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Author Topic: The small random questions thread [WAAAAAAAAAAluigi]  (Read 266593 times)

sprinkled chariot

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Re: The small random questions thread [I spoiled my pants]
« Reply #2640 on: September 18, 2016, 03:58:20 pm »

What is some good book for getting like most basic basic basic understanding of what philosophy is.( in english)( also would be quite preferable, if it is possible to obtain without any money involved)
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Th4DwArfY1

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Re: The small random questions thread [I spoiled my pants]
« Reply #2641 on: September 18, 2016, 04:04:41 pm »

Frumple: Ah, get you now. My mind had a hiccup.

sc: philosophy is a veeeeery broad category..... I'd suggest some of the English writers, though, as they (in my experience) don't tend to garble what they're saying with needlessly complicated phrases. Unlike the German writers such as Kant, that is.

Personally I started with Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion," it was easy to read and had some interesting thoughts (especially on memes and the evolutionary nature of ideas) but philosophy is, as I said, a very large area. At the moment I'm reading up on the philosophy of science, for example, but then there's also more abstract thought.
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Frumple

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Helgoland

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Re: The small random questions thread [I spoiled my pants]
« Reply #2643 on: September 18, 2016, 04:08:07 pm »

If you go for a book that claims to explain basic philosophy, there's a good chance you'll end up with complete bullshit. If I were you I'd get a rough timetable of philosophical thought, Ancient Greece to maybe around 1970, and then start reading Wiki articles - they're very good a lot of the time, and pay a lot of attention to cross-referencing.

Three bits of advice:
- Restrict yourself to Western philosophy. Eastern philosophy may be all hip and mystical and exotic and shit, but trust me on this. 19th century German philosophy digested most of what they had to offer and put it into a Western context; Schopenhauer is especially notable in this regard.
- Don't get too hung up on Scepticism or Utilitarianism. They're both simple, appealing, and somewhat elegant ideas, but lots of people just stop there and refuse to think any further, thinking this is what philosophy is all about. It's not.
- Be careful about Nietzsche. He's easily misunderstood, misrepresented most of the time, and hard to spell.

E: Dwarfy, Kant has a very clear way of writing! You just have to keep in mind that he's writing in Latin, but using German words. His phrases aren't needlessly complicated, they're as simple as they can be for the level of precision that is intended. If you want an example of unintelligible rambling, go for Hegel.
EE: Also restricting yourself to English philosophers makes you prone to a certain... flatness. The analytical school was a reaction to the Hegelei of the German Idealists, and a completely necessary one, but there's great value to be found in other traditions.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 04:12:36 pm by Helgoland »
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Arguably he's already a progressive, just one in the style of an enlightened Kaiser.
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Th4DwArfY1

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Re: The small random questions thread [I spoiled my pants]
« Reply #2644 on: September 18, 2016, 04:16:09 pm »

What little I've done of Hegel was bad, true, though he seemed more bitchy than anything :P

As for Nietzsche being misunderstood, I agree. However, he's also not to be considered an absolute authority - whilst his ideas are innovative and often brilliant, he makes mistakes or bad judgements. Such as stating that all thought is confined to the limits of language, which is one I read recently.

Kant is not clear. I refuse to accept it. Lately I've been going over his political writings, which are clearer than others, but he still often clouds what he means almost deliberately.

Edit to accompany your edit: I don't suggest restricting yourself to English philosophy (the horror!), but I do think it's a good starting point for relatively easy to understand ideas and writing.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 04:17:54 pm by Th4DwArfY1 »
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MetalSlimeHunt

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Re: The small random questions thread [I spoiled my pants]
« Reply #2645 on: September 18, 2016, 04:21:50 pm »

Re: Human population and harm, I think there's two big factors that change how things are. Firstly there's meta-stability. We know examples of both small communities that are almost entirely peaceful and ones that are caught up in almost constant conflict up to and including genocidal aspirations. So, what gives? I think in this context it's best to think of society as composing of social "bubbles" formed by the empathetic connections between people ala Dunbar's number. If properly mixed around you can functionally go much higher than the individual's 150 limit through friends of friends. If this is the case you're unlikely to see conflict because anything you do will directly harm at the least someone who is cared about by someone you care about. That also makes it harder to get away with, because you will always have an indirect witness to your crimes in the form of the intermediary person who knows about your life well enough to put two and two together.

The other version happens when you have few connections between groups, that is a metastable arrangements of the bubbles that just causes them to become larger bubbles themselves. Bam, you've invented tribalism, rape and murder are now rampant and have dehumanized targets.

The second factor is social ideology. Obviously we don't see the above kind of thing in say, cities, and while cities tend to have crime the severity widely varies. Instead of empathetic connections this is maintained through intellectual ones. The precepts and incentives of society hold everyone with only a few paths to go down, and violating them leads to the whole Hobbesian certainty of punishment. Since these are inherently universal if they need to be and not restricted by the 150 of empathetic connections, that's how the billions of us mostly manage to not all murder each other.
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Helgoland

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Re: The small random questions thread [I spoiled my pants]
« Reply #2646 on: September 18, 2016, 04:23:51 pm »

Edit to accompany your edit: I don't suggest restricting yourself to English philosophy (the horror!), but I do think it's a good starting point for relatively easy to understand ideas and writing.
That I can fully agree with. Your bit on Nietzsche, too: One has to be careful with the chap in all sorts of manners. On Kant, however, I shall have to thrown down the gauntlet:
Kant is not clear. I refuse to accept it. Lately I've been going over his political writings, which are clearer than others, but he still often clouds what he means almost deliberately.
I propose we settle this question like men of honour: With a Kant-off to the second blood, at dawn tomorrow. The choice of passages is, of course, up to you, but I guarantee I shall be able to show that he wastes neither his breath nor his reader's time.
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Arguably he's already a progressive, just one in the style of an enlightened Kaiser.
I'm going to do the smart thing here and disengage. This isn't a hill I paticularly care to die on.

MetalSlimeHunt

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Re: The small random questions thread [I spoiled my pants]
« Reply #2647 on: September 18, 2016, 04:30:37 pm »

On philosophy, I have only this. If you want to suffer, read Paul Virilio. Literally old man yelling at clouds the man: the book: the movie.
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Quote from: Thomas Paine
To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.
Quote
No Gods, No Masters.

Th4DwArfY1

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Re: The small random questions thread [I spoiled my pants]
« Reply #2648 on: September 18, 2016, 05:10:07 pm »

Kant is not clear. I refuse to accept it. Lately I've been going over his political writings, which are clearer than others, but he still often clouds what he means almost deliberately.
I propose we settle this question like men of honour: With a Kant-off to the second blood, at dawn tomorrow. The choice of passages is, of course, up to you, but I guarantee I shall be able to show that he wastes neither his breath nor his reader's time.

Awwhh, this means I'm gonna have to look through his stuff again, doesn't it? I daren't use his political writings, as (as previously mentioned) they are less obscure than the rest...but they're the only ones I have at hand. One second, I'm going to go visit the gunsmith and see if he has any new dueling guns in.

His Critique of Pure Reason is online, it seems, so I went to a random page and copied the first paragraph that didn't look like it relied too heavily on surrounding paragraphs.
Quote
The proposition "I think," or "I exist thinking," is an empirical proposition.
But such a proposition is grounded on empirical intuition, consequently
also on the object thought, as an appearance; and thus it
seems as if, according to our theory, the whole, even in thinking, is
completely transformed into appearance, and in such a way our consciousness
itself, as mere illusion, would in fact come down to nothing.o
Thinking, taken in itself,b is merely the logical function and hence
the sheer spontaneity of combining the manifold of a merely possible
intuition; and in no way does it present the subject of consciousness as
B 429 appearance, merely because it takes no account at all of the kind of intuition,
whether it is sensible or intellectual. In this way I represent myself
to myself neither as I am nor as I appear to myself, but rather I think
myself only as I do every objectd in general from whose kind of intuition
I abstract. If here I represent myself as subject of a thought or even as
ground of thinking, then these ways of representing do not signify the
categories of substance or cause, for these categories are those functions
of thinking (of judging) applied to our sensible intuition, which would
obviously be demanded if I wanted to cognize myself. But now I want
to become conscious of myself only as thinking; I put to one side how
my proper self is given in intuition, and then it could be a mere appearance
that I think, but not insofar as I think; in the consciousness of
myself in mere thinking I am the being itself, about which, however,
nothing yet is thereby given to me for thinking.

Also, I do find it interesting how Schopenhauer went for his throat:
Quote
“Because of his style which was obscure, Kant was properly understood by exceedingly few. And it is as if all the philosophical writers, who since Kant had had some success, had devoted themselves to writing still more unintelligibly than Kant.
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scrdest

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Re: The small random questions thread [I spoiled my pants]
« Reply #2649 on: September 19, 2016, 06:23:36 am »

Yyyeah, if you need to write in such a way that 'the language that is necessary for the degree of precision' is like this, you've become self-defeating. This may perhaps be precise, but it's so bad at communicating that it winds up being needlessly confusing again.
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Neonivek

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Re: The small random questions thread [I spoiled my pants]
« Reply #2650 on: September 19, 2016, 11:37:14 am »

Ok here is a question...

A friend wants me to come over even though I haven't slept... So chances are the only thing I'd be able to do at their house is sleep and be barely awake, barely talk, and be mildly grumpy if anything forces me to be active.

Why is it appealing for me to be there even like this? What can you do with a sleepy person?
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MetalSlimeHunt

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Re: The small random questions thread [I spoiled my pants]
« Reply #2651 on: September 19, 2016, 11:52:08 am »

What can you do with a sleepy person?
If you have to ask...
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Quote from: Thomas Paine
To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.
Quote
No Gods, No Masters.

Parsely

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Re: The small random questions thread [I spoiled my pants]
« Reply #2652 on: September 19, 2016, 12:42:44 pm »

A whole bunch of lumps of ice and rock, orbiting Saturn at various speeds.
That said, the rings are so huge they'd "reform" as they neared the "horizon". Which probably looks pretty damn cool.
Are there any good pictures of this?

sprinkled chariot

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Re: The small random questions thread [I spoiled my pants]
« Reply #2653 on: September 19, 2016, 01:49:23 pm »

Ok here is a question...

A friend wants me to come over even though I haven't slept... So chances are the only thing I'd be able to do at their house is sleep and be barely awake, barely talk, and be mildly grumpy if anything forces me to be active.

Why is it appealing for me to be there even like this? What can you do with a sleepy person?

You can paint them in the colours of british flag, when they fall asleep.
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Th4DwArfY1

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Re: The small random questions thread [I spoiled my pants]
« Reply #2654 on: September 19, 2016, 01:52:43 pm »

You can paint them in the colours of british flag, when they fall asleep.
Unfortunately, that tends to lead to the sleeper colonising you once he wakes. Best not to risk it.
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