[lit-ideas] Re: Applied Philosophy

  • From: Andy <mimi.erva@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 08:15:24 -0700 (PDT)

We agree.  Inert is a perfect word, reason is truly a fair weather friend, and 
even in fair weather it's usually found lying in the hammock under a tree 
outside while the emotions, often if not usually driven by unconscious 
imperatives that are established in childhood, wreak havoc inside.  Humans do 
act with purpose but the purpose is often unreasonable and implemented blindly. 
 Case in point, and given that my emotional brain never strays far from peak 
oil, I will use that as an example.  

I learned that Shell (probably among others but I only read Shell) back in the 
1950's actively suppressed the work of M.King Hubbert, who accurately predicted 
America's peak in the early 70's and the world's peak in the 90's.  His 
prediction was postponed because of the conservation in the 70's.  The point 
is, they were purposefully blind in suppressing information that would have 
allowed the world to make changes.  Their piggy minds saw profits; profits as 
end all and be all are on the emotional side of the ledger.  The scenario 
replayed itself for climate change, with ExxonMobil leading in the 
(paraphrasing Alan Greenspan) irrational anti-global warming exuberance.  CEO's 
are proud owners of yeast brains, just like everybody else.  Imagine that.

On that note, I want to say, my birds are back!  They're only back on the one 
side of the house but at least one family is back.  My emotional brain is so 
happy about that.  Unfortunately  my reasoning brain says they make a mess, and 
my emotional brain says, you're useless what do you know, and we start 
quarreling about it ...

--- On Thu, 5/8/08, Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

> From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Applied Philosophy
> To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Date: Thursday, May 8, 2008, 3:44 AM
> > The problem as I see it is that nature developed the
> > emotional brain first and added the intellectual brain
> > as an afterthought.  There is no way philosophy per se
> > can overcome emotions.  The two parts of the brain are
> > evolutionarily separate and distinct, with the
> > emotional brain prevailing, not even by philosophers. 
> I'm not sure what 'not even among philosophers'
> means, but few 
> philosophers have said that emotions play no role in human
> decisions and 
> actions. After all, Hume believed that reason was
> completely 'inert' 
> when it came to getting the body attached to the mind that
> reason was 
> allegedly part of to do anything. You might say that
> emotions and 
> desires entirely detached from any particular beliefs would
> be, if not 
> 'inert,' equally bad at bringing things about
> unless humans are thought 
> of as acting blindly and without purpose. Even if emotions
> give us ends 
> in the form of wants and desires, reasoning about means
> enable us to 
> attain whatever our little piggy minds demand. Aristotle,
> being 
> Aristotle and not Plato, talks a lot about emotions
> (pathé); each virtue 
> is itself identified with the particular 'emotion'
> of which it is the 
> mean. (Bravery is distinguished from both rashness and
> cowardice, e.g.) 
>   However, it is our reasonable selves which help to
> identify what 
> things are to be truly feared, so that we're neither
> foolhardy in the 
> face of Godzilla nor uninformed about the toxicity of
> scorpion bites.
> I'm not sure Walter believes any of this, but both
> Plato and Kant owe us 
> an explanation of why reason, disengaged from any feeling
> or desire, 
> should play any role at all in what we do or should do.
> > Philosophers can't do the impossible, which is
> > overrule nature, however much they are among the only
> > ones to use that profoundly beautiful afterthought
> > that nature gave all of us.  
> Philosophers are more like Tibetan sand painters than they
> are like pure 
> intellectual beings contemplating eternal truths. Their
> pictures of the 
> world don't last long: what would be the fun in
> meditating on things 
> that never changed?
> Robert Paul,
> more or less deep in thought
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