Sunday, May 27, 2018

721: Ernst Mach's philosophy of science...

Last lecture I introduced to you Ernst Mach  (1838 - 1916), the Austrian physicist. He had a great impact on the development of the philosophy of science.
After many scientific discoveries in physics, Mach became more and more interested in philosophy and history of science. 
He was fiercely opposed to any form of metaphysics and glorified the Enlightenment as the most important period in history. 
At first he, as a physicist, also doubted the existence of atoms. He also suggested to measure the images that we have of things outside of us instead of presenting them 'picturally'. 
Thus everything should at least in science be quantified and quantifiable.
Even Kant's theory that numbers are just there  a priori, he rejected. 
He believed that our number system was only one of the many possibilities; man had only developed it out of economic needs in order to be able to count quickly. 
All knowledge, according to Mach, could be reduced to sensory experience. The task of science was to describe all the sensory impressions as simply and neutrally as possible. 
He therefore considered physics, which provides the raw material for the experiences, and psychology, through which we are aware of our experiences, as the most important sciences. 
Mach chose psychology, but if he had lived today, he certainly had chosen neuroscience and neurobiology.
He certainly believed in the evolution of thought, with the survival of the fittest, in which all ideas, including the scientific ones, stem from our will to survive. 
In his view, a physical theory was nothing more than a description, and mathematics was merely a way of organizing these descriptions. 
He therefore found it more useful to talk about the usefulness of a theory than about whether it was correct or incorrect. 
The concept of truth, as eternal, unchanging something that is common, did not count as nonsense.
This last idea about truth and scientific theories fitted well with pragmatism, which was becoming increasingly influential in the US.
But the idea which had great influence on the development of epistemology and philosophy of science
was that all knowledge could be reduced to sensory experience and that there had to be a simple and neutral language to describe these knowledge data.
The term which nowadays is related to this point of view is reductionism. To say, that we reduce X to Y, seems a simple statement,
but hand it over to a philosopher and you are in big trouble with respect to its simplicity. We'll talk about it later.
We become even used to reductionist talk, because everywhere you can read or hear the thesis that everything we experience can be reduced to brain processes.
Next lecture we'll see what this reductionism means.... thank you again for your attention.


                              See all projects on

The Discussion

[13:22] herman Bergson: And I can add...NEXT WEEK no class....
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:22] herman Bergson: Again I need a vacation and leave for THE island :-)
[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): to Schier again?
[13:23] herman Bergson: Indeed Beertje :-)
[13:23] oola Neruda: :-)
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaaa i just was going to ask, Going to Shier again?
[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)) groot gelijk
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ahha good for you !!!!!!!
[13:23] herman Bergson: After copying and pasting about 500 texts and making links on pages.....phew....
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): og
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): looks like this can be really interesting anyway
[13:24] herman Bergson: close to a burnout ^_^
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): omg
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): OMG!!!
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahaha ow
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): what  a lot of work
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats LOTS of work for sure
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is the sceond time the blog moved i think
[13:24] herman Bergson: yes I had to copy every text from the blog into my webpages
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its more intense then my game coding projects put together
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) whispers: but from now on it will be easier right?
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): moving that blog by hand
[13:25] herman Bergson: NO Gemma...this site is not the blog....
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ahhha
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:25] herman Bergson: yes the blog moved once
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:25] herman Bergson: This site is only the texts of the lectures
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): got it
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:25] herman Bergson: I left out the discussions
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as i get it seems indeed easy to find things
[13:26] herman Bergson: you can find all subjects now....
[13:26] herman Bergson: In the blog it is almost undoable to find a subject
[13:26] herman Bergson: what year, what month?????
[13:26] herman Bergson: hopeless
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): there is no way there other then click on older lesson 1 page at a time
[13:27] herman Bergson: yes indeed
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but here indeed I can find stuff easily I see
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): giving it a testrun as we speak
[13:27] herman Bergson: oops
[13:28] Wisdomseeker (lissena) is offline.
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and I aproove it!
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:28] herman Bergson: Where did it go???
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what?
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aa ok the Ipad thing
[13:29] herman Bergson: sorry  :-)
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:29] roos Gartner is offline.
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we really did a lot of projects
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wow
[13:29] herman Bergson: Besides that....the story on reductionism is quite interesting....
[13:29] Anuska (anuska.loon) is offline.
[13:29] herman Bergson: We did indeed Gemma...
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:30] Dien (djdien.bailey) is offline.
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lot of stuff
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i cant believe I am still here
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): all that work
[13:30] herman Bergson: Mach's ideas were innovative....
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think he is confused
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or maybe it is me
[13:30] herman Bergson: His disgust of metaphysics to begin with...
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed, and soon everyone tried breaking the sound barrier
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i don't think any form of plane was invented then
[[13:31] Lente (lentelies.anatine) is offline.
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): very early versions
[13:31] herman Bergson: No...Mach experimented with bulits, Bejiita
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ciska
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but he did research in thing like shock waves as i get it
[13:32] herman Bergson: But without him knowing this it applied to jet planes too
[13:32] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Ciiska:-))
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sh
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hence the sound barrier limit was named after him, jist as volt is used cause Volta invented the battery
[13:32] herman Bergson: yes....shock waves caused by bulits
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:33] herman Bergson: How he did it I don't know....
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and these break the sound barrier indeed
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): need to check a bit more on him
[13:34] herman Bergson: Due to his disgust of metaphysics, he also saw knowledge as a biological process in line with Darwin's ideas....
[13:34] herman Bergson: and his pragmatic approach to truth...also new
[13:35] herman Bergson: this man shaped a lot of our thinking in the 21st century, even when we don't realize that
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): will have to check to see how
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wonders if trump read him
[13:35] herman Bergson: well...I gave the example, Gemma....
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:36] Dings Digital: haha, Trump is breaking some barriers too :)
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): doubt that Trump denies all forms of science
[13:36] herman Bergson: we find it normal when some say that certain emotions are just the result of endorfines for instance
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): bur he likes barriers
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes
[13:36] herman Bergson: YEs BEjiita....let's hope he wont break through the SANE barrier
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): didn't he already?
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Hope so too but he already have it seems, like canceling that nuclear treaty with Iran
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ww3 coming closer now?
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh lord
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): reaches for the doll
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): give him a good one Gemma
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:38] herman Bergson: We are off topic Bejiita
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i thought so to
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but it is as it should be toward the end
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): when he rejected metaphysics was he just being contrary?
[13:38] herman Bergson: So....enjoy your short vacation like I will :-)
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh yes
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): looking forward to the continuation of this for sure
[13:39] Dings Digital: thank you
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): have a great vacation now Herman
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I think some of the philosophers really developed their philosophies for that reason
[13:39] herman Bergson: Not contrary Gemma...he was a physicist....with strong empiricist convictions
[13:39] Dings Digital: they are humans after all :)
[[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:40] herman Bergson: That would be bad philosophers, Gemma....:-)
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we came across more than several
[13:40] herman Bergson: they had their principles :-)
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): perhaps
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i would suggest everyone visit this LEA sim
[13:41] herman Bergson: Who do you have in mind, Gemma?
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): LEA is nice
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): The Philodophy of Furniture
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): by Edgar Allen Poe
[13:41] Dings Digital: sounds fun
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:41] herman Bergson: Ohh?
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): philosophon about a sofa instead of in a sofa?
[13:41] herman Bergson: Where is that sim?
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): philospphing
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): let me see if i can find the lm
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): worth a check for sure
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): LEA18 (171,199,22)
[13:42] herman Bergson: By the way...does everyone see the webpages behind me on the Pad???
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no it's empty
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:43] Dings Digital:
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok now
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): can see
[13:44] herman Bergson: you always can check out http://www.herman-bergson,nl when you see a blank screen here
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well it is not more then right to give a philosophic thought to the sofas chairs ect we sit in when we do our philosophy
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:44] Dings Digital: goodbye everyone. thank you, herman!
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye dings
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki have a good time all
[13:44] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Have a nice holiday week Herman and Class! [13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Dings
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): see  you again
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we do
[13:44] herman Bergson: You're welcome dings
[13:44] bergfrau Apfelbaum: byebye Dings:-)

Thursday, May 24, 2018

720: Ernst Mach....

It is an interesting start, this first decennium of the 20th century. On the one hand, philosophers like Schopenhauer (+1860) and Nietzsche (+ 1900) stood at the threshold of the century.
They left us with what I already mentioned in the previous lecture: How could rationalism win if the irrational, the instinctive is so prevalent in life? 
Does rationalism really mean progress? Instincts are older and stronger forces. 
Certainly, they can be more atavistic and primitive, and even a dark force at times. But what is the profit if you deny them?
But on the other hand there was a completely opposite movement developing, caused by the growing interest in experimental physics.
There was developing an attitude, which focused fully on empirical data, test and measurements: the belief that eventually everything is physics.
Today we are quite used to the idea, that chemical processes are caused by molecules which are in fact collections of atoms.
We are not upset, when some scientists claim, that we are our brain, that everything that goes on in us, which we call emotions,
is nothing more than a complex total of all  kinds of biochemical processes, that mental disorder is just malfunctioning biochemical processes.
This view on our reality was mainly born in Vienna and a main role was played by Ernst Mach (1838 - 1916).
He was an Austrian physicist and philosopher, noted for his contributions to physics such as study of shock waves. 
The ratio of one's speed to that of sound is named the Mach number in his honor. 
As a philosopher of science, he was a major influence on logical positivism and  American pragmatism. 
Through his criticism of Newton's theories of space and time, he foreshadowed Einstein's theory of relativity.
As I mention logical positivism, Ernst Mach was of main importance for the development of the Wiener Kreis (Vienna Circle).
His philosophical ideas were extraordinary. He puts science on a continuum with earlier human activity, in fact with earlier animal activity. 
What began as simple adaptations that allowed instinctive responses to immediate conditions, gradually evolved into ever more complex capacities for response. 
Gradually life acquired memory and thus an awareness of a wider field of spatial-temporal relations than is present immediately to the senses. 
Memory then grew beyond individual memory and became communicated culturally. Science is a direct outgrowth of this deep natural process.
To quote Mach himself: “Here I wish simply to consider the growth of natural knowledge in the light of the theory of evolution. 
For knowledge, too, is a product of organic nature. 
And although ideas, as such, do not comport themselves in all respects like independent organic individuals, 
and although violent comparisons should be avoided, still if Darwin reasoned rightly, the general imprint of evolution and transformation must be noticeable in ideas also.”
And further, “We are prepared, thus, to regard ourselves and every one of our ideas as a product and a subject of universal evolution;
and in this way we shall advance sturdily and unimpeded along the paths which the future will throw open to us.” 
And we live in the scientific future Mach foresaw....and there is more to tell about what we learnt from Ernst Mach. 
Thank you for your attention....

The Discussion

[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:23] herman Bergson: I think we are too used to such ideas...nothing controversial about them anymore
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we take it for granted
[13:24] herman Bergson: yes...but that is the amazing thing....
[13:24] herman Bergson: what I want to show you..
[13:24] herman Bergson: how the 20th century brought us this....
[13:25] herman Bergson: in 100 years we changed more thanin the forgoing thousands of years
[13:25] herman Bergson: that is..our thinking about our reality
[13:26] herman Bergson: What I tell you here is what you do not know...
[13:27] herman Bergson: the fact that the way you think about reality and its relation with science isn't hardly a 100 years old
[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what happened that we are thinking this way?
[13:28] herman Bergson: But I just think...what  should I care about that ? :-)
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's suddenly
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and it all seem logical to us
[13:28] herman Bergson: yes..Bejiita...
[13:29] herman Bergson: we  take it for granted...are educated to think so in school
[13:29] herman Bergson: why it happened, Beertje....because of science...
[13:30] herman Bergson: Around 1900 people started experimenting with physics...
[13:30] herman Bergson: electricity, gasses
[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i don't know to ask the question in english
[13:31] herman Bergson: all new to them....for us..ordinary stuff
[13:31] herman Bergson: I  understand Dutch Beertje :-)
[13:31] herman Bergson: I can translate your question too :-)
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): er moet toch iets gebeurd zijn waardoor de filosofen anders gingen denken?....dat is een enorme verandering
[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): niet alleen de techniek, maar iets waardoor de mensen ánders naar de werkelijkheid gingen kijken
[13:32] herman Bergson: there must have happened something why philosophers got new ideas?
[13:33] herman Bergson: One thing you have to keep in mind is this...we are not talking about sudden changes...but slow processes
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): 100 years changes is not a slow process
[13:34] herman Bergson: everywhere at universities people were experimenting with electricity and gasses
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): 1000 of years were almost the same
[13:34] herman Bergson: no are right....but look at the speed of changes in our days?!
[13:34] herman Bergson: we had telephones on a wire.....
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes, we expect the changes to go fast
[13:35] herman Bergson: in less than twenty years we have smartphone addicts
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): I always want to see the new gadgets:)
[13:36] herman Bergson: Looking at history and changes, you'll notice that the speed of changes increase
[13:36] herman Bergson: take gun powder...
[13:36] herman Bergson: in 1500 the managed to blow  holes in castle walls
[13:36] herman Bergson: in 1700 they had individual riffles
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): big mistake
[13:37] herman Bergson: in 1900 they had the back loader gun....
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): BOOOM BOOM!
[13:37] herman Bergson: somewhat later the automatic gun...machine gun....
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:38] herman Bergson: killed the old cavallery...
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): scary stuff for sure
[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the human body has no value anymore
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but its been around for very long
[13:38] herman Bergson: in less than 10 years they had bombs thorn out of airplanes...
[13:38] herman Bergson: and so on and so on...
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): meaningless wars
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): at the end the earth will explode by us
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): earth
[13:39] herman Bergson: It is not the wars I talk is the speed of development...and unfortunately in arms you see that  too clearly
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): luckily and hopefully kim jong says he will stop with his nuclear arsenal
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol. Bejiita, that's a good joke
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but still there are more of these things
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it seems a bit like what now? shouldn't you blow up the world?
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so im a bit split but it looks like progress is made
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): unless it is some nasty trap
[13:41] herman Bergson: this Kim fellow has given the world a bad example....
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the Swedish government is warning his people for war, isn't it Bijiita?
[13:42] herman Bergson: He has shown the world that you really have a say as a small country when you have nuclear bombs and rockets
[13:42] herman Bergson: Iran is next in its urge to dominate the middle east
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): do we have to be happy with all the developments ?
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and Trump just declared war on them by closing the nuclear threaty
[13:43] herman Bergson: not at all, Beertje
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and intensified the war in israel-palestine
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not clear what will happen now
[13:43] herman Bergson: Yes.Mr. Trump is removing the USA from the political map
[13:44] herman Bergson: Makes it a country of loonies...
[13:44] herman Bergson: apparent loonies
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why isn't there a leader who takes realy care for his people?
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): looney egos
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just thinking of money
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what life is that?
[13:45] herman Bergson: there is some explanation for that Beertje....
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): invest in education, food, health?
[13:45] herman Bergson: you see it happen in African countries...
[13:45] herman Bergson: presidents who refuse to step down....
[13:46] herman Bergson: it seems that psychologically people in positions of power get mentally changed....
[13:46] herman Bergson: Like Maduro in Venezuela...
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it seems to me that it's always a man.....
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:47] herman Bergson: they begin to believe that everything depends on them...and on the  other hand that there are dozens of com-plots  against them
[13:47] herman Bergson: Iguess it is a male disease indeed Beertje
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they just want more and more power
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even everyone hates them
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its greed
[13:48] herman Bergson: No Bejiita...they just want to stay IN power....
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): taking all for yourself
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm but still
[13:49] herman Bergson: and it is a sickness, I'd say
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they use the people
[13:49] herman Bergson: But we are too far off topic now :-)
[13:49] herman Bergson: So a good moment to Dismiss Class...:-)
[13:50] herman Bergson: Thank you all again for you participation
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): all data now safe on the new drive too
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman thanx all
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats good:9
[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): dankjewel Herman :)
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as usual
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ad an interesting class
[13:50] herman Bergson: congrats BEjiita! What a relief!
[13:50] bergfrau Apfelbaum: interesting again! danke Herman and Class!!
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes now i don't have to worry bout that
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok cu around

Friday, May 18, 2018

719: Gustav Klimt in Vienna.....

The Vienna Secession was founded on 3 April 1897 by the artist Gustav Klimt (1862 - 1918) and others. 
It was an art movement formed by a group of Austrian artists who had resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists, housed in the Vienna Künstlerhaus.
Secession artists were concerned, above all else, with the possibilities of art outside the confines of academic tradition. 
They hoped to create a new style that owed nothing to historical influence, in keeping with the spirit of turn-of-the-century Vienna , 
the time and place that also saw the publication of Freud's first writings.

In Vienna two worlds collided: the old traditional one and the world of artists with new ideas, like Adolf Loos said...
Art should wake up people and disturb their comfort zone. Not art for the sake of art anymore.
This provocative attitude we also see in the work of Gustav Klimt. For us it is sometimes difficult to see,
for when you look at the work of Klimt today, there is nothing shocking in it or provoking. It is just beautiful.
But Klimt painted female figures radiating a languishing eroticism. His work can not really be called Freudian: his women were by no means neurotic. 
They make a calm, balanced and, above all, lascivious impression, as "the instinctive life frozen in art". 
But still: with his emphasis on female sensuality, Klimt suggested that it had not yet been satisfied. As a result, his female figures were threatening. 
They were presented as insatiable and without any sense of sin. With this portrayal Klimt also went against the prevailing way of thinking like Freud did. 
These were women who seemed capable of any perversity described by Krafft-Ebing, who I mentioned in a previous lecture. 
This made them seductive and shocking at the same time. 
The whole of Vienna immediately took sides for or against Klimt. The battle culminated in his dispute with the university
The university gave him an assignment for three ceiling paintings: Philosophy, Medicine and Jurisprudence.
'The victory of light on the dark', according to the university, had to be the theme of Philosophy. 
Klimt came with an impenetrable, "inextricable tangle of bodies", as they called it, that seemed to escape the viewer. 
It was a kaleidoscopic jumble of forms that were intertwined and surrounded by emptiness. The philosophy professors were deeply indignant.
Their accusations were that Klimt had presented 'unclear ideas in unclear forms'. And philosophy was in fact a rational matter; it searched for the truth through the exact sciences. 
That was the last thing that Klimt wanted, with the result that his work was not accepted. 
Eighty professors signed a petition in which they demanded that the painting should never be shown in the university. 
Klimt then returned his fee and did not deliver the other paintings to the University. In the Second World War, the three panels would unfortunately be lost. 
Klimt made an important statement with these paintings. How could rationalism, that was his question, win if the irrational, the instinctive is so prevalent in life? 
Does rationalism really mean progress? Instincts are older and stronger forces. Certainly, they can be more atavistic and primitive, and even a dark force at times. 
But what is the profit if you deny them? Until World War II, this would remain an important question in German thinking.
A later painting of Klimt, entitled Goldfish (to my critics) (1901–1902), which showed a smiling, beautiful woman projecting her bottom at the viewer, 
was an obvious response to all those who attacked the "pornography" and "perverted excess" of the University paintings.
Thank you for your attention... ^_^

The Discussion

[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): a flasher
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): I like those paintings
[13:25] herman Bergson smiles
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): maybe the first
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:26] herman Bergson: Guess you are right Gemma :-)
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he has one painting i am familiar with the lady with a boa
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that one is very usual
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess in those times everyone was terrified of nakedness and similar things
[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): true Bejiita
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and thus hated his paintings
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i think they are nice
[13:27] herman Bergson: and that is why he painted them, I assume....
[13:28] herman Bergson: Maybe his idea of instinct versus rationality
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): might be
[13:28] herman Bergson: this has become a scientific question indeed....
[13:29] herman Bergson: what are we?
[13:29] herman Bergson: instinct driven or rational beings?
[13:29] CB Axel: I think we're a combination of both.
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:29] herman Bergson: in those days philosophers tried to tackle the question....take Nietzsche here for instance
[13:30] herman Bergson: but these days the question is related to the structure of our brain.....
[13:30] herman Bergson: it is no longer a philosophical issue but a neurobiological one
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is very true
[13:31] herman Bergson: We now know the structure of the brain....
[13:31] CB Axel: We have the primitive part of our brain, but we need to use the more evolved part to evaluate our primitive urges and decide whether to give in to them or not.
[13:31] herman Bergson: Yes CB....a very interesting issue...
[13:32] CB Axel: I think it is still a philosophical issue since we now know about the different parts of the brain and need to decide how to use them together.
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:32] CB Axel: We need to think about which we should let dominate in any given circumstance.
[13:32] herman Bergson: I think the problem is more that we do not know how we use them really together CB
[13:33] herman Bergson: Just listen to what you say CB.....very interesting....
[13:33] herman Bergson: We need to think about.......
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): can we use them together tho
[13:33] CB Axel: I tend to believe that we should use the more evolved part when we can. There was a reason it developed.
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:34] herman Bergson: You create some "higher" me that evaluates the way I use all brain parts in cooperation....
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): seems logical
[13:34] CB Axel: Unfortunately, when we are under stress, the more primitive parts tend to take over.
[13:34] herman Bergson: ti is almost the homunculus fallacy....
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:35] herman Bergson: It is true what you say CB...
[13:35] herman Bergson: Under stress the reptilian brain kicks in :-)
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): kind of logical
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its like reflexes
[13:36] herman Bergson: I a gree Bejiita....
[13:36] CB Axel: Yeah. A lot like reflexes.
[13:37] herman Bergson: But  what is interesting here is that someone evaluates the functioning  and cooperation of the brain and brain parts
[13:37] herman Bergson: it slips always into our statements...
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it is different from before
[13:38] herman Bergson: I think the main problem in such a debate like this is, that we have no clue what consciousness is....
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): still
[13:38] herman Bergson: we know we are conscious....
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sort of
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe¨
[13:39] herman Bergson: the neuroscientists try to make us believe it is our brain....
[13:39] herman Bergson: BUT CB evaluates the actions of the the brain...which is because of consciousness
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): what if they aer right
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it would be the first time anyone discovered it
[13:40] herman Bergson: then I just say , they are not,
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok ll
[13:40] CB Axel: Well, it's one part of the brain evaluating another part.
[13:40] CB Axel: Almost like two brains.
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): which part of the brain is conscious?
[13:40] herman Bergson: yes...we all know that....
[13:40] herman Bergson: that is i ok...
[13:40] herman Bergson: but we do not know consciousness....
[13:41] herman Bergson: the only thing we know is that consciousness stops when we are dead...
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hoe do you know Herman?
[13:41] herman Bergson: lol
[13:41] herman Bergson: because other people say so Beertje....
[13:41] CB Axel: That's just what I was going to ask. Many believe that there is life after death. Is that consciousness?
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no one knows
[13:41] herman Bergson: relatives at your funeral :-)
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well since we did not do it yet beertje i agree
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we can believe it
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or not
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): like the most fervant religious
[13:42] CB Axel: The inability to communicate with the living doesn't mean the being is unconscious.
[13:43] CB Axel: Just look at locked in syndrome.
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:43] herman Bergson: that is a horrible situation CB.....
[13:44] herman Bergson: but it means that there still is electricity active inthe brain...
[13:44] CB Axel: True
[13:44] herman Bergson: when that are dead...simple as that, I'd say
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): so consciousness is electricity?
[13:44] CB Axel: But you're assuming consciousness comes from the brain.
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that thought reminds me of a chicken after you chop off the head
[13:45] herman Bergson: a driving car isn not just gasoline Beertje
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh dear
[13:45] herman Bergson: but without it the thing wont move
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): flops around
[13:45] CB Axel: I don't think we can know if consciousness resides in the brain until after we are dead.
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's still a car..
[13:45] CB Axel: And then it will be too late. °͜°
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so we will never know then :)
[13:46] herman Bergson: we know it resides there CB....
[13:46] CB Axel: What consciousness is and when it starts is a big question for me.
[13:46] herman Bergson: But besides that we have a central nervous system....going into all parts of the body....
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:47] herman Bergson: so it means that the brain is not just that grey lump in your head, but in fact your whole body
[13:48] herman Bergson: What consciousness is, CB, is one of our greatest mysteries
[13:48] herman Bergson: at least to me...
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): most of us
[13:48] CB Axel: And an important one.
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its both obvious and unexplainable at the same time what it is
[13:48] CB Axel: Iowa just passed the most restrictive anti-abortion bill in the country.
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sort of
[13:48] herman Bergson: indeed Bejiita
[13:49] CB Axel: It has made abortion illegal after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
[13:49] CB Axel: Which is often before a woman even knows she is pregnant.
[13:49] herman Bergson: isn't that after six weeks?
[13:49] CB Axel: The people who back that law seem to think that a heartbeat is proof of life.
[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): much earlier Herman
[13:50] CB Axel: It's at about 6 weeks, yes.
[13:50] herman Bergson: Never been I am no expert on this...
[[13:50] CB Axel: I say it's not life, it's just a heartbeat. I would prefer to look at fetal brain development and try to figure out when consciousness begins.
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i don't think they can figure that out yet
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): if ever
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ow would have
[13:51] CB Axel: Although, even then the fetus may not be able to survive outside the womb.
[13:51] herman Bergson: interesting thought tho CB...
[13:51] CB Axel: I say it's not alive until it can survive, although we are pushing that distinction earlier and earlier.
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it moves so it lieves I suppose
[13:52] roos Gartner is offline.
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lives
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:52] CB Axel: But if it can be proven to me that consciousness begins before survival could occur, I'd have to rethink my feelings on that.
[13:53] herman Bergson: The basic problem here is that we are medically able to interfere with the biological process....and we have to find an answer to the question...what to do???
[13:53] herman Bergson: The Romans for instance....when the child showed a physical was put in front of the father...
[13:54] herman Bergson: if he didn't pick up the child....the child died...
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): terrible
[13:54] CB Axel: And, as usual, the mother had no say.
[13:54] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and the mother?
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): atrue
[13:54] herman Bergson: as usual...
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): chinese did a lot of killing
[13:54] herman Bergson: But hear this.....
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): girls
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): for a thile
[13:54] herman Bergson: I call it a horror story...
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): while that is
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i have to get going soon
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i would have been here Tuesday but we had tornado warnings in the state... had two small tornados  and a microburst ... trees down all over parts of the state on  houses and cars..
[13:55] herman Bergson: Dutch doctors...a few offer a DNA test for couples
[13:55] CB Axel: Yikes, Gemma
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: o terribele gemma!
[13:55] herman Bergson: then they are tested for 70 possible defects...
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): was like someone picked up a lad and dropped it
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): on us
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i was not near the tornado area
[13:56] CB Axel: I'm listening, Herman.
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we are not used to this
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I'm Sorry! herman
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I sorry..
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but i have to leave so
[13:56] herman Bergson: ok...went a tornado through this class too :-)
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:56] herman Bergson: anyway....
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): long one
[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:56] herman Bergson: after the test the couple gets the result....
[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): our brains are spinning like tornadoes now
[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:57] herman Bergson: Just listen.....
[13:57] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it works?
[13:57] herman Bergson: Suppose it was you hearing this....
[13:57] CB Axel: shhh
[13:58] herman Bergson: the result is that you have a 25% chance that your newborn will have the Down syndrom....or leukemia....
[13:58] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): many do that here with huntington's disease and do split
[13:58] herman Bergson: 25%...
[13:58] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very sad
[13:58] herman Bergson: very very sad...
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aw
[13:58] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i have to run
[13:58] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I sorry..
[13:58] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I'm Sorry!
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok cu gemma
[13:58] herman Bergson: the horror of medicines to me
[13:59] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Gemma
[13:59] CB Axel: Bye, Gemma.
[13:59] herman Bergson: Gemma goes fishing again I guess :-)))
[13:59] herman Bergson: Anyway....
[13:59] CB Axel: Do the parents have a choice as to whether to continue the pregnancy or not?
[13:59] herman Bergson: guess we have collected enough to think about again...
[14:00] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i think parents have always a choise
[14:00] herman Bergson: The test is BEFORE there is a pregancy CB!
[14:00] CB Axel: I hope so.
[14:00] CB Axel: Oh. I see.
[14:00] CB Axel: I have a DNA test sitting here waiting for me to decide whether to spit in in or not. °͜°
[14:00] herman Bergson: the message is..if you fuck you may fuck up for your child
[14:01] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no need to make child, you can f..anyway
[14:01] CB Axel: But it's not a test for me to see if I carry any hereditary diseases.
[14:01] herman Bergson: parents love to have a child, Beertje..that is the point here :-))
[14:02] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's not about the parents now, it's about a child
[14:03] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): is it healthy enough to live a good life
[14:03] herman Bergson: the child that not even is conceived...
[14:03] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes
[14:03] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but it exists in the mind of the parents
[14:03] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[14:04] herman Bergson: the wish exists....not the child in a biological sense
[14:04] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): true
[14:04] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that's what I meant
[14:04] herman Bergson: ok...
[14:05] herman Bergson: I guess we are done for today....:-)
[14:05] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki
[14:05] herman Bergson: So...class dismissed...:-)
[14:05] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well good as usual
[14:05] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[14:05] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time then
[14:05] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[14:05] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):