Location: Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany

I'm a sort of creative person, seeking the meaning of life . Hard to capture the essence of the mind/brain/soul - but I delight in arguing with ultra-materialists on consciousness. Ah! the smell of a rose and its redness, the smell of a fine wine, a sunset, - great stuff, and all subjective. Oh yeah and actually am Scorpio by 4 hours according to expert astrologer friend - blogger auto-star-sign system missed the fact that I'm on the cusp. Though I agree with Casius when he said "the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings".

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Philosophical musings 1

Well, I was reading in my Philosophy history by Stoerig again last nght the section on Heidegger and I finally grasped a few things better than before:
* His philosophy, just as Husserl's and the other phenomenologists', is rigourous but not in the same way as science. Thus he is
distinct from and in contrast to the rather unpleasant and boring logical positivists.
* You won't like this but it's interesting: he applauded Hegel for at least one of his ideas - namely that absolute nothingness
is actually the same as absolute being. H's take on that is that nothingness is the veil of being - a bit like ciaroscuro, shadows and light.
In this sense being is transcendent in that it stands out from the void and is more than just a 'place marker in nothingness'.
* He makes the point that philosophy is actually closer to poetry than science. Good point - as 'science' in the sense of objective science demands that we be zombies, whilst poetry is exclusive to subjects. The famous example of a sunset - objective scientific description is trivial, whilst a poet gives a lyrical account of subjective qualia. - this point struck me again in reading also last night interview of Spiegel editor with Brian Greene of 'Elegant Universe' - in his new book he again shows how one sided he is - apparently utterly ignorant of philosophy, he says things like:
"Oh the flow of time must be an illusion as it only occurs in subjective accounts". This is unbelievably ignorant of a supposedly intelligent scientist,
that he should have read no philosophy dealing with this essential aspect of existence - all existence is subjective! Of course, when pressed to say how time was created before the big bang, he had to confess ignorance. He also had no answer as to why the time dimension should appear so different from the spatial ones, although mathematically they are on a similar level.
Reasoning such as (

But at high speeds those watches can be off by seconds, minutes, even years if
they move fast enough.
Therefore, the whole notion of past, present and
future is nonsensical and completely subjective.

Again this philosophically challenged innocent thinks that just because it's subjective it's nosensical - the opposite is the case! He also shows his failure to grasp the concept
of qualia - it is immaterial if the subjective impression of time should be stretched or compressed a bit by relativeistic effects - this says nothing about what is being stretched - namely the subjective impression of the flow of time.


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