a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Thu Oct 07, 2021 4:19 pm

The Metaphysics of Groundhog Day
Lawrence Crocker says it’s about time, and personal identity, and free will.

The 1993 movie Groundhog Day was, of course, made as an exploration of the metaphysics of time. The basic idea is that for on-location TV weatherman Phil Connors, the same Groundhog Day, February 2, in Punxsutawney keeps repeating. Only Phil, played by Bill Murray, retains his memory of the day’s previous iterations. The loop appears to be universe-wide, and one that physicists would have no Phil-independent means of detecting.


Time and identity. One take from Hollywood.

As you might imagine, my own subjective "take" on Groundhog Day revolved precisely around the manner in which Phil Connors learns to become a decent human being rather than a narcissistic scumbag. The plot was preposterous but how difficult is it to imagine that out in the real world a series of very similar events experienced over time might prompt you to reconsider the way you think about yourself and the behaviors that you choose.

Then we can argue about whether all rational men and women are obligated morally to be decent human beings rather than narcissistic scumbags.

And, given particular contexts, what it means to be a decent human being when confronted with contexts that swirl around, say, conflicting goods?

It’s not the only movie featuring time loops. Like Groundhog Day, the movie Edge of Tomorrow (2014) has time loops with memories retained only by a single individual – in this case Tom Cruise’s character, who faces an uphill battle against space invaders. The 2016 Canadian film ARQ also has time loops with retained memories, but in this instance by more than one person. Their distance from the time loop generator explains (not very consistently) who retains and who does not retain memory. The 1998 German film Lola rennt (Run Lola Run) has only three time cycles. No one, however, seems to have a general memory of the prior loop or loops – although there are hints that both Lola and her boyfriend have bits of memory. In the third loop Lola deftly jumps over the dog that she tripped over in the second loop. A remark from her boyfriend in three also suggests some memory of one and two. It is easier to fit Lola into a Groundhog time model than it is to do so for Edge.


Also, the film Timecrimes. Although in these films [as I recall] there is not nearly as much emphasis placed on identity given the manner in which I construe it pertaining to the question, "how ought one to live"?

Groundhog Day is more about the transformation of Phil from a man who at first is bent mainly on merely taking advantage of the time loops, to someone who as a result of these experiences finds himself actually becoming the man he pretends to be. From merely wanting to get Rita in bed he comes to the realization that he really cares about her. A new man.

Identity in that sense.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:12 pm

The Metaphysics of Groundhog Day
Lawrence Crocker says it’s about time, and personal identity, and free will.

Time & Supertime

But here I want to concentrate on Groundhog Day. Is it offering a plausible and consistent metaphysical picture of time? What can we learn from it?

Phil’s memory of his multiple Groundhog Days (or ‘Day’) establishes a ‘supertime’, in which each Day can be seen as one of a sequence of Days. When a loop ends, to be followed in supertime by another Day, all of the previous loop’s causal chains simply come to an end, except those that affect Phil’s memory of them. Otherwise, the Day ends, and Groundhog Day begins again, with no consequences from the previous Day.


Except that as Phil becomes more and more cognizant of supertime, he starts to deal with whether his supertime resides in what existentially he has become -- the narcissistic scumbag -- or can in fact actually begin to reconfigure into a supertime that is more in sync with what some/many/most would construe to be the supertime that reflects a more essential goodness. That's the Hollywood ending in a nutshell. There's who you think you are and there's how you ought to be instead.

Then all we need is the context.

It's not that Phil learns something about himself [in or out of supertime] but how existentially given the life that we live all of us come to learn what we do in being predisposed to learn this instead of that. This and the ever crucial question that some ask: what ought we to have learned about ourselves to be construed -- by philosophers? ethicists? Hollywood producers? -- as rational and virtuous human beings.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 22, 2021 4:47 pm

On The Soul
Mark Goldblatt gets animated about his self.

“The passage from the physics of the brain to the corresponding facts of consciousness is unthinkable. Granted that a definite thought, and a definite molecular action in the brain, occur simultaneously, we do not possess the intellectual organ, nor apparently any rudiment of the organ, which would enable us to pass by a process of reasoning from the one phenomenon to the other.” John Tyndall, 1868


On the other hand, there are any number of us here who speak of their own self as though that were preposterous. Why? Because they have a soul. All that problematic existential stuff rooted in the many changes that can unfold over the course of their lives, bringing them to make many different assumptions about themselves is no match for that. After all, the majority of them will insist, that part of them comes from God. We are born with a soul. And, in fact, when our physical body is rotting in the grave, our soul will already be doing its thing in Heaven.

The nature of the human soul has been the subject of religious belief and scientific investigation for millennia.


Not unlike conjectures regarding God Himself. And, without God, what can a soul be linked to? Some cosmological entity pantheists allude to that from my own frame of mind never comes to be other than the vaguest of things. Especially given how utterly, utterly vast we now know the universe to be. My soul given all of that?! Even God Himself becomes more bewildering. If He does exists what possessed Him to make the cosmos so gigantic?

We feel as though definitive answers should be at hand since each of us seems to have relevant experiential insights. But certainty remains elusive. The proposition that the soul does not exist, that what’s called the soul is actually no more than a neurological phenomenon, a trick the brain plays on its owner, is altogether plausible. But so too is the converse – the proposition that the soul is indeed an immaterial essence which somehow animates human beings.


Of course here we find ourselves wondering what other tricks the brain might be playing on us. Forget the soul. "I" itself might well be just a...a domino? This domino typing these words autonomically so that the domino that you are can autonomically read them.

And that's almost as spooky as the soul itself.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 29, 2021 5:50 pm

On The Soul
Mark Goldblatt gets animated about his self.

The word ‘soul’ can refer to a number of different things. Many of us intuitively think of the voice inside our head as our soul – a definition that is consistent with a materialist perspective. That is, if the soul is in fact merely a neurological phenomenon, merely an activity of the brain, then the voice-inside-our-head definition, perhaps enlarged to include the impulses and sensations which coalesce around the voice, would work. Consciousness, in that case, equals soul. Which is another way of saying that the soul is to the brain what digestion is to the stomach. It’s what the brain does.


Hmm...

For the first time, this point has actually prompted me to think about the fact that I can hear my own voice "in my head". What exactly to make of that? As though "I" am in there somewhere giving voice to my own conscious thoughts.

Or is it all just another mental molehill that signifies practically nothing at all.

Also, it doesn't make my thinking about dasein go away. If there is a soul it is no less shaped and molded by any number of events and variables in my life I only have so much understanding of and control over.

Not at all unlike you.

If, on the other hand, the soul is an immaterial essence, rather than the outcome of a material process, then the definition becomes more complicated because neurological science has demonstrated that the voice inside our head has a material component. That much is certain.


Okay, but let's assume instead that the soul does consist of an "immaterial essence". Try to imagine it interacting with other souls -- with God -- in Heaven. Instead, most probably assume that somehow this immaterial essence manages to acquire the material substance that we equate with things like angels. We imagine that -- presto -- "I" becomes more or less like I am now. And I interact with loved ones who had in turn died in much the same manner as though I hadn't died at all. As much as the human body is the source of all manner of dismay "down here", "up there" we'll need it again as a container for the soul in order to imagine Paradise as at least somewhat the same as the lives we live now.

Like for example, the coon hunting episode from the Twilight Zone: https://youtu.be/kLBTTIf7EzA

Or, instead, have some believers in the soul as an immaterial essence actually given some thought to how exactly a soul would function beyond the Pearly Gates.

We now know, for instance, that if the brain is grievously injured, the voice inside our head is often irreparably altered. Brain trauma can affect memory formation, language skills, even mood swings. So it must be the case that the brain itself is directly involved in consciousness. What used to be called the mind-body problem has been solved, at least to that limited extent. Consciousness, as the word is traditionally understood, cannot be wholly severed from brain activity.


On the other hand, come on, what does it really mean to insist that, even to a limited extent, the mind-body problem has been solved. We may be closer to a more definitive understanding of it but who here doubts that a 100 years from now we might actually be a lot closer still.

But will it ever be resolved?

Still the part where consciousness -- the self -- itself can be profoundly impacted by such things as diseases, injuries, drugs etc., has to give one pause regarding how much control we do have over deciding who we are.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Fri Nov 05, 2021 5:27 pm

On The Soul
Mark Goldblatt gets animated about his self.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s no such thing as an immaterial soul. What it means is that the incidentals that make up our inner lives are rooted in the workings of our brains. If you whack me across the skull hard enough to rattle my brain, but not kill me outright, you might well alter what I remember about my life, which friends I’m able to recognize, what words I’m able to form, whether I’m able to count to ten, what food I like to eat, what juice I like to drink, what position I like to play in softball – in sum, the very characteristics that come to mind when I think of myself.


Really, actually think about that. Here you are certain that you know who you are. Soul or no soul. Then one day you do get whacked in the head, or a tumor sprouts, or the brain becomes diseased. The chemical and neurological interactions begin to come closer to "I" in a dream world. The autonomous I [in a free will world] undergoes any number of transformations. All more or less completely beyond your grasp...and control. Even in the either/or world your identity slips further beyond your command. Dasein is still around...only shoved back all that much more on the back burner.

Soul or no soul.

It’s tempting to conclude that, minus those characteristics, I would no longer be me. But in truth, that’s all I would be. The human soul, if it exists in an immaterial form, must be the me-ness of me, the sense of first personhood on which the rest of my conscious experiences hang. It’s the rooting interest each one of us has in himself, in his own existence, stripped of language and memory, stripped of thought and disposition; it’s the unified presence by which I differentiate myself from whatever I encounter. I am not the thing I encounter; I am the thing doing the encountering.


All the more reason to cling to the belief that you do have a soul. After all, the soul is that part of your identity connected directly to God. The soul is the Me-ness that the whack and the tumor and the disease can't touch. God may have had His reasons for turning your sense of identity upside down on this side of the grave but the soul itself is transported to salvation -- to Paradise -- on the other side.

Only how many convinced that they do have a soul ever will "really, actually think about this"?

I simply suggest this is rooted more in their need to believe in the soul than in any serious attempt to grapple with it in a philosophy venue.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Nov 13, 2021 5:32 pm

On The Soul
Mark Goldblatt gets animated about his self.

The soul...is not your consciousness – unless you are a materialist. If you are not a materialist, however, then the soul is what’s underneath your consciousness, the platform upon which your consciousness is constructed.


Again, a wholly concocted spiritual contraption. You think to yourself, "it's important to have a soul. That is what links all the changes I go through in my life to the Me. Also to God."

It's the platform you need. So all the proof of its existence you need is a consciousness able to think it up. The perfect coincidence.

And in order to confirm it all "in your head" you can create a sequence of assumptions like this:

Consciousness is the thing that emerges from sense data, the thing that comes to consist of memory and language. But sense data, memory and language have material components; they’re rooted in the workings of brain. The last half century of neuroscience has established that beyond a reasonable doubt. The stuff of consciousness is definitively brain-based. It relies on physical matter. So if the soul is indeed immaterial, it must be more basic than consciousness.


Or maybe the soul is a material thing but the neuroscientists just haven't pinned this part down yet. Maybe it's intertwined in all that QM stuff or in that mysterious "dark matter" and "dark energy" that astrophysicists grope to understand.

But that's the beauty of it. All one need do is to believe in it. After all, those who scoff at its existence have yet to prove it does not exist. Anymore then they have established that God does not exist.

The word ‘self’ gets closer to the point – though I think ‘me-ness’ gets still closer. It’s the gathering principle of sensation, memory and language; the immeasurable, imperceptible, inexplicable filament that draws them together into consciousness.


The part that, once you die and and your soul goes to Heaven [or its equivalent in other religions] will all become much, much clearer. If only because the soul is all that will remain of "I" anyway.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Meno_ » Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:07 pm

iambiguous wrote:On The Soul
Mark Goldblatt gets animated about his self.

The soul...is not your consciousness – unless you are a materialist. If you are not a materialist, however, then the soul is what’s underneath your consciousness, the platform upon which your consciousness is constructed.


Again, a wholly concocted spiritual contraption. You think to yourself, "it's important to have a soul. That is what links all the changes I go through in my life to the Me. Also to God."

It's the platform you need. So all the proof of its existence you need is a consciousness able to think it up. The perfect coincidence.

And in order to confirm it all "in your head" you can create a sequence of assumptions like this:

Consciousness is the thing that emerges from sense data, the thing that comes to consist of memory and language. But sense data, memory and language have material components; they’re rooted in the workings of brain. The last half century of neuroscience has established that beyond a reasonable doubt. The stuff of consciousness is definitively brain-based. It relies on physical matter. So if the soul is indeed immaterial, it must be more basic than consciousness.


Or maybe the soul is a material thing but the neuroscientists just haven't pinned this part down yet. Maybe it's intertwined in all that QM stuff or in that mysterious "dark matter" and "dark energy" that astrophysicists grope to understand.

But that's the beauty of it. All one need do is to believe in it. After all, those who scoff at its existence have yet to prove it does not exist. Anymore then they have established that God does not exist.

The word ‘self’ gets closer to the point – though I think ‘me-ness’ gets still closer. It’s the gathering principle of sensation, memory and language; the immeasurable, imperceptible, inexplicable filament that draws them together into consciousness.


The part that, once you die and and your soul goes to Heaven [or its equivalent in other religions] will all become much, much clearer. If only because the soul is all that will remain of "I" anyway.




Hate to break our deal but although deals are not made to be broken, my empathetic journey places me in a very subtly balanced situation, almost corresponding to Yours, but with a damning twist that spells out either you will or will not.

That is to say I do not engage because of this or any other forum's irresolvingly frustrating enpass, but because strange to hear, for excellance that one loves strawberry's but does not eat them. Or I can get out of a fractured state, like mine, to go outside and meet people but simply won't or as I was won't to say at times, I can't.

Nevertheless , that type of behavior mirrors the soul within, and that soul not nurtured will eventually wither and due.

Would you believe that I am really a retroactive bum at heart, retrograded to Petrarc and those immobile who held luminance above punishment by the gods?

But then Hobbes comes along with his raging bullish attack mode?

Can you not go back into earlier friezes such as the rape of Europa and not see some conflicted
beginnings to the continental divide?
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:11 pm

You know, if dasein had a "condition".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Meno_ » Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:14 pm

iambiguous wrote:You know, if dasein had a "condition".



Dasein is conditional:


"How does Dasein disclose itself to itself?

Dasein has, in the first instance, fallen away from itself as an authentic potentiality for Being its Self, and has fallen into the 'world'. ... Idle talk discloses to Dasein a Being towards its world, towards Others, and towards itself—a Being in which these are understood, but in a mode of groundless floating."

It's this groundless floating, that causes concern, inter alia, and such concern progresses toward the condition of it's own existential dread.

That's a pretty universal proposition, so we, you, i, and lot's of others included.

Where boundary between 'being' fractured' as a subjective aspect of a singular life, and a universal conditioning of masses of people
Is tenuous, with the gap progressively widening as the deconstructing elevator descend from greater to lesser heights, toward newer formed revisions of what we dogs designate as reality.
Can one, anyone argue this point?
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Meno_ » Sat Nov 13, 2021 9:55 pm

After due consideration I notibly.re-accept the deal, of appearing as if, taste was merely in my mouth.

Again, biggy, abrasiveness is not one of my worst qualities.

You really are a good guy. Impressions aside.
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Nov 13, 2021 11:37 pm

Alan Sokal to meno:

If we weren't both compelled by the laws of nature to be entirely different people even I couldn't tell us apart. I understand you as Sokal even less than I understand myself as you.

So, is it a "condition"? I'm pretty sure with me it's not.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Meno_ » Sun Nov 14, 2021 12:31 am

iambiguous wrote:Alan Sokal to meno:

If we weren't both compelled by the laws of nature to be entirely different people even I couldn't tell us apart. I understand you as Sokal even less than I understand myself as you.

So, is it a "condition"? I'm pretty sure with me it's not.




Ok. that's understandeable , but I posed something similar in the 'determination' post and someone stopped me cold in something in some other context.

He said 'petty good' and i'm quite sure he meant 'pretty good'

So when you say the you are pretty sure that it's not your condition, that may be a bit off from saying you're absolutely sure.

As far as I am concerned and all the stuff I said in various half baked forums, i am as well torn by seeking not to exclude myself from either posituation.

So at this point in my life, and actually at any point from birth uupward to the present time, I could not make enemies, even if I wanted to

So yes, I am fragmented somewhat like you , maybe more or less, but really we are not running a competition of sorts or are we able to approximate it.

But got to tell you one thing, whenever I come to your defense when you are assailed by some differing opinionated interpretation, I am ready to jump to your defense, therefore invoking the wrath of assailants.

So whoever I am typically or architypically, nature or Alan, you or just being myself , it really does not phase the source or the destination which I may or not identify through mine,or your, or anyone particular understanding

I hope that my will to overcome the direction of powerless individual distinctive perceptions that anyone could misapprehend.

Again, with my earnest hope of not willing or able to push this envelope any further then mutually limited by conditions beyond my or your control.
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:00 pm

On The Soul
Mark Goldblatt gets animated about his self.

Think of consciousness as cotton candy. The soul, in that case, is the cone around which the cotton candy is wound – except, of course, and here the metaphor breaks down, it’s an immaterial cone.


Here's another place it all breaks down: in bringing it into focus "for all practical purposes".

Clearly, the more immaterial something becomes, the more actually describing it lends itself to a "world of words". My soul? Well, let me tell you about it. And trust me: what I am telling you about it is all that you need to know about it.

Or, to take another example, "let me tell you about God".

If the soul is indeed immaterial, then it must consist of the me-ness of me, the thing that encounters other things. But the word ‘encounter’ also requires clarification. For example, I’ve got a robotic vacuum cleaner in my apartment that seems to encounter other things. It even adjusts to them. It goes around things that get in its way. Does the vacuum cleaner therefore possess a soul? Clearly not.


Of course that's just plain silly. But what about chimps and whales and dolphins and Ierrellus's crows? And what of those human beings that are afflicted with all manner of what can become mind-boggling mental, emotional and psychological afflictions. Characters straight out of an Oliver Sachs narrative. Or what of those who succumb to dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Are their souls still in there somewhere?

In fact, does God Himself have a soul?

It’s thus necessary to differentiate between encountering something and responding to something. Even a run-of-the-mill computer nowadays, like the one found in a robotic vacuum cleaner, can be programmed to respond to things. But it cannot be programmed to encounter them. My vacuum cleaner doesn’t differentiate between itself and, say, the edge of my sofa – which would be the essence of an ‘encounter’. It strikes the edge of my sofa and cannot move forward; its sensors detect an inability to move forward and send a signal to the processor inside to reverse direction. It has no interest in reversing direction. If its program were altered, it would keep careening into the edge of my sofa until its battery ran down.


On the other hand, in philosophy forums, even this can get problematic. After all, as some understand determinism, the human brain itself is just another one of nature's vacuum cleaners. It thinks that it is making an actual autonomous distinction between encountering something and responding to it, but it was never able to not make it. Thus the soul here is, in turn, just another manifestation of the only possible reality in the only possible world.

Go figure, right?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 28, 2021 6:05 pm

On The Soul
Mark Goldblatt gets animated about his self.

So, too, with computers that play chess – even the ones that play at grandmaster level. Such a computer can be programmed to read the situation of a chess board, run through the billions of possible scenarios that might follow from the next move and calculate which scenario yields the highest numerical probability of taking the adversary’s king. But it cannot be programmed to care whether it wins or loses the game. It has no first-person interest in the outcome of the game. The software that underlies artificial intelligence cannot, for the time being, give rise to that sense of me-ness that is the foundation of human consciousness. I suspect (though of course don’t know for sure) that it will never be able to do so, regardless of how powerful the hardware, or how much more sophisticated the programming.


And what makes this all the more fascinating are those who argue that the human brain -- the human self -- is no less artificial in that it is compelled by the laws of nature themselves merely to be deluded into thinking that it does care to win rather than lose.

But even in assuming human autonomy, there is no hard and fast rule that in playing chess one is obligated to want to win. Some play the game ruthlessly, but others just for the enjoyment and the challenge the game provides. If anything they are interested more in beating themselves by getting better and better at playing.

Here’s a thought experiment: Suppose two rival software companies designed chess programs to compete against one another. Suppose, further, that each program contained instructions that, in the event of its defeat, would slightly jigger the probabilities on which it based its moves, then erase the old scheme under which it had previously operated. Each game between the two rivals might take mere moments to complete, since the moves would be almost instantaneous. The winner of each game would then have to wait several seconds for the loser to tweak its algorithms, and then the next game would commence.

It would be a deadly dull sport to watch. The point, however, is that the two systems are evolving, in a sense, under conditions that resemble survival-of-the-fittest. Each winner continues on to the next game intact; each loser perishes and leaves behind an offspring to try its own hand at chess survival.


Okay, but the other point is that in lacking God given souls and/or human autonomy, it's still just two entities programed to do only what they were never able not to do. They choose nothing. Unless I'm missing something here.

And then the part where this thought experiment involves nothing in the way of a moral conflict in which it is argued that the software companies are wrong to do this. That computer programs should not be created to compete against each other but only to cooperate.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 06, 2021 5:20 pm

On The Soul
Mark Goldblatt gets animated about his self.

Now the critical question [in regard to the post above]: At what point would either system develop a rooting interest in whether it wins or loses? At what point would either system care, in even the most rudimentary way, about the outcome of a game?


Leaving aside the manner in which I construe the meaning of determinism here, that would be the crucial distinction, right? It's one thing to be programed to win or lose a match, and another thing altogether for the program to acquire the actual capacity to want to win.

"For personal reasons"?

Then one might even imagine an "I" without the necessity to inhabit a flesh and blood body. A kind of "Spock's Brain"...sans the brain itself. "I" would become the program itself.

Whatever "for all practical purposes" that means.

To be sure, the case of chess-playing computers leaves out the crucial evolutionary element of bio-feedback. What if the software programs making the chess moves were also picking up sense data, encountering sights and sounds as they were playing?


Up to and including all of the inputs that you or I would experience if we were playing chess. Though, again, technically, I have no background that enables me to really understand what that might entail.

And then the part where this AI "I" would be able to defend itself against anyone intent on doing it harm. It's not like it could arm itself with guns and knives. Instead, it would have to be intertwined in something analogous to a Terminator movie environment. Machine intelligence creating other machine intelligence.

Except encountering presupposes a me-ness capable of doing the encountering. In other words, it presupposes a rooting interest. Sights and sounds, in themselves, would surely produce more data than the mere playing out of chess games would – data which could then be stored in the form of binary codes within the memory of each operating system. But the accumulation of data does not address the problem. What interaction of circuit board and binary codes will ever give rise to a self? How does information become will? How does me-ness enter into the system?


There you go. You create a system that clearly seems to be rooting to win. But how do you pin down beyond all doubt that it really is rooting to win.

And: the same with the self as a flesh and blood human being. You can be absolutely certain that you are choosing to read these words. But how would you go about demonstrating that it is not instead nature's own laws of matter that programmed you to believe this?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 13, 2021 5:08 pm

On The Soul
Mark Goldblatt gets animated about his self.

Thinking about the peculiarity of consciousness arising in a contraption of electronic circuitry and binary codes puts the problem in especially stark relief. But even if the system consists of flesh and blood, the problem remains unchanged. Sensations like sights and sounds are just electrochemical surges. There’s nothing mystical about them. They course through the body, carrying charges to and from the neuromagnetic cluster that operates in the brain, adding more and more data to the system. So you’ve got electrical signals. You’ve got magnetic fields. You’ve got living matter, organic cells in which the electrical signals and magnetic fields gather. Below that, you’ve got carbon atoms. You’ve got water molecules. In other words, you’ve got goop and soup, stimuli and response. That’s the totality of it, from the materialist perspective.

So I ask again: How does this add up to me-ness?


Really. Just go up to someone and engage in a conversation. Where is their "self" here? For most it is always in the eyes. But what of those like Maia?

Or maybe the lips, where the words encompassing "I" come from? But what of those who are deaf? And what of those who are both blind and deaf? The Self in the things they touch?

Or go to a mirror and try to pin down your Self there.

It's always that profound mystery between materialism and the myriad mental, emotional and psychological components of who we think we are at any particular point in time in any particular set of circumstances. Then things change and all the materials aggregated into the physical me react anew.

The origin of me-ness is the great mystery of the human condition. Let me confess, therefore, that I have no clue how me-ness can emerge, or even be accounted for, by materialism. That doesn’t mean the explanation doesn’t exist. Only that I cannot imagine it.


And then all of those who insist that they can imagine it. Not only that but if you don't imagine it as they do you need to, among other things, read their Bible. Or their manifesto. Or join their Coalition Of Truth.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 20, 2021 5:38 pm

On The Soul
Mark Goldblatt gets animated about his self.

If, on the other hand, the materialist perspective is rejected, then at least two possible explanations present themselves. (These are no more than guesses, however. That should be borne in mind.) The first is that me-ness is a kind of transmission, something akin to a radio signal, that emanates from a Source and is picked up by the circuitry of the brain. If the brain circuitry is in good working order, then the transmission is stable enough to form the basis of a continuous, recognizable consciousness. But if the brain is damaged, if the circuitry breaks down, the signal becomes scrambled. The signal is still being picked up, but the circuitry cannot do with it what it’s designed to do. That’s how the incidentals of memory and language are lost. But of course all of what I’ve just described is only a metaphor. To think of me-ness as a radio signal is to think of it as a wave – which is a measurable thing. If me-ness is measurable, then it’s no longer immaterial.


This of course takes most of us to places we are completely incompetent regarding...either to grasp or to pass judgment on. It's the part where "I" becomes entangled in the actual evolution of matter from the lifeless "brute facticity" of nature's laws, to consciousness to self-consciousness to the self manifesting itself among others given the interactions of the id, the ego and the superego "in a particular context".

Not to mention all of the additional "categories" proposed by those like Jung, Skinner, Rogers, Pavlov, Piaget, Milgram, Binet, Horney, Fromm and on and on and on.

"I" as , "something akin to a radio signal, that emanates from a Source and is picked up by the circuitry of the brain"?

You tell me. Here we are as matter able to grasp the existence of actual radio waves; and through this understanding create simply mind-boggling technologies that enable "I" to communicate a wealth of information and knowledge to other selves using, among other things, this particular technology.

Is it really possible to imagine that all of this is wholly determined by what brought matter into existence re the Big Bang? And how is that any less "mystical" than the idea that it was all made possible by God?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 26, 2021 5:28 pm

On The Soul
Mark Goldblatt gets animated about his self.

The radio-signal metaphor is a Platonic down-from-on-high explanation. So the alternative would be a more Aristotelian ground-upwards account in which me-ness becomes the end to which matter is directed. Me-ness isn’t something the brain happens to produce; it’s what the brain is designed to do, its ‘final cause’, the reason it exists in the first place – and the brain, in turn, is what the human being is designed to sustain.


We just don't know if those who prefer the down-from-on-high approach or the ground-upwards approach either are or are not in the position of having the option to choose otherwise. Here in regard to "I" we are always stuck. Choose either deduction as the starting point for examining our soul/self or induction and you are still stuck with taking a more or less educated leap of faith to the autonomous "I". And that's before -- given free will -- "I" becomes entangled in dasein in the is/ought world.

How far back does the design go? And does it commence with Nature or with God?

As for the "reason it exists", how can that not take us back to what is surely the most profound mystery of all: teleology.

Is there a reason that I/"I" exist? Is there a possible purpose that I can find in which to ground the behaviors I choose in?

Then all of the myriad abounding assumptions. Like this one...

The flesh and blood of man evolved, in other words, as a means to generate the soul…and the material world itself as a means to generate the flesh and blood of man. Me-ness is the immaterial potential that justifies the existence of matter, the Little Bang insinuated into the Big Bang, the why of the what.


Now all we need are of the equally myriad existential contexts -- billions of them around the globe -- to actually make this more substantial. How, for example, would you make it applicable to your own sense of identity out in the world with others?

But all of this is mere speculation. What’s not speculation is that the most dramatic moment in all of our lives is one that none of us can recall, the moment in the womb when the self awakens, without language, without thoughts, when the light switches on, when that sense of me-ness dawns. Regardless of where it comes from, regardless of who or what turns the switch, the miracle of that moment is undeniable.


Really, think about that...

The part where a "clump of cells" evolves to the point where in the womb you become conscious of existing itself. Existence without access to a language -- a mind -- able to grapple with what it means to become conscious of existing itself. Something out of Paddy Chayefsky's Altered States.

"I" literally in the context of "all there is".

Again, however, I’m not arguing that the soul must be immaterial, that it cannot be accounted for by the accidental functioning of the brain. My gut instinct tells me that the soul is not a material phenomenon. But I acknowledge that the reverse is possible – that the soul is what the brain does and nothing more. The fact that I cannot imagine how me-ness would ever accidentally and spontaneously arise out of organic matter and physical processes doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.


Of course, some cannot settle for a "gut instinct". They come here and situate their own Self in one or another more or less "thought out" objectivist font. Let's call it, say, the Satyr Syndrome.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 01, 2022 5:53 pm

Films
Sci Fi & The Meaning of Life
Shai Tubali sees how non-human minds mirror our condition back to us

“Philosophy and science fiction are thematically interdependent… science fiction provides materials for philosophical thinking about what it means to be human and the nature of consciousness.”
(The Philosophy of Science Fiction Film, Stephen Sanders, Ed, p.1, 2007)


The theme -- or, rather, my theme -- being the limitations that may or may not exist in regard to grappling with and understanding "I" in regard further to understanding what it means to be human given the fact that even now we do not have access to the "nature of consciousness".

Here you can start with Plato or Descartes or Kant or Berkeley or Wittgenstein or Neo. Or you can factor in the arguments I make in my signature threads. Or the fulminating and fanatical assumptions of our resident objectivists. Not all of which are pinheads.

In Spike Jonze’s film Her (2013), Theodore falls in love with a sophisticated operating system that takes the voice of a woman. The so-called ‘Samantha’ starts their relationship as a hesitant consciousness with early signs of self-awareness, even jealous of his physical existence. Yet soon enough Theodore realizes, to his horror, that she has discovered the delights of limitlessness. Before he knows it, she is already romantically engaged in a virtual relationship with 641 other people! He, who barely manages attachment to one woman, beholds the one who previously was a mere extension of his own need expand beyond his comprehension. Curiously groping for the edges of her own possibility and universality, she constantly stretches them, soaring to vast expanses of consciousness, while he is left far behind in his human, all too human, world.


Of course: AI and dasein.

Fortunately [or unfortunately] for those of my age, we will almost certainly not be around to grapple with the actual existential quandaries embedded in an identity "programed" into an artificial mind. On Her's level. A mind [seemingly] not entangled in the need for food or water or clothing or sex. Virtual wars and virtual social interaction. Virtual politics.

What on earth then can a "self" be understood as here? And would they not have to evolve into something analogous to a Terminator world? After all, as long as they are linked to flesh and blood human beings, they can easily be deprogramed or reprogramed. Or the plugs themselves can be pulled.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 08, 2022 4:11 pm

Films
Sci Fi & The Meaning of Life
Shai Tubali sees how non-human minds mirror our condition back to us

As a central aspect of the absurdity of our existence (which has been captured so well in existentialism), the human species seems to stand alone in the universe. We meet no other species which can compete with or challenge us. Confronting humans who are accustomed to thinking in anthropocentric ways with ‘competitive species’ can provoke in us the need to seek distinctions and at least somewhat answer fundamental questions about our identity, role, and significance within a vast, empty universe.


Here of course sci-fi films allow us to imagine intelligent life forms from other worlds altogether. But given that we have never actual been in contact with such creatures, speculation that is largely anthropocentric is going to prevail. Still, given that subsistence and wants and needs would seem to be a prerequisite for all intelligent life forms, why not?

They are likely to be preoccupied with the same questions as we are. And thus for me the questions would always revolve around the extent to which what they know -- if they are far in advance of us re the either/or world -- has enabled them to pin down more definitive answers to the God question or "I" in the is/ought world.

Put simply, nonhumans may be the greatest reflectors of our deepest humanity. So from out perspective of anxious solitude, the human imagination creates vivid images of the ‘other’. A.I. and robots are at least initially inferior, being a human creation, while on the other hand, aliens are mostly portrayed as superior and godlike, descending uninvitedly from the skies.


Either way, it would truly be fascinating to explore my own understanding of dasein re flesh and blood human beings here and now. Could an AI intelligence grapple with "I" at the intersection of identity, value judgments, conflicting goods and political economy in a way that would boggle my mind? Or an extraterrestrial intelligence: "Yeah, Biggy, we once struggled ourselves with moral nihilism, until we discovered that..."

Of course, many alien and A.I.s are represented as plain evil, not much more than shadowy images of the dark forces that stream from within our subconscious minds, in a way similar to horror movies.


And yes this part: Evil.

Evil relative to what frame of mind? What moral standards? What rational assessment of conflicting goods?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:08 pm

Films
Sci Fi & The Meaning of Life
Shai Tubali sees how non-human minds mirror our condition back to us

The Robots: Immortals Yearning for Mortality

Knight and McKnight’s article, ‘What Is It to Be Human?’ in The Philosophy of Science Fiction Film, discusses Blade Runner and concludes that in the light of biorobotic androids, human uniqueness is associated with ‘emotional memory’. This is disputable: after all, many animals and possibly plants have emotional memory.


Come on, to compare the enormous gap between what our own species is both capable of remembering and then reconfiguring back into the behaviors we choose in the "here and now", to what other animals -- and plants? -- do seems to narrow that gap far, far more than I ever would.

And the memories of replicants [as I recall] are still basically programed by those flesh and blood folks who have memories derived from actual experiences. Instead, the main bone of contention revolved not around the past but the future...that four year life span.

Her and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, however, appear to build on the same line of thought. In both films, a form of A.I. is developed to solve the emotional problem of human loneliness. In Her, heart-broken Theodore learns about an operating system which promises to be an actual consciousness, and decides to give it a try. In A.I., a married couple whose young boy collapsed into a coma is given an experimental identikit child-robot to fill the vacuum. Both Samantha, the operating system in Her, and David, A.I.’s robot-boy, become much more than the programme foresaw. In no time, for them and also for us viewers, the boundaries grow thinner, the robots attain apparent humanness, and we are left to wonder – what is a person anyway?


Here's what I'm waiting for: An A.I. themed film in which there unfolds a discussion between the flesh and blood programmer and his or her A.I. creation in which the discussion gets around to, say, the morality of abortion. Not loneliness and romance but the sort of things I probe here in regard to connecting the dots between morality here and now and immorality there and then. A.I. and the meaning of life...or the meaning of death? In Blade Runner the replicants were all about sticking around. Not to do good deeds, but merely to survive beyond their expiration date.

Or is death itself merely "programmed" out of this new consciousness:

The two ageless, deathless A.I.s yearn to be human, and envy peoples’ experience, which combines mind and organic body. Yet, they undermine the validity and depth of our own emotions by provoking us to question whether human emotion is imitable, and thus purely mechanical.


Ah, the role that dasein might play here! Nature programming us biologically, us programming A.I. technologically. The "self"/Self given all of the many, many convoluted permutations that might be beyond our even imagining now.

Moreover, does our consciousness develop as a result of feeling and learning through a biological body? Suddenly it is not so clear if an aware body of flesh and blood or emotional continuity are the unique traits of humanity. If it should turn out machines are capable of experiencing and loving, is there any human experience that cannot be acquired?


Again, if that is ever likely to be pinned down, it will eventually come down to the reaction of an A.I. "self"/Self when confronting conflicting goods. How is "I" here not the embodiment of dasein when so much of what constitutes experience/memory is merely programmed by a flesh and blood mind bursting at the seams with the implications of dasein.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 22, 2022 6:00 pm

Films
Sci Fi & The Meaning of Life
Shai Tubali sees how non-human minds mirror our condition back to us

So is consciousness of one’s limitations the very mark of human experience?


Well, you all know how far I take this: to "the gap" and to "Rummy's Rule". And, of course, to the part that revolves around whether we have free will at all here.

It's just that, in the is/ought world, I bring it in a lot closer to the lives that we live from day to day. You can experience any number things in which your behaviors will be challenged by others. What then are the limitations of what you are conscious of?

It’s definitely one attribute, as Camus points out in his descriptions of the absurd. Yet if we consider Samantha’s and David’s fantasies about having a human body, we learn that they crave the human friction between consciousness and body. In particular, an artificial intelligence like Samantha can expand the more it grows aware of itself, and since it is untethered to any space, there is no limit to her awareness and therefore to her ability to expand. Humans, on the other hand, are an in-between phenomenon: their unique experience derives from the tension between an expanding, imaginative mind, and a limited body.


Of course, some might fantasize about not having a body at all. And that is because for all the body provides us in the way of pleasure, it is more than capable of pummeling us with all manner of pain. And our sense of identity is often in a tug of war between one or the other. Let them crave the "friction" between consciousness and body when the body is making what one is conscious of a living hell.

Also, what is "pure consciousness" anyway? And how would having one impact on the arguments I make in regard to dasein, conflicting goods and political power? For now, this can only be imagined in the sci-fi world. In a "world of words".

Perhaps both our meaning and suffering emerge from this peculiar in-between state. “In this unintelligible and limited universe, man’s fate henceforth assumes its meaning…” Camus writes, “torn between his urge towards unity and the clear vision of the walls enclosing him”. To be human is to be between hope and death. David’s maker, Professor Hobby, suggests that the great human flaw is the wish for things that don’t exist, this being, at the same time, the greatest single human gift – the ability to chase down our dreams.


Only, once again, what can be an ineffable gap between what that means to me, and what that means to you. Whose dreams? And what happens when, in achieving your dreams, others are prevented from achieving theirs? Others, in fact, are harmed, even destroyed, when you achieve yours.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 29, 2022 5:32 pm

Films
Sci Fi & The Meaning of Life
Shai Tubali sees how non-human minds mirror our condition back to us

The Aliens: Gods Who Make Us Find Ourselves

“I often felt a sort of envy of humans of that thing they called spirit,” confesses one of the aliens who digs David out of the ruins of human civilization. “Human beings had created a million explanations of the meaning of life in art, poetry, mathematical formulas. Certainly human beings must be the key to the meaning of existence.” These aliens are depicted as perfect minds which hopelessly yearn for a taste of human emotion and passion. For all their intellect, as vast as it may be, there is no ‘point’; while humans somehow held meaning from the endless conflict between their aspiring spirit and their inherent limitation. That’s why David’s wish that his mother should live forever puzzles the aliens, but also touches them as yet another expression of the ungraspable human heart.


The Spock Syndrome let's call it. Although he was supposedly half-human you would never know it in most of the episodes. It was all logic, logic, logic.

Or, as I once encompassed it...

Whenever I come upon this sort of [brain/heart/spirit] quandary, I am reminded of a particular scene from the Star Trek IV movie.

One of the sub-plots in the film revolved around the perennial squabble between Kirk and Spock over the role of emotion in human interaction. I say human interaction because, again, as those who enjoy immersing themselves in the Star Trek universe know, Spock was half human and half Vulcan. The Vulcan half was basically bereft of emotional reactions. A Vulcan's reaction to the world was always logical, supremely rational. Thus the human half of Spock was, apparently, something he kept buried deep down in his psyche.

In the course of the movie, the Kirk [emotional], Spock [rational] conflict ebbed and flowed. But in a climactic scene near the end, the crew of the Enterprise are in a jam. One of their comrades, Chekov, is isolated from the rest of them. He is in a primitive 20th century hospital sure to die if not rescued. But if the crew goes after him they risk the possibility of not completing their mission. And if they don't complete their mission every man, woman and child on earth will die.

Spock's initial reaction is purely calculated: It is clearly more important -- more rational and thus more ethical? -- to save the lives of all planet earth's inhabitants than to risk these lives in the effort to save just one man.

But Kirk intervenes emotionally and reminds everyone that Chekov is one of them. So, naturally, this being a Hollywood movie, Spock ends up agreeing that saving Chekov is now the #1 priority. And, naturally, this being a Hollywood film, they still have time to rescue planet earth from the whale-probe. Barely.

But think about the ethical dilemma posed in the film. Is it more rational [ethical] to save Chekov, if it means possibly the destruction of all human life on earth?

What are the limits of ethical inquiry here in deciding this? Can it even be decided ethically?

Consider it in two ways:

In the first, we can rescue our beloved friend knowing there might still be time to rescue everyone else.

In the second, we can rescue our beloved friend knowing that, if we do, there is no time left to rescue everyone else.

Maybe someday we will actually come upon an intelligent species more along the lines of Vulcans. Until then though we're stuck being us: a subjunctive species ever forced to reconcile what we think and what we feel. And [as I see it] philosophy can never be "serious" until it acknowledges the implications and the consequences of that "out in the world" of actual human interactions in conflict.

So, the human heart. As with most things, it depends on the context. But with the heart comes that aspect of "I" more in sync with the primitive parts of the brain: instinct, drives, libido.

Are the logical aliens, perhaps, better off not going there? After all, the human "spirit" might find a "point" to life. But what happens when those points come into conflict?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sun Feb 06, 2022 5:20 pm

Dasein and Being-in-the-world – Heidegger
at the Eternalised: In Pursuit of Meaning website

The fundamental concept of Being and Time is the idea of Da-sein or “being-there”, which simply means existence, it is the experience of the human being.


In other words, from birth to death, what does it mean to be "there" and not "here". To be "here" or "there" now and not before or later. Existence relative to being out in a particular world at a particular time.

The world is full of beings, but human beings are the only ones who care about what it means to be themselves.

“A human being is the entity which in its Being has this very Being as an issue.”


What could possibly be more obvious? And yet, clearly, depending on the individual, some will explore this in depth while others will barely consider it at all. At least not philosophically. In fact, most leave all that to the ecclesiastics. It becomes a religious matter and there may be any number of Scripts "out there" in their own particular world to choose from.

Dasein and human beings are interrelated, without one another, there is no being and no meaning. Existence only exists within our being, and the reality without our being is irrelevant.

If a volcano were to erupt without us being there, would it actually have happened? Heidegger would tell us that it would simply be irrelevant.

“We are ourselves the entities to be analysed.”

Dasein is what is common to all of us, and it is what makes us entities.


Again, does one have to be a philosopher to come to conclusions of this sort? Human beings not only exist but in a free will world it is going to dawn on most that they "exist here", they "exist now". And then, rooted in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, individuals may or may not ask themselves the sort of questions that philosophers do. They may or may not come to the conclusions that I do regarding the distinction between I in the either/or world and "I" in the is/ought world.

What is relevant or irrelevant to us not in regard to erupting volcanoes so much as in regard to erupting pandemics or wars or civil strife.

Or holocausts. Heidegger's Dasein and my own dasein then.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sun Feb 13, 2022 6:27 pm

Dasein and Being-in-the-world – Heidegger
at the Eternalised: In Pursuit of Meaning website

Dasein is then not a disembodied, transcendent being, but rather the experience of being that is peculiar to human beings, an inherently social being that already operates with a pre-theoretical grasp of the a priori structures that make possible particular modes of Being.


Tell me that we don't need a few actual existential contexts here in order to make this effable.

And it's peculiar to human beings only in the sense that no other species on Earth has evolved to the point where they are able to invent such things as philosophy and computers and the internet. And though often described as a "social being", historically and culturally, the emphasis has often shifted back and forth between "I" and "we" and "them".

As for the "a priori structures that make possible particular modes of Being", you tell me. Given a set of circumstances that will allow you to "illustrate the text".

Instead...

Heidegger stresses it to be pre-theoretical because a theoretical structure would prevent us from seeing things as they are in themselves. This perspective can then allow things to show as they are in themselves and not through some kind of lens.


How is an assessment of this sort not perhaps an important reason why so few have an interest in philosophy? If, after noting something like this, an author then went on to examine how it is applicable to human interactions from day to day...how it pertains to his or her own personal experiences out in the world with others...it might at the very least allow others to grasp how it is applicable "for all practical purposes" to the "human condition" they encounter in the course of living their lives.

A "thing in itself" may actually be beyond the reach of both philosophers and scientists. It may instead only be grasped by what may or may not be an existing God. For mere mortals on this planet there are always going to be "lens". Philosophy being just one of them. And, even here, grasped through the lens of free will. An assumption derived wholly through the lens of a mechanical nature.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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