were gonna do some philosophy. i want to get the ideas sorted out and then discuss my intuitions about it and get to what my real concerns with it are. conversation is important in getting ideas out and worked out.
the names i will mention are somewhat arbitrary, and based on their relevance in my mind to the issue. if any other ideas strongly relate, feel free to mention them, i use names because the people behind them had systems of thought beyond my depth of understanding of their words on certain subjects...
ethics is the subject to a certain extent, but i suppose an appropriate label would be 'how we go bout our business.'
in an attempt to make everyone miserably unhappy with everything, david hume decided to take on the task of morality. what he has to say is that in the western tradition, we all like to break things down into axioms and littler and littler things. in physical sciences and philosophy alike. it end up, sayeth hume, that no matter how small we break down these axioms, they are still based on assumptions. we dont need to question this particular part of this, suffice it to say that hume was a smart guy, and has justification for this claim beyond what we need for now. the end of what hume says is that we cant be sure of anything because all our arguments are circular, hes annoyingly skeptical, even to me...
next comes this dude herbert feigl. he sort of says that humes right but wrong as well. feigl has three qualifications of the ways in which we can argue, validation, vindication, and (i dont think he uses this term persay, the third category is less defined) effectiveness.
validation. validation is the legality of something. the question of validation is whether something can be done within a certain system. given our broad scope i want to consider, i will use general social interaction. but first, to make the concept clear, consider playing a game of chess, if i try to move my king seven spaces horizontally and jump your castle, you will say 'no thats not allowed,' my move is not valid within the rules of chess. so step back, to say, shaking hands. in general sociality, shaking hands is a quite accepted concept, it is within the 'rules' of western sociality. but if i met a woman and immediatly began to kiss her neck, this would absolutely not be acceptable. it is not validated within the social rules.
vindication. vindication is another step back. vindication is the question of whether the system itself makes sense. is chess the best way to stimulate whatever kind of mental activity it does? would a three-dimensional board heighten the experience, a pyramid? kings that can jump and roam? would neck-kissing perhaps be a better way to greet new aquaintances? is the system legitimate, does it move us towards our goal of this or that or the other thing? in a broad look, vindication is asking whether our way of doing is the best way of doing, in so many words.
effectiveness. is the move a good move? is it the best way to bring about the results i wish to bring about? if an argument is valid, that is, if it is allowed, then i must consider whether it is a good thing to do.
the way this relates to hume is that feigl attempts to show that in certain cases, like validative cases, we are working with all the relevant information that we need, and that nothing further is needed and no smaller or more specific or more certain axioms are needed. vindication is more where humes position remains strong. it would seem that any vindication which we offer for anything is arbitrary and subjective.
now it gets to where i know a lot less.
ive been listening to these lectures from a professor of my brother's named hubert dreyfus, who is one of the foremost heidegger scholars in the english speaking world. in a particular lecture, he mentioned artificial intelligence. a problem with a.i. is that it largely has tried to define things in terms of millions of descriptions and inter relations, but came upon the frame issue, which is something to the effect of that a computer cant judge usefulness, and doesnt know, by virtue of a bunch of descriptions, what is going to happen when one thing in the world changes. he used to teach at MIT, and he tells a story about how one of his colleagues (who he was in a school-politic war with about this new a.i. prgram) that wrote a program that is meant to read stories, and when it encounters a man who falls into a lake and drowns, it interprets it that gravity drowns as well. anyway. this whole problem is that artificial intelligence cannot be mimiced, the actions of the human mind cannot be duplicated by feeding smaller and smaller and interwoven details about the environtment and such.
so my question now sparks in my mind. why is it that in the western tradition we seek to break things down into such small axioms, when this is clearly, as a.i. failings have discovered, not the way the mind itself works? heidegger himself does come in, but hes very complicated, and i know to little about him to mention him a lot. he has a lot right about how the mind works, though, apparently. theres stuff about phenomenology that i dont yet know and things to that effect, but i want to get the ideas straightened out and discussed before i travel to much further, and while i research this. theres stuff in heidegger about the use of things as tools at hand and a whole bunch of crap, i get overwhelmed thinking about it; he sees the mind as very intertwined, opened to, and attached to the world, the world being where the mind is... so help to get my mind right....
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