Wednesday, July 04, 2012

note taking. comments posted elsewhere. More fun with "professional philosophers"; almost nothing new.
"Philosophers should close ranks if they want their compensation to begin to approach that of physicians and other professionals."

2 cheers for commenter #1 and Alvin Plantinga. [see the thread] The first takes greed as a priori, the second the divinity of Christ. Call it the immanent frame.
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[Again: nothing new. Continue only if you're bored.]
"given the abysmal treatment of educators by a public who believes that gain from trade in competitive markets is the only mechanism of cooperative benefit worth mentioning

...Those beliefs stem from an inbred bias in economic theory which might have been confined to that discipline, but for the efforts of a handful of billionaires who detest paying taxes."

Commenter#1 is defending corruption as a mode of self defense. And he refers to "opportunity cost."
Maybe he should have gone into banking.

"The conclusion is that not commenting on the work of other philosophers is the only professional attitude to take."

Ideas are not lives. Philosophy professors are not sued. You're arguing not that the ideal "free exchange of ideas" is a pleasant fiction, you're opposing the thing itself: opposing the ideal of philosophical inquiry in the name of the philosophers' career. And you're blaming billionaires for your own corruption.

I understand the trap you're in, but at the same time it's an argument for leaving serious philosophy to amateurs. You're proving yourself worthless.
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Competition works when it's between people who play the same "game": tennis players, mathematicians, car salesmen and those who share religious faith. Outside that it doesn't work, and in any event it's not a value in itself. Plantinga is a theologian and Alex Rosenberg is... a schmuck -but whatever- the point is that they are not playing the same game by the same rules.

Filial piety has its own problems. Meet Peter Moskos, [and previously] a sociologist who did his fieldwork as a cop and who makes his living impressing liberal academics with his street smarts.
"Had I been there and seen everything, would I have turned in the cop? I doubt it. That same stomping cop may have saved the life of me or a friend some other time. That's what makes it so tricky. When you have a job where you need people to cover your back and save your life, you're going to cut them a lot of slack. How can you not? Hell, we all make mistakes."
Thought experiment: A heart surgeon accused of rape. He's saved more lives than most cops.

Read the comments about Serpico and his testimony in '97. My girlfriend at the time was the daughter of a NY City cop. She put it simply. "Cops hate Serpico. He was a rat."

Here's more on the lower middle class integrity Moskos defends.
He does so implicitly and explicitly, though without the sort of examples I've supplied.
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Anonymous @ 3:29
"The idea that I lay the blame for my own corruption at the feet of a handful of billionaires is mistaken. The point about the mechanisms of cooperative benefit was lost. What are the others? Why is that important? Philosophy claims to clarify the confusions of other disciplines--here is a case study. (I won't be more specific than that--it's too rich a field to be given away altogether.)"

3:29 Meet Frank Serpico.

it's too rich a field to be given away altogether.

Distribute freely.
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Anonymous college professor 10:45
"It's not enough to dismiss competitive markets as a game"

I take games seriously. You assume too much.
But those who identify animal experience with numerical value have that tendency.

Self-Government is a game without referees, but game designers see themselves as something other than game players. If they defend democracy (and there's no guarantee they do) they need to imagine it existed first as a philosophical program rather than as the product of an antagonistic cooperation among people capable of an ironic understanding of their own desires: people of a rich, complex, divided intelligence. Designers think top down, and democracy (like all culture in fact) moves in the other direction.

We have a surfeit of designers in academia at the moment. "Look! I've built a 9 string violin!" That's fine, but how good are you at playing it?

Politics and society are founded in reciprocal performance, but game designers indulge the superiority of technocrats: they identify with reason, like cops who've slid from seeing themselves correctly as representing the law to seeing themselves as personifying it. "To the pure all things are pure", as Paul says. If your professional title is Philosopher or Artist, or Economist, or Priest, you begin to lean on the rhetorical authority of the title. We have evidence that this has occurred in all four cases. And as long as we're on the subject of evidence:

Son, my reference to a girlfriend was a reference to the relevant data she supplied. Yours was an attempt at least at name dropping. I had another girlfriend who argues that mathematics is not science, because its not empirical. You could argue that Scientist is just a title like Philosopher but I don't think you want to. You could argue that she's wrong, but it's not an argument that interests me. My only argument is with those who identify words, which are used as a means of "representing" the world of experience, with numbers that may or may not model it. Just for fun:

1- Language is a common form. Experience is private. Representation in common form is a function of social life.
2- Model makers, eschewing representation. [eliding the role it plays in their own use of language] are/have always been authoritarian.
3-Authoritarianism is a famously violent and unstable form of government.

A- Philosophical inquiry and careerism are antithetical by nature.
B-Chemistry and careerism are antithetical or not, depending on context.
C-The supposed equivalence of speculative metaphysics and natural science, has given us philosophical careerism.

It's returned us to the 13th century. And Ghirlandaio was a painter of the renaissance.

Anonymous College Professor 10:46
"For the life of me, I'm not sure that the life of someone who says, 'That same stomping cop may have saved the life of me ...' is worth saving."

I wouldn't go that far. I just think it's amusing, and important if you're trying to follow historical change, that he calls himself a "liberal".

Alex Rosenberg: 'History is bunk"
Descartes said pretty much the same thing.

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