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How to Play 3d Chess with a Checkers Education

  1. Aug 21, 2008 #1
    How to Play 3d Chess with a Checkers Education

    Descartes’ legacy to all of us via philosophy can be labeled, I think, as rationalism (discovery of truth through pure reason), dichotomy (mind/body split), and certainty. Even though very few of us know anything about philosophy, almost everything we think results from the philosophy we inherit through social osmosis (unconscious assimilation). Philosophy theory permeates almost all of our mental gymnastics without our conscious recognition.

    It appears to me that psychology would say that we are essentially creatures of desire rather than creatures of contemplation. A modern day Descartes, who was tuned into Freudian psychology, might very well conclude that “I desire, therefore, I am”.

    If we want to understand our self and our world we will necessarily have to learn some bit of philosophy and psychology. We become interested in philosophy when we begin to ask questions that go to the ‘root’ of all matters and we turn to psychology if we want to comprehend why humans do the things we do.

    Someone said that only one person in a hundred ever “strikes at the root”. I do not think a liberal democracy in a hi-tech world can survive if such remains to be true. Hi-tech gives us the ability to easily destroy our self and our world; liberal democracy makes all citizens to be sovereign and thus responsible in some small way for the integrity of our existence.

    We are all in the same boat and if only one person in a hundred accepts the responsibility of democracy I think our species may have a very limited engagement on this planet. I think that we must become much more intellectually sophisticated than we are now and I do not expect that our educational systems can help us much in that effort. We must become independent learners.

    Our educational system has not prepared us for controlling the great power inherent in this high tech world that we have created. Our schools and colleges have prepared us for checkers when our world has become a 3d chess game.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2008 #2
    If that were true we wouldn't be aware that it was true.

    If that were the issue, all we would need to do is ditch the philosophy and psychology courses and have everyone major in computer science :smile:

    I don't think the issue with liberal democracy has much to do with the evil computer, but rather the lack of ethics being taught to people in school (philosophy more so than psychology does indeed have a role to play in this). The idea of "doing something that is right" has been replaced by "get what you want by any means necessary." As Einstein said, the most important people in a society are "nice people." The world needs a lot more of those, not more intellectually sophisticated jerks (not to imply that all intellectually sophisticated people are jerks...just that intellectual sophistication doesn't necessarily determine the value of a person to a society).
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