present day Philosophers

present day Philosophers
t3chn0n3rd
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Posted Jun 30, 2009 - 12:42 PM:
Subject: present day Philosophers
There seems to be a lacking of great present day philosophers of science. It seems instead of pursuing the natural sciences, present day scholars are turning the the inexact science of psychology.

Today modern day universities seems to be turning out more phd's in psychology than philosophy. I would like to see a reemergence in the great natural philosophers, and I dont mean theologians. It seems the modern day theologian is also an armchair psychologist.

It would be great to see modern day philosophers versed in western, and eastern philosophical systems. I also would like to see the modern day philosopher be able to articulate ideas on technology, cosmology etc.
wuliheron
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Posted Jun 30, 2009 - 2:12 PM:

We may be witnessing the end of such things. For example, the average significant theoretical paper in physics today has over 100 contributors. This despite many modern scientists having unprecidented IQs (over 230!), resources, etc. "Big Science" as it has been called began in the 1920s as industry began to seek the benefits of things like our emerging mastery of electricity (which now accounts for at least 1/4 of the world's economy). The same trends can be seen occuring in the philosophies and psychologies as well. Rapid advancement, money interests, and the increasing complexity and cross disciplinary overlap of any research is turning it all into big business that only governments and corporations can afford to conduct. There are even some philosophers today whose work has been declared important to the national security interests!
Willowz
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Posted Jun 30, 2009 - 2:34 PM:

There are many polyglots or maths that are philosophers.
wuliheron wrote:
We may be witnessing the end of such things. For example, the average significant theoretical paper in physics today has over 100 contributors. This despite many modern scientists having unprecidented IQs (over 230!)

The upper ceiling limit for general IQ is 180. Anything higher is uncertain and bias.


Edited by Willowz on Jun 30, 2009 - 2:40 PM
wuliheron
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Posted Jun 30, 2009 - 4:30 PM:

Picky picky, I still stand by my basic assertion.

Of all the people that have lived in civilization, half are alive today. Of all the scientists that have ever lived, 95 percent are alive today. The current rate of raw scientific data collected is now estimated to double every nine months to a year. It is getting so bad that even the best experts in any field simply cannot keep up with the rate of progress. For any given experiment there are an average of 100,000 other individuals and groups working on the same experiment.

No doubt if you tried you could find more minor quibbles with these figures, but the trends are clear. New sciences are being invented faster than ever and academic institutions are becoming more like corporations than their traditional Ivory Towers. Governments sponsor more research than ever before. Many would argue that this began after the French Revolution when the French created the first state funded university and gave scholarships to their brightest peasants. Thus began the modern military-industrial complex, however, it really became the irresistible force that it is today after the 1920s.
et cetera
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Posted Jun 30, 2009 - 11:44 PM:

Willowz wrote:

The upper ceiling limit for general IQ is 180. Anything higher is uncertain and bias.

Sorry to go off topic but any results of a IQ test are uncertain and biased. They measure an individuals aptitude to do tasks like word jumbles and categorical logic. The problem is that people can improve their performance on these types of tasks over time and with repetition. Take for instance sudoku. The first time you try a sudoku it is most likely going to melt your mind. It was so frustrating for me. But if you do one everyday with your coffee you start to improve because you develop strategies or inferential rules that help you to solve the problems quicker.
Kelby
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Posted Jul 1, 2009 - 12:53 AM:

t3chn0n3rd wrote:
There seems to be a lacking of great present day philosophers of science. It seems instead of pursuing the natural sciences, present day scholars are turning the the inexact science of psychology.

Today modern day universities seems to be turning out more phd's in psychology than philosophy. I would like to see a reemergence in the great natural philosophers, and I dont mean theologians. It seems the modern day theologian is also an armchair psychologist.

It would be great to see modern day philosophers versed in western, and eastern philosophical systems. I also would like to see the modern day philosopher be able to articulate ideas on technology, cosmology etc.


I don't see the point. This is already happening. Philosophy is not dying as some people will tell you. Take a single step into cognitive science or physics and you will be thrown into philosophical debates. They are philosophical to say the least, though many would argue that what they are doing is not philosophy...though they actually are.
John Searles essay of the future of philosophy is an interesting perspective, one that I have my contentions with,especially in the details, but one in which I agree for the most part nonetheless.

http://www.pdcnet.org/pdf/2Searle.pdf

He says we are in a post-epistemic, or post-skeptical age. Not that there are no skeptics...but the hardcore Skeptic is hardly taken seriously. No one seriously doubts the existence of the world...such views are incoherent and devoid of practicality. With the shedding of such extreme skepticism, Searle contends that philosophy has a new footing, one which is similar to Descartes' beginning, though theoretically disimilar.
Now the claims he proposes may be misapplied in certain respects, but I agree with the overal tonality. We have much to look forward to in philosophy, especially when it comes to the implications of quantum theory, which has not been made into a coherent account of how it "fits into our overal conception of the universe, not only as regards to causation and determinancy but also as regards the ontology of the physical worlds."(Searle)
wuliheron
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Posted Jul 1, 2009 - 11:17 AM:

I agree kelby, in fact, your mention of quantum mechanics brings up a modern goal of some philosophers. Many believe that a single philosophy can be constructed that is applicable to all the sciences and that this philosophy will be created by working from one extreme end of the sciences to another, from the cognitive sciences to the physical and vice versa.

Personally, I've been interested in the philosophy of quantum mechanics since I was 14, but I can hardly understand two words of the Stanford Encyclopedia write up on the subject! This is a growing concern for many philosophers, both professional and nonprofessional. The arguments at both extremes are getting so complex they are becoming incredibly difficult to follow. Just try reading a detailed paper on something like Functional Contextualism and you'll see what I mean.
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Posted Jul 1, 2009 - 11:56 AM:

I disagree that there are no great modern philosophers of science. For those who have already heard it, please forgive me for beating this same drum.

Please look into the work of biologist Robert Rosen. I think if his arguments are sound then science is due for a great awakening. And I think if can be shown that his arguments are unsound then this too will be a great boon to the philosophy underpinning science.
wuliheron
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Posted Jul 1, 2009 - 7:15 PM:

There are countless philosophers out there with similar holistic theories to Rosen. He is an example of the philosopher's I mentioned who are trying to create a philosophy that spans all of the sciences. The problem with such theories is that the foundations are extremely broad and difficult to conceptualize. They are making progress, but it is like slowly pulling teeth, both painful and difficult to watch.
Kelby
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Posted Jul 2, 2009 - 2:41 PM:

wuliheron wrote:
Personally, I've been interested in the philosophy of quantum mechanics since I was 14, but I can hardly understand two words of the Stanford Encyclopedia write up on the subject! This is a growing concern for many philosophers, both professional and nonprofessional. The arguments at both extremes are getting so complex they are becoming incredibly difficult to follow. Just try reading a detailed paper on something like Functional Contextualism and you'll see what I mean.

This is a startling fact. I have stood disconcertingly in the face of such "professional deformation," not really knowing if my upset is warrented or not. The consequences of specialization seem quite disturbing, though without specialization, we wouldn't know nearly as much. Not to say this is a bad or a good thing. However, I feel the utter weight of information, and it seems the philosopher inevitabley is to become more and more specialized...especially when it comes to philosophers of science.

Wilfred Sellars wrote:
"The aim of philosophy, abstractly formulated, is to understand how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term."

In other words, as Flanagan points out, philosophy's job is to keep an "eye on the whole." Is Sellars' philosophical ideal passé? On the surface, if would seem so. If the philosopher is to become more and more specialized, and take part in this exponential growth of knowledge and information, it seems to follow that the philosopher is destined to lose hold of such a holisitc vision. Don't really know though...just some thoughts.sticking out tongue
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