Symblogia

Blog za rasprave o filozofiji, znanosti i kulturi

Fragmenti

There is nothing worse than an economist who knows only economics – except perhaps a moral philosopher who knows no economics at all. (P.Boetkke, Living Economics) [10.2.2013. AJ]

Linguistics comes close to satisfying a definition once proposed for philosophy: the systematic misuse of a technical vocabulary invented for that purpose. (R. W. Langacker, Cognitive Grammar, p. 269) [28.6.2012. JŽ]

We are post-Newtonian, in the sense of being inappropriately wedded to a particular reductionism of scientism, inapplicable to so rich an intentional phenomenon. Another generation of scientists may be the last thing we need.  Maybe, instead, we need a new generation of magicians. (Brian Cantwell Smith, On the Origin of Objects, p. 362) [3.6.2012. DŠ]

When scientists wander onto philosophical turf and begin to pronounce about ultimate realities, they sometimes do so without the requisite tools, and often without any awareness that the requisite tools exist. (Karl Giberson and Mariano Artigas, Oracles of Science: Celebrity Scientists versus God and Religion, OUP, New York, 2007,  p. 11) [2.6.2012. PG]

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. (Stephen Weinberg, Facing Up: Science and its Cultural Adversaries, p. 242).
The last claim is true, but I also think that, crucially, for bad people to do good things – it also takes religion. [2.6.2012. PG]

Reductionism is famous for acts of omission: for throwing out what is really there. What is less ofien remarked are its acts of commission: the fact that it is equally likely to impose what is not. (Brian Cantwell Smith, On the Origin of Objects, p. 263) [2.6.2012. DŠ]

Rektor jednog provincijskog sveučilišta: “Ja sam uvijek samo gradio mostove.”
Bezobrazni kritičar: “Da, ali mostovi građeni na mulju su nestabilni. I kad se urušavaju, čine to u lančanoj reakciji.” [1.6.2012. PG]

The reason academic politics are so bitter is that so little is at stake. (Henry Kissinger) [29.3.2012. DŠ]

Pretencioznost poluobrazovanoga je lupetanje fraza, glumljenje mudrosti koju ne posjedujemo. Recept je sljedeći: tautologije i trivijalnosti začinjene paradoksalnim besmislicama. Jedan je drugi recept: piši teško razumljive bljezgarije i dodaj povremeno žličicu trivijalnosti. To će čitatelj slasno progutati, polaskan time što u tako “dubokoj” knjizi nalazi misli koje su mu jednom već i samom pale na pamet. (Karl Popper, “Protiv velikih riječi”, str. 97.) [7.3.2012. PG]

A critic is a person able and willing to go over somebody else’s thoughts for himself to see if they have been well done; whereas a sceptic is a person who will not do this; and because you cannot make a man think, any more than you can make a horse drink, there is no way of proving to a sceptic that a certain piece of thinking is sound, and no reason for taking his denials to heart. It is only by his peers that any claimant to knowledge is judged. (R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of History) [1.3.2012. DŠ]

If mockery corrodes respect for the state, if blasphemy insults God, if pornography demeans the passions, surely it will suffice if stronger and more convincing countervoices are raised defending the authority of the state, praising God, exalting chaste love. This response is wholly in accord with the teleology of liberalism, which believes in throwing open the marketplace to contending forces because in the long run the market tends to the good, that is to say, to progress, which liberalism understands in a historical and even metaphysical light. It is wholly at odds with the outlook of the more austere branches of Islam, Judaism, and Protestant Christianity, which, detecting a seductive and devilish force at the root of the power of representation, and thus having no reason to expect that, in a war of representations, a war without rules, good representations will triumph, prefer to ban graven images. (J.M. Coetzee, Giving Offense: Essays on Censorship, introduction) [16.2.2012. DŠ]

For better of worse, one of the consequences of the scientific revolution was to write out of Western cosmology any sense of spiritual space as a legitimate aspect of the Real. (Margaret Wertheim, “Lost in Space: The Spiritual Crisis of Newtonian Cosmology” in B. Bryson, Seeing Further: The Story of Science & The Royal Society, London, 2010, p. 72) [13.2.2012. PG]

One day John Wheeler was unwittingly subjected to a variant of the game of twenty questions. Recall that, in the conventional game, the players agree on a word and the subject tries to guess the word by asking up to twenty questions. Only yes-no answers can be given. In the variant version. Wheeler began by asking the usual questions: Is it big? Is it living? etc. At first the answers came quickly, but as the game went on they became slower and more hesitant. Eventually he tried his luck: “Is it a cloud?” The answer came back: “Yes!” Then everyone burst out laughing. The players revealed that to trick Wheeler no word had been chosen in advance. Instead they agreed to answer his questions purely at random, subject only to consistency with previous answers. Nevertheless, an answer was obtained. This obviously contingent answer was not determined in advance, but neither was it aibitrary: its nature was decided in part by the questions Wheeler chose to ask, and in part by pure chance. In the same way, the reality exposed by a quantum measurement is decided in part by the questions the experimenter puts to nature (i.e., whether to ask for a definite position or a definite momentum) and in part by chance (i.e., the uncertain nature of the values obtained for these quantities). […] The world is neither wholly determined nor arbitrary but, like Wheeler’s cloud, an intimate amalgam of  chance and choice. (Paul Davis, The Mind of God, 1992, p. 184-185) [12.2.2012. PG]

Human beings can identify their own limitations, as one feature of the world among others to be self-consciously accepted, or, if possible, deliberately changed, rather than sim­ply responded to. (Stuart Hampshire, Thought and Action, 1959, p. 186) [6.2.2012. PG]

At the present day we are constantly presented with a view of history as consisting in this way of good and bad periods, the bad periods being divided into the primitive and the decadent, according as they come before or after the good ones. This distinction between periods of primitiveness, periods of greatness, and periods of decadence, is not and never can be historically true. It tells us much about the historians who study the facts, but nothing about the facts they study. (R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of History, p. 327) [1.2.2012. DŠ]

Mudar čovjek ima više koristi od svojih neprijatelja, nego budala od prijatelja. (Gracijan) [31.1.2012. PG]

“Here you see a red card,” I said to Professor Carnap as I removed a card from the deck. “I place it face down in your palm. Now, you know that a false proposition implies any proposition. Therefore, if this card were black, then God would exist. Do you agree?” 

“Oh, certainly,” replied Carnap, “if the card were black, then God would exist.” 

“Very good,” I said as I turned over the card. “As you see, the card is black. Therefore, God exists!”

“Ah, yes!” replied Carnap in a philosophical tone. “Proof by legerdemain! Same as the theologians use!”

(Raymond Smullyan, 5000 B.C. and Other Philosophical Fantasies) [28.1.2012 DŠ ]

If the spirit of religion join itself to the love of wonder, then there is an end of common sense; and all human testimony, in these circumstances, loses all pretensions to authority. (David Hume, An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding 10.17) [20.12.2011. PG]

From this circumstance alone, that a controversy has been long kept on foot, and remains still undecided, we may presume, that there is some ambiguity in the expression, and that the disputants affix different ideas to the terms employed in the controversy. (David Hume, An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding 8.1) [29.11.2011. PG]

You can’t do much  carpentry with your bare hands and you can’t do much thinking with your bare brain. Bo Dahlbom [6.11.2011. PG]

It is often assumed that the powers of enhancement we now possess arose as an inadvertent by-product of biomedical progress — the genetic revolution came, so to speak, to cure disease, and stayed to tempt us with the prospect of enhancing our performance, designing our children, and perfecting our nature. That may have the story backwards. It is more plausible to view genetic engineering as the ultimate expression of our resolve to see ourselves astride the world, the masters of our nature. But that promise of mastery is flawed. It threatens to banish our appreciation of life as a gift, and to leave us with nothing to affirm or behold outside our own will. (Michael J. Sandel, The Case against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering, pp. 99-100) [4.11.2011. DŠ]

What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say. (Ralph Waldo Emerson) [1.11.2011. PG]

To deride the hopes of progress is the ultimate fatuity, the last word in poverty of spirit and meannes of mind. (Peter Medawar) [31.10.2011. PG]

Inteligencija je sposobnost da se složene stvari učine jednostavnima, a ne obrnuto. (Andre Comte-Sponville, Petit Traite des grandes vertus) [11.10.2011. PG]

Next to the ridicule of denying an evident truth, is that of taking much pains to defend it. (David Hume, Treatise of Human Nature I.3.16.) [10.10.2011. PG]

And our fideistic theologian may take absolute delight in the thought that we have to play with the net up, whereas he doesn’t. Such theologians and many so-called postmodern thinkers exist quite beyond the reach of intellectual embarrassment, except, that is, when their position carries with it personal disadvantages. (Robert Fogelin, Walking the Tightrope of Reason. The Precarious Life Of A Rational Animal) [24.9.2011. DŠ]

Aristotle gives us a maxim of philosophical inquiry: do not merely detect and eliminate an error, but also inquire into its causes (cf. EN VII.14 1154a22-23). [24.9.2011. PG]

_____________ affirms but does not explain, and he calls for some kind of instinctive understanding, with the result that if you agree with him, you can luxuriate in a sense of shared, mutually confirming, superiority. Yet if you probe the tempting statements, they often fall apart. (…) The experience of reading the book is curiously unthinking. The reader is invited to assent and admire, not to challenge. (review of D. Nuttall, Shakespeare the Thinker in The Economist, June 9th 2007, p. 92)

Complete the sentence with your favourite continental philosopher or a local simulacrum. [22.9.2011. PG]

There is a degree of doubt, and caution, and modesty, which, in all kinds of scrutiny and decision, ought for ever to accompany a just reasoner. (David Hume, An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding 12.24) [14.9.2011. PG]

A good scientist values criticism almost higher than friendship; no, in science criticism is the height and measure of friendship. Francis Crick

I wish to think that criticism is the height and measure of friendship in philosophy too, at least as much as in science – and for the same reasons. [8.9.2011. PG]

Anybody who knows all about nothing knows everything. Leonard Susskind [7.9.2011. PG]

Public encouragement of pensions and salaries was afforded equally, by the wisest of all the Roman emperors, to the professors of every sect of philosophy (viz. Marcus Aurelius instituting four chairs of philosophy in Athens: the Stoic, the Epicurean, the Platonic and the Peripatetic). How requisite such kind of treatment was to philosophy, in her early youth, will easily be conceived, if we reflect that, even at present, when she may be supposed more hardy and robust, she bears with much difficulty the inclemency of the seasons, and those harsh winds of calumny and persecution, which blow upon her. (David Hume, An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding 11.2) [6.9.2011. PG]

Prilagođenost duboko izvitoperenom sustavu nije vrlina. Neprilagođenost je slutnja vrline. [28.6.2011. PG]

Polisi propadaju onda kada nisu u stanju razlikovati dobre od loših ljudi. (Antisten ap. Diog. Laert. VI.5) To nije okolnost u kojoj propadaju samo gradovi-države i politički sustavi, nego okolnost u kojoj propada svaki sustav, npr. obrazovni ili znanstveni. [26.6.2011. PG]

Jedna od neobičnisti u vezi s filozofijom je ova: filozofi imaju veliku sklonost da kazuju stvari koje su ili istinite ali trivijalne ili zanimljive ali prilično neistinite. Ono između je odavno prepušteno drugim disciplinama – povjesničarima i geografima, fizičarima i psiholozima. Filozofi su zaokupljeni svojim posebnim problemima, problemima koji ih navode da kazuju vrlo neobične stvari.  (Daniel Cohen, Arguments and Metaphors, 2004, p. 1) Pod “onim između” što je prepušteno znanostima Cohen misli na stvari koje su i istinite i zanimljive. Ali ima još jedna vrsta stvari “između”, koja se i odviše često znade naći u filozofiji, a to su one i trivijalne i neistinite. [18.6.2011. PG]

Razmišljam o vrlinama – nedvojbenim vrlinama – analitičke filozofije: jasnoća, preciznost, provjerljivost (ili tako nešto), mogućnost pomnog raspravljanja i suradnje među različitim ljudima… Uz to ide i pojam profesionalnog integriteta koji uključuje sve ovo prethodno, ali i ideju da ono što filozofija čini u tom duhu ona čini specijalno (čini to, moglo bi se jednako tako reći, kao svoju specijalnost). (Bernard Williams, ‘What Might Philosophy Become?’, u Philosophy as a Humanistic Dicsipline). [8.6.2011. PG]

Odgovor na drevno pitanje “Zašto postoji nešto radije nego ništa” bio bi ovaj: “ništa” je nestabilno. (Frank Wilczek) [3.6.2011. PG]

U učenoj raspravi više profitira poraženi utoliko što je proširio svoje znanje. (Epikur, Vatikanske izreke 74) [2.6.2011. PG]

Znanost čini grupiranje činjenica na taj način da se iz njih mogu izvesti opći zakoni ili zaključci. (Charles Darwin, Recollections of the Development of My Mind and Charcter in Evolutionary Writings, ed. J. A. Secord, p. 383) Ovo određenje znanosti smjesta bi potpisao Aristotel. [13.5.2011. PG]

Filozofija je aktivnost koja argumentima i raspravama pribavlja sretan život. (Epikur ap. Sext. Emp. M XI.169) [2.5.2011. PG]

Isprazan je argument onoga filozofa koji nijednu ljudsku slabost ne liječi. (Epikur ap. Porph. Marc. 31) [2.5.2011. PG]

Znate li priču o žapcu i škorpionu? Škorpion je želio prijeći rijeku. Upitao je žapca bi li ga prenio preko. Žabac reče: “Ali, ako te pristanem nositi, možda ćeš me ubosti”. Škorpion odgovori: “No, ako te ubodem, obojica ćemo potonuti”. Žabac razmotri škorpionov argument, te ga pristane prenijeti preko rijeke na svojim leđima. Kad su bili na sredini puta, škorpion ga ubode. Žabac upita: “Zašto si to učinio? Sad ćemo obojica umrijeti.” “Takva je moja priroda”, odgovori škorpion. [1.5.2011 JŽ]

Svakako je njihov način filozofiranja vrlo prikladan za sve one posve osrednjeg uma. Zbog nejasnoće svojih distinkcija i principa oni su u stanju govoriti o stvarima tako smjelo kao da ih poznaju i braniti sve što kažu od najoštroumnijih i najvještijih protivnika bez da ih se ikako može razuvjeriti. Po tome oni sliče slijepcu koji, kako bi se mogao ravnopravno boriti s protivnikom koji vidi, tog protivnika odvode u najdublji kut nekog posve mračnog podruma. (Descartes, Rasprava o metodi VI.70-71) [29.4.2011. PG]

Nitko ne može nanijeti više štete reputaciji nekog filozofa od njegovih vlastitih sljedbenika. (Matthew Stewart, The Courtier and the Heretic, p. 310) [26.4.2011. PG]

Heidegger: mišljenje zarobljeno u jeziku. [25.4.2011. PG]

Science and religion are incompatible in a same sense the serious pursuit of knowledge about reality is incompatible with bullshit. (PZ Myers, Global Atheist Convention 2010) [21.4.2011. AJ]

Većina ljudi, kad se želi upustiti u neko filozofsko istraživanje, ponaša se kao čovjek koji krajnje nervozno traži neki predmet u ladici. On baca papire van iz ladice – ono što traži moglo bi biti među njima – a ostale prelistava užurbano i neuredno. Neke baca natrag u ladicu, miješa ih jedne s drugima itd. Tada mu se može reći jedino: Stani, ako tako tražiš, ja ti ne mogu pomoći u traženju. Najprije moraš početi u potpunom miru metodički pretraživati jedno po jedno; tek tada sam i ja spreman tražiti s tobom i slijediti te i u metodi. (Ludwig Wittgenstein, The Big Typescript p. 432) [17.4.2011. PG]

Ljudi koji nemaju potrebu za prozirnošću svoje argumentacije izgubljeni su za filozofiju. (Ludwig Wittgenstein, The Big Typescript p. 421) [16.4.2011. PG]

Jedna od najvećih prepreka za filozofiju je očekivanje novih, dubokih, nečuvenih objašnjenja. (Ludwig Wittgenstein, The Big Typescript p. 419) [15.4.2011. PG]

Životinje imaju začetak “svijesti-o-sebi” (npr. delfin ili majmun prepoznaju svoju sliku), ali jedino čovjek ima “samosvijest”. On je kadar postaviti pitanje “Tko sam ja?”, a onda i “Tko je onaj, koji pita?”. Ja koji pita i ja o kojem se pita jednaki su, a ipak nekako i različiti. Niz se može nastaviti i tako se u postojanje unosi (potencijalna) beskonačnost. Zato žudimo za Božanstvom – aktualno beskonačnost. Ali nas onda moderna matematika uči, da postoje i beskonačnosti višega reda. [6.4.2011. ZO]

Ništavilo se ne može odrediti, najmekše stvari se ne mogu lomiti. (Bruce Lee) [5.4.2011. JŽ]

Kada “dižem svoju ruku”, moja ruka se diže. I nastaje problem: što je to što preostaje kad iz činjenice da ja dižem svoju ruku oduzmem to da se moja ruka diže? (Ludwig Wittgenstein, Filozofska istraživanja §621)

Problem ovdje nije to što trenutno ne znamo odgovor na Wittgensteinovo pitanje, nego prije to što nemamo nikakvu ideju kako bi odgovor na to pitanje uopće trebao izgledati! [5.4.2011. PG]

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