Worst Famous Philosopher in History

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  • #1
Entropia
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So... who do you think?

And why?
 

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  • #2
Descartes, because you were utterly wrong about dualism.
 
  • #3
Mentat
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Originally posted by N_Quire
Descartes, because you were utterly wrong about dualism.

But perfectly right about existence :wink:.
 
  • #4
Mentat
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As far as the topic of the thread goes...

I really don't know, as my knowledge of Philosophy is extremely limited. But I never much cared for Socrates (he is the one that popularized the immorality of the soul, right?).
 
  • #5
selfAdjoint
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Heidegger because not only did he consort with the Nazis, he claimed his philosophy supported them. And he never recanted or apologised.
 
  • #6
Like Mentat, my knowledge of philosophy is limited. So, after reading
self-adjoint's post, I'll say Heidgger would be the "worst" philosopher. But, personally, I strongly believe no one is the "worst", but instead some didn't have as much influence as others did.
 
  • #7
Mr. Robin Parsons
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The Confused Philosopher on CBC's "Royal Canadian Air Farce", he'd be perfect for the Ask a stupid question forum.

I would wonder the question, as 'Philos' and 'Sophos' are love and wisdom, kinda difficult to be 'worst' at, loving wisdom. IMHO
 
  • #8
zimbo
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Philosophers like Descartes and Socrates may have been wrong about lots of things, but it's their attitudes that make them good philosophers.

Descartes believed in finding rational proofs for religious beliefs (no doubt an influence from his scientific background) - something many religious people today don't do (they just say: 'you shouldn't try to find proofs for religion because it's about faith blah blah blah. . .')

Socrates said that the only authority we should listen to is the authority of reason - so just because our leaders say something doesn't automatically mean that what they say is right. This leads to the emphasis in thinking for oneself - the whole point of philosophy.

A bad philosopher is someone who would never reconsider his/her own position even against conflicting evidence. Bertrand Russell is an excellent philosopher in the way he constantly revised his own thoughts. Someone who never looks at opposing views fairly and just assumes that other people are wrong if they disagree with him/herself should never be a philosopher in the first place. I am sure few of the famous philosophers are actually like that.
 
  • #9
i reckon sartre is a pretty terrible philosopher, even if he's a great writer, he is just far too arogant, his ideas are immature and never fully developped or argued and his only good ideas were stolen from simone de beauvoir anyway.

i think 'huis clos' is an amazing book, how uselful is the quote 'hell is other people' in everyday conversation! but apart from that phrase can anyone honestly remember what he stood for philosophically? at least with philosophers like descartes or socrates you knew what you were dealing with (and we don't even have any written evidence of socrates' ideas!), but beneath the mountain of prestige and acclamations where is the philosophy?
 
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  • #10
Ayn Rand... That is if one even considers her a philosopher... "Peddler of hegemony" would be a much better term.
 
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  • #11
Originally posted by zimbo
Philosophers like Descartes and Socrates may have been wrong about lots of things, but it's their attitudes that make them good philosophers.


i agree on Descartes; however, i don't see how you can say that a man who claimed he knew nothing was wrong.


oh, and i probably will get some complaints on this; but in my opinion Nitche was rather loopy as well.
 
  • #12
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Originally posted by RageSk8
Ayn Rand... That is if one even considers her a philosopher... "Peddler of hegemony" would be a much better term.
LOL, that is ammusing simply because a good friend of mine just recently left her Ayn Rand book with me telling me that I have to read it, its great. The book is Atlas Shrugged, and I am interested in it, but we'll see how it goes.

Obviously I can't evaluate it until I've read it.

And as for Sartre...eeewww... I had to read some of his stuff a couple of years ago...Perhaps it was my own stupidity at the time which stopped me from comprehending it, but let's just say I wasn't left with a good impression of the bloke.

He probably sits in my least liked philosopher position, but in line with Zimbo's thinking, simply due to the nature of being a philosopher, I can't think of an bad philosophers. If you are a bad philosopher, then you aren't really a philosopher. (The amount of wrong conclusions you reached aren't a real measure of how good you are at it...)
 
  • #13
Laser Eyes
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Originally posted by Mentat
I really don't know, as my knowledge of Philosophy is extremely limited. But I never much cared for Socrates (he is the one that popularized the immorality of the soul, right?).

Amazing what a difference one letter can make!:wink:
 
  • #14
wuliheron
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Ayn Rand... That is if one even considers her a philosopher... "Peddler of hegemony" would be a much better term.

I always wondered why she was considered the least bit of a philosopher.
 
  • #15
I don't consider Ayn Rand a philosopher. She was a writer with some extreme ideas on individualism. Outside of America she barely has a reputation at all and the rest of philosophy barely footnotes her.
 
  • #16
teddy
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I would say John Searle.
His take on AI in 'minds,brains and programs' is not convincing in the least bit.
Its easy to learn chinese than getting convinced by his logic :wink:.
 
  • #17
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Sartre...mindless drivel.
 
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  • #18
Whether their ideas supported Nazism or not, I don't think you can consider Heidegger and Nietzsche to be worst philosophers. These two are major philosophers who have had an impact way beyond the foolishness of their political ideas. Even such liberals/social democrats/radicals as Rorty and Derrida owe a huge intellectual debt to Heidegger and Nietzsche.
 
  • #19
i never have read any Heidegger, but i found most of Nietzsche's stuff to be totally absurd; regardless of his affiliation. i just found much of it very biased and argumentative, not philosophy in my book.
 
  • #20
Andre
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  • #21
Kyleb, I would guess that you would dislike Nietzsche. I suppose somone who writes a book called "The Antichrist" is not going to be one of your favorites. I don't defend the political uses of his work by extremists but I do admire his philosophy and critique of christianity.
 
  • #22
Les Sleeth
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Originally posted by Andre
In terms of how many people had to die, due to a mere philosophy, I think we have the winner http://radicalacademy.com/philmarx.htm.

Well, you beat me to the punch Andre. I couldn't decide between Hegel for being so incredibly complicated it gives me a headache everytime I read him, or the gross materialism of Marx. However, I don't think Marx intended for people to die -- I am certain he thought he was right in his beliefs. Still, his is awful philosophy because applying it requires acting so completely contrary to human nature.
 
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  • #23
LW Sleeth wrote: "Still, his [Marx] is awful philosophy because applying it requires acting so completely contrary to human nature.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

It could be argued then whether it was human nature or the philosophy which did the killing. I don't think there is much correspondence between the ideas of Marx and the version of them seen in China, the former Soviet bloc, Cuba, North Korea, Albania, etc. To argue that direct correspondence is like blaming Jesus for all of the killing done in the name of christianity.
 
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  • #24
wuliheron
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"By who you hate, by this are you truly known."

Frank Herbert
 
  • #25
Les Sleeth
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Originally posted by N_Quire
LW Sleeth wrote: "Still, his [Marx] is awful philosophy because applying it requires acting so completely contrary to human nature.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

It could be argued then whether it was human nature or the philosophy which did the killing. I don't think there is much correspondence between the ideas of Marx and the version of them seen in China, the former Soviet bloc, Cuba, North Korea, Albania, etc. To argue that direct correspondence is like blaming Jesus for all of the killing done in the name of christianity.

I wasn't referring to how Marx's ideas have been applied, and I agree he is not responsible for any killing done in his name. In support of your point I might say that I've always found it ironic that Marx believed capitalist society alienated its members by forcing them to be mechanisms of capitalist production; yet how Russia did and China still does make use of workers seem far more dehumanizing than one sees in most capitalistic settings.

Anyway, what I said was that to apply Marx's philosophy means to go against human nature (at least, as we understand it now). I don't know if you've read his Capital or his Critique of Political Economy , but in them his conclusions about what would create human fulfullment and freedom was linked to material acquisition and distribution, and he spoke of humans primarily in terms of their membership in society.

What he failed to do, in my opinion, was to correctly understand all the needs of the individual. I realize he spoke to individuality through his concepts of self determination and self expression, but if you study his practical solutions, he seems to think the individual will be fulfilled by materialistic progress and must be subordinate to the needs of the society.

One of the most significant and overlooked (by the average person) developments in the category of production has been the understandings that have taken place in some capitalistic cultures (the US and Japan particularly) about the importance of meeting certain inner human needs in the work place.

An entire field has come about because of this insight called organizational development. One of its early principles was that people cannot be motivated long-term by the needs of the organization alone; humans need personal rewards beyond fair pay which include recognition, respect, participation in decision making, the ability to creatively contribute, etc. This has resulted in the most progressive organizations designing themselves around human needs, rather than like Henry Ford's assembly line concepts of trying to force humans to adapt to inhuman conditions. And that in turn, when applied properly, has resulted in much higher rates of production, fewer mistakes, less sick days taken, more creativity, less employee turnover, and so on.

But in Marx's vision of society the individual seems to all but disappear. It seems he believed that if you get the social/economic mechanisms right, then that will result in fulfilled individuals. Beyond the fact that his idea of fulfillment seemed utterly materialistic is that human nature is not suited to be primarily a society part (except, of course, when the survival of society is at risk); study after study has shown that first we need our individual needs met, and they are far more than one finds on the materialistic list.
 
  • #26
Mentat
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Originally posted by kyleb
i agree on Descartes; however, i don't see how you can say that a man who claimed he knew nothing was wrong.


oh, and i probably will get some complaints on this; but in my opinion Nitche was rather loopy as well.

Well, a person who claims that he knows nothing is, without a doubt, wrong. It is not possible to claim anything, without first knowing how to claim.
 
  • #27
Anyway, what I said was that to apply Marx's philosophy means to go against human nature (at least, as we understand it now).

Except not... Take the !Kung of Africa (or, rather, take the !Kung 50 years ago) - total redistribuation of wealth, no definite hierrarchy (except that edlers were respected), and NO PRESTIGE. In other words, when a !Kung would bring back a big kill, he would get no recognization for his work, no extra food, no benefit beyond what everyone else in the tribe got. Helps to know anthropology... Not that I am a Marxist... Dialectical history is BS.
 
  • #28
Les Sleeth
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Originally posted by RageSk8
Except not... Take the !Kung of Africa (or, rather, take the !Kung 50 years ago) - total redistribuation of wealth, no definite hierrarchy (except that edlers were respected), and NO PRESTIGE. In other words, when a !Kung would bring back a big kill, he would get no recognization for his work, no extra food, no benefit beyond what everyone else in the tribe got. Helps to know anthropology... Not that I am a Marxist... Dialectical history is BS.

I know it's dated, but I think Maslow's hierarchy of needs still has relevance to discussions like this. Applying it to the !Kung . . .

In a tribal setting survival is often a pretty all-consuming job so, putting it in terms of Maslow's hierarchy, when it is difficult to get past that bottom level of survival, issues like self actualization take a back seat.

Yet there can be great personal rewards in a tribal setting because of the intimacy of it. Lots of friends, membership in the group, the sense of power one gets when part of that group (similar to what attracts some people to gangs) . . . all are personally rewarding. Compare that to how one can be an invisible nothing in modern societies (or a business).
 
  • #29
wuliheron
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Marx was no more or less a man of his time than any of us. He lived in a time when knowledge about production was very limited and the dominant view of the paradox of existence was extremely mechanistic. He did what came naturally, he extrapolated a mechanistic view of the world and the future of politics. That is what mechanistic views do, they make predictions. His just happened to have serious political implications.

You could say the same thing about Augustine and any number of rational western philosophers. It seems comical to me that what people are describing here as the best and worst philosophers overwhelmingly fall into two catagories:

1) Destructive

2) Counterproductive

Augustine, Marx, and others may have caused as much damage to society as anyone, but they also arguably advanced society. From my own point of view, stirring the pot is how you often make advancements. Nothing comes cheap or free except self-delusion.
 
  • #30
Originally posted by LW Sleeth
I know it's dated, but I think Maslow's hierarchy of needs still has relevance to discussions like this. Applying it to the !Kung . . .

In a tribal setting survival is often a pretty all-consuming job so, putting it in terms of Maslow's hierarchy, when it is difficult to get past that bottom level of survival, issues like self actualization take a back seat.

Yet there can be great personal rewards in a tribal setting because of the intimacy of it. Lots of friends, membership in the group, the sense of power one gets when part of that group (similar to what attracts some people to gangs) . . . all are personally rewarding. Compare that to how one can be an invisible nothing in modern societies (or a business).

How I hate "all consuming" definitions. Philosophically, now that mysticism has been swept aside by naturalistic metaphors, the whole notion of "a human nature" is utterly useless. All theories attempt to give meaning to the impossible - the whole, the absolute.

To barrow an argument from Wittgenstein, it does not make sense to talk about the world, it only makes sense to talk about entities or relations in the world. Donald Davidson says much the same but with the metaphor of organizing a closet. The meta-picture can only be defined by its micro-elements. Because of this, "human nature" must simply, and broadly, be defined as any set of behaviors humans have, will, and do exhibit.

This "selfish gene" slant of yours can not escape the constraints of describing content. Your "selfish gene", just like Nietzsche’s "will to power", Rousseau's "noble savage", Hobbes' "corrupted spirit", Foucault's "power-knowledge relation", and, of course, Marx's "material dialect of classes", is of no use outside of demonstrating a basic concept or pattern.

You have to shape, construe any behavior seemingly aberrant to your predetermined epistemology, limiting truth and loosing any pragmatic force. It is not that hard to give content a redescription - the question is whether that redescription is of any use. Clearly your circumscription of the !Kung into sociobiological terms is about as enlightening – to barrow an analogy from Wittgenstein – as checking what is said in a newspaper with a copy of the same paper.
 
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  • #31
Mentat
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Originally posted by RageSk8
How I hate "all consuming" definitions. Philosophically, now that mysticism has been swept aside by naturalistic metaphors, the whole notion of "a human nature" is utterly useless. All theories attempt to give meaning to the impossible - the whole, the absolute.

To barrow an argument from Wittgenstein, it does not make sense to talk about the world, it only makes sense to talk about entities or relations in the world. Donald Davidson says much the same but with the metaphor of organizing a closet. the meta-picture can only be defined by its micro-elements. Because of this, "human nature" must simply, and broadly, be defined as any set of behaviors humans have, will, and do exhibit.

This "selfish gene" slant of yours can not escape the constraints of describing content. The "selfish gene", just like Nietzsche’s "will to power", Rousseau's "noble savage", Hobbes' "corrupted spirit", Foucault's "power-knowledge relation", and, of course, Marx's "material dialect of classes", is of no use outside of demonstrating a basic concept or pattern.

You have to shape, construe any behavior seemingly aberrant to your predetermined epistemology, limiting truth and loosing any pragmatic use. It is not that hard to content a redescription - the question is if it is of any use. Clearly your circumscription of the !Kung into sociobiological terms is about as enlightening – to barrow an analogy from Wittgenstein – as checking what is said in a newspaper with a copy of the same paper.

Very interesting.
 
  • #32
Originally posted by N_Quire
Kyleb, I would guess that you would dislike Nietzsche. I suppose somone who writes a book called "The Antichrist" is not going to be one of your favorites. I don't defend the political uses of his work by extremists but I do admire his philosophy and critique of christianity.

i don't think you realize this so i will make it clear; i am not a christian.


Originally posted by Mentat
Well, a person who claims that he knows nothing is, without a doubt, wrong. It is not possible to claim anything, without first knowing how to claim.

i always took it to mean that while he had opinion and ideas, he did not claim to be ceartin of anything. i find that far from wrong.
 
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  • #33
Les Sleeth
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Originally posted by RageSk8
How I hate "all consuming" definitions. Philosophically, now that mysticism has been swept aside by naturalistic metaphors, the whole notion of "a human nature" is utterly useless. All theories attempt to give meaning to the impossible - the whole, the absolute.

First of all, you shouldn’t hate. Second, you need to talk to me, instead of your own mind. I say that because you seem outraged, and I can’t figure out why. I don’t think I insulted you by anything I said. It doesn’t seem to me that you responded to a single thing I said (e.g. exactly what all-consuming definition did I cite?). Still, now that you’ve thrown down the gauntlet, let’s get it on.

So, you are joining the ranks of those who “sweep aside” that which they neither are knowledgeable about nor understand? When someone dismisses something they don’t understand, it is usually because it interferes with their objectives of proving they are right. If you can unceremoniously discredit something, then you don’t have to make your case by evidence. Philosophers dismiss mysticism, mystics dismiss philosophers . . . what is the difference? In either case it is a dubious debating tactic and not worthy of anyone genuinely in search of truth.

Why don’t we just stick to science to decide this question of whether or not humans have a “nature”?

Have we evolved? Have we evolved adapting to conditions? Have not those conditions shaped the way we evolved? Are we subject to our physiology? Do you think you can just take a human being and get him/her to adjust to any conditions and still maintain health? If you think that, then start listing evidence please. And not from philosophers either . . . let’s have some science.

Originally posted by RageSk8
To barrow an argument from Wittgenstein, it does not make sense to talk about the world, it only makes sense to talk about entities or relations in the world. Donald Davidson says much the same but with the metaphor of organizing a closet. The meta-picture can only be defined by its micro-elements. Because of this, "human nature" must simply, and broadly, be defined as any set of behaviors humans have, will, and do exhibit.

If you quoted the Bible I would be equally unimpressed. Because someone is published doesn’t mean they are right; likewise, because someone has a following doesn’t make them right. What do YOU see when you observe reality, what have YOU concluded from your personal life experiences. That interests me, not guys who can’t explain themselves now.

Originally posted by RageSk8
This "selfish gene" slant of yours can not escape the constraints of describing content. Your "selfish gene", just like Nietzsche’s "will to power", Rousseau's "noble savage", Hobbes' "corrupted spirit", Foucault's "power-knowledge relation", and, of course, Marx's "material dialect of classes", is of no use outside of demonstrating a basic concept or pattern.

What selfish gene are you suggesting I have talked about? I have neither said nor implied anything “selfish.” By nature I am talking evolution and any other influences that have shaped us. We are not able to be just any old way we decide to be without consequences. Some conditions help humans thrive, other conditions damage us. If we have not a nature, then how can that be?

But if you want to insist we don’t have needs, give me total control of your life for a few weeks, and I will show you just how needy you are.

Originally posted by RageSk8
You have to shape, construe any behavior seemingly aberrant to your predetermined epistemology, limiting truth and loosing any pragmatic force. It is not that hard to give content a redescription - the question is whether that redescription is of any use. Clearly your circumscription of the !Kung into sociobiological terms is about as enlightening – to barrow an analogy from Wittgenstein – as checking what is said in a newspaper with a copy of the same paper.

I would love to hear you explain this: “Clearly your circumscription of the !Kung into sociobiological terms is about as enlightening . . . as checking what is said in a newspaper with a copy of the same paper.” Have you studied tribal anthropology versus the values that develop in non-tribal, modern, technologically-driven societies? Demonstrate in one single way (evidence please) that I have misconstrued facts to support some epistemology you’ve imagined I embrace. I will tell you plain and simple the basis of my epistemology: experience and know. That’s it. What about you? The vast majority of stuff you toss out you have never experienced. I think you are just infatuated by complicated thinkers. There is no difference in blind faith in mysticism, the Bible, the existentialists, empiricism, and anything else. Blind faith is blind faith . . . mouthing of other people’s ideas sans personal experience.
 
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  • #34
Mr. Robin Parsons
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In consideration of my first answer, I would like to "nominate the candidate" for Worst Philosopher, (of the 21 st century)

George "Dub'ya" Bush. (Insert uproarious applause!)
 
  • #35
Note: I must apologize for the tone of my post - it is condesending and doesn't have the integrity it should. But, to make at least some excuses, I really have no better way to express my frustration at, what I see at least, as irrational banter that tries to claim a ground (the ground of science) that it doesn't even approach.

First of all, you shouldn’t hate. Second, you need to talk to me, not your own mind. I say that because you seem outraged, and I can’t figure out why. I don’t think I insulted you by anything I said. So honestly, I don’t know what you are talking about. It doesn’t seem to me that you responded to a single thing I said (e.g. exactly what all-consuming definition did I cite?). Still, now that you’ve thrown down the gauntlet, let’s get it on.

Well, I didn’t hate really… I guess I came off a bit harsh… due to the absurdity of your posts…

So, you are joining the ranks of those who “sweep aside” that which they neither are knowledgeable about nor understand? When someone dismisses something they don’t understand, it is usually because it interferes with their objectives of proving they are right. If you can unceremoniously discredit something, then you don’t have to make your case by evidence. Philosophers dismiss mysticism, mystics dismiss philosophers . . . what is the difference? In either case it is a dubious debating tactic and not worthy of anyone genuinely in search of truth.

Well, I am actually not in search of truth; I am in search of causal relationships. Science has proven to be the best at unveiling causal relationships in “physical terms”. So, yes, let’s talk science. The philosophy I brought up is relevant to this topic, but sense you seem heart set on leaving philosophy (at least the names of philosophers) out of this debate, so be it. Silly me, for a second I thought I was posting on a philosophy forum…

Why don’t we just stick to science to decide this question of whether or not humans have a “nature”?

That wasn’t my point. You really need to read my posts more closely. I was not talking about patterns in human behavior (even archetypal patterns) they are there. I was commenting on your use of a “kill all” thesis for human nature. Because such a meta-theory about human nature has to explain all of human behavior, a meaningful context is impossible. This is what you gave with the !Kung – it amounted to dribble. What do you want? A cookie for molding a description to a predefined vocabulary? What kind of science do you conceive of?

ht. What do YOU see when you observe reality, what have YOU concluded from your personal life experiences. That interests me, not guys who can’t explain themselves now.

Well seeing that our thoughts, beliefs, and logic are amalgamations of our experiences, who we have read and talked, I don’t find paraphrasing dead (or in Davidson’s case just really old) intellectuals as an invalid form of debate… Unless you think your thoughts are transcendent over the contingency of thought and history…

What selfish gene are you suggesting I have talked about? I have neither said nor implied anything “selfish.” By nature I am talking evolution and any other influences that have shaped us. We are not able to be just any old way we decide to be without consequences. Some conditions help humans thrive, other conditions damage us. If we have not a nature, then how can that be?

Everything you have said parallels a bad interpretation of Dawkin’s “selfish” gene that is the popular metaphor in sociobiology today. More or less, replace “selfish gene” in my posts for “an illogical adherence to the functionalists (classical anthropological functionalists) characterization of culture as relating to individual benefit.” In other words, sorry but you were unfamiliar with current terminology.

I would love to hear you explain this: “Clearly your circumscription of the !Kung into sociobiological terms is about as enlightening . . . as checking what is said in a newspaper with a copy of the same paper.” Have you studied tribal anthropology versus the values that develop in non-tribal, modern, technologically-driven societies? Demonstrate in one single way (evidence please) that I have misconstrued facts to support some epistemology you’ve imagined I embrace. I will tell you plain and simple the basis of my epistemology: experience and know. That’s it. What about you? The vast majority of stuff you toss out you have never experienced. I think you are just infatuated by complicated thinkers. There is no difference in blind faith in mysticism, the Bible, the existentialists, empiricism, and anything else. Blind faith is blind faith . . . mouthing of other people’s ideas sans personal experience.
Blind faith? Jesus Christ…All you did was describe the !Kung by a preset interpretation of individual gain and necessity Your post was meaningless. Richard Feynman (physicist if you didn’t know) said a scientific theory had to do two things: 1. Accurately describe events 2. Point to outside areas with empirically testable conclusions (by said description of course) Anyone who has a layman conception of the scientific method would agree with Feynman. Now, where in anything that you posted was the second stipulation fulfilled? It wasn’t – not at all, not in any stretch. Again, all you did so far is take what I said about the !Kung and try to fit it to your conception of evolution and culture (and a very bad one at that). How is that scientific? You end up "comparing a newspaper with a copy of the same paper" by merely redescribing the !Kung in a different vocabulary that could draw no performative (be it scientific or meaningful) distinction from my origional description! There is no useful outcome, no differentiation found in your description of the !Kung.

You talk a lot about science, but you never quote studies that based upon a series of empirical tests arrived at by exclusion your stance. Never. This is because your stance isn’t scientific in the least. It is just one big faith based non sequitur leap. Science (ideally) never asserts a “fact” unless that fact was extrapolated through extensive empirical falsification. It is not impressive that you can redescribe the !Kung in your own terms – any idiot could. One could describe the !Kung in the vocabulary of “New Age” lets-pop-acid-and-talk-to-trees metaphysics and would be equally “correct.” A description is a description; it is hard to fail to communicate when talking within a shared vocabulary. A scientific theory does more – it is the result of forming a description (the easy part, what you did and any moron could) and then following a series of empirical tests of events outside of the original description until a predictive, useful theory is formed. So, where is the science?

Ps – I have studied modern vs. traditional anthropology. I am just perplexed how you believe (in any rational sense at all) that a crappy – yes, crappy - model of hierarchy enlightens anything. If you mean to say that communism could not work in this multinational market, than I agree. But that has absolutely nothing to do with “human nature” – at least not in any useful sense – and everything to do with cultural holism: Why Marxism couldn’t work “the way things are now” is due to the fact that “the way things are now” has been shaped (and has shaped the development of) capitalism. Everything is related – change one thing, especially something as major as a subsistence and socio-political system, and everything changes.
 
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