The Pathos of Distance

The Pathos of Distance

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    Zoot's Philosophical Musings


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    Post by promethean75 on Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:28 pm

    though i have never had any formal instruction in propositional logic, i've picked up enough here and there in my own investigations to be able to identify something profound about its importance in philosophy without fully understanding how. now that sounds strange because it seems one wouldn't be able to understand a significance without also understanding how such and such is significant. perhaps i understand these significant aspects in particular circumstances, which is enough to lend them a general and credible significance for the purposes of identifying certain limits to language and philosophy in a singular instance. this is all to say, i might not be able to explain the larger scheme involving the significance of something like wittgenstein's tractatus, but i can quite certainly observe instances of its application in criticizing philosophy.

    what is now more interesting to me than ever before is the 'philosophical' activity i see going on at the various forums. once one realizes that the vast majority of it is nonsense, one becomes curious about the reasons why people continue with it. well aside from the fact that they aren't aware of the nonsense they are involved in, there must be some other motivating feature that pushes them on. i don't believe the explanation is simply 'because it's habit', although i will concede that habit is a large part of it. i think rather that there is another kind of metalanguage going on... and this metalanguage does not operate with the same purposes as general, unphilosophical communication. it is an intentional activity like ordinary language, but not with the purpose of conveying any information... since, on account of it being based primarily in nonsense, it literally can't convey any information. what then is it doing?

    whatever it's doing, it must be far simpler than the efforts of real philosophy; it isn't that these people have discovered some great insight into a question or problem 'about' the world or anything in it, because if they did, they wouldn't be writing nonsense. i think rather that in their own heads, confused thoughts lead them to explicative writing in which they believe themselves to be representing real problems and, then, solving them.

    well then i guess there is some real philosophy here, only it isn't in any apprehension of the world, but an apprehension of one's own confusion in a kind of simulation. the feeling of the 'problem' is very real, only it's a problem with their own internal incoherency.

    how very strange that the world would become like this. generation after generation of philosophers, all lost in an imaginary reverie in their heads... not ever making the first real contact with the world. i mean; contact with the real world as it truly is would not generate such confusions. it is irreducibly simple, and when wittgenstein says 'what we cannot speak of, etc.', he does not mean there are things which can be spoken about if only we understood them. he means there are not the problems and questions we seem to have confronted when we use and think with our language. the 'passing by in silence' does not mean 'ignoring'... it means realizing there is nothing there in the first place.

    of course philosophers will protest that this is trivializing philosophy, but it isn't. it is, in fact, elevating philosophy to a new height accessible to thinkers and logicians who've happened upon real problems. one such problem is, i believe, that hitherto philosophy has involved so much nonsense. this is a profound statement about man... a very powerful almost metaphysical statement about man. it says that inherent to man's nature is that he remain irrevocably confused. and since this confusion is a testimony to his meaninglessness, i.e., that his philosophical exploits are literally and logically meaningless, a real philosopher is a nihilist through attrition. not because he has no values, but because he must adopt an attitude toward a world in which the vast majority, through their confusion, are themselves unable to recognize real problems and therefore are unable to ask real questions, confront real problems.  

    hmm. i think what has happened is a schizophrenic splitting of the mind due to the vestigial complexity of language. the cogito, the pre-reflective awareness, is present to this imaginary reverie in the same way it was previously immediately aware of the world before it developed language. now, instead of the mind occupying itself directly with the world, it occupies itself with another part of itself, a splitting induced by the evolution of a language, the use of which, by people who do not understand the logical structures of their language, results in the production of inexorable nonsense they cannot be aware of.

    i used to be like this, but i recovered. and having been like this, i have an affinity with it... can recognize it when i see it. don't get me wrong, it is a fascinating study of man. it is a characteristic that is both adorable and repulsive at the same time. adorable in that they know no better... but look at them try! repulsive in that they can't know any better, and will remain this way until they die.

    sure, i'll do philosophy with you, but only as a sport. truth is much simpler than you all believe. if i didn't let you think it was a noble endeavor fit only for the best, you wouldn't know what to do with yourself. you'd have to be normal and ordinary again.

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    Post by promethean75 on Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:14 pm

    one example of philosophy doing no real work is when you observe two or more people in a conversation in which (a) an assertion is made, (b) a challenge is presented to the assertion, (c) a defense for the assertion is offered which contains another set of assertions, (d) the other assertions are then challenged, and finally, (e) a tangent takes direction in which everyone goes, without remembering or ever getting back to the initial thesis.

    this is how you know nothing is happening but the forming of a rhizome which encounters no resistence. and where there is no resistence, there are no real problems. i mean there are problems 'in there', but they are no sooner resolved than they are recognized... and even if they are, there is no substance to such resolutions. rather only the correction of a conceptual problem, a problem that's in the head and not in the world. and you can't say a problem in the head is in the world, since the head is in the world. the difference between a head problem and a world problem is that a solution to a world problem is ostensive; one can point and say 'there is the solution'.

    during the middle and end stages of the formation of the rhizome, the motivation is no longer problem identification and solution, but simpler things like:

    1. i better keep arguing or else everyone will think i've submitted to being wrong
    2. at 2:30 i'm usually at my computer posting at [insert forum]. oh look, it's 2:30. better post something.
    3. i don't like this guy so i want to insult him by trying to make him feel stupid
    4. i admire this guy and would benefit publically from his approval; let me agree with him
    5. i think i have a following, so better give them something to read.

    this is some of the metalanguage i was talking about earlier. remember, when something said is so nonsensical, the effort behind it can't be 'to state the truth' unless the person is only in a reverie with himself... working out his own feeling of the 'problem' he experiences in his confused thinking about the meaning of a nonsensical thing said by somebody else. there is no connecting in any of this, see. in situations like this, the connecting is done through and with a tacit understanding and unspoken agreement of/with the activity of the metalanguage. one steps back for a minute, catches a glimpse of the senselessness of the language, and thinks "he's not wanting to be wrong" and "he's trying to impress me" and "he enjoys confounding others", etc.

    we are in a new age, one in which we don't say what we mean, and don't mean what we say. we can't, because what we say is nonsense, and what we mean can't be spoken about openly. this is because everyone is collectively involved in being motivated by things 'human, all too human.'

    or, on he other hand, if he truly is the philanthropist and has a genuine love of knowledge (insert philosopher), the poor sod isn't aware of his own confusion, and as such is doing no real work.

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    Post by promethean75 on Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:21 pm

    there is only one brand of philosophical nonsense that can be excused, and that is eastern philosophy/mysticism/metaphysics. they don't know any better because they didn't have a spinoza, or a hume, or a kant, or a stirner, or a nietzsche, or a wittgenstein. but the westerns did, so they have no excuse.

    see, there is a magic of innocence in the eastern's thinking. they are still and will always be young. but the westerns, who have grown old and weary and yet still pretend to be young... that shit doesn't cut the mustard. they know better, and we know they know better. one can't pretend to be ignorant. not anymore.

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    Post by promethean75 on Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:49 am

    remarks on cRap music:

    lack of thematic depth and substance, appealing to degenerates who are only able to comprehend and respond to the simplest and crudest symbols and subtext. a song about twerking fat asses, gun play, my fat stacks, etc.

    anybody who has anything to do with this garbage betrays an essential vulgar aspect of their character. that they are even able to be attracted to it, think there is any depth and greatness in it, demonstrates a profanity of soul. how then would they be capable of anything really profound? you might say that the first prerequisite for being profound in anything would be to experience a natural repulsion to such garbage and anyone who associates with it. to lack this natural sense of taste probably means one also lacks the necessary nuance and subtlety to understand many other things; if he is so easily taken by it and fascinated with it, he's not able to see through it, see it for what it is in its degeneracy... how many other things fascinate him that are as easily transparent and void of real depth or substance?

    one has to be an ultimately shallow and mediocre person to be moved by such garbage and find any value in it.

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    Post by promethean75 on Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:37 pm

    which is the more amusing spectacle to behold in the music industry; cRap music or country music?

    with cRap music we have this progression:

    1. slavery is abolished and negroes are eventually completely integrated into american society. fast forward a century; through a combination of both external influence such as lack of privilege and opportunity due to the effects of white racism, and internal influence such as various factors pertaining to genetic inferiority (e.g., lower IQs), negroes become concentrated into a lower social and economic class.

    2. 1980s. degenerate negro reprobates from suburban ghettos begin writing and singing rhymes to synthesized music in local community clubs in an effort to protest civil and social tension/conflicts they are experiencing.

    3. bourgeois privately owned record companies seize opportunity to profit from new music form and begin producing it at astonishing rates. enter the cRap genre. negative effects of it on society are ignored by capitalist opportunists who profit from selling it. conditions involving social conflicts and tensions for negroes become worse, not better.

    4. conservative america... which is essentially founded on the free market principles of capitalism, then complains about the disaster it created by capitalizing on such garbage in the first place. magnificent irony.

    with country music we have this progression:

    1. poor white families concentrated in rural areas are unable to migrate into industrialized cities. generations with a lack of education causes them to remain backward; traditional christian values are upheld (poverty increases faith, faith justifies suffering the poverty), virtues such as the protestant work ethic are celebrated. ergo, dumb white man remains oblivious to his being exploited by the capitalist machine, and is actually proud of it. god fearing, hard working, ... be a 'simple man' (lynyrd skynyrd), easily amused by the simplest things; fishing, four-wheeling, going to the county fair with amy lee, etc.

    2. traditional blue grass forms of country music morph into country pop and rock during the 60s and 70s after bourgeois privately owned record companies seize opportunity to profit from a modernized version of traditional genre. every song that follows is the same: she's a good girl, i'm a proud man, pride in the south, jacked up truck, my twelve gauge shotgun, look at them boots, drinking at the honkytonk bar, praise jesus, i can plow a field all day long, god bless ermerica, etc. a way of life is engendered, one that emulates the attitude of the backward, christian working class western proletariat.

    which of these disasters is the better joke? the negro or the country boy? i'm undecided. both histories are wonderfully entertaining.

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    Post by promethean75 on Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:52 pm

    who are the alpha males at ILP? it's a difficult decision.

    if i had to choose between sheldon, leonard, howard, raj, or wil wheaton, i'd probably choose penny.

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    Post by promethean75 on Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:16 pm

    if we agree that nature is nonteleological, we are admitting there can be no 'error' in any particular state of affairs or events in the universe, since if we were to suppose there was some such 'error' in some such state of affairs or events, this supposition would imply that we are also asserting there is some particular 'purpose' which is not being served, some such 'intention' that nature has, some such 'end' that has not been reached, the resulting state of affairs and events we have called 'error' being some kind of 'accident' instead of some kind of success.

    contrarily, if we say that nature is teleological, we imply that there must be something beyond the state of affairs and events in the universe which is the thing that has established the purpose and direction of such states of affairs and events. but if that is the case, can there truly be 'error' in this scenario? for surely the thing which has established the purpose and direction for the affairs and events in the universe must either be something that allows such 'errors' to occur, or, is not truly in control of the affairs and events in the first place in that it is unable to prevent the course of events from straying from their purposes. if the latter, then nature is again nonteleological and the thing which we have ascribed 'intention' and 'purpose' to is just another part of nature and not beyond it... not in 'control' of it.

    so in either case, you end up with a nonteleological universe in which there can be no 'error'... because there is no 'correct' way for the universe to be.

    what then lies behind a human being's dissatisfaction with any particular circumstances he finds himself in? is this a complaint that something is 'wrong' in the universe, or rather just an expression of himself finding something disagreeable?

    the problem here is in the mood of the assertion. the indicative mood that something is wrong cannot be an expression of a categorical imperative, only a hypothetical imperative. this means that, say, a person's objection to leftism and the socio-political changes occurring because of the influence of such, isn't able to assert there is imperative error in the affairs and events that happen... only that he or she is personally dissatisfied, and that one's complaint is relevant insofar as it expresses an objection to affairs and events that aren't good for satisfying said person.

    what we usually see however is a sleight of hand. the philosopher knows he can't get away with simply stating that he is unsatisfied with the world, since if he can't present the problem that is troubling him as an 'objective' problem, i.e., as a real teleological error in the very fabric of space and time, he's not going to be able to persuade his audience to give his complaint any serious attention. it can't just be a personal preference. he has to be able to state matter-of-factly that 'the world is wrong' or 'the world is getting worse' in order to give his complaint any substance.

    you may call this thesis the metaphysics of the complaint, and there is a whole list of theoretical and psychological problems involved with it; failing to recognize the fact/value distinction, thinking 'morally', thinking teleologically, a heavy sentimental and pessimistic soul that is romancing the past, a slowness of dexterity and ability to adapt and optimize... to take under one's control and learn to exploit the problem instead of trying to change it, tying to 'correct' it.

    always remember; every generation of man gives way to a new generation which then becomes the object of suspicion and complaint for the old generation that is being replaced. man loves to isolate a single instance along the continuum of evolution, criticize that instance according to standards and criterion that are no longer relevant to this new stage, and sink into ressentiment when he finds the world will pay no attention to his complaints or conform to his standards.

    for myself, the anarcho-egoist, i prefer to think of the socio-political as a work of art that can either become more or less interesting. but there is no 'right' way for this work to be. i even prefer that there be extraordinary conflict in it, as that's often what makes it so interesting. to be able to view the world as a comedy... not even a tragic comedy, since that would entail some terrible loss for the hero. but there are no heroes anymore, or rather, there are heroes, but they are never political. politics is below them, so they lose nothing important in a socio-political disaster. what is the art of herding the masses to a hero? a comedy, perhaps?

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    Post by promethean75 on Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:58 pm

    i was once a communist, then a fascist, then an anarcho-capitalist, then a capitalist with an invisible hand... though not necessarily in that order. i was even a monarchist for a short period once when after tasting the chocolate eclairs my beautiful grandmother made, i was certain that she could rule the world on account of it. i embodied the entire spectrum of the political struggle and traversed every nook and cranny of it from the steps of the republic to the fucking frankfurt school. i read adam smith through the eyes of marx, then marx through the eyes of adam smith, then marx and smith through the eyes of hegel, then hegel through the eyes of hume. wait, hume was before hegel, wasn't he? whatever. you know what i mean. the point is, I KNEW MAN up and down, inside and out. i knew what he was and what he needed, and i set out as a garage philosopher over the course of ten years and countless forums to answer the great enigmatic question; "what do we do with man?"

    it wasn't until i found myself embedded inside of the greatest most outrageous possible political conflicts a man can find himself in, save being water-boarded by CIA agents in a warehouse somewhere, that i abandoned my quest to perfect man and focused my efforts on my own immediate, personal conflict with the civil contract and the war i would wage against those insidious sonsabitches that betrayed me by violating it. i had a new purpose, and this purpose demanded every bit of my attention. the problem of man fell into the background and hasn't since become important again.

    what you need, i say again, is not some abstract theorectical problem, but a very real and immediate conflict that puts your freedom (to the extent that it exists) at stake. only then will you, the average white philosopher, be able to drop the question of man and then pick up the pieces.

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    Post by promethean75 on Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:28 pm

    i think the future of cybernetic man won't be a dystopian problem if they are able to design it so that it, cyberman, possesses a fully functioning dopaminergic system. because really that's what adds the 'joy' to life... its all happening in that mysterious and as of yet unexplained event when the action potentials force the dendrite to fire and the transmitters are absorbed by the receptors. why this causes such qualia as 'joy' and 'pleasure' to happen is a good question but for the sake of my argument, not important. it works. that's what's important.

    now can you replicate this system with synthetic materials, or is it only possible with/through cellular based tissues?

    without it, you'll have a machine that operates only according to mechanical protocols, and as such, won't be aware of itself. it's that transition into and out of equilibrium, into and out of temporary stasis, that gives rise to the thought "this rocks" and "this sucks". so how much of the cogito would be possible if a machine doesn't oscillate between these two states?

    if there is a soul in man, i'm telling you it has something to do with his reward system.

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    Post by promethean75 on Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:10 pm

    a contemporary of mine recently asked: "you know what my main issue with communism is? that whole cultural cleansing bullshit. what's up with that, b?"

    i should now like to venture an answer to this question.

    so the communist theory that existed prior to the appearance of marx and the industrial revolution would not really be considered an organized body of theory... more like a scattered collection of aphoristic remarks when compared to something like das kapital. dudes like saint simon were the first communist thinkers in that they observed what they thought were clear conflicts revolving around the opposition of classes, wealthy and poor, which they rightly traced back to the economic relationships between said classes. well i mean the idea of 'collective ownership' is certainly archaic and even the mesopotamians messed around with it, sure. but here, the beginnings of communist 'principles' can be found, though nothing yet is thoroughly developed which would serve to turn any heads in the way of critiquing feudalism and capitalism. really what was happening at this point was simple: dude A thinks to himself "why is dude B taking the stuff i make and trading/selling it for other stuff and somehow acquiring more property than me by doing so?"

    now when the industrial age comes about, that simple question becomes the subject of philosophical and scientific speculation and is no longer the trivial banter of a few slaves and peasants. so what the communist theorists did was examine that question on a much grander scale, and in coming up with a solution to the problem, they had to also put forth a means to achieving it. enter ideology, which (for a stirnerite who holds no fixed ideas and isn't intimidated by spooks) is nothing more than formalized propaganda, or education, or indoctrination. the 'cultural cleansing' asked about by my contemporary amounts to 'teaching' people how their previous beliefs, views and social practices are not compatible with the new society that will be based on a collective ownership of the means of production. to cleanse culturally is to take a group of people and convince them that doing and thinking X will get them the same satisfaction in life minus all the extraneous trouble created for the other guy by doing and thinking Y, instead.

    to re-educate... to provide a list of precepts to be followed if one finds themselves in situation a, b or c.

    so what was important about all this is that we haven't here just a philosophy, but an actual practice, an actual pragmatism in praxis, a real way to apply principles that are to guide people in life. be charitable. share your shit. work hard, be proud of your abilities, proud that you are providing for everyone and that everyone appreciates that. think collectively... think 'we' instead of 'i', look for ways to cooperate which benefits everyone. shit like that.

    the methods of indoctrination always placed primary importance on teaching the youth, since they are the most impressionable, most malleable. not yet... well, brainwashed by the other propaganda... the capitalism/individualism stuff.

    now let me show you some good irony. most, if not all, of these forum 'conservatives' who spend all day lambasting leftism and communism and socialism and all that shit, wouldn't notice a bit of difference in the lives they live even if they lived in a fucking orwellian nightmare. why? because they'd be doing the same shit, everyday. what i mean is, none of them are unique or exceptional enough to constitute any precedence to the danger of them losing their happiness. it wouldn't matter if these knuckleheads had to work a 9 to 5, it wouldn't matter if they didn't own as much shit, it wouldn't matter if they all dressed in matching uniforms. so for all intents and purposes, there's no fucking difference in the things that count in their lives to make them happy, satisfied, content.

    with that said, i'll say it again; they are all engaged in a fantasy role play in their heads in which each of them is the mighty and noble soul fighting against the forces of corruption, because their actual lives involve no such thing.

    really though, all culturalizing involves either deculturalizing or preventing some other cultrualization from taking form. the only reason why the communist propaganda machine and things like mao's little red book get so much bad PR is because we are noticing the immense concentration of effort in educating, not that there is a educating going on. capitalist indoctrination, on the other hand, requires no such concentration because it, at the time, was/is the standing norm. but if you go back to the end of the feudalism period, you'd no doubt notice a bunch of ruckus being made about 'these new ideas they are calling capitalism', etc.

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    Post by promethean75 on Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:14 pm

    gender is a social construct and has nothing to do with biology. the reason is, the sub atomic particles that compose the atoms that compose the molecules that compose the chromosomes that compose the sex cells are in a quantum superposition. gender assignment occurs during observation, through what is called 'the collapse of the date function'. it is only when the person is observed and considered to be someone you would date or not date, that you can become aware of gender.

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    Post by promethean75 on Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:53 am

    Watch out quora, for rosa lichtenstein is upon you

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    Post by promethean75 on Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:54 pm

    [edited for vacant forum]

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    Post by promethean75 on Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:26 am

    fuck it, let's try it. can't get any worse than it already is. if the goal is to increase everyone's free time so they can have opportunities to be more creative, perhaps something interesting might actually come out of it. personally i don't see much coming from the bourgeois class in terms of creativity (save more creative ways to exploit the proletariat). all they seem to do is loiter and take up space.  i mean seriously, show me something fantastic the bourgeois has ever done that would justify making their free time available by forcing a number of other people to do their share of the work or produce the commodities and services they exploit to be able to have such free time.

    i'd sooner give five people three hours of free time than i would give two people five hours of free time... unless those two people did something fantastic enough to justify giving them more free time than the others.

    this is how you engineer a society. and it'll take some coercion because the parasite bourgeoisie ain't gonna give up their free time without a fight. but think of all the possibilities you'd be opening up for human creativity if by forcing the parasites to actually produce something, you significantly reduce the work load for society, thereby giving everyone more free time.

    shit man, i think this might be workable. fuck i might become a socialist again just to see if i can make it happen. of course i won't be 'among' you all in this new society because you're laws don't apply to me, but i can certainly help you help others. that's what you wanna do, right? make the world a better place? okay, we can do that, but you gotta help me help you help the world. the first thing we need to do is allocate all that free time you have to be mediocre and put you to work doing something that results in something less mediocre than you are. imagine the profound change we would observe in the world if all the mediocre bourgeoisie had less time to be mediocre.

    we could put them to work washing dishes. even creating a thoroughly washed pot is a productive step forward for the bourgeoisie, and would prove to be quite impressive.

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    Post by promethean75 on Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:27 pm

    satyr's doing a fine job bashing cRap music over at KT.

    tell ya why that garbage is so offensive. there's two parts to this offense. the first part is the 'music', the more important second part is the people who associate with it... more specifically, the attitude of the people who associate with it. in the shortest words possible, they exhibit an undeserved, unearned sense of grandiosity, and this offends people who have earned, and therefore deserved, their greatness. these invalids depreciate the sacredness and pride a person has who's character has been formed through real trial and error, real struggle, real tests, real suffering. a truly proud person who has something with some substance to be proud of, looks at these invalids and wonders why all the swagger and bravado when they have done nothing. and not only that, another insufferable irony is added to the first; these degenerates, who should be the most modest by virtue of their lowly nature, are instead the most arrogant. a perfect reversal of what should be happening! ah but that's what it's about today, isn't it? telling everyone they're great and then selling them a few trends and symbols so they can caricature greatness. and what makes it even easier is the fact that nobody (except for us older dudes) recognizes the caricature for what it is because they are unable to comprehend what greatness is... well because it doesn't exist anymore. greatness is an image, a product, a fashioned archetype through movies and songs and 'you're a victim' narratives... all sold to a characteristically empty consumer base waiting to be filled up with something to occupy the void and give them identity.

    today you don't have to build character. all you have to do is buy it. what you wear, how you talk, how you walk, what you drive, your music, what political rhetoric you hear somewhere an then repeat without understanding any of it (this you have at the ready so you won't sound completely dumb when others like you bring up politics in a conversation somewhere).

    yeah it's offensive alright. to see some clown prancing around because he thinks he's somebody, when it would take five of him to equal one of me.

    back in the 80s and early 90s rap music was okay... but today it's gotten entirely out of hand. there's nothing to complain about today; the fucking government is ready and willing to give you everything for free, for fuck's sake! if you're still a struggling negro in today's world, you've got to be an idiot. you don't need but an IQ of seventy to understand how to sit down in the waiting room of the social services building... so what's the excuse this time?


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    Post by promethean75 on Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:51 pm

    keeping in mind what this is, it is good... for what it is. especially the fact that rabbit isn't at all pretentious. he is white trash. he does live in a trailer with his mom. his homeboy did fuck his girl. he did get beat up by six goons, etc., etc. and yet without any bravado whatsoever, he eats these niggas like they was a snack.

    also delightful is the fact that eminem is white... a white boy that came out of nowhere and pwned the rap industry over night. niggas can't stand that, and none sense have been able to rap like him. his delivery is untouchable.


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    Post by promethean75 on Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:22 pm

    lol go to 3:47. dude says it straight up; "you don't want a beef with eminem. he shreds MCs, like for real."


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    Post by promethean75 on Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:44 pm

    you would have to first accept this paradox before you are able to grasp why eminem is the greatest rap phenomena that has existed so far, and in all probability, the very terminus of the genre itself. the paradox is this: if rap music is garbage, how would the greatest rapper be defined as great if he is part of something that can't be great. the secret answer to this question is... the greatest one always appears as a caricature, a parody, a mockery of the type he will play at being so easily, and in doing so humiliate all those prior to his appearance by simplifying what they struggle to be. an example would be frank zappa, the 'rock' scene he appeared in, and the devastation he left behind in his wake. the paradox is that he did 'rock' better than anyone before him while also making a joke out of it. the genre was humbled by his appearance, just as the rap genre is humbled by eminem's appearance.

    now i wouldn't say that either of them didn't enjoy what they were/are doing. it's not that they don't like it... just that they are able to do it just as good as anyone else if not better but without the spirit of seriousness that the others have. when eminem raps, he's playing around, clowning around, being silly on purpose, while at the same time producing a subliminal caricature of the elements and themes the other serious rappers hold so dear to them as being what they think is the depth of the art that qualifies it as something profound. to add insult to this injury of the sacred, he keeps and even improves the form of the rap while he destroys the substance (though his trivializing it).

    listen to some of his stuff and you'll note the hyperbole and histrionic nature of it without ever sensing any nuance in an attempt to be 'hard' or 'gangsta', like all the other rappers. at times he even exaggerates that dorky white image we are expected to have of the white rapper... but then at the same time, his rhythm, meter, tempo, and other technical strengths true to the form are indisputably superior. when we hear it we are seized by a pleasant combination of surprises; it confuses us (is this guy kidding?), it disorients us (he just extended that line and resolved it unexpectedly on the third beat instead of the fourth, etc.), it amuses us (isn't that silly? hahaha), and finally impresses us through it's overall sophistication once all these elements are combined and understood as caricature. perfectly well rounded; silly enough at times to remind us of the joke that the genre is, but able to mimic the form and substance by delivering a solid punch when necessary so that we don't disregard him as an impostor. in other words, he's 'gangsta' when he needs to be, especially when he's 'dissed' by other rappers. i especially enjoy this aspect of it. when 'slim shady' arrived on the scene, he wasn't trying to be the tough guy... just have some fun dropping rhymes. it was only after all the black rappers tried to clown him that he transformed into a lyrical assassin and shut them all down. since then, they all knew not to fuck with slim shady.

    exhibit a: eminem puts the nail in benzino's coffin

    machine gun kelly, another white rapper, learned the hard way. in this one (and the next) you'll also hear eminem mock the new millennial generation of rap called 'mumble rap'.

    somebody tell these eminem critics that while it is unfortunate that a white boy should come along and master everything they've ever tried in rap, the good news is the rap genre is almost over, so there's nothing left in it for them anyway.


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    Post by promethean75 on Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:24 pm

    Okay here he goes about this mumble rap trash. Fucking hilarious.


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    Post by promethean75 on Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:35 pm

    Benzino is known for being involved, since 2003, in a widely publicized feud with rapper Eminem as Benzino called him "2003 Vanilla Ice". Since then the pair have been creating diss tracks about each other, including Benzino's "Pull Your Skirt Up" and "Die Another Day" or Eminem's "The Sauce" and "Nail in the Coffin". As a continuation of this animosity between the two, Benzino released a diss mixtape Benzino Presents: Die Another Day: Flawless Victory, disparaging Eminem and his record label.

    it sounds as if this dispute runs deeper than what's mentioned above but i can't seem to find any information on it. but this is some of the stuff that enriches rap music (insofar as it can be enriched). you don't get stuff like this in any other kind of music. because the industry is crawling with fakes, back-stabbers, blackmailers and liars, disputes get going which fuel the dramatic content that is so well expressed through rap.

    you'd be lying if you listened to this and said you didn't like it because you don't like rap. you might not like rap, but you like this. this shit is real, and the beat/melody has a driving force that you won't deny, and energy. eminem pulls you in, takes you there, you're in this shit, gangsta, right there with him....

    i'm very particular about what rap i'll listen to, and i know when i hear good rap.


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    Post by promethean75 on Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:44 pm

    certainly real wrote:Yes, everything God does is perfect (maximally good all things considered). There's a clear distinction between:

    1) Being Perfect and doing Perfectly
    2) Doing something to become Perfect

    The Perfect being remains Perfect provided that its traits that amount to true Perfection are unaltered. It's creation of us does not alter its traits in any way.

    2 is absurd. 1 is not. God created us, so it's something that amounts to a maximally good outcome all things considered. This isn't the only possible maximally good outcome with regards to our potential. It is one of many. Omnibenevolance can be exercised in endless ways.

    this gentleman is mistaken, but let us not be also. first, god 'does' nothing, because there is not a transitive entity outside of reality that acts upon it as if it were a thing to be done something with. and to the extent that god is 'activity' itself, such activity is not more or less 'perfect' since perfection is a degree of quality given to a thing or process that has an end. nature has no end, so it cannot be more or less perfect, because it has no more or less ideal state. what is 'good' then is only an increase in a capacity to act, while what is a bad is whatever restricts that capacity. there is no 'benevolence' in any of this, except what is expressed by that collection of attributes we call the 'human being', in its moral activity.

    this gentleman is still thinking from within the anthropomorphic cartesian paradigm, and would do well to pay a visit to that prince of philosophers, one baruch spinoza. somebody go tell him, quick.

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    Post by promethean75 on Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:58 pm

    a contemporary recently asked of me: "tell me more about the naivety of eastern philosophy." i should now like to venture an explanation for this assertion.

    my point of departure will be from an agreement to grant that the theories outlined in this collection of essays (specifically 1, 2 and 3) are to be assumed to be true before we move any further. i would also mention that those detractors to communist theory should not think of these essays as being an attempt to mitigate communist theory, nor as an effort to promote it. the premises and conclusions stand alone and have nothing to do with what political implications might be made with them, or rather to what purpose and affect they might be used for.

    now true to my form i shall spend far less time than i ought explaining myself immediately after making such a grand entrance. in fact, i'm already bored with the matter and i'm not even a paragraph into it. talk about anticlimactic.

    alright, how do i explain this as quickly as possible. lemme try this.

    you have a similar enough evolution of language precursors occurring in people's all over the world at about the same time. next you have a very, very gradual change in linguistic development between peoples who are evolving in more or less complex social and economic structures. people that interact in simpler structures maintain the simpler language forms while people who find themselves in more complicated structures develop new facets of language more rapidly.

    but in any case, the sanctioning of language... which is to say the authority that gives the meaning of a language its veracity... is always focused and concentrated in the hands/control of those who have the responsibility of maintaining social and economic order among the people. incidentally, the more the language that is licensed guarantees those in power will remain in power, the less such language is critically analyzed and scrutinized by those who sanction it.

    now you'll note in the essays it is said that philosophy was, by and large, more of an 'invention' reflecting the desire of the ruling class to bolster its own existence by developing systems of thought that denote necessarily their right and responsibility to rule.... rather than indifferent reflection on the nature of reality and the reading of concepts 'from' it rather than the imposition of concepts 'on' it. an example would be; theologies that attempt to explain the universe in terms of a systematic order created by a law giver, and thereby place authority into the hands of those philosophers and priests who've discovered such knowledge, as a kind of revelatory right. ergo, the order and form of government reflected the order and form of the universe, which in turn reflected the order and form of the laws given by god.

    in the east, similar stages had also been reached though philosophical vocabularies were different. what was the same was that philosophical concepts not directly derived from experience alone were invented and imposed onto nature in that same, unconscious effort... i should say unconscious anthropocentric effort (yeah that's much better)... that reflected the desire of the ruling class to keep its power and sanction itself as the ultimate authority. take for instance the chinese mandate of heaven concept, legalism, and the philosophy of confucius. in these two philosophies there is very little epistemology and a strong presence of mysticism and ethics. as such, there is no active skepticism to challenge the generally accepted ideas of the time.

    in the west, there was a revolution of thought that didn't occur with the same force in the east. the first real challenge to the dogmatic philosophy that had been refining itself though the several centuries up to about the 16th was the enlightenment philosophy, probably best characterized as baconian. prior to that, platonism or platonic realism, while being epistemological and therefore appearing as if it had addressed skepticism proper, was in fact a rational dogma that was so strengthened by its misrepresentation of skepticism, it went unchallenged until the age of enlightenment.

    with the inception of the principles of induction/deduction and the empirical method of observation and the acquisition of knowledge, hitherto accepted philosophical concepts and theories came under closer inspection. thus began the renovation of philosophy, and consequently, when the industrial age began a couple centuries later, philosophical systems of thought began to focus on more immediate and pragmatic questions such as the best modes of production, the best form of government for such a large body of working citizens, better ways to improve the sciences and technologies, etc. to take up these tasks, a new philosophical mode of thinking had to be acquired... one which was more methodologically verifiable... one which mirrored, as much as possible, the natural sciences.

    the philosophy of empiricism dominated the scene and rationalist philosophers contributed little in improving the above conditions, and as a result, became the subject of skeptical investigation. a major event to come out of this was atheism, and with the collapse of the old platonism that supported religious philosophy, so also did a new suspicion arise to question the legitimacy of the authoritarian structures that ruled society. finally philosophy itself comes under interrogation through positivism (a la comte) and logicians begin an attack on the very notion of metaphysics.

    now pause here and go east. what's happening at this time? they are evolving, but much slower, and have yet even to experience the industrial revolution and theoretical advancements brought about during it. they still practice political systems that are entrenched in theological/metaphysical systems of thought; theocratic philosophy governs socially, politically and economically. caste systems still operate. in such countries in the east where not even the first minor industrial advancements have been achieved, much more rigid mysticisms still operate (buddhism, hinduism, daoism). these countries, or regions i should say, are stuck in a pre-enlightenment, post-platonic age of reason, and have not experienced the intellectual revolution that led the west to the empirical skepticism that brought such scrutiny to what i described earlier as 'the imposition of concepts 'on' to reality and nature'.

    th naivety i speak of is this 'innocent backwardness' the east has only just recently progressed from, although being countries with strong tradition and a lack of exposure to the more modern systems of philosophy working in the west, they still practice their mysticisms. these being the remainders of those anachronistic ruling class philosophies that took shape when their societies were much smaller and simpler, consisting of a basic hierarchy of order, rank and power.

    recall the vedic caste system and the current social customs existing in india today... as well as the continuation of confucian philosophy in china. these philosophies were either the direct product of a ruling class of thinkers or the product of thinkers in union with a ruling class. it was not for nothing that feuerbach and marx held religion in such contempt. they recognized the origins and machinations of its history, and the effects it has had on distracting those who are under the immediate power of a governing class (of whatever form).

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    Post by promethean75 on Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:54 pm

    Keynes and Hayek diss; promethean75
    Yong Bao

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    Post by Yong Bao on Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:05 pm

    Rosa Lichtenstein on philosophy.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Simple question, Monty: why do we need philosophy if science can tell us all we need to know about reality, and philosophy can only tell us about an unreal world full of a priori 'facts' of mystical provenance, each and every one the result of a misuse of language?

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Philosophy is far too confused to be evil.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:After 2500 years of going nowhere slowly, Philosophy has rather discredited itself.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Science provides all the answers we need; you do not need anything else.

    If you want 'ethics' read a good novel, or ask a priest.

    Better still, give up your need for anyone or anything to guide you in this area.

    It is far too servile of you.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:This has been argued many times here.

    In 2500 years, philosophers have solved not one single problem. In fact, philosophers have yet to decide what a 'correct' answer would even look like.

    So, if anything, the history of the subject is its own worse enemy, and is telling us in its own sweet way that the whole enterprise is as bogus as it is useless.

    More details here:

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:What job is it of philosophers to tell scientists what to do?

    And what have scientists been doing all these years? They have made huge strides in understanding the world; philosophers have made zero progress.

    And I speak of science the way I do since it is a practice that has gone on for well over 2500 years, which, of course, has reacted with philosophy (often in a Platonistic way), but which exists in many forms, so that no one definition can capture it.

    Now that is a description of science, albeit very brief (but a la Wittgenstein); now you need to say why you think there could be one definition of the diverse things scientists have done and still do, and why scientists should pay any attention at all to philosophers, who cannot even make their minds up what a 'thing' is (after 2400 years of trying)!

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    To answer questions, one uses philosphy.
    If a question is answerable, philosophy is not needed; if it is not answerable, philosophy is no use.

    I have 2500 years of failed attempts of philosophers to show I am right.

    A small point, but one worth making.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Why is it a philosopher of science who defines science? Well because that’s what philosophy of science largely is, it asks the question what is science. Now the actual individual who defines the method used in investigation doesn’t have to be professionally trained as a philosopher of science but they take on that role by asking and answering those questions.
    2500 years later, no definition, no answers, but loads of science.

    Any wonder scientists by-and-large think philosophy is c*ap?

    But, you stay enigmatic, that should help.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Duhem was a scientist and Poicare a mathematician. I agree with you that these two are well worth reading, but I do not include them in the list of 'French Philosophers' since, as you say, they weren't philsophers, and hence knew what they were talking about.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Emma, thanks for that reminder, but what has Philosophy got to do with 'examination'?

    [A 'fantasised life' is not worth living would have been more accurate, but Socrates would not have said that, even if it is a more

    appropriate saying with respect to Philosophy.]

    2500 years later, and not one result to show for it, I think history has passed an appropriate judgement on Philosophy.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:All meaningless questions.

    1) Is there a god?

    Meaningless, since it contains at least one empty term: 'god'.

    2) I must have free will.

    Meaningless, for the same reason except we have here an empty phrase 'free will'.

    And just because I reject all philosophy does not mean I am not curious about nature; I just look to science to tell me what it contains.

    [I refrain from commenting about moral issues, since I am not a priest.]

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:In science, this is just a question of the use of words (i.e., which convention to adopt)

    In philosophy, it is a question of setting up necessary truths (or falsehoods), etc.. based on the misuse of language.

    No comparison.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Even if science had produced just one result in 2400 years, that would still be more than that which traditional philosophy has managed in the same interval.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:To be honest, I do find some of it intriguing (and a few passeges here and there that you could describe with those words), but you could say the same for passages from the Bible.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:As I say, an illegitimate set of topics, and a well-trodden way of going nowhere slowly. But, you can waste you time on this; who am I to stop you? If 2500 years of pointless inquiry won't convince you, I certainly cannot.

    May I suggest you stop trying to rope me in, though. I learnt over 25 years ago what it seems you have yet to wake up to.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:The only use for metaphysics is to fill books, and thus provide fuel for Hume's bonfire.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Sartre's work makes no sense; Kant's very little.

    It is up to you to decide if mine does or does not (I am hardly a neutral judge of my own work).

    In which case, I am the wrong person to ask if my work is or is not better/more important than the meaningless prose philosophers have inflicted on humanity.

    And I cannot accept that philosophers are trying to change the world with their work (as opposed to their political activity, such as it was); if they are then Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky was as valid an attempt to do so as Sartre's 'Being and Nothingness' was.

    Except, the Jabberwocky made more sense.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Monty it's from The German Ideology:

    "Masturbation is to sex as philosophy is to reality."

    'Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.'

    — Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:1) It's not a theory.

    2) Wittgenstein originated this idea. It is not mine. I just push it further and harder than he ever did.

    3) I have demonstrated in an earlier post in another recent thread (the one which began with determinism, but ended discussing this very topic) just how philosophical ideas arise from a distortion of language -- to an extent I reckon you could not match.

    I challenge you to find any flaws in it; until then you should refrain from advertising your own ignorance.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Indeed, he originated the idea that all Philosophy is nonsense, but not the idea that it was mystical.

    I asserted the former, but not the latter.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Other than a liking for self-inflicted pain (or having a course to pass, or in the grip of an attention-seeking personality disorder), why else would you want to do it?

    That, it seems to me, is the only real 'value' of traditional philosophy.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:I give not one hoot what it means, it is still a priori dogma.

    You might as well quote the New Testament at me for all the good it will do.

    In fact, in comparison to some of the stuff you have posted, the New Testament makes a lot more sense.

    Now, if you like this stuff, fine. But if you think that quoting this rubbish at me will change my mind, then you are sadly mistaken.

    As I have told you several times, I had to endure this bo**ocks as an undergraduate, so unless you have a gun, and know where I live, and come round here and threaten me, there is no way I want to damage my brain with any more of it.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Anyway, it's ironic that a physicist is making the criticism he does. Physics relies on philosophical methodologies all the time. A lot of concepts in physics aren't verifiable at this point in time. Quantum physics deals a lot with hypothetical facts, axioms, etc

    The difference is, as I have pointed out to you before, that the truth of philosophical theses follows from the alleged meaning of the words they contain. This is not so in Physics, or the rest of science, where theories and hypotheses are counted as true/false only after the evidence confirming/refuting them has turned up.

    And this means that all of traditional philosophy is just self-important linguistic idealism -- where fundamental truths about 'reality' follow from thought/language alone.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Marx said "philosophers" not "philosophy". That is, he meant that the majority of philosophers just churn out theories that have no practical application. He didn't criticise the concept of it though. That's my interpretation.
    When this is compared with all the other negative things Marx said about Philosophers and about Philosophy (and the fact that after 1844 he wrote practically zero on the subject), it is clear that, as Bretty said, Marx and W saw practically eye-to-eye on this: Philosophy is just self-important hot air, and the sooner it is put in its place (the bin) the better.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Burn, you must remember that W's philosophy is, like Marx's, an anti-philosophy, designed to bring it to an end.

    But you have to be able to show people where it has led them astray.

    It's no good just branding it as hot air.

    That is why W engaged in the detailed analysis of the source of the confusions that have bedeviled us since Greek times -- and to which we have not found a single solution, or even one that looks close. These are very deep problems, so it takes a lot of effort to expose that source.

    I think W failed because he was not political enough, so I am attempting to make up for his neglect in this area, exposing this as ruling-class hot air.

    I realize we disagree, but you need to re-assess Marx's position on this, since he and I think alike (or 99% alike) here.

    The only theory we need is scientific; anything else amounts to a capitulation to idealism (the belief that there are non-material things running nature that science cannot study).

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    I'd still call anti-philosophy a philosophy.
    This is like calling anti-capitalism, capitalism.

    If it makes you happy to do so, who am I to stop you?

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:As to metaphysics, that is pure idealism.

    So, if you are a materialist, you will regard my claims above as good news.

    As to ethics, you should know that this is all ideological.

    Even if it weren't, why you think philosophy can help decide what is right/wrong, good/bad escapes me.

    If I were to offer the service of someone who had not solved a single problem in 2500 years, and not even looked like getting close, I hope you would tell me to stick that advice where the sun does not shine.

    Why you listen to philosophy/philosophers therefore beats me.

    Only if you have a learning curve close the world's worst would you want to look to philosophy to solve a single problem.

    Guesswork would be better....

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    I suppose I subscribe to Hume's moral sentimentalist thing. Morals aren't really rational things, they're personal and sentimental. Science can't put ethics in a test tube and measure and assess it, so we need an alternative. Nihilism, perhaps, but that's a philosophy too.

    This is Exhibit A for the prosecution therefore, in that it just shows you how the thoughts of Philosophers can damage your capacity to think (no offense intended -- you are in a long line of similar victims).

    You have to misuse/distort the words we already have to depict our moral choices, etc. (just as Hume did -- just as all traditional Philosophers have done) to make this work.

    I will not offer an alternative 'theory', since none work, and for the same reason -- they are all based on a systematic misuse of language.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:However, Marxism does not walk away from anything; it shows that Philosophy (including dialectics) is a bogus, ideological accretion; Wittgenstein (interpreted in the way I attempt to do) reveals how and why this is so.

    In that way, everything remains as it was before (since Philosophy can change nothing, just alter the phantasies we form) -- leaving it to political struggle, coupled with a scientific understanding of the world, to change things.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:What replaces Philosophy? A big hole (or a bonfire, or both), I hope.

    Science cannot replace it, since that would suggest that Philosophy did have some use (in that it was a quest for knowledge that went wrong, when it was no more of a search than the mumbling of a drunk is a search for knowledge).

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:I exclude analytic political and moral philosophy from my sweeping generalisations, providing they avoid setting up/using a priori schemas based on an odd use of language, and it seems to me that much of the work done in analytic philosophy of science, mathematics, language and logic is worthwhile (given those earlier caveats). These disciplines have genuinely practical implications, even if I disagree with much that they say; it is certainly serious work and worth reading.

    But this encompasses a tiny fraction of philosophy (if we compare it with its entire history), and within that history, metaphysics (which comprises the vast bulk of traditional philosophy) is a total waste of time and effort, and has gone nowhere in 2500 years.

    And that is for reasons I outlined in my OP.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:I don't have a (scientific) theory; I leave that up to those who do genuine science, and who don't confuse out-dated, Idealist theories of the 'mind' with science.

    Moreover, as I have shown in another thread at this site, all philosophical theories are incoherent non-sense (so we definitely don't need a philosophical theory):

    I have up-dated and clarified that argument here:

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Read several good novels; that will tell you more about life than 2500 years of that academic and cloistered discipline called 'philosophy'.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Logic and the sciences are not part of philosophy.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Historically speaking, logic is directly tied to the practice of philosophy. It has been an integral part of it.
    It is certainly used by philosophers and was invented by one (Aristotle) but that does not make it part of Philosophy -- any more than meteorology is (which was also studied by Aristotle), or that pens (also used by philosophers) are.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Just as science is based on philosophical enquiry, that is, on various epistemologies.
    As science progressed, it diverged from philosophy. They are now totally separate.

    Moreover, science is not only highly useful it has achieved impressive, if not dazzling, results.

    Philosophy has achieved nothing.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:May I recommend you get hold of a copy of the following:

    Conner, C. (2005), A People's History Of Science. Miners, Midwives And "Low Mechanicks" (Nation Books).

    There you will see that science was invented by ordinary working people, not by the empty speculations of work-shy philosophers.

    Moreover, ordinary human beings were reasoning long before Aristotle was a lad.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Without philosophy, it can be argued that none of the other sciences would have developed.

    The very first scientists weren't philosophers (on this see A People's History of Science: Miners, Midwives, and Low Mechanicks by Cliff Conner), and while the first philosophers dabbled in a little science (which distinguished itself from philosophy by being testable against nature), it is equally arguable that they held up its progress by their elitism and Idealism. Indeed, the later progress of science was actually slowed by the involvement of philosophy, as philosophers showed they preferred empty speculation to testable hypothesis formation and revealed their hostility to the experimental method. Science only began to accelerate (in the 17th and 18th centuries) when the latter approach (the experimental method) began to dominate over the former (empty speculation).

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:If you read my 'anti-philosophy' posts, you will see that I too have to 'get my hands dirty', as it were, all the time. This is called an 'immanent critique' -- whereby we use philosophy in order to hasten its demise. I employ this method to show how empty its theses are. But this does not imply I am 'doing philosophy', any more than it implies, for example, that a doctor who uses a virus to attack another virus is spreading disease.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:This seems to be a defence of theory in science, something I haven't denied, but I still fail to see any evidence, as opposed to assertion, that philosophy has been anything other than a hindrance to science. And, of course, my argument isn't based on the idea that philosophy produced by an elite (or their hangers on) is where the problem lies. Philosophy is worse than useless, whoever indulges in it.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    I think he took the same view Einstein had brought up about philosophy. That philosophy is the mother to Science, though we should not laugh at her nakedness instead pursue her interests through science. I mean there was a time where philosophy was the knowledge of all things even regarding science and mathematics. Now it stands on different poles with those very things. Now any crack-pot pseudo intellectual halfwit can call him/herself "A philosopher" (ehemmm Ayn Rand, Anton Lavey, etc.)

    In fact, science and mathematics long pre-dated philosophy, and were invented by ordinary working people.

    Philosophy only succeeded in mystifying both.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:In philosophy, if there is any 'supporting evidence' it is post hoc, and highly sketchy (just look at the 'evidence' that Descartes appealed to, for example; it would be laughed out of court even in an undergraduate science essay, even of his day; compare it with the careful work of Tycho Brahe, or Darwin, for example). As I noted, the truth of philosophical theses follows from thought alone, making the 'evidential ceremony' that sometimes follows an empty gesture.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Of course, 150 years ago, scientists were called 'natural philosophers', but that is no more reason for us to accept an overlap between the two disciplines than we should accept that science overlaps with theology just because 150 years ago natural theology was also classified as part of what we'd now call science.

    Sure, we can re-define the two as overlapping, but then we can also re-define capitalism as 'just and fair', but what would be the point of that?

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Philosophy is the scientific inquiry into some of the more basic issues of reality and human experience. Marx was a philosopher, though he differed from some of his contemporaries in that he tried to apply a methodical, more analytical standard to the studies of philosophy.

    But, Philosophy differs from science in that (1) the latter is committed to the experimental verification or falsification of its theories, and (2) the former aims at discovering theses by thought alone, supposedly true in all possible worlds, and for which experimental evidence is irrelevant. The two disciplines have totally different methodologies and aim at totally different results.

    This is quite apart from the fact that Marx specifically rejected philosophy.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:For 2400 years philosophers have been doing the same sort of thing, just changing the content as each mode of production rose and fell. It is indeed one of the ruling ideas, and it dominates all our thinking. You can see comrades here do the same week in week out, inventing 'theories' about fundamental aspects of reality (that it's all illusion, that everything is 'determined', that time is this or it is that, etc.) all from a brief consideration of a few words!

    And they do it no matter how many times I point this out to them -- it seems so natural to them to do it.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    But I'd like for you to show me how you can argue against lets say Sartre's definition of "nothingness" without taking his definition into consideration? You cannot.

    I would not try to, anymore than if he had used 'BuBuBu' instead.

    As soon as I see this sort of jargon these days (mostly paraded about by French philosophers) I switch off.

    I had to study this sort of guff as an undergraduate. I no longer have to. So, these days, I prefer the London telephone directory; it contains far more truth.

    In short, I would no more try to criticise the philosophical ideas of Sarte, than I would try to talk to his corpse.

    I have better ways of wasting my time.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:1. In fact Marx was an anti-philosopher:

    2. Science was in fact invented by ordinary working people. Philosophy only succeeded in mystifying it. [See the above link.]

    3. Sure, logic was codified first by Aristotle (as far was we know), but ordinary human beings had been reasoning for thousands of years prior to that. And, although logic is certainly used by philosophers, it has no more to do with philosophy than a computer has if a philosopher uses it.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "To say philosophy is a complete waste of time is either anti-intellectual or disregarding the historical significance of philosophy which is pretty sad"

    It is indeed a waste of space. Not one single philosophical problem has been solved in over 2400 years. In fact, we are no nearer a solution than Plato was, and that is because, as Marx noted (and as Wittgenstein argued in detail), the entire subject is based on the systematic distortion of language.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    The philosophical methodology we use is too useful.
    And yet not one single philosophical 'problem' has been solved in 2500 years, and we are no closer now to finding a solution than Plato was.

    And it is not hard to see why: the source of these 'problems' lies in the fetishisation/distortion of language I have outlined here.

    In short, these 'problems' are no more real than this one is:

    "In chess, who performed the marriage ceremony on the King and Queen?"

    This has no 'solution' since it is based on a misunderstanding of the role of certain words in chess.

    Same with metaphysics/traditional philosophy.

    I do not expect to win this argument; if I did, then Marx would have been wrong about those 'ruling ideas'...

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:And this claim of mine is no more an example of 'anti-intellectualism' than would a similar claim be that Theology is a waste of space, too.

    Both are based on the ancient, ruling-class idea that there is a hidden world behind appearances, which is more real than the world we see around us, and which is accessible to thought alone.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    philosophers have helped advance that and given us ideas on how we should think and what methods we should use to solve problems and answer questions.

    1) Certainly philosophers helped develop Aristotelian logic, but they also mystified it and confused it with a priori psychology at the same time. But, the most significant advances in logic in the last 150 years were the result of the work of mathematicians.

    2) I'd like to see you present us with examples of problems philosophers have solved, or problems their methods have helped solve.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "Without philosophy logic and reason as we know it would not exist"

    1) Neither would meteorology. Does that make weather forecasting a philosophy?

    2) You ignore the fact that informal logic has been around far longer than formal logic, and was invented (if that is the right word) by ordinary working people.

    3) It's also worth recalling that formal logic was invented (as far as we know) by Aristotle, who was just as much a scientist as he was a philosopher. Subsequently, logic was mystified by philosophers, until Frege (a mathematician, not a philosopher) cleared the subject up in the late 19th century.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:1) Certainly philosophers helped develop Aristotelian logic, but they also mystified it and confused it with a priori psychology at the same time. But, the most significant advances in logic in the last 150 years were the result of the work of mathematicians.

    2) I'd like to see you present us with examples of problems philosophers have solved, or problems their methods have helped solve.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Using rational arguments (which long pre-dated philosophy) in order to help accelerate its demise is not also to do philosophy.

    So, we are still waiting for one, just one, philosophical problem that has been solved in the last 2400 years...

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Beside’s scientific method doesn’t exist unless a philosopher of science defines it.

    It may be unclear, but I cannot figure out why you think it is up to philosophers to lay the law down here.

    They do not even make the reserve list. :>

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:About what?

    About the 'value' of philosophy in general?

    Let me put it like this: I think it allows people to think they can access truths about reality on the cheap.

    [Freud's ideas have a similar effect; armchair psychiatrists can indulge in easy diagnoses without doing any science, and without worrying about the consequences.]

    And that is it's only value.

    [Apart, that is, from helping to ratify ruling-class ideas indirectly: that truths like these can be 'found' by thought alone, on the cheap.

    Oh, and providing me with more examples of how ruling ideas rule even Marxist minds.

    Apart from that, no value whatsoever -- Hume's bonfires are sorely needed.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    The first people to say the earth is round were philosophers.

    In so far as they addressed the material world, they were scientists. And it is open to doubt they were the first to point this out.

    Check out the following book:

    Conner, C. (2005), A People's History Of Science. Miners, Midwives And "Low Mechanicks" (Nation Books).

    There the author (who is a Marxist) points out:

    "It is evident from the arguments of the ancient authors, however, that their knowledge of the earth's roundness was drawn from the experience of seafarers.... Strabo [a historian and geographer -- RL] wrote:

    '...It is obviously the curvature of the sea that prevents sailors from seeing distant lights at an elevation equal to that of the eye; however, if they are at a higher elevation than that of the eye, they become visible...'" (pp.224-25.)

    He goes on to point out that Aristotle drew on the experience of sailors to conclude the earth was spherical (p.225). He notes the same is true of Pliny (p.224).

    Once again, it was ordinary working people who knew more than these work-shy 'theorists'.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Mathematics itself isn't metaphysics, but the prose mathematicians come out with often is.

    And metaphysics is just self-important hot air; proof here:

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:1) Philosophy is just systematic confusion, so it's neither anti-science nor pro-science.

    2) Wittgenstein's philosophy is in fact an anti-philosophy (indeed, he wanted to give the word ("philosophy") an entirely new meaning); his method was aimed at showing that all philosophical problems arose out of confusion, which was itself a consequence of the misuse of language -- as Marx also indicated.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Since Ancient Greek times, 'philosophy' has come to mean much more than this -- traditionally it relates to an esoteric form of 'wisdom'/'knowledge', pertaining to a hidden world underlying appearances that is more real than the world we see around us, and which is accessible to thought alone.

    In view of this, it's not hard to see why Marx was an anti-philosopher. Anyone who reads The German Ideology, The Poverty of Philosophy and The Holy Family can come to no other conclusion.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:For over two thousand years traditional Philosophers have been playing on themselves and their audiences what can only be described as a series of complex verbal tricks. Since Greek times, metaphysicians have occupied themselves with deriving a priori theses solely from the meaning of a few specially-chosen (and suitably doctored) words. These philosophical gems have then been peddled to the rest of humanity, dressed-up as profound truths about fundamental aspects of reality -- peremptorily imposed on nature, almost invariably without the benefit of a single supporting experiment.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:After 2400 years of going nowhere slowly, one would have thought that you'd have got the message: philosophy is little more than the systematic capitulation to the misuse of language, and a self-important expression of ruling-class forms of thought.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:The problem is that philosophers take ordinary words, misuse them, and then think that they have made a deep point about "mind" or "Being", when all they have done is build a few castles in the air out of figments of their own imagination. Wittgensteinian OLP does not in fact argue that there are or should be no other uses of language, only that philosophical language is just hot air, and can be shown to be hot air.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:1) Scientific socialism relies on the working class, not philosophy.

    2) Philosophy is a 2400 year old, ruling-class failure, and you want us to adopt it? I'd rather adopt a bullet in the head.

    3) What have 'evaluations' got to do with anything?

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Well, I have published a long and complex proof that philosophy is 100% non-sense (based on Wittgenstein's work, and that of others); so I rather think it is you who is 'simplifying' things:

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:But, what has this got to do with 'The Self'?

    This is a typically nonsensical philosophical question, the soluton to which is to be found, not by scientific research, but by juggling with a few misused words.

    As I have indicated in other posts, the idea that there is a 'solution' to this sort of question is based on an ancient, ruling-class doctrine that certain fundamental truths about reality/ourselves can be ascertained by thought alone.

    It is a nonsensical question because there is no way of making sense of it without using distorted language, and thus, there is no way of making sense of it.

    It is also why philosophy has managed to solve not one single 'problem' in over 2500 years, and not even close -- they are all nonsensical.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:"The self" being a subject reduced from 'yourself,' 'oneself,' etc...

    Then why not ask about 'The Se", which is 'reduced' even more?

    The problem is, you have to distort ordinary language to get this 'wild goose chase' off the ground.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:In fact, I have been reading and studying philosophy since the early 1970s, and I have yet to come across a single philosophical 'problem' that we are any nearer to solving than was Plato. Perhaps you know differently, but you unwisely kept that to yourself. And now you say that philosophy's success is not defined by how many problems it has solved, and you are wise to take that view, since it hasn't solved a single one.

    But, it's lack of success is perhaps clearer to see from the additional fact that we are no nearer to a solution to a single one than was Plato. Indeed, in that philosophy is now vastly more complex than it was 2500 years ago, we are arguably further away from a single solution than was Plato.

    So, not so much 'progress' then than retrogression. You are welcome to this total waste of human energy.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:The historical evidence tells us that ordinary working people were thinking mathematically, scientifically and rationally long before philosophers pinched their ideas.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Religion may be the projection of alienated humanity's self-image, but so is Philosophy (it is just more abstract than Theology): it amounts to the fetishisation of social forms of communication, and inverts them so that they are then confused with real relations between things, or those things themselves (to adapt Marx's own critique of the fetishisation of commodities)

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:In fact I object to philosophy since it produces nothing but non-sensical and incoherent theories. The fact that this leads to pointless arguments is a spin-off of this, so it isn't my main objection, nor is it near the top of the list of my objections. My second most important objection is that traditional philosophy expresses little other than ruling-class ideology masquerading as metaphysical profundity.

    And, of course, I recognize that Russell adopted the approach you suggested, but his foundational work (but not his logic) proved to be totally worthless and had no practical effect on mathematics, a fact which, oddly enough, supports my negative view of philosophy.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:If you will forgive me for saying this, the sort of material you posted has been churned out now for 2500 years, and we are still no nearer an answer.

    This is because these sorts of ideas are presented as dogmatic theses, as if they have come down from off the mountain.

    Partly because of that, I claim they make no sense at all, and depend on twisting language, misusing it, or inventing incomprehensible jargon where ordinary words will not do.

    So, my stance, if I have one, is that not a single philosophical idea, that has ever been propounded, makes the slightest bit of sense, and we should stop kidding ourselves. We do not need it, just more and better science.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:And it is odd you should chose Plato in your thought experiment about the effect his early death would have had on experimental science, since it is a widely accepted fact that the Platonic tradition was aristocratically motivated, and hence anti-working class, and thus held engineering and the experimental tradition in contempt. As I noted earlier, you should read Cliff Conner's book on this (where you will find abundant evidence that it was the working class and engineering input that contributed most to the advancement of science).

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:My position on philosophy in general is that like religion, it can reflect genuine distress and a desire to fight back (some of the examples you give illustrate that), but ultimately, it gains its rationale from ruling ideas. However, my objection to philosophy in general is not that it represents ruling ideas, but that it is arrant nonsense.

    Sure some philosophers were poor, but most of the important ones were not, and these were loinised by their masters.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:I would hazard a guess that most of analytic philosophers were either empiricists, logical empiricists, positivists, logical positivists, realists of one sort or another, conventionalists, and the like.

    The minority from whom I have learnt the most were none of the above. They rejected all philosophical theories of nature (or of anything), as I do.

    In that sense, I am happy to let science (not philosophy) tell us what we need to know about nature, etc.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Whats wrong with metaphysics?

    Basically, it is an attempt to do supercience (i.e., the endeavour to derive super truths from mere words), and 'discover' industrial strength truths about nature from thought alone, not from actual scientific investigation. Knowledge on the cheap, as it were.

    As such it is 100% idealist.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    I don't know what to think about existentialism
    It's an attempt to do a priori super anti-science, so it suffers from all the failings of traditional thought -- in that it tries to derive truths from words/concepts, trivial apercu, and fiction. [So, if anything, it is worse!]

    It was also an expression of the failings of French Communism -- and amounted to a retreat into despair by certain intellectuals.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    what is your problem (if any) with Sartre's philosophy, specifically existentialism and his form of dialectics (besides the terminology issue)?

    It is wind-baggery dressed up as profound insight.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Well, I am not the one to say, since I am so biased -- but if you want my slanted opinion, dialectical philosophy is too confused to achieve anything --, other than cloud the issues, that is.

    It certainly has not tackled the above problems, nor could it.

    That would be like, say, George W Bush trying to solve problems in Quantum Mechanics; you'd be lucky if he or it could even recognise the problem, let alone know what to do about it.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:As I noted, we just need more and better science -- but no Philosophy at all.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:In fact, if you consult Clifford Conner's 'A People History of Science' you will see that the Greeks were not the first to systematise science:

    But they were among the first to impose idealism on it, including the belief that the universe is 'rational' (and designed by the mind of 'god'), an idea invented by the mystical Pythagoreans, and turned into an art form by that proto-fascist, Plato.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Well, I am not sure how you are going to prove that it is a philosophical viewpoint without implicating the sort of class-motivated bias theorists like Plato introduced into western thought.

    The distinction between teche and episteme is based on Plato's denigration of the contribution of the 'lower orders' (thus privileging the contribution of 'pure' thinkers like himself, who he felt were the only ones fit to rule), and it gels very badly with the Marxist emphasis of the unity of theory and practice.

    And, as Martin Bernal has shown, the Greeks pinched many of their ideas from the Egyptians (among others):

    And, of course, science was systematised in China long before the Greeks.

    And, like you I am not trying to denigrate the Greeks, but we must be clear that their science was heavily coloured by ruling class ideology.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:In fact, if you read Socrates's 'arguments', the vast majority depend on word-juggling and the systematic distortion of ordinary words, as Marx alleged. So, if anything, Socrates sent human rationality backwards!

    And what practical application did his thought have -- other than support the aristocratic and anti-democratic status quo, as I pointed out earlier?

    Finally, I hope you are not suggesting that Socrates was the very first person in human history to ask 'Why?'

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    You're a bit anti-intellectual aren't you?

    As I pointed out earlier: this is no more an example of 'anti-intellectualism' than would a similar claim be that Theology is a waste of space.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "No, again historically speaking, philosophy has achieved something truly remarkable - the existence and practical implementation of science itself."

    But that has nothing to do with philosophy.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "After all, almost everything, including science, had been used by the ruling class."

    Correct, but the key thing is that science has to stand up to material reality; philosophy and theology do not.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "Wasn't it philosophers who believe that truth isn't disclosed by thought alone? How doesn't my list fulfill your challenge?"

    As far as I can see, they might have said that, but they did the exact opposite in their writings, coming out with their own a priori theses, which they happily imposed on the world.

    Nietzsche is perhaps the best example, excoriating metaphysics, but inventing his own a priori theories at the same time.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:I am arguing against all of philosophy since it represents the most abstract form of ruling-class ideology (and I include in that all forms of philosophical materialism).

    As I said, I don't expect to win anyone here to my views. I think you (plural) have had ruling-class ideas forced down your throats since childhhood, and you clearly think that a dogmatic and a priori way to theorise is quite natural, and the only way that 'legitimate' philosophy should be practiced -- that is, that fundamental truths about reality can be derived from thought alone, and can then be imposed on the universe dogmatically.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "Theorizing is part of philosophy."

    True, but, as I have shown you several times, the result is always nonsense.

    It seems you have learnt nothing from Wittgenstein....

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "It needs needs moral theory, and science can't give it that."

    Once more: Philosophy is a 2400 year old, ruling-class failure.
    We need that bogus 'discipline' like the fire service needs a chocolate ladder.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "Philosophy is a form of speculation. It is crucial to understand what philosophy is."

    Well that is what the brochure says, but, as I pointed out, when you examine the delivered article all you see are twisted words, and piss-poor logic.

    So, it's not 'speculation', it is out-and-out distortion.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "As for the general stance of 'making' philosophy, I would say that philosophy will exist as long as some aspect of the universe remains unknown."

    Well, it will last just so long as human beings think they can derive a few easy truths from the quirky use of a handful of words.

    It is to be hoped that as science develops and (in a socialist society) as the need for religious and non-religious opiates slowly vanishes, the need to project empty words onto reality (in the pretence this is a substitute for hard scientific effort, when it is bogus science on the cheap) will peter out.

    And while there remain unanswered questions about nature, science (not philosophy, since it is a total sham) will be needed.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "religion is a dogmatic version of philosophical belief."

    I think you are confusing religion with theology.

    Theology is the dogmatic form of religious belief. Philosophy and theology have been traditionally linked, but this is not necessary; there are major differences.

    Anyway, it matters not; traditional philosophy allegedly reveals an a priori structure to reality, one established by a quirky use of words, and nothing else; so it is a complete sham. In that sense it provides non-religious consolation for those taken in by this linguistic fraud.

    It cannot reveal anything about reality since it is based on empty phraseology, no more than the nonsense rhymes of Edward Lear or Lewis Carroll can either.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:All we need is science and more science, if it cannot explain something, philosophy stands no chance.


    Philosophers have been unable to solve single problem in 2500 years of trying (nor have they even looked like they ever could).

    Their pursuit of 'knowledge' is about as unsuccessful a human endeavour as one could imagine.

    It was originally invented and is now only maintained because it helps support the idea that the universe is 'rational' (i.e., the product on Mind) and has an a priori structure that thought alone can explore (hence it is fundamentally Idealist).

    This has then been used to substantiate the idea that there is an underlying natural order to the universe (unavailable to the senses, so you have to take the word of the rich and powerful that it exists), which order also determines social stratification (these days through our 'genes', etc.), and which justifies class division (the 'deserving rich', etc.), and the power of the state (to maintain 'order') and, of course, traditional morality (these days, called 'Western/Family Values').

    Hence, my constant argument against the need for a philosophy of any sort.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:If you want to do philosophy, traditional philosophy, make stuff up too.

    But then do not expect other words whose meaning you take for granted to stay the same. If you can live in a dream, perhaps 'live' means 'drink cola' -- how do you know?

    Once you begin to screw around with material language, all meaning starts to slide (as even Hegel would have agreed).

    So, as I noted, if you want to use language sloppily, that is up to you, but don't expect nature to take any notice -- it does not have to answer to our linguistic profligacy.

    So any 'conclusions' you draw are either worthless, or merely poetical.

    And that is why, after 2400 years, no progress at all has been made in Philosophy (except the invention of more empty jargon).

    And, next time the doc tells you you have flu, tell him/her that his/her lack of imagination in the use of words is the only thing wrong with you.

    In science, and in every other serious discipline, this sort of sloppy approach to details is not tolerated.

    In poetry and fiction on the other hand, it is.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:Once again, there is nothing there to understand (unless you are using the word 'understand' in an odd way), any more than there is anything to 'understand' in the Jabberwocky example I keep using.

    Of course, there is nothing wrong with whiling away the hours using empty words and phrases (but you can just get drunk to do that!), but, speaking for myself, I'd rather watch my toenails grow -- or get drunk.

    Now if you have to do this for college etc., that is a different matter (but you should get paid to have this linguistic pain inflicted upon you!).

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "After this understanding, philosophy won't be dangerous because it won't prevent us from focusing us on current material conditions but after the revolution, we can all sit in a cafe and speculate (of course without the 'cloudy' language) under heavy tobacco smoke about things we can never prove, just for the sake of the enjoyment of a good discussion."

    This sort of past-time is about as useful (and entertaining) as the following (an example I have used here before):

    Imagine someone observing a game of chess, who then says "Hang on a minute, that King over there. I don't remember the coronation; and when did he marry that Queen? And who gave planning permission to put that castle there; has that horse been fed...?"

    You would rightly regard such a person as mad.

    But philosophers do the same sort of thing with language. They take words from their normal, everyday use, from the material contexts where they have their life (language ‘goes on holiday’ to quote Wittgenstein), wrench them from these surroundings and ask all manner of odd questions, and derive seemingly startling 'truths' from such deformed expressions.

    So, someone might wonder if it is in the nature of the shape of the King in chess that gives it its special properties in the game, or maybe the wood or ivory from which it is made (ignoring the rules for the normal use of these pieces).

    Similarly, philosophers ask whether it is in the nature of 'time' to be what it is, or in the nature of 'space', pulling these words away from their normal contexts of use (ignoring these while they do it), not noticing that when they do that these words no longer function in the way they used to, and all meaning vanishes, leaving an empty slate upon which they can write their own fantasies (as in the chess example).

    Just as, when one divorces say the King in chess from the rules of the game and the way these are employed, philosophers do the same with material language.

    In the chess example we all know what to say: we would regard it as a peculiar from of intellectual/sub-intellectual lunacy.

    But, in the case of philosophy, we all nod our heads sagely, and say it is profound, or entertaining, or revealing, or harmless, or....

    Not me; I am happy to call it ruling-class bo**locks.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "What "Rosa", rather amusingly doesn't seem to notice is that "philosophy is a useless discipline" is itself a philosophical statement and a self-negating one at that. But don't take my word for it, everything I say is false."

    Why is "Philosophy is useless" philosphical? You negelected to demonstrate this point.

    And even if it were, why is "Philosophy useless" self-negating? Something could still be true but remain useless; for example: The 456,667th mouse born in Japan since 1734 is brown. That could be true. But is it any use? It might be some use, but it doesn't have to be (which is all I need). And it could be false, and still useless. Either way, it could be useless while also being either true or false.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "I suggest you ignore the advice of Rosa"

    Yes, we ought to engage this lost soul in a ruling-class endeavour that has taken humanity on a slow 2500 year meander to nowhere, solving not one single problem along the way; what a good idea!

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "Even Rosa's patron-saint, Wittgenstein, read Kierkegaard and Schopenhauer"

    He read the second when young, and rapidly abandoned the ideas he found there, and of the second, even W admitted K was mind-numbingly boring.

    And we will need a little more than just your say so that W meant that the work of these two jokers was part of the ladder he suggested we throw away (especially when he was explicitly referring to his own 'propositions' when he used that metaphor).

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "Rosa, out of curiosity, what is your opinion of Lacan and Zizek?"

    What I have read of Lacan suggests I'd learn more from reading a Martian telephone directory.

    And what little I have read of Zizek has formed in me no other opinion than I should resist all inducements to read any more.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "If you like good novels, why discount philosophy?"

    1) Becasue philosophy is based on the systematic misuse of language.

    2) This is not so with good novels.

    3) With such novels we know we are dealing with fiction.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "Success in philosophy, I suggest, might be seen to consist entirely in relativist achievements: to be a matter of making onceself the focus of attention of other philosphers.

    However, philosophy has a history and more to the point, its history is part of social and cultural history. Thus Kant had huge success in the history of philosophy and has proven over time to have achieved that by articulating key pillars of certain ideas (ideas I consider false) which have persistently re-occured/reemerged in capitalist society.

    If one thinks that the only success in thinking is to articulate truth then one cannot ascribe any success to any philosopher on any significant scale (with the exception of Aristotle but only because he happened to be an amazing scientist as well). If one accepts a broader definition of success - in terms of contributing to human progress - then there are some philosophers who have had success, although at the price of articulating things which are actually untrue (and of making arguments which are false). But that is true of many scientists as well."

    Summary of the above: philosophy has enjoyed no success at all...

    No surprise there then, since, as Marx noted, it's based on a distortion of language.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "its greatest utility is not in giving answers, but in pointing out how best to ask the question"

    But, in over 2400 years of trying, philosophers are no nearer even that goal!

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:It could indeed be read that way -- that is, until you recall that I have actually taken Marx's advice to heart (whereas you are still resisting it):

    "The philosophers have only to dissolve their language into the ordinary language, from which it is abstracted, in order to recognise it, as the distorted language of the actual world....

    "One has to 'leave philosophy aside' has to leap out of it and devote oneself like an ordinary man to the study of actuality, for which there exists also an enormous amount of literary material, unknown, of course, to the philosophers....

    "Philosophy is nothing else but religion rendered into thought and expounded by thought, i.e., another form and manner of existence of the estrangement of the essence of man; hence equally to be condemned...."

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "Rosa, doesn't all this discussion just depend upon how we define 'philosophy'? If it's taken as a 'love of wisdom', I can't see a problem. If it's taken as 'speculative ideas in the service of the contemporary ruling class', then I'm with you!"

    The problem with that is that speculative metaphysicians also 'love wisdom'

    But, I can see no 'wisdom' coming from philsophers, can you? Sure, they might have come up with a few trite maxims that contained good advice, but we can get that from the religious, too -- as well as from a good novel, and, indeed, from poetry!

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "You clearly have a philosophy, but either you don't recognise it, or wish to hide it."

    You'd like to think I have one, wouldn't you? But not only do I not have one, I don't want one, and don't think we need one. Moreover, you have no evidence to that I do have one.

    Indeed, if you ever do find any evidence that I have a philosophy, I'll reject and disown that philosophy instantly, and then apologise profusely.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "I think the specific value of philosophy is in its speculative nature."

    But, after 2500 years of aimless speculation, philosophers have absolutely no results to show for all that wasted effort. In fact, they would have been far better occupied watching their toe-nails grow for all the good they have done.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    "philosophy may be useless, but it's fun."

    I agree: about as much fun as watching one's toenails grow -- at least they will get further after 2500 years!

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    Zoot's Philosophical Musings - Page 8 Empty Re: Zoot's Philosophical Musings

    Post by promethean75 on Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:41 pm

    well somebody is a rosa lichtenstein fan. holy hard drive, batman. where's the one she does on heraclitus? that's one of my personal favorites.


    in a recently received telegram my contemporary writes: "you know you could have summed up that whole essay to a cultural thing about easterners being more reverent toward their past generations, [and] thus less likely to challenge their [own] wisdom."

    i should like to state for the record that my aim was not to draw attention to this fact but rather provide an outline for understanding how an example of an eastern culture might develop a philosophical system of thought which they then remain so reverent toward.

    i would add that in order for the spirit of a people to become skeptical toward it's own customs and culture, the people must experience some kind of internal conflict in which they either recognize a set of beliefs as useless, or as a kind of subterfuge used by an opposing class for the purposes of misdirecting and/or subordinating them.

    why this did not happen so suddenly in the east is because the current of social and economic change was not as strong. their's was much more gradual, with a slower tempo, and not as defined. take for instance an agrarian culture that lives a slower paced life and for which asceticism is a virtue. the religious/mystical beliefs that accompany those practices do not pose an immediate danger to their circumstances; they don't feel exploited or abused or cheated by believing what they do. in china it wasn't really until mao educated, mobilized, and trained the peasantry to use garden rakes like battle staffs that they even realized how hoodwinked they had been. they're culture was so isolated throughout china, they're interactions with other people and ideas so limited, that it needn't ever dawn on them that their spiritual and religious beliefs were innocuous and passifying rather than empowering and liberating. ah but it didn't hurt them to have these philosophies because they were not yet forced into experiencing a direct conflict between philosophical precepts for conduct and the awareness that acting as such kept them in a subordinate role.

    it was only in active industrialized societies that this experience could be had, and therefore only there that a skepticism could emerge. the industrial proletariat didn't have the time or the luxury to sit beside the river and pay homage to the water gods, nor did contemplating the principle opposites of yin and yang do him any good, either. the only thing on these folks minds was "does what i believe have something to do with my lot in life, why i continue to live this way, why i pretend to be happy" and so on. these kinds of questions never crossed the minds of the chinese agrarian folks because their pace in life was much slower. wake up, wash your face, eat some rice, spend a few hours chopping sugar cane, drink some tea, and play chinese checkers.

    my contemporary writes: "also you need to account for the fact that buddhism is an atheistic religion."

    of course, but it is still by nature what nietzsche called nihilistic; it has a faith in a state of existence (nirvana) that transcends and redeems this earthly state of existence... which buddhism teaches is blind, aimless struggle, striving and suffering. this belief system is essentially and immoderately ascetic, but not in the same way christianity is. rather than interpret one's suffering as a consequence of being in 'sin', which for the buddha was nonsense, one must nonetheless practice resignation so to avoid further desiring and striving, etc. so you see that there is still an immense denial of oneself and the will, in this religion. for all intents and purposes, while it isn't theological per se, it's affects are quite similar; douse one's drive to improve one's earthly lot, deny one's appetites, unconditional compassion for everything, and so forth. chinese emperors loved buddhism because it did to the chinese peasant what christianity in the west did to the industrial proletariat. put a yoke on the sonofabitches and kept them under control.

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    Zoot's Philosophical Musings - Page 8 Empty Re: Zoot's Philosophical Musings

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