Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

July 17, 2019, 06:39:43 pm

Author Topic: The philosophy thread (all welcome)  (Read 10155 times)  Share 

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

slothpomba

  • Honorary Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 4462
  • Chief Executive Sloth
  • Respect: +326
The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« on: January 03, 2014, 09:38:27 pm »
0
I thought since we already have movie and music threads, it was time for a philosophy thread. I have a few books that present philosophical issues as little stories; i thought I’d post a few of them here for people to have a go at. If the thread does take off, i can make it a semi-regular thing and post them once or twice a week. It can also broaden out to include discussion of things like movements (feminism, socialism, etc.), the various religions and controversial issues (drug legalisation, abortion, etc.). I'll make up a small list, if i do get a few bites and we'll random pick a few weekly.

Just a quick note, you don't need to know any philosophy or even know what philosophy is to join in! At it's very simplest philosophy is just thinking about things.  Most of the things i post are "problems" because there is no one right answer for them. Unlike fields like math or chemistry, it's not so much about reaching that one right answer as it is making a thought out case for your particular answer and justifying it (sounds scary but all you really need to do is say why you believe what you do). Whilst people may pull out special terms or ideas, these are far from needed and much of the the best philosophy is done using plain, understandable language. Doesn't matter how much or how little you have to say  ;D. All you need to have is a thought about something, got one? Post it! It really is as simple as that. The number of posters have dropped lately, so, i'd encourage all you lurkers reading it (740+ views!) to also post as well. If it keeps declining theres little choice but to stop doing it (no fun talking to myself!).

A quick note on rules. A few posts are bound to breach the generally accepted rules of the forum just by virtue of the topics discussed. Everyone should feel free to say what they want, even if it an unpopular opinion. That said, anything purposely hurtful or attacking (no matter how wrong you think they are) shouldn't be here.

Every 5th topic will be an issue, idea or religion. I'll take any suggestions for any potential topics. It's important because i dont know all areas (like mathematics for example) and many ideas will skip my mind. It must be at least tangentially related to philosophy, we won't balance chemistry equations but the monty hall problem or infinity from mathematics can make the list (for example).

Previous Problem: Kill and let die (Ethics), Current problem: The experience machine (metaphysics), Next Problem:
Open spoiler for contents list
Spoiler
Contents (Work in progress!)
Problems
Aesthetics
1.   Picasso on the beach (Bk.1, Pr.12)
2.   Nature the artist (Bk.1, Pr.37)
3.   Evil Genius (Bk.1, Pr.48)
4.   The forger (Bk.1, Pr.66)
5.   Art for art’s sake (Bk.1, Pr.86)
Epistemology
6.   The Evil Demon (Bk.1, Pr.1)
7.   The Indian and the ice (Bk.1, Pr.3)
8.   Black, white and red all over (Bk.1, Pr.13)
9.   The rocking-horse winner (Bk.1, Pr.40)
10.   Mozzarella moon (Bk.1, Pr.61)
11.   No Know (Bk.1, Pr.63)
Ethics
12.   A byte on the side (Bk.1, Pr.4)
13.   The pig that wants to be eaten (Bk.1, Pr.5)
14.   When no one wins (Bk.1, Pr.7)
15.   Bank error in your favour (Bk.1, Pr.14)
16.   Ordinary Heroism (Bk.1, Pr.15)
17.   The torture option (Bk.1, Pr.17)
18.   The Lifeboat (Bk.1, Pr.22)
19.   Pain remains (Bk.1, Pr.26)
20.   Duties done (Bk.1, Pr.27)
21.   Life dependency (BK.1, Pr.29)
22.   Don’t blame me! (Bk.1, Pr.34)
23.   Last resort (Bk.1 Pr.35)
24.   Future shock (Bk.1, Pr.43)
25.   The good bribe (Bk.1, Pr.50)
26.   Double trouble (Bk.1, Pr.53)
27.   Eating Tiddles (Bk.1, Pr.57)
28.   Do as I say, not as I do (Bk.1, Pr.60)
29.   Life support (Bk.1, Pr.71)
30.   The ring of Gyges (Bk.1, Pr.75)
31.   Hearts and heads (Bk.1, Pr.80)
32.   The freeloader (Bk.1, Pr.82)
33.   The golden rule (Bk.1, Pr.83)
34.   Kill and let die (Bk.1, Pr.89)
35.   No one gets hurt (Bk.1, Pr.91)
36.   Family first (Bk.1, Pr.96)
37.   Give peace a chance (Bk.1, Pr.99)
Identity
38.   Beam me up! (Bk.1, Pr.2)
39.   The ship Theseus (Bk.1, Pr.11)
40.   Free Simone (Bk.1, Pr.32)
41.   I am a brain (Bk.1, Pr.38)
42.   Amoebaesque (Bk.1, Pr.46)
43.   The hole in the sum of the parts (Bk.1, Pr.49)
44.   The elusive I (Bk.1, Pr.54)
45.   Free Percy (Bk.1, Pr.72)
46.   Total lack of recall (Bk.1, Pr.88)
Logic & mathematics
47.   Wheel of fortune (Bk.1, Pr.6)
48.   Racing Tortoises (Bk.1, Pr.16)
49.   Buridan’s an ass (Bk.1, Pr.25)
50.   Take the money and run (Bk.1, Pr.42)
51.   Til death do us part (Bk.1, Pr.44)
52.   An inspector calls (Bk.1, Pr.70)
53.   The Sorites tax (Bk.1, Pr.94)
Metaphysics (other)
54.   The total perspective vortex (Bk.1, Pr.56)
55.   The horror (Bk.1, Pr.69)
56.   The pleasure principal (Bk.1, Pr.84)
57.   Something we know not what (Bk.1, Pr.90)
58.   Moral luck (Bk.1, Pr.97)
59.   The experience machine (Bk.1, Pr.98)
Philosophy of language
60.   The beetle in the box (Bk.1, Pr.23)
61.   Rabbit! (Bk.1, Pr.47)
62.   Water, water, everywhere! (Bk.1, Pr.74)
63.   The nowhere man (Bk.1, Pr.85)
Philosophy of mind
64.   Bigger brother (Bk.1 Pr.9)
65.   The land of the Epiphens (Bk.1, Pr.21)
66.   Memories are made of this (Bk.1, Pr.30)
67.   The Chinese room (Bk.1, Pr.39)
68.   Getting the blues (Bk.1, Pr.41)
69.   Living in a vat (Bk.1, Pr.51)
70.   The eyes have it (Bk.1, Pr.59)
71.   I think therefore (Bk.1, Pr.62)
72.   Mad pain (Bk.1, Pr.68)
73.   Being a bat (Bk.1, Pr.73)
74.   Net head (Bk.1, Pr.76)
75.   Sense and sensibility  (Bk.1, Pr.81)
76.   Zombies (Bk.1, Pr.93)
Philosophy of religion
77.   Good God (Bk.1, Pr.8)
78.   Squaring the circle (Bk.1, Pr.24)
79.   The invisible gardener (Bk.1, Pr.45)
80.   Divine command (Bk.1, Pr.58)
81.   Soul power (Bk.1, Pr.64)
82.   Gambling on God (Bk.1, Pr.78)
83.   The problem of evil (Bk.1, Pr.95)
84.   The Ontological argument (Bk.O&S, Pr.2.1)
85.   The cosmological argument (Bk.O&S, Pr.2.2)
86.   Design & Creation arguments (Bk.O&S, Pr.2.4 & 2.5
87.   Antitheism/Inverted Properties (Bk.O&S, Pr 3.1)
88.   Belief & Knowledge (Bk.O&S, Pr.3.2 & 3.3)
89.   “Religious avowal as self-deception” (Bk. O&S, Pr.3.5)
90.   Omniscience and free will (Bk.O&S, Pr.4.2)
91.   God & time (Bk.O&S, Pr.4.4)
92.   Religious diversity (Bk. O&S, Pr.5.1 & 5.2)
Social, political & legal philosophy
93.   The veil of ignorance (Bk.1, Pr.10)
94.   The free-speech booth (Bk.1, Pr.33)
95.   Pre-emptive justice (Bk.1, Pr.36)
96.   More or less (Bk.1, Pr.52)
97.   Sustainable development (Bk.1, Pr.55)
98.   Nipping the bud (Bk.1, Pr.64)
99.   The poppadom paradox (Bk.1, Pr.67)
100.   The scapegoat (Bk.1, Pr.77)
101.   A clockwork orange (Bk.1, Pr.79)
102.   Fair inequality (Bk.1, Pr.87)
103.   Autogovernment (Bk.1, Pr.92)
104.   The Nest café (Bk.1, Pr.100)
Uncategorised
105.   Rationality Demands (Bk.1, Pr.18)
106.   Bursting the soap bubble (Bk.1, Pr.19)
107.   Condemned to life (Bk.1, Pr.20)
108.   The nightmare scenario (Bk.1, Pr.28)
109.   Just so (Bk.1, Pr.31)

Ideas
Politics
1. Capitalism
2. Communism
3. Fascism
4. Democracy
5. Libertarianism
6. The modern 'right'
7. The modern 'left'
Religion
1.   Atheism
2.   Buddhism
3.   Christianity
4.   Confucianism
5.   Daoism
6.   Hinduism
7.   Indigenous religions – Dreamtime 
8.   Indigenous religions – Shamanism
9.   Indigenous religions – Voodoo
10.   Islam
11.   Jainism
12.   Judaism
13.   New Religious Movements – Alien Religions
14.   New Religious Movements – Neopaganism
15.   Sikhism
16.   Shinto
Social movements
1. Pacifism
2. Feminism
3. The union movement
Issues
1. Poverty
2. Racism
3. Drugs
4. Gambling

1. The Ship

For now, i thought i'd start with something relatively approachable and uncontroversial.

It's based on a very old problem, i won't mention the name just yet. In this little version it is modernised in a humorous way. This particular book does have a commentary (i guess "answers") section which i will post when i sense people are finished with this particular one.



The main question here is which ship, if any, is the genuine Theseus ship? On it's surface its about a ship but when you expand out the general idea, it's about the identity of anything with parts. Most of your cells are replaced within a year, are you still the same person you were a year ago? Why? How many individual strokes of change do you need to make to a painting before its no longer the same painting? It all ties into things like that. It need not be argued as a ship and can be looked at any particular way you like. If it helps, you might like to think of it as a car, computer, house or person (arguable whether all these present equivalent problems).
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 08:03:48 am by slothpomba »

ATAR Notes Chat
Philosophy thread
-----
2011-15: Bachelor of Science/Arts (Religious studies) @ Monash Clayton - Majors: Pharmacology, Physiology, Developmental Biology
2016: Bachelor of Science (Honours) - Psychiatry research

BubbleWrapMan

  • Teacher
  • Part of the furniture
  • *
  • Posts: 1110
  • Respect: +96
Re: The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2014, 10:51:17 pm »
0
The ship made from new parts was really just made using a template in such a way the the original ship was taken apart in the process. Effectively the Theseus has just been taken apart and rebuilt, so I'd say the ship made from old parts is the 'genuine' Theseus.

Going into the more general idea of identity of things with parts, I still have these guys standing on a shelf in my room. Even though their parts have largely been replaced or mixed between each other over the last 12 years (holy shit), I consider them to be the same guys as they were before. Things that aren't alive inherently don't have any identity, but living things can give them identity if they feel some sort of attachment. There isn't really a rational explanation for why I consider them to be the same, other than the fact that it makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

I don't think an inanimate object can truly have an identity; thinking of an object as having an identity is purely sentimental, and so whether an object is still the same or not is entirely up to preference. There's no way to logically argue either way, since the object didn't really have an identity to begin with.
Tim Koussas -- Co-author of ExamPro Mathematical Methods and Specialist Mathematics Study Guides, editor for the Further Mathematics Study Guide.

Current PhD student at La Trobe University.

brightsky

  • Victorian
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3133
  • Respect: +200
Re: The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2014, 11:31:48 pm »
0
Most of the confusion here arises because of the limitations of language. I think it is worthwhile to consider, first and foremost, how we even become acquainted with a language in the first place. For instance, how did we come to know what the meaning of the word 'table' was? It seems unlikely that we learn the meaning of such terms simply from hearing others use the time, whilst point at the object to which the term refers, since this cannot explain why we still recognise three legged tables, or tables of a different shape and composition to the one to which we were initially exposed as tables. Of course, such kinds of experiences do play a major part, but an account which rests solely on these kinds of experiences would, quite patently, be incomplete. My theory is that once we have had multiple experiences of the aforementioned kind, certain ideas which we have in our minds will become vividified by certain words such as table, chair, computer. These ideas would have existed in our minds ever since we first experienced the object to which the idea correponds, and so would, by the time we have had a sufficient dose of aforementioned type of experience, be in a form that is both fragmented and decayed. When considering whether an object warrants a specific label, a similar mental process occurs. The associated idea which we have in our minds becomes revivified, and we check the object we have before us against the revivified idea. But since the idea, though vivid, remains fragmented and decayed, the check is by no means a strict one. We call a man with one hair bald because ge warrants the label. The same principle can be applied to the probem we have at hand. Both ships would warrant the label Theseus, because the label is inherent to the idea we form in our mind of Theseus but merely superimposed onto the physical object.

Sorry if the above makes no sense whatsoever. I probably didn't express myself quite as well as I could have...
2017 - 2020: Doctor of Medicine, The University of Melbourne
2014 - 2016: Bachelor of Biomedicine, The University of Melbourne
2013 ATAR: 99.95

Currently selling copies of the VCE Chinese Exam Revision Book and UMEP Maths Exam Revision Book, and accepting students for Maths Methods and Specialist Maths Tutoring in 2019!

brightsky

  • Victorian
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3133
  • Respect: +200
Re: The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2014, 11:43:19 pm »
0
I don't think an inanimate object can truly have an identity; thinking of an object as having an identity is purely sentimental, and so whether an object is still the same or not is entirely up to preference. There's no way to logically argue either way, since the object didn't really have an identity to begin with.

Hmm this is interesting...what exactly do you mean by identity?  I think that when, for example, a Platonist says that a table has an identity, he/she does not mean that the table has a personality, or some sort of unique status, but that it can be recognised as such. The question is more: why is it that we can recognise tables to be tables, even three legged ones. Plato's Theory of Forms provides one answer to is question, but I don't think many people would consider it convincing...
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 11:50:23 pm by brightsky »
2017 - 2020: Doctor of Medicine, The University of Melbourne
2014 - 2016: Bachelor of Biomedicine, The University of Melbourne
2013 ATAR: 99.95

Currently selling copies of the VCE Chinese Exam Revision Book and UMEP Maths Exam Revision Book, and accepting students for Maths Methods and Specialist Maths Tutoring in 2019!

BubbleWrapMan

  • Teacher
  • Part of the furniture
  • *
  • Posts: 1110
  • Respect: +96
Re: The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 11:48:12 pm »
0
I'm talking about identity in the sense that a person has an identity, rather than identity as a type of object.
Tim Koussas -- Co-author of ExamPro Mathematical Methods and Specialist Mathematics Study Guides, editor for the Further Mathematics Study Guide.

Current PhD student at La Trobe University.

brenden

  • Honorary Moderator
  • Great Wonder of ATAR Notes
  • *******
  • Posts: 7150
  • Respect: +2511
Re: The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2014, 12:05:40 am »
0
I'm on my phone so excuse any random words that don't make sense.

Neither of the ships are the genuine ship.

The new ship isn't the genuine one because... Well, it simply looks like the genuine one. Did Daddy Ice Tea fall on many of the planks? Unlikely, assuming most have been replaced. I mean. Consider that the ship can have experience (which it can't). Did the new ship experience someone jumping off it to commit suicide? No, it has many different parts that did not undergo that experience. Now, consider that instead of having experience, the ships (or inanimate objects) exist THROUGH an experience. (As in, I go through time. Or go through the hallway at school. The ship goes through experience, which exists to other people). In other words... The ship is present at the time of certain goings on.
The new ship, it wasn't present at the times of goings on. The parts that make the ship were not yet on it. Instead, they mimic a ship that was present. If I build a perfect (in the literal sense of te word) replica of the Titanic, did my ship crash into an iceberg?

Neither can the "old parts" ship. I'm being really literal -- if you change anything about something physical, it isn't the same physical thing as it was. If I wake up tomorrow with a pimple, my body is not the same body as it was yesterday. It has an additional pimple. As you can see, there's very heavy, very literal emphasis on the way I'm using the word 'same'. Still, the old parts ship wasnt present during the experiences stated.

You could take my argument and say that people, then, are never the same people as they were I'm the past, and they won't be the same people tomorrow. Indeed, I'll take that criticism. We're only ever who we are right now.


(I hate philosophy I want to cry).

Edit: in regards to my "people change by the day" thing - I mean their physical bodies. They're the same person that experienced something many years ago, but their body didn't (being very literal).
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 12:35:51 pm by Brencookie »
✌️just do what makes you happy ✌️

slothpomba

  • Honorary Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 4462
  • Chief Executive Sloth
  • Respect: +326
Re: The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2014, 01:08:34 pm »
0
Neither is the original but ship 2 is closer to the original. This is because it is made with the same parts and arranged in the same way as the original.

Borrowing from Buddhism, nothing is permanent; everything is a temporary “collection”. The thing I call “my table” is merely a temporary arrangement of atoms (carbon, nitrogen, etc.) in a specific way. If I leave it long enough, it will rot; the atoms that once were collected as a bundle called “table” will go on to form something else. Much like when we are buried, the atoms previously comprising the collection “you” return to the soil and are taken up by trees. The atoms become part of that temporary collection named “tree” and who knows, one day it might be a “table”.

What we call Theseus was a collection of atoms/parts arranged in a certain way. The carbon atoms contained in the wood that formed the original now belong to the structure of ship 2. If ship 2 is the exact same collection of parts as the Theseus, arranged in the same way as the Theseus, it is essentially the Theseus.

(I tend to write volumes because all these ideas are bursting out of my head. I have realised if you are not concise, hardly anyone will read, and there is often something beautiful in simplicity. I’m trying to keep my individual posts under ~250-300 words each, I will expand on other issues a little later).
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 01:16:00 pm by slothpomba »

ATAR Notes Chat
Philosophy thread
-----
2011-15: Bachelor of Science/Arts (Religious studies) @ Monash Clayton - Majors: Pharmacology, Physiology, Developmental Biology
2016: Bachelor of Science (Honours) - Psychiatry research

brenden

  • Honorary Moderator
  • Great Wonder of ATAR Notes
  • *******
  • Posts: 7150
  • Respect: +2511
Re: The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2014, 04:17:23 pm »
0
Neither is the original but ship 2 is closer to the original. This is because it is made with the same parts and arranged in the same way as the original.
I agree with this.
✌️just do what makes you happy ✌️

spectroscopy

  • National Moderator
  • Part of the furniture
  • *****
  • Posts: 1961
  • Respect: +354
Re: The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2014, 04:39:55 pm »
0
sorry if this should be a split topic - but how does philosophy in uni work?
things like this are interesting but people could have way differing opinions, do you study different schools of thought and peoples ideas, or do they say what is your interpretation of the ship problem, justify


also i would think the ship on the left is the one that the robber should steal, because thats the repaired version that is going to get sent out to the original owner, if he steals that then he has the current theseus. if the old parts are crap and the thief steals that ship the guy who commissioned the theft would be like "lol this ship doesnt work and the original owner still has his theseus?"

slothpomba

  • Honorary Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 4462
  • Chief Executive Sloth
  • Respect: +326
Re: The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2014, 05:32:42 pm »
+1
Could the next person to post please use this to choose a single number between 1 and 110. Eventually we'll go in alphabetical order so everyone gets a turn.

The ship made from new parts was really just made using a template in such a way the the original ship was taken apart in the process. Effectively the Theseus has just been taken apart and rebuilt, so I'd say the ship made from old parts is the 'genuine' Theseus.
I agree. I think what causes confusion are scales, both time and size. The larger they get, the harder it is to believe it isn’t still original.

It may be that humans see it as a percentage threshold to cross rather than an absolute “it is” or “it isn’t” type thing. If I replaced a few pebbles in the Great Wall of China, most people would still say it’s the Great Wall. If I replaced a few in a 4-pebble statue, people might differ.

Pretend i have a box made from five planks, four sides and a bottom. I could entirely change the parts in 30 minutes. If each were changed in sequence with a break between, 30 minutes later, every plank would differ. It’s hard to say it’s the original box at all. Even if i left a single plank, it would be a mostly different box or a modified version of the original. What if i changed one every 5 years though?

I think the issue with complex objects is that they have temporal (in time) continuity. The Theseus never disappeared, if you took a sequence of photographs, perhaps one every minute, it’s not like it ever ceased to exist, it was on a continuous time-line, always present. The same idea applies to anything; cars with their parts are good examples. If your father had a car for 20 years and replaced parts over time, it would always be your “father’s car”, it continues in time even though it changes through time.

As for people, cells change and nearly all are replaced eventually. We continue throughout time; it’s not like we cease to exist at any point, we change but still exist. Buddhism says we are a different person from each moment to the next, in that sense “we” don’t exist at all, we show continuity throughout time, sure, but we are different every moment of that time.

Here is a poorly drawn ship to illustrate my concept; red representing changed parts. Imagine reaching a point where it is entirely red.



Quote
Things that aren't alive inherently don't have any identity,

Its an interesting when you say things that are alive are different. Apparently almost all our cells are replaced sooner or later, say we're 95% different to how we were 15 years ago, are we still the same person?

things like this are interesting but people could have way differing opinions, do you study different schools of thought and peoples ideas, or do they say what is your interpretation of the ship problem, justify
First of all, thanks for joining in! As i said in the opening, everyone is welcome. I've noticed many people read this thread but don't post, so, i'd like to encourage all these people to give it a crack. If not now, perhaps when a topic of interest comes up  ;D. As i said earlier, there literally is no right answer, there is no trick! It's impossible for you to be wrong so have no fear.

You learn both ways. If you do ethics, you learn the different ethical schools. If you do phil. of religion, you learn arguments from all sides. Come essay or exam time though, you're often asked to take up a position and defend it. This is what many philosophical journal articles (the output of a professors work) are like, defending a position. Similar to "persuasive writing" in high-school English i guess.

also i would think the ship on the left is the one that the robber should steal, because thats the repaired version that is going to get sent out to the original owner, if he steals that then he has the current theseus.

That's actually a pretty clever way to look at it, i didn't think of it like that before!
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 05:51:41 pm by slothpomba »

ATAR Notes Chat
Philosophy thread
-----
2011-15: Bachelor of Science/Arts (Religious studies) @ Monash Clayton - Majors: Pharmacology, Physiology, Developmental Biology
2016: Bachelor of Science (Honours) - Psychiatry research

DJA

  • Victorian
  • Forum Leader
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Literature is the question minus the answer.
  • Respect: +198
  • School Grad Year: 2014
Re: The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2014, 05:50:46 pm »
0
Buddhism says we are a different person from each moment to the next, in that sense “we” don’t exist at all, we show continuity throughout time, sure, but we are different every moment of that time.

Here is a poorly drawn ship to illustrate my concept; red representing changed parts. Imagine reaching a point where it is entirely red.
image removed

49

I am one of the people who have been stalking this thread for a while now and I thought I'd chime in with my two cents (i have a closeted love for philosophy hence why I chose lit)...with some random thought processes.

Something to consider: With that ship when you get to that point where it is all red, if the ship does not have a prior identity, I think most people would say that it is a different ship. What I mean by a prior identity is the human tendency to attach meaning to inanimate things in the way we might call a ship 'she' and even name it specifically in the same way we would name a human being. Then in our memories we would have nostalgia and think fondly of that ship.
Let's say the ship was called the 'Lady Maria' for the sake of the argument for a period of 10 years. People attach meaning to that ship and it is famous. If it is damaged and rebuilt with spare parts over time where it gets to the point of there being no original parts (the entire red in the picture) then people will still call the ship the 'Lady Maria' regardless of the fact that it no longer is the same ship in terms of construction and materials.

Whereas an engineer will tell you - "no, this ship is no longer the same', as human beings we will still think of the ship as the same as before.

If I replaced a few in a 4-pebble statue, people might differ.

Similarly if someone had formed an 'attachment' (however silly this might sound) in terms of that statue, and placed meaning in it-be it a memory, maybe it was a special present etc, then i would think that even if you replaced 3 out of the 4 pebbles or even all of them, the person would still think of the statue in the same way - not as changed and completely different. This again is because the person has placed an identity on the object which transcends the physicality of the object itself.
While other people might look on and laugh at the person telling them that the statue just isn't the same anymore, the person will choose to ignore them because it is from their viewpoint.
Thus what I realize is the subjectivity of the experience.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 05:52:33 pm by DJALogical »
2014 - English (50, Premier's Award)| Music Performance (50, Premier's Award) | Literature (46~47) | Biology (47) | Chemistry (41) |  MUEP Chemistry (+4.5)  ATAR: 99.70

Griffith University Gold Coast Queensland
2015 - 2017 Bachelor of Medical Science (BMedSc)
2017 - 2021 Doctor of Medicine (MD)

DJA's Guide to Language Analysis (Section C)
DJA's guide on the topic of English Expression (Text response)

brightsky

  • Victorian
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3133
  • Respect: +200
Re: The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2014, 08:57:09 am »
0

I am one of the people who have been stalking this thread for a while now and I thought I'd chime in with my two cents (i have a closeted love for philosophy hence why I chose lit)...with some random thought processes.


You will find Literature to be radically different from Philosophy...


Something to consider: With that ship when you get to that point where it is all red, if the ship does not have a prior identity, I think most people would say that it is a different ship. What I mean by a prior identity is the human tendency to attach meaning to inanimate things in the way we might call a ship 'she' and even name it specifically in the same way we would name a human being. Then in our memories we would have nostalgia and think fondly of that ship.

Let's say the ship was called the 'Lady Maria' for the sake of the argument for a period of 10 years. People attach meaning to that ship and it is famous. If it is damaged and rebuilt with spare parts over time where it gets to the point of there being no original parts (the entire red in the picture) then people will still call the ship the 'Lady Maria' regardless of the fact that it no longer is the same ship in terms of construction and materials.

Whereas an engineer will tell you - "no, this ship is no longer the same', as human beings we will still think of the ship as the same as before.

Similarly if someone had formed an 'attachment' (however silly this might sound) in terms of that statue, and placed meaning in it-be it a memory, maybe it was a special present etc, then i would think that even if you replaced 3 out of the 4 pebbles or even all of them, the person would still think of the statue in the same way - not as changed and completely different. This again is because the person has placed an identity on the object which transcends the physicality of the object itself.
While other people might look on and laugh at the person telling them that the statue just isn't the same anymore, the person will choose to ignore them because it is from their viewpoint.

Thus what I realize is the subjectivity of the experience.


But what of physical objects to which we do not have a sentimental connection. Consider a table which we have not seen before in our life. Would the same principle apply? If we remove all of the table's legs and replace them with ones made of steel, does the same table remain? Or does the same table remain if we deem the same table to remain?

Certainly, we can deem anything to be anything in our minds. I may believe that unicorns exist and that pigs fly, but that doesn't necessarily mean that such statements are true in the context of physical reality. One should always draw a clear a distinction between the mental world and the physical world, although both are only defined with reference to some consciousness.

I think that a useful reformulation of the problem above is the Bald Man Paradox (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bald_man_paradox), which is basically just one version of the Sorites Paradox (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorites_paradox). All these putative problems arise because of the vagueness of language. Without a proper consideration of language, we can get ourselves tied in all sorts of logical knots. Certainly, we can arbitrarily define 'Theseus' as being a precise arrangement of atoms, perhaps the arrangement that the ship was in when it was first built, but we quickly realize that such a precise definition does not hold up in reality. The fact is that we *do* consider a man with only one hair bald, even though we may arbitrarily define 'baldness' to be the complete absence of hair. Ludwig Wittgenstein once claimed to have solved all philosophical problems because he had worked out, or so he thought, exactly how language works, and indeed most philosophical problems would be reduced to naught if we first analyzed the words used in the formulation of the problem. The same applies to the problem above featuring Theseus, which, apropos of nothing, is a pretty cool name for a ship.

As for people, cells change and nearly all are replaced eventually. We continue throughout time; it’s not like we cease to exist at any point, we change but still exist. Buddhism says we are a different person from each moment to the next, in that sense “we” don’t exist at all, we show continuity throughout time, sure, but we are different every moment of that time.

This is a monumental statement, and almost certainly a very interesting one. A scientist might affirm the statement that our bodies are constantly changing (we exhale carbon dioxide, thus expunging certain atoms from our bodies, and inhale oxygen, thus introducing new atoms into our bodies every few seconds), but does that necessarily mean that *we* are different every moment of time? I tend to identify the *self* with a *consciousness* of some sort, rather than some arbitrary arrangement of atoms. Surely, our minds do not change? We may lose a finger from a failed attempt at cooking, but that doesn't mean that *we* are *essentially* different...
2017 - 2020: Doctor of Medicine, The University of Melbourne
2014 - 2016: Bachelor of Biomedicine, The University of Melbourne
2013 ATAR: 99.95

Currently selling copies of the VCE Chinese Exam Revision Book and UMEP Maths Exam Revision Book, and accepting students for Maths Methods and Specialist Maths Tutoring in 2019!

brenden

  • Honorary Moderator
  • Great Wonder of ATAR Notes
  • *******
  • Posts: 7150
  • Respect: +2511
Re: The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2014, 09:39:51 am »
0
Quote
Its an interesting when you say things that are alive are different. Apparently almost all our cells are replaced sooner or later, say we're 95% different to how we were 15 years ago, are we still the same person?

Well, over a 15 year time span, that depends on what you define as a person. In some senses I think I'm a radically different person from 5 years ago. In some senses, of course, I'm the same person as 5 years ago.

What I was getting at is this: persons conceive their own identity, which can be maintained  throughout different physical changes. In reference to your cell questions - under my strict definition of 'same', you would be a different person in the physical sense (or have a different body).
'
✌️just do what makes you happy ✌️

DJA

  • Victorian
  • Forum Leader
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Literature is the question minus the answer.
  • Respect: +198
  • School Grad Year: 2014
Re: The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2014, 11:44:23 am »
0
I think that a useful reformulation of the problem above is the Bald Man Paradox (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bald_man_paradox), which is basically just one version of the Sorites Paradox (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorites_paradox). All these putative problems arise because of the vagueness of language.

Thanks for the link loved reading it and thinking about it.
2014 - English (50, Premier's Award)| Music Performance (50, Premier's Award) | Literature (46~47) | Biology (47) | Chemistry (41) |  MUEP Chemistry (+4.5)  ATAR: 99.70

Griffith University Gold Coast Queensland
2015 - 2017 Bachelor of Medical Science (BMedSc)
2017 - 2021 Doctor of Medicine (MD)

DJA's Guide to Language Analysis (Section C)
DJA's guide on the topic of English Expression (Text response)

charmanderp

  • Honorary Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3209
  • Respect: +304
  • School Grad Year: 2012
Re: The philosophy thread (all welcome)
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2014, 12:02:04 pm »
+1
(I hate philosophy I want to cry).
Aren't you a philosophy major?
University of Melbourne - Bachelor of Arts majoring in English, Economics and International Studies (2013 onwards)