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 2016-02-22 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Would like some responses on these thoughts:Space is the negation of substance, of reality, of being; thus, space is nothing, unreality, non-being.Can anyone see nothing or imagine nothing? Yes, for space is nothing. To see nothing means to see no thing.Consequently, we do not see things in space; we see things alone and their negation, viz.,space.Things do not occupy space. For then, what does space occupy?Things negate space, i.e. nothing.Take a plastic bottle of 1 ltr. How much water can it contain? 1 ltr. Squeeze it, can it contain 1 ltr of water? No, why? Because the bottle being squeezed increasingly negates space allowing less negatability for another (meaning that negatibility for it increases at the same time). For perfect density = perfect negation of space; less density = less negation of space. That which is negated cannot be again negated without the destruction of that which negates it.Zero = infinite; therefore, space = infinite; it can be infinitely negated by things without quantitative or qualitative alteration.Theory of Relativity: the negatability increases where the positive thing increases (by energy increase, mass increases); thus, in higher speed space is more negated, giving rise to the phenomenon of shrunk space, which is nothing but more negated space.Zeno’s Paradoxes: (1) On Density - Zero = infinite: on division remains same; 1 = finite in relation to multiplicity, infinite in relation to divisibility: on division does not remain same, yet never becomes zero. Zero is neither extensive nor intensive (there is no point where space meets space), while 1 is both extensive and intensive (made up of infinite points, for it takes infinite value to negate zero). Since 1 on infinite division, still never becomes zero, 1 is real. Thus, zero cannot be applied to 1.(2) On Motion – (a) Achilles and Tortoise - The paradox only exists because it does not take the element of speed into account. (b) The Dichotomy – The distance between the runner and the finish line is infinitely divisible. Thus, it would take infinite time for the runner to complete the course. However, since the runner has an equal amount of infinite time (it is equally divisible as the distance) so the course can be completed. Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/13802 Reply

 2016-04-06 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Domenic Marbaniang Michael SwansonGeorgia Southern University There are many brief assumptions which might hold problematic.  Also, defining 'nothing' as "no thing" and then equating that to 'space' seems in some way circular and insufficient as a base explanation. Why is the concept of Space contingent upon the positive existence of things.  What if one denies the existence of things and substances but instead believes in processes and rules. Does the concept of 'space' in this case still apply?Also, basing an objective 'nothing' on epistemology and material claims leaves one to question the accuracy of the tool.  I.e. If one perceives a change in space, does it actually represent what she perceives or could she be mistaken? If she can be mistaken, how can one verify these claims? Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/14638 Reply

 2016-07-19 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Domenic Marbaniang Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology To me it all boils down to 0 and 1, binary contrasts, as in computer programming, art, etc.,,  some places there is something (figure) other places there is the canvas (ground). I don't see it as nothing, I see it as quiet that sets off that which is.   Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/18078 Reply

 2016-08-19 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology Hello Daniel--I have a few preliminary reactions to your post.  You call Domenic on his assumptions, yet you state something that I know not to be true, but I cannot definitively prove that it is false, i.e., "space is infinitely large and infinitely divisible." No.  This is a closed dynamic system under God.  Important concept that is borne out by many of Einstein's works, in that everything affects everything else, which would not occur in an infinite system.  I agree with you that space is not the "negation of substance."  A substantive object occupies space, I would argue, which is an innocuous process.  Negation is active.  The object "takes up space" but does not constitute a negative process, nor is it associated with negative energy, as with, say, spiritually demonic succubus activity which actually actively consumes space and causes an energy deficit purposively (I.e., black hole). To me space, like unseen spiritual processes is very real.  It constitutes a possibility.  It can provide residence for something, as a new canvas to paint.  Currently my house is trashed because I've been sick, and it is summer in Montana.  I'm more prone to gardening than cleaning.  I'm an artist who saves everything because it seems it all has some prospective purpose in a future project. Consequently, my space even to move through my home safely is seriously constrained.  I'm very Catholic, but probably need to enlist a Buddhist to "clear me a space."  I'm going to run out of writing space here soon, because I'm not of pro-status in Philosophy, so I need to cut short my initial reactions."Can anyone see or imagine nothing?"  Interesting question that relates to what I refer to my John Lennon hiccup cure, which works even (especially) with children.  You get hiccups, which without my going into details that are difficult to substantiate, has to do with a time warp of sorts.  You need to get back in sync.  You hold your breath, close your eyes and imagine yourself in a closed chamber.... TBC Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/19302 Reply

 2016-08-22 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Tami,Thanks for your comments but I was thinking we would discuss physics, not theology. Elsewhere, we could discuss how spiritual process are actually physical processes but these comments were about how space could be a positive, substantial part of the physical universe.DCD Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/19358 Reply

 2016-08-23 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology Hi Daniel--I'm so thankful for your particular response to my post, as it highlights a classical "problem" that I've encountered in a number of forums of PhilPapers, which appears to be predominantly an expertly moderated site.  I'm a Psychologist and I've been criticized for talking about psychology in philosophical terms on the forum examining Cognitive Science (what?).  I say problem in quotes above because your comment incited me in a productive way, which I feel is beneficial to dialogue.  This site is Philosophy of Science and this particular thread is examining the philosophy of some physical science principles, I'll give you that Daniel.  However, it is philosophy of physics we are looking at, correct?  I'm a scientist, not a philosopher and a fairly rigorous one.  I'm also a holistic healer who is very genuinely (positively) spiritual.  I like to examine the "gestalt" of a situation rather than be restricted to one particular perspective.   I find it is not loose, but rather comprehensive, thus more responsible to do so, if one is clear in expressing one's terms and thoughts.  Consequently, theology (a branch of philosophy) would seem to be a relevant discipline to employ in examining in a conceptually concise, substantiable manner, unseen physical elements (such as passive and active processes that innocuously displace [occupy] or progressively consume [negate] energy in space), which I highlighted, I thought clearly, as different processes.  The postulates that I posted, I believe, go beyond assertions, and are actually mathematically (epistemologically, if you will) substantiable.  Do you think yours and Dominic's statements pass that muster?  I don't believe so.  Yet, you suggest I'm speaking out of context here, where you are supposedly talking hard physical science?  To borrow from my texting twenty-something son who is a genius (sorry to brag) hahahahaha.   Regards, Maria   Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/19386 Reply

 2016-08-24 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Maria,RE: "you state something that I know not to be true, but I cannot definitively prove that it is false, i.e., "space is infinitely large and infinitely divisible." No.  This is a closed dynamic system under God. "Sorry but this sounds s lot more like theology than philosophy or physics. How do you know you it's not true that "space is infinitely large and infinitely divisible."? If it's just to say "No. This is a closed dynamic system under God" I do see how you, could consider this anything but a (very questionable) theological assertion,Further, maybe psychologist think that theology is a branch of philosophy but I don't think many philosophers would agree to that.I don't see the epistemological or mathematical sustainability of your assertions ay all but they are clearly outside the context of philosophy of physics. Odd that you mention Gestalt because thinking about space in the way I recommend requires a kind of Gestalt shift in how we conceptualize or represent space in our rigorous philosophical vocabulary. Philosophers and scientists alike these days think of space as inert, Domenic takes it even further to suggest that it is literally negation or nothingness. That's why is take a shift in your Gestalt to think of space as dynamic, even though it is non-material. It does take some effort, it's true. My argument is that when we think of or "see" space in this way, we reap many benefits in understanding the nature of physical reality. Rather than assuming that space is "a closed dynamic system under God", I assume space is a infinitely large and infinitely divisible dynamic substance with the power to accelerate matter and to structure matter and energy in three spatial dimensions.DCD . Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/19422 Reply

 2016-08-24 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology Hi Daniel--  Thanks for your response.  As with the previous post to which I responded, it engenders all sorts of reactions in me, which I find stimulating.  Even if we disagree, we are catalytic in our dialogue.  I won't have a chance to address it all here given space limitations.  You imply that this forum is examining physics (the hard science) rather than the "philosophy of physics," which wasn't my understanding.   My statement re: "this is a closed, dynamic system under God" is literally a truism.  Did you not have a creator that allows one unified organizing factor to facilitate your systematic "rigorous philosophical vocabulary?" How do you and other rigorous philosophers coordinate your work without a unifiying element?  Explain how you originated?As you examine physical science here, you deny the most prominent genius in physics, Albert Einstein, who demonstrated theoretically with impressive mathematical substantiation (epistemological justification, right?) that all things are relative, thus everything affects everything else. Explain to me how that works in a system where "space is infinitely large and infinitely divisible." Don't tempt me (as an actual scientist) to pull the esoteric card.  Might you join this loose psychologist who has the gall to bring theology into the argument --down here on the terra firma, where the same principles should apply as up there in the hallowed, safe zones of esoterica.  My house, my community, my state, has parameters like my u*ni*verse (all existing matter and space considered as a whole; he cosmos.  The universe is believed to be at least ten billion light years in diameter...) by definition.  I said we dwell in a closed dynamic system under one creator God.  I didn't say that was just space. You haven't acknowledged my cogent point about how occupying and negating space are not the same processes.  One supplants space, the other actively consumes it.  Different.  What you label as theology, I call, systematically and conceptually clearly, capturing unseen forces highly relevant to all branches of science.  Out of room. Not a pro, but respect y'all. ;-). More later.  Best, Maria Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/19466 Reply

 2016-08-25 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Derek AllanAustralian National University Hi TamiRE: “The universe is believed to be at least ten billion light years in diameter.” But we all wonder - don’t we? – what is outside “the universe”. Someone says: nothing. But how much further does “nothing” stretch? And if it ends, what’s outside that? It boggles the mind – well, my mind anyway – and most of us, I think, just put it in the too-hard basket. I’m told physicists can explain it all by notions of space-time, the "multiverse", etc. Not being a physicist, I’m unlikely to understand their explanations. And even if I did, I suspect I would still have my doubts…  Some philosophers would probably tell me that my inability to understand is simply due to the limitations of human understanding. Perhaps. But how do they know that, since presumably they have the same limitations?Moral: Don’t spend too spend much time gazing into the starry sky. DA  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/19474 Reply

 2016-08-26 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology Hi Derek--I didn't feel that you or anyone was telling me to "shut up" :-) at least not directly.   My point regarding the closed or finite nature of the universe is that, I believe, that this "unknowable" can be epistemologically/ validly surmised based upon Einstein's extensive works, given that everything wouldn't affect everything else unless there are parameters to the system. I believe that the "unknowable" can be known through logic (and theory, mathematics and empirical data) but perhaps I am wrong. I'm certainly open to feedback or I wouldn't bother to write and learn here.  Best,  Maria  (aka Tami) Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/19542 Reply

 2016-08-26 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Derek,It's good to know to consider this to be a topic that should be discussed, even though you think "most of us ...  just put it in the too-hard basket". I assumed you meant to include yourself in that group but forgive me if I was wrong. What Maria/Tami wrote was "The universe is believed to be at least ten billion light years in diameter" [my emphasis]. Though other things she wrote may suggest otherwise, this statement suggests it may be more than this finite distance. I agree with you, though, that the notion of a spatially finite universe is problematic, if not mind-boggling. This is one argument I am hoping to pursue here, as a way of showing how space is best represented as an infinite, dynamic, non-material substance ... and not unreal nothingness, as Domenic's original post in this thread asserts.I agree, also, that "it is unwise to assume one knows things that one in fact doesn’t". However, I would include assuming that one knows a philosophical topic is useless or "too hard", when one doesn't, is equally misguided. Glad to know you are not suggesting that here. Glad, too, that you think it is surely within the bounds of legitimate philosophical discussion hope our honest and open conversation will continue.Thanks.DCD Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/19574 Reply

 2016-08-26 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Maria, I hate it when that happens to me, too. Can't tell you how many of my pearls of wisdom have been lost to the void of accidental deletion. :(But I am no elitist, good old boy, mental masturbator or misinterpreter of Darwin, as you seem to suggest.I just find your claims and arguments difficult to understand and, like a good old philosopher, I seek clarity of meaning for now. That's all.DCD  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/19582 Reply

 2016-08-27 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Derek AllanAustralian National University Hi Maria RE: “I believe that the "unknowable" can be known through logic (and theory, mathematics and empirical data) but perhaps I am wrong.” And perhaps you are right. I think many scientists would share your opinion. Personally I’m rather sceptical. There are many things that seem to be beyond the grasp of science, and I wonder if, in the end, this might not be another one.   DA  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/19602 Reply

 2016-08-29 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology Thanks, Daniel for validating the frustration of the computer freeze. At the risk of waxing theological, sometimes sudden loss of data in the midst of controversy just feels demonic.  I took the time to read, understand and respond to your arguments.  I don't feel that you endeavored to do the same.  I just don't agree, nor do I concur with aspects of your sentence two above.  That's all. Perhaps, all that's left for us is to agree to disagree.  I appreciate the portions of your lengthy response from yesterday, which taught me about relevant philosopher's work.  That type of cross-disciplinary teaching (as I indicated previously) is the reason that I am here. TGIF and happy late summer weekend (at least here in Montana). Not sure from where you hail  Mary (F.O.G.?  Not sure about that anymore, given<-- now that is cryptic, feel free not to get that one :-)) Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/19586 Reply

 2016-09-01 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology Happy Hump Day Daniel--Before I possibly respond further to your most recent comments, I have a brief reaction...I don't remember mentioning Darwin in my post, but perhaps I'm forgetting.  I talked several times about Albert Einstein pertinent to the topic of physics on this thread.  So... I'm inclined to ask...In the words of one Tina Turner (a woman who didn't always apparently bring out the best in old Ike)... What's [Darwin] got to do, got to do with it?"Best, Maria Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/19794 Reply

 2016-09-12 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology I'm a little overly incited by your response but will attempt a succinct temporary and hopefully not over-reaction. Creationism and Evolutionary theory, as many have said, written about etc. are not incompatible. Further, from whence did you originate to engage in the process of evolution.  "By design" if you deny the existence of God, please indulge me in your answer or I will assume a dogmatic, oh excuse Godmatic stance predicated upon logic. (As I have said previously, perhaps in a different forum, a statement like that is not a truism or cliche etc. unless you listen and give an answer to my damn statement and/or question sir. Respectfully Dianna, I mean, Maria Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20106 Reply

 2016-09-12 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Derek AllanAustralian National University RE: "Do you disagree that his theories explain the origin of species, including the origin of the genus homo and the species  to which you and I, and even Derek Allen, belong?"This is uncharacteristically generous of you, Daniel. Much obliged. DA Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20202 Reply

 2016-09-15 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Derek AllanAustralian National University Hi Daniel RE: “Once life begins on a planet, it will reproduce itself in any way it can’” This is not really a counter-argument. If God is omniscient (usually said to be one of his attributes), he would know in advance what path evolution would take. So there is no logical inconsistency here for a believer in such a God. RE: “It [evolution] is not a hard theory to understand and it requires no theology for it to make sense.” True, but if one assumes an omniscient God, there is no contradiction either. (One might say that he would need to be a very patient God, waiting all those billions of years for humankind (made in his image etc) to evolve. But the religious person might simply reply that to God time is as nothing etc. After all, he is said to inhabit an eternal realm). DA Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20346 Reply

 2016-09-16 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Derek,I distinguished between pairs of statements that are inconsistent (both cannot be true but both may be false) and those that are contradictory (if one is true, then the other is false). I'm not trying to disprove the existence of God, Creationism or even the New Age version of Intelligent Design. I'm not offering a counter-argument, either. People can choose to believe whatever they want. God knows YOU are the proof of that! ()I'm just saying, if you believe evolutionary theory is true you cannot also meaningfully believe in a Creator God or Intelligent Designer as the best explanation that accounts for the world that beings like us know, You have the freedom to believe it, but it would be pointless as part of the explanation provided by the way natural selection works to originate new and sustain old species.Evolution is a sufficient explanation, in that you don't need anything else in order for it to do its explanatory work, Creation would also be sufficient to account for things, if it were true. DCD   Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20410 Reply

 2016-09-16 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Maria,I'm well aware of that distinction and was hoping you would bring it up. I have a theory about that, too. Go figure. hahaThe origin of life (not the origin of the universe) is a very specific problem in evolutionary biology. It has been explained in several different ways but none of them has been satisfactory. That is hardly a convincing argument that it cannot be explained without a "higher being", as you keep insisting. Are you seriously suggesting that if I cannot prove that you don't KNOW God exists, this somehow proves that God does exist? The answer to the "mystery" of the origin of life on earth (the only place we have observed it to exist, so far) lies in the atomic structure of the carbon atom. This structure enables carbon to exist in both inorganic and organic forms. It is ideal for constructing complex molecules with other carbon atoms and with many other elemental of atoms. These can combine with each other into chains of monomers and polymers, including one called RNA. RNA can be observed to form naturally under laboratory conditions. It is capable of reproducing its structure in successive generations and of synthesizing proteins. The problem has been to figure out how one and the same molecule could do both things. If a molecule could do both of these kinds of "work", it could then evolve over successive generations based on the relative success in reproductive work caused by the kind of work done in protein synthesis. This goes beyond Darwin but does not contradict his basic understanding about natural selection. For now, suffice it to say I'm well-prepared to discuss the origin of life as well as the evolution of life, once it has begun.Finally, is there any chance we will get back to discussing space, where all this began?  Thanks, DCD  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20426 Reply

 2016-09-16 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Maria,I'm well aware of that distinction and was hoping you would bring it up. I have a theory about that, too.The origin of life (not the origin of the universe) is a very specific problem in evolutionary biology. It has been explained in several different ways but none of them has been satisfactory. That is hardly a convincing argument that it cannot be explained without a "higher being". Are you seriously suggesting that if I cannot prove that you don't KNOW God exists, this somehow proves that God does exist? The answer to the "mystery" of the origin of life on earth (the only place we have observed it to exist, so far) lies in the atomic structure of the carbon atom. This structure enables carbon to exist in both inorganic and organic forms. It is ideal for constructing complex molecules with other carbon atoms and with many other elemental of atoms. These can combine with each other into chains of monomers and polymers, including one called RNA. RNA can be observed to form naturally under laboratory conditions. It is capable of reproducing its structure in successive generations and of synthesizing proteins. The problem has been to figure out how one and the same molecule could do both things. If a molecule could do both of these kinds of "work", it could then evolve over successive generations based on the relative success in reproductive work caused by the kind of work done in protein synthesis. This goes beyond Darwin but does not contradict his basic understanding about natural selection. For now, suffice it to say I'm well-prepared to discuss the origin of life as well as the evolution of life, once it has begun.Finally, is there ay chance we will get back to discussing space, where all this began?  Thanks, DCD  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20430 Reply

 2016-09-17 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Derek AllanAustralian National University HI Daniel RE: “I'm just saying, if you believe evolutionary theory is true you cannot also meaningfully believe in a Creator God or Intelligent Designer as the best explanation that accounts for the world that beings like us know, You have the freedom to believe it, but it would be pointless as part of the explanation provided by the way natural selection works to originate new and sustain old species…. Evolution is a sufficient explanation, in that you don't need anything else in order for it to do its explanatory work,..” Yes, I agree that a Creator God or Intelligent Designer would add nothing to the explanation of how natural selection works. But when you say “Evolution is a sufficient explanation, in that you don't need anything else in order for it to do its explanatory work”, the question arises: what is the “explanatory work” in question, exactly? If, for example, it involved the emergence of human consciousness, one might well object, depending on one’s thinking about what human consciousness might be, that it is not a sufficient explanation. And if one were a religious person (as you know I am not) and believed in a religious conception of man (soul etc), then again one could well object that it is not a sufficient explanation. I am not trying to be difficult here. But depending on one’s point of view about what “man” is (man in the sense of humankind rather than homo sapiens) one might well want to argue that natural selection is not (to quote you) “the best explanation that accounts for the world that beings like us know”. DA  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20442 Reply

 2016-09-18 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Derek,I was talking about the origin of species, particularly the origin of our own species, homo sapiens sapiens. I was not including consciousness in the conversation, at least not at this point. Species of plants are probably not conscious but they encounter the same limitations on evolution as animals do. Even animals may or may not be conscious and such consciousness may or may not be explained by biology. As you know, I think that requires some additional reasoning, which is superfluous to the current argument about origin of species. As to the objection of the religious believer, it would turn on an inability or plain refusal to understand the claims of evolutionary science, as I think is the case with our friend Maria. I don't deny there may SEEM to be something missing psychologically for the religious believer contemplating their lives without a belief that they have always held sacred. Been there; done that. But that has nothing to do with how nature operates to select species based on their relative ability to complete cycles of reproduction over many generations; that is, to be a species extant on this planet.  Thanks,DCD  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20502 Reply

 2016-09-19 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Derek AllanAustralian National University Hi DanielRE: I was talking about the origin of species, particularly the origin of our own species,  I was not including consciousness in the conversation,… But the question is: can one talk about homo sapiens sapiens without including consciousness? What would such a creature be? Can we even conceive of it? DA Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20530 Reply

 2016-09-19 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology Hi Daniel--  Feel free to get back to the original spirit 'o the thread-- Space...  I was speaking more about that topic when you injected Darwin and I never did figure out "what Darwin has to do has to do with it."  I don't think you really answered that question, but then we started debating aspects of his theory for some reason ?  I had been referencing Einstein, which I thought was relevant to the topic at hand, but don't remember mentioning Darwin, although, I could be mistaken.  (It actually happens frequently, no matter what a tragically overconfident 'arse' I seem to be.) To clarify--- I don't expect you to accept that there is a higher being that originated life, even though I KNOW one exists through my own personal history, my epistemology, extensive data that this organism has accumulated through her sensory apparatuses.  I can't prove that to you beyond perhaps face to face conversations that would take a long time, where I could relay lengthy depictions of that experience, including miracles I've encountered, and interactions with that being over a long period of time...   I would ask that you don't bring a psychiatrist to our meeting ;-).  All that I said to you in the post is, you can't prove that this organism (me) is wrong about my experience of God.  This relates to my previous statements about what I feel is the misguided belief that some scientists, philosophers, etc. have that everything is capable of being explicated and even proven, including the important unseen elements of life, which I find to be the most important glue that exists (love...).  Any good scientist or even mathematician will tell you, nothing can ever really be proven for certain even utilizing quite rigorous methods.  I'm a staunch critic of reductionism having worked as an emotional healer in the trenches for many years, with extensive training in neurophysiology, neuropsychology...  As a clinical and school psychologist, I can tell you that psychometrics (psych testing) and medical testing (EEG, MRI) etc. can provide valuable information that can guide interventions, but there is no substitute for sitting (attentively and lovingly) with a child who struggles with assignments, getting to know the obstacles and how he responds cognitively, emotionally and behaviorally so one can sleuth out the problem and provide careful corrective guidance to the child and his educators.  Out of room... Best, Maria Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20438 Reply

 2016-09-20 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology Hi Daniel--  I'm going to re-attempt to respond to this post in that my initial response last week was rejected by the moderators as too confrontational.  In reviewing the aggressive tone and content of what I'd written, their judgment was very justifiable.  Once life begins on a planet, it will reproduce in any way that it can.  Some methods of reproduction work better than others and, over time, those organisms better fit to reproduce will use up whatever resources they need in order to do their reproductive and other forms of work, thereby eventually "starving out" the other organisms who are less fit to reproduce.  It is not a hard theory to understand and requires no theology for it to make sense.  My initial overreaction to your statements and the aggressive tone of my previous attempt to respond stem from a long-standing concern about the view that the organisms of life are inherently breeders who will do anything to further their own survival.  I find this a dismal view of "people," even homosapiens, who much data would suggest have devolved in their benevolence relative to other creatures, such as single-celled organisms on up to slippery sea creatures, and our furry friends of the terra firma.  I find this to be a common misinterpretation of Darwin's elegant theory of evolution, the process that followed the discrete moment of creation (two different concepts, as we have previously discussed). This type of misinterpretation has resulted in dangerous misapplications of this theory, including Social Darwinism.  A careful study of the theory of Natural Selection and associated empirical data, reveals that it is more a passive, albeit somewhat judicious process, rather than an inherently competitive one, particularly within a particular species or community, even given the food chain, where one species may survive by feeding/ relying upon another as a part of the natural order.  If what you say were true, we would not see the beauty and harmony we still see today particularly in nature.  I am running short of space and hope that this response to your comments is more constructively stated (nowhere to go but up from my last attempt- communicating honestly and passionately can be messy business).  Best, M Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20606 Reply

 2016-09-21 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Derek AllanAustralian National University Hi Tami I’m not sure I follow your train of thought entirely. But if you are saying that evolutionary theory falls a long way short of providing an adequate explanation of human behaviour, I would agree with you.   Some people try to explain altruistic acts by claiming that this somehow assures the “overall” survival of the species. (Dawkins argues this, I think - I have never taken the trouble to read him.) Perhaps it does – who knows? – but I’m sure that would be the last thing in the mind of someone who gives up their life for another. People sacrifice their lives for love, for their comrades in battle, and perhaps for their ideals. I can’t recall any who gave up their lives for the continuation of the species. I’m not suggesting that Darwinian theory is wrong – and I don’t think you are either. But when it comes to human motivations and human behaviour, Darwin tells us very little in my view (as perhaps he would have agreed). DA Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20630 Reply

 2016-09-22 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Derek AllanAustralian National University Hi TamiRE:  Altruism literature relies heavily on the multiple examples in life of hero behavior, where people jump without hesitation into a raging river to save a stranger, disregarding the imminent threat to their own survival. Yes, I forgot those examples. Like the person who races into the surf to save someone (he doesn’t know) from a shark. But even there I think it’s odd to say that the motivation is continuation of the species. To start with, both people might die, which doesn’t do a lot for the species. Second, I think that in real life the motivation has a lot more to do with a sense that to do anything else would be a kind of unforgivable cowardice (and of course there are some who don’t jump into the raging river or the surf, so not everyone is a hero). Doubtless the Dawkinses of this world would simply reply that the impulse to jump in and try to help in such cases has been “programmed” into us by evolution which favoured altruistic conduct etc. So whatever we might think our motivation is, that’s the real one. But where does that logic stop? If we are “programmed” here, why not in everything else too? Which would, of course, mean the cowardly and wicked things we do as well as the heroic and altruistic ones. (Sade would have found that conclusion attractive!) In short, thinking of this kind leads ultimately to a nullification of human psychology: people are essentially robots driven by forces outside their control. The “inner life” is just smoke and mirrors. A very cold, de-humanising doctrine in the end.  Applied to human experience science usually ends up there.  DA  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20686 Reply

 2016-09-22 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College All,Darwin's point is that species are selected when the individual animal's pursuit of their own various interests ALSO does, at the same time, the work of supporting the reproduction of the species as a whole. That's why, when we interview the heroes, they usually say they were just doing their jobs. Which they were. We are just being good citizens or parents, soldiers, etc. It's similar to the "invisible hand" of capitalism that approaches maximum efficiency of production through the many competitions among capitalists pursuing their own self-interests. It's certainly not altruism. But it does, in theory, maximize the power to create the most efficient corporate structures, at any given time. Very often they best corporate structures advance civilization for everyone but not always. Hence the need for governments that do act in the interest of the greater good to regulate business effectively, without killing it. DCD Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20742 Reply

 2016-09-22 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College All,Darwin's point is that species are selected when the individual animal's pursuit of their own various interests ALSO does, at the same time, the work of supporting the reproduction of the species as a whole. That's why, when we interview the heroes, they usually say they were just doing their jobs. Which they were. We are just being good citizens or parents, soldiers, etc. It's similar to the "invisible hand" of capitalism that approaches maximum efficiency of production through the many competitions among capitalists pursuing their own self-interests. It's certainly not altruism. But it does, in theory, maximize the power to create the most efficient corporate structures, at any given time. Very often they best corporate structures advance civilization for everyone but not always. Hence the need for governments that do act in the interest of the greater good to regulate business effectively, without killing it. DCD Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20746 Reply

 2016-09-23 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Derek AllanAustralian National University Hi DanielRE: That's why, when we interview the heroes, they usually say they were just doing their jobs. Which they were. We are just being good citizens or parents, soldiers, etc.  I don’t know. Lots of soldiers just do their jobs and don’t win Victoria Crosses. I don’t think we can dismiss genuinely heroism or self-sacrifice so easily.  If we can, why not dismiss craven cowardice, heartlessness or plain cruelty as people who just don’t “do their jobs”? This is a not a bad example of how science, when applied to human behaviour, tends to dehumanise it. It is inherently ill-equipped to understand human emotions and human values so it just rides roughshod over them. RE: Darwin's point is that species are selected when the individual animal's pursuit of their own various interests ALSO does, at the same time, the work of supporting the reproduction of the species as a whole.  The principle may be OK when applied to animals. Not so good for humans. One of the major problems facing us now is, precisely, reproduction... DA Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20758 Reply

 2016-09-23 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Derek,I didn't mean to imply that they aren't Heroes just because they're doing their job I was just using what they say about themselves as an example of how they were just doing what they thought they were supposed to be doing, acting in their own interest to be the best soldier they could be. I'm not saying altruism doesn't exist either. Indeed there is a vast variety of human characteristics all of which put together are responsible for the survival of the species. We have quite a healthy mix of bleeding-heart liberals and rugged individualists. Morality and self-unrest are not the enemies you make them out to be.DCD Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20798 Reply

 2016-09-23 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Derek, I agree that overpopulation is probably the biggest existential threat to humanity and the biggest challenge to human rationality which means, of course, empirical, scientific knowledge and moral reasoning. DCD Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20802 Reply

 2016-09-23 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology Beautiful response.  Thank you.  Now pertinent to our friend DCD, maybe having examined Darwin's theory humanistically, oops, there I go "ism"ing, I meant in the interest of peace and harmony and constructive scholarly communication, perhaps we'll get back to the spirit of the thread if we haven't exhausted it and ourselves completely, Space and the Negation of Objects....  At the risk of offending you with something that may smack of "theology" ;-) God bless you Derek. You remind me of an old yet ever fresh philosopher poet friend of mine, Machiavelli, Dante, Poe, D.H. Lawrence...  I've been angeled quite a lot --perhaps you are on multiple legitimate go-rounds as well ?As I told my priest, "Father, I've never actually died naturally, but been 'deaded' a lot" --  if that makes any sense at all.  You are terribly smart and eloquent, like someone who has climbed the latter of 0's and 1's over and over to figure out as best you can as a loving individual, what the f*** is going on (I believe I invented the word for holy purposes so as not to kill the perpetrator, thus, to become rather than to solve the problem)-- what is and what is not ? (oh, pertinent to the actual thread!) and like me, maybe you find yourself sitting and dissociating in a coffee shop drawing obsessive pictures of something or someone you once at least tried to love.   All the best always, Maria Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20734 Reply

 2016-09-24 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Derek AllanAustralian National University Hi TamiRE: "As I told my priest, "Father, I've never actually died naturally, but been 'deaded' a lot" --  if that makes any sense at all.  "I admit I am struggling with that idea... RE: "to figure out as best you can as a loving individual, what the f*** is going on." Alas! I can report no progress on that front. I really have no idea what's going on.   Daniel, I fear, has concluded that I am a dyed-in-the-wool sceptic (we are old sparring partners) but I don't think I am really. I see no point in being a sceptic just for the sake of it. I think that would just be a silly intellectual pose. But alas! where “the fundamentals” (for lack of a better word) are concerned, I’ve never been able to discover "what's going on".  Of course, I know I'm not Robinson Crusoe in that respect. An author I greatly admire describes us as the first civilization that “is aware that it does not understand man’s significance”. He doesn't mean that there may not be individuals here and there who are exceptions but that, as a whole, today’s world has been obliged to fall back on agnosticism – and is aware it has done so.  DA  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20854 Reply

 2016-09-24 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology Mmmh, DA. You and DCD are old sparring partners?  My hypothesis has been that you are him.  You philosophers (when you are good) are supposed to be experts at orchestrating elucidatory debate, even sometimes making absurd statements that you don't really believe (extreme statements and statements that you know have been shown to be predominantly false). You and DCD do that at a level that makes me suspicious that you may be the same one. Whether or not that's true, the sparring is interesting and seems productive.  Best, M Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20858 Reply

 2016-09-24 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Derek AllanAustralian National University No I assure you Tami. We are not the same person - not even on the same continent.DA Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20862 Reply

 2016-09-24 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Maria,Derek is a knee-jerk skeptic, despite his denials. I am someone with a positive agenda, so we disagree on almost everything. We have run into each other in various discussions and it usually goes pretty much the same. I like to build; he likes to tear down. If we were the same person, we would be severely schizophrenic. lol. DCD Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20882 Reply

 2016-09-24 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology LOL ;-0.  Remember, I'm a psychologist. You are possibly purposefully employing a common misinterpretation of Schizophrenia, DCD.  It isn't 'split personality' rather, 'splitting from reality' ---but, then, what is reality, really......philosopher?-- some group perception of the facts?-- which is averaged to a great degree through communication - especially in the age of social media (e.g., "Buffy, I'm going to go to the bathroom now, talk with you in there").  So in a sense, reality, especially in this era, is some fascist reconstruction of the "facts" that pitches it somewhere in the collective comfort zone.  Scary.  Psychotic people are generally more in touch with the gestalt of experience including the important unseen elements of life, including the stuff my cats see, like apparitions they visually track moving through my living room.  Sure, it results in some functional behavioral anomalies when these often sensory-overwhelmed, in-touch people attempt to coexist with the masses of niche tenders who predominantly agree upon and play by the accepted "rules."  Perhaps you will discover someday that your sparring partner is really the rest of you, having fractured from you sometime in the past and went way "down under."  Perhaps, ultimately when you reunite you'll feel ever so whole. You found each other here to argue, sometimes even constructively, to attempt to elucidate what is through your differing perspectives.  Possibly this is more functional than arguing within oneself.  Hahaha. M/T/D Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20886 Reply

 2016-09-25 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Derek AllanAustralian National University Hi DanielRE: “Derek is a knee-jerk skeptic, despite his denials. etc..." Believe it or not, Daniel, I do believe in some things. I believe in the possibility of truth – not a belief to be sneezed at in this day and age, after all, when it is almost de rigueur in many circles to “deconstruct” anything that moves.But I also think that anything approaching truth is usually very hard won, and I guess what annoys me most about a lot of contemporary philosophy (this is not a shot at you) is that so many facile, trivial – and often downright juvenile – ideas get taken for rolled-gold verities.My irritation gauge goes into the red zone when the subject in question is one I regard as important. Hence, for instance, my very negative reactions when the philosophy of consciousness starts taking about “zombies”, “something it is like”, "panpsychism", etc. Can there be a subject in philosophy more important to us than the nature of human consciousness? After all it’s a question about the very nature of our being – both for good and for evil: we’re talking about the same human consciousness that can perform acts of genuine self-sacrifice but also put people in extermination camps. Yet multitudes of (analytic) philosophers can manage nothing better than to frame the issue in terms of fantasy Hollywood zombies etc. I think that’s pitiful. More than that, it’s downright irresponsible because, in effect, it’s an abdication of a philosopher’s basic responsibility to deal seriously with topics of serious human concern.  Now that's DA speaking from the heart. Does it really sound like someone who’s only “a knee-jerk skeptic”? DA Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20898 Reply

 2016-09-25 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Derek,If you believe in the possibility of truth, yet never assert any philosophical claims you actually defend as true, it's a bit if a hollow belief, wouldn't you say? I'm all too familiar with your harangue over the nature of consciousness and you know that I am one of those who sees merit in Thomas Nagel's arguments. So, in good DA form, you take the shot at me while denying that you are. Nice touch. But I won't go over the same scorched earth we've already trod on the nature of consciousness. You've uttered your mantras and pat aspersions about the topic, with zombie-like similarity to the way your said it years ago, so I hope you are done with it. But seriously, I'd love to see you take a positive position on a philosophical topic and defend it as true.I'm not holding my breath, though.DCD Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20902 Reply

 2016-09-25 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Derek AllanAustralian National University You’re a hard man to please, Daniel! Yes, I know you are a Nagel man but I truly wasn’t taking a shot at you in particular. There are hordes of analytic philosophers out there who are dyed-in-the-wool followers of the Nagel mantra and it was those poor benighted souls I had in mind. Besides, I think I’m right in saying you’re not a disciple of the other crack-brained ideas I mentioned. You’re not a panpsycho – I mean “ist” – for example, if my memory serves. On the question of claims I defend, well, modesty sort of forbids, but really you only have to read the books and articles I’ve written. There’s not a word in all of that I wouldn’t defend to the death (so to speak). But alas! those topics rarely come up on Philpapers – principally, I think, because most analytic philosophers regard art and literature as topics of zero importance (they would rather talk about Hollywood “zombies” and brains in vats…). I have made two or three efforts to start relevant topics but they fizzled fairly quickly. But in any case, one doesn’t always need to have a fully formed opinion on an issue to be able to recognise a nonsense argument when one sees it. So although I’m not able to give a satisfactory answer to the question: ‘What is the nature of human consciousness?" (and who can?), I can tell a mile off that the Nagel mantra, for example, is pure, unadorned nonsense. DA  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20906 Reply

 2016-09-25 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Derek,I've read your arguments about art criticism before and commented on them, too. I'm as skeptical of BS as anyone but I think our age suffers from a calculated aversion to truth and perverse love affair with trying to dissolve problems rather than solve them. You seem to me to be a dissolver, whereas I seek non-traditional solutions to the traditional problems of philosophy.DCD  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20926 Reply

 2016-09-25 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Maria,Schizophrenia had a better ring to it than bi-polar and I wasn't being clinical, anyway. The main thing to understand is that we are different people, from different continents and philosophical persuasions. Try not to overanalyze, Doctor. Sometime a cigar is just a cigar. :)DCD Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20930 Reply

 2016-09-25 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology I don't care clinical DCD.  I was just aiming at accuracy. Conceptual and definitional clarity doesn't constitute overanalysis. Just analysis Doctor ?  Are you one? A doctor.  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20934 Reply

 2016-09-26 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Derek,BS is Bullshit. "Bullshit (also bullcrap) is a common English expletive which may be shortened to the euphemism bull or the initialism BS. In British English, "bollocks" is a comparable expletive, although "bullshit" is more common. It is mostly a slang profanity term meaning "nonsense", especially in a rebuking response to communication or actions viewed as deceiving, misleading, disingenuous, unfair or false." (from Wiki)Now that you force me to look at the definition, I realize I have accused you of almost every one of those things in our past conversations. But never called it BS. Interesting.So, I'm always on the lookout for "nonsense" every bit as much as you are. But where we differ is that I actually try to argue for my positions about consciousness or space, speaking to the plethora of opposing views so as to identify common ground and work to resolve ,,, and sometimes dissolve ... those views that conflict. You tend to deem something to be silly or nonsense, offer some biting ridicule but no alternative views and walk away feeling yourself the victor.You comments above on the consciousness argument are a good example. I will not get into the arguments again with you because I know how pointless it is. I'd rather keep it on this somewhat more cordial tone going forward.As to "art criticism", I was thinking of that as the general topic under which people one would debate things like "the arguments about the general nature of art and its human importance". If that's wrong, I stand corrected, but those are the arguments I was referring to. So what is art and what is its importance to humanity? I've been teaching survey of culture courses lately and would be interested to hear what you have to say.DCD    Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20982 Reply

 2016-09-26 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Maria,I am a Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy. I am interested in theories of everything ... all of them. :)The over-analysis I was referring to was not the proper APA-DSM designation. I was talking about your hypothesis that DCD and DA were one and the same person. I wish you could see my visceral reaction to that very thought! Emojis fail me.  Now, if we can get back to space, I don't see where you have replied to my long rant to you about that. Love to hear your comments. Also, please tell me you are not voting for Trump.DCD  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/20994 Reply

 2016-09-26 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Maria,If you see holes in my reasoning, please point them out to me. That's why I asked for your comments.DCD Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21014 Reply

 2016-09-26 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Derek AllanAustralian National University Hi Daniel Yes, the penny dropped on “BS” after I had sent the post. RE: “You tend to deem something to be silly or nonsense, offer some biting ridicule but no alternative views and walk away feeling yourself the victor.” Not at all. I have often set out my arguments against the Nagel nonsense, “zombies” etc in some detail. Problem is getting anyone to read them attentively and argue the issue through to its conclusion. I came close to that with one contributor on another list a while back but then he inexplicably dropped out. But you’re right. I do indulge in the odd bit of ridicule now and then. It’s hard to resist: the Nagel mantra, “zombies” etc lend themselves to it so easily.  And then I sometimes hope that a mild dose of ridicule might spur some advocate of these silly – yet widely held – ideas to leap to their defence.  RE: “So what is art and what is its importance to humanity?” Excellent question but not one I’m going to try to answer in a few words on Philpapers. It’s all there on my website, but, as you know, I don’t believe in referring Philpapers readers to external sources – I like to keep discussions to arguments outlined on the list – so I’m not expecting you to read my books and articles. Suffice it to say that, contrary to what you suggest, these are arguments I would defend tooth and nail. DA Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21030 Reply

 2016-09-27 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College DA,OK, you say you have positive views but you won't share them here. Defenses delivered by teeth and fingernails are not the kind I'm looking for anyway. Your arguments in the consciousness debate are nothing but wry jabs and insults. You are like Donald Trump in that your arguments are usually fallacies of relevance like ad hominem or red herrings.But you're not a Skeptic....DCD  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21062 Reply

 2016-09-27 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Maria,I'm not denying at all that individual creatures (God's or nature's or anyone else's) have benevolent motives. We are social, communal beings because of how we evolved. Our species, which is a diverse and pluralistic array of possible recipes for individual creatures like us, is what survives. We, as individuals of the species, have reason enough to see the advantages of cooperation over competition in some instances. We have many religious institutions that jointly support values such as love, fellowship, charity, peace and most people either participate in or just live by these values. So, in a physical, biological sense we are spiritual animals, a disembodied set of cultural values and institutions that pass from one generation to the next, as each individual is bred, educated and enculturated to serve their own strategies for success in the world. Some are good and some are bad. Sometimes the bad ones reproduce themselves culturally, sometimes the good ones do. Sometimes what used to be bad becomes good later on, and vice versa. I don't think you need God to create goodness. The beauty of evolution is that it reveals this to be a fact. I depart from Darwin and most evolutionary biologists in arguing that cultural evolution is also occurring and that it also leads to the increasing power and perfection of our species. Goodness requires truth in order to be really good and not just an apparent goodness or piety derived from following a would-be Divine Command. Science can bring us scientific empirical truth from which goodness may be divined. I see human culture evolving over time as knowledge increases our powers and our powers require more a more powerful understand of what's right and what's wrong. I don't know why you seem to imply that my approach is not cross-disciplinary and is purely abstract. Nothing could be further from the truth. I discuss physics, biology, sociology, anthropology, art, popular culture, ethics and many other empirically testable disciplines. I reject ivory tower philosophers and purely analytic philosophers, as well as scientists who think that hyperbole and Esoterica are needed to capture the details and complexities of life. Aristotle would certainly not agree! Telling the whole story, in clear, non-figurative and naturalistic language, is the proper task of empirical philosophy, as I see it.  Thanks for the lovely conversation.DCD        Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21102 Reply

 2016-09-27 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Derek AllanAustralian National University Hi DCDRE: “Your arguments in the consciousness debate are nothing but wry jabs and insults.” Not so. Just as one example have a look at my comments on the Nagel nonsense of 2016-05-10 on the thread Human consciousness and evolution. The discussion went on a bit further as you’ll see but my interlocutor dropped out unfortunately, just as we were getting to the crux of the matter. This was detailed philosophical argumentation and I have sometimes found to my surprise that philosophers get uncomfortable when obliged to follow the consequences of an argument through to its full conclusions. I found the same thing when trying to get people to think through the “zombie” argument. It’s as if some philosophers would do anything rather than let go of pet ideas. I think it was Albert Camus who said (something like): "It’s not hard to be logical, but it can be hard to be logical to the bitter end."  But, after all, if philosophers can’t do that, who can?  That's what they're supposed to be good at.  DA Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21114 Reply

 2016-09-28 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College DA,I looked at your post. Oh God does that bring back bad memories! You said exactly the same things to poor Anton, over and over again, that made me stop talking to you. As I said, you simply refuse to acknowledge the meaning of the phrase "what it is like to be" seeing an after-image, perceptually aware, having qualia, perceiving, etc. Anton gets it. I get it. Nagel and many non-analytic philosophers get it. It is NOT that  we are all silly and speaking nonsense. It IS that you are exercising your typical knee-jerk skepticism, designed, I think, simply to infuriate people trying to have a conversation about something even you agree is an important topic.Despite Camus, it is not easy to be logical because being logical MEANS being rigorously logical. Good philosophers ARE good at being logical. But better philosophers are also good at empirical discovery and understanding the empirical discoveries of others. Even better philosophers understand the nature of goodness and beauty. I think you need to understand all of those things pretty well to think clearly about the nature of consciousness. DCD   Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21118 Reply

 2016-09-28 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Derek,I cannot imagine what it must be like for you to troll these forums daily and do nothing but try to undermine every conversation with your repetitive, sarcastic, cynical claptrap. I resort to hyperbole here to try to capture the imagination, to divine what twisted motivations must drive you to act so thick, when you are clearly an intelligent man. But. alas, I cannot even imagine what it must be like to be you. I'm not trying to make a comparison, because I have nothing to compare it to. Yet, I don't doubt for one minute that is like SOMETHING to be you, even though I have no idea what that could be. You are such a weird bird that I cannot even fathom what your first-person perspective would be like. But I can easily imagine what it might have been like for you to receive your diploma (assuming you have one) or see you child graduate from college, even though you might not have one; because I've had these experiences myself, I can imagine what it might be like for you. But that's not the same as knowing it. Indeed, we can never have the experience of another person (or animal) without being that other subject .... which is impossible. If there were not enough similarities in our separate experiences of the world, communication would be impossible. But, because our bodies evolved from common ancestors it is highly likely that what it is like to be each of us bears some similarities, even though we can never know them in any first-person sense. We can use third-person descriptors to dissect and catalogue every part of our bodies and brains but one cannot have first-party knowledge of any subject but oneself. I'm not asking for any kind of intuitive leap here. I have shown any reasonable person what is meant by the phrase "what is it like to be X", in a non-comparative sense. I can imagine how you will respond but not what it must be like to be you. Yet I have no doubt it is like something.DCD   Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21158 Reply

 2016-09-29 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Derek AllanAustralian National University Hi DanielRE: “I have shown any reasonable person what is meant by the phrase "what is it like to be X", in a non-comparative sense.” You have “shown” nothing. You simply told me I needed to “get” it. Others, you said, had "got" it. So I should "get" it too? But your comment here is interesting. You apparently agree that “like” in the Nagel mantra is not being used comparatively. (Which is just as well (a) because it would make a nonsense of the proposition and (b) Nagel himself ruled it out.) Now the only other possible meaning of the English word “like” in the context is the meaning it has in phrases such as “I feel like a cup of tea”. Is that what you think “like” means here? (Warning: this is a trap question. This meaning of like also makes a nonsense of the Nagel proposition. And as I say there is no other possible meaning in the context. Game over.) Elementary reasoning really, isn’t it? Well within the reach of any analytic philosopher worth his salt. Peter Hacker made pretty much the same argument quite a while ago. But analytic philosophers in general continue to cling on the Nagel mantra like Linus with his blanket. They rely on it again and again in their arguments about consciousness not only as if it made sense, but as if said something of fundamental importance about the nature of human consciousness! As I say, a joke.  DA Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21174 Reply

 2016-09-29 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College DA,I qualified my assertion by saying any "reasonable" person would admit to understanding my illustration of how to use that phrase in a meaningful way. I still can't imagine what it would be like to be so thick or even to act that way. But I know for sure, it must be like something. What is it like to see a sunrise? To fall in love? To get dumped? To finally figure something out? To be that thick?I am not asking for comparisons. I'm really wondering what it would be like for me to do those things and what you can tell me that might help me figure that out. But there really isn't any way to compare my consciousness to yours. Yet knowing what you have to say about it is helpful to me in trying to anticipate my own reactions. It's a perfectly intelligible usage and you are just being thick about it.I think we are done with this conversation again, buddy.DCD Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21210 Reply

 2016-09-30 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Derek,I don't disagree that the syntax of “Being conscious is like something.” is troubling and peculiar. I, however, don't say that. I am careful not to say that. I say it is like something to be the animal that is conscious. Being human is like something. Even being you is like something, thought you would be the last one to admit it. Of course, we know that it isn't the feet, the heart or the guts that are the organs responsible for this undeniable aspect of our existence. It is the brain, a perfectly arrayed bundle of firing neurons that is identical to not only the amazing processing power and functionality this organs of all organs delivers, but also to what we call consciousness, qualia, raw feels, primal essence, élan vital or joie de vivre. Consciousness is what it is like to be brains of mammals or reptiles who have some form of nervous system. In particular it is the neural organization tying the sensory organs to the loco-motor system and memory that has this intrinsic quality we recognize as seeing, feeling, hearing and the rest. Those parts of our mental makeup are clearly like something much more vivid and qualitative than our thoughts of the quadratic formula or even a fine summer day. Anticipating a hammer coming down on your thumb can be a painful experience in itself. But it is far less painful than the pain delivered by the actual hammer's impact. You have some comparisons here but not the sort we make between apples and oranges. Maybe more like the sort we make between Rubens and Poussin (Louis; competitions, notwithstanding); they are subjective, aesthetic, not fully quantifiable, more about what it's like for each person to see them....Honestly, it doesn't matter at all to my argument whether you understand this sort of non-comparison or not. But it's not a syntax problem, for sure. Indeed, if it were simply a linguistic problem, it would be one more of semantics than syntax, wouldn't you say?   DCD Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21290 Reply

 2016-10-01 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Derek Allan Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology Ok, Daniel. So you and Derek are worlds away- not the same one.  However, you still keep an elucidating and entertaining dialogue alive. Love always, Maria. ;-) Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21326 Reply

 2016-10-01 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Worlds. You're right about that, Maria. And he has accomplished his usual feat, which is to kill off any meaningful dialogue that was trying to occur prior to his intervention. Now where were we? Somewhere out in space? DCD Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21330 Reply

 2016-10-01 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Tami WilliamsHuman Rights Education AssociationUniversity of MontanaYale UniversityInternational Society of Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology Well Daniel, pertinent to the original spirit of this thread 'Space and the Negation of Objects..."  If we are in space, we have at least been yet to fill that space with somethin sufficiently meaningful to nullify the need for further dialogue ?  If that makes any sense at all. So, my friend, until the dialogue amongst us diehard friends here doth cease, the philosophical conundrum persists.  ;-) Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21334 Reply

 2016-10-01 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Derek AllanAustralian National University Hi DCD RE: “I don't disagree that the syntax of “Being conscious is like something.” is troubling and peculiar. “ But it’s not even that (which, by the way, would bring the comparison idea directly into play – which Nagel ruled out). The hallowed formula, used standardly by all philosophers in the field, is “There is something it is like to be conscious”. It’s derived from the Nagel article wording (and he’s the “authority” in this context, regularly quoted as such). So, yes, the syntax is very odd, but it is precisely because of that that the word “like” takes on the deceptive ambiguity I described.    RE:  I say it is like something to be the animal that is conscious.” But this is the like of comparison - which Nagel ruled out. But let’s assume we ignore Nagel and rule it in, what then? If someone says what does an X (mango etc) taste like, we might answer, well, it’s like a blend of Y and Z. But what is it like to be (the animal that is) conscious? What can we compare it to?  There is no Y and Z this time – no phenomenon or experience “like” consciousness. Everything we know, feel etc is through consciousness, so there is nothing outside it we could refer to.  So the like of comparison just doesn’t work here.  Re: “But it's not a syntax problem, for sure. Indeed, if it were simply a linguistic problem, it would be one more of semantics than syntax, wouldn't you say? “ I’m not suggesting it’s a problem of syntax. I’m saying that the odd syntax is responsible for the treacherous ambiguity of the term “like” in this context – an ambiguity that sets the trap into which so many philosophers have obligingly fallen. (I am not the first to notice this by the way. I seem to recall Hacker drew attention to it. Someone I read did anyway.) DA Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21338 Reply

 2016-10-01 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Daniel Davis Derek AllanAustralian National University RE: “he has accomplished his usual feat, which is to kill off any meaningful dialogue that was trying to occur prior to his intervention.” You’re free to carry on any dialogue you like, Daniel.  I can hardly prevent it even if I wanted to – which of course I don’t. DA  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21342 Reply

 2016-10-02 Space as Negation of Objects, Nothing Reply to Tami Williams Daniel DavisMary Washington CollegeStrayer College Maria,The guy who started this conversation, Domenic?, has not been heard from since. Space is one of my main topics of interest, so I thought I'd jump in. I had some interest on how you wanted to introduce God into the mix, which got us talking. The original thread has been lost and the DA interjection has left me without much of a theme to build on anymore. But in philosophy, as in psychotherapy, everything is grist for the mill. Our conversation did raise for me the question of how someone with advanced degrees in a behavioral science can still think of God as a factor in understanding the human psyche. The BELIEF in God, sure. But the intervention of some sort of divine causality into the science of psychology seems antithetical to any experiment you might conduct. Interesting, a similar argument comes up in the discussion of the reality of space. Einstein, and modern physics generally, rejects space as a scientific notion because it cannot be measured like matter can.   Maybe you have some ideas for me on this conundrum. Thanks,DCD  Permanent link: https://philpapers.org/post/21346 Reply