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    Dear members of the complex processes research group, The next meeting of the complex processes on the theme of history will feature: SPEAKER: Dr Michael Dix TITLE: Fake history of philosophy: a case study TIME: 12.30pm, Wednesday, 19th September VENUE: ATC205 Abstract: The ontology of Heraclitus, the first western philosopher of process, has been much misinterpreted for two and a half millennia. A consideration of how such misunderstanding arose and persisted reveals a tradition of “Whiggish” history in philosophy—a history biased toward the worldview and culture of “the winners” as if assuming this to be history’s “goal”—in this case, a history that systematically obscures and misunderstands the philosophical tradition of process philosophy, dialectical metaphysics and dialectical reason. The case-study of my title is John Burnet’s Early Greek Philosophy (1930) in which Burnet’s commitment to an analytical substance-and-property ontology aligned with modern scientific materialism impairs his understanding of contrary traditions and blinds him even to the contrary evidence of Heraclitus’ own words. A corollary of the fake history of process philosophy is systemic failure to understand Heraclitean and later process-philosophy postulation of a dialectical metaphysics of emergence. By bringing these systemic misunderstandings to light, this case-study reveals the difficulties involved in communicating an emergentist philosophy of process to a culture based in fundamentally different metaphysical assumptions—whether they be those of Athenian Hellenism, Enlightenment humanism, or today’s scientific materialism.
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  10. Gord Barentsen

    Parkdale

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    Cranbourne
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  15. Gord Barentsen

    Berwick

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  16. @chacheng OK but if we're part of Nature than maybe we can change this? steer Nature in other directions?
  17. That's really cool. i remember you telling me about the Aeolian (?) Harp that the Romantics talked about. This looks like some weird version of that!
  18. He's thinking "that cat's not there...i can't smell it...but its there" 😄 how uncanny!
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  22. That clarifies things for me - thanks Matt. And for me it does speak to the idea that explaining things as "pure chance" is as religious[1] a thought as explaining it in terms of a divine intelligence or otherwise purposive power. Which isn't to say it's wrong, but just equally indeterminate. Others (I have Schelling in mind here) would say that we need to depart from the domain of science altogether in order to explain the "how," which is the tenor of even his earlier "idealist" philosophy and certainly the explicit theme of his thinking from 1809 onward, where art/the aesthetic takes the place of science in terms of "explaining" how things come into being naturally. The new place given to intuition as a pathway to absolute knowledge gives the experiencing consciousness an important role to play here - I'm not sure if this is getting too far off topic though, since it leads us into the ways in which psychology "infiltrates" theoretical observation. Footnotes ^ By "religious" I don't mean anything like denominational religious paradigms, but rather any idea or belief which is projected on to an indeterminate Being in an attempt to explain that Being, but which will always remain undecided.
  23. The most thoughtful comparative essays account for both similarities and differences. A comparative essay is an assignment which asks you to compare two (or more) texts in terms of their similarities and/or differences. Comparative essays are often more complicated than traditional essays, which ask you to answer a question or explore an issue by analysing one text or film By contrast, a comparative essay will often require you to answer one or more questions by exploring two different texts. If you're writing a multimodal comparative analysis you'll be exploring these questions across different media (e.g., books, films, plays), which means you'll have to take the unique qualities of each work into consideration (i.e., use film metalanguage when analysing a film and literary metalanguage when analysing a written text, keeping in mind that literary terms such as metaphor, allegory, etc. can also apply to film!). A comparative essay may ask you to assess a variety of different things: historical events (e.g., the Depression and the financial crisis of 2008, or the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the American invasion of Iraq) texts (e.g., Shakespeare's Hamlet and the Oedipus tragedies) theories (e.g., Communism vs. Socialism) positions on an issue (e.g., gun control in the USA vs. gun control in Canada) depictions of an event or character in different versions of the same story (e.g., a character as originally written in a book vs. the charater's representation in the film remake) different depictions of a character "type" across different cultures (e.g., Gandalf from Tolkein's The Hobbit series versus a wizard in folklore or folk tales) The most thoughtful and sophisticated comparison essays will take account of both similarities and differences between the texts in question. There are two basic approaches to writing a comparative essay: the alternating approach (sometimes called the integrated approach), and the block approach (sometimes called the subject-by-subject or side-by-side approach). THE ALTERNATING APPROACH The alternating approach works best if you have specific points of comparison for your two issues or texts. For example, a comparative essay on gun control in the US and Canada might focus on the history of gun ownership, existing laws on gun control, and current statistics on gun-related violence in each county. So: body para. 1 the history of gun ownership in the US body para. 2 the history of gun ownership in Canada body para. 3 existing gun control laws in the US body para. 4 existing gun control laws in Canada body para. 5 current gun violence statistics in the US body para. 6 current gun violence statistics in Canada The alternating approach is typically used for longer, more analytically-focused papers because each paragraph allows for a detailed exploration of a specific topic in a specific text or side. THE BLOCK APPROACH The block approach is usually used for shorter essays, when you do not have closely-related points regarding both sides or texts, or when you are comparing more than three texts or sides of an argument. In your first paragraph you discuss everything regarding your first text or side of your comparison, and in the second paragraph you describe the second (and so on). So you have two (or more) "blocks": body pars. 1-3 the history of gun ownership, existing gun control laws, and current gun violence statistics in the US body pars. 4-6 the history of gun ownership, existing gun control laws, and current gun violence statistics in Canada The essence of your comparison in the block approach is not simply attaching different discussions to each other. In the above example, your discussions of subsequent issues, sides, or texts will have to relate back to the first topic. In other words, once you write about A, your discussion of B will have to relate back to A ("unlike A, we see in B that...") repeatedly so as to maintain your comparative focus. You will also have to do this for subsequent sides or texts you introduce so as to create an informative and balanced comparison.
  24. Thanks Gord, In relation to probability, lets consider the vase scenario - let us say that there is a small probability that a vase might occur naturally. Then let us consider that we actually find one- ok, so maybe it happened naturally, and perhaps it was bound to happen - so can we explain how it happened? We should be able to. Otherwise there may be other explanations (eg. it came on meteor or was send by a previous rocket (i.e maybe it wasn't a natural accident). The trouble with our knowledge of the theory of life is that we can say it might happen naturally with a small probability, we then say it did happen, as we have life, but we still cannot explain HOW it happened, thus we are missing an essential part of the picture. Which means we don't really know how it happened (thus even the probability that it could remains an assumption). But current theory seems content to accept just two elements of this: there was a probability it might happen naturally, it is there, so it did happen naturally (but we cannot explain how). The theory rests on the hope that science will find an explanation. I say that until it does, there is a question about whether science ever can explain this as a pure chance event. Does that help?
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