Papers From My Peer’s

Philosophy @Leuven in Belgium; & a Necro-psychoanalyst

The following is a quick and too speedy review of the writings of some of the wonderful individuals I studied with in Leuven. Each person’s paper’s topic will be briefly explored; its ideas summarized and elaborated on so as to share and place this interestingly informed information into the streams of human energy traversing the internet. I hope they travel far…and feed the minds of others…

[I have linked to the original essays where possible otherwise if you wish to speak to the authors then the link goes to their Facebook profile’s]

 

#Ross Williams, (‘A Certain Kind of Sadness’)

A comparison of the thought of Arthur Schopenhaur and Eckhart Tolle. Starting by showing how a scholar called Warburton suggests this poodle lovers pessimism as not absolute only partial. According to Schopenhaur happiness in an unstable world is inconceivable when William’s quotes Schopenhaur’s Buddhist dependency this makes me smile.

 

‘“It must be pleasure to me to see my doctrine in such close agreement with a religion that most of men on earth hold as their own, for this numbers far more followers than any other”

(Schopenhauer 1844, 169).

Schopenhaur is interesting because his fondness for Buddhism is a fondness for the oldest kind of Buddhism; the belief system that arose from within the womb of the Indian Brahman. Then, Tolle is referenced referring to how, ‘the dream of a symbolic world allows our consciousness to interpret or interact with the world’(Tolle, 1997, 128). This sounds like Tolle is an exponent, a supporter of the idea that our reality is holographic; After this the paper describes dangerous desire, wish fulfillment being a delusion, and then similarities between the two thinkers. The evidence that Schopenhaur’s pessimism is not absolute is taken from the writer Fernandez who describes it as conditional. Which is where the paper leaves us: as a part of a whole. Choosing to forgo the ‘will to life’ in favour of liberation through our very material suffering.

Arthur-Schopenhauer

 

#Marlieke Bender (‘The Object “is” the Other’)

This writing explores the performance ‘Rhythm 0’ by Marina Abromovich and what it has to tell us about freedom, human nature and abstraction, violence, and their relations to Emmanuel Levinas and Jean P. Satre. I had heard of Abromovich before from a brilliant documentary film made for her retrospective at MOMA, in NYC, and I had understood that this was a very famous performance but I had no idea what it precisely entailed. Reason no.1 to have enjoyed reading this.

The artist was invited by a gallery in Naples Italy to perform “Rhythm 0”. The gallery was Studio Morra in which visitors to the performance where invited to do whatever they want to the naked being of Abromovich; perhaps encouraged by the 72 suggestive objects on the table. One of these objects was a handgun with a bullet. We all like to think that we are calm collected cultured animals, but given a smidgen, a filament of freedom, and we get a little weird.  The last few hours of the performance regressed into violent chaos with one visitor encouraging the artist to use the bullet. Of course (we are not all monsters) a fight with the guilty individual broke out. But, when the performance was over we are told that the moment the artist resumed active agency again and walked towards her audience everyone fled the gallery.

Bender’s interpretation is an interesting one she traces and mines some of the potential philosophical implications of the performance. Referring to Satre’s idea that we are always both subject and object; involving a wholesome process of becoming an object. Exemplified in Satre’s reflections on a waiter in a cafe. Including the pressure of not being someone, but of being an object for others? What is made apparent is the power of a gaze of perception itself. Especially of that of the creator; is this evidence of the artist possessing a gaze apart from others?

Next up is Levinas who suggests that a moment of contact between two beings, between one and the other, is not necessarily a connection between human beings but culminates in an “other”. Marlieke’s choice of thinkers and citations is telling and reveals the greatness of Levinas, ‘speech becomes serious only when we pay attention to the other and take account of him and the strange world he inhabits. It is only by responding to him that I can become aware of the arbitrary views and attitudes where my uncriticised freedom always leads me, and become responsible.’(Levinas…?). Leaving is considering the very nature of responsibility. Who is responsible when those in charge frequently relinquish responsibility?

Abromovich, judging by her words in Marlieke’s essay, does so; saying that her purpose in performing is to create a stage for people’s fears. Maybe her admission is that if we all perform more actively, more intently, with more vitality we may free oneself from our fears? Eventually, our lack of personal completion results in a kind of “involuntary debt”; we are indebted to an otherness that is wholly other to us as active subjects and objects. I enjoy attempting to use art to explore philosophy and visa versa philosophy to explore art; and you can clearly see the possibility of philosophy arising and being authored by art.

performance-artist-stands-still-for-6-hours-4

 

#Mathew Devine (‘Suffering the Eternal Remorse and Melancholia Through the work of Vladimir Jankélévitch’)

 

A masters thesis, reading of Bergson’s Padawan the French philosopher Vladimir Jankélévitch’s work distinguishing remorse from regret and melancholia and mourning in his phenomenology of psychopathology after Freud. Devine characterises these interestingly as experiences. In many ways Devine’s writing is a commentary on the impossibility of nothingness and how this impossibility is embroiled in processes of regret, remorse, despair, melancholia, and mourning. Questions that lurk at the beginning the Devine’s exploration: when does remorse tell us about the eternal within us? Is remorse really timeless? Devine begins by describing Jankélévitch’s own stance, ‘Consciousness is the moment by which the self splits into two. The “I” (le soi) becoming an object of an “I” (le moi )’, a kind of gap, and a drop of Kantianism, ‘perfect happiness would only be possible if one knew nothing of one’s happiness’. We should all make an effort to contemplate these things.

Moving on Freud’s thinking is referenced when he describes the phenomena of ‘mourning’ and this is used by Devine to situate the reader before he articulates remorse and melancholia. Freud saw how work itself can come to replace the searing pain of loss and mourning. Writing in On Transience describes how the loved and lost object is allowed to rest when work is seen as being successful. Furthermore, the individual suffering from melancholia may suffer more because of its a-temporality. Freud’s characterisation of melancholia as a disturbance of self-esteem is absent in mourning. Devine draws our attention to the harshness of Freud’s ego split and how one part goes after the other, ‘we can not easily judge the degree of correspondence between the two versions of the self.

This is also why remorse can be said to be a feeling and guilt as a state. If I have read the paper correctly than this statement may also be so: for Jankélévitch repentance creates a distance between the wrong doer and the wrong. This in turn creates this necessity to suffer the eternal that we can locate within ourselves, that part of each and every one of us that is indeed eternal. Turning remorse into a virtue is dependent on how true the remorse may be thought of? There are many virtues in this study but one I find particularly interesting is a struggle to locate and anchor suffering as a phenomenon; what is the relation between impersonal or personal suffering. Devine resolves this with the help of a different French philosopher called Levinas and his stripping away the (human) world. Does his ilya (anonymous being) lead to an exposure to infinite eternal existence? Jankélévitch’s answer to this is the same as Achille’s speaking to Odysseus, ‘what good is eternity if it is not for living?’ a very good answer indeed, and it is here that Devine concludes successfully arguing that choosing an existence in finitude over an inexistence in eternity.

Vladimir Jankélévitch_ 

 

#Jens Van Steerteghem

Next up we have the Flemish physics fiend. Studying with Jens and his (“Jensing” a kind of Lensing; a way of seeing”) is awesome and very rewarding always on hand to discuss any and all topics. He is originally trained in Biology and is currently engaged in the critical creation of the European Union’s scientific policy making. His essay I found very rich “Escaping Technology a Dissidents Perspective” is an essay written on the infamous American Unabomber; and his manifesto “Industrial Society and its Future” (1996). Van Steerteghem begins with a good question; as every essay should do: Why did the serial bomber want to escape technology and is such an escape even possible?

Unabomber believed in a power process only satisfied by living as primitive man. Under technological society this process was disturbed according to this terrorist manifesto writer. Steerteghem rightfully questions this and initially makes a connection to thinking of Heidegger. But, a writer called Bijker is also cited and it is here the criticism begins in earnest,  ‘the socio-technological ensemble, where technical success consists in tying together different preexisting artifacts with different preexisting social elements in productive ways.’ (Steerteghem, Ku Leuven, 2018). I think this is a good statement to begin resisting Unabomber in the face of his accelerated technological telos.

To counter act the glum view of the Unabomber’s thesis Steerteghem points us towards network theory and the mathematical structures of advanced connectivity; saying that manipulation of the hubs can lead to control over technology. Then Bruno Latour’s ‘Actor Network Theory’ is discussed. Taking a holistic view of ANT and this culminates in clusters of ‘”Black Boxes” that represent the successful integration and acceptance of new technology and/or a scientific theory. The conclusion of this paper takes Unabomber’s own notion of a ‘power process’ and using it to show how it supports the opposite of anti-technological reality. Technology is in itself a power process and therefore can not be separated from other such processes hastily deemed as natural.

But, this Flemish author has forgot his Marxist potentiality and in the concluding remarks succumbs to a notion of society (“the clusterscape”) that is still an imprisoning one, and overlooks the global revolution’s potentially technological heart.

unabomber

 

# Albin Van Latum

Albin is a Dutchman and a dynamic thinker. I enjoyed the conversations we all had; with Jens, Anne, Peyton, Marlieke, Marren, Ross, Alirazor, Amin, and others.

Albin wrote his paper on a very interesting subject the antagonism between myth and science. Beginning with the ancient propensity of creation myths having order being a process of moving away from a prior chaos. Latum will argue that rather than the modern understanding of myths as “a miss-representation of truth.”, myth under Latum’s pen will be shown to be the fundamental bridge between humans and an otherwise chaotic reality and how Science’s modernism is itself a myth. After remembering how chaos is first born in Hesiod’s Theogony; we are then introduced to a beautiful ancient myth about chaos originating from ancient China. In the Zhuangzi Chaos (Hundun)  ) is seen as ‘the creative spontaneity that ceases to exist once one meddles with it by attempting to impose order’. So, in this Chinese myth we see Van Latum’s initial thesis clearly: myths help humans order Chaos into meaning. But, not via means of control rather appreciation.

In the discussion on the relation or development from mythos to logos an interesting point is made, ‘whereas both Plato and Aristotle concerned of different levels of mimesis of reality this plurality went through a process of reductio ad unum (an argument that rests on the absurdity of the opposing argument) the result of which is modern realism.’ It is with the reductio that one feels a kinship with this Dutch brother’s writing and thinking; I feel that many people would agree that this modern realism has a major problem in that it occasionally appears as mythless; leaving us a task to really nurture an cultivate the opposite. Such a line of thinking was also followed and developed by Mark Fisher in his Capitalist Realism (2009). Latum also paints a more useful picture of the philosopher of science Karl Popper; in that his ‘falsification theory’ is seen on preserving a mythical science. Instead of the Popper who unsuccessfully attempted to refute the work of Marx and Freud.

This paper really finds its rhythm when numinous Nietzsche is referenced as Latum starts discussing contemporary Chaos … some much needed Socrates bashing ensues… Overall, the claims of science to rule over the entirety of nature are shown to be unhelpful myths. These claims came into being as the Christian paradigm, or scientific dominance over western thinking began to loose its huge influence. That is why we are still learning from Nietzsche, ‘Truths are illusions about which it has been forgotten that they are illusions, warn-out metaphors without sensory impact’, and we readers are forced to admire this papers conclusions, ‘Chosmos is chaos, of interpretation on the back of a selective process’. Eventually we are left with one certainty if we embrace the myth making capacity of chaos we can see our openness to the pure potential of artistic creation.

sevensages

 

# Juste Keturakyte (The Critique of Buddhism and Christianity in Friedrich Nietzsche’s Philosophy)

In an ambitious dance with Nietzsche Keturakyte explores a supposed superiority of Buddhism over its Western counterpart Christianity. Nietzsche’s opinion is well expressed and articulated; as is his appreciation of Buddhism. Reading this text we encounter Buddhist Dukkha (suffering). Then its cause the craving after transient things Trishna; and also a path to the elimination of this suffering ashtanya manga. Nietzsche’s critique of metaphysics is characterised as being one of revenge. That Christian Moralities explained as the one life is littered and scarred by revenge. That the mere essence of metaphysics is the denial of and revenge over becoming and time as the expression of decadent and declining life. So, Nietzsche’s admiration for Buddhism is written to be centred around its capacity to be truthful to the meaninglessness of human existence however he does not like its self denying aspects seeing them as too passive.

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I find that Keturakyte’s elegant exploration of the Buddhist influence on Nietzsche to be accurate and refreshingly honest, and very well positioned for  future development. Especially the idea of ‘Euro-Buddhism’ but to offer but a small critical note. I think Nietzsche’s criticism of this passive nihilism of Buddhism is not thoroughly separated from Schopenhaur’s Indian reading and so does not do Chan Buddhism full justice. Keturakyte’s points about the a-temporality of Nietzsche’s ‘Eternal Return’ as transcending both Buddhism and Christianity is not quite attainable. For the reason that in Chan Buddhism especially its passivity is to explicitly do away with distinctions that seek to differentiate. Resulting in an appreciation of how things are: endlessly coming to be and passing away, manifesting and re-manifesting, and all is just inter-being including eternity and its return.

Nietzsche and Buddhism

 

 

# Sam Bunn & Grussgott, an artificial intelligence from the future (Imagining an Institute for eUtopia)

Sam along with this A.I have constructed an impassioned defence of how artistic practice can and ought to be used to build the “good place” in contrast to the non-place we so usually are confronted with. Bunn’s Master’s thesis is very interesting and eclectic, yet ordered in its creative energy. I like the format of the study, and the interplay between A.I and human really creates with the material and topic matter very coherently. Beginning by pairing off Sacral art and Fine art Bunn or Grussgott and showing how exactleeeeeeeeeeeeeee this sacral can be seen as a “twisted tear drop”; half a way. There are seven chapters in Sam’s study and I will list them before drawing out some of the highlights that caught my attention when I first read. The contents include; ART or art?, Stories make Sense making Sense, Grasping Utopia, Eutopia as a Tool, Re-imaging Infastructure, eUtopia Explored and Attempted, and the conclusion.

I am not sure about Art confirming the American Dream this feels like it gives to this particular dream too much. But, the conversation discussing the persistence of filmic ideology (ideology is persistent as film? Or, ideology is a film?) moving through this notion that American cannot separate the idea of liberty from liberalism. From this constitution to Adam Smith’s marketised version; here the A.I reminds the human that America is not just full of capitalists, ‘Remember Jameson (influential Critical Theorist) is American.’

Reading through the next section on storytelling and sense, I am reminded of Walter Benjamin’s texts and how this study is a little bit like a new project from the Arcades? Discussing the potentially vegetative state of humans if they fail to grasp Bertold Brecht’s reality shaping hammer. But, Bunn or Grisbott pick up this hammer with a sub-hypothesis, ‘what if this main residue of watching a film is: lasting images?’ This branch is interesting its difficult to interpret but it could be that film’s deep realism is like a hammering of images; like the way a blacksmith would gradually craft a refined metal. It is also interesting that this involves an element of forgetting and remembering: forgetting to remember is absolutely what I do…

Then an utopia lists many influential authors and Ernst bloch keeps the concept of utopia firmly in the everyday rather than just a literary form. I love Darko Suvins/Surins’s idea of a ‘novum’ and I skip Thomas More’s well cited definition of utopia; a non-place. Then we continue to move through the good places of some films and their lasting images.

On page 59 Gussbotts and its human friend find agreement and I think I have stumbled upon the essence of this text and its true purpose; what it really engenders and supports. The A.I asks, ‘you are talking about popularizing socialist politics in mass consumable story form, aren’t you? The answer is yes; we now need to find our second yes to affirm as indeed the true aim of this paper, the formal desire of this intellectually creative event. I like how part of this discourse throughout this study is its cautious character; it permeates an awareness of the pitfalls of over-stating content and one’s thinking.

This and the idea of “socialist politics in a mass consumable story” is really evident in one of the many artistic projects Bunn completed as part of his time in Linz. The project Reise in die Zuhunft a journeying into the future with today’s children, and art’s radical potentialities are immediately enacted as social reality is seen as uniformly and universally creative in the artistic sense. Such play is then carried on into a ride of sorts; the brilliantly named ‘Far-see-er’; a series of interconnected rooms exhibited together as a ride designed to be ridden, of course, at the Architektur Forum in Linz. Overall, one, everyone should journey through and re-experience this journey that Sam Bunn and the A.I took because this study is refreshingly in its diversity, honesty, and creativity. The Agent Author’s humility is constantly present in this study; a good example is the response to the dilemma that the discussion on eUtopia might be unresolvable and we may be forced to accept the Utopia the negative option.

‘perhaps one should just learn to live with the dust that is stuck to the word utopia and not to confuse people with this ‘eu’. Generally they just think that I make some kind of obscure comment about the European Union.’

I wish this creator and fellow lover of art all the best for his future eUtopian film making.

artificial-intelligence-feature

# Julie Reshe (Beautiful Monsters: On Destructive Plasticity)          

Julie Reshe is the necropsychoanalyst par excellence and one half of the directorship of a new educational model for the future. Operating within a Post-Lacanian landscape Reshe is constantly expanding on the richness of Freud’s brilliant Venetian verisimilitude. I am not entirely convinced the notion that humans are “living dead” can overcome the negative imagery of the Zombie; yet one thing is more certain Freud’s Thanos remains important as ever for today’s epoch. Below are some thoughts on Reshe’s essay on ‘Destructive Plasticity’.

The essay is written as a critical response to the great French philosopher Catherine Malabou; who years ago introduced me to the idea of epigenetics (how feelings encode meaning and trauma can be distributed across generations biologically via way of the genome). Homing in on the scientific neurobiological conception of synaptic plasticity Reshe wants us to reflect on the negative side; the formalism of synaptic connective via way of destruction; and in attempting to hastily attribute a “cure” to such a destructive plasticity, Reshe reminds us of Foucault’s insight: that, the concepts of illness and health are socially constructed.

Running, both with and against Malabou, Reshe reformulates the notion that the child, can be a little monster, and therefore after encompassing a kind of destructive plasticity or a Lyotardian ‘primordial susceptibility’ – the child that remains throughout life. Yet, this writing really on one level is very comforting considering the biographical and important personal references to real lived experiences. This is then complemented by the text’s desire to critically think through psychoanalysis. Freud’s idea and its Greek influence is referenced that, ‘Psychic traumatization is understood by the analogy of physical traumatization.’ A difference imposed by the foreign body entombed with the local body.

After rightfully questioning the ease at which a disorder may legitimate the presence of an illness. I find Reshe’s conclusion compelling and ripe for much more development. If we are all beautiful monsters then we are all still susceptible, still receptive to these powers that are both organic and inorganic; power that we still marginally understand. Yet if we join Reshe in refelecting on our beautiful little monstrosities then we may increase such a thing.

medieval-angels-in-florence05

A Hypnotic Hysteric Prefix: The “Hyperspectrums” of Logos

computronium

optical-illusion-see-more-on-visualizingmath.gif

Here in the West philosophers use logic in many different ways, yet they all share in a desire for certainty, and a need to describe and visualize arguments. But, how many of them after learning how to use logic understand their belief in it? In this short essay one will explore this question because within logic itself there are ruptures, splits, and frictions between different logic’s and their languages. One may express this as saying that there are two categories: Logic requiring the certainty of math, and logic in favor of the uncertainty of number. Such a distinction is well and truly a battle ground and living individuals are fighting for supremacy, yet this fight is also something marked by the philosophy known as Accelerationism and its cybernetic thinking.

What is now becoming widely influential, originated from the university of Warwick where an explosion of shared thinking centred around a research body known as the Centre for Cybernetic Research and Culture. The CCRU encompassing individuals such as Sadie Plant, Steve Goodman, Mark Fisher, and Nick Land. All working on producing and documenting new ways of recording and exploring the impact of networked technologies. The Centre was soon to be seen as rouge and unwelcome and was disbanded and shut down in 1997. This did little to usurp its growing influence which just migrated and mutated onto the very material it had been studying. Mark Fishers blog paired with the collection of Nick Land’s writings put contemporary culture under a more severe lens, and Steve Goodman took his understanding of digital media into the realms of sonic fiction. It is in Land’s work that we see a change in the use of Logic and a desire to re-formulate the use of number toward greater creativity and uncertainty.

The United Kingdom in no way can be said to have a monopoly on logos, the country is acknowledged to have significantly contributed to its central location and thus plays a pivotal role in what one wants to invite the reader to explore today: the uses of logic and how they relate to an increasing complexity of technological innovation marred by a slower progression in social and political behavior. Encompassing questions like: ‘Does logic, is logic culpable for the persistence of Ideology? However, let us stick with our first question; the understanding of a continuation of a belief in Logic. Consider the following argument in its entirety: It has a nice simple name Barbara.

 

All truth trees are mechanical / All truth trees are an argument /

All Arguments are mechanical.

 

Now consider a mere complex argument:

 

If all truth trees are mechanical then the truth of an argument is also

Mechanical. / But, if the truth of a truth tree is mechanical then truth

is also mechanical. / Therefore, we can conclude that truth can not

be in the form of a tree because a tree is not mechanical it is organic.

 

  

 

 argu 001

 

Such a conclusion was most strongly felt and one could say discovered by the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Who famously ran up against the formal logic of his day as it was conceived by the logical positivists towards a Rhizomatic; lines of flight based form. It is in Deleuze where we first glimpse and read the conceptual routes of the CCRU and especially Nick Land’s practice of counting number which we might comment on later. However, although Deleuze may have expressed a disdain for the tree of logic. I find it hard to believe that he despised actual trees?

Truth tree Truth Tree

 

When we look at this example truth tree perhaps we may appreciate why this great philosopher had a disdain for the truth tree. Maybe, we can say in support of Deleuze that this destroys desire and causes suffering because its mechanics are geared towards digging deeper and deeper, into the ground. But, for Deleuze, who here follows Zarathrustra, ‘remain faithful to the earth.‘ we can say that Deleuze’s belief in on the one hand being against strict formal logic, but on the other hand he offers no consolation for the contradictions in life. (1) This then is his point and contribution, that the process of becoming should be naturally seen as involving desire that is not controllable.

It almost certainly is and therefore when we continue to look at the organic tree; we see how Deleuze’s fascination with affect and effect can be associated with the growing of a tree. Here Deleuze shares another fascination with the object called a seed; with that crazy German animator Hegel. These two philosophers differ in one has a deep distrust and suspicion of immediacy, and the other a love of immanence. The organic or natural tree assists in explaining Deleuze (even though there is much I do not understand about this great thinker and I look forward to positively looping back to…). One troubling thing this image of the tree helps to explain is Accelerationism.

The idea being that once a seed, let us say the seed of a tree in a forest receiving energy in the form of water, and then as a sapling in the form of light. Once given the water the plant experiences not only an explosion of growth but  is also a quotable example of how competition for access to the right information or the luxury of light drives the organism to its inevitable demise. This association of luxury with life is sometimes morphed into a ‘Luxury Communism’, and I prefer Mark Fisher’s ‘Acid Communism’ because it is truer to the corrosive elements of this belief, and I believe if an acidic kind of Communism were to have existed; who knows in a speculative sense perhaps it would have burnt Capitalism to reveal the Socialism behind this toxic veil?

The need for a kind of Socialism is self-evident; even though it can not really be said to exist today? But, strangely enough logic has followed suite in that if it attempts to explain the increasingly complex world it becomes so abstract that it can not be said to exist? In our everyday use of the word. In the sense that the algorithmic operating and coded complexity of machine parts like that of the Google search engine and deep mind A.I are often unreadable, and indeed frequently seen as unthinkable. But, the Deleuze/Land hybrid did think through, among, and within these new phenomena coming to the conclusion that desire is metaphysical and necessarily is forced out and through bodies due to production itself being a process we all are trapped in producing.

One admires Deleuze and Guattari’s description of the “I” the subject in Anti-Oedipus (1972) how they suggest its real but its strange and ‘wondering around the body without organs’.(2) The use of logic in this text is very intriguing bearing in mind the author’s intentions. First in nature there is a conjunction comprising of a flow (“and, and then …), then these coupling desiring machines that are busy grafting production fail and break down. Here the BwO (Body without Organs (a kind of reality)) intervenes and transforms the conjunctive flow into a disjunctive synthesis resisting triangulation and allowing for that which is numinous; i.e desire to be freed from its imprisonment. If we are Freudian readers we might reject this on the grounds that it is more than likely this Deleuzian disjunction is actually exclusive and a strict one, and so we can not be or replace our parents! The moment this can happen, Freud and many others would say that we would no longer be human.

Here we see Nick Land’s and other Accelerationist beliefs; that because of the very presence of Capitalism we are trapped within the logic of Deleuzian intensities; that intensity itself is within matter and Capitalism is the most efficient mechanism or machine that releases this intensity in ever more speedy, complex, and predominantly technological forms. For Land any attempt to control or escape this process of expansion and “intelligence increase” is bound to this inhuman dynamic; an energy that according to this philosopher is not within our control. Before we can continue describing Land’s fluctuations in his logical beliefs. I feel that it is important to express and explain the title of this text. The prefix hyper- is now questionably one of the most creatively vogue word components. A quick glance will reveal: Hyper-normalisation, Hyperdub, Hypochondria, Hyper-lapse, and Hyperstition. All uses of the prefix have manifested and entered the public lexicon in the last two decades.

The first stems from a documentary of the same name directed by Adam Curtis. Charting the alarming rate that things such as torture, racism, and all manner of evils have become normalised in a post truth world, and how this post truth reality has been manufactured by powers resisting change. Opposing and responding to such a horror Hyperdub the record label of a Kode called 9 consistently accelerates sonic fictions that wage war against any comfortable or overly stationary understanding of what comprises dance music. The record label name is apt, speeding up dub, the b-side, the side that is wholly other to mainstream music production’s anthropocentric slant, a side that embraces the voids within electronic sounds. Steve Goodman the man behind this behemoth of independent London based musical culture used to and I imagine still does operate with a logic taken from the philosophy known as Rhythm Analysis; a perspective on reality constructed and immersed in rhythms.

The last three show yet more potentials to see a logos, but if anything its beginning to feel like the ancient Heraclitus’s belief that there is such a thing as logos but man is mostly unable to grasp it. Is this because like in antiquity the word carried three interchangeable meanings? Surely it carries more, this well worn philosophical word? Most philosophers are fidgety uncomfortable beings and so sometimes appear subject to the apparition of being disease free and this is the condition called hyperchondria. The last two are fascinating processes to discuss, write, and think about. But, I am going to explain why they suggest the use of the adjectives hypnotic and hysteric are warranted when describing this prefix, and in what sense can we discuss speedy spectrums of logic? Are they accessible open systems or inaccessible?

Oh, I almost forgot about Timothy Morton’s Hyper-objects; these things that resist human objectification that is they can be thought but not really understood or experienced: planets, global warming, humanity, black holes, the Sarah, the amazon rain-forest, and many more. According to Morton’s dark stance on ecology, ‘humans and all entities are shy, retiring octopuses that squirt out a dissembling ink as they withdraw into the ontological shadows.’ (3) I enjoy his description of me as an entity I have felt quite at home in the ontological shadows. Alas, I have not read Morton yet but I will as the need to think less about humans is really current and important and Morton’s book certainly talks about it. But, I am wondering to what extent this philosophers thinking is somewhat defeatist in that it reads the Anthroprocene as this inevitable logical end and therefore his thinking may (I am only surmising) do away with prior thought that is still very useful and alive and so should be still considered valid. Buddhism, art, phenomenology, language, and psychoanalysis, all have something to add in furthering not a centric but a more anthropic re-assessment. But, I think Morton’s Mereology is great and may have a lot to say about the effects of technology on phenomena.

Hyper-lapse is the most hypnotic advancement in optics and a filmic manner of recording that the internet hid from me, and I have a youtube Vox video to thank for the introduction. This technology is a very direct example of how technology literally alters the material of time on a scale quite unimaginable over two decades ago. Now with this quicker mode of editing light and what we record a viewer may find themselves traversing an entire city in a matter of moments. The distortion of scale is interesting, it makes the metropolises of the modern world seem more accessible than they actually are for the majority of us. It encapsulates that modernist magic of the camera lens taking us to places that we are usually not able to visit. When I first saw Hyper-lapse I was completely captivated by the idea that this is partial evidence for humans being cable of doing something, that for decades since the birth of relativity in physics has been seen as impossible: altering the speed of light.

One’s thinking about this is perhaps a little dreamy and “out there” because I realise that both general and special relativity are grounded in Einstein’s mathematical excellence and the speed of light is considered universal because c  is the speed that all information and matter in the known universe can possibly travel. But, here we have two things: the extent to which the universe is known and the association of this speed with light. Hyper-lapse’s extreme distortion of this natural phenomena makes it behave abnormally and this very abnormality interests me a great deal. It’s original meaning might stray and mutate towards a quicker alternative lapse. Accelerationism’s discussion of feedback loops and always alternative uses of number makes re-positioning this filmic technology possible. In a discussion conducted by the CCRU with professor D.C. Barker a man who once worked for Nasa streamlining the process of information analysis; during the conversation Barker’s speech feeds my hyper-lapsed dreaming.

‘They cannot see the machine for the apparatus, or the singularity for the model. So tic-systems require an approach that is cosmic abstract ̶  hyper-materialist ̶ and also participative, methods that do not interpret assemblies as concretizations of prior theories, and immanent models that transmute themselves at the level of the signals they process.’ (4)

Barker uses this prefix to pre-fix materialism and this is why it is hypnotic. When we say that I am human we are bound by Barker’s reference to time. The ticking of time is evidence itself that it is not quite true that we cannot see differences and Barker explicitly asserts that we humans as matter are a kind of hyperactive material. What is more hypnotic is that the methods systems of time require chime to the clock of social perception; that our body has a direct relation to the wider social entity whether it be a small community, city, or nation. (5) So, with this abnormal possibility of the hyper-material called time we are encouraged to free theory and embrace a process within the signal itself.

Imagine our perception placed at the very moment of a lapse in time, a tic, a click, its all too slick. Time and information are weird things; recently I was reminded by the great Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli that the relation between these phenomenon create this mysterious thing called now. But, Rovelli draws our attention to this signal’s strangeness. That for now to exist information has to be ordered in an organisation in the past and in the future it will be chaotic; otherwise the second law or principle of thermodynamics would be false, and it is not. As an animator I am perhaps somewhat closer to time and therefore the belief that it has its own matter is something strongly lodged in my own beliefs and so I am looking forward to the moment this concept is fully embraced by a culture. In other words I am looking forward to the time when it becomes a Hyperstition. Again, a body accepting something alien to it?

Hyperstitions are a little hard to determine but beginning with a nice pleasant one: we could start with Walter Benjamin’s ‘dialectical images’ accepted into wider cultures of the Anglo-saxon part of existence with assistance from various outstanding and inspiring individuals throughout the 90’s. It is with Benjamin that I want to wrap up this short but eclectic discussion on belief. But first there are of course other Hyperstitions because they come in many forms, shapes, and sizes. As a matter of fact Hypernormalisation is a Hyperstition, every successful design movement embraced by a market, new technologies such as the Light emitting diode, Abenomics (the system of economics expounded by the leader of Japan), and hopefully in the near future universal basic income will become accepted into the global cultures of this world. With this Accelerationist # we are faced with a confusion regarding our original topic; the dynamic between mechanical truth and organic truth needs carefully thinking through, and perhaps rather than truth I should be using the word belief. However I think truth is fine because we tend to believe something if we are certain of its truth, if it seems as being self evident to us.

Such certainty does not just arise if our systems of belief are generated by our intentional authoring of them and so Land’s enthusiasm for the idea that today’s living beings, the current human population is destined to live its life out in a kind of enslavement to capitalism I still find worrying although I think his appropriation of Kurt Gödel’s numbering to be interesting and important. It takes us to the final aim of this paper and that is to have demonstrated the vast spectrum of possible logics and the belief in them in today’s contemporary culture. One last demonstration of this would be to embrace the notion that the diversity of language supports the diversity of logic; a liberal notion but one that has some use. Doe it really matter if our truth is mechanical or organic, and what does one actually mean by such distinctions? Well depending on where you look and who or what you talk to {…} you might agree with the post-humanists that humanity has a predestined fate.

Or, you might agree with that of a Hegelian inspired history culminating in what Benjamin famously described, ‘history breaks down into images’. and that is what we have for belief: images. It is in the curation and care for these images that we may resist the nasty unwelcome belief of right-wing Accelerationism (escape from mass inequality is for the non human). I have not really spoken about hysteria, about how this use of hyper is ‘hysteric’ but I feel that one does not need to because ‘hyper-‘ matches the differing definitions of the word. In fact, whether or not your pro or against this philosophical/capitalist belief one should be aware of its hidden hysteria in that it may well be just a brief symptom, but an important one. We ignore it at our peril and instead of being more and more, marginalized by inhuman forces; I for one would prefer to grow a forest of truths nestled within the landscapes and valleys of a hyper-spectral kind.

‘The wildness of the beast is not swallowed by the forest; instead it gives to the forest a margin. But, this margin is not a fixed demarcation and is not illuminated by the light of day. The shadowy animal, trembling with uncertainty in the evening wind, is man.’

(To)Tm)ToorTm).

Organic Truth and not Mechanic Truth and not Organic Truth or Mechanic Truth. (I still believe in organic truth what ever this entails{…}).

 

 

 


1/Nietzsche. (2006). Thus Spoke Zarathrustra, Cambridge University Press. 6 

2/ Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, (1983). Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. 16

3/Timothy Morton. (2013). Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology After The End of the World, Post-Humanities 27, University Of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, London.

4/CCRU, (2015). CCRU Writings 1997-2003, Urbanomic, Time Sprial Press. 156

5/See Hegel or a Hegelian like Emile Durkheim in Moral Education: The Elements of Morality.

6/For a brilliant explanation of this visit: https://socialecologies.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/kurt-godel-number-theory-and-our-programmatic-future/

7/Walter Benjamin, quoted in Susan Buck-Morss. (1991). The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project, Cambridge MA; MIT Press, 220  

8/Nick Land. (2012). Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987 – 2007. Urbanomic, 91.

 

2 x B

Two Bens:Two Artists Using Japan for Inspiration. (Benjamin Bardou’s ‘Tokyo Wanderings’, and Ben Jeans Houghton’s film ‘2nd Life’.)

[Ben J. Houghton’s film ‘2nd Life’ was exhibited at Bloc Projects in Sheffield.]

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The French artist Benjamin Bardou’s work is a visual feast at first sighting on Instagram one was hooked asking what is this new glitchy and painterly crack? It turned out to be some experiment in video editing and production using something called ‘pointcloud’ in the animation of videos. Take for example ‘Dotswarm’ an application for apple operating systems developed in New Zealand. After glimpsing at what this kind of animation is I encountered a new development in animation techniques that is animating the cloud. This is very fascinating for me because the image of the cloud is a very very very beautiful and strong image. Clouds have inspired so much culture over the history of our species from Aristophanes’s portrayal of Socrates to a fantastic youtube lesson on the continuation of Chan Buddhist hermits titled Amongst White Clouds (worth watching it still makes me romanticise about being a hermit… although I do not wish to be one). In Japanese the Kanji for cloud 雲 / ku-mo / is comprised of two parts ‘rain’ 雨 /a-me/ and a radical for ‘say’言/ Iu / which in turn can be in turn reduced down to two. So, one direct translation into English can be ‘rain say’ or ‘say rain’ the potential meaning of which escapes me. Yet, it does provide a route into the two videos which I would love to just gawp at continuously projected in a high definition. First viewing was a kind of reality check because Bardou’s short films really forced immaterial aesthetics into one’s thoughts. Similar and relevant considerations are also found in a brilliant discussion of an “immaterial world” author Steve Wright asks a question that is perhaps also asked by the two films Lost in Tokyo, and Wandering in Paris (please watch them below), that is ‘Are we living in an immaterial world?’. In Wright’s sharp dissection of post-workerism and especially the work of political and economic thinkers such as Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt in their books Empire and the Multitude ideas of immaterial labour and the changing reality of capitalism are thought through. I think an element of wrights conclusion is rather interesting when he mentions ‘Speculative ventures – which have been rife in the past decade – seem to make money out of thin air’, and…

‘In the meantime, debt continues to balloon, from the micro scale of individual and family credit cards, to the macro level of public sector budgets and current account deficits. However ingeniously the burden of such debt is redistributed, the terms of the wager cannot be forestalled forever. When it is finally called in, things will become very interesting indeed. If nothing else, we may then find out at last whether or not, as Madonna sang. …

The boy with the cold hard cash Is always Mister Right, ‘cause we are Living in a material world.i

Ending on Madonna’s song completes a nice circuit in that the essay begins with referencing Zen. Two individuals try and outsmart a master and ask, ‘can you teach me about reality without using either sound or silence? The master punches them in the face’ such a moment of aggression is perfectly placed so as to allow me to make an important point regarding Bardou’s cloudy creations. For me they were and still are a punch to the face in that they build upon the notion of a veil that covers an underlying reality, or a reality that should indeed be veiled?

Fundamentally, modern life is computational the acceptance of mathematics builds a one sided picture of the world. A sphere of certainty although useful is it really necessary? If so what kind of necessity does it represent? Questions such as these are seemingly resolved in the silent Buddhism by way of a profound negation of illusion of Maya; qualities that are shared with Plato in that the most rightfully revered ancient Greek Pagan believed whole heartedly in a universal law. In the Timaeus (Plato’s creationist account for existence) we can read Timaeus describe how the maker of the universe a creator God desired ‘everything to be good, marred by as little imperfection as possible’; this God found everything visible in a state of turmoil therein he was forced to turn this chaos into order.ii It is this movement away from the senses and an emphasis on their being two realms of reality the transient and the eternal and unchanging. For those readers interested in how Plato came to make his distinction between the sensible (A-C, eikasia -pistis), and the intelligible (C-E, dianoia – noesis) represented by a divided line. Can it not be true that all lines are not just divided but are dividing; Plato would have perhaps said that all lines are divided by the sight or gaze. Yet what about the line made by Plato’s creator, a line from Chaos to order, and is this line still as persuasive as it has been for over a thousand years? I am less convinced that Plato did not completely miss-interpret the followers of Heraclitus and that his debt to Parmenides was not burdensome upon the human imagination. Speaking about such topics makes me also add that the role of the Sophists on Socrates and Plato needs studying as it contains hidden mysteries and insights. Bardou’s films offer up not a frustrating but a strong example of artistic wonder surviving, thriving, and marking its territory among its newer iterations: philosophy, science, and design.

It is one of those infuriating moments of existence a good friend of yours has helped bring an awesome artwork to a city that gave me my first taste of actual education (the state organised schools, the generic secondary schools in the UK, I experienced as a factory and a prison – aware that the national curriculum is so devoid of any kindness nor nuanced belief in those learning under it – I hear some of you think: ‘well at least you had education of some sort?’, yes, I did, but only when I moved to an open and free space at the Art school in Sheffield). It is a shame I could not participate in this community’s appreciation of a film ‘2ndlife’ by Ben J. Houghton. A film which features visual material shot and taken from the country I consider as my second home. Japan, has a claim to being the most interesting country, nation, or culture currently thriving on this planet because it is home to some of the oldest unique events, objects, and processes. To name but a few that western readers may easily identify and understand: Manga & Animation, Samurai, and Sushi. But wait, the latter is a silly sentence because each reader has their own identification and understanding of the Far East. This is but one of the good things about this film although a monologue Ben’s voice (I assume) never detracts from the content his camera records; content that features places and locations that I am personally so fond of. This is of course to be expected as any lucky person able to live in a country that is not their own will testify that although it is a confusion as to whether or not your interpretation makes the place, or does the place (time/space) make your interpretation?

The film is a good resource and example of how art is a parental practice to philosophy. Watching 2nd life one hears, ‘every artistic practice is generative’ and this made me nostalgic for such a belief for I do not believe this is applicable to the whole (every practice) of such practices. This is due to my repeated experience of the severity of manipulation involved in human habits and thus an inability to fully control symbolic value (this is most likely tantamount to a personal confession about one’s own inability to draw conclusions surrounding such distinctions as value and meaning, being and non-being, the transcendent and immanent). One really likes how the film really deepens the titles duality. It comments on a life within a life and beliefs surrounding rebirth and the Buddhist belief of Saṃsāra (संसार: an endless cycle of rebirth and wandering; is it akin to the western wondering necessity? Who knows?). For me there are strong highlights that stuck with me after one watch of this film. The first comes at 09:44 – and Ben’s voice reminded me of the spiral circles in French thinker Delueze’s metaphysical detailing of desire … and this film brilliantly hammers home that time is necessary for meaning and generates a lived experience in which time’s transitory mysterious materiality is laid bare for the spectator’s spectacles. Houghton correctly states three modes of learning 1) brutal ‘trial and error’ 2) emphatic connections, 3) love and compassion – all eventually, by way of artistic inquiry and agency lead to “learning as liberation from learning.

Here the film’s speculations start to go even more deeper as the narrator suggests whilst on a Tokyo train that it is perhaps a strange and dark aspect of human consciousness that allows our thinking, or being to often encompass a “Tearing through humanness” amidst all the energy and re-incarnation. Another memorable line that hits right to the hidden dilemma at the heart of human creativity, “trying to find a usable marker is like trying to grab a beam of sunlight in a river current”. This line makes me think of the strangeness of how objects only exist under the parameters of their own usage, but this sentence seems to disturb this in that with the surface of a flowing river’s encounter with light. Such an example of flux is one of the joys of film and video (both digital and analogue) they capture light for fleeting experiences that are often feel so fundamentally familiar we forget their difference. The mechanics of film: the capture of light and time, the animation of matter, and the social and anti-social modes of production… offer up alternatives to what we so often are forced to take for granted. Here, cinema and literature are shown to be deeply intertwined and contained within their operating systems, within their modus operandi, is a utopian day dreaming. Understood from the perspective of a ‘second life’ this may suggest that rebirth be something desired; never mind the Buddhist wisdom that states this as unnecessary suffering, ‘if one can live again then why not?’ Well, there is always the probability you could come back as a fruit fly or a loathed creature like a cockroach? This is why Buddha’s insights should not be messed with however if we, in our thinking, are searching for a connection between East and West then here is a potentially political one: Is Buddhism more Hobbesian (as in the self is this illusionary leviathan?) or Rosseau-ian (that the institutions with which we have to live by corrupt our innocence?); it could be a mixture of course?

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A cat moving through a graveyard hones the films fluctuations on its current: its exploration of the true difficulties that every human faces. How, in each of us there exist drives that if we find a balance within daily life then they may flow peacefully but if we experience a degree of unbalanced events and situations then ‘like follows like’ we move towards chaos. Such interrelations are very difficult to navigate and to survive them the psyche of an individual has to go through training, has to measure itself amongst the vast possibilities that reside in even the most miniscule of spaces. This meditation manifests more vividly at an introduction of a cat (a most beloved creature in Japan). At 34:26, a cat’s poem states, ‘you smell like soul and blood, just waiting wanton time … waiting for the time where my ideas act…’ all spoken in a slow and lucid stroll through a graveyard. Reminding me of supposed antagonisms between reason and its absence, realism and relativism, automation and autonomy. But, is it not true that an animal such as a cat teaches humans their own futility? We can never be as beautiful nor as stupendously wacky (see the mass of cat Instagrams), or even as wise as our feline associates. This cat and poem in a graveyard (all Japanese cats are related to the six cats (Goma, Otsuka, Kawamura, Mimi, Okawa, and Toro in Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore (2002)) made me want to read the book again of course and also research other relations one could find that connected Ben’s film with Murakami and I stumbled across an article written by Michele Eduarda Brasil de Sá. In this article Michele brilliantly invites us to consider a Japanese notion of “Space Time” by honing in on an important part of Murakami’s novel. We are presented with the main character kafka Tamura discovering an oil painting in a library in which supposedly the secrets to the labyrinth of time are found as well as “The Edge of the World” (世間の縁 /sekai no fuchi/).iii

Inevitably Murakami’s novel and the cat cameo culminates in me and you, dear reader, being forced to bow to the cat’s (にゃー義 /nya-gi/ a belief in the feline) because it could be the case that cats are in possession of an understanding of why gravity is also only partially universal and more than a little bit wave like. This then entails a perspective that strives and struggles for an appreciation of the limitations of life and of living. Houghton’s film is so thought provoking it gracefully invites much consideration on this narrative of struggle, of the finite that all humans represent. Here again Buddhism trumps western thinking in that the Buddhist death is positive we should be embracing the lack of choice with which we came into being as different to how we could leave existence. Ben’s work also references the notion of Antinatalism in the thinking of philosopher David Benatar, and how Houghton experienced a group of American military personal discussing their masculinity at the doors of the notorious suicide forest Aokigahara or ‘The Sea of Trees’. Such a coincidence makes me think of an anti-antinatalist position that I also think the maker of this film would also support. That is it is a little daft considering we are all here because two or even more people made us. To prescribe a negative value to birth is akin to saying you would rather not be when you are being. You could say that this misunderstanding arises from not appreciating how being is always taken over to a space, it always finds itself there. This is of course a little derivative of Martin Heidegger’s thinking (I wish it were more Kantian, or Schellingian but I need to study these Germans more), but what I find fascinating by the ease at which anti-natalism is refuted (in only one sense, but it could also be defended as a form of “free” choice) is that it also enables an understanding of traditionally materialist stances on the cosmos. Here we have two positions that are against human life one being anti-birth, and the other against continuing life (suicide).

But, I am sure these two are positive they are affirmations of life because both are about choice seen as both intentional and wholly other. We are fundamentally not in control of the beginning of existence and yet we can say with some certainty that it is more likely that we are in control of our demise (not when but how) even though there is still the possibility that this control may be taken away from us. The ancient atomists understood existence as unforgiving and unaffected by humans, yet they acknowledged that atoms may join and separate and that is why a film about Japan such as ‘2nd life’ is so great; it is not humorous but it demands we take materialism and the role of religion seriously. I think this film encourages and nurtures understanding on the role of transience in transcendence. This then connects back to what one mentioned regarding Plato’s conjunction between constant change and infinite being. I think the regularity of material change is of a nature that is apprehensible in that ‘becoming’, the titanic twin of change, reinforces teleological time (there are other forms of time (Chronos is a mischeivous god!)). Why? Plato believed in universals (Ideas = forms) and for something to be a universal it must remain forever and be incorruptible. . Science and particularly astrophysics and quantum mechanics reveals the extent to which all could be related, this is called the unified field theory, and it aims to reveal reality as an equation. Regardless of whether or not the physicists make such a remarkable achievement the fact that some of us are striving for such things demands that we question the effects it may carry. If such a process is accomplished in the name of knowledge then this worries me because it suggests another standardisation that may do away with a determination (struggle to understand) found in those phenomena such as light, colour, and life.

One good example of why a spectrum predominates over standards is mass/matter/weight itself and here again we can find Plato and Buddha’s presence. Plato had the notion of το μέγα και το μικρών (‘the great and the small’ /to mega kai to mikron /) a dualistic ontology that has ‘the One’ as a principle of unity, and ‘the indefinite dyad’ a principle of multiplicity and indeterminacy.iv Buddha has a similar if not equivalent duality that Enlightenment is another One (but, differs in that this represents an absence of thinking), and unless we learn to see through the multiplicity called ‘Maya’ an illusion, our suffering increases. But, it is the half of the split comprised of illusion that interests me and I am not here trashing the One, just stating that the contents of the sensory realm being illusionary may not be problematic if we understand them as illusions. That being illusionary generates a necessary need to be creating our own relations between things? Even mathematics can be said to partake in such processes; one very striking modern scientific example is a discrepancy between the Quantum and the relative, or how do we understand atoms when their material qualities appear as change itself.

A striking example would be a symmetry between the great and the small this can be found if we consider the notion that mass is only a constant if it travels at the speed of light. Other than this it is subject to change. This then makes it also a spectrum if what we measure changes by our measuring then does this support the necessity of a spectrum of choice struggling in face of determination? Or, does it affirm a determination a one unchanging and perfect? I do not know, but this is the line of questioning I will further at some point. First, to end on some aesthetic evidence for these considerations. Whilst studying for a philosophy of science exam I came across the symbol for Solar mass M and learnt that it is equivalent to the mass of our sun: two Nonillion (two quintillion kilograms), allowing the measurement of the mass of the planets and cosmic entities. If we look at the symbol for solar mass we simultaneously see how Plato was brilliant and wrong in that our contemporary understanding of our sun states that it too has a lifespan, it too has to die, and if it has to die, then surely the universe also?v This symbol also resembles Plato and his intellectual father Parmenides’s belief that the One took the form of a circle because by definition, ‘that which is equidistant in all directions from the centre’ can be said to have a kind of perfection but importantly we have a choice if this is seen as a process of becoming. If we exist within the universe on a line from one sun Mto others M1 + M2 + M☉3 + M☉4 +M☉n……. we see clearly how choice arises from a battle against a determination with demise as Ben himself narrated, ‘you must be in a place of perfect unrealised potential at the moment of death’.This all may be a digression from the brilliance of Ben Houghton’s film but I felt that I wanted to take the opportunity to share some thoughts and urge anyone interested about this film to get in touch with the artist and demand that he screen this 50 minute film near you. This film deals with so much that is of interest ( sovereignty of personhood… love as a co-dependency) it would take a second life just to second this awesome work of art.

Perhaps, this commentary on a ‘2ndlife’ is too focused on just one recent extrapolation of death and indeed too anchored to the beautiful Japan. So, to end with something that expands the death of this film into another stream of thinking on death found in the ‘Tibetan Book of the Dead’, these lines lifted from The Aspirational Prayer Which Protects from Fear of the Intermediate States may offer a temporary period. But still a perfect pregnant potential, Thank you Bens!

‘When I am miraculously born into the intermediate state of rebirth, may I not be beguiled by the perverse prophecies of Māra, And as I [freely] arrive at every place that I think of, May the bewildering fear and terror, generated by my negative past actions, not arise. When the roars of savage wild beasts echo around me, May their cries be transformed into the sound of the sacred teachings, the Six Syllables , And as I am engulfed by snow, rain, wind, and darkness, May I achieve the pure clairvoyance of radiant pristine cognition

May I easily come to master by study and reflection, The manifold stages of learning ̶ small, intermediate, and great. May the country into which I am born be auspicious, And may all sentient beings be blessed with happiness. ‘vi

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

二人のベン二人のアーティストは鼓舞ために日本を使います。ベンジャーミン・バードウさんの東京のふらふらとベン・ジェンズ・ホートんさんの映画は二回目の命

フランス人の画家ベンジャーミン・バードウさんの芸術作品は視覚的な地層です。まず1回目見える時で私はどっぷりどんなグリッチフでベンのヘロインですか。このワークはビデオのエディットと創作の実験でポイントクラウドを使う事からビデオをアニメします。例えば、ニュージーランドでドットスワァムはアプルのツステムのアプリために展開しました。このアニメーションのタイプを見えたに雲をアニメしていると新しいアニメの方法を会えました。雪は本当に強いて美しい絵ので私ためにとても魅了します。雪は人間の歴史に経由して多い文化をインスパイア〜したのでアリストフェーニーズのサークレーティーズからよいユーチィーブの禅の隠者が(白雪で)の記録映画です。(私は隠者を成るたくないですけどこのフェルムが私のロマンチックな気持ちを続けます。日本語でクローワド漢字のは雪を二つの分が合成です。雨と言うだから二に通分します。で、一つの英語に入っての翻訳は”言うの雨”か”雨と言う”と可能な意味を逃げます。でも、これは二つのビデオをハイビジョンで見えることを続け方の経路があげます。バードウさんの考えることに無形の審美学を入ったにショートの映画は一回目の見えるが本当に真実のチェックをみたいでした。
最高無形の世界で作家スティーブ・ライトさんは多分二つの映画が東京で迷うとパリでふらふらが同じ質問あって皆さんを無形の世界に住んでいますか。ライトさんの絵刷なポーストワーカーイズムの解析学とアントーニーオー・ネグリーとマイケル・ハートさんの政治的で経済的な本(エンパイアとマルティチュード)で無形の労力か働くと資本主義の事実を変化が考えます。ライトさんの結論は面白いです。彼は投機的なベンチャーーこれは十年前に猖獗を極めたー薄いお金が空気から作る事をみたいですと言いた。そして…

“すでにして、借金を右足がり、微細な個人とご家のクレジットカードから、マクロな公共部門の予算と経常黒字まで。しかし、その借金は負担を再配布で、賭けるの態様が後手を永遠に出来ないです。この賭けるの回収時から事態はとても面白くてなります。もし他ならないことは私たちがマドーナさんの歌うの正しさを見つけるので…”

マドーナさんの歌に終わるはこの論文が禅を引用だからいい回線を完成しました。二人は’実から音と沈黙は無し教えますか’と禅の師家に質問しました。師家はその二人の顔でパンチしているので侵略時が私ためにバードウさんの曇りのアートで大切な要旨ができます。繁栄と領域を主張します。
存在の仕方ない時はいいともだちが待ちの教育に上手な美術を持ってくるの手伝っていました。(前の町の大学は本当に特別です。理由はイギリスの教育制度を僕の経験が刑務所と工場をみたいだから課程も生徒ために優しさとニュアンスの信じる無しです。私は誰かの思い方で”君は何かの教育が会うたね”と聞きます。ええ、そうですけどシェフィールドのアート学校に入るからオープンと自由自在な経験をきる。私はこのコミュ二ティでベン・ジェ・ホートンさんの二回目命の映画を多いとしませんので残念です。この映画は物質が私のセカンドホームの国から撮影しました。日本は一番面白くて古くてユニークなイベントと物と経路のホームですから日本が地球上で一番面白い国民と文化の申し出あります。漫画とアニメ、武家とお寿司は西人がこの事を分かれます。ちょっと待て読者たちは日本の同定と理解があるので前の文章がたわいないです。この映画のよいことは独語けどベンの声がカメラのイメージから全然気をそらすので、フィルムの内容で色々な場所たちが好きです。これはラキーナな人を外国に住んでいったから普通の予想と言いて、しかし、ごったも有るし〜皆さんの通訳は場所を作られるか場所が通訳を作られますか。

Lost in Tokyo from Benjamin Bardou on Vimeo.
“二回目の命は哲学ためにアートが親ので本当にいい例えです。二回目の命を見っているは(全てのアーティステックな実践をジェネレーティブ)と聞こえるから。このビデオのアートは私に遠因の覆面カーバが実を覆面有るなければなりませんから私の顔でパンチもです。差遣的にもダンライフの勘定と数学を受諾ので世界の絵は不平等な絵を作ります。確実性の球体はべんりけどこれは必ずですか。この質問は静かな仏教でマーヤーのイリュージョンを深い否定で解決済みです。そして、このクオリティはプラトンにシエアするので尊の古いギリシャーのペイガンが普遍的な法律を信じました。ティメオーズ(プラトンの創造論)私たちは天主が全てのいいと少しい不備も欲しい事を読めます。このゴッドは全ての視覚的なものを混乱過ぎるを見つけたから、この混乱を平均)に化せなければなりません。この移動は可能から二つの実の天地あるで無常と永久に念を押しました。読者からペラトンの区別で感覚的な(エイー・シーeikasia・pistis)と達意なタース(シー・イーdianoia・noesis) 両方はディバイデッドインを描破します。それも、全てのラインはディバイデッドですけどディバィデッデイングも有るし〜ペラトンが全てのインを視線が見えるからディバィデッドします。でも、ペラトンの神明のラインはどうですか。このラインは混乱からバランスまで、このラインが千年あとに説得力続く。私はペラトンがヘラクライタスを悪い拝読したと彼のパーメニディーズために忝を人間の思い方に負担を成ったので半信半疑です。このトッピクスを話しているは私がペラトンとサークレーティーズの詭弁の影響で非表示の神秘と洞祭力有るから足しました。バードウさんの映画は創造的な驚嘆の生き残るの例を悔しくないけと強い奉納ですからこの例はアートの新しい反復で哲学と科学とデザインにこの創造的な驚嘆が

IMG_3222

         Benjamin J. Houghton ‘2ndlife’, Film Still (2018)

よくファミリア過ぎるので忘れると光を捕らえます。フィルムの力学: 光を時間捕らえる、物質をアニメする、社会的でアソテソーシャルの生産の方法…皆さんの強行な措定くらへて他のオプションを見せます。だからシネマと文学は一緒に不採算の手口と作動で空想的社会改良家有ります。二回目の生命の遠近法から見るを分がったに生変をくれたいみたいですけど仏教の知恵がこの生変を必要ではないと言った”もし、また生きたら大丈夫かな?”では、生変するでいつもショウジョウバイとゴキブリを死に変わりますか。それは仏教の洞察力をごちゃ混ぜないですけど、もし私たち考えるで東と西の関係を探して多分政治的な一つのままです。仏教はハーブジーン(遺制と生くなければなりませんので無罪を毒する)勿論、ミクスもありうべきか?
猫はなかば経由動くでフィルムの変動をナラティブに研ぐ、そして全ての人間は正しい問題を向かいます。どうやってか、全ての人中に動因があって、もし私たちが生活でバランスを見つけるからこの動因を平穏ですけどもし、いつかの経験をするので同じ事を一緒に習うで私たちを混乱に動きます。相関はナビるが難しさともし良い生存して個人のプッュケーを訓練しなければなりませんと個人のプッュケーは自分を微細なスペースで膨大な可能に対して計ります。この瞑想は一番の鮮明する猫の紹介時で(日本で猫が超愛してる)。34分26秒で、猫のしはみみは精神とちの匂いみたいです。はちゃめちゃな時間を持って…時間で私のアイデアに行為を持つと私がこの信じる事を全ての実践で言わないけど前の信じるから懐かしくてなりました。このいない事は人間の習性で深刻なてさばきので象徴的な価値を支配が出来ません。(でも、これは私の価格と意味いるといない、超越論と内在的で断じないから個人的な懺悔です)。私はこのフィルムに題名の双対をもっと深さなる事が大好きです。生命を生命中に伝えて生変と生変と仏教の輪廻と信じるも伝えます。私ために一回見る後で強い圧巻を見かけました。まず、9分44秒でベンさんの声はフランス人の哲学者デレューズのデザアイの形而上学的唯物論を連想します。このフィルムは時間のマティリアリティを見物人のメガネためにあらわにすると時間も意味の命脈ために必要です。ホーウトンさんは3つの学びの除法生と言って、1) 残虐なテストとミス、2) 罷り手作、3) 愛と慈悲です。これ学び方たちはアーティスティックの調査と仲介経て”学びは学びから解放”と導く。
ここにフィルムの思索はもっと深さに始めるに話者が東京よ電車でエネルギーと生まれ変わり中に見知らぬで暗い人間の意識の分から皆さんの考えると存在よく人命をばりばり経由すると網羅と理解を出来ます。他の印象深い文章は人間の徳蔵生の心に行く本流中で光線を奪い取るようにするは使えるのマーカーを見つけるようにみたいです。この文章は私に物が物の使う方であるだけと考えるですけど、この文章この考えると光が本流を会いて妨げます。この光速の例え一つのフィルムとビデオの喜び(アナログとデジタル) ではかない経験を言う。全ての言うは明徴でゆっくりはかば経由して話しました。理由と不合理、現実主義と相対主義、オートメーションと自治権も、この対立関係たちは私に連想しました。でも、猫は人間に無駄なこと教えるを正しいですか。人間は決めして猫の知恵と綿陽でならないです。この猫とし(全ての猫は6匹の猫とゴム、オツカ、カフムラ、ミミ、オカフ、トロ、と村上・春樹の’海辺のカフカ’(2002年) 。私にこの本をまた読みたいです。そして、他の関係たちを見つけるとベンのフィルムから村上・春樹までつなげると研究するので私はミシェールさんはエドアルダー・ブラツル・ディー・ザーさんの記事を積まずできます。ぎじで日本的な時空を考えて村上・春樹の本の大切な部分にピントに行く。主人公、カフカ・タムラは図書館で油絵と時間の迷宮とせかりの縁を見つけました。
止むを得ず、村上・春樹の小説は猫のカメオし私と今の読者に猫のニャー義をお式しなければなりません。だから、猫は重力ので部分的な普遍とサスッルギをみたいです。これは生命と生きるの限りが見えるの多とします。ホーウトンさんの映画は相当と有限のナラティブをくそ落ち着きの考えるも優しく誘います。また仏教の思うは西の思うを敗る。理由は仏教の死ぬは肯定から私たちの生めるで円卓無しが抱くので死ぬる比べて違います。ベンさんのアートは哲学者デービッド・ケイヘナターの考えるでアンテネータリズムを青木がアオキガハラでホーウトンさんはアメリカ人の軍隊が男性を話し合うの経験も。そんな、偶然は私にアンテーアンテネータリストの定位でベンさんも支持すると思います。アンテーネータリズムはちょっと滑稽です。二人は皆さんを作るから誕生に

ネがティブな父あげるから(生きるならよりいかにいの方がいい)と言う同じです。これ分けないのことが生きるいつも場所にもたらすも、いつも生きるはそことおそこに見つける。ハイデガーの教えるからちょっと誘導したいです。(私はこれをもっとキャンティウンがスケリンギアンの方がいいですけどこのドイツ人をもっと勉強しないと)。でも、アンテーネータリズムの本論の簡単から面白いです。(一つの駁する方だ、でも自由の形で守る。) それで、伝統的で物質主義者の宇宙から分ける事が出来ます。ここに二つの立場は人間の生きるにはしてアンテ生めると他の立場が生きる事を続くにはして(自殺)です。
それで、私は両方が生きるの肯定から両方は意図的で今一つから積極です。私たちは存在の始めるを肝心と規制全然ではないですけど少し確実と私たちの終焉いつじゃないかどうやってを収集を話せる。
ところがこの収集は約をほされる。古いアトミズトは存在から人間のかざいけのないが優しくないと分かりました。でも、アトミズトはアトムを一つ一つと結びつけると承認しるので二回目の命が本当にいいです。二回目の命はユーモア無し唯物論と宗教の役目をちゃんとする。このフィルムは超越中で無常を促がす。これはプラトン前にことで常数の変化と広大無辺の散在の交渉またリンクします。置く薄々変化の至善は分けるから理由が変化のヲタンな双子を成ることでテローローギキャルな時間に増強します。(クロノスはわんぱくな神様だから、他の時間形があります。) 何故?ペラトンさんは普遍と信じて(イデア) と理念)何かが普遍あれのこの物を永遠に連結有ります。

IMG_3223

               Benjamin J. Houghton ‘2ndlife’, Film Still (2018)

例えば、大きくて小さくて間に左右相称有る事を質量の常数がもし光速で動けったらこの例えを見つけます。よりか、質量は変化が出来ます。それで、分光もから、もし私たちの寸法を測るので変化して断固と規格化に反して反俗スペクトルを支援しますか。で、規格化一つのままの完璧で全然変化しないを確認しますか。私は知らないですけどこの考えるの路線を続けます。まず、この文章の神秘的な物証を終われる。科学哲学の試験を勉強時で太陽質量をで会うので、太陽の物質に等価二つのクィソティリョンのキロです。惑星とソーラのエンティティを図れる。もし、象徴を見って太陽から同期の理解ので一斉にペラトンが輝かしさと正しくないを見せるから私たちの星雲の太陽も死ねければなりません。もし、それは正しいから宇宙もしねければなりません。この象徴はペラトンと彼の知的なお父さんパーメニディーズの信じるでザーワンが円形を有る。定義して(中心から四方八方に同じ)と完全のタイプを言えるですけど大事な皆さんの選び方と成るの方法を見えます。もし、人間は宇宙でいって一つの太陽から他の太陽までこの線でいって皆さんが付帯の終焉に戦いのでベンさんは彼自身で可能性の場所にいなければなりません”と言いました。これは全部脱線かなーベン・ホーウトンさんの映画からそれて僕がこの綺麗で皆さんこの価格にご連絡
化学は天体物理学と量子力学も全て果敢系出来るを表す。これは統一場理論ですから現実を方程式も見せる。もし、物理学者は目覚まし達成問わずにだれかが活性を努力から私たちにこのことの効果を質問しなければなりません。もし、知識ために方法ので私は心配すると現象(光、色、生命)で、規格化を申し出るから決心(理解の戦い)を消します。
分光(決心) 一つの良い例規格外よりはもっといいですからが質量、集団、重さままここでペラトンとブッダを見つける。ペラトンは(観念)を有って(大きて、小さくて)双対の存在論でペラトニックなワンで団結と無期限のダイアドでかず多い原則です。ブッダは等しい二元性が有ってこの開眼か他のワンです。でも、考えるは欠席です)。皆さんはまやかし経由を見えるを習う。なくては、ないことには、我らがなくなんを上がります。だから、まやかしとイリュージョンの半で面白さもワンが(たわごと、おしないですけどもし皆さんは可能の現実は幻を分かたら、問題じゃないです。幻で皆さんために必要な物とこと間に新しい関係を作くなければなりませんか。数学もこの照臨仮定で参加して、量子と神族の違いは近代的で化学的な例について、アトムの物質を変化でその物の見た目をどうやって分かりますか。
して50分フィルムを違い場所にみせると僕の感想したいと感じます。この映画はたくさん当該のこと取り扱う;(主我の主権と愛は共依存)で、このあそれ多いアートにくちを添えることが出来るので二回目の命を必要する。多分、この二回目の命の余説は綺麗な日本と最近死ぬの補外法で作過ぎます。で、何かのこのフィルムの死ぬを他かの必滅の教え方に入って拡張で終わる。このエッセイはチベットの死者のしょて:
ザー・アスピラティオナル・プレア・ウィッチ・プロッェクツ・フロム・フィア・オブ・ザー・インタミーディアト・ステーツからもっと行く。臨時の終止符止まるを備えるですけど絶好で身重のポテンシャルです。ベンズかベンたちにどうも有難うございます。

“いつ私は中間体なステァートと具合の申請に生まれる。マーラーの佞姦な予言を窓を成らない。私は全ての場所を思って着く。前の消極的な暴挙から恐怖とテロをあかない。野蛮な虎狼を唸るを私にお側で響した。この唸るは聖なるな教えで六字大明呪の音に化する。そして、今私を雪、雨、風、暗闇を呑まれる。厳正の認識の純粋の千里眼を私ははたしてお願いします。勉強と反省経由に簡単な熟達するかも…。
学びの多様体で小ささと中間体と大きと。生国は目出度いです。天地有情は幸福と清穆をよろしいです。”

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iSteve Wright, ‘Reality Check: Are We Living in an Immaterial World?’, in Proud to be Flesh: A mute magazine anthology of cultural politics after the net, (Mute Publishing, London; Autonomedia: Brooklyn, 2009) 472- 480.

iiPlato, trans. Robin Waterfield, Timaeus and Critias, (Oxford World’s Classics, Oxford University Press. 2008).18.

iiiMichele Eduarda Brasil de Sá, Time(s) and Space(s) in Huraki Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore”, Conference Paper, 2016.

ivAristotle, Metaphysics, (A 6, 987 a 29 – 988 a 1)

vSee Stoic “ἐκπύρωσις ekpyrōsis, “conflagration”) is a belief in the periodic destruction of the cosmos by a great conflagration every Great Year. The cosmos is then recreated (palingenesis) only to be destroyed again at the end of the new cycle.

viComposed: Padmasambhava, revealed: Terton Karma Lingpa, Trans: Gyurme Dorje, The Tibetan Book of The Dead, (Penguin Books, England, 2005) 316.

Philosophy of Science (Course Notes and exam prep.)

[I took a course in the philosophy of science this year and although the lecturers and professor are nice people – I did not like overall experience. I felt there was very little philosophy being done, more just a critical review of science and the information that it has generated. I am surprised that I passed this exam because I did not feel good writing my essay’s in those two hours… Yet, like I said the Lecturers and professors are good but the information contained in the curriculum needs a lot of work if it is to become a more enjoyable learning experience. Anyway, I wish the professors and philosophers of Science in Leuven the best of luck in this regard. I have collected the contents of my preparation for the exam so I do not loose the notes and can review at a later date. Perhaps they may be of interest to some…]

 

Construct an argument that either defends or critiques a statement below.

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  1. Philosophy of science is useless for the practice of science.

The science we know today would not have come into existence if there had not been what was widely called ‘natural philosophy’. A way of scientific inquiry which contained a process of questioning the world in its material nature. This has a very long history indeed the western centric textbook answer has it that this strand of philosophy that was ‘natural philosophy’ began with Aristotle (The Reader, as Plato called him) who was one of the first to systematically record his scientific explorations of the biological world. Then, we have been told to believe that the transformation happened under the guidance of Rene Descartes the father of Cartesianism. A dualistic belief that the body and mind are separate substances one is extended the other thinking. But, at this point in history science remained in the nurturing womb of philosophy and had yet to branch off into its current form.

This happened when towering figures such as Copernicus, Galileo, and Isac Newton showed how by using maths a human might offer an explanation for the way the world works to such accuracy that knowledge became wedded to science. Of course, this had an effect on philosophy no longer the sole proprietor of Truth. Being forced to observe this baby called science philosophy held it as an object of its reflections. One such example being the creator of Positivism the thinker Auguste Comte who wrote about how science was an inevitability in his somewhat Hegel inspired tripartite movement from metaphysics and theology to positivism construed as a study of the relations between a growing body of natural knowledge; such a system is pro-science, ‘When these different operations are sufficiently advanced to have assumed an irrevocable character, we shall see social education itself fall for ever into the hands of the scientists.’ (Comte, …) Words like this contain what many would like to believe, that science is a social education, progressing by way of shared research. There is no longer the need for individual greatness or of the speculative prolonged reflections philosophy offers – science now has a track record of knowledge production.

Such a situation where science has buried its parents might sometimes feel like it is the case or even desirable: in 2010 Stephen Hawking went on record as saying he believes philosophy to be dead. So, this leaves us at a contested position either philosophy still has something to add to the sciences or it is indeed useless? However, this misses an important part of the question: ‘useless for the practice of science’, so it is of course essential to leave behind the debate on the qualities of the two separate disciplines and focus on what they each have to say about one another’s practices. Philosopher of Science Samir Okasha explains the practice of science to contain two distinct features the experiment and the theory. Okasha hones in on the valuable role he thinks philosophy of science performs; it continues questioning when the scientist equipped with belief in the reproducibility of his experiment stops questioning. He mentions this in line with a problem science and philosophy both share how to differentiate between that which is pseudo- or just operating under the name of the practice.

I would argue that considering all of what one has just mentioned philosophy of science remains very useful for the practices of science. For the following reasons should suffice to support this: 1) Science often needs more ethical considerations – just think of the Manhatten project, nuclear power, and the future of DNA editing, 2) Occasionally science has discovered something remarkable but it may not know how to communicate precisely what the discovery is telling them – a perfect example would be quantum physics and the human mind. 3) Philosophy exerts parental rights over science as its history shows it was rationalist philosophers such as Leibniz and Descartes who inspired Newton’s breakthroughs in calculus and physics. A potential problem for this conclusion is that the practices of some philosophers who may habitually over question, or harbour questions that are unfairly weighted against science containing a prejudice will inevitably be disruptive. Yet, I would suggest that such a philosopher has not spent enough time reflecting and therefore in the rare event that they come into contact with the practice of science one does not imagine that the scientist would put up with such distractions for long. The probability of this is very low and controlled and well thought out criticism of both practices is obviously encouraged.

Finally, one last argument in favour of the usefulness of the philosophy of science:

  1. Let us say that a progressive scientific research programme is near a new discovery in Dark matter and energy.
  2. The scientific experiments provide certifiable and undeniable evidence for the But, the scientific community does not know what their results, the discovery actually means outside the context of the experiment. It refutes earlier theories but leaves questions unanswered.
  3. Therefore, science will greatly benefit from having a philosopher who used to questioning questions will bring new abstract interpretations to the table, and thus greatly improve the probability of agreeing upon what the discovery means and how it should be communicated.

  1. A better interpretation of probability could solve the problem of induction.

Let us begin with a clear definition of what induction is and why it has for so long been considered problematic. Induction is a form of argument that stands in contrast to deduction. Deduction is an argument that contains a conclusion deduced from its premises this makes it necessarily true because it follows that if the premises of the argument are all true then the conclusion must be true. Abduction, differs from this because the argument contains premises/inferences that do not necessarily support the conclusion an example of such abduction and its reasoning is below:

A large quantity of reports contain errors of calculation

All the reports were written by the same person.


Therefore, all the reports will have to be re-written.

Here it is evident that if we compare the first premise with the conclusion it follows that it is only contingently true that all the reports will have to be re-written because a large quantity is not ‘all reports’. Following Okasha we can understand why this way of reasoning is an issue for philosophy in that inductive reasoning is often found in everyday use. Okasha’s examples include the following, ‘when you turn the steering wheel of your car you assume that it will turn the way it turns because of past events’(Okasha…). Continuing thinking through inductive reasoning Okasha cites the Scottish Enlightenment thinker David Hume  who was the first to offer up an explanation for the dominance of inductive reasoning in our everyday experiences. Hume claimed that it was due to pure animal habit that we reason in such way and so when we induce that the sun will rise in the morning tomorrow we do so because of the Uniformity of Nature (U.N)(Hume, ). In short this is an assumption relative to objects we have or have not observed. Hume continued when considering if the U.N could be proven and he denied that it could stating that there could exist a universe where nature was not uniform and existed in a state of constant flux. Essentially, Okasha helps distill Hume’s point that: there is no way of empirically proving the uniformity of nature without trying to persuade someone who does not trust in induction is a process of induction thus committing the formal fallacy of begging the question.

You may say that it seems like one of those stereotypical problems that philosophers bicker over and you would be correct. But, many philosophers argue that induction is so essential to how we think that it is not something provable. Although there are the following responses to problem of induction:

  1. Peter Strawson’s analogy: ‘If someone worried about whether a particular action was legal, they could consult the law-books and compare the action with what the law-books say. But suppose someone worried about whether the law itself was legal. This is an odd worry indeed. For the law is the standard against which the legality of other things is judged, and it makes little sense to enquire whether the standard itself is legal.

Induction is a standard to which we decide whether or not our claims are justified.


  1. Inference to the best explanation (I.B.E)

 

Basic everyday induction takes the form of:  ‘all x’s examined so far have been y’,

and the conclusion has had the form ‘the next x to be examined will be y’, or sometimes, ‘all x’s are y’. In other words, these inferences take us from examined to unexamined instances of a given kind.

In I.B.E there can not be two events that infer the conclusion so we have a most probable one take the example argument below:

The left over curry in the fridge has been eaten.

The husband/wife arrived home from work late.


The Husband/Wife ate the left over curry.

Charles Darwin used Inductive reasoning in his theory of evolution saying that evolution or the development of species only makes sense if there is an observable relation a common ancestor (horses and zebras for example).

Okasha, explores a potential disagreement with (I.B.E) that it remains uncertain as to how to distinguish between possible explanations and the data present in the argument. The solution is that the explanation that is the best is also the most simple one. Yet, using simplicity and parsimony (…?) as solutions still does not resolve the problem because it does not say anything about the main issue that ‘the uniformity of nature’ makes problematic that the universe may be either simple or complex.

Part of the confusion surrounding how to resolve this is the problem of interpreting the word ‘probability’ some say that when we state the probability of something happening let us say the chances of me cooking a vegetarian dish tonight are 1/10 rather than an exact percentage or prediction it communicates a subjective interpretation.

[contrasting with the usual frequency interpretation of probability: If you read that the probability of an Englishwoman living to 100 years of age is 1 in 10, you would understand this as saying that one-tenth of all Englishwomen live to the age of 100. / But what if you read that the probability of finding life on Mars is 1 in 1,000? Does this mean that one out of every thousand planets in our solar system contains life? Clearly it does not. For one thing, there are only nine planets in our solar system.]

[The logical interpretation of probability rejects the idea that there are no objective facts about probability (subjective interpretation) by saying that there is true and false positions regarding events. Evidence for this Advocates of the logical interpretation think that for any two statements in our language, we can in principle discover the probability of one, given the other as evidence. For example, we might want to discover the probability that there will be an ice age within 10,000 years, given the current rate of global warming.]

{0.9 < maximum is one 1/10,1000 I.e once every ten thousand years}

  • Mendelian genetics, which deals with the transmission of genes from one generation to another in sexually reproducing populations. One of the most important principles of Mendelian genetics is that every gene in an organism has a 50% chance of making it into any one of the organism’s gametes (sperm or egg cells). Hence there is a 50% chance that any gene found in your mother will also be in you, and likewise for the genes in your father. Using this principle and others, geneticists can provide detailed explanations for why particular characteristics (e.g. eye colour) are distributed across the generations of a family in the way that they are. Now ‘chance’ is just another word for probability, so it is obvious that our Mendelian principle makes essential use of the concept of probability.
  1. (Okasha) “For John and Jack both accept the evidence that the sun has risen every day in the past, but Jack fails to realize that this evidence makes it highly probable that the sun will rise tomorrow, while John does realize this. Regarding a statement’s probability as a measure of the evidence in its favour, as the logical interpretation recommends, tallies neatly with our intuitive feeling that the premisses of an inductive inference can make the conclusion highly probable, even if they cannot guarantee its truth.”

As a statement in and by itself yes it is the case that a “better interpretation” may one day solve the problem of uncertainty surrounding inductive reasoning and arguments. However such an interpretation would seem to need to be inhumanely accurate to factor in the relation between chance and uncertainty. Maybe a future quantum computer may make advances in probability that will enable us to resolve this issue, but one remains highly sceptical of such a solution because it would imply the possibility of a world without uncertainty and irrationality and this one believes to be unattainable and undesirable for a science.


  1. Falsificationism rejects confirmation and verification, and thus can resolve the problem of induction.

Karl Popper Science: Conjectures and Refutations

  1. “Mr Turnbull had predicted evil consequences …, and now was doing the best in his power to bring the about the verification of his prophecies.”

-Anthony Trollope

  1. “The problem that troubled me at the time was neither, ‘when is a theory true?’, or ‘ when was a theory acceptable?’. My problem was how to distinguish between pseudo-science and science?”
  • Popper was thrilled with the affirmative experiment and confirmation of Einstein’s calculations for gravity by Eddington’s Eclipse Observations in 1919
  1. Popper had a problem with three theories: Marx’s ‘theory of history’ (Historical Materialism), Freud’s (psychoanalysis – unconscious), and individual psychology. He held a problem with their claims to science because of their lack of certainty or success when measured to the objective predictions they made… compared to the certainty of Einsteinian physics… For Popper these three theories resembled myths rather than science and astrology rather than astronomy.

Popper’s peers are impressed by these theory’s explanatory power, and that they seem to have evidence for their validity everywhere in the world. But this is not the case for Popper.

  1. Against Freud and Adler, Popper used this analogy, ‘Using two choices one human being is confronted with when a man pushes a child into the water with the intention of drowning it, and another that sacrifices his own life to save the youth. Each of the cases can be easily explained via way of Freud and Adler’s theories. In the first instant ( The man suffered from repression/while the second managed sublimation). Secondly, in Adler’s language the first man suffers from inferiority produced due to a need to prove something, the second man is the same he needs to prove he can save the child, The theory’s always seemed to have a conclusive answer and conclusion regardless of the scenario.
  2. He says that Einsteins confirmation of the light of a star during an eclipse bends making it appear further away from the sun. Popper mentions the aspect of risk in these scientific predictions. If they do not match the reality of the world exactly then they are refuted.
  • A) For popper you should not be chasing after confirmations but good scientific theories are a prohibition they forbid certain things to happen. B) Irrefutability is not a good aspect of a theory it is a vice. C) Testability is a way of falsifiability (important). D) Occasionally a scientific theory is saved from refutation because there is an ad hoc auxiliary assumption or hypothesis. But, this destroys the viability and validity of the theory, lowering its status.
  • The Criterion of a scientific theory is its falsifiability, testability, and refutability.
  1. The Criterion of falsifiability is about drawing a line between theories with empirical evidence (science) and those without.
  2. The above is an answer to theproblem of demarcation… “because it says that systems of statements in order to be qualified as scientific… must be capable of conflicting with possible or conceivable observations.

… Imre Lakatos Science and Pseudo-science…

 

  1. “Blind commitment to a theory is not an intellectual virtue, it is a crime” Scepticism towards one’s own theories is essentially scientific… Belief’s role in formatting knowledge is suspended …
  • Objectivity is essential for science:

‘If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity, or school metaphysics, for

instance; let us ask, does it contain any abstract reasoning concernig quantity

or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter

of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames. For it call contain

nothing but sophistry and illusion.’   

  • David Hume, An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748)
  • Newton once confidently claimed he only produces proposals based upon facts, and especially Kepler’s facts about the movement of the objects in outer space. This was incorrect because Kepler’s facts stated that planets moved in ellipses. Newton claimed that planets would move in ellipses if they did not disturb each other in their motion. However they did so Newton was forced to develop a pertubation theory that states that no planets move in ellipses.
  • ‘inductive logicians’. Inductive logic set out to define the probabilities of different theories according to the available total evidence. If the mathematical probability of a theory is high, it qualifies as scientific; if it is lowor even zero, it is not scientific. Thus the hallmark of scientific honest) would be never to say anything that is not at least highly probab Probabilism has an attractive feature: instead of simply providing a black-and-white distinction between science and pseudoscience, it provides a continuous scale from poor theories with low probability to good theories with high probability. But, in 1934, Karl Popper, one of the most influential of our time, argued that the mathematical probability. of all theories, scientific or pseudoscientific, given any amount of evidence is zero.” If Popper is right, scientific theories are not only equally Inprovable but also equally improbable.
  1. Tom Kuhn, adistinguished American philosopher of science, arrived at this conclusion after discovering the naivety of Popper’s falsificationism. But if Kuhn is right, then there is no explicit demarcation between science and pseudoscience, no distinction between scientific progress and intellectual decay, there is no objective standard of honesty. But what criteria can he then offer to demarcate scientific progress from intellectual degeneration?
  • Now, how do scientific revolutions come about? If we have two rival research programmes, and one is progressing while the other is degenerating, scientists tend to join the progressive programme.

  1. Creationism is a science. (And what is the implication for whether it is rational to believe in creationism?)

Elliot Sober, ‘Creationism’ in Philosophy of Biology, (2000)

  1. Begins by discussing phrenology (measuring the human skull to distinguish behaviours of the mind… as a serious research programme in the past now regressive.
  2. WE must distinguish the people from the propositions they maintain.
  • The earth is flat but this does not stop there being ‘flat-earthers’
  1. Scientific (added to creationism to imply that it appeals to evidance for the existence of god. Creationism vs Evolution / A intelligent being a designer vs natural selection
  2. He assesses the logic both positions defend…
  3. He suggests that creationism has not developed a scientific research programme and still only makes one claim an appeal to God. Evolution on the other hand has grown with many hypothesis tested and grown into a progressive research programme.
  • Sober comments on the authentic intellectual background of the ‘design argument’ explaining that rational theology was a tradition that contained a lot of what was best of western philosophy due to its grounding in reason and rationality.
  • Summa Theologiae, Thomas Aquinas wrote five reasons for the existence of god… the fifth of these arguments is ‘intelligent / argument from design; (1224-1274) building upon ideas developed by Plato and Aristotle.
  1. This argument from design met its heyday with Hume’s Scepticism Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779) and was never believed in in the same way again. (compared to the Bridgewater Treatise)
  2. Abduction Logic of design argument laid out by William Paley, Natural Theology (1805) – An inference to the best explanation containing two possibilities: 1) God is an intelligent designer an engineer so he built organisms that would be well suited to their habitat. 2) Random lumps of matter where transformed by random physical forces into living things. Paley wants to show the former as being more probable.
  3. He uses an analogy of a complex object, a watch with moving parts that functions as a whole. Its success as an object is because it had an intelligent designer.
  • The Likelyhood Principle Edwards 1972.

Consider a statement we know to be true O. Then consider two explanations  (H1…H2...) for why O is true. The likelihood principle reads as follows: O strongly favours H1  over H2 if and only if H1 assigns a higher probability to O than H2 does…

In the notation of probability theory this says:

strongly favors H1 over H2  if and only if P(O/H1) >> P(O/H2).

Expressing the likelihood that hypothesis 1 has in light of observation but don’t confuse

‘It is likely’ and ‘it is probable’ P(O/H1) – P(H1/O) How are they different? Consider the following:

You are sitting in a cabin one night and you hear rumbling in the attic. We wonder what could have produced the noise. I suggest that the explanation is that there are Gremlins in the attic and they are bowling. You dismiss this as implausible. Observation over hypothesis is probable … Hypothesis then observation has a likelyhood but low probability.

Applied to Paleys argument:

A: The watch is intricate and well suited to the task of time keeping.
W1: The watch is the product of intelligent design.
W2: The watch is the process of random physical processes.

Paley claims that P(A/W1) >> P(A/W2) . He then says the same pattern of analysis applies to the following triplets of statements.

B : Living things are intricate and well suited to the task of surviving and reproducing.
L1: Living things are the product of intelligent design
L2:  Living things are the product of random physical processes.

Paley argues that if you agree with him about the watch then you should agree that

P(B/L1) >> P(B/L2) .   


Hume (analogy arguments) stronger or weaker according to how similar the two objects are:  Blood circulates in humans / humans are similar to dogs/plants / dogs plants blood circulates.

Object A has property P

Object A and property T are similar to degree

N _________________________________________


Object T has property P.

 

N measures the degree of probability two objects are alike n = o / n = 1

For Hume this shows that even as an argument of analogy the degrees of similarity between a living organism and a watch are not enough to make the argument feasible but Paley’s argument may stand alone.


Third use of the likelyhood principle consider we toss a coin a thousand times and note on each toss whether the coin lands heads or tails. We record the observational results in statement O below and wish to use O to discriminate between two hypothesis.

O:  The coin landed heads on 803 tosses and tails on 197
<em 
H1:  The coin is biased towards heads – its probability of landing heads when tossed is 0.8
H2:  The coin is fair – its probability of landing heads when tossed is 0.5

  • Inference in induction cause and effect based upon prior knowledge of the probable cause. – Hume

  • Problem with the Design argument and induction: Sample size “Suppose we have good reason to believe that the organisms in our world are the product of intelligent design, then we must have looked at lots of other worlds and observed intelligent designers creating organisms there. We have observed no such worlds so our sample size for postulating the design argument is 0

Darwin – Natural selection and the survival of the fittest… if it involves an element of chance as to the evolutionary selection of species and the survival of hereditary beneficial genetic traits. Then this makes it a random process NO

Natural selection includes unequal probability and for this reason it is not a random process. 1) variation must arise within the population, 2) natural selection goes to work selecting modifying the frequencies of the variants present.

  • Richard Dawkins The Blind Watchmaker (1986)

Imagine a mechanical device that like a combination lock composed of series of disks side by side. On each side the 26 letters of the alphabet are placed. There are 26 possibilities on each disk and 19 discs giving  different possible sequences.

-one of these is: METHINKSITISAWEASEL… the probability of this being spun is 1/  a very small one … but the analogy applies to evolution because the device can be adapted so that when one of the target letters is viewed the device freezes it greatly increasing the speed at which the ordered whole can be attained. Natural selection works in a similar way.

Variation (not about usefulness – more about from the variants what can be retained)   and Retention.

 

Voltaire, satarized Leibniz’s God created the most perfect world… with DR. Pangloss in Candide

 

Jacob, natural selection is a tinkerer — argument via similarity / Vestigial Traits (

  • Panda’s boney thumb related to bears…

  • tree of life … common ancestor — all animals share a genealogical history…

DNA( amino acids )  RNA(messenger)

“Coding is arbitrary then it affects the likelihood argument… if the genetic code was the most functionary then we would expect all terrestrial life to use it regardless of origin.”

The problem of productive equivalence …

 

 

         O : Organisms are imperfectly adapted to their environment
        Dp: Species were separately created by a super-intelligent and omnipotent god
Who wanted to make organisms/ perfectly suited/adapted to their environment.
 Ev :  Species evolved from common ancestors from natural selection.

The observations are said to favour a hypothesis of evolution  over the perfectionist

Design hypothesis Dp: P(O/Ev) >> P(O/Dp).  But now consider a Trickster (Descartes god as perfect being / trickster)

hypothesis: D1 : Species were created separately by a god who made them look just the way they wood if they had evolved from natural selection.

Ev and DT are predictively equivalent… The Likelihood Principle is baced upon a comparison of competing hypotheses.

Creationism is not a scientific argument because it is un-testable … influenced by Karl Popper (Falsifiability is the hallmark of scientific questioning)

 

Popper used to believe that evolution was a metaphysical research programme… but changed his mind.

  1. Observation sentences (popper)

Poroposition P is falsifiable if and only if P deductively implies at least one observation sentence O.

 

Problem: Observation is often theory laden… our perception is not separable from theory.

Poppers Falsifiability Criterion has deeper problems:

1)Tacking Problem

Suppose that some proposition S is falsifiable then it immediately follows that S in a conjunction with another proposition N is also falsifiable. That is if S makes predications that can be checked observationally, then so does S&N. This is an embarrassment for Poppers theory because he wanted to distinguish between the scientific and the non scientific.

  • Strange relationship of a proposition to its negation.

Consider the statement of the form “ All As are B”. Popper judges this as falsifiable because you can observe a single A that is not B. Now consider the negation of the generalization, “There exists an Object that is both A and not – B” This statement is not falsifiable. No single observed object or finite collection of them can falsify the existent claim. Generalization is falsifiable, and the negation is not. Surely is a statement is scientific its negation is falsifiable suggesting that falsifiability is not a good criterion for being scientific.

  • Theories make testable hypothesis when they are conjoined with auxiliary assumptions T by itself does not deductively imply O, but rather T&A.

Peirre Duhems  thesis theory and auxillary hypothesis… Dinosaur and meteor … the theory said nothing about metal iridium being located in certain places so theory needed auxillary hypothesis … this metal has higher concentrations in meteors than found on earth.

  • Probability statements in science are unfalsifiable “ A coin toss is fair because of 0.5 probability” well what if you toss it five times?

[Evolution against Creationism… unscientific main arguments can not be tested

Creationism against Evolution … Scientific theories are often incomplete or are refuted.]

Examples of Poppers problems:

Asymmetry:

Faslification Verification

If T then O                                                                                 If T, then O

Not –O                                                                                          O

________                                                                                       __________

Then not –T                                                                                 T

(Deductively Valid)                                                                (Invalid)

….………

If T&A, Then O                                                                          If T&A, Then O

Not-O                                                                                           O

_____________                                                                                 ______________

Not – T                                                                                            T

(Deductively Valid)                                                                (Invalid)

….……………………………………………………………………………………

A vestige of Poppers asymmetry can be restored if we include the premiss that

The auxiliary assumptions (A) are true…

Falsification                                                                            Verification

If T&A, then O                                                                          If T&A, then O

A                                                                                                  A

. O                                                                                                O

_____________                                                                              _____________

Not- T                                                                                          T

(deductively Valid)                                                                   (Deductively Invalid)

To falsify we have to assume that A is true

Left argument asserts that if we cannot verify theoretical statements, Then we can not falsify them either!!

 

Problem: Popper’s Asymmetry thesis: EQUATES WHAT CAN BE KNOWN WITH WHAT CAN BE DEDUCED VALIDLY FROM OBSERVED STATMENTS.    

….……………………………………………………………………………………….

The Virtue of Vulnerability

Vulnerability appears to be a defect and not a virtue … of science. Why is important that our hypothesis be refutable and vulnerable?

The Liklyhood Principle helps answer these questions. A consequence of this principle is that If  O  favors H1  over H2 , then not-O would favor H2 over H1  .

Because P(O/H1) > P(O/H2) , then P(not – O/H1) < P(not -O/H2) For our beliefs to be supported by observational evidence. For, this to be possible there must be possible observations against them.

“Duheim’s thesis say the hypothesis in science makes testable predictions only when they are conjoined with auxiliary premises / assumptions. Creationists claims that organisms are the result of an intelligent designer is no different. The only distinguishing factor is that creationist auxiliary assumptions are not independently supported. If we can not choose test between auxiliary assumptions then the design hypothesis is not validated.

Sometimes creationists criticize evolutionary biology and philosophy as too naturalistic    

But science is commited to a methodology and not a substantive claim about the way the world should be…

Difference in arguments makes creationism un- falsifiable.

 

 


  1. Explanations should be arguments.

 

In this essay one will provide an argument in support of the statement, ‘explanations should be arguments’. One will do this by citing sources within the practices of the philosophy of science. An area of philosophy which does not seek to think like a scientist even though this often is the case, yet the philosopher who has science as the subject of their thought is faced with a maze of initial questions: the simplest would be what exactly is science? How are we to understand its qualities such as power (political/cultural), importance, and accuracy? Amongst these considerations there are the questions that could be asked surrounding the difficulty of placing or situating explanations and arguments. Both, are essential to science but considering them philosophically the two do not appear to be as clear and distinct as one might initially assume. To overcome the assumption that one understands these two component parts of science I will maintain a simple line of reasoning. Starting with the presumption that if arguments were not explanations than this would make the whole praxis of science a sad unsocial enterprise without its current relevancy.

Such a reality is not true and this is because of the explanatory power of arguments and vice versa the argumentative force of explanations. This is observable in texts by Samir Okasha in his introduction to this strand of philosophy (2016), and David Lewis discussing ‘causal explanation’ (1986). The later text begins with a consideration of an explanandum event, and the causal chain leading up to it ad infinitum. Implying that in the event of describing a phenomenon many causes may be found together or even as part of the explanadum. Lewis articulates in the reductive spirit of science the importance of information in explaining and how this is dependent on a causal history.

‘The why-question concerning a particular event is a request for explanatory

information and hence a request that an act of explaining be performed.

(Lewis, 1986. 218)’

What is forthrightly expressed here is the structural relation between information and an act of explaining; where the act is an argument and information is equal to explicans (premises) resulting in a conclusion or explanation of an event. This strikes one as being remarkably human in that we find ourselves in a world that demands explanation but in this very relation contains a necessary process of arguing for or against a number of causes – our success in this process is due to scientific causality.   

This notion is supported elsewhere in the text when Lewis expresses gratitude to David Velleman who told him that humans explain by way of analogy moving the unfamiliar towards the familiar. After discussing how its possible to explain in a bad or good way Lewis shows the shared interest we have in understanding by way of logical argumentation, ‘But credibility is not a separate merit alongside truth; rather, it is what we go for when seeking truth as best we can.(Lewis, 1986. 218)’ The idea that truth and credibility are to be taken on merit is then met with the capabilities of the human. The struggle to explain is just as important as the explanation itself and this is a big contributor to the power of science: it is an assumption to suggest that since our species first breath we have striven for the certainty the truth provides us because today some people desire to remain ignorant to the wonders that science may bring.

Philosopher Samir Okasha adds yet greater emphasis on the human component of science but just after discussing objects being ‘multiply realised’ at the physical level (how physical entities take different forms in the observable universe) he explains this notion of sciences incomplete reducibility by discussing the concept of a biological cell. But, this multiple realisability just deepens our need to understand explanatory arguments or argumentative explanations.

‘So the concept “cell” can not be defined in terms drawn from fundamental physics

There is no true statement of the form ‘x is a cell if and only if x is …’ where the

blank is filled by an expression taken from the language of microphysics.

(Okasha, 2016. 57)’

Okasha helps further one’s inquiry by allowing for an approach to the dilemmas at stake via way of language. Viewing the language of science is useful because it helps in honing in on the reasons for supporting our beginning statement and the following conclusion. Although you might say that adopting a position that views language as the main evidence in favour of explanations being arguments being invalid because it reduces the beauty inherent to the simplification that is necessary for scientific certainty, in the form of equations and formula for example. In other words one main disagreement is that arguments remain prone to linguistic uncertainty and ruin the simplicity inherent to science by adding unnecessary complexity by generalising separate instantiations of existence. This one believes is an interpretation that could be used to refute my positive conclusion. Viewed from Okasha’s discussion on the antagonism that philosophers and physicists debate that the laws physics builds upon with their assumed truth are not quite irreducible to a perfect description of physical phenomena. Another example of this conundrum can be observed in Bradford Skow’s paper on Physical Explanations of Mathematical Phenomena ( Skow. 2015).

However, although important and relevant such discussions move too far away from an everyday reality into the more abstract and formal discussion on apodictic qualities of physics and mathematics as such. To understand why these discourses should not be seen to effect our discussion on the co-dependency of logical structures within natural language (causal histories) and explanations (phenomenal events) then we should return to an idea mentioned by both Lewis and Okasha. The ‘covering law’ model first suggested by philosopher Carl Gustav P. Hempel states that if arguments are to provide causal information on an event then they need to appear in the form of a deductive nomological argument (containing only law premises and particular fact premises). The argument is deductive so if the premises are true then it is necessary that the conclusion is also true meeting the requirement of certainty science demands.

Yet, Lewis explains how Hempel also approached the different scenario of probability. Introducing a need to consider ‘the “specificity” of an act of explaining as being relative to the state of our knowledge; so that our ignorance can make correct an explanation that would be incorrect if we knew more.(Lewis, 1986. 232). This could bring in to doubt the belief in a human’s capacity to guarantee that there explanations can come in the form of an argument. But, there is one more contributory factor that I would argue supports an acceptance of the incompleteness of knowledge and that is the extremely relevant contemporary importance of information. Lewis also comments on information inviting us to consider its role in determining whether or not our explanations are of a good or bad quality – in fact information is the first on his list. I argue that this is structurally important for causal histories.

I have chosen to represent this by showing how the notion of a covering law argument also has to embrace a dualism or vulnerability seen as relevant to the physical state of our knowledge (information). In other words this necessary vulnerability in science pared with its certainty or inevitability of explanation are strong evidence for explanations being arguments. This is represented by two formal arguments below that show a certainty in explaining and then a vulnerability in whether our argument affirms or denies. I believe science needs its constructive dilemmas otherwise how would it continue to progress? One last consideration to further the scope of the essay is it important to avoid the trap of arguing for explanations under the guise of completed facts because these are always subject to change? So, subsequently it has to be the case that explanations should be arguments leaving the horizon of scientific discovery truly open to future human understanding[…] 

 

Argument one

 

  1. Explanations should be arguments using pre-given information.
  2. Scientists use a formal language (arguments that contain certain pre-given ) to explain a given phenomena. (1.2, explanans/explicands).

  1. Therefore it follows that there is new information produced

of the given phenomena needing explanation. (explanandum/explicandum).

 

Argument two

 

  1. If good information then an affirmation, and if bad information then a negation
  2. There is good information or bad information
  3. Therefore there is affirmation or negation

 

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Bibliography

 

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Lewis, D. (1986), ‘Causal Explanations’ in Philosophical Papers Vol. Ii. Oxford University Press.

Okasha, S. (2016), Philosophy of Science: Very Short Introduction, 2/e, Oxford University Press.

Skow, B. (2015), British Journal of the Philosophy of Science, 66, 69-93.  

 

The No Miracles Argument is a Decisive Refutation of Antirealism

At the heart of science resides sceptical or radical doubt; inherited from its founders. Figures like Descartes, Leibniz, Newton, Galileo all embodied movements of doubting what was perceived as real. Science has moved to a point where it appears trapped in a desire for absolute certainty in a set of physical laws affirmed in one equation and one mathematical proof (Hawking, Michio kaku, Thomas Nagel).

But, if we go back to the days of Descartes and Galileo there is a clear antagonism between free-thinking (doubting our understanding of the physical world) and the certainty of religious belief. Science has since seemed to be victorious in these disagreements. However, this success has come without physics being able to provide a completely certain explanation of the reality we exist in. This invites within science itself a physical reflection. Culminating in a contemporary debate involving those who support the idea that the conclusions science provides contain real facts that tell us something true about this world and its phenomena.

This stance is called ‘scientific realism’ and those in opposition  to such a perspective argue that science only provides “empirically adequate” descriptions of the unobservable phenomena; a position called ‘Ant-realism’.   The realists have used an argument called the ‘No Miracles Argument’ (N.M.A) to refute the Anti-realists. This argument supports what philosopher of science Hilary Putnam once expressed, ‘Realism is the only philosophy that does not make the success of science a miracle’, Putnam is supported by the vast evidence that science’s predictive force is highly successful (but, we should probably say reliable?).

Nevertheless, I believe the position of the realists and their use of the N.M.A does not provide a decisive refutation of Anti-realism. So, in this essay one will argue that a simplification of thinker Colin Howson’s thought on the N.M.A ; following Howson I propose, or put forward a position that expresses a simple model acceptance of miracles in science. In other words I think science does contain miracles suggesting that miracles can also be scientific. From this an argument against a realist use of N.M.A can be made: when realists reject miracles they also reject possibility and plurality in favour of necessity and singularity. I will now offer examples or contexts where evidence for this argument and conclusion can be observed.

Starting with the philosopher Colin Howson’s work on David Hume (Howson, 2015) we see how, ‘Hume inferred an extreme smallness of P(m) , from the definition of a miracle: as an event which violates the laws of nature.’(interesting “violates” the laws of nature)… It is possible to see Hume’s thought clearly: you don’t see a miracle everyday. But, this just remains trapped in observability which is too simple. Howson begins by showing that the N.M.A commits a ‘base rate’ fallacy, a fallacy that ignores or privileges one kind of information over another. He shows how the argument that supports N.M.A to be false it does not say anything about base rates or likelihood.

  1.  P(S/T) is quite large
  2.  P(S/¬T) is extremely small

  • Therefore, prob. (T/S) is large.

Where (t) is ‘substantially true’, and (s) is predictive success. This argument ignores the dependency of the posterior probability on the prior. That can be observed as necessary including likelihood (λ). Observing odds can be seen in ‘Bayes Theorem: odds (T/S)  = λ odds (t). Where odds are related to probabilities in the usual way, and (λ) is the likelihood ratio, so P(S/T)/P(S/¬T) , this then only shows Bayes factor in favour of P(t), and that likelihood is large; nothing about the or its odds. Thus being fallacious because as Howson points out P(t) does not have to be very large to generate a high probability value.

II.

In contrast to this a separate thinker named Psillos who attempted to reformulate the N.M.A so that it would acknowledge or consider evidence (Psillos 2009).

  1. f =1
  2. f =< 1
  • f =0
  1. f is close to 0
  2. S is the case     /  Therefore, impact of S on P (T/S) > P ( ¬T/S)

I agree with Howson’s rejection of Psillos attempt to support and re-articulate the N.M.A. In short by referencing the fact that probability coherence needs consistency. Instead of being able to choose or hand pick agreement between (t) and a given observation Psillos shows that success tells more in favour of truth than falsity because what tells in favour of truth depends on the prior.

In response to these two related examples I would argue that the N.M.A can not be seen to refute Anti-realism: that is,

(rejecting miracles simultaneously rejects possibility and plurality in favour of necessity and singularity: ( ¬  ◊ (p) → □ (s)).)

 

Phlogiston Theory is simply false, because phlogiston does not exist, and has been entirely superseded by the theory of oxygen.

Let us question this statement and see what it can communicate. First, in this statement we see a negation the claim is that Phlogiston theory is “simply false”, and then two explanations: 1) it does not exist, and 2) it has been surpassed by the theory of oxygen. So, our question may initially be twofold does either the discovery and theorisation of oxygen by French scientist Lavoisier make Phlogiston theory false and does the fact that phlogiston does not exist today make the theory worthy of simple falsity? In our discussion it will be greatly beneficial if these questions could be asked in a way that clarifies both the truth and meaning of the above statement, its position, and relevancy to the wider practice of the philosophy of science.

We could begin by suggesting or adopting the most popular definition of Truth still used by science today. That Truth is one, and a continuation of this one (it holds true and remains true over a period of time: 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 …). Is it acceptable to suggest that the success of a theory is completely dependent on its truth preserving abilities? Here it would appear that if we take a science as a whole we see the legacy of the ancient Greeks Parmenides and Aristotle. The ‘Principle of Non-Contradiction’ in Aristotle is so influential it states that it is impossible for one thing to be true and false in the same way and at the same time. This could be easily taken as sufficient to affirm that indeed Phlogiston theory is simply false because oxygen clearly serves as a better explanation for a substance that when released enables bodies to burn.

But, let us look at this in an argument form:

  1. Phlogiston does not exist
  2. Phlogiston theory has been superseded by oxygen

  • Phlogiston theory is simply false

I see two discrepancies with the initial premises they do not appear to directly lead to a simple falsity. In that the first premise claims phlogiston as a material thing does not exist. The second premise says phlogiston as a theory has been transcended and replaced by oxygen. The problem here is somewhat obvious: 1) to what extent does a theory hold true to a reality subject to change? Or, do phlogiston and oxygen refer to the same object? Then, if we look at the conclusion we have assess the falsity of the phlogiston theory. If we were being very critical we could also add that the use of an adverb to describe falsity invites in an auxiliary line of questioning. However, let us keep “simply false” as meaning the simple definition that it is not true.

To conclude:Today, I will fall In line with Thomas Kuhn’s thought in that the discovery of oxygen represents a separate paradigm and therefore the frame of reference (the capacity for technical terms within a theory to correspond) is also cut. So, they are two separate objects (almost as if they exist in different worlds or universes of discourse). This though is not sufficient to say it is “simply false” rather a better conclusion would state it is necessarily false in this world and at this moment. Thus, expressing a complexity of negation essential to understanding the truth value or true value of oxygen.

 

 

Make Light Work

 

 light

̸

 

The proverb, ‘Many hands make light work’ happens to also be a truism. Work, laborious, tedious, unrewarding work can be made lighter if shared by more people. Today, the ticking of a technological Einsteinian clock made entirely from photonic components is forming a new dawn. Rising from the automated robotic horizon which seeks to revolutionise our working environments. Pushing so many of us into initially uncertain futures – can we retrain, regain new employment? What exactly am I going to do when the school, supermarket, and factory no longer needs me? Einstein himself needed unrewarding monotonous work. Working in a patent office enabled this scientist to unlock light’s materiality. The discovery of relativity is a good example of how the human always assumes their work to be theirs and theirs only. Which is greedy, selfish, and depressively untrue. This darkness, the darkness that extinguishes the flame of that which should be familiar. Einstein is a good example of the need to make light work. Remember, that the word genius which Albert symbolises; does not always have to be so individualistic, it can refer to a spirit or character. So, when we look at Einstein’s story, of course his own abilities shine bright, yet there was another spectrum of light at work in this physicist’s successful voyage into understanding.

He worked in a patent office dealing with many technical problems related to electrical-mechanical synchronisation. These requests for intellectual property, that were submitted by other people helped Einstein. The stream of documents fed into his thought experiments. Yes, he was the one that wrote the papers, that created the equations, but in tandem to this one should acknowledge the effect of the behaviour of others on the usually solitary system of work.  Therefore, the discovery of the physicality of light led to the harnessing of the secrets of energy. The aim of this writing is then to see the aforementioned discovery as being a metaphor. Thus transforming and transferring the common alienation one experiences at work into a deeply embedded potential for work to radiate with a  light of social solidarity. How is it even possible, that their exist people that steadfastly refuse to see work in this light? Why should an individual’s struggles: the struggles to pay rent, feed your children, garner recognition, and achieve happiness not be viewed as belonging to you, me, and Einstein? Let us then see this social sun’s rays burning brightly in some examples. Both, in real life circumstances and fictional formulations one will describe how work can always be  brighter. Let us return to Einstein’s achievements.

One of the facts about him that is hardly touched on is his socialism, his is one of the most eloquent ways of asking why socialism? Explaining the process of capital domination as a predatory phrase in human development, science’s inability to produce ends only the means, and the prolonged existential crisis humanity has been facing. (1) This is somewhat of a repentance for Einstein because he was one of the signatory of a letter to President Roosevelt persuading him of the dangers of allowing the Germans to accumulate an atomic bomb. Resulting in the creation of the Manhattan Project in the 1940’s, and the subsequent crippling of WW2 Japan. Einstein’s support of Socialism is not just a personal confession of his own part in capital reality, but it reminds everyone today how little we have progressed from Thorstein Veblen’s ‘predatory phase’ of human development. Therefore, against the huge contemporary tsunami of monetary evils one sides with Einstein’s optimism, ‘human beings are not condemned, because of their biological constitution, to annihilate each other or to be at the mercy of a cruel, self-inflicted fate.’(2) Einstein’s socialism would then be one with a deep understanding that humanity constitutes a society at once produced and consumed by the individual. Yet, here resides what is at stake: in the right talons stands Capitalism with its constant internal abuse of workers with a dead weight of devalued labour, and on the left paw rests Socialism in which workers have rights to share, access, and distribute the value of work.

 

‘This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.’ (3)

 

This lightness of work is only possible if today the living population rejects the crude oily market education of Neo-Liberalism, favouring the Renaissance ideal of Umanitas, and finding it in the contemporary German notion of Menschenkenntnis. This intuitive grasp of humankind is not some make believe leftist fantasy. No! Socialism is simply the system which fully supports the fact that you and I are animals living with the name ‘human’, and that now is a period in time simultaneously translated and shared with many millions of others.

The time we call now is like no other time before it. Right now as you the reader read this our species consistent techno-scientific advancement is on the verge of a real paradigm shift. In 1962 when Thomas Samuel Kuhn was articulating just how revolutionary science is, it is likely that he would see today as the epitome of what a shift in the paradigm looks like. (4) The birth of advanced robotic and mechanics shows this to be true. But, as Einstein shows individual brilliance often comes from a brilliant individual, yet this brilliance of the individual is as Marx and Engels understood most clearly either common or social. Since science is social, the community finds itself always in new laboratories.  What remains is that these current scientists, mathematicians, and any worker for that matter makes improvements in human understanding through surpassing what came before. This is done by intuition, collaboration, and sharing what one has been lucky to experience or observe in the work of others. There exist many examples that support the sharing of work, and a subsequent liquidisation of labour value. Firstly, let us look at one which is connected to our initial subject of the science of physics, a source of marvel, and wonder.

Today, this year the international community of researchers are bringing the sun’s internal workings down to earth. They have succeeded in mastering Nuclear Fusion, and this promises clean energy. Fusing atoms together will light up our future cities with much less danger involved. However, in light of these achievements it’s very important to discuss the shadow in which this new technology has had to pass through. In 2011, Japan faced another nuclear disaster. The Fukishima Daiichi nuclear disaster showcased how nuclear decay and harnessing destruction as a form of energy production was never going to be a good idea. However, it should be said that it was a step away from the pollution of coal powered energy and a leap towards clean energy. Those that say human progress is not possible should focus deeply on this progression from skies so black the workers merely glimpsed a blue dimmed daylight to a radical potential to forever power our mass communicating societies. Nuclear history, Japan as an example of what self sacrifice means and the power of nature… society is the only thing that has allowed humans to continue growing when faced with the realities of  our darkest ideology, Capitalism – a system of inauthentic existence.

The pursuit of understanding in physics needs sharing within the wider community.  As we await the completion of the standard model of particle physics one demands that we take this time to dwell and ponder the uniqueness of the light we are about to generate. Some individuals lament the fact that the lights of the urban masses of humanity are polluting the natural beauty of the night sky. This is sadly true, but the engine which powers the fictional spaceship Voyager is one powered by fusion so within one hundred years humans will be star trekking, and the stars we used to see every night will be accessible once more. To reach this point and not have social coherency, not have togetherness, even after our greatest act of creation would be a travesty of such incomprehensibility it is hard to type. In the same way when one hears an esteemed scientist claim that Philosophy is dead and useless, it becomes necessary to stress that this is not helpful if ‘making light work’ is indeed our aim, our desire, our target. Philosophy in all its formulations and mutations has in its calling the subversive necessity to challenge jaded beliefs of its time, and there exists nothing more exhausted then the mantra that progress is only seen in science and technology.

Progression is not a prized possession of the latter it is instead inevitably social. Its this way this brief expression of light and labour can end by asserting, ‘though there is darkness it can not stop the rays of light emitted from the sum of social reality.’ Perfectly understood by the ancient Italian Parmenides.

 

‘Fr. 14 … Shining by night with alien borrowed light [darkly bright], wandering around the earth.’(5)            

 

 

(1) Albert Einstein, Why Socialism? Monthly Review, Volume 9 Issue 01 (May 2009).

(2) ibid.

(3) ibid.

(4) Thomas Kuhn, Structure of Scientific Revolutions, International Encyclopaedia of Unified  Science, University of  Chicago, (1962, 1970)     

(5) A.H. Coxon, The Fragments of Parmenides. A Critical Text with Introduction, Translation, the Ancient “Testimonia” and  a Commentary (Assen – Maastricht, Van Gorcum, 1986), pp. 44 – 92.