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Old 22nd-October-2016, 06:11 PM   #1
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Default Philosophy Blog

Hey, guys. I've been coming here for quite a while, though I haven't logged in much in the past few years. Anyway, I'm a philosophy major and did pretty well with my studies. Moreover, I have a clear philosophical aptitude (as many of my professors openly noted on more than one occasion).

With my degree, I've decided to write articles of various kinds - on philosophy, basketball, and social events. Some philosophy articles will be informative, while others will be critical, and some may be my own philosophical take on certain ideas or issues. So mostly, it's just a giant bag of analysis.

The blog (or online magazine, as it may become) is http://keencommentary.com. Come try us out if you're curious and have some time. You may enjoy my thought processes and can freely question or comment on anything I (or my partner) write. I encourage free thinking, mental exploration, and growth. Any philosophy lover is invited, but especially philosophy majors who are still working on a degree.

There's not much yet, as we are just starting. But we expect to have much more in the future. It should be, at least in theory, a kind of "INTP paradise" - where you can get away from society and read some intelligent discourse, or learn something very abstract and logical.

Come give us a try. Our world revolves around philosophy.
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Old 23rd-October-2016, 06:36 AM   #2
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I'm wondering if its possible to ask you (or your community) questions on current philosophical theories I have. I am not an astute learner so most of what I know is based a priori.

All in all I find this endeavor you have created an interesting one, and I hope it grows.
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Old 23rd-October-2016, 10:37 AM   #3
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Hi there.

I remember you vaguely, though nothing overly specific about your philosophical views. I minored in philosophy before changing my degree over to a more psychological/neuroscience area. I really enjoyed logic and stuff.

Might I say that your site looks sexy as all fuck?

A few things but. When you refer to psychologists who thought ____, could you cite it?

Quote:
For instance, some psychologists have held that we develop language through experience and observation, while at least one linguist has argued that language development is instead innate (and so not dependent on experience).
Because some psychologists think that mushrooms arrived on earth from the sun. My immediate thought is that no psychologist with their feet on the ground assumes language is 100% innate when all of written language needs to be taught, and spoken language needs to be observed, but can't fact check you without concentrated effort which I happen to have in short supply.

I also notice you refer mainly to older philosophers? While they're obviously important to include, I'd have thought the most recent meaningful iteration of a position would be the most valuable to communicate given that such a position would be the most informed about scientific discovery etc. We're in the middle of plotting out the brain and its functions including knowledge acquisition, it just seems relevant to the conversation is all! In comparison, Descartes meditations are still taught today to serve the function of (non fallacy) straw-men to be ripped apart by first years to give them a taste for blood.

Thoughts?

Edit: also QT you should totes be more specific.
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Old 23rd-October-2016, 03:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by QuickTwist View Post
I'm wondering if its possible to ask you (or your community) questions on current philosophical theories I have. I am not an astute learner so most of what I know is based a priori.
That sounds possible.

Quote:
All in all I find this endeavor you have created an interesting one, and I hope it grows.
Thank you.
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Old 23rd-October-2016, 04:24 PM   #5
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Might I say that your site looks sexy as all fuck?
Yes, I've been told by a few others that it is aesthetically pleasing. My partner (an INTJ) set it up (for the most part).

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A few things but. When you refer to psychologists who thought ____, could you cite it?
Sure. Some of them are a little rushed, so citations and specifics were not in my immediate awareness. I tend to focus on the philosophical ideas more than anything. But you're right: I should specify who thought what.



Quote:
Because some psychologists think that mushrooms arrived on earth from the sun. My immediate thought is that no psychologist with their feet on the ground assumes language is 100% innate when all of written language needs to be taught, and spoken language needs to be observed, but can't fact check you without concentrated effort which I happen to have in short supply.
Well, I had B. F. Skinner and Noam Chomsky in mind when I mentioned language learned through observation and nativism. Chomsky holds not that language is completely known without experience, but that the tools that allow one to learn a language are innate. Many simply communicate this as "Chomsky holds that language is innate" to make things simple. So, Chomsky disagrees with empiricists who believe the mind passively takes in information through experience. Linguistically speaking, at least, Chomsky thinks the mind has innate features through which language is universally developed. This is a rationalist perspective.

Quote:
I also notice you refer mainly to older philosophers? While they're obviously important to include, I'd have thought the most recent meaningful iteration of a position would be the most valuable to communicate given that such a position would be the most informed about scientific discovery etc. We're in the middle of plotting out the brain and its functions including knowledge acquisition, it just seems relevant to the conversation is all! In comparison, Descartes meditations are still taught today to serve the function of (non fallacy) straw-men to be ripped apart by first years to give them a taste for blood.

Thoughts?

Edit: also QT you should totes be more specific.
In time, I will likely get around to this. But many of the articles I plan to write are largely intended more as "philosophy breakdown" type lessons that quickly, clearly, and easily simplify philosophical ideas that might otherwise be complicated. This is why philosophy majors are the more strongly targeted audience. (My partner and I love the idea of philosophy tutoring.) So, philosophical ideas, themselves, are more the point. (I also focus on analytically examining certain ideas and events to provide clarity and useful distinctions - kind of like an "applied philosophy"). But I do think you're right: more recent developments are worth explaining, as well. But I think the basics are best to establish first. In time, I would love to communicate modern developments in philosophy that are much more relevant to recent scientific discoveries and developments.

And yes, Descartes' thinking was very bad, but historically, one must include his thoughts with respect to rationalism and its history. Lol - Otherwise, his philosophical contribution is very irrelevant indeed.

Thanks for the helpful feedback.
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Old 23rd-October-2016, 09:08 PM   #6
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Ah, ye olde language acquisition device

Chomsky's a smart dude, I wouldn't trust this Skinner bloke though :^).

I've never heard the concept enter a philosophical context. It seems almost misplaced? I guess an LAD serves as counter-example to the extremes of both positions, since such a predisposition proves the slate is not blank, but also requires experience for acquisition to occur? NVM it fits.

I think the forum has been comparatively light on philosophy since you were active. The god arguments (thankfully) died out with a few key proselytizers being shown the door, but the same people that were pushing god may have also been the people pushing philosophy? Or maybe my observation is askew? W/E, more philosophy could be good either way.
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Old 23rd-October-2016, 11:25 PM   #7
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Edit: also QT you should totes be more specific.
Be more specific than what? I don't want to take away from questions I might ask on his blog because I understand its prolly some kind of business and it would seem cheap to ask him about my theories in this thread. I prolly made a poor assessment so maybe you can clarify?
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Old 8th-November-2016, 02:24 AM   #8
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http://http://www.keencommentary.com/archives/863

Do we have a moral or civic obligation to vote? Here's a philosophical stance. Feel free to discuss or comment with your own thoughts.

A related problem, not discussed in the article, is whether voting itself is rational, which I may write on soon, as well. What do you guys think?

Another area for discussion: did Bob Dylan really qualify for the Nobel? Both articles are under "social commentary".
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Old 8th-November-2016, 10:57 AM   #9
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Anyway, I'm a philosophy major and did pretty well with my studies.
You corrupt the youth! You do not renounce impiety! You are even conceited in light of this! You are sentenced to death. Esoteric linguistic constructs won't save you. They will very much hasten your death. Perhaps one of your friends can deliver you hemlock.

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A related problem, not discussed in the article, is whether voting itself is rational, which I may write on soon, as well. What do you guys think?
If a person perceives that it is beneficial after the cost of voting has been taken into account and the person votes, that person is acting rationally when voting. If the person chooses not to vote, that person is acting irrationally. There is no need to write an essay.
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Old 9th-November-2016, 07:37 PM   #10
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If a person perceives that it is beneficial after the cost of voting has been taken into account and the person votes, that person is acting rationally when voting.
"If a person perceives that it is beneficial..."

The problem with this view is that perception is subjective. Rationality has to do with having objectively good reasons to do something, or not. So, the rationality of voting comes down to much more than the perception of costs/benefits; it comes down to the actual payoff of one's time and energy. And this is not subjective.

There are many reasons to question the objective rationality of voting. For one thing, many note that an individual vote will rarely ever have a direct affect on the outcome of an election. So, some respond by saying, "Well, what if my intention is only to influence the outcome, instead?" But this just sets back the problem, as the way in which one vote influences an outcome is still incredibly minor.

Plus, if one wishes to influence an election toward a beneficial end, there is also the problem of spending lots of time and energy studying and becoming informed, while millions of other voters merely make their decision on the basis of the clothing style and cuteness of a candidate. The problem here would be that one's informed vote is likely drowned out by millions of uninformed votes. So the goal of helping society through voting contribution appears futile. Plus, if voting is rational for you (toward the end of benefiting society), is it also rational then for your political opponents? Do we not believe the opposition will harm society?

Due to problems like these, many have concluded that voting is not rational and have instead turned from seeing voting as an instrumental (outcomes-based) activity to one of expressive political freedom - like wearing a band shirt to a concert. In other words, if voting isn't rational, then it's just expressive (non-rational).

So there is a lot to consider here, when viewing things objectively and not in terms of individual perception.

With that, I encourage others to offer input. It's a very important topic.
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Old 9th-November-2016, 08:41 PM   #11
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The problem with this view is that perception is subjective.
That's correct.

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Rationality has to do with having objectively good reasons to do something, or not.
Value is subjective. In turn, there are no objectively good reasons to do something. Unless there is at least one true axiom being used by the individual to derive what they should value. Then you could argue whether or not what they have valued is rational.

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So, the rationality of voting comes down to much more than the perception of costs/benefits; it comes down to the actual payoff of one's time and energy. And this is not subjective.
Yes, the payoff is not subjective but it is impossible to know the payoff before it occurs. The likelihood of different resultant events can be estimated. I engage in this quite frequently with my risk analyses (mathematical wizardry).

Take this recently election. Hillary had a 80% chance to win and Trump had a 20% chance to win; an estimated probability mass function was describing the payoff. One event occurred, Trump winning, thus anyone who voted with the expectation of Hillary winning, in hindsight, could have put their effort to better uses. Of course, the expected value of the probability mass function was Hillary winning. If the Trump voters based their decision on the expected value of the mass function and not voted, Trump would not have won. People's decision making processes were far more complex than just taking the expected value of a probability mass function.

Now we ask the question: Were the Hillary voters acting irrationally?

I have no grounds to believe they were acting irrationally. I don't know what axioms they were appealing to in their value tabulations. Let alone, whether or not these axioms are "rational" to begin with. For some reason they thought voting for her was beneficial. They acted according to their subjective value tabulations and they voted. I give them the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 10th-November-2016, 01:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Philosophyking87 View Post
http://http://www.keencommentary.com/archives/863

Do we have a moral or civic obligation to vote? Here's a philosophical stance. Feel free to discuss or comment with your own thoughts.

A related problem, not discussed in the article, is whether voting itself is rational, which I may write on soon, as well. What do you guys think?

Another area for discussion: did Bob Dylan really qualify for the Nobel? Both articles are under "social commentary".
It's like you're actually trying to discuss useless things.
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Old 10th-November-2016, 02:51 AM   #13
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Value is subjective. In turn, there are no objectively good reasons to do something. Unless there is at least one true axiom being used by the individual to derive what they should value. Then you could argue whether or not what they have valued is rational.
Yes, value is subjective. And if voting is a matter of expression, then it's true that voting is not irrational (but instead nonrational). That is, voting would be intrinsically valued (or perceived as beneficial) as long as it allows one to express, and this would be the case so long as one turns in a ballot.

But if instead voting is construed as instrumental (which is the common view), then there is goal, and this is usually to reach some political outcome, such as 'making the country better off'. In this situation, someone may subjectively value the goal, but would voting be a rational means of attaining this goal?

This is where your initial response is ambiguous: by "beneficial", did you mean to suggest that voting can be perceived as benefiting one in terms of, say, allowing one to politically express, or did you mean to suggest that voting can be perceived as beneficial in the context of some contribution to a political outcome?

If the former, the value of voting is subjective and non-rational. But if the latter, the subjective value of a political outcome (reached by means of voting) may not necessarily be rational, despite one's value system. So how do you construe voting and the perception of benefits versus costs? Is it inherently or instrumentally beneficial to a voter? The answer to this determines if voting is possibly rational, irrational, or non-rational.

Plus, some also question the ethics of voting. So regardless of the subjective value of political outcomes, some may argue that political outcomes have objective value, so that a vote can be ethical or unethical depending on the outcomes one's vote (presumably) supports.


Quote:
Yes, the payoff is not subjective but it is impossible to know the payoff before it occurs. The likelihood of different resultant events can be estimated. I engage in this quite frequently with my risk analyses (mathematical wizardry).
Well, this assumes there is a direct voting payoff, to begin with. That is, whether or not a vote is causally connected to a payoff in a way that matters. Otherwise, voting only incidentally results in favorable outcomes (and so is perceived as a payoff). But surely one can attempt to estimate outcomes prior to voting. So, again, the idea that voting for outcomes is rational is not very clear.

Quote:
Take this recently election. Hillary had a 80% chance to win and Trump had a 20% chance to win; an estimated probability mass function was describing the payoff. One event occurred, Trump winning, thus anyone who voted with the expectation of Hillary winning, in hindsight, could have put their effort to better uses. Of course, the expected value of the probability mass function was Hillary winning. If the Trump voters based their decision on the expected value of the mass function and not voted, Trump would not have won. People's decision making processes were far more complex than just taking the expected value of a probability mass function.

Now we ask the question: Were the Hillary voters acting irrationally?

I have no grounds to believe they were acting irrationally. I don't know what axioms they were appealing to in their value tabulations. Let alone, whether or not these axioms are "rational" to begin with. For some reason they thought voting for her was beneficial. They acted according to their subjective value tabulations and they voted. I give them the benefit of the doubt.
If they voted to express, then surely they were not voting irrationally. But if they voted for outcomes, there's many problems. Again, there's the issue of establishing the very idea that voting is casually connected with outcomes in a way that rationally justifies individual votes. This doesn't seem clear. Also, the extent to which other voter's ignorance impacts the worth of your own vote (assuming you spend much time informing yourself) also leaves reason to question the rationality of voting as an instrumental means. Expectations as to who will win are then irrelevant.

But even then, even if voting based on probabilistic expectations did often lead to the right election outcomes, it is still questionable whether the candidate one helped to elect would actually improve the state of things, overall. They might simply find that the candidate is horribly unprepared for the job, despite appearances. In this way, then, voting even with probabilistic calculations taken into account, one's vote may end up actually contributing, again assuming causal connections, to a worse state of things for a country, county, state, etc. And if voting is to do a duty in promoting the greater good, then voting isn't always rational.
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Old 10th-November-2016, 02:53 AM   #14
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It's like you're actually trying to discuss useless things.
How so?

Philosophically, these are important issues. And this is a philosophy section. Moreover, philosophical considerations are rarely useless for the sake of understanding, clarity, and even as a guide to optimal action and behavior. Properly appreciated, they are far from useless.

But yes, philosophical considerations aren't always practical. And in many ways, they rarely are. Yet to focus on this is to miss the point of philosophy. It's primarily about solving abstract problems for the sake of understanding and clarity. If the solution to an abstract problem, then, never has a practical effect, it doesn't mean the resolution of the abstract problem, in and of itself, isn't valuable. It's value just isn't necessarily tangible or concrete. But not everything valuable is.

Thus, you might prefer the science section.
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Old 10th-November-2016, 03:05 AM   #15
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As I see it there's fundamentally three options.
1. Act within the system, i.e. vote.
2. Act outside the system, actively rebel against it.
3. Take no action, don't vote.

Option 3 achieves nothing, even if only the politicians voted it will still be a valid election, the individual's vote is not required, any attempt to constrew this as an act of rebellion is just justifying laziness.
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Old 10th-November-2016, 03:09 AM   #16
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Interestingly people voting for Trump is being interpreted as a rebellion of rural conservatives againat the urban liberals.
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Old 10th-November-2016, 03:16 AM   #17
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As I see it there's fundamentally three options.
1. Act within the system, i.e. vote.
2. Act outside the system, actively rebel against it.
3. Take no action, don't vote.

Option 3 achieves nothing, even if only the politicians voted it will still be a valid election, the individual's vote is not required, any attempt to constrew this as an act of rebellion is just justifying laziness.
Why must one achieve anything (in this context), though?
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Old 10th-November-2016, 03:44 AM   #18
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How so?

Philosophically, these are important issues. And this is a philosophy section. Moreover, philosophical considerations are rarely useless for the sake of understanding, clarity, and even as a guide to optimal action and behavior. Properly appreciated, they are far from useless.

But yes, philosophical considerations aren't always practical. And in many ways, they rarely are. Yet to focus on this is to miss the point of philosophy. It's primarily about solving abstract problems for the sake of understanding and clarity. If the solution to an abstract problem, then, never has a practical effect, it doesn't mean the resolution of the abstract problem, in and of itself, isn't valuable. It's value just isn't necessarily tangible or concrete. But not everything valuable is.

Thus, you might prefer the science section.
It's not that philosophy is entirely useless, they're just useless topics.

Unless you just want to sound smart and pat yourself on the back for sounding smart, they're good for that.
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Old 10th-November-2016, 04:08 AM   #19
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Why must one achieve anything (in this context), though?
I assume if we're talking about voting we do so under the assumption that the voter or non-voter seeks to affect the electoral outcome.

But if you want to get all existential about it, why must voting have a purpose, why not just vote for the sake of voting?
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Old 10th-November-2016, 05:21 AM   #20
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they're just useless topics.
How so? People tend to think voting is important.

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I assume if we're talking about voting we do so under the assumption that the voter or non-voter seeks to affect the electoral outcome.
Yes, some wish to do this. But some don't. So it's difficult to see how those who avoid voting are accomplishing nothing, if they don't seek to affect the electoral outcome.

Quote:
But if you want to get all existential about it, why must voting have a purpose, why not just vote for the sake of voting?
That was the point I was trying to get you to notice. Some people just vote to vote, while some don't see the point. So the ones who avoid voting aren't failing to accomplish anything, as they don't accept the outcomes assumption to begin with.

The questions are these:
* Is there a duty to vote?
* Is voting rational?

In time, I'll have more "useless topics". One example is sex ethics. It'd be interesting to see what you guys make of that dilemma.
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Old 10th-November-2016, 07:02 AM   #21
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Yes, some wish to do this. But some don't. So it's difficult to see how those who avoid voting are accomplishing nothing, if they don't seek to affect the electoral outcome.
To do nothing is a choice whether the act of choosing is acknowledged or not, unless of course the person is completely unaware of the situation but that is an irrelevant assumption.
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Old 10th-November-2016, 07:24 AM   #22
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So the ones who avoid voting aren't failing to accomplish anything, as they don't accept the outcomes assumption to begin with.
Your boat is sinking and you're surrounded by sharks, do you bail water, try to find and plug the hole or pray for rescue?

"I refuse to acknowledge the situation"
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Old 11th-November-2016, 11:51 AM   #23
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You're presuming people's intentions which leads to a spurious discussion.
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Old 12th-November-2016, 12:02 AM   #24
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Your boat is sinking and you're surrounded by sharks, do you bail water, try to find and plug the hole or pray for rescue?

"I refuse to acknowledge the situation"
I'm not sure you understand the philosophical issue adequately.

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You're presuming people's intentions which leads to a spurious discussion.
Not really. It's a matter of taking intentions into account, but then noting problems with various perspectives, and then noting how voting should be viewed ideally, perhaps (or how actual behavior indicates what people actually see voting as, even if they think otherwise).

So it's two questions:
(1) Depending on various reasons for voting, is it rational?
We did this. If voting is instrumental, it is hard to say it's rational. But if it's expressive, it seems to not involve reason at all (and is nonrational).

(2) Regardless of intentions (or the way people actually go about voting), how might voting most rationally be understood or engaged? And depending on this, is it rational?

The first question is a matter of analyzing possible descriptive accounts of voting (instrumental and expressive). The second question, however, is a normative matter that moves beyond empirical matters and looks at the ideal way of viewing voting, according to analysis.

So, there's is actually much to discuss here, philosophically. But from what I gather, not many in this section, or on this forum generally, are adequately philosophical. (Plus, my blog link was removed, anyway.)

So this entire issue is wasted, as philosophical reasoning involves a certain perspective (mindset, state of mind, or approach) I've not yet seen in this thread.

Peace, guys. Hopefully I find philosophical peers elsewhere. I don't think this is the place to find such persons.
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Old 12th-November-2016, 04:34 AM   #25
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Peace, guys. Hopefully I find philosophical peers elsewhere. I don't think this is the place to find such persons.
So when it gets tough and your ideas are scrutinized, you run away. Well, Socrates didn't run away. He died for what he believed in.
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Old 12th-November-2016, 09:53 PM   #26
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So when it gets tough and your ideas are scrutinized, you run away. Well, Socrates didn't run away. He died for what he believed in.
The kind of modern philosophising he's advocating ('trained in' lol - training in critical theory consists of being forced to read loads of their essays until you start regurgitating their style) seems more akin to Protagoras than Socrates tbh. Which if I understand it is the essence of your point.

I'd expect Protagoras to run away when he finds a lack of admirers for his clever verbiage, given that he only 'philosophises' in this thread, and came back to this forum, to self-aggrandise himself anyway.
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Old 13th-November-2016, 09:26 PM   #27
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Interestingly people voting for Trump is being interpreted as a rebellion of rural conservatives againat the urban liberals.
I live in a rural district in the American west that votes Republican. The ones waving the Trump-Pence signs are white, beer-drinking NRA members. Some of them are my neighbors, they have 8th grade scholastic aptitudes. They are paranoid of anyone who looks Middle Eastern, and are many of those in a college town. I vote for lowering the sales tax and keeping marijuana legal. This is purely operational, because I feel morally compromised by participating in a criminal system that is committing humanitarian crimes in Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere. On the other hand, urban liberals can be equally strident. We're seeing less and less objectivity and two sides getting emotional over propaganda, from FOX, Democracy Now!, Michael Moore, Rush Limbaugh and these other agitators. I don't take them seriously at all. Maybe I'll move to Australia.
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Old 16th-November-2016, 03:03 AM   #28
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So when it gets tough and your ideas are scrutinized, you run away. Well, Socrates didn't run away. He died for what he believed in.
It's nothing to do with my ideas being scrutinized, as I did not offer my views. It was actually more a matter of scrutinizing your response (about perception of benefits) to a question I posed, and then explaining and distinguishing various philosophical ways of analyzing the subject (the rationality of voting).

And as I specifically said, the general philosophic capacity in this forum is not as great as I thought it would be. By analyzing your response, and then attempting to explain to you the philosophical problems, it became evident that these highly abstract issues are not easy to grasp and deal with. And more or less, the general input was lacking in philosophical substance and acuity.

This is all to say that those fortuned enough to appreciate and comprehend the problems I notice and shared are very rare in the general population. As if this crowd is already a subset of the general population, and these matters are still too esoteric, then my actual peers lie in philosophy and graduate departments. Yet due to aspergers, I turned from that path. (Grad school is very taxing, especially if your social skills are limited.)

So it's more a matter of realizing that my thinking patterns and interests are far too obscure in nature to be appreciated by most people. I really thought at least one or two of the members here would be capable of offering substantive feedback on these issues, and would possibly be interested in related articles on the topics. But I suppose I expected too much.

It's not about my ideas, for I know I'm gifted at logical thought. It's about other people's ability to think philosophically and work through such issues on a level nearing my own. And in that regard, I appear to be a kind of unicorn.

I merely realized this and figured my aptitude for philosophic thought is difficult for others to appreciate outside of an educated philosophy crowd. And this is just to say that without attending grad school, I would have to dumb down my philosophical work to appeal to those who aren't naturally on my level. But dumbing down is not my forte. And so it's best that I find another approach.

That's all.

My own thinking is highly complex. And I would have loved some actual scrutiny at some point. But again, you can't scrutinize what you don't understand. And that's the problem: my ideas are too advanced and philosophic to be easily digested in the first place. They never get to be scrutinized, as they are not addressing issues that are easily noticed and understood.

So unless I find a few graduate fellows to find my blog, it's mostly high end philosophy spoken out to a crowd with no ears for such things.

But you guys enjoy this site. I just expected more.
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Old 16th-November-2016, 03:55 AM   #29
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It's nothing to do with my ideas being scrutinized, as I did not offer my views. It was actually more a matter of scrutinizing your response (about perception of benefits) to a question I posed, and then explaining and distinguishing various philosophical ways of analyzing the subject (the rationality of voting).

And as I specifically said, the general philosophic capacity in this forum is not as great as I thought it would be. By analyzing your response, and then attempting to explain to you the philosophical problems, it became evident that these highly abstract issues are not easy to grasp and deal with. And more or less, the general input was lacking in philosophical substance and acuity.

This is all to say that those fortuned enough to appreciate and comprehend the problems I notice and shared are very rare in the general population. As if this crowd is already a subset of the general population, and these matters are still too esoteric, then my actual peers lie in philosophy and graduate departments. Yet due to aspergers, I turned from that path. (Grad school is very taxing, especially if your social skills are limited.)

So it's more a matter of realizing that my thinking patterns and interests are far too obscure in nature to be appreciated by most people. I really thought at least one or two of the members here would be capable of offering substantive feedback on these issues, and would possibly be interested in related articles on the topics. But I suppose I expected too much.

It's not about my ideas, for I know I'm gifted at logical thought. It's about other people's ability to think philosophically and work through such issues on a level nearing my own. And in that regard, I appear to be a kind of unicorn.

I merely realized this and figured my aptitude for philosophic thought is difficult for others to appreciate outside of an educated philosophy crowd. And this is just to say that without attending grad school, I would have to dumb down my philosophical work to appeal to those who aren't naturally on my level. But dumbing down is not my forte. And so it's best that I find another approach.

That's all.

My own thinking is highly complex. And I would have loved some actual scrutiny at some point. But again, you can't scrutinize what you don't understand. And that's the problem: my ideas are too advanced and philosophic to be easily digested in the first place. They never get to be scrutinized, as they are not addressing issues that are easily noticed and understood.

So unless I find a few graduate fellows to find my blog, it's mostly high end philosophy spoken out to a crowd with no ears for such things.

But you guys enjoy this site. I just expected more.
TBH, I find it interesting that you bring up the topic of "is voting rational?" It is really quite intriguing to think that things like this are at a point of discussion to err.. rationalize. To think something as simple as filling in bubbles on a sheet of paper has enough content to be a topic of serious discussion is kinda cool. The problem with people here is that if they think they are smart, they are not likely to think they are wrong. It doesn't matter how smart they are, they are simply not open to changing their mind once it has been made up. This may not be true for everyone, but I know a lot of forum members here have very strong opinions about things that they will not budge from. This is a problem here, and if I am being perfectly honest here, I think the administrators have something to do with it. So again, its not that they are dumb and/or can't grasp the concepts, its that people have an agenda that they want to propogate without the meanderings solely of critical thought without the necessity of judgement associated with that. You don't do this because you have been taught how to think like a philosopher. You know that judgements are better passed than taken at the first opportunity and that is not a common trait here.

That said, I know you might feel kinda dull talking about this because its been done to death, but I would really like to read what you have to say about free will vs. determinism. I myself am somewhat pessimistic in my understanding, so that should give you an idea of where I stand on the subject. But that would be one thing I would really think would be interesting to read about coming from a strictly analytical approach, namely, what are the main points of either side and then letting the reader decide for themselves where they stand on the issue.
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Old 9th-January-2017, 08:19 AM   #30
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It's nothing to do with my ideas being scrutinized, as I did not offer my views. It was actually more a matter of scrutinizing your response (about perception of benefits) to a question I posed, and then explaining and distinguishing various philosophical ways of analyzing the subject (the rationality of voting).

And as I specifically said, the general philosophic capacity in this forum is not as great as I thought it would be. By analyzing your response, and then attempting to explain to you the philosophical problems, it became evident that these highly abstract issues are not easy to grasp and deal with. And more or less, the general input was lacking in philosophical substance and acuity.

This is all to say that those fortuned enough to appreciate and comprehend the problems I notice and shared are very rare in the general population. As if this crowd is already a subset of the general population, and these matters are still too esoteric, then my actual peers lie in philosophy and graduate departments. Yet due to aspergers, I turned from that path. (Grad school is very taxing, especially if your social skills are limited.)

So it's more a matter of realizing that my thinking patterns and interests are far too obscure in nature to be appreciated by most people. I really thought at least one or two of the members here would be capable of offering substantive feedback on these issues, and would possibly be interested in related articles on the topics. But I suppose I expected too much.

It's not about my ideas, for I know I'm gifted at logical thought. It's about other people's ability to think philosophically and work through such issues on a level nearing my own. And in that regard, I appear to be a kind of unicorn.

I merely realized this and figured my aptitude for philosophic thought is difficult for others to appreciate outside of an educated philosophy crowd. And this is just to say that without attending grad school, I would have to dumb down my philosophical work to appeal to those who aren't naturally on my level. But dumbing down is not my forte. And so it's best that I find another approach.

That's all.

My own thinking is highly complex. And I would have loved some actual scrutiny at some point. But again, you can't scrutinize what you don't understand. And that's the problem: my ideas are too advanced and philosophic to be easily digested in the first place. They never get to be scrutinized, as they are not addressing issues that are easily noticed and understood.

So unless I find a few graduate fellows to find my blog, it's mostly high end philosophy spoken out to a crowd with no ears for such things.

But you guys enjoy this site. I just expected more.
You have not demonstrated that you're a master of ratiocination. Otherwise you would have properly constructed a thesis. The main reason why you did not is that you claim knowledge about voters (their motivations) that you do not have. You could have assumed hypothetical motivations are argued those but you did not. Even in this ego driven rant of yours you claim that you have knowledge (i.e. that we are essentially idiots that can't understand you) that you do not have.
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Old 9th-January-2017, 03:37 PM   #31
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This may not be true for everyone, but I know a lot of forum members here have very strong opinions about things that they will not budge from. This is a problem here, and if I am being perfectly honest here, I think the administrators have something to do with it.
Could you be more specific? Via PM if you wish. How do two largely absent and/or recently promoted thought police have so much influence over the beliefs of our residents?

I agree a lot of people have very strong opinions that they're unwilling to budge from.
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Old 9th-January-2017, 04:33 PM   #32
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So it's more a matter of realizing that my thinking patterns and interests are far too obscure in nature to be appreciated by most people. I really thought at least one or two of the members here would be capable of offering substantive feedback on these issues, and would possibly be interested in related articles on the topics. But I suppose I expected too much.

It's not about my ideas, for I know I'm gifted at logical thought. It's about other people's ability to think philosophically and work through such issues on a level nearing my own. And in that regard, I appear to be a kind of unicorn.

I merely realized this and figured my aptitude for philosophic thought is difficult for others to appreciate outside of an educated philosophy crowd. And this is just to say that without attending grad school, I would have to dumb down my philosophical work to appeal to those who aren't naturally on my level. But dumbing down is not my forte. And so it's best that I find another approach.
You're so full of yourself.

If you can't agree to 'stoop as low' as to explain anything you have to say to the general populace, which intpf members like proxy are probably above the average representatives thereof when it comes to comprehension, then you really have nothing of value to communicate. You just produce void musings for your personal sake.

Every idea and every thought, regardless of how complex it is in outset, can be simplified or reworded to promote mutual understanding. The greatest skill lies not in eloquence or fancy subclauses, it lies in concise and simple delivery.

It's quite sad that you'd deem a majority of the populace as not capable of participating in your level of reasoning, it's not so far from escaping to a cave or writing them off as animals.
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Old 17th-January-2017, 04:19 PM   #33
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If I could teach you the right philosophy, your own mind will do the rest. So, I do not have to change the world single-handed, I can use my head and teach a few people in the world the right philosophy & they will do the rest.
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Old 18th-April-2017, 05:17 PM   #34
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You have not demonstrated that you're a master of ratiocination.
(1) No one implied anything about "ratiocination". The implication was an ability to comprehend and think about abstract subtleties and nuances of a philosophical nature. This does not necessarily imply any form of exact thinking. It's merely the ability to notice philosophical issues and subtleties and to then attempt to work them out. Whether or not the actual thinking is exact is another matter completely.

Rule of thumb: It's best not to put words in other people's mouths.

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Otherwise you would have properly constructed a thesis.
(2) Discussing the rationality of voting does not require a "thesis". Surely you're used to that approach to convey ideas, but it's neither a necessary nor universal method - especially in this context. A discussion does not necessarily require that anyone advance a positive view. Many discussions can be had that merely involve general inquiry. That is, various possible ways of looking at a matter are entertained for the sake of discovery or increased insight. And at no point in a discussion of this sort would anyone have to advance a particular viewpoint.

If you (for whatever reason) presumed the discussion would be one in which each participant would have to advance a thesis, then you were mistaken. Someone can advance a thesis in this type of discussion if they wish to do so, but it's not necessary. Others may opt to simply raise certain issues for group input. And I certainly (in scrutinizing your response) decided to address some of the issues. And in scrutinizing your response, there was at no point a need to advance a thesis. I was merely critiquing your input - a critical view that you apparently ignored, as we will soon see.

But again, I never implied that my reasoning is exact (or that my logical reasoning is impeccable). I was suggesting that I have a distinct philosophical aptitude for noticing very fine abstract subtleties and nuances, and for dealing with philosophical issues of this nature accordingly (whereas many intellectuals seem inclined to approach philosophical issues incorrectly, either by thinking they can be solved empirically, by using pragmatic considerations to make sense of them, or even by assuming they aren't philosophical problems at all). So, I certainly did not need to advance a thesis in order to support some silly idea that my reasoning is methodically sound, since I never claimed to have methodically sound reasoning. I only claimed (though very loosely) that I have an aptitude for appreciating/recognizing and properly dealing with philosophical issues. More than one professor acknowledged this talent. Plus, it's pretty obvious to me - after years of countless frustrating philosophical "discussions" with other "intellectuals" - that I have this ability.

So: (1) No need for a thesis in general, as the nature of the discussion/scrutiny does not require one. (2) No need for a thesis to prove my logical acuity. I am surely logical, but I am not necessarily a logical "master", and I never claimed otherwise. I'm a philosophically talented individual. There's a difference.

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The main reason why you did not is that you claim knowledge about voters (their motivations) that you do not have.
(3) I did not "claim knowledge" of voting motivations. Surely the exact motivations which voters have to vote is an empirical matter that I wouldn't claim to know. I was instead, as Rousseau does in his famous "Discourse on Inequality", taking the most reasonable likelihoods (from a speculative and conjectural standpoint) and then attempting to generate certain philosophical conclusions from them as to the rationality of voting (especially in response to your assertion about "perception"). But overall, despite all my philosophical effort to clarify the matter for you, you did not seem to reciprocate and fully appreciate the philosophical points and distinctions I was making with regard to voters, their possible motivations, and the overall rationality of voting. In sum, a philosophically adept individual was discussing a philosophical issue with an individual who is not philosophically adept. That's all.

If I had to say so, you're more of a statistical kind of guy, as I believe you admitted. I am not. I am less interested in statistics and more interested in pure philosophical discussion. But if you don't think so, I would love for you to read Rousseau's Discourse, for instance, and then summarize the work from a philosophical perspective. What is Rousseau really trying to get across in this work? I've read many "intellectuals" who found that work "worthless" because he doesn't actually use any empirical data, but instead philosophically speculates the entire time. But surely such persons miss the point of Rousseau's philosophical effort by doing so. I wonder if you're more of the type to fully appreciate Rousseau's philosophical effort in that work, or if you'd complain that it's too speculative to be of much value. My guess is the latter. And that's likely why this "discussion" has gone as it has.

Another example is Einstein: he famously imagined a train speeding about in a certain manner in order to arrive at a few new insights about physics. (These are famously known as "thought experiments", and they're a specialty of philosophy - a field of inquiry Einstein himself much appreciated and loved to read/think about when not engaged in physics.) Oftentimes, when many encounter such thought experiments, they complain that it's just "made up". "It's just someone imagining things. What's the value of that?" This often irks philosophy professors to no end. But as with Einstein, it's not always about pragmatic/practical/empirical considerations. Some of the greatest insights come from speculation/imagination/conjecture - ("what if", "suppose", "I wonder").

Likewise, my approach here is largely similar to both Rousseau's and Einstein's: the point of the discussion is not necessarily to work out the problems according to any statistics or utility based understanding of value (as you'd find in economics, for instance). The point is instead to philosophically consider certain aspects of voting and to then see where those considerations lead with respect to the idea of rationality. You have mostly dealt with these issues as if you were engaging in a simple economic problem, or as if you were intending to test a scientific theory of some sort. But a STEM approach to the problems I raised here is incompatible. You cannot use the same kind of thinking you would in an economics course, or a science course for instance, to work out such philosophical problems. It's like using a wrench to patch up a deflated beach ball. It's absurd.

On a certain personality inventory, I am typed as a creative intellectual (5w4). Einstein, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer are of this type (and possibly Rousseau). But not all intellectuals are creative types. Some are technical types (5w6). Darwin, Hawking, and Asimov were likely of this type.

Nietzsche wasn't great at mathematics, but we all know he was a philosophical and creative genius. Likewise, many like me are often better at highly theoretical subjects that allow for the use of very open-ended intuition and a sense for possibility. Those of the technical orientation tend to prefer the standard STEM subjects. And I peg you as a 5w6 technical type more adept at STEM subjects than the highly theoretical subject matter philosophical work often involves. So there's that.

Quote:
You could have assumed hypothetical motivations are argued those but you did not.
(4) I could have hypothetically supposed certain voting motivations? Well, whether you noticed or not, I did. There's, as I said, two main views as to how voters approach voting: (1) in terms of desiring to "express" themselves and (2) in terms of desiring to change outcomes. I, at no point, assumed which of these approaches to voting is the correct one (though I do lean more toward the idea that the expressive approach is most accurate). I, if you go back and read, clearly left the idea of voting motivation open-ended. "If voting is about expression, then this is what follows; but if voting is instead instrumental, this is what follows." Notice I used many "ifs" during my discussion of voting approaches. Yet you think I assumed how people actually vote, or that I should have hypothetically supposed what certain motivations mean with respect to the rationality of voting when in fact I did? Lol. Just read carefully. It will solve everything.

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Even in this ego driven rant of yours you claim that you have knowledge (i.e. that we are essentially idiots that can't understand you) that you do not have.
(5) Again, I never claimed to have "knowledge" about anything. To be more precise, I claimed to have a distinct philosophical aptitude for appreciating/recognizing very subtle nuances with respect to certain abstract issues of a philosophical nature. That the rest of you, including yourself, did not understand what I meant (outside of assuming I was somehow presuming I'm a "master of reasoning" or "all-knowing" being of some sort) is not my fault. I never once used the word "knowledge" or said "perfect reasoning" when describing my relation to this forum. I clearly referred to certain philosophical aptitudes (that do not include specific knowledge or flawless reasoning). It's a matter of "getting it" - comprehending the importance of certain philosophical issues, or noticing why a certain issue is a philosophical issue to begin with (which "your topics are uninteresting" guy clearly didn't get). Few here have this specific intelligence. It's (likely) very rare.

But it's interesting to know that you completely misinterpreted and misperceived almost everything that occurred in this so-called "discussion". It just goes to show that this was a giant waste of my time. Case in point. You still don't get the philosophical issues I raised/addressed and did not understand what I was doing in the process. It's pretty sad.

(6) I could quote more, but I'm going to take a small section of one of my responses to you that you did not directly address. If you wish to prove that you are philosophically suited to discussing such philosophical issues with me, you can give a full and detailed (on-point) response to what I said. If not, it just goes to show what I've been saying. Show that you can handle philosophical issues philosophically.

Quote:
Yes, value is subjective. And if voting is a matter of expression, then it's true that voting is not irrational (but instead nonrational). That is, voting would be intrinsically valued (or perceived as beneficial) as long as it allows one to express, and this would be the case so long as one turns in a ballot.

But if instead voting is construed as instrumental (which is the common view), then there is goal, and this is usually to reach some political outcome, such as 'making the country better off'. In this situation, someone may subjectively value the goal, but would voting be a rational means of attaining this goal?

This is where your initial response is ambiguous: by "beneficial", did you mean to suggest that voting can be perceived as benefiting one in terms of, say, allowing one to politically express, or did you mean to suggest that voting can be perceived as beneficial in the context of some contribution to a political outcome?

If the former, the value of voting is subjective and non-rational. But if the latter, the subjective value of a political outcome (reached by means of voting) may not necessarily be rational, despite one's value system. So how do you construe voting and the perception of benefits versus costs? Is it inherently or instrumentally beneficial to a voter? The answer to this determines if voting is possibly rational, irrational, or non-rational.

Plus, some also question the ethics of voting. So regardless of the subjective value of political outcomes, some may argue that political outcomes have objective value, so that a vote can be ethical or unethical depending on the outcomes one's vote (presumably) supports.
(1) Notice that I started off with "if voting is a matter of expression". I did not presume to know why voters vote or how we should best understand voting as an activity from an objective, detached perspective. I addressed two reasonable possibilities speculatively.

(2) I specifically asked in this section what you meant by "beneficial" (which, again, you never answered). The answer to this would allow one to determine if your view of voting is more or less rational. So, answer the question. What did you mean by "beneficial"? It's the exact word that started this chain of criticism.
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Old 18th-April-2017, 05:31 PM   #35
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You're so full of yourself.

If you can't agree to 'stoop as low' as to explain anything you have to say to the general populace, which intpf members like proxy are probably above the average representatives thereof when it comes to comprehension, then you really have nothing of value to communicate. You just produce void musings for your personal sake.

Every idea and every thought, regardless of how complex it is in outset, can be simplified or reworded to promote mutual understanding. The greatest skill lies not in eloquence or fancy subclauses, it lies in concise and simple delivery.

It's quite sad that you'd deem a majority of the populace as not capable of participating in your level of reasoning, it's not so far from escaping to a cave or writing them off as animals.
(1) What do you mean "can't bother to explain anything you have to say"? If you go back and read, I think it's fairly clear that I definitely went out of my way to explain the ins and outs of the philosophical issues I noticed. I gave a very detailed set of responses concerning what certain viewpoints would likely indicate about the rationality of voting. If you guys didn't get what I was on to, then that's on your end - not mine. But again, considering this type of aptitude is likely rare (as many of my professors said on numerous occasions with respect to my ability - likely from their many years of experience as instructors), I'm not sure I could've really expected you guys to get it so easily. But then again, I'm not sure how much more "simple" I could've made things. It seems pretty simple the way it is. Just go back, read very carefully, and think very hard about what I was saying. You just might eventually have a breakthrough. You never know.

(2) And if I'm so "full of myself", then I'm sure you can perfectly articulate precisely why I have no basis on which to make the claims I have? So you then must fully understand why I am not as philosophical capable as I claim? You fully understood what I was "discussing" with Proxy in all its philosophical glory? You can lay out exactly where and how my philosophical points were actually limited, incompetently approached, or otherwise misguided? If so, I would love to know how you can substantiate this idea that I'm full of myself.

But you'll get a chance. As with Proxy, you can prove yourself. Fully explain to me what my point in these sections was (or, if you're feeling wild, you can go back and summarize the entire discussion from a philosophical perspective). What am I trying to point out, philosophically? What's the general issue with voting, why did I find a problem with Proxy's use of the word "beneficial", why or why not should an activity like voting be assessed objectively rather than subjectively, and what do you make of the distinction between expressive and instrumental voting?

I'll quote the section here, so you can read it. If you can actually show me that (a) you fully understand what I was trying to communicate and (b) how it leads to the conclusion that I'm "full of myself", I'll offer a very, very much deserved apology.

But until then, you're best advised to refrain from commenting on matters beyond your ability.

Quote:
Yes, value is subjective. And if voting is a matter of expression, then it's true that voting is not irrational (but instead nonrational). That is, voting would be intrinsically valued (or perceived as beneficial) as long as it allows one to express, and this would be the case so long as one turns in a ballot.

But if instead voting is construed as instrumental (which is the common view), then there is goal, and this is usually to reach some political outcome, such as 'making the country better off'. In this situation, someone may subjectively value the goal, but would voting be a rational means of attaining this goal?

This is where your initial response is ambiguous: by "beneficial", did you mean to suggest that voting can be perceived as benefiting one in terms of, say, allowing one to politically express, or did you mean to suggest that voting can be perceived as beneficial in the context of some contribution to a political outcome?

If the former, the value of voting is subjective and non-rational. But if the latter, the subjective value of a political outcome (reached by means of voting) may not necessarily be rational, despite one's value system. So how do you construe voting and the perception of benefits versus costs? Is it inherently or instrumentally beneficial to a voter? The answer to this determines if voting is possibly rational, irrational, or non-rational.

Plus, some also question the ethics of voting. So regardless of the subjective value of political outcomes, some may argue that political outcomes have objective value, so that a vote can be ethical or unethical depending on the outcomes one's vote (presumably) supports.
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Old 18th-April-2017, 05:56 PM   #36
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Seeing as many of you here were apparently not up to speed on the issues I was tackling (and wishing to discuss), I'm going to post a link to a great resource about the matter. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a great place to get a handle on many different philosophical issues and subjects. Below is a specific link to an SEP entry about the ethics and rationality of voting. In it, much of the content I was addressing is included. They break down many of the issues I was discussing.

If you can go through this and actually understand what the author is getting on about, then that's great. It might just allow some of you to make more sense of what I was talking about in this thread. But if not, then oh well. It just goes to show that some of you are not philosophically comfortable or adept. And that's fine. We are not all good at everything. I'm not very good at or interested in mathematics, for instance.

If nothing else, hopefully this link allows some of you to appreciate the philosophical issues related to voting. It's not just opinion. It's not just making up ideas. It's not just imagination. It's not just over-analyzing things. It's using analytical thought to make sense of some very troubling and problematic abstract aspects of certain areas of life. In this article, some of that analytic thought should be evident. There's specific reasons certain problems exist and why some answers/solutions to them don't work. If I didn't make them clear enough, hopefully the article manages to.

Mostly though, hopefully Proxy learns a thing or two about taking philosophy seriously and handling/approaching it properly. Read through this entry in SEP. If your own way of approaching problems clashes with the analytic approach in the article, then surely you aren't suited to philosophical thinking. Period. And if so, accept it with dignity. Not everyone is great at everything. Most people aren't cut out for the level of analytic philosophical inquiry I find natural. :/

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/voting/

Enjoy.
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Old 18th-April-2017, 06:13 PM   #37
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You would think... on a forum filled with INTPs (some of the most "profound" of all intellectuals, as Isabel Myers herself said)... on the philosophy section of that forum... that I wouldn't find myself going over other people's heads about philosophical issues... or that I wouldn't have to actually link an article in order to help others make more sense of the philosophical issues I raised and attempted to discuss....

But alas, that's what happened. Horrible.

If you want to engage in philosophy, you should first learn to appreciate what philosophy actually is when done correctly. It's not just discussing abstractions for fun. It's not just passive intellectual downtime away from more serious thinking. There's tons of logic and subtleties in philosophical problems, like the legal profession. Specific arguments must be advanced or considered. Specific issues must be highlighted. Every issue comes with multiple conceptual angles to be considered. There's tons of distinctions that can, and sometimes must, be created or noticed.

Half the crap that people discuss on "philosophy" forums is anything but. It's mindless nonsense about nothing with very limited analytic thinking.

Take a few philosophy courses. Or read a few philosophy books. Or just go to SEP (the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy), or IEP (the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy) and bone up on how philosophy is usually approached. With enough observation, it should be more clear how philosophy is best approached: like a courtroom.

Lawyers don't just sit around in a courtroom saying, "Well, if a tree fell this way, wouldn't you have to hear it? I mean, how wouldn't you?" No. They sit around articulating very well-reasoning points, distinctions, arguments, and issues related to some aspect of the case in question. (In fact, David Hume, one of the greatest philosophers, actually studied law first.) They look at shades of meaning. They use the Socratic method. There's tons of analysis, analytic thought. They make sense of the case in order to help illuminate whether or not a particular party is best viewed as guilty or innocent.

Much of this happens in philosophy, as well, just without judges, a jury, or a courtroom. The subject matter is also much more theoretical and less typical. For instance, a philosopher might discuss the concept of "justification" with other philosophers. To do so, they might look at whether or not a person has justification to lie, or to steal, or to go to war - many different aspects of life that involve justification. (In fact, Plato does this sort of activity very well in his works.) In a courtroom, a lawyer instead will discuss justification as it related specifically to some specific act or event in question for the sake of practical living in a society. Philosophers might discuss justification just for the sake of better understanding when a person is or is not justified (which just might eventually help make the lawyer's job more easy or clear in the future).

At the end of the day, these sort of forum sections are often pointless. It just ends up being a place for people with limited philosophical ability to "discuss" whatever random ideas they managed to think up throughout the day. And rarely does an actual philosophical discussion, with actual analytic substance, ever come about.

Sad. But it is what it is, I suppose. :|
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Old 10th-June-2017, 07:19 PM   #38
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What happened to the site?
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