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philosophy help.

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Whiskey Balls Posted: Fri, Oct 5 2012 5:50 PM

I literally have no education in philosophy. as i continue to study AE i am finding my greatest hindrance in furthering my studies is my inability to think.  So i need help!

I dont want to be an expert right now, but does anyone have suggestions of what to read? Best subject in philosophy to help me?  im thinking philosophy on logic maybe.  Something that will break my statist ability to learn.  I will have time to read probably around 500-600 pages so if i think a few shorter books would be better.  or a single treatise on the subject.

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Do you want a general work on philosophy or something specifically on logic?  Jevons' textbook on logic is available in the Mises Institute literature section.

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You should start out with essays from Hayek and Rothbard.  I dunno where JJ has been (banned?), but he has a whole thread for things like this.

 

EDIT:  You should also not study logical methods that are prior to Frege.  Frege turned logic into what it is today.

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Clayton replied on Fri, Oct 5 2012 6:13 PM

Well, I think the first thing to realize is philosophy is an art, not a science. It is, by definition, an eternally open subject. Some people love this, some people hate it. Most of the "big ideas" were fleshed out by the early Greek philosophers but have been refined and re-explored many times, particularly by the medieval Scholastics (DesCartes, Aquinas, et. al.)

So, philosophy is really a grab-bag of big questions and "big ideas", most of which have no definite answer. Is the Universe infinite in extent and age? Believe it or not, science really has not settled this question... it's just taken to be settled within the standard cosmology which itself is full of holes. Is matter comprised of discrete point "atoms", or is it a continuum "wave"? QM is supposed to say that it's "both" but it turns out that is a misrepresentation of the facts. And so on. These millenia-old questions are actually still open because the fact is they are foundational.

I would commend the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy to your attention. There is also the SEP. This guy is engaging, I highly recommend Epicurus to your attention, as well as just explore around on YouTube... there are tons of videos uploaded on all the old philosophers. Learning a little about the lives of the ancient philosphers is useful because the human brain is a social brain... it's easier to retain and operate on ideas that you can place in the context of the thoughts and ideas of real human beings.

Also, as just a matter of sheer amazing insightfulness, I recommend Mises's Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science and the first 150 pages or so of Human Action. While he doesn't directly deal with the foundations of philosophy itself, he makes many remarks - almost offhand - that go a long ways to dispel common philosophical tarpits. A wise man will heed the philosophical insights of Mises.

If I could say only one thing to save you time and effort, it is to always remember that all aspects of learning and study are human. That includes natural philosophy (today called "science"). All studies serve human ends. And they are performed by human beings. Anything that anyone has ever thought is, in principle, comprehensible by you, too. So, beware of imbuing philosophy with a kind of theological "apartness". Many people fall into this trap. Philosophy will not get you greater certainty regarding what is true and right. That certainty has to come from within and is a matter of maturity, not book study. In fact, I think that is what attracts people to the ancient philosophers... they were "blue sky" thinkers... their thinking was unclouded by thousands of years of prior written dogma. They didn't need to preface every remark with 10,000 qualifications and gotchas.

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I'll be politically incorrect and say with Macaulay that 99% of philosophy is total garbage, except for entertainment purposes. Think of it as Mad Magazine for intelllectuals.

What you want is logic. Strangely enough, the philosophy departments have courses and textbooks in introductory logic, and that's what you should get.

You might find something here:

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/linguistics-and-philosophy/

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I highly recommend Epicurus to your attention

Really?  Why him?  No, Seneca?

Plus, if the kid is trying to learn about economics he'll need metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and action philosophy.  Moral philosophy won't get him anywhere in terms of truth; moral philosophy is aimed at wisdom.

99% of philosophy is total garbage

Such as?  I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but could you give examples of what is garbage?

Strangely enough, the philosophy departments have courses and textbooks in introductory logic

Why is it strange?  Or were you being sarcastic?

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Clayton replied on Fri, Oct 5 2012 6:40 PM

I want to offer a gentle counter-point to the emphasis on logic. While logic is important, its importance is lies mainly in its ability to assist in identifying fallacies.

What I think is missing from most modern philosophical discussion is causality, something that Mises places heavy emphasis on. Causality - like logic - is a category of human understanding and it is crucial to understand the difference between speculation (statistical inferences, etc.) and verstehen (comprehension, understanding, causality).

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Clayton replied on Fri, Oct 5 2012 6:41 PM

truth; ... wisdom.

Yes, because these two are always at cross-purposes... *sigh

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hahahh

truth; ... wisdom.

Yes, because these two are always at cross-purposes... *sigh

Yeah, *sigh* it up, cause you do not know what you are talking about.

Have you read Seneca?  (read this one too)  (He read Epicurus...)  I'll let you read it yourself, since I know you have not.  I guess a priori categorical understanding comes from wisdom, huh?  That is why you "know" so much about people you have never met (the Queen of England for instance)...and their motivations and actions?  Because you are wise?  Boy, what can't you just pull out of your ass?

 

He bashes logic pretty hard.  And makes the case that most of philosophy is aimed at trivalities since the study of logic will not help one "banish lust."

 

For the OP, Bertrand Russell's Problems of Philosophy has a pretty good reputation.  It has nothing to do with ethics or virtue theory (trust me, moral lessons will not get you an understanding of economics despite what some of the sophists on this board claim).

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Anenome replied on Fri, Oct 5 2012 6:56 PM

What you need, I think, may be not so much a primer on philosophy in general, that might actually leave you more confused than before. But rather, take a look at the political philosophy of Austrians.

Read Rothbard's Ethics of Liberty, or For a New Liberty and you'll get a treatment in there of the philosophical underpinnings of a free society based primarily on the philosophical concepts surrounding natural rights.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Clayton replied on Fri, Oct 5 2012 7:00 PM

@Aristophanes: I have no idea what you're on about. Your posts often border on the trollish but here they've gone over the border.

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@Clayton.  You are a sophist. (from this advice to your "a priori knowing" about geopolitics - when it is apparent that you do not read about geopolitics at all...) 

You're telling this poor kid to read Epicurus as a primer to economic methodology...it is absurd.  He might as well read the Marquis...

You throw "trolling" around with absolutely no reason to...

Like this statement:

What I think is missing from most modern philosophical discussion is causality

It is apparent that you do not study these things. 

OP should read (I'm sure these names are on the Stanford site)

Donald Davidson (one of the biggest names)

Harry Frankfurt

Brian O'Shaughnessy

Robert Audi

Carl Ginet

Wayne Davis

Gilbert Harman

Michael Bratman

Hugh McCann

Alfred Mele

Paul Moser

Jennifer Hornsby

if he wants to read about "causality" (which is discussed within philosophy of action and/or mind)

You could even go into Wittgenstien...Searle, Frege (classic), Gilbert Ryle, Christine Korsgaard...

"missing from modern philosophy" my ass............you are missing from modern philosophy.

OP there is a world outside of the Mises realm of philosophy that many here apparently are not familiar with in the least.

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The original post talked about how he felt he couldn't think properly, reading more books on philosophy won't help, what's needed is a book on logic and critical thinking. Go over those books until you are certain you understand everything. After that "practice makes perfect". (There are many books on logic and critical thinking. Going to Amazon, typing in "Introduction to Logic" or "Critical Thinking" then picking the books with the best reviews is the best way to get started in my opinion, the Listmania feature is good for finding books on the subject, some of the lists are Beginner to Pro, giving you the best order to read certain books to understand the subject.)

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Can everyone just stop with both the sighing and the mocking laughter?

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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Prime replied on Fri, Oct 5 2012 7:35 PM

Daniel James Sanchez:

Can everyone just stop with both the sighing and the mocking laughter?

Only if we can still use the Michael Jackson eating popcorn animation.

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Clayton replied on Fri, Oct 5 2012 7:41 PM

@Daniel: What's the problem with a sigh? Aristophanes has put white text in a post and that is not worthy of a sigh?

 

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could you give examples of what is garbage?

 I refer you to Macaulay's Essay on Bacon [in volume 2 of critical and historical essays]. The section relevant to this discussion begins with the words, "Two words form the key of the Baconian doctrine, Utility and Progress."

What he says of the ancients applies, IMHO, equally to almost all the ones that followed.

I say it is strange, that given all the works many philosophers wrote that demand a suspension of logical thinking [I'm looking at you, Hegel and Dewey and who knows who else], that works on logic should show up there. It's like Marx writing the definitive text on AE.

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So, you are referring directly to Epicurus and Seneca.  I thought that when I read Euthyphro.  Modern analytic philosophy has gone a long way from the ancient doctrines.

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You can try to take a programming language if thats the kind of logic you want to pursue.

Hell even basic algebra that you took during middle school should suffice.

If not logic, then what you want is to get into a philosopher mindset....

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AJ replied on Sat, Oct 6 2012 2:32 AM

I have given the subject of how to think clearly an incredible amount of thought. I would first suggest reading as little as possible. Less reading, more thinking. Reading entire books is especially hazardous and should be done with great care not to pick up the bad habits of the author subconsciously: "It's not what you know, it's what you know that just ain't so." (And also the reasoning habits you think are legitimate because famous people use them, but they aren't.) 

Here are my recommendations for how to think clearly.

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Clayton replied on Sat, Oct 6 2012 3:09 AM
I agree with the caution on 'readding an entire book. Some books maybe but most books don't deserve it. Its a tenet of faith in .mainstream schooling that every book is to be read cover to cover or not at all. Hogwash.
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Buy a general 101 philosophy book that introduces the main points ideas and subjects of famous philosophers.  "12 Great Philosophers" is a good enough book if you don't want to do a search yourself.

Also, avoid anyone on a thread telling you "what philosophy is", "all philosophy is crap", "the correct philosophy is.." or "my philosophy is" .  For some reason as soon as the word "philosophy" is mentioned it's like the gauntlet is dropped, the black flag is hoisted, and everyone wants to say something.

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Walden replied on Sun, Oct 7 2012 1:55 AM

@Aristophanes

Which texts would you recommend specifically and why?

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Clayton replied on Sun, Oct 7 2012 2:48 AM

@Aristophanes's claims that philosophy has a lot to say about causality (for the benefit of lurkers):

Please read Economics and the Revolt Against Reason. It's short yet very powerful. Mises posits a conspiracy theory in this short essay: socialism had been refuted on every front by economic science, so the socialists (and their silent partners in the State) did an end-run around economics by calling into question reason itself. When confronted with the airtight rational arguments against socialism, the socialists suddenly became a bunch of solipsists, nihilists and eventually postmodernists. As in The Matrix, there is no spoon.

Central to anti-rationality is anti-causality. For the socialist, the central-planner, the Marxist, and the lobbyist-fascist, cause-and-effect are the most basic component of economic science which must be gutted forthwith. The very idea that people have ends and they use means to attain them - as obvious and trivially true as it is - is so embattled today that it almost always shocking when explained to someone for the first time. The reactions are usually one of two species: incense at the hubris of just talking about purposive behavior as if no scientific justification for such language is needed or shock and disbelief at the simplicity of the idea followed by wondering how come nobody ever talks about this simple, yet powerful, conception of human behavior. After all, everyone is a practical praxeologist, even if he nominally rejects theoretical praxeology.

And just as the revolt against reason has creeped from the social sciences into other sciences, so has anti-causality. The standard interpretation of randomness in Quantum Mechanics, for example, is blatantly acausal. The incursion of anti-rationality and anti-causality dogma into all the sciences is nothing short of an all-out ideological war.

Philosophy - far from being immune to this onslaught - has been one of the branches of academia leading the charge against reason. It is the philosophy departments that have churned out great tomes of mind-numbing drivel meant to call into question the ability to reason, the ability to act, the ability to comprehend - even existence itself! Hegel, Foucault, Derrida... to name a few of the worst offenders. Contemporary philosophy is the very foundation on which the entire ediface of socialist ideology stands.

And at the center of its bullseye is human action. Purposive behavior presupposes causality. Mises explains this in one section in the beginning of Human Action. If you are a lobbyist for steel tariffs, you are going to protest at people attributing telos to your behavior - after all, your motives are quite transparent. So, to quell this kind of discussion, you will need to undermine the idea of cause-and-effect in human behavior. Steel tariffs and import quotas are a matter of "national security" or "national pride" - all discussion about the steel industry padding its pockets at the public's expense is conspiracy theory! After all, there is no cause-and-effect in human affairs, there are only statistical correlations discovered by "studies" and then policy adjustments made on the basis of such studies. This is the block-headed mindset of the entire political class and much of the corporatocracy, as well.

Perhaps our ever so well-read Aristophanes will be happy to correct me with choice quotes from contemporary philosophers on the crucial role of causality in human knowledge and particularly in human action (purposive behavior). I have no doubt there are good guys out there... Daniel Dennett is one of them and I'm willing to bet there are others. But the idea that good, old-fashioned cause-and-effect is assigned a place of reverence in the contemporary pantheon of philosophical ideas is downright laughable.

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Which texts would you recommend specifically and why?

Wait, for what subjects?  Causality?  Because causality is what I am recommending.  If it is something else, say so.

Donald Davidson's Essays on Events and Actions. - It is a collection of 50 years of his published essays ... in case anyone in here is a published philosopher...they should speak up .............. ?

And for general philosophic inquiry, almost anything from Bertrand Russell.

Aaannnd, you may want to look for a history of intellectual development that focuses on philosophy (just make sure that you know that authors predilection first, as if you go with Russell on this you will get a logical positivist's perspective on all of the competing schools of thought). hah

Philosophy is an ongoing discussion and discovery process and Davidson (or Wittgenstien - not for beginners) does not really disagree with Mises.  They/he are simply more specific and care more about the actual process of causality than its effects...right Clayton?

@Clayton

Purposive behavior presupposes causality.

Not necessarily.

Davidons simply says that when an "onslaught" of a new disposition (which is not behavior at all, but a state) (beliefs & desires) creeps its way into someone's head that this constitutes an "event" (the acknowledgement of a new disposition is an action) and that beginning with the effects (results, consequences) of the action that follows one can deduce reasons and then causes.  Mises was never concerned with the "why" and certainly wasn't looking for telological "laws" (I admit, as many do, that these may not exist) that explain rule following in people's heads.  He was a freaking economist... as this example demonstrates...

If you are a lobbyist for steel tariffs, you are going to protest at people attributing telos to your behavior - after all, your motives are quite transparent.

...it has nothing to do with cold mental activity or disposition and everything to do with ontology.  Tell me what does cause action?

You should just read instead of dismissing everything.  Your know-it-all-ism is what is laughable and, frankly, annoying.  Read Railton (How to Engage Reason: The Problem of Regress) and Stroud (Inference, Belief, and Understanding).  Both of them critique various theories of causality in ways that cannot be expressed by using economic examples...

I love how you talk about the irrelevance of "great tomes of mind-numbing drivel meant to call into question the ability to reason, the ability to act, the ability to comprehend - even existence itself!" as you post over and over again in your thread about the Universe and Blavatsky and at the same time bash philosophy....  She was a god damn mystic...and believed all kinds of dumb shit about human cycles of existence and the perfect race blah blah...what are we in our ninth cycle on our way toward Aquarius and human cognitive perfection?  Manly Hall didn't take her bullshit as far as you do and I suspect he did not for a reason.

But the idea that good, old-fashioned cause-and-effect is assigned a place of reverence in the contemporary pantheon of philosophical ideas is downright laughable.

Yeah...well google any one of the authors that I posted earlier...problems of cause and effect include...agency, trying, intending, constraints, mechanisms, etc.  And if you get into the nitty-gritty you start talking understanding of language and rules...demonstrative pronouns, indexicals, types of reasoning...it just goes on and on.

Philosophy didn't start with Epicurus and it didn't end with Mises...

This is for everyone to read.  It is short, kind of off topic, and will get you thinking...

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Bert replied on Sun, Oct 7 2012 9:37 AM

For some short intro stuff I liked From Socrates to Sartre.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Berkeley has an opencourseware intro to philosophy class taught by none other than Searle:

 

http://webcast.berkeley.edu/series.html#c,d,Philosophy

 

But, recently, I've been listening and reading along with The Partially Examined Life http://www.partiallyexaminedlife.com/.  I don't know how that'll work out (and I don't agree with it all, especially the episode on Hobbes' Leviathon), but if you want to experiment with that with me, that's cool :U.  It's at least gotten me to read and take notes on Nicomachaean Ethics.

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Also, my intro to philosophy was the book:

 

"Sophie's World"

 

Can.

Not.

Suggest.

That.

More.

Than.

Enough.

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"Sophie's World"

You know, you are not the first person to say that, and I know a few people who had that book as their 101 in college - so that may be a good hint at a good intro book.  I can't say anything about it though, as I have not read it.

@Bert:

That's kind of what the book that I suggested is.  It was my 101 book in college. A look at major / well known philosophers and it breaks down the categories that are typically approached in philosophy and would be of interest to a new student. 

@OP

Also, if you are looking for logic instead of philosophy - once again any 101 logic book would do.  If you are in college, or going to college just take whatever philo course is offered as your humanities elective.  This will at least force you to disciplin yourself when engaging the subject.

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Clayton replied on Sun, Oct 7 2012 11:24 PM

Aristophanes:
you post over and over again in your thread about the Universe and Blavatsky

The thread is not about Blavatsky and the fact that you think it is only shows you haven't read it... not that I mind, just pointing out that you can't speak of it authoritatively. I've dismissed Blavatsky herself as an "entertainer" in multiple places - in that thread and others. And the tenor of the thread is out-of-the-box-thinking and having fun. I've contemplated everything from UFOs to spiritual entities and Lizards controlling life on Earth. It's a "thread for adults" who can entertain a hypothesis for an extended period of time without feeling the need to accept or dismiss it. Which is what philosophy is really all about.

I love philosophy. But a great deal of what passes for philosophy is either mental masturbation or needlessly timid hand-wringing. And the corruptive influence of "the money flood" - as Hal Lewis termed it - has impacted philosophy departments every bit as much as it has impacted physics or social science.

If someone wants to read abstruse philosophy, I say, knock yourself out. But don't come back to me with this hand-wavy intimidation shit about how there's all this "deep" stuff in there that must be presumed to stand until refuted. What silliness. If you have a counterpoint, state it or GTFO.

There are some important arguments that are too long to be pressed in proper detail in a short forum post. Fine. But you can always state the summary of any argument in a couple sentences at most. So do it. If the summary does not do justice to the full argument, it is then understood that the full argument is not refuted by refuting the summary. But that's no excuse not to give a summary. You don't even give counter-arguments, you just drop names and then wave your hands like we're all going to get scared and run off at the awesome power of your name-dropping skills. State your objections in specific. If you can, that is.

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thats a good point Vive i think i will look into Sophie's World.  As for taking philosophy in college my business school only allows a few philosophy classes for the humanities credit and they appear to be nothing that interests me (i think 4 out of the 6 classes are strictly history of it). 

AJ - thats a great post and actually addresses a lot of the problems i go through.

Aristippus - i really like the description on the jevon book so i think im definately going to give at least a skim through and see how it addresses my concerns.

Clayton - i would say my number one problem is the 'first 150 pages' of human action.  Human Action was the second AE book that i started reading and i started blowing through it.  Then he started recalling a number of things that he had written in the first 150 pages and i realized just how deep and important virtually every single word is, and it wasnt sinking in.  So while i think you are right that its 'philosophical' and ultimately what i want to know, im just not there yet to understand its implications.  But i think you are right in pointing out causality.  That subject interests me a lot.

To the people suggesting open source education - great point.  I always recommend to other people and i dont know why i didnt think about recommending it to myself too.  thanks.

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Great, but be aware that it is on traditional logic.  If you want an introduction to modern logic, try this: http://stuff.mit.edu/afs/athena.mit.edu/user/g/l/gleitz/www/Introduction%20to%20Logic%20-%20P.%20Suppes%20%281957%29%20WW.pdf

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I thought most 101's mixed formal and informal together in their intro courses?

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Yeah, that book has a bit of both, really (but mostly modern logic).  Jevons' work, of course, does not.

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Clayton replied on Mon, Oct 8 2012 1:26 AM

@Aristippus: Awesome pdf resource! A quick glance shows that book is really top-notch in its presentation of the topic.

He mentions various sentential constructs that can lead to vagueness and misinterpretation. I think this has been a perennial source of hand-waving on the part of some logicians (not Suppes) who suggest for the reasons mentioned that natural language is inherently vague. Natural language is not inherently vague. You can choose a non-vague subset of natural language which will give you as much expressive power as you desire. It's just a matter of deciding on the vocabulary and grammar ahead of time.

Formal logic, then, can be seen as a specific subset of natural language vocabulary and grammar which has been chosen for its parsimoniousness and expressiveness, particularly in relation to mathematics and physical science. Unfortunately, some people take this subset to be somehow normative or authoritative... a mold into which any proposition that wants to be considered "formal" must be crammed. You do not need special symbols and you do not have to use the particular vocabulary and grammar of formal logic to construct a formal language every bit as expressive as formal logic, and possibly more parsimonious for the subject at hand. Austrian economics is a model of this kind of formal language in action.

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But you can always state the summary of any argument in a couple sentences at most. So do it.

Umm.  I did post a short summary of an argument that refutes what you said..."purposive action presupposes causality."  <---not true in all cases.

a great deal of what passes for philosophy is...mental masturbation

Isn't that what you described your Blavatsky thread as?  (Of course I haven't read it...after your piss poor geopolitical ruminations why would anyone - Really? India would support US action against Iran?? Because they are our ally, right? =P)

And the corruptive influence of "the money flood" - as Hal Lewis termed it - has impacted philosophy departments every bit as much as it has impacted physics or social science.

Demonstrate this.  I suspect that if you aren't at all familiar with modern analytic philosophy that you would have no idea what philosophy departments look like...

If someone wants to read abstruse philosophy, I say, knock yourself out. But don't come back to me with this hand-wavy intimidation shit about how there's all this "deep" stuff in there that must be presumed to stand until refuted. What silliness. If you have a counterpoint, state it or GTFO.

You speak as if complicated things cannot be useful.  I did have a counterpoint that you did not respond to ignored in order to say that I didn't have one.

Then there is this...

Natural language is not inherently vague. You can choose a non-vague subset of natural language which will give you as much expressive power as you desire. It's just a matter of deciding on the vocabulary and grammar ahead of time.

It is not so much "name dropping" as you make blanket statments that I don't even know where to start at.  Like the one quoted above.  You see words have denotations and connotations that vary from person to person, so language itself can be confusing and ineffective even if you choose words and grammar carefully.  (Even denotation and connotation are not strong/specific enough to demonstrate this problem.)

Here - presented with an uberrespected perspective on the complications of language (that is actually difficult to "sum up"):

http://eecoppock.info/Presupposition/Readings/Frege.pdf

http://philo.ruc.edu.cn/logic/reading/Frege_The%20Thought.pdf

Both of these papers have spurred debate among philosophers as to how to solve the problems suggested (that have gone unanswered for 100 years and that Mises was surely familiar with).

some people take this subset to be somehow normative or authoritative

Like who?  People that lived 100/150 years ago?  Essentially you are referring to polylogism.

You do not need special symbols and you do not have to use the particular vocabulary and grammar of formal logic to construct a formal language every bit as expressive as formal logic, and possibly more parsimonious for the subject at hand. Austrian economics is a model of this kind of formal language in action.

Yes.  Yes.  Again the world of philosophy ends with Mises - this time language and logic.  No wonder AE is so respected, it has solved and demonstrated so many great truths of action and logic....  Oh, wait, it is probably that "money flood" that holds back academia from recognizing the philosophical brilliance of Mises and the breadth of his contributions to the philosophy of language.  After all, they wouldn't have jobs, right?!

(You do not need special symbols) - I kind of agree with this (because it is nigh impossible to express the functions of each unique word in a sentence in logical form; more and more and more categories seem to be required), but at the same time I see it as virtually impossible to disassociate expression from syntax without doing so (it is impossible).  Without doing so, logic cannot be demonstrated with the consistency of math...(to which you say it is unnecessary then point to economics as an example... =/  Res ipsa loquitur.

(http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic638346.files/Davidson1967.pdf) - One of the more impressive expositions of why logical form is necessary and how to do it (although I mentioned the categorical/interpretive problem)

"The Fed does not make predictions. It makes forecasts..." - Mustang19
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David Gordon has done an interesting History of Philosophy (mainly related to political philosophy but he shows how one's metaphysics influences it) lecture series. It may be an enlightening introduction and makes you aware of the main thinkers.

 

http://mises.org/media/categories/98/The-History-of-Political-Philosophy-From-Plato-to-Rothbard

The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.

Yours sincerely,

Physiocrat

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Clayton replied on Mon, Oct 8 2012 7:10 PM

language itself can be confusing and ineffective even if you choose words and grammar carefully

But no matter how carefully you choose words and grammar - even if you choose as carefully as mathematicians choose them - the problem of confusion (as evidenced by the possibility of deriving a contradiction) is ever-present. This is what Godel proved in 1931 with his Incompleteness Theorems. In other words, this objection is sophistry... it's just a way of saying we're not omniscient. Of course we're not omniscient. Therefore, we cannot choose definitions and axioms (formal system) that we are certain are consistent. No human language - formal or otherwise - is immune to this problem. That shows that the problem of ultimate uncertainty is not the problem we should be trying to solve. It's unsolvable anyway.

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
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...This is what Godel proved in 1931 with his Incompleteness Theorems....

Not the Godel's Theorems they taught me.

Everything in your post is wrong.

But don't trust me, [even though you should],

There are professional mathematicans aplenty around; show them your post.

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It's easy to refute an argument if you first misrepresent it. William Keizer

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Malachi replied on Mon, Oct 8 2012 7:36 PM
Dave, this is a good example of what is wromg with you as a forums member. I'm gonna go through here and address each part so you can fix yourself.
Smiling Dave:

...This is what Godel proved in 1931 with his Incompleteness Theorems....

Not the Godel's Theorems they taught me.

You werent taught that Godel proved that a formal system couldnt prove itself?

Everything in your post is wrong.

well since he was addressing someone else, dont you think it might be helpful to explain how? Even if you only wish to be snarky to Clayton (as it appears) couldnt you actually be snarkier by explaining how he is wrong? And we know you love to be snarky.

But don't trust me, [even though you should],

Trusting you doesnt do anyone much good since you havent said anything worth acting on anyway. What, we're supposed to trust you (of all people! Lmao) that he is wrong and stop giving a shit about what is right? Or youre just the wrongness fairy, bopping in to tell us when you think someone needs some wrong-ass fairy dust in their thread?

There are professional mathematicans aplenty around; show them this post.

Are there now? Are there really "[...]plenty" of them? Especially around here? And why would he be better served bothering a professional when your creepy, sarcastic, loathsome self is here? Unless youre simpy not up to the task, as per usual.
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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