Cornucopia of Philosophical Questions (9)
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I am writing to say simply that Gamma Ray Bursts are more frequent, far more powerful and less predictable than ever before believed. There is evidence now that a gravity pulse caused the Tsunami in December, and that a terrific spike in Gamma Rays followed shortly thereafter. If you examine the essence of radiometric dating of ANY material, it assumes a constant rate of cosmic [gamma] radiation. This has now been totally proven false.
Please tell me your thoughts.
engineer in NC
There is a green man in front of me. Also, I am not perceiving things that I believe I am perceiving. Also, I exist. Also, I don't exist.
Are there any theories which defy natural reason in stating that everything imaginable (and beyond the imagination) does indeed "exist", and "exist" in every form of the word, illogical forms of the word and logical forms of the word. Yet, we are only a *part* of this universe, limited in our views. Yet, if everything exists, then the idea that I don't exist in any sense of the word also exists. Yet, our logic and views are limited, so we cannot see this/it doesn't make sense to us. This defies any idea of "truth" and assumes that since the universe is infinite, everything exists in it. Any comments on this idea and any reference to major (or minor) writings on it would be greatly appreciated.
I'm not sure where this question stands in philosophy or whether it has anything to do with philosophy at all but it's something that I've had on my mind.
I've begun to wonder whether some people in this world, in this existence, are just 'meant' to be ordinary. My question is whether a person has the means by which he/ she can rise to a greater position in this world, to have an impact, to be extraordinary or whether some people are simply fated to lead an inconsequential life? Has God created some lives which are meaningless and purposeless simply for the sake of diversity?
I am a philosophy student and I an entering into my 4th year of study, my question is do you think philosophy is male dominated?
I ask this question as I have still not studied one female philosopher in my time in college, I think it would be an interesting subject to do an essay on. Thank you.
paul john asked:
Our teacher in Philosophy tried us to give a tricky question, we keep on thinking the exact answer, but we can't, can you help me? Here's the question...
Imagine that you are killed by someone, then you died. You were going to choose where you want to go. There are two doors with angels each.. They have the same in everything, except one of this doors is the way to heaven, and the way going hell.. You have to ask something, just to know where is the right way to heaven with just only one question.. The angel who's guarding the doorway to heaven will say the truth, but the angel who's guarding the doorway to hell will deceive you, he will never say the truth.. Example you will ask, 'where is god'? The two angels will both say 'he's inside here'. Question is, what will you ask, just to locate the right way to heaven.. I'm from Philippines.. Thank You
What is the neurophysiological counterpart of laughter? There's definitely something physical happening, yet laughter seems to be so "meaning-oriented", like if you consider the nature of why things are funny, etc.
What's going on here?
Kind of an academic question... If you one can name the theories that these aphorisms represent...
e.G Existence precedes essence is Existentialism.
Which theory do these given below represent?
1) Primacy of knowing consciousness
2) Being is independent of knowledge
3) Truth consists in utility
4) Moral judgment are meaningless
5) Truth lies in consistency
6) Truth lies on conformity with the fact
7) Knowledge is based in experience
8) To know is to know through concepts
9) Greatest happiness principle
10) The essence of life is duration
11) An idea is true so long so to believe it is profitable
12) The reality of sensible thing consists in being perceived
13) There is nothing in cause except invariable succession
14) Will to power
15) Nothing is good but the goodwill
16) Inquiry is the essence of Logic not truth or knowledge
17) A greatest part of philosophy may be reduced to something that may be called syntax
Say whether the following claims are true or false and explain briefly:
1. Deductively valid arguments must have true premises and true conclusions
2. If an argument has true premises and a true conclusion, it must be valid.
3. If an argument is valid and the premises are true, then it must be sound.
4. Only sound arguments have true conclusions.
5. If either a premise or the conclusion is false the argument cannot be sound.
How are you? May you help me in the following!
What page (in the the book What I Believe) is this quotation taken from?
"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
- Albert Einstein, What I Believe, 1930
what makes something a fatalistic universe?
Why is Richard Taylor so certain that we are in such universe? Would you agree with Taylor? Or why not?
thank you in advance
1) Is is memory a form of knowledge?
2) and how would you define knowledge?
1. What's it all about?
P.S. Is this question answerable?
2. WHY are we concerned with philosophy?
What is the message of the Oracle of Delphi to Chaerephon about Socrates?
What is Socrates' response and how does he go about trying to disprove the oracle?
I am trying to find the source of this quote, "In the web, all our beliefs are justified by all our other beliefs, they are connected by an explanatory network, and changes in one place can require changes elsewhere. Thus all belief is connected to observation in the world" which may be attributed to the philosopher, W. V. O. Quine.
M. Aamir Khan asked:
Salam, I am 23 years old BS student and I want to know the Philosophy of the AL-FARABI.
What did he actually want to teach us?
lori ashbaugh asked:
The idea of surviving death via a resurrection of the body can be countered by what objection?
continuity? Arbitrariness, duplication or transitivity?
In Allegory of the Cave, if Plato is right that the material world is an illusion, how would too great a reliance on materialism affect ethical decision?
My mother goes to a psychic and swears by her gifts of knowing things that she could not possibly know. Is it possible to have ESP? And if you believe that someone knows personal things about your life and future does listening to them make you change your actions to make it come true? Self fulfilled prophecy? Mind over matter.
I would be grateful for your help in answering the following question:
"Explain how the consideration of the concept of ESSENCE has changed throughout the history of philosophy (Sophists, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Marx and Nietzsche)."
Please explain to me what is philosophical analysis and how does
it apply not only to concepts, but analyzing philosophical problems?
Hi, I would like to know if Plato's Dialogues are still available in its original form. I don't mean the papyrus themselves, but the content in its original language without translation or interpretation, which I am assuming was Greek. If not then how long back is it possible to date back in history from which time his writings have been preserved?
"Plato and Aristotle are considered two of the top three philosophers in the history of philosophy. All other philosophies until the 1800's are thought to have either Platonic or Aristotelian elements in them. It is extremely important for understanding the history of ideas/ civilization that you understand the Platonic/ Aristotelian distinction. Focus mostly on how Plato and Aristotle differ, but look for commonalities too. How can you relate to any of these thoughts today? Can you give a concrete example of how you have seen the Platonic/ Aristotelian distinction in your life?"
Hi, Im new here, How are you?
I started taking philosophy class for the first time and I am having a hard time getting some things. Can you help me answer some questions...
1- what's the difference between act and rule utilitarians? With examples please.
2- what's the difference between a utilitarian and a formalist? With examples.
3- what's the difference between common law and civil law? With examples
4- why would you abandon the utilitarian position? Give examples.
If a train were traveling at the speed of light and I walk forward on the train, am I then traveling faster then the speed of light?
'While logical assumptions hold true within confined systems, human logic is ultimately flawed since we cannot possibly know or experience everything there is to know or experience and thus, any far reaching logical conclusions are at best theoretical or may only apply within certain conditions.'
Sartre's existentialism is an attempt to face the total consequences of a Godless world. But what grounds form the basis for Sartre's devout atheism? Is Sartrean disbelief in God simply an evaluation based on the studies of philosophers before him, or an assumption? And why is the concept of a being-in-itself-for-itself paradoxical? For me the two sides seem compatible I can't see how the idea is self-refuting. An explanation would be greatly appreciated!
P.N. Bastola asked:
The empiricists and rationalists argue whether or not the mind is a blank slate. While in the 'Critique of Pure Reason' Kant argues that there are templates in the mind but not the full judgements.
I have gone through these and analysed on my own with much inclination to Kant.
What further arguments have been made and how shall I find them?
And should the writers state 'Kant argues' and not support or defend the issue itself?
Further as per these arguments (as stated above) regarding mind how can we find the exact solution about when we have only one tool mind to investigate the mind itself?
I am interested in the nature of "shoulds" and "should nots".
What do you know about this topic, and can you direct me to more sources of such knowledge?
Steve Gregson asked:
I'm having trouble explaining (to a very religious someone), how something cannot have a property and lack it at the same time. The explanation, because it results in nonsense answer, just isn't enough apparently. Even demonstration isn't good enough. Is there a way to prove logic without using logic, and without having to demonstrate it? I personally doubt it, but I would value your thoughts or details of similar experiences.
I have concern about Wittgenstein`s Poker By David Edmonds and John Eidinow
There was a delightful irony in the conflicting testimonies. They had arisen between people all professionally concerned with theories of epistemology (the grounds of knowledge), understanding, and truth. Yet they concerned a sequence of events where those who disagreed were eyewitnesses on crucial questions of fact.
Regarding to that, I have question for you: is the 'delightful irony' something we should take more seriously inter of Educational Research or of understanding of Research Education. Please could you tell me what you think. Thank you and have a great night.
I'm a first-year philosophy student and I've just read about the brain-in-a-vat thought experiment. What I want to know (out of curiosity, not for an essay) is this: assuming you (the reader) are just a brain in a vat that is being stimulated by a computer, is what you are DIRECTLY experiencing, perceptually, a simulated world that exists in your mind (like an hallucination) or inside the computer?
Lately I have this thought running around my brain.
Why am I stuck in this human body? Why can't I be him? Why can't I be you??
Of all the people in the world why am I imprisoned here?
Who is "I"??
I feel all alone, lonely, and always feel why does this "I" stick in me and not in others. Do you understand what I mean? Or Am I gone nuts?
Has philosophy ever solved anything? I mean, without raising further questions in its wake?
And has it ever brought any relief or happiness, beyond the happiness of questing?
Most faiths, Buddhists and Taoists particularly, believe in a principle of non-judgement. Each time you approach a problem, person, situation, it is to be discovered anew each time and without judgement or without clouding the current experience with elements of past experiences.
My question, is how does one reconcile a philosophy of non-judgement with preference? Moreover, how does one protect oneself from cruelty and terror elements that are out of one's control?
For example, I may approach a bully each time with inner and outer love for my fellow man, but that doesn't mean the bully will share my views and will probably rob me each and every time.
In my creative nonfiction writing class we were discussing in order for it to be creative nonfiction you must have a story that is true to the fact and try your best to replicate the way it happened. However, does your brain let you remember the story for how it happened or how you want to remember how it happened? If so, can that really be a nonfictional account? With that information, is that a philosophical question?
Do clones have feelings?
Hello, I was wondering if you could help me with this question?
Can belief in the soul be considered to be rational?
How does our name impact on us as human beings?
"What's in a name?"
I have been asked to explain what we mean by knowledge. I am trying to gather up information from a variety of sources to incorporate into my own ideas. I was going to try and structure it by asking myself the question of how the world would be without knowledge, so I could explain what it offers to us?
Thank you for your time. I will be very interested to here your ideas. Isabella
There is a point I do not understand about final causes applicability to physical systems.
Action guided by final causes (future conditions as cause of the event) are not considered as scientifically acceptable in the world of matter. Only actions guided by efficient causes (prior conditions as cause of the event) are considered as scientifically acceptable in the physical world.
However, simple robots like the cybernetic turtle orientating its movement in the direction of a source of light can have their action guided by a final cause (reach the source of light). So a simple robot built up with matter following only efficient causes seems to be in a position to obey final causes. How is this possible?
Thanks in advance for your answer.
Is it possible to arrive a to a full understanding of "being as being"?
Bob H asked:
From a philosophical point of view, how can you best describe an image of 'nothing'?
It's part of a college project I'm working on..
Can you step in the same river twice?
Is it true that you can't step in the same physically identical river and only back into your own concept of the river?
If so, to what point is reality objective or is it all subjective?
I am required to write an essay about the philosophic questions in a movie, I chose "The Gladiator" but I don't know what are philosophical questions, I only need some examples of philosophical questions so that I could see if they are discussed by the film.
I am a philosophy student attending at CU Boulder and I am writing a research paper on the mind and body problem for a biology class. I want to write about this problem from a 'scientific' perspective, but I am having difficulties finding any valid arguments on the behalf of scientists. It almost seems as if scientists believe as if there was no cognitive problem at all. I know the problem derives from Cartesian Dualism, but I want show the optimistic way out of determinism.
What I am currently studying for this paper is works of: Searle, Nagel, Turing, Descartes, and some cognitive science books, but I need to approach this in as a 'scientific method'. I want to show some correlation between minds and brains i.E. Sensory receptors > neuron transmitters > acetylcholine > synapse = consciousness?
I have a couple of questions that I have attempted to answer, but I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on the following:
- Why should human beings perform moral actions? Why do you personally believe proper moral conduct should be acted upon/ carried out?
- With the definition of definitive being 'apparently exhaustive, true for all times and right for all cultures', please give some examples of questions that have definitive answers. Can an answer to a question be definitive? How would you define definitive vs definite?
- Why do human beings need some sort of belief to which they hold 'true' or is faithful to?
kalu chidiebere asked:
where did philosophy originate from?
Why are we morally obliged to obey the state?
I don't understand why certain words are "bad" when communicated. They have no apparent intrinsic negative value. It seems as though a certain demographic has a vigorous and irrational aversion to common members of a particular wordset, but only when communicated, and to the extent that those offended even justify things like censorship and termination in the name of protecting hypothetical victims (aka 'The Children') from their own personal aversion. None of it makes a lick of sense to me, so I suppose my question is:
1. What makes certain words "bad?"
2. Is someone who takes offense to mere words ever justified in taking retaliative action (beyond mere words... Say... Censorship, expulsion, termination, discipline, assault, etc) against the offender?
(p.S. Thanks for your time, I really appreciate it.)
I was lucky enough to get a chance to visit Sheffield last summer with a friend who studies there and found the area quite lovely, thanks also for providing this service to help philosophers communicate more effectively.
My question is about oppositions. I take the different perspectives on oppositions to be the critical point of departure for the continental and analytical schools of philosophy. I take it that, say, Nietzsche was suspicions of oppositions in a way that say, Bertrand Russell was not.
This means to me that is the supposed oppositions between good and evil, subject and object, beauty and ugliness, are not "real," i.E. We cannot account for them empirically such that they cease to function in any logical way. Would you conclude the same?
It also seems to me that logic is interested in the processes of defining, the biconditional forms is, after all, a way of defining. But my problems here lies again with the notion of opposites. If we are to define things in this manner, say, the good, doesn't this require us in advance to know the evil so as to define the good in opposition to it? Is not this problematic in such a way as to stall out our whole defining process?
What do you take the status of oppositions, or contradictions, to be? How do we have access to our knowledge about concepts put in these sort of (binaries) oppositions?
I anxiously await your perspective. Thanks!
Does time exist or is it just a concept that mankind invented?
why, in a democracy which grants us virtual freedom, are we forced to receive an education?
In the context of art or entertainment, what do you think is the correct definition of genre? Or what is genre as such?
A person says they will marry only race A. This is discrimination by race. By definition this is 'racism'. Does one have to listen to the reasons for the first statement before they can conclude the definition? In this degree, is racism still unethical?
"If a materialistic view of human beings is true then nothing separates a human from a machine." Discuss .
Peter Hawthorn asked:
I'm interested in understanding why rule-following has been so central to the philosophy of mind and language?
What do this quote mean, "Faith bring us to truth; philosophy makes us grasp it; ethics makes us practice it; and ritual makes us one with it."
My question is which philosophers have thought about the phenomenon; humor, including irony. Beside Socrates and Soren Kierkegaard? I would like to write my final paper in the subject: humor and irony (at the university of Southern Denmark).
Laila Lysbro Pedersen
What Plato mean in his main idea of who should rule?
Tom @napanet.Net) from 188.8.131.52 Asked:
After many years of hearing free will versus determinism inconclusively debated, several years in the "hot kitchen of politics" persuaded me that when stated that way, only debate can follow. In academia it may be highly desirable that debate follows. Stepping outside academia's rules, it seems more productive of results to deal with getting credit or avoiding blame for one's actions. Care to deal with these points?
What is "free will"? Do we have a free will? Is it possible to have a free will? Even though most philosophers argued that we, humans have no free will whatsoever and they are just illusions, I still believe that we have our own free will to choose one thing over the other.
How big is the universe? Is there such thing as infinity?
My 4 year old daughter asks "why do we live?". Any suggestions to an outwitted father?
Assuming that God exists, and assuming that only truly righteous do-gooders can enter heaven's gates, wouldn't only atheists be passing into the kingdom of heaven, since wouldn't only atheists have the potential to have the capacity to be truly altruistic? I think so.
Christine @hotmail.com) from 184.108.40.206 Asked:
I have rather a lot of questions to ask about consciousness. Although I have read a couple of books to find the answers they seem to throw up even more questions. I will keep searching and trying to understand but I was hoping that Ask a Philosopher could help me in a succinct way.
1. What is a phenomenal concept and how do they differ from perception?
2. If a phenomenal concept is as I understand it, doesn't this put a physicalist in a shaky position?
3. What is functionalism? Is it possible to be a functionalist and a dualist (or a functionalist and a physicalist)?
4. I am a dualist. Not in the Cartesian sense where I believe the mind is quite distinct from the brain, I feel the two are very interdependent on each other. I also think that mental (non-material) thought can have causal effects on the material world (so I reject epiphenomenalism). What kind of dualist am I? Does that mean I'm an interactive dualist? Or have I gone wrong somewhere in thinking about the whole problem?
I'm sorry to ask so many questions that could easily be placed into a whole Blackwell Series. And I will continue my reading in the search for these answers. But if you could help in any way it will really ease the agony I am experiencing when thinking about the mind/body problem.
Are there any credible links (or interesting parallels) between the metaphysics of 'possible worlds' discussed in modal logic and the multiple-dimensions suggested in the string theory?
Hello, A group of us was talking and we are a little confused? Our question is... What is the difference between a viewpoint and an opinion? And can you please cite an example from your own experience.
If you can, please email me with a response to the given address that I gave.
Thank You Renee
I'm interested in Morality and History. My question (I'm sorry if this seems basic) is that if we can't get an 'ought' from an 'is', but we can say what those of the past ought to have done from the current world (we know how their actions worked out, so we can effectively get an 'ought to have' from an 'is').
What does this say about the 'is-ought' problem? I appreciate we can't get an 'ought to have' from a 'was'.
What arguments are there to suggest that reincarnation solves the problem of evil?
Randy MacIver asked:
I am an undergrad student of Elementary education in the USA and plan to do a philosophical research paper on the following topics. What advice or insight can you offer?
What is the relation between education and citizenship?
Should we be educating students and pupils to be good citizens of the world/ the state/ neighborhood?
Which of these if any?
If we should , how does one do this?
What specific suggestions for reform are needed?
What about multiculturalism or the global community?
Should all countries have the same aim, or just the USA?
Is this a global duty that applies to to all human beings, or a national one that should be decided by the federal governments of particular states or countries?
To get things rolling I would suppose that yes we should be educating students to be good citizens and that respect for human beings be paramount. I do not pretend to have all the answers and I would like to have a sample of different perspectives to help with research. Thank you in advance for your help in this matter.
Why is symmetry inherently beautiful? I do not require a base answer pertaining to the effect that symmetry has on us, I wish to know why this affect happens. What fundamental imago does symmetry satisfy? I realise this question is probably unanswerable.
Do cats like cat food because it tastes good to them the way steak tastes to us, or does it taste to them the way cat food tastes to us, only they like the taste?
Can you prove something exists without being able to see, hear, smell, or touch it?
I am a third year undergrad philosophy student. Much as i enjoy the subject I can't help but feel that sometimes it is too theoretical. I am also a zen buddhist. Zen is a philosophy of action. One of the key elements of zen is that the only way one can know reality is through directly experiencing reality by sitting in zazen (zen meditation google it if you want). Zen emphasises that words alone will never make us any happier or wiser and it seems to me that western analytic philosophy revels in words at the cost of the philosopher losing site about what she should actually do to make herself happier and wiser (I am assuming that those are two near universal and closely linked goals happiness and wisdom).
What defense can be made of the western analytic philosophical tradition's preoccupation with words at the cost of losing sight in what we should actually DO? Of course we need words to learn what we should do but words alone will get us nowhere. We also need to do it!
I am reading both Plato's Republic and The Lord of the Flies, and I am supposed to make a connection between the two. I really don't understand the connection between them.
How would you explain Popper's solution to the demarcation problem: falsification?
If anything falsifiable is science, why is it when something passes the test of falsification it yields nothing according to Popper? Why is it not good science? Is it because it is a form of verification (Ayer) and is invalid? Is that the only reason??
Is there any connection between language and math? Are equations sentences? Both can be true or false. Does it matter?
Aristotle sees justice (in general) as obeying the law.
What if the law is plainly unjust? What would virtue ethics have to say on the thought that one may sometimes have to fight injustice by injustice to create a better, just situation?
Would virtue ethics say that this is morally permissible or not?
I wonder what is Descartes opinion is about the unconscious?
I know his opinion about consciousness and the mind-body problem but the matter concerning unconsciousness is still unclear to me! I hope you can explain it to me.
Dr Ch Chandra Sekhar asked:
What do we understand by philosophizing as a social cultural process?
How are society and culture influenced by philosophy or philosophers?
Most days I hear the phrase "Get a life" being used, usually in a negative or derogatory sense. What, in your opinion, would constitute "Get(ting) a life"?
We interpret documentary as a form of work which presents fact objectively. Then, can a documentary which is entirely based on fact be artful because we don't tend to think facts are artful?
Suppose that it was technologically possible to produce a sort of "star trek transportation device". Would the same person exit the device as entered? Would you get in one?
thank you so much:)
Some people would say that philosophy cannot give definite answers to the questions that it asks, but that its value lies in the experience of attempting to answer these questions. As someone who takes philosophy seriously, I find this view attractive but I also have a gut feeling that something's not quite right about it. What do you think of this view?