bring happiness as expected. Some have explored the hedonistic path and met with boredom, drugs, unhappiness, disenchantment with life, and suicide. Is material development then the right parameter? Bhutan has the Happiness Index where instead of economic criteria, happiness is used to measure development. Is something similar needed for the so called 'developed' countries? In pictures of children across the world, 'poor' children from 'developing and under developed ' countries come across as more happy and smile genuinely in spite of the lack of 'material infrastructure and development'.. While 'poor' children from developed economies appear genuinely unhappy. Therefore as adults, is our perception of rich and poor, developed and undeveloped, have and have-nots, totally misplaced? Is our perception of rich and poor and 'material happiness' acquired later on as adults? Do we need a new paradigm of 'development' and 'happiness' towards which one can genuinely strive and achieve instead of being sold cheap materialistic 'pipe dreams' ?
    Alexander Nimo Wiredu · Hohenheim University
    Raveendra, actually the term development is very holistic and goes beyond material wealth. Unfortunately however, there is always a poor link between researchers and implementers. Implementers are most often interested in the material wealth at the expense of 7 other pillars of development. For me, we had rather bridge this gap and encourage everybody to execute holistic development agenda.
  • Sunil Kumar added an answer:
    What is the Scientific basis of Learning?
    Learning is a complicated process whereby an individual acquires knowledge or skills via study, experience, or through being taught. Learning has occupied the mind of scientists, mathematicians, philosophers, and others since early civilizations. Conceptual frameworks describing how in the process of learning information is absorbed, processed, and retained have been developed into learning theories. Various influences including cognitive, emotional, and environmental, in tandem with previous experience, play a key role in how understanding is acquired or changed, and how knowledge and skills are retained... In a scientific context, what are the basis of learning?
    Sunil Kumar · Duke University
    Dear Shankar, thanks for putting up very nice discussion about the science behind learning with some examples of very historical facts about when the learning actually start, which start before the birth. I think human being are having very special abilities (known or unknown) about learning which might be very helpful for them to survive, adapt and evolve overtime. When it come to teaching and learning I think in the way of subjective learning its something like "Learn How to Teach and Teach How to learn"
  • Gianrocco Tucci asked a question:
    What are your thoughts on some problems concerning culture in contemporary societies?
    One of the major problems in contemporary society is to be able to regain the ability to dialogue between cultures and various sentiments. In this sense one can speak of different sensitivities from multiculturalism to interculturalism. I would prefer the latter term to that of 'acculturation' because it distinguishes better while comparing different situations, avoiding the risk of 'syncretism', i.e. the extinction of cultural diversity, and 'fundamentalism', which is the negation of the comparison. For me, it is not the universe to make sense of man, but just the reverse. Thus, a purely natural horizon is not needed to develop a humanistic and cultural reflection, because the human condition and the cultural dimension raises many more complex issues concerning 'conscience', 'knowledge', 'freedom', 'responsibility', and the meaning of value of human experience. It seems to me that the great legacy of civic, cultural and spiritual past is hindered or ignored; there are many other pressing issues, precisely those of efficiency, the logic of the market, consumption, productivity. And so you end up exchanging wisdom for superficiality, with the theories of a sophisticated technique sometimes amoral and inhuman and on occasion making a confusion between the doctrine of theory and practice with a superficial information. True knowledge, in fact, combines data in its deep meaning, unlike what happens today: "A smattering of all, a knowledge of nothing", to quote Charles Dickens. Man spends his life in reasoning on the past, in complaining of the present, trembling for the future. We are always suspended between nostalgia for the past and the uncertainty of memory and a future full of unknowns. The present time is usually the 'place' where men complain for their inability to accept their nature. Therefore, it happens that we recriminate for the past because now it is lost, or we repent for having idealized it. Moreover, the present time is a source of complaints just because the unknown future frightens us. I'd like to ask your opinion.
  • James F. Cox added an answer:
    Researchers should be philosophers or have a matter of logic. What do you think?
    In our trip looking for the truth, does researching depend on philosophy or needs logic, and on the other hand, should all facts depends on logic?
    James F. Cox · University of Georgia
    I find this discussion very interesting. Many, many years ago I took a couple courses in logic in a PhD program in Engineering Management and found logic very fascinating but I could not figure out how to apply it to my studies and to everyday life. Later in my own field of operations management I encountered Eli Goldratt, a PhD physicist who was a business consultant and guru. He is the inventor of theory of constraints. In the early 1990’s he was forced to develop a practical set of logic tools based on necessary condition and sufficiency condition logic. Over time he developed six different thinking processes tools with different purposes. These tools have been used by managers in for-profit, for-purpose, government, individuals, etc. to answer three questions: 1. What to change? Of all the possible things in an organization or in your life that can be changed what one or two things if changed can cause significant improvement in the system? The current reality tree is used to answer this question. 2. To what to change? Of all the possible solutions that could be implemented what is the solution that will create a win-win (no compromises) for all stakeholders? The evaporating cloud is used to construct the problem as a conflict between two actions. Assumptions are surfaced and an action to break an assumption is identified. This is the starting point for a win-win solution and additional actions are identified. The future reality tree is used to build the complete solution. 3. How to cause the change? How can we develop a simple but effective implementation plan? The obstacles to taking the above actions are identified and a sequenced project network constructed. The prerequisite tree is used here. There is a set of challenges, categories of legitimate reservation, used to help developers and listeners to construct solid logical arguments. Thousands of organizations around the world have used these focused logic tools to rapidly improve. Many years ago I had a college swimmer in one of my classes use these logic tools to improve her swimming skills. She won an Olympic gold medal in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta at the age of 26! This illustrates the power of using logic to focus on a very few leverage points in a system. Dr. Goldratt explains the power of cause and effect thinking in the first video and Professor Vicky Mabin provides a basics workshop on the TOC logical thinking processes (TP) tools in the second video at: http://www.tocico.org/?page=tp_portal Other presentations on this “thinking processes” portal describe the use of the TP in various organizations. There are 13 portals at the TOCICO website that provide tutorials in the use of theory of constraints in various functions and industries. These TP logic tools have also been used by over 8 million children in a couple dozen countries how to think logically. Three TP tools are used here. See: http://www.tocforeducation.com/ The evaporating cloud is used to frame and solve problems (viewed as conflicts). The negative branch is used to surface negative effects from taking an action before one takes an action. The ambitious target tree is used to determine the obstacles and actions to overcome the obstacles to achieve an ambitious target. These logic tools have been used in kindergartens to prisons to help individuals to use logic. I am unsure of whether my discussion is valid with respect to your question. I have tried to introduce you to a pragmatic set of logic tools that provide powerful answers to problems. Logic is a powerful research methodology; each hypothesis should be structured logically determining what is given (the assumptions), what is the cause to be studied and what is the proposed effect and why? This is the approach taken in analyzing “undesirable effects” (surface problems) in TOC to determine the underlying cause (core problem).
  • Irina Pechonkina added an answer:
    Should cartoons be taken seriously?
    A cartoon is a drawing that portrays situations in an exaggerated style for humorous or satirical effect. See, for example, the sample cartoon from an 1869 issue of Punch magazine. Many cartoons have the universality of music. We do not have to read music to appreciate a sonata or symphony. Only listening is required. Similarly, one does not need to read the captions for most cartoons to see the humor or satire in a cartoon drawing by itself. Every country has its own cartoons and cartoonists. Here are some examples: Ziraldo Alves Pinto; Brazilian cartoonist Steve Bell (cartoonist) The Guardian (UK) Sergio Aragonés, known for his contributions to Mad Richard Decker, The New Yorker Yuliy Abramovich Ganf, Russia, Krokodil magazine Geoff "Jeff" Hook, Australian, Herald Sun John Leech, 19th-century Punch cartoonist Mario Miranda, The Economic Times, India Mana Neyestani, Iranian cartoonist Shigeru Mizuki, manga cartoonist René Pellos, French cartoonist Peter Klusen, German writer and cartoonist Cartoons appeal to young and old alike. So the question for this thread is Do cartoons have a message that we should take seriously? Do cartoons convey an underlying philosophy or message along with the humor of a cartoon?
    Irina Pechonkina · Math and Physical Lyceum
    Dear James, I found rather actual cartoon! It's about "side-effect". "The effect is in that, that we want to eat. It is a side (good) effect. Surely, inspiration of creation is stronger, if they can't find enough bread to eat." http://www.aphorism.ru/comments/0ye0fqn162.html
  • Does philosophy need a language that admits of no contradictions?
    Some philosophers/mathematicians (e.g., Tarski) laid some emphasis on construing a language that does not admit of contradictions, and were even ready to pay the price (if you want to call it thus) of excluding semantic terms and the like. I came to ask myself if it is actually a problem (rather than an advantage) of a language that it is able to express many things (including contradictions). What do you think?
    Friedrich Christoph Doerge · University of Tuebingen
    O.k., involving purposes appears to me a good idea. Also, I admit that if the sentences of a language is meant to be processed by a program that is unable to manage with contradictions, then this language should be construed in such a way as to allow for no such things. Still, I feel provoked to try to push my idea a bit further. (1) Would you agree that, in philosophy, very few cases like these exist (i.e., cases where the possibility of the construction of contradictions would be problematic)? Could we give as much as, say, three significant cases? (2) Also, another idea haunts my mind: Should we not expect that nowadays (as opposed to, say, the 80ies) it should even be easy to construe the relevant programs in such a way as to cope with the processing of contradictions? And would not this weaken the requirement under consideration even further?
  • Qamar Abbas added an answer:
    Is religion a source of unity or division?
    I am very sorry because this question is out of my area of specialization but what I think that it should be clear in mind of everyone. Please don't get emotional, give your very practical view.
    Qamar Abbas · Ambalika Institute of Management & Technology
    Religion is a source of unity.
  • Irina Pechonkina added an answer:
    Are you optimists or pessimists for the future of humanity?
    There are many readings for the same set of data for our evolution as human beings. Others read the circular growth and recession times by a pessimistic mood while others believe that humanity after having tried different systems finally will converge to a stable and viable status for all of us and not for a small subset of us. What do you think about?
    Irina Pechonkina · Math and Physical Lyceum
    Well,"Gaudeamus igitur"To Frost, "the best outcome is always through!"
  • Abderrahmane Kadri added an answer:
    Can a scientist be good exclusively in science without being good in humanities (literature, philosophy, art, etc.)?
    Science is a body of ideas and concepts which are often highly philosophical and which need advanced language to deal with. Before the modern era scientists were absolutely complete as e.g. Leonardo da Vinci and many others. What is your opinion about this since now we are seeing students who need google to write the smallest single text?
    Abderrahmane Kadri · University of Oran
    Dear Guido, Thanks for interesting question. ICT if you mean computing usually works in 3 languages : the normal language, the soft language (many of them) and the machine language. It depends on your expertise and needs. An ICT expert is normally an expert in all these languages, because it is his job. A simple user of ICT can have some troubles, but much less than few decades ago when the machines were in their infancy.
  • Paul M.W. Hackett added an answer:
    Is it possible to provide a simple definition of Aristotle's concept of powers?
    How does this relate to causation in his work?
    Paul M.W. Hackett · Emerson College
    Demetris, thanks for your answer. I think we are talking about powers in a different sense. I mean the causal powers that Aristotle (and others) have posited as 'causing' perception, etc.
  • Paul M.W. Hackett added an answer:
    Can anyone tell me where this Leibniz quotation comes from?
    I have just been reading about Leibniz and I wonder if anyone can help me by telling me where Leibniz said "wholes have only a borrowed reality - borrowed from the reality of their parts". I am not sure whether this an exact quotation or an approximation.
    Paul M.W. Hackett · Emerson College
    I agree, this was a lesson in forgotten Latin from many years ago.
  • Issam Sinjab added an answer:
    Is philosophy universal?
    Are there any thoughts in this regard?
    @Mohammad Firoz Khan "Hawking has last one or two years ago has declared that philosophy is dead. Implication is that physics cannot see back to philosophy and develop on the momentum of its progress" I have in the past in a previous thread discussed this at length. I feel obliged to make at least a short reply to Hawking's quote"...but philosophy is dead ", which he made in his book, The Grand Design. I shall quote a response by Professor John C. Lennox: "Apart from the unwarranted hubris of this dismissal of philosophy (a discipline well represented and respected at his own university of Cambridge), it constitutes rather disturbing evidence that at least one scientist, Hawking himself, has not even kept up with philosophy sufficiently to realize that he himself is engaging in it throughout his book. The very first thing I notice is that Hawking's statement about philosophy is itself a philosophical statement. It is manifestly not a statement of science: it is a metaphysical statement about science. Therefore, his statement that philosophy is dead contradicts itself. It is a classic example of logical incoherence." Lennox goes on to conclude that "Hawking has an inadequate view of philosophy".
  • Miranda Yeoh added an answer:
    Is there any question that a scientist should never ask?
    Well, let's omit the questions that are really trivial or easy. Is there any theme or class of questions with a possible non-trivial answer, but widely accepted as a "taboo" in science? Does it ever happen to you?
    Miranda Yeoh · Kolej Matrikulasi Selangor, MALAYSIA (Selangor Matriculation College)
    Dear friends, I appreciate all your views. Today is mothers' day. May God bless all Fathers too.
  • Mahesh T S added an answer:
    What I know about our nature from Asian philosophy
    When I was just in primary school, a question was raised by our Chinese teacher: “Is human nature good or bad?” Then little girls and little boys started arguing with each other heavily for something they even didn’t know the meanings of. One nine year old girl thought human nature is good since she wanted to protect little animals when she saw other people try to kill them. The other ten year old boy insisted that our nature is bad for the reason that his brother always did terrible things to him even though their mother scolded the bad brother for this many times. That is all the things I thought about human nature. After the learning of Asian philosophy, I can think further more about our nature. I started wonder those questions: Does our nature only have two types—good and bad? What is our nature like? Is it something really exists? Since about two thousand years ago, two great Chinese philosophers Mengzi and Xunzi gave two opposite opinions about human nature, the argument and discussion about them never stopped. However, in my opinion, human nature can not simply be classified as good and bad. As we can see from our real life, even the most kind-hearted person you know may have done something not that kind, while the worst person you know may do a favor to others. Besides, there is a paradox existing in supporting examples given by my primary school’s classmates. Both the girl and the person who try to kill little animals are human. One wants to protect little animals but the other wants to kill them. How can we assert that human nature is good or bad by the feeling of a representative of human while the other representative has the opposite feeling at the same time? According to Chinese Philosophy written by Wen Haiming, the nature is more like the outcome of the fulfillment of our potential, inclinations, and capacities(1). It is a beginning state of our existence and it does not predetermine what we will become, which means we can not deduce what our nature is by what we are or what we were. If so, we may never get an answer to whether our nature is good, bad or even neutral. Now, it seems that the discussion carried on by myself goes to a deadend. Nevertheless, the word “Atman” comes to my mind then. Atman is one of the two basic concepts put forward by the Upanishads. Which I think has similarity with the spirit from Chinese traditional stories. In lots of Chinese traditional stories, once a person’s body dies, his spirit would not disappear and it can be reborn into another new body, which is thought by ancient Chinese people as human nature. In the Upanishads, Atman is regarded as the Principal part of people’s lives. And according to the Upanishad, There is a core of self that has no elements of individual natures that grow and change which is the Atman. It’s a core that underlies personality, thought patterns, bodily nature and so forth. (2) So is the atman is our so-called human nature? I haven’t got a certain answer yet. But I think the famous experiment carried by the eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher David Hume (3) can offer some information for this question. Hume tried to find out human nature but his critics asked him a question that what doing the looking was if he looked for his self. If we try to find out our Atman which is the real us, are the layers of our individual personalities doing the finding or the cores of us “Atman” doing? How could my layers of my individual personalities look for the real me? And how could my Atman look for itself? I think I’m trapped in those questions raised by myself. There are also some philosophers think that “Atman is Brahman” (4). I can not agree. Brahman is everything. Everything includes the elements of individual natures that grow and change such as personality, thought patterns and bodily nature While those things excluded by the concept of Atman. Since Atman is the real you, not your personality that can be changed by unnatural factors, it looks so close to the word “nature”. However, Atman is Atman, the persistent and real me, not my nature, not Brahman or anything else. Until here, all my understanding and all the discussion based on a state that human nature exists in reality. In this article, we define “our nature” as “human nature” since the word “our” points to “we” and we are human. Nevertheless, in original Buddhism, nothing has enduring self and fixed existence, even as our human nature. However, everything in the world has the nature to become Buddha, The concept of Impermanence and Anatta(no-enduring-self) given at the time of creation of Buddhism rejected the existence of atman and Brahman. Bodhisattva of compassion said that “all the thing are empty. Nothing is born, nothing dies, nothing increases and nothing decreases…… So in emptiness, there is no body, no feeling, no thought…..” (5) Nor is human nature. However, it goes against the theory of Karma, samsara and rebirth. If nothing dies, nothing is born, what does exactly go through samsara and what are suffering the different seeds people sow in last life given by Karma? Is it our spirit? Is it the atman? Is it our human nature? In the other words, the emptiness theory denies human nature exists, nevertheless, the Karma theory give proof that there is human nature or something similar to human nature existing. In addition, all of those concepts and theories, such as anatta, Karma and impermanence, are the truths of Buddhism.Truths can be used to explain the objects that are intricate and complicated for people to understand. But they are not the objects themselves and also not the existence in reality. Even if human nature does exist, we still can not treat it and those concepts as the same thing. It’s easy to explain what we are and what our nature is in the perspective of science. Different people hold different DNA which give them different nature and different personalities those can not be just classified by good and bad. However, it’s really difficult to give an exact answer to what our nature is and whether it exists in the perspective of philosophy. In a case of a TV series Crime Scene Investigation, there is a criminal arguing for his innocence since he was born with a crime gene. But there is no such “criminal gene” can be given by philosophy. By the way, the process of trying to find out an answer in philosophy is really interesting. Human beings are so small to the whole universe, just like a drop of water to sea. But we never stop thinking and never stop exploring the world and ourselves. NO matter whether human nature is good or bad, no matter whether we can figure out what exactly our nature is, and no matter whether human nature is existing or not, at least I’m existing, I’m thinking and I’m writing my paper, even if what I’m experiencing may be only a dreaming of a butterfly(6).
    Mahesh T S · Alva's Education Foundation , Moodabidri, Mangalore, South Canara Dist, Karnataka
    Atma is one of the most favourite topic of discussion in Indian Philosophy. As per my thinking goes if we consider Atma = Energy then our calculation of all the philosophical idea will come true. Because like Atma energy cannot be created and destroyed. It is necessary and found in every aspect of the universe.

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