Hi PGC

With respect, you've embarked on a fools errand there, PGC. Given the way John 
has framed the task any contribution made by xyz will end up not being a 
contribution in philosophy. Take Charles Pierce who pretty much founded 
semiotics and made contributions in fields as diverse as psychology and 
chemistry; or Frege who invented predicate logic; or Descartes work in 
mathematics,  or Leibniz's invention of calculus; the big punch line has to be 
that either these people were not philosophers or their important contributions 
were not in philosophy.

Whats needed is a defense of philosophy. John's task is based on an unjustified 
assumption that he made in his opening post. He argues that philosophers are 
just reporters; that in, for example, the field of method they just report on 
what scientists have always done. Thats just uninformed garbage. Firstly, there 
hasn't ever been a method scientists have always employed. Secondly, there is 
always an argument between scientists over how to proceed correctly. 

This is particularly evident in the cognitive sciences where there is an acute 
difficulty in equating some objective measurement to some subjective 
experience. The benefits and pitfalls of quantitative over qualitative 
methodologies is argued about within neuroscience departments the world over. 
Students are preached to about Popper and falsificationism in one lecture and 
in the next they are told that this methodology is inherently should be 
abandoned.  Even in physics, the 'hardest' of hard sciences, there is trouble 
afoot with string theory, and a debate rages as to whether it is falsifiable, 
and then whether that matters. You take your stand and you argue your case and 
in doing so you engage in: philosophy. So, even if it is a scientist arguing 
that qualitative methods are (or are not) worth persuing, he is making a 
philosophical argument.

Even John, right now, is doing the very same thing. He is engaging in 
philosophy. He is expending all this effort on what he has argued is worthless. 
He is one big hypocrite whose very position defeats itself. The position that 
the only things that have value are tangible scientific results is of course 
not in itself a scientific result. John is an unwitting positivist who falls 
into the same logical trap all positivists do.

All the best

Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2013 22:58:21 +0200
Subject: Re: What gives philosophers a bad name?
From: multiplecit...@gmail.com
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com




On Tue, Sep 10, 2013 at 9:18 PM, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:


On Tue, Sep 10, 2013 at 1:10 PM, Platonist Guitar Cowboy 
<multiplecit...@gmail.com> wrote:



> deep, clear, precise, unexpected, and true + discovered in the last 2 
> centuries by philosopher who is "not scientist" by John Clark's arbitrary 
> standards? Ok. Aldous Huxley, writer and philosophical mystic, not 
> "scientist" in your book, 


But I loved his book Brave New World, I first read it when I was about 10 and 
reread it just a few months ago.
 


> discovers and articulates to the broad public that mescaline is effective at 
> eliciting a subjective experiences that harmonize with the following kinds of 
> philosophies, observations, and mysticisms:



People have been drinking alcohol for at least 7000 years because it alters 
their perception of the world, and they have been eating Peyote, who's active 
ingredient is mescaline, for almost as long. I like Aldous Huxley, and like his 
grandfather and brother even more, but I don't see how reporting on something 
that people have known for thousands of years is new or unexpected. 




I am corrupt at times, but not this cheap John! Articulating philosophically 
the overlap between a first person experience and mystic traditions in "Doors 
of Perception" with "altered states of perception throughout the ages" 
generally, is pure John Clark philosophy; a philosophy in which 
3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine and ethanol are just "altering user's perception 
of the world". 


This implies a logic wherein a person getting shot, going to a store, shooting 
heroin, enjoying a piece of cake and a cup of coffee, doing nothing, pursuing a 
career, taking mescaline or having a beer are all just simply "altering their 
perception". This is so vague and general it is "philosophical" by your own 
standards: not deep, not clear, not precise, and not true by any measure I can 
affirm. Children eating ice cream and consuming mescaline are just doing the 
same thing, just "altering their perception"?


I await your explanation, even just on the level between alcohol and mescaline, 
as they seem to a) be different chemically and b) elicit different effect 
profiles both on metabolic levels and on subjective levels of experience.


Your equivalency statement is disputed by the Huxley in Doors, who outlines the 
difference many times, like so:

Ours is the age, among other things, of the automobile and of rocketing 
population. Alcohol is incompatible with safety on the roads, and its 
production, like that of tobacco, condemns to virtual sterility many 
millions of acres of the most fertile soil. The problems raised by 
alcohol and tobacco cannot, it goes without saying, be solved by 
prohibition. The universal and ever-present urge to self-transcendence 
is not to be abolished by slamming the currently popular Doors in the 
Wall. The only reasonable policy is to open other, better doors in the 
hope of inducing men and women to exchange their old bad habits for new 
and less harmful ones. Some of these other, better doors will be social 
and technological in nature, others religious or psychological, others 
dietetic, educational, athletic. But the need for frequent chemical 
vacations from intolerable selfhood and repulsive surroundings will 
undoubtedly remain. What is needed is a new drug which will relieve and 
console our suffering species without doing more harm in the long run 
than it does good in the short. Such a drug must be potent in minute 
doses and synthesizable. If it does not possess these qualities, its 
production, like that of wine, beer, spirits and tobacco will interfere 
with the raising of indispensable food and fibers. It must be less toxic
 than opium or cocaine, less likely to produce undesirable social 
consequences than alcohol or the barbiturates, less inimical to heart 
and lungs than the tars and nicotine of cigarettes. And, on the positive
 side, it should produce changes in consciousness more interesting, more
 intrinsically valuable than mere sedation or dreaminess, delusions of 
omnipotence or release from inhibition.

No chemist would buy this equivalency. No biologist either. Liberals would 
disagree with you, even drug warrior fanatics disagree with you as well as the 
philosopher/writer you love(d), who thinks this reductionism itself is harmful 
and your equivalency false. 


I have trouble seeing anybody, even fanatics of all kinds taking seriously such 
an equivalency proposition. Scientific proof certainly fails to equate the two. 
What is left is faith in John Clark. PGC 



 
   John K Clark   







 



By 12:30 pm, a vase of flowers becomes the "miracle, moment by moment, 
of naked existence". The experience, he asserts, is neither agreeable 
nor disagreeable, but simply "is". He likens it to Meister Eckhart's 
"istigheit" or "is-ness", and Plato's "Being" but not separated from 
"Becoming". He feels he understands the Hindu concept of Satchitananda, as well 
as the Zen koan that "the dharma body of the Buddha is in the hedge" and 
Buddhist suchness.
 In this state, Huxley explains he didn't have an "I", but instead a 
"not-I". Meaning and existence, pattern and colour become more 
significant than spatial relationships and time. Duration is replaced by
 a perpetual present.

Mescaline had been discovered and isolated by Hefter, or your understanding of 
"science" in 1898, but without the above link. This, thousands of years later 
(at least 5600 to be precise) than Huichol and other Native American tribes had 
intuitively and via bioassay verified the assignment of 1person pov mystical 
experience through cactus.




Huxley verified that this class of subjective state is real, not merely tribal 
superstition as "science" has held up to that point (and because of 
prohibition/corruption/cowardice still does to large extent), gave a clear 
dosage, and described the unexpected link between ingestion of some molecule or 
plant and a set of mystic positions and experiences of various cultures on the 
globe throughout the ages. 




Aldous Huxley is not a personal hero of mine. But I do admire the step: "YO 
wait just a second! This isn't just some provincial superstitious nonsense. 400 
milligrams and funky 1st person effect is real." 



Your version of "Science" did not uncover the 1 person reality of such states 
in any shape or form for the last few hundred years. It didn't even do so in 
the last hundred years. It took at philosophical mystic to state this 
connection. PGC













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