[lit-ideas] Re: [lit-ideas] Re: [lit-ideas] Re: [lit-ideas] Re: [lit-ideas] Re: [lit-ideas] Re: Æsthesis

  • From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 11 Apr 2015 08:52:19 +0200

I have found the discussions of Popper somewhat helpful as to the
understanding of science at least, others less so. On the other hand, I
wonder if all intellectual pursuits have to be conducted on the model of
practical science. I have read some of Stephen Hawking recently and I have
been struck by how philosophical it is, as the matter of fact. Mike's
complaint and yours seem to come from opposite ends; he is looking for
answers to deep existential questions such as why we are here, while you
are looking for solutions to practical problems. To put it somewhat
simplistically, Mike expects philosophy to replace God, while you seem to
expect it to make vacuum cleaners. It may be that the disappointment is the
result of exaggerated and / or misplaced expectations. On the other hand, I
admit that I often find philosophy tedious, but it may say more about me
than about philosophy. (Although I believe that philosophy took the wrong
turn at some point in the 20th century.)


On Sat, Apr 11, 2015 at 3:52 AM, John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>

On Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 9:46 AM, Mike Geary <jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx

Philosophy has fascinated me since high school, through college and even
somewhat today. It has fascinated me because it seemed to feed into my
desire (need) to know if there is any reason or goal or purpose to our
existence or is it all just a phantasmagorical dance of electromagnetic
radiation? I had hoped that buried in the arcane propositions of
philosophy there might me a rational response to my need to know.


I was fascinated in the same way. What life has taught me, as I see it, is
that confining "rational response" to absolute certainty is fundamentally
irrational. We live in an uncertain but not entirely unpredictable world.
At the end of the day, the search for meaning is not that old adolescent
dream, a quest for the Holy Grail, but a matter of accumulating heuristics
that mostly work until they don't, then asking how they need to be changed
to fit new circumstances. In science, they call the heuristics theories and
try systematically to falsify and refine them. That is what science does
and, on available evidence, does pretty well.

Does going round and round in circles from Grice to Popper to Wittgenstein
improve our understanding. Not as far as I can see. After months and years
of the same debates, the same old chestnuts are hauled hot and roasted
again, time after time after time. Which to me spells waste of time. That
is why I now return here mainly for the poetry provided by Helm, Geary, and
Richie's chickens and the occasional word of wisdom from Robert Paul. For
thoughts, that is, that may be fleeting, but resonate in interesting ways.



John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324

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