Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathread

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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby Canadian_watcher » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:52 am

American Dream wrote:
Searcher08 wrote:
In fact, I would love to hear how those who do support the work of David Icke to explain how their "faith", critical thinking and epistemological foundations can allow positive regard for Mr. Icke's work to co-exist with such Reptilian Theory.


Then start a thread on it as this thread is about critical thinking, reductionism and epistemology

You are steaming into troll territory AD with this - if you want to discuss the Annunaki, start a thread.

Please get back on topic

It's abundantly clear to me that wanting to hear "how those who do support the work of David Icke to explain how their "faith", critical thinking and epistemological foundations can allow positive regard for Mr. Icke's work to co-exist with such Reptilian Theory." very much is on-topic.

It's also abundantly clear that this is something that you, Searcher do not wish to talk about. However this theme would be relevant to others here- C_w, for example.

Leave your "authority" as thread-starter out of it, please.


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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby American Dream » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:55 am

Suggesting victimization is one gambit for avoiding taking responsibility for one's words...
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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby Searcher08 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:58 am

American Dream wrote:It's abundantly clear to me that wanting to hear "how those who do support the work of David Icke to explain how their "faith", critical thinking and epistemological foundations can allow positive regard for Mr. Icke's work to co-exist with such Reptilian Theory."


Clear to you alone perhaps.
This paragraph above is as clear as mud.

It's also abundantly clear that this is something that you, Searcher [b]do not wish to talk about. However this theme would be relevant to others here- C_w, for example.

Leave your "authority" as thread-starter out of it, please.[/quote][/b]

You are just using all of this as ameans of avoiding looking at critical thinking as a subject for conversation. You are seeking to 'prove' it (what ever that means) by applying it to ID or David Icke.

Hoever what is actually rather transparent is that at no time in this or any other thread have you been willing to look at talk about or confront the limitations of critical thinking. In short , you apply this process to everything except itself.

Let's talk about what YOU see as the foundations of critical thinking DIRECTLY.

I suggest that is because you are much less sure of your foundations than you are posting bad cartoons.

Finally, there is no need to be such a patronising asshat. I made a request at the start of the topic. You ignored it and you have repeatedly tried to turn this thread into an Icke discussion. This thread isnt. Get over it.
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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby Canadian_watcher » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:10 am

^

Image


how DARE you??????????????

:lol2:
Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own.-- Jonathan Swift

When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift
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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby American Dream » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:17 am

Canadian_watcher wrote:^
how DARE you??????????????

:lol2:


So maybe you've come to learn that satire isn't all bad?

So now let's add this to the list of C_w's gambits when she's uncomfortable- others include victimization, claiming a source for her knowledge higher than mere reason, gender-baiting, nationalism-baiting, and even demon-baiting to me once.

I'm sure there's more than that though...
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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby MacCruiskeen » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:18 am

Well said, Searcher.

Also, something both AD and C_w have apparently yet to notice is that there is a very significant difference between good satire and bad satire. To defend satire as a method of enlightenment and emancipation, a weapon against oppression and a sometime moral necessity does not oblige anyone to call pigshit caviar. On the contrary, it presupposes an ability to tell the difference.

Or to put it another way: to see a sense of humour as a precondition for critical thinking (even when temporarily self-suppressed or held in reserve) is not to concede that all humour is equal, much less that every witless jibe or nudge-nudging drollery is a window onto reality rather than a wall around a frightened ego.

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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby Canadian_watcher » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:50 am

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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby MacCruiskeen » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:57 am

From a very brief intro to the work of Michael Polanyi:

[...]

Tacit knowledge

Central to Michael Polanyi's thinking was the belief that creative acts (especially acts of discovery) are shot-through or charged with strong personal feelings and commitments (hence the title of his most famous work Personal Knowledge). Arguing against the then dominant position that science was somehow value-free, Michael Polanyi sought to bring into creative tension a concern with reasoned and critical interrogation with other, more 'tacit', forms of knowing.

Polanyi's argument was that the informed guesses, hunches and imaginings that are part of exploratory acts are motivated by what he describes as 'passions'. They might well be aimed at discovering 'truth', but they are not necessarily in a form that can be stated in propositional or formal terms. As Michael Polanyi (1967: 4) wrote in The Tacit Dimension, we should start from the fact that 'we can know more than we can tell'. He termed this pre-logical phase of knowing 'tacit knowledge'. Tacit knowledge comprises a range of conceptual and sensory information and images that can be brought to bear in an attempt to make sense of something (see Hodgkin 1991). Many bits of tacit knowledge can be brought together to help form a new model or theory. This inevitably led him to explore connoisseurship and the process of discovery (rather than with the validation or refutation of theories and models - in contrast with Popper, for example).

Michael Polanyi wrote: We must conclude that the paradigmatic case of scientific knowledge, in which all faculties that are necessary for finding and holding scientific knowledge are fully developed, is the knowledge of approaching discovery. To hold such knowledge is an act deeply committed to the conviction that there is something there to be discovered. It is personal, in the sense of involving the personality of him who holds it, and also in the sense of being, as a rule, solitary; but there is no trace in it of self-indulgence. The discoverer is filled with a compelling sense of responsibility for the pursuit of a hidden truth, which demands his services for revealing it. His act of knowing exercises a personal judgement in relating evidence to an external reality, an aspect of which he is seeking to apprehend. (Polanyi 1967: 24-5)


Michael Polanyi placed a strong emphasis on dialogue within an open community (a theme taken up later strongly by the physicist David Bohm). He recognized the strength by which we hold opinions and understandings and our resistance to changing them. Unlike many of his contemporaries he placed his thinking within an appreciation of God and of the power of worship - especially in his later writing (see, for example, Meaning). In his earlier work (especially in Personal Knowledge) Polanyi seems to be preoccupied with 'setting forth ways to think about religious meaning as an articulate system or framework related to other articulate systems' (Mullins undated). Later Michael Polanyi attempted to extend his model to describe the nature of human knowledge found in art, myth and religion.

Conclusion

In respect of the philosophy of science, it can be argued that Michael Polanyi helped to pave the way for Thomas Kuhn's groundbreaking work on the structure of scientific revolutions. Perhaps the strongest echo of his work that we encounter as educators comes through the work of Donald Schön and Chris Argyris on knowing in action, and in Eisner's consistent arguments for connoisseurship and criticism in evaluation. It also has parallels in Jerome Bruner's (1960) distinction between mediated and immediate cognition or apprehension.

By paying attention to Polanyi's conception of the tacit dimension we can begin to make sense of the place of intuition and hunches in informal education practice - and how we can come a better understanding of what might be going on in different situations. Significantly, his attention to passions and commitments throws fresh light on the praxis (informed, committed actions) that stand at the heart of informal education.

[...]

How to cite this article: Smith, M. K. (2003) 'Michael Polanyi and tacit knowledge', the encyclopedia of informal education, http://www.infed.org/thinkers/polanyi.htm.

© 2003 Mark K. Smith

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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby Canadian_watcher » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:07 pm

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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby barracuda » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:53 pm

vanlose kid wrote:you mean the naturalism against evolution section of the talk, right? starts about 36 minutes in? the conflict between naturalism and evolution.


Yes. His earlier points regarding why Christianity is not incompatible with evolution, I agreed with nearly entirely. The only issue I have with that premise is that to maintain it, you must first divorce Christianity from large portions of the Old Testament, something which is expressly understood as non-negotiable by most Christians.

AP sets it up saying that one cannot sensibly believe both naturalism and evolution. not that they are logically incompatible. the reason being that naturalism is understood as eliminative materialism [EM] which holds that "people's common-sense understanding of the mind (or folk psychology) is false and that certain classes of mental states that most people believe in do not exist. Some eliminativists argue that no coherent neural basis will be found for many everyday psychological concepts such as belief or desire, since they are poorly defined. Rather, they argue that psychological concepts of behaviour and experience should be judged by how well they reduce to the biological level.[1] Other versions entail the non-existence of conscious mental states such as pain and visual perceptions" (Wiki).


I think that's too complicated for me. I want to understand naturalism as a position in opposition to supernaturalism, or more pointedly, as assuming the world is natural and does not include the presence of God. He is speaking directly about the notion of a director of events standing outside of evolution, so it seems safe to view his argument this way.

then he goes on to look closely at premise one, annexing EM to N. so if EM is true, that creatures (humans included) are meat automata and nothing more, they have no beliefs. and even if they do the beliefs don't matter because what ensures survival is neural/biological functioning or adaptive behavior. if the automaton functions correctly/behaves adaptively then no beliefs are necessary for the functioning survival. here's where the frog example comes in.


Right, and the assumption that human beliefs are true is my issue with his premise. Beyond that, I find the entire argument massively anthropocentric.

if what counts is behavior (how your limbs move/how the machine functions) whatever beliefs you might have about the world whether true or false, make no difference. e.g. whether your belief that you're eating chicken or not is true or false doesn't matter. whether you have a belief about the chicken doesn't matter. as long as the neural machinery operates adaptively then all is fine. beliefs don't have any role to play in survival at all.


But look how far one has to go 'round the block to justify eating chicken as an action wherein the adaptation was merely an error that happened to work. The neural function of reason is what makes most adaptions of this category workable, i.e. we have a survival adaptation called reason which is massively imperfect in most ways you can think of, but it does allow for certain proper choices to shake out and be passed along rather than a slew of improper ones, if only by trial and error. A brave man was he who first eateth an oyster, I say. Surely hunger and chance drove such a decision rather than reason.

why do e.g. EM'ists write books, have tenure, teach EM? what's the point of all this unnecessary activity? are they malfunctioning?


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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby barracuda » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:25 pm

Canadian_watcher wrote:
Image


I think Mac is right, all humor is not created equal. The cartoon above, for example, is striking me as somewhat incomprehensible. I'm assuming that the animal characters are meant to represent individuals taking part in this discussion, but I want to be sure I'm correct regarding attributions here in order that I might fully grasp the satire or humor of the piece. So:

- Is the "dinosaur" with the finned hands supposed to be American Dream?

- The evil looking goldfish is, presumably, me, because I have a distinctly animal-based username, so that one I get.

- But is the timid and helpless looking bird meant to evoke you, Canadian_Watcher? I have a bit of a disconnect there, as I don't think I've ever really associated your username with a bird, or with timidity. Maybe a laughing skull-head from one of your Día de los Muertos paintings might have been used to better associative effect. Do you really view yourself as so very put-upon and downtrodden?

Other questions:

- Why is the dinosaur-like creature a teacher? Is this meant to evoke the pedantic aspects of American Dream's persona?

- Did the fish draw the cooked chicken on the blackboard?

- Do you really think that the more you fight, the better it feels for me? Because generally, I'm just trying to get my point across, you know? Like most people here, I'd prefer if a somewhat civil back and forth regarding the issues at hand could be maintained. Believe it or not, I'm not a vampire-like creature of hatefulness who sustains his lifeforce by sucking the joy from the lives of well-meaning people.

- Airplane = Smileyface? I sort of get why the Dino-teacher is frowny about that, but... I don't know, I get lost on that part.

Canadian_watcher wrote:
Image


But now, in this new cartoon, the rat character seems to be American Dream, so I really don't know if I was right in the first place about the Dino-thing. Does the American Dream character shape-shift between a rat and a dino? Is that a comment upon the Reptilians and their shape shifting? And now I see you've introduced a mystic and a ferret and another bird as well! And why is Mac a cheese slice?

Assistance would be appreciated.
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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby Canadian_watcher » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:23 pm

chew on it, dude. It's how I feel just about every time one of the chuckleheads responds with a music album cover or a one-liner snipe from out of nowhere or some reference to the good old days followed by a reference to hitchiking or some damn "If You Can't See How Wrong You Are *I'M* Not Going To Be The One To Tell You" malarkey.

You've obviously seen the SATIRE thread which you couldn't abide. Hilarious that, being that you've approved of 'good old fashioned rough and tumble' crap-calling-out every time someone laid it at MY feet. Must be nice to have an alternative ending to the old saw: If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen. The rest of us just have to take it.. but YOU, you get to lock things down when they don't go your way.

Finally, I know YOU aren't the "vampire-like creature of hatefulness who sustains his life force by sucking the joy from the lives of well-meaning people" but clearly you are invoking what you surely know by now is the primary cause for all of this:

NORTON ASH. If anyone wants to see why I feel that way his posts are searchable and public. Well, except for the ones that he PM'ed to me, the old charmer. This might be water off a duck's back if it weren't for the fact, barracuda, that he's your little Pilot Fish (heh.. and Jeff could be Pilate for all his apparent moral paralysis) and therefore he can say whatever the fuck he wants, even when it is CLEARLY beyond the pale.

That victim bit you and others throw on me is a fucking tactic and you know it.

I haven't claimed to be any more mistreated than i *am* being mistreated.

Toughen up, C_W! Yeah.. sure! Take a joke! Don't go running and tell, crybaby!! You are too stupid to separate well-meaning and necessary ridicule from your own little feelings! You're hurt, that's YOUR problem! I got news for you - it's everyone's problem on this board and 'out there.' People cowed into silence by these same fucking tricks and the same fucking mindless 'survival of the meanest' culture we have together built.

I *am* tough. Not many other people would have come this far. Not many people would be able to weed through this tangle of psychological warfare. My toughness also will allow me to leave this place knowing I've not lost any dignity in the minds of anyone who actually uses theirs.

You're the big mean teacher fish in the cartoons oh mighty wise mystical encyclopedia of bullshit, leader of the Church of Cruelty Will Get You Everywhere. Anyone wanted a primer to understand these cartoons better can go to the Lounge and look for my 'SATIRE' thread. (which barracuda has, in his wisdom, locked.)

Norton is was the pile of sticks.. but *this* was the fuel:

barracuda wrote:I thought I made it clear on the other thread that I felt faith was an inextricable part of being human, and that I considered myself essentially a mystic.
....
On the third page of this thread, I put forth my opinion: that Intelligent Design was propaganda. Twelve or so pages later, virtually everyone here including Canadian_Watcher agrees.


HA! on both counts. Not that I even know enough about ID to agree or disagree with ANY of it, but that was never the point, which you and others REFUSED to let go of. Most certainly though i did not and DO not "agree with your opinion" - at all - and not because of 8 pages of browbeating. Fool you are to make such a pronouncement. If you like feigned agreement via bullying that's your head trip.

Once I saw how far gone you were through these two quotes I realized that to stay here would be an exercise in futility. Quite honestly I do not know why we have ANY "moderators" at RI when the one we do have is only using it for his own ego.

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Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own.-- Jonathan Swift

When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift
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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby American Dream » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:26 pm

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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby Jeff » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:44 pm

I'm not watchful enough to do it well, but I do mean to protect my moderators. That included you, C_w, when you were one yourself.

These postings are unconscionable and inflammatory. I'm suspending your account for a week.
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Re: Critical Thinking, reductionism, epistemology RI megathr

Postby norton ash » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:30 pm

C'est la vie.

I'm spending my pointless, awful, hateful little life in a breeze off Lake of the Woods right now, heading into Winnipeg tomorrow. Long day on the TransCanada today, bound and awestruck by the beauty.

And I'll stand by anything I posted to C_W as jokes which she couldn't abide, because her sense of humour, especially about herself, is nonexistent. And the reason I don't like her, never have, is she's a mean attention-vampire with no respect for anyone, as borne out today without any help from me.

Jeff may remember how it all started. Something along the lines of me writing 'you didn't answer the question' (ONCE) countered immediately with 'Stop harassing me.'

Ain't gonna study war no more, though, and for those who think I went too far, please forgive.
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