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I Think We Were Discussing Philosophy

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Posted by Harvey on May 10, 2002 19:09:35 UTC


This whole discussion started with Aurino's statement that "I think philosophy is like music. Musicians seek beauty in sounds, philosophers seek beauty in ideas. But nobody takes musicians seriously because everyone understands what they do, while philosophers are quite good at giving the impression that what they're doing has nothing to do with aesthetics. Oh, and since the above is philosophy itself, it's probably Language Removed."

***Instead, I think we seek to prove to ourselves that we are capable of holding the right (or most accurate) position.***

True, but scientists do that with their theories, and so do economists, and logicians, and mathematicians, and lawyers, and philosophers, etc. However, musicians and artists are not concerned about what is the right position.

***The more passionate I become about a particular subject, the more I probably feel the need to justify myself to myself by swaying an outside party with a worthy challenge to my position. The more insightful the challenge of the outside party, the greater this feat becomes.***

Does any of this not apply to all human enterprises for knowledge acquisition?

***Regardless, Stafford is a tremendously intelligent and imposing figure: when he's around, much of this forum revolves around him. Perhaps subconsciously he comes into rooms like this to divert his own introspection from dwelling on disappointment; at least in his time he has established a formidable fan club of some very bright people, most of whom happen to be interested in an area he knows better than anything else.***

In my view, Dick is one of those guys who felt that Einstein was getting too much attention when he was just as smart. I imagine that when he was a smug 19 year old that he began to see himself as better than Einstein and became interested in seeing where Einstein might have goofed. He stumbled on the Twin paradox, and the rest was history. He probably began his model of reality with some concept of absolute time and from there he was able to construct his model with enough physics knowledge to know what kind of model that he needed to construct in order to be convincing. The end result was his original goal, to make Einstein look like a dummy so that he could be considered a brilliant key figure. What he didn't know at that time was that he had strayed into the philosophy of science (and perhaps later into epistemology, etc).

Rather than face the prospect that he actually had a higher interest in philosophy (and thereby change his major), he merely stuck to viewing the scientists around him as part of some conspiracy to keep key knowledge from young aspiring physicists seeking philosophical truth.

It's an interesting story. I wish we could get Dick to be honest and tell us the chronology of how he developed his ideas (was Einstein a dummy before he began his model or sometime after, was the scientific establishment closed minded before his model or sometime after, was the world made of numbers before his model, or sometime after). These are questions I guess we will only know. Dick knows them, but he isn't much interested in reviewing the actual chain of events. Or so it would seem.

Warm regards, Harv

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