Sunday, September 01, 2013

Kieran Healy recommends his wife,  L.A. Paul
3:AM: What made you become a philosopher?

L.A. Paul: Strangely, I don’t really know what caused it. I just realized, sometime early on in college, that I wanted to be a philosopher. I basically decided that I wanted to spend my life thinking as deeply and carefully and reflectively as I could about the nature of reality and our human engagement with it, and that taking a philosophical approach was the best way to go about doing this.

...I do think that metaphysical exploration is like scientific exploration, in the sense that philosophers and scientists are both developing models of reality, and furthermore that we all rely to a significant extent on the idea that models which provide elegant, simple and satisfying explanations are more likely to be true. The distinctive contribution that metaphysics makes to our understanding of reality is first that it considers questions about features of reality that the sciences don’t, such as the intrinsic nature of causation or the dynamic character of temporal experience.

...The idea behind the paper “What you can’t expect when you’re expecting” has two dimensions. The first dimension is that there is a paradox at the heart of the modern romantic sense in which prospective parents are supposed to decide whether or not they want to have a child by thinking about what it would be like to have a child.

The idea comes out most clearly when we consider it from a woman’s perspective. If you are female, and conditions are otherwise apt, you are supposed to decide whether you want to become a mother by thinking carefully about whether you really want to have a child of your very own, what it would be like to be a mother, whether this is something you really want and will be happy with, etc. In general, you are supposed to evaluate whether you should have a child largely on the basis of what you think it will be like for you to have a child.
The paradox arises from the fact that, until you’ve had a child, you cannot know what it will be like to have one. And moreover, the experience may change you in ways that you cannot predict or even understand before you have the child. This means that you can’t rationally choose to have a child on the basis of what you think it will be like, because there is no way for you to know what it will be like. Even worse, the same is true if you choose not to have a child: since you can’t know what it would have been like for you to have a child, you can’t know the value of what you are missing. And so there is no way to rationally choose whether or not to become a parent.
"Philosopher" Laurie Paul: You can't predict the future and the effect it will have on you.
No shit.

Is there any better illustration of why when it comes to Syria the best they could come up with is this?: "Bombing Syria Seems Like A Bad Idea" The discussion is just as mediocre. It's almost pathological

repeats Kieran Healy, and again

Leiter at least links to "philosophers" who know people who know something. It has to work its way down the chain of prestige, and they're all white, but it's something.

Meanwhile, Bassam Haddad is on MSNBC

Tom Harkin: “I have just attended a classified Congressional briefing on Syria that quite frankly raised more questions than it answered. I found the evidence presented by Administration officials to be circumstantial."

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