Tuesday, October 20, 2015

594: A new phase....

Historically the cultural difference between England and the main land of Europe is remarkable.
Why emerged empiricism in England and rationalism on the Continent. Because of Locke and Descartes is of course not an answer.
However, it remains a remarkable difference in culture with different outcomes regarding the position of the individual.
From Locke on the individual in England was mainly defined within the political and economical context.
This brought us philosophers like Adam Smith (1723 - 1790), Jeremy Bentham (1748 - 1832) and John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873).
Maybe you could describe the difference between England and the Continent like this:
The empiricist individual looks around in the world and asks himself “What are we doing here on this earth?”
The rationalist individual looks around in the world and asks himself “What am I doing here on this earth?”
The philosophical focus regarding the individual on the Continent was not primarily on the social position and relations of the individual.
On the Continent it was concentrated on the consciousness of the individual. “I think, thus I am” and the ensuing question: “why am I?”
You could say “not really an original question…”. But at that moment in history it yet was,
because the question was asked outside a religious context. Man had discovered that he was obliged to define himself instead of deriving his essence from some god.
Thus late 19th- and 20th-century existentialism emerged, the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject, not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual.
On the existential view, to understand what an individual is, it is not enough to know all the truths that natural science, including the science of psychology, could tell us.
Existentialism does not deny the validity of the basic categories of physics, biology, psychology, 
and the other sciences, categories such as matter, causality, force, function, organism, development, motivation, and so on. 
It claims only that human beings cannot be fully understood in terms of them. And this an interesting point in relation to empiricism,
because existentialism claims to need other conceptual categories than science. It needs more than science can offer to describe “existence”.
I myself remember from the time that I was a philosophy student , that we had debates about “L’Etre et le Neant”, written by Sartre.
We didn’t discuss the content of the book, but just this title. L’Etre means The Being and Le Neant The Not-Being.
Could an article plus verb (L’Etre) mean something or was it just a syntactical monstrosity and thence meaningless?
Can authenticity, a term not related to any observable scientific fact but a main concept of existentialisme, yet be an empirical property of the individual?
Interesting to notice that the dominating interpretation of the individual today is “homo economicus”.
Are all existentialist categories of describing the individual lost and forgotten, or do they still apply?
Thank you for your attention…feel free to ask questions or add to the discourse..the floor is yours.

Main Sources:

MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995

The Discussion

[13:17] herman Bergson: Take your time....:-)
[13:18] herman Bergson: So ice to hear you thinking :-)
[13:19] herman Bergson: nice
[13:19] Bejiita Imako:
[13:19] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): ;-) thank u
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmmmmmmmm
[13:19] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): to be or not to be
[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): seems that we only count in this world if we earn money
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): seems so
[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): not as a woman
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or are outrageous
[13:19] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): true beertje have that also sometimes in mindä
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: It is true science is not enough to describe things like existence, its so complex
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: question is if we can ever fully understand it
[13:20] herman Bergson: well...my point today is this divergent roads...England ...Continental...
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: 2 different ways of thinking indeed
[13:21] herman Bergson: the focus on the homo economicus....and the focus on the (non)rational human
[13:21] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita...and I find it amazing....
[13:21] herman Bergson: to begin with...internationally English is one of the most dominant languages...
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): philosophy then is always influenced by its surroundings i take it
[13:22] herman Bergson: the result of the English philosophical tradition is too...
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:24] LarsOldenburg: I am curious, in what view we perceive, the questions are the validity of self? but what is the main thrust of self, if self is satisfied or striving for ones needs, what has self put together in self or was self created to strive. I must get a bit of tea, please excuse but this is a fascinating discussion.
[13:24] herman Bergson: so in the next lectures I'll try tofigure out how the individual ws defined by people like Kierkegaard, Nietsche, Schopenhauer and others
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we will try to understand
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: interestingthis can be fun
[13:25] Bejiita Imako:
[13:25] herman Bergson: Well GEmma..I'll try to understand myself :-))
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh good
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: ehe
[13:25] Bejiita Imako:
[13:26] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): i guess we must understand ourself in the whole of all human beings. we dont live alone and we must learn more to connect
[13:26] herman Bergson: WHen you look at al previous projects you may conclude that I have little connection with continental philosophy...
[13:26] Guestboook van tipjar stand: Hermine Resident donated L$50. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmmm
[13:27] herman Bergson: Yet I know it points us at important aspects of our being...
[13:28] herman Bergson: As I said....today we only seem to  think about ourselves as "homo economicus"
[13:28] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): ja thats the problem^^
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: money money more money!
[13:28] herman Bergson: the main existential question in politics is "How much does it cost?"
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: very true
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): always
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: and answer is always, too much, and nothing gets done
[13:29] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): we all are able to do / be a lot alone, but we are mostly not able to connect with others and to share and grow as human beings
[13:29] herman Bergson: And everybody knows that we are overlooking things here which are also part of our existence
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: cost too much here cost too much there
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: it blocks progress
[13:29] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): ja and we follow the wrong gods, eg: money
[13:29] herman Bergson: something like that Daruma....
[13:30] herman Bergson: Economy has become the new religion...
[13:30] herman Bergson: answers all our questions...
[13:30] herman Bergson: it seems
[13:30] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): of course it does...
[13:30] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): ;-)
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: if money was not a such issue we might be able to finally make that enterprise starship in star trek
[13:31] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): but when I do, I only see the weakness
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the next year here in the usa we will see billions poured into the election of the new president
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: that series tells that this is the thing that made it possible, they discarded money and concluded, if we want something we just have to make it
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: and see the final product as the profit
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is is like the office is being bought
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: instead of money
[13:31] herman Bergson: oh dear..yes indeed Gemma
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): forget the election
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes thats ongoing now
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sigh
[13:32] CB Axel: I'm hoping Bernie Sanders will show that you don't need lots of money to make a difference in elections.
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: a big mess i guess as usual where the one with most money wns and become president
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh i love what he says and wishes for it but he will never be elected
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: or the one talking most bullshit ( Donald Trump)
[13:33] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): rofl
[13:33] CB Axel: At least he's not homo economicus
[13:33] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): he is really a clown
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: the planet goes down the drain if he wins it feels like
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it is really nutty that he is really thought of by so many as a possible candidate
[13:34] herman Bergson: I guess we have left the philosophical part of our discussion now :-)
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): incredible!!!!!!!!
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: I agree Gemma
[13:34] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): ja very sad to see
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not really study his philosophy
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): omg
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): OMG!!!
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: hahahaha
[13:34] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): i have one of his books...
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he is the best!!!
[13:34] herman Bergson: It would puzzle me indeed gemma, if you did..:-))
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): can do the best
[13:34] Bejiita Imako:
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): for the best
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): klol
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh dear
[13:35] CB Axel: I think the election shows that we don't live alone. We need to connect to drive out homo economicus.
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: vary true
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: very
[13:35] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): ja cb!
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: its just escalating with no end now it feels like
[13:35] herman Bergson: homo sapiens populated this planet and homo economicus is destroying it....
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: the richer becomes even richer and the poor even poorer
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: not fair
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: everyone deserv a good life
[13:36] CB Axel: I wonder what Sartre would say if he were alive today.
[13:36] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): true bejita
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: not only the ones with most money
[13:36] herman Bergson: I'll think about that CB :-)
[13:37] herman Bergson: For the time being I want to thank you again for this discussion....
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:37] Bejiita Imako:
[13:37] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...^_^
[13:37] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine) claps
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: cu tuesday then
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): maybe maybe not
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: oo and dont forget, BURN start on saturday
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): will try
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh yes
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: checked before
[13:37] CB Axel: Until Tuesday. Bye.
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and time change coming soon
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): keep that in mind too
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: aa yes
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): are you a greeter
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): *¨¨*<♥*''*BEJIITA!!! *''*<♥:*¨¨*
[13:38] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): yes time will and must change
[13:38] CB Axel: I wish that if we have to have that stupid time change that we'd all do it at the same time.
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: ill do something there i guess

[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i know

593: Individual in England and on the Continent

We have reached 1800, which will lead us to another kind of philosophers than we have met thus far.
But before we continue, this is a good moment to look what we have learnt till now.
First of all let me repeat the ideas behind this project. They are derived from what is happening in this world today.
It all began with Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilisations?” ( Foreign Affairs;  Summer 1993; 72, 3).
He argues that all began with conflicts “largely among princes-emperors, absolute monarchs and constitutional monarchs 
attempting to expand their bureaucracies, their armies, their mercantilist economic strength and, most important, the territory they ruled.”
After the French Revolution (1789) nation states had developed and war among kings changed into war among nations.
“Then [after World War I], as a result of the Russian Revolution and the reaction against it, the conflict of nations yielded to the conflict of ideologies, 
first among communism, fascism-Nazism and liberal democracy, and then between communism and liberal democracy.” 
What we see today, is a conflict not within Western civilisation, but a conflict among civilisations globally.
And here I concluded that this conflict was in fact mainly a conflict between individualistic thinking and collectivistic thinking.
This led to the questions, why does Western civilisation focus on the individual, why did this evolve in Europe, why not in other cultures?
When you look at it this way, it inevitably leads to the question: Is Western civilisation the best outcome of evolution up to now?
This project is an attempt to answer these questions. And then at the end when we have found the individual, we’ll ask the question: 
Do we have as an individual really a free will?. Let me explain the relation between all these questions.
The inclination to question and investigate the world around us is an innate feature of our brain. Finding answers increases our chances of survival.
If you follow Maslow’s ideas you could say, that when we don’t need to spend all time on finding food, we get time to think about other things.
The Greek historically enjoyed in that position, when in the rest of Europe primary survival was still the dominant activity.
They developed a concept of the individual. Well, at least of the individual man, if we look at Aristotle. 
The woman was still considered to be closer related to an animal than to an individual person by him.
The Middle Ages teach us an interesting thing. Individuality, the freedom to question everything as a person, is not the center of the universe, when a religion or some ideology is forced upon the people. 
When one ideology dominates a culture, individuality disappears or is suppressed and conformism becomes the way of life.
But in the process individuality showed to be stronger than ideology: eventually Galileo won, that is, scientific knowledge won.
From then on the individual emerges stronger and stronger freeing himself from the oppressing domination of a religion.
If the world is to be understood in scientific terms, and not as a product of a creator, this also has consequences for social relations.
Power is not bestowed on you by god, but a natural thing derived from the consent of your fellowmen.
The individual person make this choice and thus Hobbes and Locke could openly discuss the justification of political power.
A little as a loner, Spinoza positioned the individual in the middle of nature as a part of the whole, as a drop in the ocean, matter among matter.
Rousseau gave the individual his personal psychology and even described the individual from an evolutionary perspective.
The French Revolution of 1789 could be regarded as symbolic for the final liberation of the individual from ideological suppression.
We now can ask the question: why did the individual become the center of the universe in Western civilisation?
My answer is: in the course of history homo sapiens freed himself from most of the traditional causes of belief:
faith, revelation, dogma, authority, charisma, conventional wisdom, the invigorating glow of subjective certainty.
These are generators of error and should be dismissed as sources of knowledge, which allows science to do its job for us.
This opened the path to become an individual. In the coming lectures we’ll analyse what it means to be an individual, that is….to be on your own.
And the free will? Well, after having emerged as an individual the neuroscientists of today question our free will.
 We are our brain, is the idea and the individual is the way the brain works.
Thank you…if you have questions or remarks…plz..the floor is yours.

The Discussion

[13:20] Max Chatnoir: I think we see this conflict playing out in the american congress right now.  Some people want a speaker who will adhere single mindedly to some ideology; other want a speaker who can help find solutions to problems.
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: The later lternative is the better thats for sure
[13:21] Max Chatnoir: One would think so.
[13:21] Viva Enzo is offline.
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: if there are problems and so you need to think outside the box and deal with it
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: thats fact
[13:22] CB Axel: Being an individual without a supreme being to guide us is a daunting prospect to a lot of people, I think.
[13:22] herman Bergson: I thought the Speaker of the House should be impartial
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: otherwise you have a big nasty mess
[13:22] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): we need more balance in being an individual and seeing the whole
[13:23] herman Bergson: Yes CB but it is the content of the on coming lectures....to be on your own :-)
[13:23] Max Chatnoir: It's hard to be totally alone.
[13:23] herman Bergson: Well meet Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre...:-)
[13:24] herman Bergson: You were born alone Max, and will die alone....
[13:24] Max Chatnoir: True, but in between there have been a lot of other people one way and another.
[13:24] herman Bergson: Yes...fortunately:-)
[13:25] CB Axel: And there are too many people in the world who don't want to think for themselves.
[13:25] Areyn Laurasia: hard to be on your own
[13:25] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): true cb
[13:25] CB Axel: They want a supreme being to think for them.
[13:25] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): they blame always others
[13:25] CB Axel: So they can sit back and watch Survivor and not think at all.
[13:26] CB Axel: Thinking is hard.
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes and I get the impression that this is because we can not let go of the idea that we need parents
[13:26] Max Chatnoir: And you might be wrong.  :-)
[13:26] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): and seeing yourself is hard.  
[13:26] CB Axel: Well, that's the good thing, Daruma. If things go bad, we can always blame God's wrath.
[13:26] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): and to handle these things
[13:26] herman Bergson: The time we were under the wings of our parents was for most of so good...
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:26] Max Chatnoir: We do have a prolonged childhood -- like some other primates.
[13:26] Areyn Laurasia: what's the alternative?
[13:26] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): well herman, when you had good üparents
[13:27] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): a lot did not had them
[13:27] Max Chatnoir: grow up in a creche.  But I'm not sure that's so good either.
[13:27] CB Axel: The alternative to thinking< Areyn?
[13:27] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): and thats what they first learn in life
[13:27] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): survive first your parents;-(
[13:27] Areyn Laurasia: think and be shot down. try to fix and get burnt
[13:27] Areyn Laurasia: do nothing and live like the rest?
[13:27] CB Axel: That's where parents err, I think.
[13:27] Max Chatnoir: That's true.  Bad parents can really wreck you.
[13:27] herman Bergson: The alternative is to be an individual :-)
[13:27] CB Axel: They don't let their kids think, make mistakes and get shot down.
[13:28] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): ja but i guess its very hard to find your way with such a start in life
[13:28] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): and these learnings
[13:28] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): we are all stupied when we arrive on earth
[13:28] Areyn Laurasia: guess some kids would make better parents
[13:28] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): we learn through our partens
[13:28] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): or should do
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: true
[13:28] CB Axel: I work with people who can't make decisions or think their way down a straight hallway.
[13:29] CB Axel: Their parents made every decision for them, and now they don't know how.
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: that we in Sweden call curling parents
[13:29] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): ja alos not good cb
[13:29] Bejiita Imako:
[13:29] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): also
[13:29] Max Chatnoir: We call the helicopter parents.
[13:29] Max Chatnoir: Always hovering.
[13:29] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): ja we too^^
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: aa heard that too
[13:29] CB Axel: Yes, Max.
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: basically same thing
[13:30] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): or they think they are the middle of the world
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: those kids will never manage on their own
[13:30] Areyn Laurasia: guess I had one
[13:30] herman Bergson: To get back to the point.....:-)
[13:30] CB Axel: I barely remember interacting with my parents at all.
[13:30] herman Bergson: we have reached the French revolution :-)
[13:30] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): do we^^
[13:31] herman Bergson: a turning point for the individual...
[13:31] Max Chatnoir: Liberty, equality, fraternity.
[13:31] herman Bergson: Indeed Max!
[13:31] Max Chatnoir: It sounds good, but a lot of head rolled.
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: can imagine
[13:32] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): as today the system has to burn to create changes
[13:32] Max Chatnoir: I hope not.
[13:32] Max Chatnoir: I am very worried about the congress.  It has become an unworkable institution.
[13:32] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): i guesss we humans only learn with punishment
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: the hard way
[13:32] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): ja theats it
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: at least many do
[13:33] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): thats
[13:33] herman Bergson: What I want to investigate is the way we look at ourselves as individual today....
[13:33] herman Bergson: You sound like the god of the old testament Daruma ^_^
[13:33] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): ja as an individual we can do so much today to make the world a better place
[13:33] CB Axel: But Max, that's because too many people have given up their individual thought to their leaders.
[13:33] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): but...
[13:34] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): we all crie about stupid things in our lives
[13:34] Max Chatnoir: Yes, I think you are right, CB.
[13:34] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): mostly we don’t see what we (as an individual) can do to make a change
[13:34] herman Bergson: Keep in mind that we are not some one track thing...being....
[13:34] Max Chatnoir: When we swear allegiance to some rigid ideology, we paint ourselves right into a corner.
[13:34] herman Bergson: we are complex....
[13:35] herman Bergson: our brain is a jar filled with contradictions
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: ah¨
[13:35] herman Bergson: but we try to get it all in line
[13:35] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): ja, but we live now long enough to know a bit how to handle.
[13:35] Max Chatnoir: fish brain, lizard brain, mammal brain, human brain.  sometimes they fight.
[13:35] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): i loose temper;-)
[13:35] herman Bergson: Your observation is typical Max....
[13:36] herman Bergson: You say we lived long enoug....
[13:36] herman Bergson: how do you know....
[13:36] herman Bergson: maybe we lived long enough to scratch the surface only...?
[13:36] Max Chatnoir: That was Daruma.
[13:36] herman Bergson: lol...soryy :-)
[13:36] Areyn Laurasia: we live long enough but we have short memories
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): did we learn from WO 2?
[13:37] Areyn Laurasia: no
[13:37] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): ja, but sometimes it seems rthat science mean we are so up to date;-) and we have everything under control, but in my view, we have not
[13:37] Max Chatnoir: We have short individual memories.  Thanks to Gutenberg, we don't have to get by with those.
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: hehe thats true
[13:37] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): we really scratched only the surface.
[13:37] herman Bergson: I agree Daruma
[13:37] Areyn Laurasia: and thanks to technology, we'll have shorter memories
[13:37] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): but science often tals like having the answer
[13:38] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): talks
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: and now we have USB drives to stuff more in than our brains can hold in total
[13:38] Bejiita Imako:
[13:38] Bejiita Imako:
[13:38] CB Axel: Science usually brings up more questions than answers, IMHO.
[13:38] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): we need usb devices in our brains
[13:38] Areyn Laurasia: and it makes us not have to remember that much.. changes the way our body works
[13:38] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): thats the answer
[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we don't need to use our brains to remember a thing
[13:38] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): and better< software
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: haha yes that would be practical
[13:38] Areyn Laurasia: which is dangerous
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: yes and some really good deugging
[13:39] Max Chatnoir: I have students who have to use their calculators to divide by 10.
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): only weere we put our usb stick:)
[13:39] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): lol max
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:39] herman Bergson: oh dear...
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: ow
[13:39] CB Axel: USB devices would only store data. The real work comes with knowing how to use that data.
[13:39] herman Bergson: How to interpret the data, I would say CB
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:40] herman Bergson: Ok  a philosophical side track for a moment...
[13:40] herman Bergson: to begin with...there do not exist data in this world...
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: our brain would still do that after some decoding but the usb don’t forget as easily
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: as our brain can do sometime
[13:40] CB Axel: Interpret the data and then use it to make decisions on how to live.
[13:41] herman Bergson: only at the moment YOU define what is a datum you have had[13:41] Bejiita Imako: you can say we could have it as backup memory
[13:41] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): a world with no data. a blanc world. how would it develop?
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: hmm cant even imagine
[13:41] herman Bergson: no no.....look at Kant....
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: its like universe with o matter
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: just a black voi
[13:41] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): everything is possible and no one has an idea^^
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: void
[13:41] Areyn Laurasia: bliss?
[13:42] herman Bergson: his a priori categories create the dat
[13:42] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): silence and white clouds....
[13:42] CB Axel: We would be back to Maslow: trying to find food first.
[13:42] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): lol can be
[13:42] herman Bergson: that is the smoke of my pipe Daruma :-)
[13:42] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): but hope not
[13:42] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): rofl
[13:42] Areyn Laurasia: basic survival instinct?
[13:43] herman Bergson: I guess we are a bit lost in our discussion now :-))
[13:43] Max Chatnoir: We'd be back to nasty brutish and short.
[13:43] Bejiita Imako:
[13:43] herman Bergson: My point only was that we have reached the 19th century...
[13:43] CB Axel: So, Kant....
[13:43] herman Bergson: heading for another view on the individual :-)
[13:44] CB Axel: Yes. 19th century.
[13:44] Max Chatnoir: We watched the Eclipse a few weeks ago.  I thought how frightening it would be if you didn't know what it was.
[13:44] herman Bergson: So that will be our next station....
[13:45] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): astrology?^^
[13:45] herman Bergson: No...just the moon Daruma :-)
[13:45] Bejiita Imako:
[13:45] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): ja also a part of it^^^
[13:45] herman Bergson: I know :-))
[13:45] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): goed;-)
[13:46] bijoux Lefevre is offline.
[13:46] herman Bergson: "planeet" belonging to Cancer...:-)
[13:46] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): very good !
[13:46] herman Bergson: Ruler of Cancer it is called...
[13:46] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): so lessons for next year
[13:47] herman Bergson: But I think it is time to end the discussion now that we wind up in astrology :-))
[13:47] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): ;-)
[13:47] Max Chatnoir: Sorry about that.
[13:47] Areyn Laurasia: back to earth
[13:47] CB Axel: LOL
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: hehe that can m´be next thing
[13:47] Areyn Laurasia: :)
[13:47] Bejiita Imako:
[13:47] Max Chatnoir: I was celebrating knowledge.
[13:47] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your pleasnat participation again...
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: astrology is also interesting
[13:47] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): ja it is
[13:47] herman Bergson: it is , I agree:-)
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: but that we can take as later project maybee
[13:48] Bejiita Imako:
[13:48] herman Bergson: Even Copernicus made horoscopes
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:48] Areyn Laurasia: really?
[13:48] herman Bergson: anyway.....Class dismissed :-))
[13:48] CB Axel: So 19th century? We learned that we are individuals in the 18th and began to learn what to do with that in the 19th?
[13:48] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma) claps
[13:48] herman Bergson: Yes Areyn....
[13:49] Max Chatnoir: Thank you, Herman.  I will probably see you all Tuesday.  I don't seem to be able to get here Thursdays.
[13:49] Max Chatnoir: But I will hope for Thursday.  :-)
[13:49] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma): thank you herman. see you thursday.
[13:49] Daruma Hermine Boa (daruma) waves
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: nice once again
[13:49] Bejiita Imako:
[13:49] herman Bergson: we still have the blog Max...don't worry
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: cu tuesday
[13:49] CB Axel: Bye, bye all. See you Thursday.
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: or thursday i mean
[13:50] Max Chatnoir: Another interesting discussion.  Yes, and I'm so glad you do the blog.
[13:50] Max Chatnoir: See you all whenever.  :-)
[13:50] Areyn Laurasia: should check that out.. been missing discussions
[13:50] Areyn Laurasia: bye all
[13:51] Max Chatnoir is offline.
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: bye
[13:51] herman Bergson: Bye Bejiita :-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

592: A summary up to now...

The teleological understanding of the world was the very cornerstone of Aristotelian metaphysics, which was the established philosophy of the time before 1600.
Descartes was very skeptical about the possibility of discovering final causes, or purposes, in nature. And so Descartes’ method was to doubt these ideas.
The major goal of Enlightenment thinkers was to give a foundation to philosophy that was independent of any particular tradition, culture, or religion: one that any rational person would accept.
Descartes made the rational person and his clear and distinct ideas the focus of philosophical analysis.
Instead of just being a product of a creator man became a product of nature, a subject of scientific analysis. 
What is the natural state of man? How can we be as we are, when we try to give a natural and not theological explanation?
The first who answered this question were Hobbes and Locke. 
Hobbes contends that human beings are motivated purely by self-interest, and that the state of nature, 
which is the state of human beings without civil society, is the war of every person against every other. 
Hobbes does say that while the state of nature may not have existed all over the world at one particular time, it is the condition in which humans would be if there were no sovereign. 
Locke’s account of the state of nature is different in that it is an intellectual exercise to illustrate people’s obligations to one another. 
These obligations are articulated in terms of natural rights, including rights to life, liberty, health and property. 
In the mainstream of philosophical activities in those days emerged a new name: Jean Jaques Rousseau (1712 - 1778).
His starting point was in fact the opposite of Hobbes’s: namely, that human beings are good by nature but are rendered corrupt by society.
Rousseau not only analyses the state of nature in the political context, but adds a psychological context to the discourse too.
He attributes to all creatures an instinctual drive towards self-preservation. Human beings therefore have such a drive, which he terms “amour de soi “ - self love. 
“Amour de soi” directs us first to attend to our most basic biological needs for things like food, shelter and warmth. 
Alongside this basic drive for self-preservation, Rousseau posits another passion which he terms “pitié” - compassion. 
“Pitié” directs us to attend to and relieve the suffering of others, including animals, where we can do so without danger to our own self-preservation.
In the “Discourse on the Origins of Inequality” (1755) Rousseau imagines a multi-stage evolution of humanity 
from the most primitive condition to something like a modern complex society. An interesting idea: man as an evolving individual.
But when man is good by nature, how then can the evolving society be the corrupting factor, which is the total of all good men?
This is according to Rousseau due to what he calls an other type of self-interested drive: “amour propre”, which you  could associate with pride or vanity
and which first emerges, when the male adolescent starts to think of himself as a sexual being with rivals for the favours of girls and women.
Although “amour propre” has its origins in sexual competition and comparison within small societies, it does not achieve its full toxicity 
until it is combined with a growth in material interdependence among human beings. In other words, man tries to make a difference by gathering property.
If Rousseau would return today and look at what our society has achieved, I guess he would recognise his “amour propre” in our society easily.
Thank you… any questions or remarks?…the floor is yours….

The Discussion

[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmmmm
[13:18] herman Bergson: In Rousseau's ideas I hear Darwin and Maslow both..:-)
[13:18] CB Axel: I was thinking of Maslow as well.
[13:18] herman Bergson: And just imagine he is from 1740 or so
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think his philosophy comes from his own life
[13:19] bombadail: This question is the problem...." when man is good by nature, how then can the evolving society be the corrupting factor, which is the total of all good men?" people are not good or bad...they just are
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: hmm
[13:19] herman Bergson: Well, Gemma, his caring for others his pitié wasn’t that impressive....
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i know and i am not sure he ever grew out of his amour propre
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): as an adolescent
[13:20] Maya Phoenix (140726): . Exactly, the good man, the savage, lived before the concepts of good and bad were created.
[13:20] CB Axel: Do any men grow out of that?
[13:20] herman Bergson: Yes Bombadail, this idea that man is goob by nature is questionable
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:20] Maya Phoenix (140726): How could we therefore label him.
[13:20] Bejiita Imako:
[13:21] herman Bergson: Yet it is understandable that there is this idea that man is good by nature...
[13:22] herman Bergson: Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau were people of the Social Contract idea...
[13:22] theo Velde is online.
[13:22] CB Axel: Wishful thinking?
[13:22] herman Bergson: no no CB...not so pessimistic :-)
[13:23] herman Bergson: These philosophers SAW a working society.....
[13:23] herman Bergson: Like we do too
[13:23] CB Axel: I'm not so sure that our current society is working all that well.
[13:23] herman Bergson: The idea of man being  bad by nature would be something  like man only driven by self-preservation
[13:24] CB Axel: So perhaps I'm projecting my own pessimism onto Rousseau.
[13:24] herman Bergson: CB...Take randomly 100 citizens....
[13:24] Maya Phoenix (140726): To me Rousseau talked about goodness (for the man himself?) resulting from the lack of existential anguish, such as fear of death, disease, ability to reach full potential. All these did not exist before society emerged.
[13:24] herman Bergson: I guarantee you, that among them are at least 5 assholes
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I remember them from the first project
[13:25] herman Bergson: and I guarantee you that among them are 95 persons who just want to liive a pleasant life
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sounds normal
[13:25] CB Axel: wouldn't Darwin say that man, being a product of nature, would be driven by preservation of his progeny?
[13:26] CB Axel: I like your point, Maya.
[13:26] herman Bergson: Maybe there these philosophers add something.....
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: maybee
[13:26] Kimmy Jannings : maybe 
[13:26] Maya Phoenix (140726): Hmm... CB, we are surely not doing this now...Are we devolving?
[13:26] herman Bergson: Since the Enlightenment man is also regarded to be a rational being...
[13:26] Maya Phoenix (140726): lol
[13:26] CB Axel: I'm afraid we are, Maya.
[13:26] herman Bergson: this rationality you should add to the Darwinian view
[13:27] bombadail: what he missed was that scarcity is the issue...if human society produces enough and distributes it fairly then there is no "conflict" we can get along just fine.....it's not that people are fundamentally self interested versus social minded fairness. ...scarcity and fear of scarcity drives behavior....eliminate that mindset and the way we organise ourselves that lead to scarcity and problem solved.
[13:27] Kimmy Jannings (kim1987.wirefly): man we kill the earth we live on 
[13:27] Maya Phoenix (140726): LOL Kimmy
[13:27] CB Axel: I think you're right, bombadail.
[13:27] herman Bergson: Some do KImmy, not all
[13:28] Maya Phoenix (140726): Like G. Carlin said, don't try to save the planet, it's been doing just fine, until we arrived lol
[13:28] CB Axel: LOL
[13:28] CB Axel: I tend to think of mankind as being a virus that has infected the Earth.
[13:28] Maya Phoenix (140726): I like what Bombadail said, the thing is HOW?
[13:29] herman Bergson: Yes distribution of resources is a main issue today
[13:29] bombadail: the how is not a mystery ....it's simple....we know how technically
[13:29] bombadail: the issue is the mindset of scarcity
[13:29] bombadail: that prevents it from happening
[13:29] herman Bergson: the main problem is our idea of private property
[13:29] Maya Phoenix (140726): Yeah Herman, to distribute them, we'd have to own them
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: sort of
[13:30] herman Bergson: Who owns the earth...in fact nobody....
[13:30] herman Bergson: and look what we do ....call it property
[13:31] bombadail: as it stands today the control of the rules and regulations is by a plutocracy who is rich and is afraid of giving that up ...we play a mad game where everyone wants to be on the top of a pyramid scheme .....not realising not everyone can be...so instead of a pyramid scheme let's play another game
[13:32] herman Bergson smiles
[13:32] Maya Phoenix (140726): Hmm.. interesting. Is there a healthy "in between" of communism and capitalism?
[13:32] herman Bergson: Bombadaill...just read the rules of play at the bottom of my lectern :-)
[13:32] bombadail: but everyone is too afraid of what might happen otherwise so the system keeps on until one day enough people don't have it and it blows up with fighting
[13:32] Maya Phoenix (140726): haha
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:33] herman Bergson: What is most interesting is that already in 1730 someone pointed at our present day problems :-)
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that's already happening Bombadail
[13:34] herman Bergson: amour propre :-)
[13:34] CB Axel: I think we'd be revolting right now except Survivor is on TV. We wouldn't want to miss that now, would we?
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nothing under the sun is really new
[13:34] herman Bergson: You are new Gemma ^_^
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not necessarily
[13:35] herman Bergson: no no...just accidentally :-))
[13:35] bombadail: How is typing more than 17 word counterproductive to a discussion?
[13:35] Maya Phoenix (140726): This is man evolving, life in the jungle was no longer challenging, so he invented society and lots of problems for everyone to be neurotic about.
[13:35] Maya Phoenix (140726): And here we are, beautiful and complex.
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: i guss so
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): some people used to type tomes
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): years back
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so it became a rule
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what are tomes gemma?
[13:36] herman Bergson: long long texts Beertje
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): long long paragraphs
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ah, thank you
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or books
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): even
[13:36] herman Bergson: dropped complete notecards in chat :-))
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): smiles
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes\
[13:37] herman Bergson: Yes Maya , I agree..here we are...
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so we try to condense
[13:37] bombadail: Rules should substitute for the spirit of things....that's my comment
[13:37] herman Bergson: and tho some people are rather pessimistic....we are not doing that bad at all...
[13:38] herman Bergson: There was that ozon layer problem....is no more
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think rousseau would have enjoyed life today
[13:38] Maya Phoenix (140726): I see a lot of individualism nowadays, rise of "experts", entrepreneurs, looking to get a piece of pie. We have lots of social networking, but it is neither social, nor it brings people together to work on solving important issues.
[13:38] CB Axel: Pessimistic? Why is everyone looking at me?
[13:39] Maya Phoenix (140726): Hmm.. CB, I'll share the blame with you lol
[13:39] CB Axel: LOL
[13:39] CB Axel: Thanks.
[13:39] Maya Phoenix (140726): ;)
[13:39] herman Bergson: I wasn't looking CB :-)
[13:39] herman Bergson: or maybe only for other reasons ^_^
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i was listening to a radio station last night where the speaker believed it is the end days
[13:39] CB Axel: My friends were joking about that on FB.
[13:40] herman Bergson: People love that Gemma :-)
[13:40] CB Axel: We've lived through the end of the world about 8 times now.
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i know
[13:40] herman Bergson: at least :-)
[13:40] herman Bergson: But that was not the spirit of the Enlightenment...:-)
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no
[13:41] Maya Phoenix (140726): Hmm... Gemma, you said something about condensing
[13:41] Maya Phoenix (140726): Can you expand on this?
[13:41] herman Bergson: There they believed that man was able to create a society by scial contract.....by following his ratio
[13:42] herman Bergson: In fact it was a rather optimistic period in history, I think
[13:42] herman Bergson: The individual freeing himself from the chains of religions...
[13:42] herman Bergson: heading for scientific understanding of his world
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: true
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: and no the LHC will also not be end of the world,
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:43] herman Bergson: And here I want to point at another thought....the starting point of this project...
[13:43] Maya Phoenix (140726): Yes, maybe that was the problem. Man was escaping what he didn't want, but did not specify what shall we aim for.
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: science is the way to go
[13:43] herman Bergson: Why did this not happen in other cultures on this globe?
[13:44] CB Axel: Superstition?
[13:44] herman Bergson: Yes Maya...that is a real question.....
[13:45] Maya Phoenix (140726): Maybe if we aimed at sustainability rather than focusing on what's wrong, we could all work towards common goal?
[13:45] herman Bergson: Yes CB...many reasons....but I try to look from the other side.....what triggered this emergence of the individual here in our culture?
[13:46] CB Axel: Scientific discovery? The opposite of superstition.
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: i would say that
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: at least partly
[13:46] herman Bergson: Oh yes, science is a main force in this process
[13:46] bombadail: Good bye, Thank you
[13:47] herman Bergson: But then...what  triggered the brains in Europe to focus on science as a way to approach reality?
[13:47] Maya Phoenix (140726): Was this the egoistic challenge of improving himself and having something to toy with or was is the need to create structures to improve the life of families and get closer to others... Maybe both.
[13:47] Maya Phoenix (140726): Wasn't it religion?
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: we maybe realised there is no god and there must be some other explanation and thus shifted to science
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: unlike other cultures
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: still stuck in religious belief
[13:48] CB Axel: I'm trying to remember my European history to think of what was going on back then.
[13:48] herman Bergson: you may have some point there Bejiita..
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: defying scientific explanations all they can
[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe we were able to ask questions, other religions don't allow that
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: they would blow up CERN and NASA if they could
[13:49] Maya Phoenix (140726): CB JJ Rousseau's work triggered French Revolution
[13:49] herman Bergson: That is a fact, Beertje...indeed
[13:49] CB Axel: Yes, but I'm trying to think of what triggered Rousseau.
[13:50] herman Bergson: good question CB
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: hmm
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i still say his own life
[13:50] herman Bergson: Well...he knew of the English philosophers....
[13:50] CB Axel: And what triggered them?
[13:50] herman Bergson: even met Hume
[13:51] Maya Phoenix (140726): hmmm... he was friends with Hume
[13:51] herman Bergson: to some extend only Maya :-)
[13:51] Maya Phoenix (140726): Yes, it didn't last
[13:51] Maya Phoenix (140726): :)
[13:52] herman Bergson: Well..I think we have shaken our brains enough for today :-)
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:52] Guestboook van tipjar stand: Gemma Cleanslate donated L$50. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!
[13:52] herman Bergson: SO, thank you all for this interesting conversation again.....
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: this was something to bite on for sure
[13:52] Bejiita Imako:
[13:52] Maya Phoenix (140726): :)
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: nice
[13:52] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-)
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: cu next time
[13:53] CONNIE Eichel: great time :)
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not sure about tuesday
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but will try
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for  now
[13:53] Maya Phoenix (140726): Thanks everyone for a lively discussion:)
[13:53] herman Bergson: ok Gemma :-)
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: bye all for now
[13:53] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman and everyone.
[13:53] CONNIE Eichel: ya, i cant on Tuesdays, but i will try next Thursday again
[13:53] herman Bergson: Bye Bejiita
[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman,
[13:54] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): have a goodnight everyone:)

[13:54] CB Axel: Bye, all, and see you Tuesday and Connie next week.