Philosophy

Philosophy

  • Lane Friesen added an answer:
    Can anyone help me with sources on the philosophy of perception?
    I am doing some writing in the area of philosophical understandings of perception. Specifically I am interested in how we perceive abstract art. I would be grateful if anyone has any references of the general area of the philosophy of perception or the application of this to art perception.
    Lane Friesen · cognitivestyles.com

    Both Heidegger and Hegel point out that self has two aspects – one is ‘the they’ which is the self that is the other; the other is what Heidegger calls Dasein. Perceiving according to Hegel reconciles these two aspects.


    Looking now more specifically, Hegel points out that apprehending builds up a basic visual memory circuit which he calls the Here of all heres. Heidegger’s the they is truncated out of this. Dasein handles visual saccades through what Heidegger calls a caretaker. Perception is the harmonization of the initial object particularization with saccades as guided by Dasein and generated by the caretaker.


    Perceiving uses pattern matching based in recognition. The process of recognition itself integrates into knowing; object binding is confirmed by reflection which is a truncation of knowing. The bound object becomes the foreground of perceiving in which Hegel’s Here of all heres (based on what has been apprehended since childhood) is the background. The deep background is the apophantic-hermeneutic parser which is controlled by Dasein and which reaches into the caretaker.


    Hegel points out that perceiving is prone to deceptions. That is because it depends upon pattern-matching. I would imagine that perceiving of abstract modern art would access this pattern-matching in order to trick the mind into seeing things that are not there.


    You can access a book-length line-by-line analysis of Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology of Mind’ as it describes the mind’s self-programming through initial self-certainty of apprehending into perceiving into understanding and finally into self-consciousness. The commentary is illustrated by circuit diagrams that are consistent also with Heidegger’s analysis in ‘Being and Time.’ It’s posted here on ResearchGate (rgdoi.net/10.13140/2.1.2350.4003) and can be downloaded – you’ll want to look in particular at the chapter on perceiving. What it says will make more sense if you analyze the sequential ways in which the various circuits interact and self-develop; you will see in particular that perceiving is an intermediate and somewhat vulnerable stage which could easily be exploited by abstract modern art. Good luck.

  • Christopher James Davia added an answer:
    Is the concept of ‘life’ only metaphysical?
    There is an amazingly high number of definitions of ‘life’, leading to reflect that “scepticism is multiplied by the above number, leaving almost no chance for new formulations which, however, continue to appear” (1). Actually the concept of life is “too vague and general, and loaded with a number of historical, traditional, religious values” (2). Although life is “a useful word in practice”, it is “not a scientific concept” (3). The concept of life is related to an indefinable state. Any definition of life is subjective and arbitrary as is the boundary between living and non-living systems or pinpointing the moment when non living systems would have become living. For instance, saying that virus or prions or vesicles with the capacity of evolving are living systems (or not) adds nothing more than the definition of life one would propose. Finally the statement that any such boundary or moment exists is not falsifiable: no experiment can be considered to prove that it can be wrong (4). Therefore, as the distinction between living and non living systems is a matter of belief and not science, it is not only hopeless but useless to try to define this indefinable state related to a metaphysical question (5).
    References:
    1. E. N. Trifonov. J Biomol Struct Dyn 29, 259-266 (2011).
    2. P. L Luisi. The Emergence of Life: from Chemical Origins to Synthetic Biology. Cambridge University Press: New York, NY, USA (2006).
    3. J. Gayon. Orig Life Evol Biosph 40, 231-244 (2010).
    4. M. Tessera. J Biomol Struct Dyn 29, 635-636 (2012).
    5. M. Tessera. Int J Mol Sci 12, 3445-3458 (2011.

    Dear Dr Tessera,

    I am very pleased that you have read my work.

    As is argued in the paper that life maintains its organisation as a consequence of the way in which it mediates transitions to more favourable thermodynamic states.

    The principle agent of catalysis is a special type of wave - a soliton.

    These waves are found at every scale in biology and are implicated in processes as diverse as muscle function and cognitive processes.

    The key to understanding these waves is the fact that they are also information carriers - their robustness results as a direct consequence of the fact that they embody information relating to their boundary conditions as part of their dynamic structure.

    There is evidence to suggest that both biological functioning and biological development are controlled by these waves - thus - bioenergetics = bioinformatics.

    The strength of the theory lies in the fact that it represents a significant simplification of the the biological process and its evolution. It provides a model of cognition and also explains the extraordinary robustness of living processes without recourse to additional principles.

    You might find these papers useful.

  • Nelson Orringer added an answer:
    Socrates, Plato or Aristotle: which one do you think is the most important and why?

    Socrates, Plato or Aristotle are the Big Three ancient Greek philosophers and, at the same time,  three of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy. You can't begin a study of world philosophy without talking about these philosophers.

    Which one do you think is the most important and why?

    Nelson Orringer · University of Connecticut

    Ortega y Gasset, who studied Greek philosophers in the original Greek, repeatedly affirmed that we will never understand the Greeks!  If this is so, no wonder, Carlos, tha there can be no consensus, not only in tastes but also in information about them.  No, I do not believe that Plato is the only authority for Socrates. There are Aristophanes, Xenophon, and a host of others.  Thanks, though, for the reference to Snell.

  • Rognvaldur Ingthorsson added an answer:
    How is action at temporal distance possible?

    This is partly a philosophical question as well as empirical. Action at a distance in space is one thing. Action at a distance in time is less well discussed in science and philosophy.

    Rognvaldur Ingthorsson · Lund University

    Sean, about co-incidence. That is a good question, about which I am not decided. It might be the case that our idea that things cannot coincide in space and time is just a result of the contingent fact that macroscopic objects typically interact in such a was as to repel one another. That would make the idea that two things cannot occupy the same space an empirical inference and not a logical truth. Indeed, the idea used to be connected to the idea that objects necessarily were solid or "impenetrable". However, it may not be impossible that microscopic entities coincided on the most fundamental level. For instance, one might think of superposition of waves as two entities occupying the same spatiotemporal location. But then again, we would have to assume that we now are regarding waves at the highest resolution so that they do not merely appear to coincide, but actually do. At the moment I don't see whether it is important to take a stand one way or another, at least not for the issue of causality. For instance, if co-incidence is possible, that would not change anything about the principle of locality or action at a distance. But I guess, only entities that merely attract and do not repel each other could coincide in that way.

    You are also right that the account is meant to discriminate between mere regularity and causal regularity. Anyway, the regularity theory always was a plan B; it only has appeal if you ascribe to some kind of scepticism (say, like Hume) that forbids you to speculate about the nature of reality beyond perception (or observation). It is not as if regularity theory explains things better in any way at all, it really says something like: "since we cannot speculate about nature beyond observation, regularity is the best we can get". 

  • Guido J. M. Verstraeten added an answer:
    Is philosophy universal?
    Are there any thoughts in this regard?
    Guido J. M. Verstraeten · Satakunta University of Applied Sciences

    Thank you James. But provided philosophy is universal, why is the philosophic method of raisoning not universal (as the scientific methodoly in mathematics, physics and chemistry is universal)? We discern analytical philosophy, continental philosophy, Chinese and Indian philosophy

  • Noureddine Ouerfelli added an answer:
    Is it true that the interpretation is usually something intermediate between certainty and doubt ?

    Generally, when interpreting the results of the findings in experimental research, we provide interpretations that are not as certain. We generally use the word "probably" etc.
    Also when assigning a physical meaning of the parameters of empirical and semi-empirical equations.
    What do you think? Can you reach certain conclusions when many different publications accumulate in the same direction?

    Noureddine Ouerfelli · University of Tunis El Manar

    I totally agree with you, your answer adds for me the certainty for my future behavior in research. Thank you.

  • James F Peters added an answer:
    From your point of view, what are examples of geometric patterns in digital images?

    Repeated polygonal shapes or repeated colours are sources of visual patterns.   Another important source of patterns are the  presence of convex sets and convex hulls in digital images, especially in naturally camouflaged or in artificially camouflaged objects .   A set A is convex provided the line segment connecting any points A is contained in A.   A convex hull is the smallest convex set containing a set of points (see the attached image).   Also,  see the many convex sets in the natural camouflage of the dragon in the attached image and in

    http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=14&ved=0CCQQFjADOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdl.mycommerce.com%2Fwgt%2F9f3a1646c2829ec59a8eb14e75c5ff39%2F1b8198605693ddfd3bcf98d46a2be20f%2Frn_v43325%2F0521199115_0521152577_Animal.pdf&ei=1qLdU6blI8KzyAS02ICYDg&usg=AFQjCNF92EF4zkYvByBaskyvTu8m46m6Lg&bvm=bv.72197243,d.aWw

     Convex sets have many applications in the study of digital images.   For example, convex sets are used in solving image recovery problems:

    https://www.ljll.math.upmc.fr/~plc/ip2.pdf

    and in image restoration:

    https://www.google.ca/search?as_q=math+digital+images&as_epq=convex+sets&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&safe=images&tbs=&as_filetype=&as_rights=&gws_rd=ssl

    Convexity recognition is useful in object shape analysis in digital images:

    http://www.ee.oulu.fi/mvg/files/pdf/pdf_513.pdf?origin=publication_detail

    Another important application of convexity is rooftop and building detection in aerial images:

    http://www3.stat.sinica.edu.tw/statistica/oldpdf/A19n45.pdf

    James F Peters · University of Manitoba

    @Hasan Hadi Khaleel: it is highly required to downscale images for better processing and detecting.

    Downscaling digital images can be accomplished in a number of ways.    One of those ways is to detect and analyse the presence of convex shapes such as parallelograms in digital images.   This process is described on page 1454 in

    X. Huoo, X. Ni, Detectability of convex-shaped objects in digital images, its fundamental limit and multi scale analysis, Statistica Sinica 19, 2009, 1439-1462:

    http://www3.stat.sinica.edu.tw/statistica/oldpdf/A19n45.pdf

  • Juan Pascual-Leone added an answer:
    Does anyone know when mereology was taken out of the more mathematical and calculus based philosophical work of authors such as Lesniewski?

    Is anyone aware of the term mereology being used in a more general philosophical or psychological sense to mean parts and wholes?

    Juan Pascual-Leone · York University

    Dear Paul:
    My apologies for the delay in replying.
    Tthe distinction by Piaget between two distinct ways of knowing -- repertoires of schemes/structures, i.e., the Logical (or Logico-Mathematical) domain versus the Infralogical (or spatio-temporal, or object construction, or coordination of actions, or empirical/experiential or sub-logical) domain is central to his work,. However,  the infralogical  is not easy to identify in his writing, particularly in English, due to the variable terminology –  although important to his theorizing. He uses the infralogical domain as a counterpoint to the logical one, recognizing the former as the original experiential source and testing ground for the truth value of the latter. With some reinterpretations and adaptations, he explicates the infralogical using a variant of his logical models for elementary logic (logic of classes – here redefined as infra-classes – and the logic of relations. The  part-whole relations he examines developmentally in his analysis of the child’s construction of objects and space . To my knowledge he did not address the issue of how his infralogical theorizing related to Lesniewski’s Mereologic although  he was aware of Lesniewski’s work.
    I have selected English  books of Piaget that refer to the infralogical domain in various alternative terms.  Perhaps the first source that a philosopher might wish to consult  is (1) E.W.Beth & J. Piaget, “Mathematical Epistemology and Psychology”, now own by Springer Publishers [original, Dordrecht, Holland : D. Reidel Pub. Co., 1966.]. Under various names, infralogical structures are analyzed in this book in Chapters IX, X, section 58 of Chapter XI, and section 62 of Chapter XII. I am using the French original version, but I imagine ordering of chapters and sections has been preserved.
    Two other relevant theoretical sources of Piaget’s work in English are: (2) J. Piaget "The Equilibration of Cognitive Structures", Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Part 2 and Part 3 of this book are particularly relevant. (3) His “famous” article about Piaget’s theory [J. Piaget, Piaget’s Theory. In P.H. Mussen, Ed., “Handbook of Child Psychology”, Volume I, J. Wiley & sons, 1946/1983]
    A more concrete discussion of his unique infralogical logic appears in older books. For instance, (4) his book on Space (Piaget & Inhelder’s “The Child’s Conception of Space”, Norton & Company, 1967), Chapter XV gives you his overview.
    His two very original psychology books on the development of Logic are: (5) Piaget & Inhelder, book on the emergence of elementary logical structures [the English translation  is, I believe, by Inhelder & Piaget, “The Early Growth of Logic in the Child”, Routledge, 1999], and (6) Inhelder & Piaget, 1958, “The Growth of Logical Thinking,” Basic Books, Inc. In the latter book Chapter 17 might be where to start.
    Finally another scholarly and useful theoretical source (7) written by a psychologist, which looks at Piaget’s later work from an epistemological perspective (the, albeit excellent, has been ignored because of a misguided early book review ! ), This is : Rita Vuyk’s “Piaget’s Genetic Epistemology 1965-1980”. Published by Academic Press in two volumes, in 1981.

  • Francesca Cansani added an answer:
    What is the difference between Need and Necessity?
    As per my knowledge goes, the need and necessity is a similar condition where the difference between the two lies on the priority. A need is an absolute craving of man to possess while the necessity is also a craving without which man manages to survive. For example transport is a need while the personal vehicle is a necessity. Here transport is a need of mankind to move from one place to another without which there will be hindrance in his daily affairs which may effect his existence also. But a personal vehicle is only a luxury which will enhance his ability to move. He may move without the personal vehicle by using alternate means. The term desire is applicable to the craving for the fulfilment of both the set. But I feel the desire that is having a negative effect on one's life is the craving for the set of necessity.
    Francesca Cansani · University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland

    Dear Mahesh T S , thank you for your Question, though I've never thought about the Terms you mentioned and about their Difference. Thank you for explaining what do you mean by using one or the other.

    And therefore, we have the Need to move, and we have the Necessity to use a Vehicle [be it our own Legs (if we're handicapped or invalid, we can't use them) or a Bycicle or a Boat or so], I agree with you.

    Though, what about the Need? We really need to move, why? It is a natural Need or an induced one [Adverstising, Propaganda, ...]?

    There are natural Needs or induced Needs:  I would start by distinguish between them, and eventually, between necessary Necessities and induced Necessities [the formers are tied to necessary Needs, the latters are tied to induced Needs].

    Solarity and inner Good and outer Strength to Every1.

  • Martin Schulz added an answer:
    Is it a coincidence when we meet the right people in our lives?

    Have you ever met persons who were particularly important for you at a special moment or situation of your private or professional life? I am not thinking of magical circumstances but of something you may have done in order to meet these people – or these people may have done in order to meet you.

    Martin Schulz · Folkwang Universität der Künste

    Dear Jaya,

    Thank your for your kind post. There is one little detail I want to make clear: in my case: it was not wishful thinking coming true.
    You told an interesting story about things that we never find again.

  • What is the reality of time?
    Real or unreal? Quantity or concept?
    Various issues are possible for discussion.
    What do you think about this?

    Dear Sergey ! You write: « Your errors in the consideration follow from your attempt to consider the notion “Time” when you don’t understand – what is Time». Масло масляное!
    Sorry, but I my knowledge from the forums do not get.
    Best wishes!

  • James F Peters added an answer:
    What is the origin and how do we explain the growth of mathematical concepts?

    A.N. Whitehead contended that the science of pure mathematics is the most original creation of the human spirit (Science and the modern world. 1948).

    Number and Geometry appear to be earliest mathematical concepts (see the attached diagram, where N = number, G = geometry). The concept of number has had a huge influence in astronomy, commerce and religion as well as other disciplines.   Geometry has had an enormous influence on agriculture (layout of fields, design of buildings, land surveys, measure, metrics) and philosophy (view of space, dimensionality, permanence vs. impermanence of form, continuity, betweeness, boundedness). Such concepts gradually emerged from a number of cultures in the Middle East, Greece, and in Asia (especially, India and China).  In his history of geometrical methods, J.L. Coolidge, 1940, observed that many mathematicians believed that analytic geometry sprang from the head of Descartes as did Athene from that of Zeus (p. 5).   The attached chart showing the influence of number and geometry on other subjects is incomplete (e.g., physics, chemistry, genetics, engineering, architecture are missing from the chart).

     

    The concept of a curve has its origin in antiquity and continues to contribute to growth of mathematics.  The attached chart traces the history of the concept of a curve (from R.L. Wilder, AMS talk, 1953).   The story of curvature can be traced back written records in Greece (geometry, Archimedes and others) and in Persia (algebra—Al-Jabr—from treatise by Muhammed ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, 820 A.D., which originally meant restoration and completion).   See, e.g.:

     

     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_algebra and https://www.khanacademy.org/math/algebra/introduction-to- algebra/overview_hist_alg/v/origins-of-algebra

     

     

    Geog Cantor is credited with introducing the continuous curve concept.  The attached chart is incomplete and needs many more notes to make it more representative of what has happened since the introduction of geometry and algebra more than 20 centuries ago.   See, e.g.:

     

    http://www3.villanova.edu/maple/misc/history_of_curvature/k.htm and

    http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2008/EECS-2008-103.pdf

     

    James F Peters · University of Manitoba

    @Milo Gardner: Here are details about the Egyptian Mathematical Leather Roll:

    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/EgyptianMathematicalLeatherRoll.html

    and the Rhind Papyrus:

    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/RhindPapyrus.html

    and the Akhmim Wooden Tablet:

    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/AkhmimWoodenTablet.html

    The Slab stela of the Old Kingdom Egyptian princess Neferetiabet (dated 2590-2565 BC), painted on limestone, from her tomb in Giza is in the Louvre, France (see attached image).   The hierglyphics used on the Slab stela are show in the attached image.

  • Concha Diez-Pastor 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?
  • Martin Schulz added an answer:
    Is our talk of facts redundant? – Do we need facts in addition to causes?
    The British logician Peter Geach wrote that “facts” found their way into literature by the end of the 19th century via the fashion journal “Strand Magazine”. In former times one could do without them. Facts spread very quickly after that, like a disease (Geach used another word). He calls them the wrong attempt to reduce hyothetical statements to categorical ones. (P. Geach, Oxford 1972, p 121ff).

    Here are some more arguments that might be interesting:

    Some authors say facts are the same as true assertions (R. Brandom, J.L. Austin), others deny this (e.g. A.J. Ayer) because there are more than one possible true assertions for one fact.

    For some authors facts are the truth makers for assertions.
    Martin Schulz · Folkwang Universität der Künste

    Dear Jim,

    I fully agree that facts and truths should be treated in the sense of redundancy theory but not as being synonymous.. I took a look at your link and find an inconsistency in the points I. to VI. (p.1): it is not so that we only can know truths about sensory data. We can know logical truths. The fault lies in the equation of sensory experience (of concreta) and the totality of possible knowledge.

    Let me find the stuff, I will ad something that I posted before in another thread. It is about different views on facts: facts = true assertions, facts = truth makers of assertions etc. – and some counter arguments to these claims.

  • Kamal Eddin Bani-Hani added an answer:
    Is Dr. Sci (DSc or ScD) considered superior to PhD?

    Individuals choosing to pursue doctorate level education must sometimes choose between programs that award a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and those that award a Doctor of Science (Sc.D.)!!!!!!!!

    Which are the European universities awarding DSc/ ScD in health sciences- please can you share the information about it.

    In USA there seems to be a confusion as to both PhD and ScD are equivalent. Further,  there are universities in the US which are not accredited!!!. When you start inquiring about these degrees the foremost thing they are interested in is mode of payment, that is even before we decide upon the course :) 

    Kamal Eddin Bani-Hani · Hashemite University

    Personally I don't see any difference

  • Stephen Warren added an answer:
    If it's confirmed that there has been something before the "Big Bang", what do you think about that "something"?
    Is anybody able to Imagine "Nothing" before the big bang? Does it mean no time and no space. Well, I cannot imagine there were nothing before the big bang. I think it might be something. But what about "something"? For me, this is the main question?
    Stephen Warren · Marlow

    In "The Life of the Cosmos" Lee Smolin argues (or perhaps conjectures) that every black hole is the source of anew big bang and a new universe.  If it is assumed that the daughter universes each have physical laws similar to those of their mother then the multiverse should be dominated by those with the highest rate of black hole formation.  Smolin admits that he hasn't done a real analysis but that some back-of-an-envelope calculations suggest that any significant change to our physical laws would tend to reduce the number of black holes formed.  So ... maybe we are a typical member of the multiverse. 

    What happens when the universe ages to the point when black holes evaporate? I guess we all go together (more or less) when we go.... unless you believe in block time, where past present and future already exist and time is not a turbulent river but a frozen lake.

  • Matthieu Vergne added an answer:
    Are differentials (or comparisons) a suitable basis for value systems?

    Establishing a sounding valuation system is a hard problem. Many researchers who had to use a Likert scale or establish a fitness function had probably thought that the concrete numbers they were using were just arbitrary choices, yet they could have a significant influence when we use them in number calculation. Why should it be 1 here and 5 there? Why this scale? In the technique X, there is a normalization process, so the scale does not matter... so why should I be forced to chose one?

    I personally work with rankings of people and, while it is obvious that, given a characteristics, one person is above/under/equivalent to another, without giving a concrete value (e.g. we can obviously see that someone is taller than another even without measuring it precisely), yet rankings are prone to be replaced by valued vectors (e.g. indexe, values between 0 and 1, or 1 and X, or others) just to be able to "compute" them as numeric vectors. But such choices are arbitrary, still we just use them (we have learned it that way)... and if it works then fine, no need to think further.

    In the case of an artificial intelligence needing to learn "everything from scratch" (understand: minimizing the bias introduced by its designer by learning it from the environment), could it be relevant to consider that, internally, the value system is built on a set of comparisons? For instance, I like sugar (value: sugar is good) because I prefer cakes to pizza, strawberries to yoghurt, ... (comparisons) and not the opposite (I prefer X to Y because I like sugar). We identify by abstraction that, because we prefer things which are classified as sweet, then we like sugar.

    My initial intuition is that, at the living being level (human or any other animal, maybe vegetal I don't know), when an individual borns, it also has to learn its own physiological condition: I am receiving many signals from the external world (e.g. touch, smell, vision) as well as producing many signals by myself (e.g. muscle contraction), but I don't have a clue of the meaning behind each of them. No one is a 100% clone of one another, so it is hard to assume that we internally have the exactly same system working on, so having "objective values" seems to me hard to believe. However, I can feel the difference on the signal (stronger/lower or increasing/decreasing), and by a feedback loop (I increase this produced signal and this received signal decreases) I can learn the effect.

    Even the signals is completely different between two individuals (supposing the body is adapted for that), for instance reversing the sign of the current or shifting the signal or changing its scale (e.g. instead of a signal between 0.5 and 3mV -imaginary values- we have 10-23mV), because the learning is based on the evolution of the signal rather than its absolute value, one can still learn exactly the same thing, yet he feels it completely differently. For instance, one could see the world in negative colors, but because he has learned that this "white" color (that another see black) is called "black", when he sees something "white" he still calls it "black", which is correct.

    The implication would be to not need to choose any arbitrary values, just having "values" there, whatever they are, and making sense of them relatively to others. As well as the meaning of a word (which is basically an arbitrary symbol) is given by its relations with other words (or internal feelings), rather than any intrinsic meaning.

    I did not find any work discussing such approach, so I don't know if there is already papers in artificial intelligence evaluating such kind of systems. I don't even know if there is phylosophical works on it.

    Matthieu Vergne · Fondazione Bruno Kessler

    If I have to mention a problem to solve, I would say the arbitrariness of such scale, which gives me a bad taste when I read such a thing in a scientific paper. Being more formal, the fact that replacing a qualitative scale (e.g. A/B/C) by a quantitative one (e.g. 1/2/3) AND using these numbers in calculation (otherwise it is just a symbol replacement, no problem with that) implies the assumption that a qualitative scale becomes naturally quantitative in some way. This is hurting my "scientific" perspective, thus I would like to know which way could be used to solve that.

  • Martin Schulz added an answer:
    What is reality? What are facts?
    I have noticed some scientists/scholars to equate reality to facts and facts to reality with assertion. In my opinion using them synonymously is a fallacy which must be consciously avoided, because in: Facts are statements about some events or circumstances that exist or that have occurred. Facts are observable (measurable), verifiable and indisputable whatever measure of reason and logic is applied to or reject them.
    Reality (Constructed, Objective, Subjective, Empirical, Instrumental and other Realities) is nothing but a collective opinion - an idea in which some confidence is placed or, a reasonable collective representation of “the way things are.” Reality is not simply acknowledged, but must be discovered or reasoned and is liable to falsification.

    For example, we know it is fact day will come after night. It is a fact that the Earth rotates on its axis resulting in day and night. It can be verified or observed from space. It also can be verified that the Earth revolves around the Sun. On the basis of these two facts we reckon time. But, what is reality of time? To some it is linear, to some opinions it is cyclic and to some it is fractal. To convince one of one of these three realities of time, it is to be reasoned out on the base of some facts.

    There is an objective reality out there, but we view it through the spectacles of our beliefs, attitudes, and values. ~David G. Myers
    Martin Schulz · Folkwang Universität der Künste

    A tricky case for facts:

    Imagine there is a village where the inhabitants hate cherries and never eat them. The village is located within a county. The inhabitants of this county love cherries. Now imagine that the county is located in a larger region where cherries are detested. This region is part of a country where cherries are the favorite fruit. This country is part of a continent where cherries are not loved…

    Imagine you are an inhabitant of that village. Is it a fact that you are a member of a society which likes cherries or a member of a society which doesn’t like them?

  • Prithvi Simha added an answer:
    Soccer: „The modern ball takes a different flight path.”

    There was a sports interview where a player told the audience that the ball as it is construed nowadays “flies curves that are different” because of its geometry. I would like to know more about this geometry and the “novel” curves. 

    Prithvi Simha · Central European University

    Dear Prof. Schulz,

    I attach a few links of both the Jabulani (Official Ball for the 2010 world cup in S.Africa) and the Brazuca (Official Ball for the recently concluded world cup in Brazil).

    Prithvi

  • Jeanan Shafiq added an answer:
    What number is used in your religion most often and why?

    3?  7?  13?

    Jeanan Shafiq · Applied Science Private University

    Relevance of number seven to Islam:
    Seven heavens
    Seven earths
    Seven doorways to paradise
    Seven days of a week
    Seven ambulations- to move around Ka’aba for ‘tawaaf’
    Seven times to go back and forth between ‘Safa’ and ‘Marwah’ for ‘saaee’.
    Seven letters (dialects) in which the Qur’an is revealed
    Seven days minimum requirement, for one time complete recitation of Holy Qur’an
    Seven stages for the completion of man’s creation
    Seventh heaven, above of which is the throne of Almighty Allah
    Seven types of marriage among first relations**, that are prohibited
    Seven groups in which inheritance is to be divided
    Seven windy days: Allaah sent the wind against the people of ‘Aad for seven days.
    Seven years: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked Allaah to help him by sending upon his people seven (years) like the seven years of Yoosuf.
    Seven ears: The number of ears of grain seen by the companion of Yoosuf (in the dream) was seven, the number of years for which they were cultivated was seven, and (the reward for charity) is multiplied seven hundred fold or more.
    Seven skins: When he was sick, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ordered that water from seven skins be poured on him.
    Seven years old: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Instruct your children to pray when they are seven.”

  • Daniel Deng added an answer:
    What do you think about the relationship between philosophy and religion?
    Does philosophy affect one's perception of religion?
    Daniel Deng · University of Southern Mississippi

    Essentially, faith is that you believe something you don't prove it by your own mind or experience or before you prove it by yourself. Faith is neutral. It can be right or wrong. It can be natural or supernatural things. They both can be true or false. 

    Everything needs faith to start. You start with something you believe / think it is right and finally you find it is truly right by reasoning and practice.  Your understanding of that thing become deeper than before. Your original faith then grows and may lead you to have a deeper faith in that thing. That is from faith to faith.    

    Science needs faith; philosophy needs faith; you need faith in your daily life to survive. You believe something or somebody first so that you can start doing things. You even need faith to believe your mind is honesty to you.  

    Religion is a  (maybe the) form of Faith. 

  • Lukaš Makky asked a question:
    Call for Paper

    Faustian motifs in aesthetics, ethics, philosophy, literature and art of past and present

  • Asmat Ali added an answer:
    Non-payment culture – will it shrink the economy?
    Jaron Lanier, in his new book “Who owns the future?” (2013) proposes the thesis, that the non-payment culture of free information and reduced transaction costs provided by the internet will shrink our economy. What is your opinion?
    Asmat Ali · PMAS - Arid Agriculture University

    I concur with all the above contributors. It does depend on the semantic of "economy". If it is only think in the terms of money then definitely YES, Non-payment culture – will  shrink the money oriented economy.

    On the other hand, if economy is seen in the context of knowledge only, then Non-payment culture – will never shrink the economy, I think so.

  • Louis Brassard 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.

    Christophe,

    The hypothesis should be called :: the spychopath hypothesis''.  I would be inclined into the opposite hypothesis:  the love hypothesis.  Love does not generate anxiety.

  • Is ethics a science?
    Although all science are concerned with their own particular spheres, it can be an interesting philosophical question if ethics can be considered as a science or not?
  • Asmat Ali added an answer:
    Is there a fuzzy or crisp boundary among philosophers and scientists?

    I am pretty sure each one of you is a Philosopher or Scientist. Philosophers and Scientists both play a pivotal role in our society. They are source of inspiration for all of us and nobody can claim that she/he is not impressed or influenced by either. Therefore, the question rises; is there a clear boundary and distinction between a Philosopher and a Scientist ? 

                            This thread is suggested by Dear Issam Sinjab.

                         https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Issam_Sinjab

     

    Asmat Ali · PMAS - Arid Agriculture University

    Dear Issam Sinjab ,

    You are welcome.

  • Jens D. Doll added an answer:
    Is law a science?
    The question has the merit of simplicity even if the response to it proves somewhat complex.
  • Panagiotis Stefanides added an answer:
    What is the role of imagination in scientific advances?
    Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
    So what do you think!
    Panagiotis Stefanides · University of London

    Dear PRADOSH,

    I as human being, understand, that I am Nature and products realized by my imagination

    are also Nature or,say, Second Nature.

    Regards from Athens,

    Panagiotis Stefanides

    - http://ireport.cnn.com/people/PCSTEFANIDES?viewingAsOthers=true

     

    - http://www.stefanides.gr/Pdf/HELIOTROPIO.pdf

                - http://www.stefanides.gr/Html/QuadCirc.htm

    - http://www.stefanides.gr

     

     

  • Paul M.W. Hackett added an answer:
    Does anyone know the origin of the term mereology?
    Stanisław Leśniewski originated the term mereology as the study of part - whole relationships. Does anyone know where this term was first used by him?
    Paul M.W. Hackett · Emerson College

    @ Rafal, thanks for this. Do you know when mereology was taken out of the more mathematical and calculus based philosophical work of authors such as Lesniewski? Are you aware of the term mereology being used in a more general philosophical or psychological sense to mean parts and wholes?

  • Christopher James Davia added an answer:
    Can collectives cognize? In what sense?
    While many studies of collective cognition have appeared (e.g. group and organizational learning, group problem solving, etc.), the conceptual nature of group cognition is often left in the air. Is it possible for collectives to exhibit cognitive processes? How would this be demonstrated empirically?

    The fractal catalytic model of living processes implicates travelling waves - solitons - as the principle agent of both metabolism AND cognition. These non-linear waves are both robust and adaptive. Consciousness correlates with quantum coherent solitons.  

    The consequence of collapsing function into metabolism is that ALL biological processes are considered to be essentially cognitive! 

    This raises interesting philosophical questions as to the nature of cognition itself - What is cognition? 

    The soliton is robust because it embodies information relating to its boundary conditions (i.e. the environment) that it embodies as a central aspect of its dynamic structure (Davia, 2006). From this we may venture that a truly cognitive system is a system that owes its existence/persistence as a direct consequence of the fact that it embodies information relating to the environment that it exists in relation to. 

    Similar robust travelling waves that are found in biological systems also characterize the behavior of large populations of animals - e.g. moth migrations and grazing patterns. The fractal catalytic model would necessarily define these dynamics as cognitive!

     

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